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Every year, Miami Art Week (the week of Art Basel Miami Beach) is one of the biggest art events in the world. I’ve gone several times, in part because almost every year there’s an amazing (and free) special exclusive event organized for American Express Platinum cardholders.

If you have the Canadian-issued Amex Platinum Card or Amex Business Platinum Card (or the U.S.-issued Amex Platinum Card or international versions), you know that these are the most luxurious premium cards around, and that they come with so many major benefits like unlimited access to the world’s largest network of airport lounges, automatic Gold elite status at 15,000 Marriott and Hilton hotels, and more.

So it’s only natural not to be aware of all the more niche and somewhat lesser-known (and certainly less promoted) benefits… including the special Amex Platinum events that often take place in the U.S. (during Miami Art Week, Coachella, the US Open, etc.).

Here are all the details of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week (the week of the Art Basel Miami Beach).

 

Overview of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

Personally, I love the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week and highly recommend it! It’s definitely worth the detour if you’re in Miami… and it might even be worth going to Miami (for that… and all the rest of the countless festivities)!

At the Amex Platinum event in Miami in 2018 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

I’ll give you more details just below, but we try to have a summary section with just the essentials for most of our content.

Here’s who gets free access to the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week:

  • Amex Platinum cardholders
  • 2 guests per card for free
    • So 6 people or more per account
    • With one card and one authorized user supplementary card
  • Children under 13 for free
    • Must be accompanied by an adult

Having been several times, the best I can do to describe the Amex Platinum event in 1 sentence is this: it’s like an Amex airport lounge right on the beach.

But it’s even better than an airport lounge.

Amex Platinum event in Miami in 2018 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Here’s what the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week is all about:

  • Exclusive experience
  • Bites
  • Cocktails
  • Candy bar
  • DJ
  • Interactive art exhibition
    • Art installations we can play in
    • Seesaw, slide, ball pit
  • Exclusive art for purchase (the only thing that’s not free)

Every edition is a bit different, with a theme each time.

Here’s the 2023 theme of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week:

  • PLAY by American Express Platinum
    • Official name of the 2023 experience
  • Games and toys
    • Combining art and nostalgia
    • Appeal to a sense of playfulness and a desire for joy
  • 4 well-known artists
    • Exhibitions by creative studio PlayLab Inc.
    • Collaboration with Mattel Creations
Amex Platinum 2023 event banner (image credit: American Express)

 

Here are the logistics you need to know about the 2023 edition of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week:

  • 3 days (Thursday to Saturday)
    • December 7-8-9
    • 11 AM to 5 PM
  • At The Miami Beach EDITION hotel
    • More precisely on the beach in front of the hotel
    • Located in the Mid-Beach district of Miami Beach
  • No reservation possible
    • Just show your card at the check-in
    • I’ve never waited in line the times I’ve gone

In addition to the main Amex Platinum experience, there are usually additional special events every year (with slightly different logistics).

Here are those for 2023:

  • Happy hour with the artists (December 7)
  • Meet the artist and unveiling (December 8)
  • Meet the artist and unveiling (December 9)
  • VIP House Party (December 9)

Finally, there are a few other completely separate American Express events during Miami Art Week that I’ll list below, but they’re less accessible. There are also similar events offered by other banks, but these are less interesting for those who only have credit cards issued in Canada.

By the way, I love chatting about travel with our Flytrippers fans, so let me know on Instagram if you’re going to be at the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week.

 

Details of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

Here are all the details about the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week.

 

Background of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

The Art Basel Miami Beach festival and the wider Miami Art Week always take place in early December every year. It’s one of the biggest art events in the world.

Every other year or so, American Express takes this opportunity to offer an exclusive and fantastic Platinum event for Amex Platinum Card holders.

It’s to “bring Amex Platinum benefits to life”, to add value and to add another benefit. It’s to reinforce the exclusivity of the Platinum brand: even if you wanted to pay $10,000 for a ticket, they don’t sell any because it’s really just for cardholders.

Crowd at the Amex Platinum event in Miami (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

It happens about every other year, not necessarily every year. And it’s announced less than 1 month before, so as with all things travel-related, it’s always best to be flexible!

The good news is that it’s going to take place in 2023 (in 2022 the event was very different and less interesting; I talk about that in the section on previous editions below).

 

Access to the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

You can’t reserve tickets for the Amex Platinum event, you just need to show up with your card.

Check-in for the Amex Platinum event in Miami in 2018 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Access is free and exclusive to holders of Canada’s most luxurious premium cards, the Amex Platinum Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card (you can qualify for Amex “business” cards without having an incorporated business).

