American Express Platinum Card Canada Review

2018-10-10T14:55:00+00:00 July 21st, 2016|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

American Express Platinum Card Canada Review

When it comes to premium credit cards, The American Express Platinum Card for Canada is top contender for its various benefits and earnings potential. Although the card doesn’t come cheap at $699 per year, it can be very easy for the frequent or leisure traveler to get many times that fee in value and rewards. The card is an absolute must for those wanting to get into the points and miles hobby.

Get $200 In Free Travel Credit!

Apply now for the American Express Platinum Card Canada and earn $200 in free travel credit on approval!
American Express Platinum Canada

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So what makes this card worth the hefty annual fee?

American Express Platinum Canada Welcome Bonus

American Express is currently offering 60,000 membership rewards points for new accounts after spending $3000 on the card within the first 3 months of membership. This welcome bonus is significantly higher than other premium credit cards on the market. Membership rewards points are worth a minimum of 1 cent per point when redeemed towards a statement credit for purchases, giving this welcome bonus a minimum value of $600. However, I generally consider that poor value for redeeming points and can easily get 2-5 cents per point when transferring to Aeroplan or Avios (1:1 transfer ratio). Furthermore, you will receive 1.25 points for every dollar in purchases charged to the card.

American Express Platinum $200 Annual Travel Credit For Canadians

Updated October 10, 2018:
Every Platinum cardholder receives a $200 travel credit that can be redeemed towards travel purchases booked through American Express Travel Services. The annual travel credit gets renewed on the anniversary date of the credit card membership.

It should be noted that travel credits do not transfer to the following year if unused.

If you have a $200 travel credit that you haven’t used yet, make sure to do so before December 31, 2018!

From the American Express website:

“Please be advised that effective January 1, 2019, we are changing the date when your $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit will be renewed. As of January 1, 2019, the $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit will be renewed each year on the anniversary date of your Platinum Card membership and will be available for use for the 12 months following your anniversary date. It will no longer be renewed based on calendar year. If you have not yet used your 2018 Annual Travel Credit, you will still have until December 31, 2018 to use your 2018 credit. Example: If your next Platinum Card membership anniversary date is April 1, 2019, your next $200 Annual Travel Credit will be available for use from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, and annually thereafter.”

Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts

One of my favorite benefits of the card is being able to book accommodation through The Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Offered exclusively to American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders, FHR gives access to over 900 properties worldwide with a range of exclusive benefits including:

  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • Guaranteed 4pm late checkout
  • Room upgrade at check-in, subject to availability
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two
  • Unique property amenity (usually a $100 USD property or spa credit)

I recently booked a stay at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler using FHR and received a double upgrade at check-in, breakfast for two, a $100 USD food and beverage credit, and 4pm late check out. Those added benefits are easily worth hundreds of dollars and came at no additional charge courtesy of my Platinum Card. You can also check-out my review of the Fairmont Pacific Rim; one of Vancouver’s best Fine Hotel and Resorts properties.

Credit Card Insurance

The American Express Platinum Card offers a wide range of comprehensive insurance coverage for cardholders, which include:

  1. Emergency Medical Insurance
  2. Trip Cancellation Insurance
  3. Trip Interruption Insurance
  4. Travel Emergency Assistance
  5. Travel Accident Insurance
  6. Hotel Burglary Insurance
  7. Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
  8. Baggage Delay Insurance
  9. Flight Delay Insurance
  10. Car Rental Insurance
  11. Purchase Protection Insurance

Insurance coverage such as Emergency Medical is valid for out of province or country travel regardless of whether you used the Platinum card to purchase the ticket. Some of the other benefits are only valid if you charged the entire purchase to your American Express Platinum Card for Canada. Check here for a detailed description of coverage.

Airport Lounge Access at American Express Centurion Lounges

A benefit I largely overlooked when getting into the points and miles hobby, airport lounge access has become one of my favorite features of the card. Check out my reviews of the Qantas first class lounge at LAX and The Cathay Pacific lounge at YVR to see how you could be spending your time prior to departure! American Express Platinum Cardholders enjoy complimentary lounge access across most major Canadian cities regardless of airline or fare booked. Furthermore, as a Platinum member you can receive complimentary membership in Priority Pass- one of the worlds largest airport lounge programs offering services at more than 600 lounges worldwide. This membership is worth $399 USD alone and has immense value for the frequent traveler.

