American Express Platinum Card – Still Worth It With No American/US Airways and Restricted Delta Lounge Access?

by on January 13, 2014 · 73 comments

in American Express

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

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, a lot of people have been asking me whether it is still worth it to carry the card. The bottom line is that there’s no clear answer- it depends on how much you value the perks that are going away and the benefits that still exist for being a cardmember. I still do think a lot of people can get more value out of the card than the $450 annual fee, but many may not. Here’s a rundown of the key benefits of being a cardmember:

$200 Airline Rebate: As a cardholder, you get a $200 airline rebate once per calendar year, meaning every January 1, you get $200 to spend on an airline that you designate. The rebate is automatic – as long as you purchase any of the following items directly from an airline, the charge should get automatically rebated from your statement.

Approved items:
Checked baggage fees
Overweight/oversize baggage fees
Change fees
Phone reservation fees
Pet flight fees
Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
Seat assignment fees
In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, etc)
In-flight entertainment fees (excluding wireless internet)

Though the airline rebate will not automatically trigger when you purchase airline tickets, one way people have been able to maximize the rebate is to buy $200 worth of gift cards or vouchers with the airline, which you can then use on tickets. Often their expiration dates are well past December 31 of that year as well, so it’s a way to extend the life of the benefit, and it’s better than trying to wait throughout the year and maybe get fees back (it is kind of hard to track what you have been reimbursed). Most readers report success when purchasing vouchers in amounts of $100 or under. You can get more ideas from my recent post about how to spend the $200 most effectively. Valuation: $200.
Platinum cardmembership confers automatic Priority Pass Select membership.

Platinum cardmembership confers automatic Priority Pass Select membership.

Airport Lounge Access: This was one of the cornerstones of the Platinum cards, though as I mentioned, this benefit is changing in a major way come March. Until then, when you have a valid ticket for same-day travel, the Platinum card gets you access to Delta, American and US Airways lounges. After March 21, though, it will just be Delta lounges that extend this benefit – and then only to the cardholder him/herself. Anyone extra costs $29 per person.

However, in addition to the airline-specific lounges, the card also confers Priority Pass Select membership on cardholders, with access to over 600 airport lounges in 100 countries no matter which airline you are flying at the time. In order to attain Priority Pass Select access, you have to call the Platinum card customer service line and actually ask for it, so be sure you do that. And remember, your card only covers you – so if you are traveling with anyone else, they’ll have to pay the $27 fee…or it will be charged to the Platinum card you have linked to your Priority Pass Select membership. To counterbalance the AA/US Airways loss, Amex has started opening its own branded Centurion lounges where Platinum cardholders get free access. However, they only currently have lounges at Las Vegas and Dallas airports with plans for lounges in San Francisco and LaGuardia in NYC for now. For more information, read my post on Understanding the Amex Platinum Lounge Access Benefit. Valuation: I’d say about $200 per year if you max out your lounge visits and value perks like free WiFi and snacks.

Global Entry application fee refunded.

The Global Entry application fee refunded.

Global Entry Application Reimbursement: If you’ve been thinking of getting Global Entry (which will also qualify you for TSA PreCheck, and which I personally love) to get you out of lengthy customs and immigration lines when you return from traveling abroad, when you charge the $100 application fee to your Platinum card, you get a $100 statement credit, so it’s free. You can find out more by reading my post on My Experience Getting the Global Entry Fee Refunded Using My Platinum Amex. Valuation: $100.

Pay With Points: When you have a Platinum card, you can redeem your Membership Rewards First points at a rate of 1 cent each using Amex Travel’s Pay With Points option. However, if you have the Business Platinum card, you can redeem your points at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents each – a 25% bonus. So a $500 flight that would normally cost you 50,000 points would only require 40,000 points if you have the Business Platinum card. While I don’t usually use my Membership Rewards points in this way, it could be a good redemption option for those who want to save a little money on airfare while still earning miles and elite status on those flights.

