The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the hottest credit cards on the market, and for good reason. The card provides various bonus rewards, a sign-up bonus, and many other incentives like travel credits. However, it does come at a price, a steep one at that; American Express charges cardholders an annual fee of $695. Naturally, it’s worth looking deeper into what you can expect in return before you decide to sign up for the card especially given the significant number of alternatives on the market. For this article, we will compare the American Express Platinum Card with another premium rewards travel card, the Emirates Skywards World Card from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. For starters, the Emirates Skywards World Card has an annual fee of approximately $400 so it is 40% cheaper than the Platinum Card.
The new member bonus is one of the most attractive features of the American Express Platinum Card. New members receive 100,000 reward points. Of course, this comes with the condition that these members spend at least $6,000 within their first six months to become eligible for the bonus. In comparison, the Emirates Skywards World Card offers a welcome bonus of 40,000 Skyward miles and 20,000 bonus miles. But the condition is more difficult to satisfy: you have to spend the equivalent of $13,600 within the first 6 months of having the card.
With the American Express Platinum Card, when points are redeemed for rewards within the American Express network, each point can be worth up to $0.01. However, with the Emirates Skywards World Card, you can earn 0.25 Skywards Miles per U.S. Dollar to spend at supermarkets, on utilities, gas stations, and public transportation. You can also earn 2.5 miles per U.S. Dollar for spend at Emirates, 1.5 miles for spending in foreign currencies (non-Dirham spend), and 1 mile for all other local currency spending.
American Express Platinum Cardmembers get $200 in airline fees credit. This money can go towards incidental fees like in-flight food and drinks and other charges incurred. However, it’s available at just one designated airline. Members must select their preferred airline, which can only be changed once per year after that. The Platinum Card also has excellent airport lounge access. Eight airport lounge networks are supported, such as the American Express Global Lounge Collection, Lufthansa, Delta Sky Club, Escape Lounge, and others. While the Emirates Skywards World Card doesn’t have an airline credit, cardholders can enjoy unlimited complimentary lounge access to over 900 airport lounges globally. Cardholders also can enjoy complimentary home check-in when traveling with Emirates up to twice a year.
The American Express Platinum Card is one of the most expensive cards on the market, but it also has several attractive and unique offerings which justify the price. In addition to those mentioned above the card offers a $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $155 Walmart+ credit, and $15 in Uber Cash each month. By the time you add up all the various benefits of the card, it becomes clear that not only is it in a league of its own as far as credit cards are concerned but also, it is well worth the $695 fee.