However, not all lounges are created equally, and although most will offer a range of complimentary snacks and beverages and are undoubtedly better than sitting at a crowded gate, none compare to American Express’ own flagship lounges: The Centurion.

Available at select Airports in North America, The Centurion Lounges are available exclusively for American Express Platinum and Centurion Cardholders. These lounges feature a large selection of complimentary food and beverages and vast seating areas that are tastefully designed. They all feature quiet work areas with complimentary Wi-Fi, ample power outlets to recharge electronic devises and quiet areas for long layovers. In my opinion there is no better way to wait out a long connection than at a Centurion Lounge.

How To Earn Bonus Travel Points With The American Express Referral Program

American Express has one of the most generous referral programs for those who wish to share the benefits of membership. This can be a great way to accumulate points quickly while helping friends and family travel better.

American Express Platinum Cardholders are eligible to receive a referral bonus of 15,000 Membership Reward Points for each eligible referral up to a maximum of 15 referrals per year, or 225,000 Membership Reward Points. That is, at a minimum, worth $2,250 worth of statement credits for travel related purchases. The best part is you are eligible to receive the welcome bonus for referrals made to any American Express Card under the Membership Rewards Program and are even able to self-refer for different products and receive the bonus.

Here’s an example of how you can earn a ton of bonus travel reward points very quickly:

  1. Apply for Platinum Card and receive 60,000 membership rewards points
  2. Self-refer for American Express Business Gold Rewards Card and receive 15,000 referral points plus a 40,000 point welcome bonus on the new card.
  3. Refer 4 friends or family member for any participating American Express card for 60,000 additional points (15,000 x 4).

That’s a total of 175,000 travel reward points with very little effort and enough to fly roundtrip from North America to Australia in business class when transferred to Aeroplan.

The Perfect Travel Rewards Credit Credit Card For Canadian Travelers

The American Express Platinum Card for Canada comes with a hefty annual fee, which can be tough for some to justify. However, the welcome bonus alone nearly covers the entire cost of the card for one year, making it a very easy decision to at least try the card for one year. Take into account all of the added benefits, including $400 in travel credits the first year of membership, and comprehensive travel and purchase protection, and the card quickly becomes a necessity for even the most leisurely traveler. For those who don’t travel much, I wouldn’t personally recommend renewing the card after the first year of membership as your may not get $699 worth of benefits and won’t have the welcome bonus to offset the annual fee. This card is, however, a must-have for the frequent traveler or the savvy points collector willing to maximize the very generous referral program.

Click here to apply for The American Express Platinum Card with a 60,000 Membership Reward welcome bonus, and start flying sooner!

Get $200 In Free Travel Credit!

Apply now for the American Express Platinum Card Canada and earn $200 in free travel credit on approval!
American Express Platinum Canada

Apply Now!

About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style. Want to learn how you can travel the world on points, like Tyler? Check out the ebook for more expert advice.

20 Comments

  1. john murimboh July 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Great review!!! Could you please clarify how you arrived at the value of 2-5 cents per point. Almost all other reviews of AMEX cards value the Member Rewards points at 1 cent per point which is why I was never interested in AMEX cards before. Transferring 1:1 to Aeroplan, ratehub.ca values Aeroplan points as 1.2 cents per Aeroplan mile which still isn’t great.
    https://www.ratehub.ca/credit-cards/aeroplan-miles-value

    • Tyler Weatherup September 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      To be honest, I’m not sure how a lot of people come up with their valuations, and I’m hesitant to put a hard value on any point. It the most real way, an Amex points is worth 1 cent, as that’s how much you could redeem it for towards travel purchases (cash value). However, I generally transfer to partner programs where I often get 2-5 cents in value, on say, a hotel redemption with Starwood and Marriott or a business class flight with Aeroplan!

  2. Colin August 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    The SPG Gold membership is also a great benefit as well with the AMEX Platinum. Once you link it to you Marriott account you will automatically be upgraded to gold as well with Marriott pretty much guaranteeing you a upgraded hotel room and additional bonus points at every stay.