SPG Gold feat

Automatic Starwood Gold Status: When you have a Platinum card, you can get automatic Gold status with Starwood by calling SPG up at 1-888-625-4990 and telling them you have an Amex Platinum card. You then have the representative call Starwood on your behalf to upgrade your Starwood account to Gold status. Starwood Gold is normally attained after 25 nights or 10 stays, and gets you a 50% bonus on Starpoints (so you earn 3 points per $1 spent at Starwood properties), free internet, room upgrades, 4pm late checkout and overall better customer service. Given that internet can cost $10-$20 per night depending on where you are, plus room upgrades averaging about $10-$50 per night, even if you only have a couple of stays per year, you can still get some value from this benefit. Valuation: $100.

Screen shot 2013-11-03 at 8.44.55 PM

(Potential) Automatic Hilton Gold Status: Back in November, Amex and Hilton announced that Platinum cardholders would receive instant Hilton HHonors Gold status through 2014. You had to call in and activate by December 31, 2013, and I’ve confirmed that this is no longer available, but it might come up again in 2014.
Gold Status normally requires 20 stays, 40 nights or earning 75,000 HHonors points within a calendar year, and gets you the following perks:•  Complimentary high-speed internet access
•  Room upgrades based upon availability
•  25% bonus on all HHonors Base Points with every stay
•  Complimentary Health Club access to hotel owned and operated facilitiesThe potential for room upgrades plus those bonus points (learn more about how to maximize your HHonors points earning) and the free internet are definite pluses in my book. Especially in Europe where internet can cost you in the neighborhood of 20 euros a day, that could be huge savings. You can find the full list of Gold benefits here. Valuation: $100.
Fine Hotels and Resorts gives you many benefits

Fine Hotels and Resorts is a potentially valuable perk.

Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: The Fine Hotels and Resorts program for American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders is a hotel booking site that includes a bunch of added perks and benefits when you book a hotel stay through it. Benefits include availability-based room upgrades, free night offers, complimentary breakfast, early check-ins and guaranteed 4pm check-outs, resort credits for expenses like restaurants or spa treatments, and sometimes free WiFi. Room rates are typically about the same as those being offered on the hotel’s website, but these perks can add up to thousands of dollars of extra value per stay. What’s even better is that though you normally have to book a room directly through a hotel or loyalty program’s website in order to earn points and elite credit from your stay, hotel programs consider FHR as a travel agent rather than an Online Travel Agency (OTA), you get points and elite credit and still enjoy elite benefits and these value-added perks. It’s like having the best of both worlds and getting the most value possible out of your stay. Valuation: $200.

Purchase Protection: Holiday shopping season is over, but if you used your card to buy your gifts, you’ve got an extra layer of insurance protecting your purchases. Amex’s purchase protection program offers coverage for up to 90 days after the date of purchase if your merchandise is lost, stolen or damaged, and includes purchases made all over the world for you or someone else up to the cost charged to your card up to $10,000 per purchase and $50,000 per card per year. Amex also has return protection where, if you change your mind and want to return an item, they’ll refund the charge even if the merchant won’t take it back, up to $300 per purchase and $1,000 annually. Amex also offers extended warranties for up to 1 year on purchases where the manufacturer’s warranty is 5 years or less. So using your Amex Platinum card could end up saving you a lot of money if your purchases don’t work out as well as you’d like, or if they are lost, stolen or damaged (and we’ve all heard horror stories about how that’s happened to gifts in suitcases). Valuation: $100.

Those are just some of the many benefits the Platinum card includes (there are more like the Premium Companion Ticket and Premium Car Rental Insurance) but if you can take advantage of them and really max each out by planning your travel strategically, you can more than make up the value of that $450 annual fee – even with the loss of American and US Airways lounge access.

Overall Valuation

So here’s how I see the card’s benefits valuation breaking down.

