If you travel, this card is worth the hype

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Travelers swear by the perks; newcomers balk at the fees; airport lounges are filled with the users. Say what you will about The Platinum Card® from American Express but one thing is clear: it’s one of the premier travel cards on the market — and it has been for years.

The American Express Platinum’s chart-busting $550 annual fee is, in its unbelievable largess, the key to proverbial “travel perk city.” It literally unlocks the door to travel experiences found almost nowhere else. Access to a growing network of luxe Centurion airport lounges and a direct line to the all-powerful American Express concierge desk are just two of these top-line perks.

And there’s one major attribute that makes this card unique amongst other travel credit cards. It’s not, technically, a credit card at all: It does not extend you a loan that you can pay off—at interest (and unwisely)—over time. Instead, the Platinum is a “charge” card, which means you’ll need to pay off you statement balance, in full, every month.

Annual Fee: $550

Points: 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amextravel and on prepaid hotels on amextravel.com

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Perks: Lounge access, airline credits, many, many more

Welcome bonus: Variable, expect around 60k

Who should get the Amex Platinum?

You’ll need an excellent credit score (700 at minimum), and a strong history of responsible spending to qualify for the American Express Platinum card. This is more important than you might think.

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