American Express Platinum – The Best Travel Credit Card for Military Families

American Express Platinum – The Best Travel Credit Card for Military Families

American Express Platinum – The Best Travel Credit Card for Military Families

This post has affiliate links for American Express Platinum. Sales or sign-ups made through such links will result in a commission (at NO extra cost for you) but be assured I only mention products that I truly love, love, love. Up front disclaimer: I use credit cards responsibly and pay off my balances each month. If this is not you, keep scrolling, this post ain’t for ya.

I’m a big fan of making my credit cards work hard for me.  In 2016, I finally realized that just how American Express waived the annual fee for my husband’s Delta card, they would also waive the annual fees for an American Express Platinum card. The American Express Platinum card is one of AMEX’s premier cards. In my opinion, their best and most luxe card too.

Whatever it is that you like to do, get a card that rewards you for it.  In my case, I travel a lot. Sometimes for work and sometimes for fun. Each year I spent at least 75 nights in hotels and probably fly on average once a month. The American Express Platinum card is the best choice for me because it rewards be big time for all my travel. It also makes traveling a little more luxurious and financially beneficial, instead of just being a means to get from Point A to Point B.

What This is Not

I’m not a credit card churner. The card I’ll discuss below, I envision having it for a long time or at least while my husband is active duty and AMEX extends their “military-friendly” benefits to us.  Card churning/travel hacking is when you open up a new credit card, make the required purchases, reap the rewards, and then close the account. The rewards can be awesome, such as free flights, hotel stays or points that you can turn into cash. Credit churning makes me a little uneasy, and I’m not willing to mess with my credit too much right now. However, I know plenty of people who do it successfully and benefit big time from it. If you want to see a real-life experiment with credit card churning, check out my fellow MilBlogger, Military Dollar’s posts about card churning.

American Express Platinum Card

Every time I use this card, I kick myself for not getting it sooner. For servicemembers on active duty status or military spouses who put their servicemember as an authorized user, American Express (AMEX) will waive all annual membership fees on this card as well as on the card of your authorized user.  Translation, if you are active duty military or you are a military spouse that applies and adds their servicemember as an authored user, AMEX will waive the $495 annual membership fee as well as the $174 annual membership fee for up to three additional cards. Although AMEX doesn’t need to apply the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to new debt, they state that they will handle military accounts in accordance with the SCRA.


Credit card companies do not have to apply SCRA to new debt taken out during active duty service. The SCRA is really supposed to help servicemembers with debt they acquired before going on active duty status. However, many credit card companies (American Express included) extend SCRA benefits, basically as a “thank-you” to servicemembers. Therefore I choose companies that extend this benefits. Makes sense, right?

It’s All About the Benefits, Baby

This card comes with all the normal benefits of an AMEX charge card, but these are some of the benefits I use most with this card. These aren’t even all the benefits that come with the Platinum cards, they’re just the ones that I think are the most valuable.

  • Up to $200 in Uber credits, $15 each month and an additional $20 bonus in December.
  • Earn 60,000 points if you spend $5k during the first three months. 60,000 points is roughly $300.
  • Points Galore:
    • 5x points on hotels books via AMEX Travel
    • 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines or via AMEX travel
    • Access to the AMEX Centurion Lounges, the swankiest of all lounges. Plus you never know what fun surprises are in-store at a Centurion Lounge!
    • Access to the AMEX Global Lounge Collection via Priority Pass. Membership gives you free unlimited access to airport lounges around the world.
    • $200 in airline fee credits for an airline of your choice. You can change up the airline each January.
    • Free credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓™ ($85) statement credit. I chose the TSA Pre✓™ for mine and I love swooshing through airport security lines now!
    • Complimentary access to unlimited WiFi on Boingo networks
    • Automatic upgrade to gold status at Hiltons and Starwood Hotels, and Avis, Hertz, and National car rental agencies
    • Free membership to ShopRunner, which gets you free 2-day shipping and returns with over 140 stores.
    • Baggage & Rental Car insurance

      The British Airways Lounge at Washington Dulles

Authorized Users

The AMEX Platinum card also lets you have up to 3 authorized users on your account.  Normally, it costs $175 for up to 3 authorized Platinum users.  However, AMEX waives that for active duty status military. This is a huge benefit because unlike other cards, one of the benefits I mentioned above are also available for your authorized users. Authorized users do not receive the airline fee credits or Uber credits.

Remember, when you add an authorized user to your account, you’re responsible for what they spend. However, you are able to give each user a limit. I added my husband to my account, obviously, so that I could reap the benefits of AMEX waiving the fees for the military.  I’m also going to add my mom and dad so that they can enjoy the premium airport lounges and no baggage fees when they travel.  Hey, older brother, who’s the favorite child now?

What Benefits Have I Used so Far?

These are my favorite benefits of the American Express Platinum card. In the few years I’ve been a member, I’ve calculated that I’ve used thousands of dollars worth of benefits.

  • Annual $200 airline fee allowance…remember this benefit renews each year!
  • Monthly $15 Uber credits
  • $20 in Uber credits in December
  • Sign-up Bonus points of 60,000 points = $300 dollars
  • $85 in TSA Pre✓™ credit
  • ShopRunner Member ship (normally $79/year)
  • Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access (normally $399/year)
  • $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you are interested in the AMEX Platinum card and you sign-up through my link, I’ll get 15,000 points, and you’ll get 60,000 points (after you spend $5k in three months). If you don’t want to use my link, no big deal, I still recommend this card, it’s A-mazing!

This post has affiliate links. Sales made through such links will result in a commission (at NO extra cost for you) but be assured I only mention products that I truly love, love, love.

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