Advanced electrocatalysts with low platinum content, high activity and durability for the oxygen reduction reaction can benefit the widespread commercial use of fuel cell technology. Here, we report a platinum-trimer decorated cobalt-palladium core-shell nanocatalyst with a low platinum loading of only 2.4 wt% for the use in alkaline fuel cell cathodes. This ternary catalyst shows a mass activity that is enhanced by a factor of 30.6 relative to a commercial platinum catalyst, which is attributed to the unique charge localization induced by platinum-trimer decoration. The high stability of the decorated trimers endows the catalyst with an outstanding durability, maintaining decent electrocatalytic activity with no degradation for more than 322,000 potential cycles in alkaline electrolyte. These findings are expected to be useful for surface engineering and design of advanced fuel cell catalysts with atomic-scale platinum decoration.