While all travelers should get into travel rewards (there are plenty of great credit cards for everyone), the Amex Platinum Card is a premium card.

It is therefore for those who know how to do math and can see the incredible value for all, for the 1st year at least. For subsequent years, the value can still be excellent… but indeed especially for those who travel a lot and/or those who travel in luxury.

Platinum Card® from American Express
Flytrippers Valuation
of Welcome bonus (net value)
≈ $
Rewards: ≈ $1600*
Card fee: $799

minimum income required: $0
spend $10,000
in 3 months
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Amex is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "Apply Now" to see most up-to-date information.

 

If you’re one of those who come across this post live from another country, all Amex Platinum cards give you access to the event, regardless of the country in which they were issued. It works with the American version (The Platinum Card from American Express), the UK version (The Platinum Card from American Express), the Australian version (The American Express Platinum Card), and so on.

Finally, if you have the famous black American Express Centurion Card, you probably already know that you have access to everything that Amex Platinum cardholders have access to. With an initiation fee of $10,000 and an annual fee of $5,000, it’s pretty obvious that everything is included for holders of this invitation-only card.

(Invitation which could come after you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on an Amex Platinum card… which is hardly the best way to maximize your rewards, but those who spend those amounts probably don’t care about maximizing!)

Special Centurion section at the Centurion lounge in São Paulo (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Dates of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

The American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week takes place December 7-8-9 from 11 AM to 5 PM.

It’s the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the Art Basel festival.

 

Location of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

The American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week takes place on the beach opposite the sublime The Miami Beach EDITION hotel.

EDITION hotels are among the most prestigious of Marriott’s 30+ hotel brands. It’s also a hotel that participates in the Fine Hotels + Resorts program exclusive to American Express Platinum.

This is one of the most upscale hotels in town.

For those of you familiar with Miami Beach, The Miami Beach EDITION hotel is at 29th Street.

So it’s very easy to get to, even though it’s in the Mid-Beach area (it’s 6 blocks from the north end of South Beach).

Map of the location of the Amex Platinum event in Miami (image credit: Google Maps)

 

If you prefer simplicity, you can of course take Uber, Lyft, or a taxi. But if you’re one of those Amex Platinum Card travelers who still wants to save money like us, I’d like to remind you that the Miami Beach Trolley is free for getting around anywhere at any time. And for 2023, the city buses are all free too!

(Which means you can travel to Miami for really cheap, if you combine that with the $200 roundtrip flights we often spot from many Canadian cities and hostels for US$20 per night!)

You can also walk to the Amex Platinum event (via the street or the beach) because the weather is almost always nice in Miami in December.

 

Experience at the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

At the American Express Platinum event in Miami, everything is completely free, just like in an airport lounge. But it’s even better than an airport lounge.

DJ at the Amex Platinum event in Miami (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

There’s the excellent food and drinks like in VIP lounges. But the setting is much better, and there are also exclusive art exhibitions. Including meetings with the artists.

But above all, it’s because it’s a destination in itself, rather than just a brief stop, and so every year I have time to meet some extremely interesting people.

It’s also a lot less crowded than an airport lounge. And the only kind of VIP lounge that’s better than an Amex airport lounge is when an Amex lounge is right on the beach instead of in an airport.

They also often give small gifts. For example, in 2021 they gave away travel-size sunscreen and in 2018 they gave away a small travel bag for cosmetics made from 100% recycled advertising panels.

Gift offered at the Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Theme of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

For 2023, the official name of the event is PLAY by American Express Platinum. I don’t know if the theme is inspired by the huge success of this year’s Barbie movie, but it sounds like a very interesting angle that I’m looking forward to discovering.

Amex’s description mentions a combination of art and nostalgia, and a celebration of playfulness and the desire for joy. We can never have enough joy in our lives, in my opinion.

Model of the 2023 Amex Platinum event (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

In addition to the interactive art installations that we’ll be able to play in (the seesaw, the slide and the ball pit) and all the art that will be on display, everything else is in line with the theme too.

For example, in other years, there was definitely no candy bar like there will be in 2023. The bites and cocktails are supposed to be modern interpretations of childhood favorites.

 

Food at the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

Bites and beverages are available throughout the Amex Platinum event in Miami.

There’s no hot buffet like in an American Express airport lounge, but instead waiters drop by regularly with selections of delicious bites.

Food at the Amex event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Depending on your appetite, this can usually be enough to feed you if you want to take advantage of it to cut the food costs of your trip to Miami.

