I’ve been an Amex Platinum user since 2006, and it has stood as one of the most versatile and reliable cards in my wallet. However, fintech companies and digital banks like Revolut have been ramping up their game lately. The recent introduction of Revolut Ultra got a lot of attention, as it is a highly premium debit card with a ton of benefits like the Amex Platinum. Both are expensive but pack a lot of value. So, which one should you pick? In this post, we do a deep comparison of the Revolut Ultra vs. Amex Platinum.
Revolut Ultra vs. Amex Platinum (2023)
|Feature||Revolut Ultra||Amex Platinum|
|Monthly fee||£55 / €60 / 600 SEK||£54 / €60 / 600 SEK|
|Foreign exchange fee||0%||2.99%|
|Travel Insurance||£10 million||£10 million|
|Other Insurances||Cancel for any reason insurance (CFAR) up to €5000||Lost-lugage|
|Metal Card||Yes (Platinum)||Yes (Metal)|
|Hotel status||None||Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (in some countries)|
|Bundled Perks||Includes subscription to WeWork, NordVPN, The Financial Times, Tinder Plus,||Free dinners, Fine dining credit, Uber credits|
|Other benefits||Give extra cards to family members and kids for free.||Extra cards cost extra|
|Rewards program||Cashback (1%)||Membership Rewards points. Transfer points to airlines and hotels. Can be worth 0.5%-3% cashback|
|Referral bonus||Get 700 SEK / €60 / £50 for every friend||Get points for every friend|
|Welcome bonus||3 months free Premium or 10% off signing up for Ultra.||Get up to 200.000 Membership Rewards points|
The key differences
The Revolut Ultra and the Amex Platinum are both premium cards with a high annual fee but offer different benefits and features.
Keep in mind that Revolut is a full bank (with a full banking license), while American Express is a credit card and online payment company. That’s why Revolut can offer certain products that Amex simply cannot, such as high-yield savings accounts, stock trading, and business accounting.
1. Line of Credit (and Credit Check)
The fundamental difference between these two cards is that Amex Platinum is a credit card, while the Revolut Ultra is a debit card. With the Amex Platinum, you get a line of credit associated with it (up to some amount). This means you can technically spend money without having it and then pay it back at the end of the month once you get your statement. This also means Amex will perform a credit check (and damage your credit score) when you apply. That’s why it is also hard to get an Amex Platinum if you don’t have a credit history.
Revolut Ultra is a plain debit card, which makes it extremely easy to apply for and accessible to anyone. There’s no need for a credit check, and as long as you pay the monthly fee, they’ll approve your application. On the other hand, you won’t get a line of credit, so you need to have the money in your account before actually paying with your card.
2. Foreign exchange fees
This is a big one. The Revolut Ultra offers 0% foreign exchange fees on all transactions, while the Amex Platinum charges a 2.99% foreign transaction fee. This can be a significant difference, especially if you travel frequently or make many international purchases.
3. Rewards program
The Revolut Ultra offers cashback of up to 1%, and up to 1.2% if you use Revolut Pro, while the Amex Platinum offers Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for a wider range of rewards, including travel, merchandise, and statement credits.
However, Amex points require extra effort to use them, as you need to either transfer them to airlines or hotel programs or use them as a credit towards your statement. The value of these points can vary depending on what you use them for. I’ve typically seen redemptions equivalent to 0.5%-3% cashback.
Revolut’s system is simpler. Amex can be more rewarding but it requires quite a lot of extra effort.
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Revolut Ultra is accepted wherever Visa is accepted, which is the world’s leading provider of payment solutions. The Amex Platinum is not as widely accepted as Visa, so you may have trouble using it at some merchants.
5. Travel benefits
Both cards offer very comprehensive travel insurance. Amex Platinum provides access to their exclusive Centurion Lounges across the globe. The Amex Platinum also includes a Priority Pass subscription with limited passes. In some countries, the Amex Platinum also offers Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. This can be valuable if you stay at Hilton or Marriott hotels frequently.
On the other hand, Revolut Ultra includes unlimited lounge access, plus cancel insurance up to €5000 for any reason. This type of insurance is one of the most expensive to get and one of the most flexible ones out there.
6. Bundled Benefits
Amex Platinum includes a series of lifestyle benefits such as free dinners, fine-dining credit, and Uber credits depending on the country issued (in Sweden, they don’t include Uber credits).
Revolut Ultra includes expensive subscriptions such as WeWork passes, NordVPN, Tinder Plus, The Financial Times, Freeletics, and more. These benefits are more oriented towards work and business rather than only dining experiences. They also include investment benefits such as high-yield savings accounts and low-fee stock trading.
7. Business cards
Revolut Ultra also offers a Revolut Pro account, which makes it extremely simple and convenient to switch between business and personal cards when you spend money. You also get separate reports, accounting, and up to 1.2% cashback on your Revolut Pro expenses.
Amex also offers great business cards (företag kort in Sweden), but it is a separate account requiring an independent credit check and application.
Conclusion: Should I Pick Revolut Ultra or Amex Platinum?
Both cards are excellent options and are totally worth their high monthly fee (600 SKE, £55, or €60). They bundle enough benefits to make their fees worth it.
I actually have both of them. I’ve been an Amex customer for a long time, and I’m surprised by their customer service every time. They never fail me. I’m also a point and mile freak, and Amex has had a competitive edge with their flexible point transfer, although in recent years, those points have devalued a lot. Slowly, Amex is becoming more and more expensive, with benefits that are harder to take advantage of.
The concept of Ultra is appealing, and it’s something I’m getting used to more and more. While I don’t like the fact that I don’t get a line of credit and purchase protection, it’s true that their app is great, and it’s very convenient to have my savings earning 5% in the same app as I pay for the card. As I trae
If you are looking for a simple system, an all-in-one app, and no foreign transaction fees when you travel, Ultra might be for you. If you need a big credit line or heavy transfer points to airlines for free flights, then the Amex Platinum might be a better choice. It can also be good for those who fancy visiting Centurion lounges at airports, getting expensive dinners at fine restaurants for free, and showing off your Amex Platinum card when you do business or networking (in some cultures, this is actually important, like in China and some Asian countries).
Hope this helps! And if you have comments or suggestions, feel free to drop them below or message me on Instagram.