Sign-up bonus: I value Amex MR at 1.8 cents a piece, so the 25,000 points that both the personal and business Platinum cards come with right now = $450. However, the bonus sometimes goes up to 50,000 points or even 100,000 points, so if you do not yet have this card I might wait for one of those offers to come around. I’m going to leave this out of my final valuation, but just in case you were wondering. Rather, I’m basing my overall valuation off the value you can get from these benefits every year.

Airline Reimbursement: $200
Lounge Access: $200
Global Entry: $100
Starwood Gold Status: $100
Hilton Gold Status: $100
Fine Hotels & Resorts: $200
Purchase Protection: $100

So all in all, if you are savvy about maxing out each of these, your benefits package could add up to about $1,000 in extra value each year – and potentially more if you can really max out the ones like Amex FHR bookings, lounge visits, the Business Platinum Pay With Points 25% bonus, and hotel elite status. However, conservatively, I’d say you’re getting $1,000 in value minus the $450 annual fee for $550 each year.

Do you have the Amex Platinum card? If so, what benefits do you leverage and how?

For more information, see these posts:
The Amex Platinum Card Review
Is the Amex Platinum Worth the $450 Annual Fee?
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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • markj

    I go to Las Vegas often and the FHR program is terrific. My favorite is “The Hotel” which comes with a $100 spa credit and $80/day for food. I also get Hyatt credit for my stay!

    When I leave Vegas I go to the Centurion Lounge. Even if I fly on Southwest
    the TSA will let you get to the D Concourse after security. Looking forward to more Centurion lounges as they are wonderful.

    The other thing that makes the Platinum card a keeper is Singapore as a transfer partner. Just booked two one ways from Singapore back to the states with the SIngapore-Narita segment in two side by side suites. Can’t wait!

  • ZJ

    Re: SPG Gold. I’ve never had to contact SPG and fax info as you state. I’ve always called Platinum service and they contact SPG while I’m on the line. I then instantly get an email from SPG welcoming me to gold.

  • Nick

    Without US/AA/DL lounge access this card can’t be worth it, vs say Amex Gold Premium Rewards. All these other benefits require a lot of effort on the part of the cardholder – most people wont do it – so I think you are overvaluing the perks.

  • Xavier

    I have the AMEX Platinum from London. And I’m happy about Priority Pass and the Trip Insurances covered when you pay for the trip with your AMEX.
    But we can’t use the 200$ Airline Rebate nor the Global Entry
    BTW, will bre great if at least sometimes you say something useful to people outside USA (not only blaming Europe for WIFI costs)

  • Chris

    Airline rebate is not worth $200 because it is highly restricted spending. I would not value this higher than $150. All my hotel stays are paid by my company, so SPG Gold and FHR mean very little to me. Global Entry is a one-time benefit and thus it does not justify renewing the card. Purchase protection is very similar to what I get on other premium cards that I have. So for me renewing the Platinum would essentially mean buying highly restricted Delta lounge access plus $200 for incidentals at one particular airline. Don’t see how this is worth $450, so I will cancel the card this spring.

  • Jim

    For a few years now, this card has become less and less of a value. I’ve had the Platinum for I don’t know how long now, and it always had plenty of amenities for the $450. But now we drop the lounge access, and the redemption partners keep falling off. Like you said, it shouldn’t be hard work to redeem miles…even though you did list some good amenities.

    I think if enough people contact AMEX, they will dig up some new things for the card. I don’t know.

  • lilbabypenguin

    Yes, markj is correct, you actually need to call the number on the back of your Amex and they call SPG while you are on the line to make the gold upgrade for you.

  • G

    If I have the personal platinum card and utilize the airfare credit for the 2014 calendar year, but I intend to cancel the personal card after obtaining the business platinum card this month, will I be able to obtain a separate airline credit in 2014 via the business card?

