Booking Flights with The Amex Platinum Card Is the Best Option!

You should never use a debit card to make travel reservations; instead, use a credit card. This applies to both now and next year’s flights. When it comes to paying for that fare, certain cards are just far superior to others. When it comes to obtaining travel insurance for your flight and accruing additional points, there is, in fact, one clear winner.

The American Express Platinum Card® is this one. While other excellent travel cards are comparable, none can match the 5x points that are awarded for each $1 spent on a flight that is booked directly with airlines or through Amex’s travel site,, while using the Platinum card. This benefit is available up to an incredible $500,000 in annual spending. Not to add, the Platinum card has some of the greatest travel protection of any credit card.

How the Amex Platinum 5x contrasts

Among the top credit cards available for travel rewards is the American Express Platinum Card. When it comes time to make travel arrangements, these premium credit cards will typically offer you the best value. However, even in comparison to other premium credit cards, the Amex Platinum is unique. Look at this.

  • After using up the $300 annual travel credit, Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a 3x discount on all travel-related expenditures, including airfare. Or earn five times on travel reservations made via the Chase travel portal.
  • The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a double discount on every purchase, including airfare. When you book flights via Capital One Travel, you’ll also receive five times as many miles as you spend.
  • Three times on flights purchased using the American Express® Gold Card at or directly through airlines.
  • Travel expenses, including airfare, are tripled when using an American Express® Green Card.
  • Use your Capital One Venture Rewards credit card to earn two times on all purchases, including airfare.
  • Buy travel, including airfare, and earn twice as much with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Earn five times on flights and other travel arrangements made via the Chase travel portal.
  • The American Express Platinum Card® offers a five-time reward when spending up to $500,000 annually on travel arrangements made through or directly with airlines.
  • Let’s examine this more closely.

Whether you’re using an Uber, purchasing a flight through an online travel agency, paying for a parking lot, or making hotel reservations, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will earn you three times the points on any travel-related transaction. Thus, even though the benefit is more comprehensive, 3x just cannot match the 5x you receive when using the American Express Platinum Card to buy flights.

Furthermore, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card only earns you 2x points for every dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline; in contrast, you will receive 5x miles for flights booked through the Capital One Travel Portal.

Amex Platinum Card Disgraces Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards

There’s a reason why airline credit cards are so widely used. Getting additional miles to fuel your travels is simple with this method. Large welcome offer mileage bonuses, priority boarding, and free checked baggage are also occasionally offered by several. For your favorite airline, it may be worthwhile to carry one of these cards with you.

But here’s the thing: Even while it seems to make sense to keep accruing more United or SkyMiles, you can do far better. You will almost always be better off using a credit card that earns flexible points, such as the Platinum card, and accrues them more quickly. Your ability to redeem the miles earned by a co-branded airline credit card is restricted to using it on a single airline. We strongly advise readers to stop using airline-specific credit cards for all of their purchases because of this.

Now let’s show you why, when it comes time to pay for your flight, the Amex Platinum can be an even better option.

Delta SkyMiles and the co-branded Delta American Express credit cards are two things we adore. Nevertheless, you will only accrue 3x SkyMiles or fewer on Delta transactions, regardless of which of those cards you own. You would therefore receive 900 SkyMiles if you have a Delta Platinum or Delta Reserve card, and just 600 miles if you have a Delta Gold card, after purchasing a $300 Delta ticket and charging it to your Delta co-branded credit card. This is in addition to any additional miles you may accrue from the flight itself.

With a 5x multiplier, using the Amex Platinum Card to book the same $300 Delta ticket would earn you 1,500 Membership Rewards points. Because Membership Rewards points transfer to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio—one point equals one Delta SkyMiles—you could also immediately convert those points back to your Delta SkyMiles account.

Amex Addresses a Major Shortcoming: Travel Insurance

Travelers had to balance the Amex Platinum’s biggest drawback—that it didn’t provide travel insurance for flights purchased with the card—against the card’s bonus points for many years. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has historically provided some of the greatest travel insurance of any premium card, and the Amex Platinum made for an engaging discussion.

But things have altered in recent years. In 2020, Amex Platinum and several other premium cards were enhanced with comprehensive travel insurance coverage by American Express. Although one may contend that the coverage of the Capital One Venture X or the Chase Sapphire Reserve is superior, this is purely academic.

The following benefits are yours if you use the Platinum card to pay for your round-trip airfare or to charge the taxes and fees on a round-trip award ticket:

With trip cancellation insurance, you can receive reimbursement for up to $10,000 in nonrefundable costs and a maximum of $20,000 annually if your flight is canceled for inclement weather, illness accident, or other “covered reasons.” $10,000 for each covered trip and $20,000 for each eligible card during 12 months is the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed for longer than six hours, you may be able to receive up to $500 in compensation for accommodations, meals, personal items, and other related costs. Maximum $500 for each Covered Trip that is delayed by more than six hours; two claims per Eligible Card for 12 months in a row.

American Express’s Platinum Card

It won’t be inexpensive to receive the fantastic 5x points benefit for each dollar you spend on airfare. However, for certain travelers, the Amex Platinum card‘s worth can easily surpass its $695 annual cost thanks to that feature plus an unrivaled array of other benefits (see rates & fees).

After spending $8,000 throughout the first six months, it begins with at least 80,000 American Express points. or perhaps 150,000 points through a specific CardMatch promotion! For many, the card’s exceptional travel benefits, when combined with its $695 annual cost, make it well worth the investment.

Now let’s discuss the benefits. First off, you receive airline fee credits of up to $200 that can be used for baggage fees, seat preference, and other expenses. Plus, you’ll receive up to $200 in Uber rides, paid for in 15 monthly payments (plus an additional $35 in December to finish the year). Add another $100 credit for TSA PreCheck® applications every 4 1/2 years, or $100 credit for Global Entry applications every 4 years, and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit in two $50 amounts.

After the card underwent a makeover last summer, there are a ton of new benefits and credits that came with it. These include up to $240 in entertainment credits annually, up to $300 in Equinox gym credits, a $200 annual credit for certain hotels reserved through, up to $189 in credit to cover the cost of a CLEAR® Plus membership and much more.

The Amex Platinum card’s lounge access is possibly the nicest perk of all. Compared to other cards on the market, the Platinum card allows access to more airport lounges. To begin with, you can enter the amazing Centurion lounges on American Express. Additionally, you will receive a membership to Priority Pass, a global network with over 1,200 locations. As long as you’re flying Delta that day, you can enter Delta SkyClubs. The Centurion Studio Partner Escape Lounges is also available, and it includes our favorite lounge at our local Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) airport.

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