Is $550 Annual Fee Worth It?

The Platinum Card® from American Express can help you travel in style with luxury benefits ranging from airport lounge access to an annual $200 airline fee credit — but it comes with a high $550 annual fee. (See rates and fees.)

Card members can recoup the cost with travel, shopping and food-related credits worth upwards of $500 annually. That said, the $550 annual fee will be added to your first statement. You’ll want to know ahead of time a) whether you can afford this expense; and b) how you’ll offset the cost with perks.

To help you decide, we break down key benefits of the Amex Platinum Card so you can add up the perks you would use and decide if the $550 annual fee is worth it for you.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    10x Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership), 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (starting January 1, 2021, this applies on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    75,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within 6 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit Needed

Value of Amex Platinum card benefits

If you want to recoup the Platinum card’s $550 annual fee, you’ll need to use many of the card’s benefits. Here’s a breakdown of how much the best perks are estimated to be worth:

The simplest way to offset the annual fee is through the statement credit offers. Add up the $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber Cash and $100 Saks credit, and you’re just $50 shy of making up the $550 annual fee. Currently, these three credits are available on an annual basis, so you can count on using them every year.

Tack on some of the other credits, like The Hotel Collection’s $100 credit (which can be used multiple times) and you can more than recoup the card’s annual fee.

And if you plan on earning the crazy-good 75,000-point welcome bonus, you can offset the annual fee for one year. Spend $5,000 on purchases within your first six months of card membership to earn the welcome bonus.

Bottom line

American Express® Green Card

Information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel, transit and at restaurants worldwide and 1X Membership Rewards® points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points on restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery, plus, Uber Eats purchases) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.