  • PHLFlyer

    For people with elite status, you already frequently get free checked bags, waived phone reservation fees/seat assignment fees. i’ve never incurred an overweight/oversize bag fee. I dont generally have change fees that aren’t reimbursed by my employer – and i since i dont average 1 change fee per year that I have to pay, this won’t eat up my $200 each year. I dont have a pet. I dont need day passes to lounges if i have club access – which was the primary reason i got the card (that and the global entry reimbursement which is now good for 5 years and I wont get again on renewal). The credit is simply not worth $200 as I would need to try very hard to use it up on in flight service – on the flights i’m not upgraded on anyway.

    As others have said, I won’t be renewing. There is simply no where close to the value of $450 for the typical platinum card holder. And the MR redemption partners aren’t as widespread as I’d like (and if youre going to do the whole starwoods thing, youre better off with the starwoods card anyway).

  • Scott Lerner

    Hey PTS Guy,
    So at this point given the DL announcement last week of not having
    my wife and 2 young kids join me in the lounge for free on the few family trips
    a year, I’m wondering if I should get rid of my AMEX DL Reserve card for a AMEX Platinum based on the airline reimbursements with the AMEX Platinum? Of course the downside is that I will at some
    point lose my elite status as the DL AMEX has given me the MQM’s needed to maintain
    Silver and this year possibly Gold. I
    live in Atlanta so my flight options are almost always have to be Delta.

  • Steve

    One major benefit of access to the airline lounges is access to their generally line-less and more effective customer service reps who can change your flights when things go amiss, especially bad weather events when everyone is trying to re-book flights at the terminal. Without lounge access the AMEX Platinum no longer makes sense to me.

  • Blair

    The Points Guy,

    I’m a Platinum cardholder but may not renew my card this year. Do you lose your SPG Gold status once you are no longer a cardholder?

  • Brenda Brooks Phelps

    Does this include the Delta Platinum Reserve card as well?

  • Gameboy213

    I don’t see the benefit of this card anymore either. It has lost it’s luster. I have a DL reserve card as well. Will keep that for MQM basically.

  • Miles

    If you have top-tier hotel status (e.g., SPG Plat), is FHR better, worthless, or what?

  • Steve

    I picked up the Amex Plat in November, so it’s new to me and been pretty disappointing news almost right out of the gate. I am inclined to drop the card sometime after I get the $200 airline reimbursement for this year through gift cards and get signed up for Global Entry.

    My question now is what is the best timing for dropping the card? I’ve heard some say that you can get some amount of the $450 fee pro-rated back to you if you drop the card within the year, but I’m not sure that this is true. I’d like to move on to get the PRG card soon but want to make sure that I don’t ding up my credit or get declined by Amex by going too fast and dropping the Plat within 3-6 months of sign-up. Any advice?

  • Wandering Aramean

    I think you’re severely over-estimating the value of the SPG & HH status, FHR and purchase protection. For the latter two comparable benefits are available from other cards with lower fees and similar points. The GE benefit is mostly worthless in year 2 or beyond.

    Year 1 of the Platinum card still can be compelling. Beyond that, however, is a different story.

  • JAX

    What people need to realize is that the Delta Lounge access change is a Global change coming from Delta polices, Not American Express. It affects anyone who has lounge access perks based on the new rules… Amex has the Centurion lounges now which are ever growing, as well as Priority Pass. Airline culture (mergers, etc) is ever evolving so I won’t be giving up my Platinum Card anytime soon. The other perks are valuable, you just need to know how to maximize and use them.

  • thepointsguy

    Read the posts on the $200- you can get giftcards, so it is absolutely easy to get the full $200. But agree with your points on others that it may not make sense for you

  • thepointsguy

    You still get Delta lounge access for free as a cardholder- you just need to pay for guests

  • thepointsguy

    No- only regular, Mercedes-Benz and Business Platinum cards

  • thepointsguy

    Read the post on the $200 credits- many people (myself included) have gotten reimbursed for airline gift cards.

