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Is the AMEX Platinum Card Worth It

18 Apr, 2024

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Eva Mitchell

The AMEX platinum card is always the talk of the point hacking community. Is the Australia AMEX platinum card worth it or not?  

The reason this card creates so much confusion is because of the hefty sign-up fee and the fact it depends on your individual circumstances as to whether it is worth signing up to. The best thing about the AMEX platinum card is that it comes with a plethora of bonuses and credits.  

I’m going to breakdown how we utilised our AMEX platinum card for a year of travel. For us, this card was worth it’s weight in gold (or platinum shall we say)!  

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Our Card Comparison Rules

For any breakdown of a credit cards usefulness I think it is important to make sure that we are comparing to apples to apples. The AMEX afforded us some luxuries while travelling that we wouldn't have normally forked out for on a budget.

For this reason I will refer to the following:

Perceived = the value we received based on our usual spending habits (i.e. we would normally look for the most cost effective flight on a given day which often is not the same as the best flight using points).

Actual = the value we received based on how much it would have cost us had we brought the exact same things we received at a discounted rate or for free thanks to the AMEX platinum card. 

Here's a tip:

When you are figuring out if the AMEX platinum card is worth it for you or not, base your calculations on YOUR perceived value.


If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here is the TLDR:  

Sign up cost: $1450aud 

Total perceived value saved: $2135 

Total actual value saved so far: $2755 + lounge access ($1445) + extra 9k points to spend? = $4200 

couple running in Sahara Desert

AMEX Point Signup Bonus

We applied for the card when AMEX was offering 225,000 AMEX points as a signup bonus. During the year we also accumulated a further 18k AMEX points

We transferred all of our AMEX points to Qantas points, however there are many different airlines and hotel chains you can transfer your AMEX points to. 

Here is how we spent the 121k Qantas points and the savings we made. 


Flight from Osaka to Singapore

40K Qantas points + $84 to purchase two tickets on a Jetstar flight from Osaka to Singapore with a Manila touch down in February 2024. This purchase included a checked bag each bit did not include food because Jetstar is a budget airline.  

We booked this ticket one month prior to the flight date.

Actual Savings: $951 

Had we booked this exact flight the same day we booked it with points, it would have cost us $527 EACH excluding bags!  

Perceived Savings: $792 

If we did not use the points we would have probably booked the cheapest direct flight from Osaka to Singapore on the same day which was $396 each with Scoot excluding bags. 

Flight from Hanoi to Melbourne

76k Qantas points + $486 to purchase two tickets on a China Airlines flight from Hanoi to Melbourne with a 2hr layover in Taipei. This purchase includes meals and checked bags for both of us.  

We booked these tickets two months prior to our flight in May 2024.

Actual Savings: $954 

Had we booked this exact flight the same day we booked it with points, it would have cost us $720 each.  

Perceived Savings: $294

The cheapest alternative at the time of booking was using a different flight path. Without the points we would have considered taking Vietjet domestically from Hanoi to HCMC and then Jetstar to Melbourne. This would have cost us $390 each. 


Total Perceived savings on flights with the AMEX points converted to Qantas points: $1088 

Total Actual savings on flights with the AMEX points converted to Qantas points: $1905 

We also still have 5k points left over that we will probably put towards flying domestic within Australia in the future.  

Having Qantas points allowed us to fly better airlines and more favorable routes. It also gave us more flexibility in our travel planning by allowing us to book closer to the time of the flight without facing huge price increases. 

Breakdown of AMEX Benefits

Airport lounge access  

Having airport lounge access as budget travellers was an absolute luxury!  

Lounge access took our airport comfort level from a 1/10 to a whopping +++10000/10! 

The AMEX platinum card gives you access to Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges world-wide. We visited 13 airport lounges during our one year of travel. Realistically, we figured each lounge access saved us around $40 per visit that we would have otherwise spent on airport terminal food and drink.

Bonus: You can eat and drink as much as you like in the airport lounges. We never stepped on to a plane hungry! 


The Priority Pass membership available to you as an AMEX platinum card holder allows yourself and a travel companion to access most priority pass lounges for free. You can’t even purchase this type of membership directly from Priority Pass. The top membership option available to the public costs $730 for unlimited lounge visits BUT your travel companion must pay an additional $55 PER VISIT! 

Perceived savings =  technically 0 but we would have spent money at the airport occasionally for food and drinks.

Actual savings = $1445aud

AMEX Dining Credit (Australia, and Global)

For us, dining out is something we love to do! We are foodies at heart, everything from street food to experimenting with flavours at home and fine dining on special occasions. We especially enjoy treating ourselves to the ‘Trust the chef’ and degustation menus offered at many fine dining restaurants.  

Being able to save $200 in Australia at Chin Chin in Melbourne and another $200 internationally in Paris at Cho Cho was a valuable bonus for us. We would have spent money dining out anyway in these places, so it made sense to count these bonuses into the overall value of the AMEX platinum credit card deal. I do understand that many of you may not find these dining bonuses quite as exciting as us, so read on for more great benefits to signing up to the AMEX platinum card.  

Perceived savings =  $400aud

Actual savings = $400aud


AMEX Travel Credit

We received $450 credit to use through AMEX's online travel portal. We felt like a small luxury that we usually wouldn't splurge on, so used this to stay at a resort accommodation in Koh Samui, Thailand. Bonus - we were also upgraded to a beach side room with private deck 🙌  

If we did not have the travel credit we would have booked a more modestly priced accommodation for the 3 nights.