In terms of drinks, the first few years I went, it was offered in unlimited quantities like in airport lounges.

I guess that wasn’t such a good idea considering that people don’t have flights to catch and therefore don’t necessarily have a reason to leave quickly… so at the last edition, they gave out 2 tokens per person for alcoholic beverages.

Bar at the 2018 Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

But at the slightly different event in 2022, it was unlimited. If it’s limited in 2023, it’s not clear if you could go at 11am, have your drinks and then come back later to get more tokens. I might try it out for you and share all the information and details.

 

Art at the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

Art is at the heart of the event; it’s an art festival after all!

There’s art on display on-site, but also exclusive artworks that can be purchased during the event if you wish. These are in limited quantities and reserved only for Amex Platinum Card holders!

American Express collaborates with well-known artists for this Platinum event in Miami every year.

For 2023, the 5 artists have created an exclusive toy for sale at the event:

  • Salehe Bembury (vinyl Spunge toy)
  • Eny Lee Parker (handmade plush toy)
  • Surin Kim (colorful miniature car)
  • Serban Ionescu (unique chess set)
  • Kumkum Fernando (wooden robot)
Artists at the Amex Platinum event in Miami (image credit: American Express)

 

There are exclusive limited-edition collectible toys inspired by classic toys: model airplanes, card games, and domino sets.

It doesn’t look like this will be the case in 2023, but in the past there have even been live performance art sessions.

 

Including free professional caricatures for guests.

Artist at work at the Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Special events at the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

In addition to the main American Express Platinum experience, there are almost always additional special events at the same location, but sometimes with different logistics.

Depending on the year, these additional special events are sometimes free, and sometimes not. Depending on the year, the access mechanisms for these additional special events also vary (like just needing to show up for that too, or needing to get tickets in advance sometimes).

For 2023, there are 4 additional special events during the Amex Platinum experience:

  • Happy hour with the 4 artists (December 7, 4 PM to 5 PM)
  • Meeting and unveiling with a guest artist (December 8, 12 PM to 1 PM)
  • Meeting and unveiling with a guest artist (December 9, 12 PM to 2 PM)
  • VIP House Party by invitation only (December 9)

The happy hour with the 4 artists who conceived the experience is open to all on site, but places are limited (first come, first served).

The meetings with 2 other guest artists are unveilings of other exclusive works by Mattel Creations. On the 8th, it’s Hot Wheels x Daniel Arsham. On the 9th, it’s Shantell Martin drawing on giant UNO cards live. These special events are also open to all.

The House Party is unfortunately by invitation only, for industry partners.

Over the years of the Amex Platinum event in Miami, there have been a variety of additional special events:

  • Meetings with artists
  • Unveilings and premieres
  • Music concerts
  • Group sessions (yoga, barre, pilates, etc.)
  • Exclusive meals with celebrity chefs
  • Evening parties
  • Panel discussions with celebrity speakers
  • Food trucks scattered around town
Stage at the 2018 Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

In previous years, what I loved most were celebrity chef José Andrés’ gourmet food trucks, giving away free food in the evenings.

It’s been in the Wynwood and Design District neighborhoods, since many of Miami Art Week’s festivities take place there and it’s relatively far from the location of the main Amex Platinum event on Miami Beach.

Amex Platinum food truck in 2018 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Other American Express events during Miami Art Week

The Amex Platinum event itself is the main attraction, but American Express often has other completely separate events during Miami Art Week.

 

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Party

Marriott cards are must-haves in Canada (Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card).

But the iconic Marriott Bonvoy party in Miami that takes place every year is only open to holders of Marriott Bonvoy cards issued in the USA (Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card).

This year, there’s a highly acclaimed celebrity chef (Kwame Onwuachi of popular New York restaurant Tatiana) and a popular DJ too (D-Nice). Artist Kelly Dabbah will be doing live art on site too.

The 2 times I went to this party in 2019 and 2021, it was a really great evening.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Evening (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

The Resy Lounge with Delta SkyMiles American Express

Another one that’s more restrictive is The Resy Lounge with Delta SkyMiles American Express. This is a lounge with food and beverages.

But it’s a fair located inside the Untitled Art fair, one of the many (and largest) during Miami Art Week. So you must have a ticket for the fair.

Having an American Delta Amex co-branded card wasn’t even necessary, but you had to book a ticket for the lounge and they’re all sold out.

Resy Lounge Delta Amex banner (image credit: American Express)

 

Amex SAVOR & SOUL Brunch

The 3rd edition of the Amex Brunch takes place in 2023, on December 9. It’s a celebration of African-American culture, in collaboration with Blacktag, a global platform for community creators.