  • thepointsguy


  • thepointsguy

    Amex will prorate the annual fee if you decide to cancel

  • thepointsguy

    FHR perks can be more valuable ($100 in spa/dining/upgrades).. just depends. The great thing is that you can get elite perks AND FHR

  • thepointsguy

    Technically yes, but I’m not sure when they notify SPG you’re no longer a cardholder

  • Eric

    If you use the airline credit & than downgrade to Premier Rewards Gold will they reverse the statement credits?

  • Steve

    If Delta limits Lounge Access to just the card member, can I Just pay $175 for 3 additional cards for spouse and 2 kids — will this give them access as well? Also, if I remember correctly, additional cards would also be entitled to the $100 per person Global Entry reimbursement – correct?

  • bab22

    I have understood it is only pro-rated if you drop down to the gold card. Is this correct?

  • Matt

    What could be less convenient, less flexible and less rewarding than having to:

    1. PAY A BANK $450 per year (~$40 per month) for the privilege of using their credit card, and then being asked to

    2. select an airline (that you may or may not end up flying in the upcoming year), then

    3. hope/try to incur some fees so that you can then offset them with your brilliant, super expensive platinum card and your astute, clairvoyant airline selection.

    What value!

    The author also wants us to believe that being able to get reimbursed for GE is worth $100. I disagree. GE is good for five years, then the value is, at best, $100 / 5 or $20. And that’s probably high since some people will already have global entry, while others don’t have it because they have never seen it as a good value at its regular $100 cost. Why would these individuals suddenly find value in it after applying for a credit card?!

  • Matt

    Got cut off earlier. To conclude….

    The only aspect of the platinum card that hasn’t lost all meaningful value is the commission it pays to bloggers who persuade gullible people that they too can reap the good life by paying dearly for something (a credit card) that every other bank in the world is actually paying its customers to obtain!

  • thepointsguy

    I guess the key question is- how often do you bring guests into the lounge? That $200 reimbursement is definitely useful in offsetting the new guest fees, but foregoeing the MQMs is a bummer- maybe you downgrade the reserve to Delta PLatinum (the companion ticket can easily pay for the $150 annual fee) and keep Amex Platinum?

  • thepointsguy

    Agree that Singapore is a great transfer partner, but the Premier Rewards Gold is a better earning card with 3x points on airfare and 2x gas and grocery

  • eafy

    can i have both planuem cards ??
    business and personal ??

  • yourPFpro

    Few questions for ya sorry Haha but this card is very intriguing to me.

    1. If I signed up now, would I get a $200 airline credit this year and next year?

    2. My bro got a 100k targeted offer for this card but he doesn’t want it. How/can I use his offer for myself?

  • Chris

    Sure I can, but $200 in gift cards still isn’t worth $200 to me (plus getting gift cards is against T&C if I understand correctly; you are basically exploiting that Amex cannot tell it apart from other spending). Any why should I be excited that a $450 credit card gives me a $200 gift card for some airline in the first place? Why not simply charge $250 for the card and forget about the credit?

  • eafy

    i see that u answered yesterday already
    thank you

  • eafy

    do u know if i apply with someones RSVP number if i will get the bonus points ? (100k for only 3k spending 3 months)

  • Chris Parsons

    The one perk you didn’t mention (and the reason I upgraded from Gold last year) was the free companion ticket when you travel internationally and book business or first class. My wife and I travel to Germany in the summer and a quick glance at the AMEX travel site gave me a price of around $3000 for two business class tickets. I figure if I use my points (about 60k) I can whack of few hundred off that.

    What got my attention in your post was using the $200 airline reimbursement being used on vouchers. Do you think it’s possible to pay for the ticket with a combo of points/vouchers?

  • hc

    I really want to cancel my platinum card. Are there any other Amex cards, or other credit cards, that will allow me to keep SPG gold status?? Thx

  • Andrew Hobbs

    Not mentioned but of some value is rental car Status: Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold, and National Executive. Even with the changes to Nation Executive it is still pretty easy to score a nice vehicle (re: premium or better) at most bigger locations from the Executive selection and pay the price of a midsize. Plus you get to pick the vehicle.

