The American Express Platinum Card has the second most expensive annual fee out of all the credit cards in Canada, though an argument can be made due to the American Express Centurion Card. First place goes to the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card. For today, let’s find out whether the $699 fee is worth it for this American Express Platinum Card with the following highlights:
- $699 annual fee
- $175 fee for supplementary cardholders
- Earn 50,000 (without a referral) or 60,000 (with referral) sign up bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Earn 15,000 points for each approved referral (to a maximum of 225,000 points per calendar year)
- Earn 1.25 point for every $1 spent on all purchases
- Receive a $200 Annual Travel Credit
- Receive a complimentary and discounted companion tickets and upgrades
- Airport lounge access worldwide
- Premium hotel program membership
- Extensive insurance coverage
Initially, the $699 annual fee may seem steep, but if we break down the benefits, we may find out that it’s not so bad. Let’s set aside the sign up bonus, being only one time, as we want to find out whether this credit card is worthwhile to retain year after year.
First of all, the $200 Annual Travel Credit covers any travel booking (through Platinum Card Travel Service) once per calendar year. So this benefit covers $200 of the annual fee, so we have another $499 ($699 – $200) to go.
Lounge access is definitely valuable, considering that it is unlimited access worldwide. You have the Canadian Platinum Lounge Benefit which allows access to participating lounges in Canadian airports, which the list can change from time to time. For international travel, you have the The Airport Club Program, which allows you access to lounges in international airports, including American Express Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges, etc. The more lounges you visit, the more value that you get from this credit card.
To receive a complimentary or discounted companion ticket, the cardholder must purchase a first class or business class fare ticket with a participating airline, which definitely holds value.
You also receive elite status with the following hotel chains: Starwood Preferred Guest (Gold), Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (Platinum membership after charging 5 nights to the card), Club Carlson (Gold) and Le Club Accorhotels (Platinum).
This credit card includes a host of insurance coverages including:
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Car Rental Theft Damage Insurance
- Emergency Medical Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
- Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
- StandbyMDSM Travel Medical Concierge
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Travel Emergency Assistance
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Trip Interruption Insurance
As you can see, there is a host of benefits and perks associated with this credit card that can definitely cover the remaining $499 part of the annual fee. I would say that this is currently the best travel credit card in Canada. If you plan to pay for at least 5 trips on your own dime in a calendar year, do not have elite statuses (with airlines or hotels), but enjoy premium class travel, then this is the credit card to go for!