Perceived savings =  $170aud

Actual savings = $450aud

Accor Membership and Free Night of Accommodation 

One of the perks of having an AMEX Platinum Card is an Accor membership and a free night in one Accor property in Asia or the Pacific. We used our free Accor night in Tokyo at the Mercure Tokyo Ginza. Because this is a slightly pricier accommodation, we paid an additional $19 to secure the room. The advertised price for the Mercure room was $374 however we would never pay that had we not been offered the free night. In reality, we would have booked a different accommodation in Tokyo for roughly $120. Taking this into account, the actual amount of perceived savings on accommodation for that night was $100. 

Mercure Tokyo Ginza did offer us welcome drinks and snacks which we thought was a nice touch. They also provided us with a late check-out.  

Perceived savings = $100aud

Actual savings = $374aud

Free Annual Subscription to Prime Video  

This was a great little bonus that we did end up using during our year of travel. It was nice to have different movie and tv show options to watch other. Although we love Clarkson's Farm (highly recommend BTW) we probably wouldn’t have signed up to Prime video had we not been offered this bonus.  

Perceived savings = $0

Actual savings = $87

Various magazine subscriptions  

If you are into magazines, this benefit may be of interest to you. We were too busy travelling the world to read magazines!  

Access to AMEX portal for exclusive offers on accommodation 

These exclusive offers are great if you are planning more luxurious holidays, however because we were working with a modest budget during our one year of travel, we didn’t utilise these deals.  

Travel insurance  

AMEX platinum card holders can access travel insurance for international trips. There are obviously terms and conditions to being eligible for this travel insurance, one of which is having a return ticket. We did not have a return ticket, so did not activate this insurance.

We see this insurance as something you would only use in ADDITION to your own independent travel insurance. 

Our Priority when Point Hacking 

Our flights with Jetstar and China Airlines provided us with great value as budget travellers. When we started point hacking in preparation for our year of travel, our point hacking goal was to book as many flights as possible for as cheap as possible. This meant we could travel further and to more countries within the budget we set for the year. We like to focus on ‘perceived’ value as opposed to actual value gained. 

With 121K Qantas points the ‘actual’ value you receive when purchasing a business class flight looks incredible. But would you pay for that up front? Probably not. So the ‘perceived’ value of this flight is how much you would pay for an economy seat on the cheapest airline YOU are comfortable with.  

We are proof that points hacking is beneficial for budget travellers. You don’t HAVE TO get the BEST ‘actual’ value by purchasing business class flights to make points hacking worth it.  


How to Book Cheap Flights to Europe using Qantas Points in 2023

Disadvantages of the Australia AMEX Platinum Card

  • There is a minimum income threshold you have to meet to be eligible to apply for an AMEX Platinum Card. Check the AMEX website for the most up-to-date information on the acceptance criteria.
  • There is a 3% fee on any international purchases. This means that it is generally NOT beneficial to use this card while travelling internationally.
  • Often in Australia there is a higher fee to purchase items with an AMEX card. For example, if you use a Mastercard the fee might be 1% but to use an AMEX card you are charged a 2% fee.
  • Because of these additional fees, we only spent the minimum amount to receive the sign-up bonus points and then very rarely used our AMEX platinum card to purchase anything while travelling the world. 

Is the AMEX platinum credit card worth signing up to? 

Yes, for us it was worth it, but it may not be worth it for everyone. We are budget full-time travellers taking flights at least once a month with budget airlines or economy seats in higher status airlines. The priority pass was a game-changer for us!  

We now love airport lounges and would struggle to travel without them going forward. A bit spoilt we know! But the luxury of an airport lounge while travelling economy full-time was such a treat. Our foodie tendencies meant the dining vouchers were ideal for us and the free night of accommodation meant we could stay at a fancier hotel than usual for a night in Tokyo.  

Converting the AMEX points to Qantas points at a 2:1 ratio meant the AMEX platinum card offered a decent amount of frequent flyer points that meant we saved hundreds of dollars on flights.  

Should I sign up to the AMEX Platinum Card? 

Our number one piece of advice when deciding whether or not the AMEX platinum card is worth it for you, is to figure out the expected value TO YOU. Will you at least receive enough value based on your usual spending habits, expected upcoming costs and plans to cover the sign up cost?  

If you don’t usually dine out, then exclude the value gained from the dining credits as this is a nice bonus but not inline with your usual spending habits.  

If you are only planning on flying a couple times a year. Consider how many times you will have lounge access and how much you would save on airport food and drink by having access to the lounges.  

For most people, signing up to the AMEX platinum card solely for the AMEX points will not provide great value. Most often, you would be best to look into alternative points credit cards available. 

Check out our handy points credit card comparer

Disclaimer: We are not financial experts and do not provide individual financial advice. We share our financial experiences. If you require financial advice please seek out a qualified professional to assist you. 

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A word from the authors

Eva and Tim are the creators behind this world-class travel finance blog.

In 2021 they decided to travel the world for an entire year and begun implementing savings strategies to achieve their goal of long-term travel. By May 2023, they quit their jobs to embark on their year-long adventure, sharing their invaluable practical and achievable savings, planning and travel tips they learnt along the way/with the aim to help others Make Cents of Travel.

You can find Eva & Tim on Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram as Make Cents of Travel.

About Us

Hello, Hola, Ciao! We are Tim & Eva, a couple of kiwis who have spent the last few years saving for and planning our epic year-long adventure around the world. Our goal is to inspire fellow wanderlust souls (just like you!) to Make Cents Of Travel by sharing our experiences and strategies we used to turn our dream of long-term travel into a reality.


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