What can a platinum card actually do for you?
Get higher earn rates for rewards, complimentary insurances, concierge services and a range of other exclusive benefits you can enjoy with a platinum credit card.
Although there are black and diamond cards currently on the market, platinum credit cards still represent a high level of status. Compared to low fee and low rate credit cards, platinum credit cards are often expensive.
The price of the card is linked to the features: a personalised concierge, complimentary travel insurance, extended warranties and purchase price guarantees are all common platinum benefits. There are free flights and upgrades on offer for some cards too. If you’re considering a platinum credit card, discover which benefits could help outweigh the costs using this guide.
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What are the perks of a platinum credit card?
Platinum credit cards offer a comprehensive range of benefits including rewards points, a suite of complimentary insurances, personalised concierge services and other perks such as airport lounge access or complimentary flights. You can read more about these platinum benefits below.
Similar to regular rewards credit cards, platinum rewards credit cards allow you to earn rewards as you spend. The difference though, is that platinum cards generally have much higher earn rates than standard cards. So, while you might earn 1 point per $1 spent on a standard rewards card, you could earn 2 points per $1 spent on a platinum card, meaning that your money has greater rewards value. These cards may also allow you to earn more points every year, with platinum products often providing higher points caps than standard options. If you have a frequent flyer credit card, some platinum cards will waive the cost of joining the frequent flyer program (although there are also standard credit cards that offer this benefit too).
Like most rewards cards, platinum cardholders can then redeem rewards for flights and upgrades or for a variety of rewards including electronics, fashion, homewares, gift vouchers, charitable donations and more.
- Platinum credit cardholders can earn more points for every dollar spent.
- Some Platinum credit cards will waive the frequent flyer program application fee.
More often that not, platinum credit cards give you a complimentary insurance package. The most common types of complimentary insurance are international travel insurance, transit accident insurance, purchase protection insurance, guaranteed pricing scheme cover, extended warranty insurance and rental vehicle excess insurance. In some cases you may be required to pay an excess if you make a claim.
- International travel insurance. A standard platinum credit card feature, complimentary international travel insurance is money saved before you’ve even left the country. This platinum credit card benefit provides cover for you and your family when you meet the insurance activation requirements, such as paying an amount of your holiday costs on your card or activating the policy through your online account. Policy benefits often include:
- Financial cover for overseas hospital and medical expenses
- Loss, theft and damage to personal items
- Cover for accidental death
- Funeral expenses
- Replacing lost and stolen travel documents
- Cover for personal liability
- Compensation if you’re unable to work due to an injury sustained on holiday
Please note that you and any family travelling will you will need to meet the eligibility requirements (such as age and no pre-existing medical conditions) before applying, so make sure know what these are before you head off on your holiday.
- Purchase insurance. Complimentary purchase protection insurance protects items you buy with your platinum credit card against theft, loss and damage for up to 90 days. Depending on the card, there may be minimum and maximum cover limits that apply. For example Westpac will provide cover for damaged, lost or stolen items up to the value of $3,500 per item, capped at $135,000 in a 12 month period for Level 1 platinum credit cards.
- Complimentary extended warranty insurance. This cover automatically extends the Australian manufacturer’s warranty for a period up to 12 months. For example, the St.George Vertigo Platinum Visa offers complimentary extended warranty insurance for up to 12 months if the warranty period is from 1 to 5 years. No extended warranty insurance is provided if the warranty period is longer than 5 years. St.George puts a cap $20,000 cap on claims in a 12-month period.
- Best price guarantee insurance. Complimentary best price guarantee insurance refunds you the difference in price if you buy an item using your credit card and you find it on sale for cheaper elsewhere. Looking at the Commonwealth Bank Guaranteed Pricing Scheme insurance terms and conditions, you’re eligible to be refunded up to $500 if the difference in price is more than $75, if the cheaper item is within 25kms of the more expensive item and if you make a claim within 21 days of your purchase.
- Interstate flight inconvenience insurance. Interstate flight inconvenience insurance is a complimentary benefit for you and your family that applies to domestic trips up to two weeks in length. This insurance provides compensation for flight delays, loss or damage to personal items, funeral expenses and cancellation of domestic travel plans.
- Transit accident insurance. Transit accident insurance provides cover for injuries and accidents sustained while you’re travelling in a passenger vehicle such as a plane, bus, taxi, train or ferry. The insurer will pay you a benefit based on the injury you sustain when you’re travelling in a passenger vehicle. For example, Westpac pay $750,000 for loss of life for Level 1 platinum credit cards and $250,000 for Level 2 platinum credit cards. This cover is extended to your immediate family if they also meet the cover eligibility requirements.
- Rental vehicle excess insurance. This cover can apply to domestic or international rental vehicle insurance claims depending on your credit card. Complimentary rental vehicle excess insurance covers the cost of rental vehicle excess insurance if you need to make a claim for damage to a rental vehicle.
They can do almost anything, provided it's legal, ethical and moral.- Jane Drew, American Express
Platinum credit cards often feature a complimentary concierge service. It’s almost like having your very own personal assistant. Say you want to book a family holiday, the family concierge can present you with prices and book the holiday for you. You’ll still pay for your holiday, but this service can help remove the legwork without extra fees. A platinum concierge can also help you get a better deal on some services or can help you use your platinum credit card points to redeem rewards.
Note that a concierge service won’t get you anything for free, nor can they guarantee you tickets to sold out events or reservations if a restaurant is fully booked. Here are some examples of what a concierge can do for you:
- Book a family holiday using a combination of frequent flyer points and your own funds
- Organise a costume for your child’s school play
- Deliver flowers to your partner on Valentine's day
In the last example we called Westpac’s Platinum service to find out how it would work. They said they’d first gather quotes from different suppliers. After you decide on the quote you’re happy with, they’d enter you into a conference call with the flower supplier you were happy with and charge the service to your card. Then your flowers would be delivered to your lucky valentine.
Exclusive perks and programs
Platinum credit cards give you access to lifestyle benefits and VIP treatment. American Express are leaders in this area. Get approved for an American Express platinum credit card and you’ll be enrolled in the “Invitation Only” Program. This gets you access to some exclusive events including fashion days, driving experiences and sporting events. Some providers will also grant their platinum cardholders exclusive membership to different groups, such as ANZ’s wine club, where cardholders can get discounts and exclusive offers.
Platinum frequent flyer credit cards can also provide complimentary domestic flights, lounge passes and VIP airport transfers.
- Complimentary flights. Some platinum frequent flyer credit cards give you complimentary flights every year or as a one-off deal when you apply. These offers are subject to ticket availability and a number of conditions such as meeting spend requirements, so make sure you know exactly what you need to do to qualify for the complimentary flights.
- Complimentary lounge access. Platinum frequent flyer credit cards that feature a free flights offer tend to also offer complimentary lounge access. If you have a holiday in mind, this can be a great way to avoid the stress of public airport waiting areas and unwind in luxury before your flight. For example, the Velocity High Flyer credit card gives you two free passes to the Velocity lounge every year as well as free flights. These tickets are single entry and you will need to pay more if you’d like to bring a guest.
Platinum credit cards offer a lot of value adding features. If these perks and benefits are things you will use, a platinum credit card may be worth it. But platinum credit cards often have high annual fees and interest rates that can quickly eat up any value from the card if you carry a balance or don’t use many of the benefits. Compare platinum, standard, low fee and low rate credit cards so you can be sure you will only pay for what you use.Back to top
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.