Tickets are supposed to be available via Resy, but I couldn’t find them.

 

Priority queues at other events

There are also sometimes other Amex benefits that can make your Miami Art Week experience more enjoyable.

For example, priority queuing for American Express cardholders.

Amex priority queue(photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

In 2022, one of the big parties for Miami Art Week took place at The Oasis Wynwood, and the line to get in was awfully long, as is the case for so many of the week’s too-nonexclusive events.

The line stretched further than we could see.

 

But all you had to do was show any American Express card and you had access to a priority queue with no waiting at all.

It’s a very small privilege, of course, but it’s very nice to save time on the rare occasions when it’s available!

Getting inside faster (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Previous editions of the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

Here are details of previous editions if you’re interested in finding out more.

 

2022: American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

In 2022, the Amex Platinum event itself did not take place. What replaced it was a one-day event in collaboration with Resy, the American restaurant reservation platform.

Sign for the Amex event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

It was great, but it was only for a day. It was the same principle, with art exhibited on site as well as free food and drinks.

Large-format artwork at the Amex event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

The beverages were unlimited, by the way, and there was a ratio of about 10 servers per guest (I’m only slightly exaggerating).

Drink at the Amex event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

But the event was indoors. And it was in the Miami Design District instead of Miami Beach.

It was also open to any American Express cardholder, not just Platinum cardholders. But you had to reserve a free ticket in advance, instead of just showing up.

Check-in at the Amex event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

That said, as I’d expected from an event more focused on food than usual, everything was delicious.

 

2021: American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

In 2021, the Amex Platinum event was called Platinum Studio Miami. It was the classic experience right on the beach for a few days.

American Express even unveiled new artistic alternative designs for the famous card (only available to holders of the American card, The Platinum Card from American Express).

Scheduling conflicts meant I was only able to attend the last day, but it was as enjoyable as the time before.

The cocktails were presented by Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George Clooney. The food was delicious.

There was also a concert by singer Lizzo in the evening, but this wasn’t free (still exclusive to Amex Platinum cardholders). I’m not willing to pay to see this specific artist (nor most mainstream artists, to be fair), but the concert even got media coverage and seems to have been very enjoyable for those who like this type of music.

 

2018: American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

In 2018, the Amex Platinum event was called Platinum House Miami. It was once again the classic experience right on the beach for a few days.

It was at the 1 Hotel South Beach instead of The Miami Beach EDITION. The main advantage was the pool.

Pool at the Amex Platinum event in 2018 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Most of the photos above are from that edition, as it was my 1st time at an Amex Platinum event.

There was even a bespoke cocktail created for the event called Platinum Heat. It was created by the expert mixologists at Casa Dragones, Gotham Greens, and Hella Cocktails Co.

Sign with the custom-made cocktail for the Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

This edition also featured an evening show by Pharrell Williams. Tickets for this concert were not free, but all proceeds went to a charity that encourages young people to take an interest in art.

 

2017: American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week

In 2017, the Amex Platinum event was called Platinum House Miami. It was the very first edition of the classic experience directly on the beach for a few days, which I missed by a day because I was returning from the Canary Islands.

It was at The Miami Beach EDITION hotel, and Drake was the performer for the evening show.

 

Other bank events for Miami Art Week

There are 2 other main banking events during Miami Art Week, but they are only accessible to US credit card holders.

 

Chase Sapphire Experience

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is Amex’s biggest competitor in the USA, and as a result, Chase has also started offering an exclusive event during Miami Art Week.

It’s really the same principle as the Amex Platinum event. For 2023, it takes place on December 8-9 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. There’s even an experience in collaboration with the Range Rover SUV.

Poster for the Chase Sapphire event in 2022 (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

Capital One experience

The most recent entrant in the American premium card race is the Capital One Venture X card, and so Capital One is also offering an event this year. It’s a little less elaborate and mostly focused on food.

Tickets are required (via their Capital One Dining platform) for the events, but there’s a frozen yogurt pop-up for cardholders on December 8. It all takes place at 1111 Lincoln Road, which is also in Miami Beach.

 

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Summary

The American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week (Art Basel Week) is an interesting benefit exclusive to holders of Amex Platinum Cards (Amex Platinum Card, Business Platinum Card from Amex, as well as American and international versions) and Amex Centurion Cards. It’s worth the detour if you’re in Miami… and maybe worth the trip to Miami itself since it’s a great time to be in town.

What would you like to know about the American Express Platinum event for Miami Art Week? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Model of the 2023 Amex Platinum event (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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