    • Tyler Weatherup September 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Great point! I wrote this review prior to Marriott and SPG offering status matches, but it’s definitely something I’ve taken advantage of at my recent Marriott hotel stays! Definitely makes the annual fee on the card easier to justify.

  3. Rick January 6, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Hi A complimentary membership in Priority Pass is worth about $100 and is now free with PC Mastercard.
    The membership just means you are allowed to pay I think $49us per person to get in. Check the fine print on that Amex card.

    • Tyler Weatherup January 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Rick, thanks for the info!

      Priority Pass has different levels of membership, and my understanding is the PC World Elite Mastercard comes with the basic membership (valued at $99USD), which allows for lounge visits at 27USD per person, in addition to one free lounge visit per year.

      The American Express Platinum Card comes with the Prestige (top-level) membership valued at $399USD and allows unlimited complimentary lounge visits for the member and one guest, with additional guests charged at $27USD per visit.

      Great to see some other cards offering the basic membership though, which could be useful for those who don’t travel as frequently.

      -Tyler

  4. Rick January 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hi I take it back – it says $27us (not $49us) for additional guest but the member is complimentary. However I went once in Brazil- and I WAS charged- I’ll have to call them.

  5. Steven January 31, 2018 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Is the card made of metal now?

    • Tyler Weatherup February 1, 2018 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Hey Steven,

      Unfortunately that’s only on the American version. Still just a regular card in Canada.

  6. Jan July 24, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I had an Amex Platinum card about 3 years ago. If I reapplied would I get the bonus points?

    • Tyler Weatherup July 24, 2018 at 11:09 am - Reply

      Hi Jan,

      Absolutely you should! American Express did change the language in their terms to say ‘once per lifetime’ per card for the welcome bonus, though this hasn’t been enforced in practice. I recently re-applied for the Platinum card having cancelled only 8 months ago and received the welcome bonus without issue.

      Let me know if you have any questions,

      Tyler

  7. Viana August 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Hi:
    I am interested to apply for American Express Business Platinum Card. Would I get 15K reward points plus 40K points?

    Ot it has to be American Express Business Gold Rewards Card?

    • Tyler Weatherup August 10, 2018 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Hi Viana,

      The welcome bonus for the Business Platinum is 60,000 Membership Rewards, or 40,000 for the Business Gold Card. If you have a Personal Platinum Card, you could self-refer for either of the business cards to earn a 15,000 Membership Reward referral bonus in addition to the welcome bonus!

      Let me know if you have any additional questions!

      -Tyler

  8. Tony August 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Tyler,

    Your Platinum 60K referral link is not working …. any idea why not ?

    Tony.

    • Tyler Weatherup August 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Tony,

      I checked all of the links on my end and they seem to be working! Let me know if the problem persists though and I’ll look into it further. Thanks for the heads up though!

      -Tyler

  9. JRL October 6, 2018 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    In the text you say 60,000 welcome bonus, but when I clicked the link it redirected to an offer for 50K welcome bonus…. why not send readers to the better offer rather than one through a 3rd party affiliate? The 60K offer is still available – guess it doesnt pay you as much?

    Also the travel credit is on the anniversary date now, not calendar year.

    Sad to see the state of this blog lately. RIP Pointswise

    • Brittany Menard October 10, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Justin,

      Thanks for the heads up about the link. That should be fixed now, so yes, when you get approved and spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll receive 60,000 bonus points which is currently the best credit card welcome bonus in Canada.

      I’ve also edited that the $200 annual travel credit is now applied on the card’s anniversary date, not per calendar year which will go into effect January 1, 2019. Any unused travel credits need to be taken advantage of by December 31, 2018.

      If you have any questions about the future of PointsWise, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at [email protected]

      Thanks, Britt

  10. Aidan October 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Hey Tyler, so the annual travel credit is only if I book through their web so I cannot be reimbursed travel purchase from any other website? If I get the card this month, basically I get $200 now and another $200 in Jan?

  11. William October 26, 2018 at 1:33 am - Reply

    If you have a Amex Bus Plat card, can you self refer and get a Amex Plat and get the bonus?

  12. Abid November 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Hi there, I just applied for this card. Does this mean I can use the $200 travel credit before December 31, 2018 and then again in 2019 but I have to wait until after I get charged the annual fee (in November) to take advantage of the 2019 travel credit?

    Can someone clarify?

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