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American Express Platinum Free Baggage
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Amex Platinum is the new best travel card for speeding through airport security thanks to these 3 benefits
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American Express Will Now Allow Card Holders To Cancel A Flight For Any Reason — What To Know
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There is a secret world of travel hidden right under your nose every time you step foot in the airport. It’s almost unnoticeable if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
The passenger next to you can have free access to luxury airport lounges (a great way to escape the busy terminal); they may have benefits that allow them to board the plane before you – even if they bought a cheaper ticket. They may receive over $50 worth of free food and alcohol at airport restaurants. And they could do all of this simply by holding the right travel credit card.
The benefits of traveling with a credit card is the ability to get free memberships in special programs that speed up your airport security experience. After recent changes, The Platinum Card® from American Express is now arguably the best card for this.
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The card has two benefits that can help you get through airport security faster than 99% of other passengers:
Read more: Ignore Amex Platinum’s new ‘lifestyle’ benefits — here’s what the card costs the average person
Whether you tend to find yourself sprinting to your gate to make your flight or just hate showing up to the airport a few hours early, Amex Platinum offers hundreds of dollars in statement credits to help you out achieve the title of “trusted traveler” completely free of charge.
Here we focus on the rewards and benefits that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay off your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
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Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases with your new card in the first six months of card membership
If you want as many premium travel benefits as possible, The Platinum Card® from American Express may be the right card for you. The annual fee is high, but you get a long list of benefits like airport lounge access, travel statement credits, complimentary elite hotel status, and more.
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Few sights are as grim as a long airport security line. If you’re anything like me, you don’t leave a huge amount of time for airport complications. In extreme cases, a long tail can be the difference between disappearing and taking flight.
CLEAR® Plus is a program designed to let you skip the TSA line entirely. With membership, you’ll have a dedicated lane separate from the TSA lane. Go to a kiosk, enter your biometrics (such as fingerprints/iris scan) and head straight to the conveyor belt of gray containers.
Read more: I wasn’t interested in CLEAR® Plus until Amex Platinum gave it to me for free. It’s fantastic.
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This saves a lot of time, especially if you are visiting busy airports. Membership costs $189 per year, but the Amex Platinum CLEAR® Plus credit will fully offset the cost each year.**
There are ways to get big discounts on CLEAR® Plus with little effort. For example, anyone enrolled in the United Airlines or Delta frequent flyer program gets a special rate of $119 per year.
Instead of walking around in socks and holding your pants up while you wait for your belt, shoes, and light jacket to go down the conveyor belt through the X-ray machine, you can enroll in TSA PreCheck and keep your clothes. You won’t even have to take your laptop or TSA-approved toiletries out of your bag.
This eliminates a lot of hassle, speeds up security, and saves you from having to manage five or six gray bins. And TSA PreCheck members are directed to the same area, so they (usually) don’t have to stand behind passengers who
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TSA PreCheck costs $85 per year for five years of membership — but the Amex Platinum comes with a credit to offset that cost every 4.5 years if you choose. You can use this credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, $100 statement credit every 4 years for Global Entry application fee or up to $85 statement credit every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck®.
I distinctly remember returning to New York-JFK years ago after traveling overseas. The two hours I spent in a winding immigration line made me dread future returns from abroad when I would have to experience those lines again.
Global Entry membership almost guarantees you’ll never have to wait in a line like this. US centers often have more than a dozen Global Entry kiosks where you can scan your fingerprints, answer a few questions and head for the exit. In other words, Global Entry has the potential to save you literally hours every time you return from international travel.
The Global Entry application fee costs $100 every five years. Amex Platinum offers a credit that can be used to cover up to $100 every 4 years on the Global Entry application fee. Those with a Global Entry membership will also receive TSA PreCheck at no additional cost — so you better apply.
The American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
With Amex Platinum, you can access three programs that will dramatically reduce the time you spend at airport security:
If you enroll in these programs, you can move to the front of the TSA line and get through security quickly without removing electronics from your bag or (most) clothes from you. And you’ll be able to skip the immigration line entirely when you return to the US from another country.
You might be surprised how many travelers don’t even know about these programs. They’re a great way to travel more efficiently—and a great first step into the secret world of credit card travel hacking.
Joseph Hostetler was a credit card reporter for Insider, who also covered helpful miles and points tricks. He is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Joseph has more than six years of experience writing professionally for credit cards, having previously been a writer and editor for The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets.
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are solely the author’s and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by a card issuer. Read our editorial standards.
Please note: Although the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time and may have changed or no longer be available. Question from a friend: “How do I earn back that hefty annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express?”
Advertiser Disclosure: Eye of the Flyer, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc.
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