Seth Wenig—AP
By Martha C. White
June 7, 2018

If you’re one of those people who helped turn Uber into a verb — and who can’t imagine getting around town without the ride-hailing app — then you should give serious thought to the Platinum Card from American Express.

There is a catch: This high-end rewards card comes with a stiff annual fee of $550. But for regular Uber riders, a sizeable portion of that fee can be offset by credits for Uber rides and a host of other perks.

 

The Case for American Express Platinum

courtesy of American Express

Why It’s a Winner: For regular Uber users, American Express Platinum offers terrific rewards. But the key word here is “regular.”

For instance, you can get up to $200 off your Uber tabs each year for rides taken in the U.S. But those tabs must be spread throughout the year. You get $15 credit issued every month plus a $20 bonus (for a total of $35) for rides in December.

If you only use Uber intermittently, take note: Those $15 credits don’t roll over — it’s use ’em or lose ’em.

Cardholders also get double Membership Rewards points when they pay for Uber rides using this card. Plus, you’ll get automatically upgraded to Uber VIP status, which is ordinarily awarded to customers in the platform’s biggest markets only after they hail Uber 10 or more times monthly. (Uber says VIP members get connected to its top-rated drivers and better vehicles.)

All types of Ubers are eligible for the credit, so whether you like the serendipitous socialization of Uber Pool or prefer to be uber-chic with Uber Black — or if you live in a smaller city where no-frills Uber X is the only game in town — you can still get your credits.

To qualify for the credits, American Express Platinum cardholders have to use this card for payments within the ride-hailing app — and it has to be set up directly, as opposed to through a third party platform like Apple Pay.

Other benefits:

You can get up to $200 credited back to your account each year for airline fees, and a credit of up to $100 when you sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check. (So if you’re a frequent traveler in addition to being a frequent Uber rider, almost the entire annual fee is covered by these rewards.)

Cardholders also earn five points per dollar for airline tickets booked directly with the airlines or through AmEx, and for hotel stays booked via the AmEx travel portal. And the current signup bonus is a big one: You get a bucket of 60,000 points after making $5,000 in purchases within the first three months.

And it’s important to note that the Platinum Card is a classic Amex charge card — as opposed to a credit card — in that it requires payment in full at the end of each month.

The Key Stats:

Annual Fee: $550

APR: The Platinum card requires payment in full each month.

Rewards:

* Up to $15 per month for Uber rides and up to $35 credit in December.

* Up to $200 in airline fee credits.

* $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.

* 5X Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel.

* 5X Membership Rewards points for prepaid hotels booked on Amextravel.com

* 60,000 membership rewards points as a sign-up bonus, after you make $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.

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