The airline credit that comes with the American Express Platinum Card is often rather difficult to use on essential travel related items like tickets. It is purported to be for extras like in-flight food and Wi-Fi passes. Using the credit on those items, however, is not a good use of value if you would otherwise not purchase those items. That makes the effective annual fee a true $450, instead of the $250 possible with proper use of the credit. It is vital to always maximize the airline credit to reduce the cost basis for the Platinum Card.
Although Amex has closed off many avenues to purchasing tickets or gift cards with the airline credit, a few opportunities still exist. The easiest to use is with Delta.
First, you need to set your preferred airline to Delta which can be done online or over the phone in the full benefits section after opening the card, or once per year in January after your initial choice.
Then, go to the Delta eGift Card page here. Then, set the certificate amount to $50, and the amount to 4. This is key, if the gift card is larger than $50, it will not be reimbursed in the credit. The transaction will initially code as one $200 purchase, but will post to the account as 4x$50 transactions and will be reimbursed.
The page should look exactly like this:
Submit the form, and within two days the transactions should post and be credited back to your account.
Remember that only three gift cards can be used per purchase on Delta when using the gift cards. This slightly limits redemption, but the gift cards never expire.
If you still haven’t applied for a Platinum Card, use this link for a 40,000 Membership Rewards point bonus after $3,000 in spend. (Don’t manufacture spend)
Also, if you do not need the bonus, but are instead looking for the benefits of the Platinum Card, consider applying for the Ameriprise Platinum, with the first year’s annual fee waived.