With last month’s news that American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders would no longer get access to American Airlines Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs as part of the cards’ benefits package as of March 22, 2014, and the fact that only the cardholder will get into Delta SkyClubs for free from now on, a lot of people have been asking me whether it is still worth it to carry the card, and whether they should cancel it or if they can still get enough value out of it to counterbalance the $450 annual fee.
When the news came out about the American and US Airways clubs, many cardholders, were also sent targeted offers of compensation worth up to $500 in airline reimbursement credits to use if we wanted to purchase Admirals Club memberships outright using our Platinum cards. That was in order to make up for the loss of automatic entry (most offers seemed to be around the $100-$200 mark, though, to purchase day passes after March 22). Sadly, I was not one of those people.
That was an interesting offer and one that seemed to placate some folks. But with the news of Delta’s downgrade – previously the Platinum cardholder could guest up to 2 additional people into the lounge, and now we must pay $29 for each guest – and just two Centurion lounges that Platinum cardholders have access to at DFW and Las Vegas with just two more planned lounges confirmed at this time at San Francisco and New York La Guardia for now, everyone (again, myself included) is up in arms and wondering whether to cancel their cards.
Before I ever cancel a card, though, I always call up the bank and see what they can do to convince me to stay – so that’s just what several friends and I did yesterday to see what kind of compensation packages Amex is offering to make up for the loss of these benefits. Now, your results might vary since it likely depends on the card you have – the personal, business or Mercedes-Benz Platinum cards – as well as what the issuer has targeted you for, but the good news is that everyone I know seems to be getting some sort of compensation from American Express and as I always say, it never hurts to ask. So even if you were thinking about canceling, or sure you are going to, it still might behoove you to give Amex a call and see what they can do for you before making your decision.
When I called up the number on the back of my Mercedes-Benz Platinum card and asked to speak to an account specialist, I voiced my concerns and was promptly offered an additional $100 airline reimbursement credit for American Airlines, my specified airline choice. I pushed back and said that wasn’t enough, and the representative said, “Well, I could also offer you a bonus of 25,000 points posted to your account within 6-8 weeks.” I thought that was a fair deal and accepted, at which point she read a 5-minute-long disclaimer – which tells me they have a variety of these compensation offers ready to go – and was on my way.
Another friend of mine called up at the same time regarding his personal Platinum card, and he was offered an additional $200 statement credit (not airline rebate like most people are offered) but no bonus points. Phone reps seem to have some flexibility in giving out compensation based on how much they persuasion you need to keep the card open.
A third friend called up to complain specifically about the Delta benefit since he regularly guests his non-cardholder partner into Delta lounges when they fly together and Amex offered him both 17,500 points as a way of offsetting the $175 he’ll have to spend to get a fourth additional card (each additional cardholder is entitled to the lounge access benefits and $100 Global Entry refund, but the annual $200 airline refund is the total for all linked cards on the account) as well as an additional $100 in airline refund credit toward Delta purchases (Delta is his specified airline). This friend has the personal Platinum card as well.
So there are just a few examples of the way Amex is dealing with this crisis and the compensation it is offering cardholders. Your results may vary depending on the version of the card you have, the airline you have specified and other factors. I get Admirals Club access with my Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard and I fly premium cabins a lot internationally, so I get lounge access anyway, so the stripping away of lounge benefits wasn’t a huge hit to me and the compensation Amex offered me is enough to keep me as a Platinum cardholder (for now).
But if you are a Platinum cardholder and you call Amex to ask about this, please leave a comment below telling us what sort of compensation you were offered and whether you’re going to keep your card.
For more information on the Platinum card, see these posts:
For more information, see these posts:
The Amex Platinum Card Review
Is the Amex Platinum Still Worth It With No American/US Airways and Restricted Delta Lounge Access?
Maximizing the Amex Platinum $200 Annual Airline Rebate
Understanding the Amex Platinum Lounge Access Benefit
The Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
My Experience Getting Refunded for the Global Entry Application Fee With My Amex Platinum Card
My Father’s Day Present: An Additional Amex Platinum Card For Dad
Amex Platinum Losing AA/US Lounge Access
Delta Jacks Up SkyClub Membership Fees – Slashes Guest Policy
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