It is well publicised that the American Express Platinum Card opens the door to more than 1200 airport lounges across the globe, comes with a $450 annual travel credit, has a competitive points earn rate and covers you with industry-leading travel insurance.
However, there are some lesser-known benefits that Card Members also receive, which I believe provides great value.
Here are eight of the card’s best lesser-known perks:
1. Discounted Meals
The American Express Platinum Card comes with complimentary Accor Plus membership. It’s a paid membership program run by Accor Hotels, which we have covered in detail here at Point Hacks.
An Accor Plus benefit that I find most useful is the dining benefit that comes with the program, which can be used at some 1400 restaurants at hotels and resorts across the Asia Pacific. A number of examples are shown below that detail the discount you receive on your dining bill based on the number of diners joining you:
|No. of Diners||Percentage Discount (%)|
In other words, the member’s meal is effectively always free if they dine with at least one other guest. The best bit? You don’t have to be staying at an Accor hotel to benefit – you can crash the breakfast buffet or book a special dinner date and reap the benefits anytime you like.
2. Shortcut to Star Alliance Gold
Platinum Card Members receive elite status with four different hotel chains. A fifth hotels chain used to be Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, however, this is no longer a benefit for new Card members with the severing of ties between American Express and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
For existing Card members though who have automatically been upgraded to Golden Circle Jade elite membership, then this perk will continue until 31 March 2021, so make sure to get in quick!
There are generous benefits of Jade membership if you do stay at Shangri-La properties, but this status also unlocks the ability to earn Star Alliance Gold membership by taking just three flights on Singapore Airlines. You can read more about this hack in our guide here.
3. Roadside Assistance
Are you paying for an automotive club membership? You might be able to do away with it if you hold a Platinum Card. That’s because private cars driven by the Card Member within Australia are covered by roadside assistance.
Insurance on the card will pay up to $200 for a covered vehicle which has suffered accidental damage or breakdown. You can receive on-the-spot roadside assistance or be towed to the nearest suitable repairer.
If the covered vehicle is rendered unroadworthy for more than 48 hours, the insurance will also cover the costs of a rental car for up to three days.
As always, check the fine print to determine if this cover meets your needs, but it may be a handy benefit to have.
4. Home Assistance
Burst water pipe in the middle of the night? Did a storm cause a large tree branch to fall through your roof? Maybe the air-conditioner has broken during a hot spell? Should such misfortune occur, you will likely need to make an emergency call-out to a tradesperson.
Having your Platinum Card will help, with Home Assistance being one of the included insurance benefits. Card Members can receive 24-hour referrals to service providers including plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and air-conditioning service specialists.
The assistance will organise and pay the emergency call-out charges for you, up to two times a year. Labour and spare parts charges for the repairs remain the responsibility of the Card Member, but not having to pay the emergency call-out fee could save you as much as $250 in some cases. Again, check the fine print, but this can provide some peace of mind.
5. Free News
You can get almost half of the Platinum Card’s annual fee back in one hit if you are a current subscriber to the Australian Financial Review or are thinking about taking out a new subscription.
A 12-month subscription normally costs $628, but is available as a free perk of holding a Platinum Card. The subscription gives you unlimited access to afr.com as well as the newspaper’s mobile and tablet apps.
6. Free Cruise Credit
Planning a cruise? It might be worth doing so using your Platinum Card. Card Members can receive up to US$300 in onboard credit to spend when they book a cruise through the Platinum Travel Service.
Partners for the offer include Holland America Line, Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. That is a fast way to claw back some value from the card’s annual fee.
7. Restaurant Reservations
Left booking a table at a restaurant until the last minute? If you are a Platinum Card Member, American Express Concierge may just be able to work some magic and get you a table at that restaurant that says it is fully booked.
Platinum Card Members receive special access to reservations at hundreds of restaurants around the world, including more than 85 across Australia. It could just prove a life-saver.
8. Smartphone Screen Insurance
Who hasn’t dropped their phone and cracked the screen somewhere along the line? I certainly have, but paying only $32 for the repair instead of $320 did not make the situation quite so painful.
The Platinum Card comes with Smartphone Screen Insurance, which provides cover of up to $500, up to twice a year, if you pay for your smartphone with your Platinum Card, either outright or on a monthly contract. Waiting periods may apply, but the excess if your claim is approved is a flat rate of just 10 per cent of the total repair cost.
There are plenty of less obvious ways to draw hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars in value from the American Express Platinum Card.
The half-price meals with a friend at Accor properties whether you are staying at them or not is a very nice benefit I have used multiple times and gained significant value from.
I also love the peace-of-mind of the Smartphone Screen Insurance and the Roadside Assistance, the latter of which could save you well over $100 a year on a motoring club membership.
Here’s the latest signup offer for new Card Members of the American Express Platinum Card: