accordion-minus accordion-plus account-aside-cards-ico account-aside-consultations-ico account-aside-logout-ico account-aside-profile-ico account-aside-reading-ico account-aside-settings-ico account-aside-wishlist-ico account-categories-edit account-categories-save account-mobile-nav-arr account-sidebar-active bonus-ico btn-find-ico btn-gradient-fb-ico btn-ico-edit business-ico calc-ico cash-ico check-green close-ico compare-card-equal-ico compare-card-plus-ico compare-plus-ico compare-tooltip-arr compare-tooltip-close compare-tooltip-ico correct-ico correct-large-ico credit-card-bullet err-info-ico facebook facetwp-selections-arr filter-arr heart-ico-filled heart-ico hero-section-bg-animated-mask hero-section-bg-mask-2 hero-section-bg-mask home-slider-arr-icon incorrect-ico insta is-best-ico listing-mob-filter listing-mob-sort loader-ico lock-ico-filled-white lock-ico-filled lock-ico login-facebook login-google login-linkedin my-cards-toggle notification-close-ico notification-success-ico notify-like-clicked notify-like notify-me-ico-clicked notify-me-ico num-counter-item-ico personal-ico points-ico price-edit-blue profile-ico remove-card search-ico select-arr share-facebook-ico share-linkedin-ico share-mail-ico share-twitter-ico sign-in-google-ico slider-ico-1 slider-ico-2 slider-ico-3 slider-ico-4 slider-ico-5 slider-ico-6 stars-5-empty stars-5-filled-edit stars-5-filled tooltip-filter-ico-green tooltip-filter-ico-light tooltip-filter-ico-white tooltip-filter-ico tooltip-ico twitter-widget-ico twitter ybcc-comparison-arr ybcc-comparison-card ybcc-socials-fb ybcc-socials-inst ybcc-socials-tw ybcc-socials-yt youtube
Explore Credit Cards Add Your Spending Profile
💳 Get up to a $3,000 Early Spend Bonus on Spark Cash Plus 💵
< Compare other cards
Your Best Credit Cards has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Your Best Credit Cards and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on Your Best Credit Cards are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. Your Best Credit Cards does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Commissions do not affect or prioritize placement within our Card Explorer results and not all cards displayed earn us a commission. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

* Suggested credit score ranges are supplied by QuinStreet, not from the issuers, and are guidelines, not a guarantee of approval.
VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express and
United℠ Explorer Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Airport Lounge Access
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Trip Protections
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Concierge Services
Annual Statement Credits
Grants Hotel Status
Grants Car Rental Status
Earns Transferable Points
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Return Protection
Cell Phone Protection
Has No Preset Spending Limit
Metal Card
Free Checked Bags
Priority Boarding
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Fee
$695 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
5x Airfare

Earn 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare (booked directly with the airline or via AmexTravel.com and on prepaid hotels when booked via AmexTravel.com), up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

5x Hotels

Only when booked via AmexTravel.com; Otherwise, hotels will earn 1X points per dollar spent

1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.017
Bonus Offer

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.25) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

In many ways, the American Express Platinum card is the crème de la crème of premium travel rewards credit cards. There are not only a laundry list of embedded perks — from hotel and rental car elite statuses to complimentary access to airport lounges through the Global Lounge Collection — but this card also can provide serious value in the form of statement credits with partner merchants. You can see the full list of benefits above.

Truth be told, it may require some work to fully maximize the card’s many perks but it shouldn’t be difficult to recoup at least some, if not all, of the card’s $695 annual fee (Rates and Fees).

An overhaul of the Platinum in 2021 showed Amex wanted to expand this card well beyond travel. While it’s unlikely the Platinum will ever fully shed its decades-long roots in the travel sphere, Amex also hopes to play a role at the top of your wallet whether you are at home or away.

Of course, on the travel front, the card still earns 5X on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through the Amex Travel portal (on up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year), 5X on prepaid hotels, provides the most access to lounges of any card issuer, and has built-in travel protections and elite-status perks. This is on top of all the other relatively-recent lifestyle benefit additions — from Uber credits, Equinox credits, preferred restaurant reservations with Resy, and much, much more.

airfare-the-platinum-card-from-american-express

 

A few notes you need to know:

Amex now has language restricting you from getting the bonus on this Card if you have or have had this card OR have had this Card, the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Charles Schwab, the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards.

Additional Platinum cards are $195 each.

If you want an Authorized User card with none of the benefits, that is still available as the “Companion Platinum Card.” They will simply be able to make charges that post to your account.

Bottom Line:

While the Platinum is a solid choice for most cardholders looking to level up their travel experience, consider other options from both Chase and Capital One including the $550-per-year Chase Sapphire Reserve and $395-per-year Capital One Venture X credit card.

Rates and Fees for the The Platinum Card® from American Express

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Grants Car Rental Status
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Return Protection
yes
Cell Phone Protection
yes
Has No Preset Spending Limit
yes
Metal Card
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Priority Boarding
no
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
No Foreign Transaction Fees
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Annual Fee
$0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

On United flights only; otherwise earn 1X

2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Hotels
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account, plus Annual Fee waived for the first year. Offer ends March 13, 2024.  

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.05) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Explorer is one of the best credit cards out there for occasional United flyers. That’s because you’ll get useful perks, such as free first checked bags, priority boarding privileges, a 25% food and beverage discount on board United operated flights, and even get a taste of airport lounge access with two anniversary United Club passes. Plus. the annual fee is waived the first year, then just $95 thereafter.

Consider this scenario: Even if you only fly United a couple of times per year, the Explorer Card is worth it for the free checked bag benefit alone. Keep in mind, this applies to the primary card holder and one companion on the same reservation, as long as you use the card to pay for your ticket. At $35 for one checked bag, and $140 for a round-trip flight for two people, it’s easy to get value that exceeds the card’s annual fee.

In addition to the sign-up bonus earned after account opening, the United Explorer card earns a decent 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on dining, including eligible delivery services, 2X miles on hotel stays when booked with the hotel and 1x miles on all other purchases. Also, the card helps to fast track your United elite status goals with 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases (up to 1,000 PQPs in a calendar year). These PQPs can be applied toward your Premier status qualification — up to the Premier 1K level.

And don’t forget the ability to earn PQPs towards elite status from spend. You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases – up to 1,000 PQPs per year.

If you’re in need of extra miles besides flying on United flights, keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to the United Mileage Plus program at a 1:1 ratio to help you top up your miles balance.

While the United Explorer card is a fantastic option for the occasional United flyer, those that travel more often with the airline might want to consider other options, including United’s other, more premium, credit cards.

In more simple terms, the Explorer card fits the “occasional United flyer” once or twice per year mold, while the $250-per-year United Quest fits the “semi-frequent United flyer.” Then, there’s the United Club Infinite Card for the “frequent United flyer.” If you’re looking for a United Club membership and need more than just two one-time passes, you’ll probably be better off with the United Club Infinite Card, which comes with a full United Club membership but also charges the highest annual fee of the United cards at $525.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Annual Statement Credits
no
Grants Hotel Status
no
Grants Car Rental Status
no
Earns Transferable Points
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Return Protection
no
Cell Phone Protection
no
Has No Preset Spending Limit
no
Metal Card
no
Free Checked Bags
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes

Learn more about these cards today

Your account has been successfully created!