Last updated on December 26th, 2023
The American Express Platinum Card in Canada has one of the highest credit card annual fees open to most Canadians at $799. But it’s nothing compared to the invite-only AMEX Centurion Black Card, which puts a dent in most bank accounts with an annual fee of $5,000 plus an initiation fee ranging up to $10,000.
So, is the Canadian AMEX platinum metal-heavy card worth it? Personally, I believe it’s only worth it to a few people. I currently have the card, and there are some notable downsides aside from the annual fee, but it still adds value for me; read my AMEX Platinum Review Canada and my personal experience for more info. This card comes with a lot of perks and benefits. I won’t list them all. I’ll only review what matters.
AMEX Platinum Card Summary Canada
Annual Fee: $799
Earn 2 AMEX Membership Rewards (MR) Points per $1 spent on dining & food delivery in Canada and on travel, and 1 MR Point per $1 spent on everything else. Bonus 1 MR Point per $1 spent on the AMEX online travel booking site.
Welcome bonus of 100,000 AMEX MR Points
What I Like ✅
- Includes lounge access in nearly every airport globally
- Automatic Gold Status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Loyalty Programs
- Transfer points 1 to 1 to several airline loyalty programs, including Aeroplan
What I Don’t Like ❌
- Extremely high annual fee
- Not all merchants accept AMEX, including small businesses in Canada and merchants in developing countries
- 2x points for dining & food delivery only available within Canada
AMEX Platinum Review Canada
The main reason I signed up for the American Express Platinum Card was for the hotel benefits and airport lounge access. But there are also more great benefits.
I’m a Marriott Bonvoy member, and the AMEX Platinum Card automatically provides Canadians with Gold Elite Status, the third tier; the free Member and Silver Elite are behind Gold.
The Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status allows you to earn 25% bonus points, which can then be transferred to Air Canada’s Aeroplan Points, among many other airline loyalty programs, or redeemed for hotel stays.
Related: AMEX Aeroplan Card Review
The Gold Elite status also allows you to get free room upgrades based on availability, but this is not easily achievable due to some stingy Marriott hotel owners being trumped by higher elite members: Titanium, Platinum, and Ambassador. However, the 2pm late checkout is a good perk.
One thing to note is you don’t receive Marriott Bonvoy Elite Night Credits with your Gold status provided by AMEX Platinum Canada. Elite Night Credits are counted nights towards the next membership tier. Only the Marriott Bonvoy AMEX Card in Canada provides 15 Elite Night Credits, automatically providing Silver Elite status.
The AMEX Platinum Card also provides Gold status with Hilton Honors. However, this loyalty program doesn’t have much value for me as the Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty Program.
$100 Credit Fine Hotels + Resorts
The Fine Hotels + Resorts perks are an okay benefit for me but better for travelers who enjoy luxury getaways.
If you stay 2+ nights, you’ll receive a USD 100 credit at most hotels that can be applied towards dining, spa services, and other incidentals. Complimentary breakfast and room upgrades are also available at many hotels and resorts.
The downside of receiving the $100 credit and other benefits is that it’s restricted to luxury hotels that often cost $500 to $1000 a night — not for me, though I do splurge occasionally. The selected hotels include the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and Shangri-La. On the other hand, you can find more reasonably priced hotels in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
American Express Global Lounge Collection
If you fly often, you’ll want this benefit. I often work remotely at the airport, and it’s much easier at a lounge designed for business travelers. Most lounges include light snacks and complete meals. And if need be, alcoholic beverages are included in several lounges.
If you need to freshen up between flights, some lounges have hot showers — towels and soap included.
- The AMEX Platinum Card in Canada includes access to over 1,300 lounges in over 140 countries:
- AMEX Centurion Lounge
- Airspace Lounge
- Delta Sky Club (no access with economy fares effective January 1, 2024)
- Escape Lounge
- Plaza Premium Lounge
- Priority Pass Access (must call AMEX to enroll)
- Swissport Executive Lounge for Canadian AMEX Platinum Card Holders
The regular cost of lounge visits varies from $35 to $60. It’s an excellent way to recover the AMEX Platinum $799 annual fee.
Furthermore, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges are sometimes full, especially during high season, leaving you without a quiet place to relax before a flight. So, the AMEX Platinum lounge access provides more options than the premium Aeroplan credit cards with AMEX, CIBC, and TD.
AMEX Platinum Card $200 Dining Credit in Canada
The AMEX Platinum Card Canada $200 dining credit is not of tremendous value. The restaurants are curated, which means it’s a limited list and only applicable in Canada. The dining credit is difficult to take advantage of for Canadian travelers who spend several months abroad.
On top of the above, the credit can only be used in one shot. In other words, you can’t split it over four different $50 restaurant visits.
Plus, some of the restaurants on the list have preset meals costing over $500.
Fortunately, the $200 dining credit does not have a factor in me obtaining the AMEX Platinum Card.
Earning Membership Rewards Points
I have mixed feelings about earning MR Points with the AMEX Platinum Card. You earn at a rate of 1x to 2x MR Points per dollar spent.
You’ll earn an additional point if you book your travel directly online with American Express.
So, the maximum MR points you can earn per dollar is 3x. This is flimsy compared to the 5x MR Points you can earn on restaurants and food delivery with the Canadian AMEX Cobalt Card, which has a more affordable $156 annual fee.
How Much Are AMEX MR Points Worth? 1000 Points equals $10, meaning each point is one cent. The value of AMEX Membership Rewards Points is a real bummer compared to the 2.3 cents per point for Aeroplan.
I don’t recommend using MR Points for cash. Like Aeroplan Points, it’s better to redeem them for flights. You can easily make the value of an MR Point be 5 cents — that’s a $5,000 value for the 100,000 Bonus MR Points.
Yes, redeeming long-haul business class flights for under 100,000 Aeroplan/MR Points is possible. I sometimes list them on the Aeroplan Promotions page.
The best way to maximize the value of MR Points is to transfer them to an airline loyalty program and redeem them for flights. For Canadians, the 1 MR Point = 1 Aeroplan Point.
Is the AMEX Platinum Card Worth It in Canada?
For many Canadians, the AMEX Platinum Card’s ridiculous annual fee of $799 against its restricted benefits isn’t worth it.
In addition, the annual fee was $599 until September 2023, when American Express Canada increased the fee but introduced the not-so-great $200 dining credit to offset the increase.
For me personally, the unlimited airport lounge access and automatic Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy make the AMEX Platinum Card Canada worth it — I try to maximize the benefits. All the other perks are an extra.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the AMEX Platinum Card Canada requirements for eligibility?
You must meet specific requirements to be eligible for the AMEX Platinum Card in Canada. Here are some key eligibility criteria:
Age Requirement: You must be at least 21 years old.
Credit Score: While specific credit score requirements are not mentioned by American Express, a good credit score is generally recommended for approval.
Income: American Express may consider your income and financial stability when assessing your application.
Canadian Residency: You should be a resident of Canada to qualify for the AMEX Platinum Card.
Existing American Express Cardholders: If you currently hold an American Express Card, it may positively impact your eligibility for the AMEX Platinum Card.
It’s important to note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee approval. American Express evaluates applications on a case-by-case basis.
Does AMEX verify income?
In Canada, American Express requires your income when filling out a credit card application; however, they don’t verify it.