  • hc

    I disagree. For a while the platinum card was worth the yearly fee to me as I’m sure it was for many others. That isn’t the case for me anymore since the benefits have been disappearing. but I’m sure it way still be worthwhile. Depending on their usage. I think TPGs summary of the benefits is very helpful for making the decision whether or not to keep the card. If you are against the blog why do you read it?

  • John Hill

    I agree with hc. Many salient points in the post. There are other benefits as well, including the concierge benefits, that are well worth it. I recently spent over 8 hours in the LAS Centurion lounge with a co-worker (due to weather delay) and between the food, drinks, wifi and facilities probably saved $100 over what I would have paid elsewhere.
    Thanks for all the great info TPG!

  • Phil E

    I’ve had the Platinum card for 10 years now and still have not used the free companion ticket, even when I fly business class anyway. They require you to purchase a full fare ticket, which in the many times I have called is more than double what a restricted business class ticket would cost, so I end up just buying two of the cheaper business class tickets online.

    Not saying it can’t be a good deal, but I personally don’t value this as a perk.

  • Matt

    Amen, brother!

  • Guest

    If you want a complete details on the pros and cons of having the card…
    Perfect site for that.
    This article just shares one aspect of it.

  • Darth Chocolate

    Some people just are not happy unless they can bitch about something.

    One thing to note is that the taxes and fees for FF tickets count in the $200 credit – I got this last year. And my wife who has a gold card (she does not travel often) got her extra bag fees covered through my linked account.

    As for the FHR program, this can pay for the card all by itself. Last year, we went to Le Chateau Frontenac on the FHR program. A special offer – pay for 2 nights, get the third free – was worth $350. Add in the $100 restaurant credit, and the room upgrade, free Wi-Fi, and access to the Executive suite (free breakfast) and you can add in another $250 or so. Do not forget that there are NO international currency exchange fees as well.

    So the GE is good for 5 years, call that one $20/year (no biggie).

    Then there are the intangibles. Anything to make life easier, especially when you travel for business.

    Gold on Hilton (25% bonus on points). Sure my employer pays for most of the travel, so this is just 25% more free stuff. But what is really nice is the way you are treated – which is why we all want the status. My last trip to China, I was greeted, and upgraded to a suite with some nice chocolates and Saratoga Spring water. All for about a 6 hour stay (late arrival and early morning flight).

    Ditto for SPG – bonus points and upgrades.

    Then there is the concierge service. We got tickets to the Who in Toronto (early purchase). Got other tickets to an almost sold-out play for my in-laws.

    And finally general customer service. About 10 years ago, before Priority Pass, I tried to use my card at the KLM Schipol lounge (flying on NW at the time) and was rejected. During my layover at DTW, I called to express my disappointment. Within 5 minutes of my arrival home, AMEX called me to apologize.
    But I guess you just can’t please some people.

  • Marlene

    Cancelled mine today. Amex didn’t even try to keep me. I got in on the 100,000 membership rewards sign up bonus, plus used it for global entry and premium economy seats. But given that the second year would only get me about $210 worth of benefit, the second year just wasn’t worth it. I kept the delta reserve card for club access and companion certificate. A better value for me personally.

  • Fred R

    I’m tempted to cancel my Amex Plat but I have a significant amount of MR points that I’d rather not have to immediately transfer to various FF cards (because it’s not clear which is best)… It seems that my only option is to ‘downgrade’ to the Amex PRG, which basically costs the same when you take the platinum’s $200 credit into the equation… Am I correct?

  • ocscorpio

    I wouldn’t say it’s “highly restricted spending”. Other than airfare, baggage and change fees are the most common things people spend money on with airlines. The only negative with this feature is that you can only designate one airline per year with which to use the $ 200 on.

  • ocscorpio

    THR alone is worth it for me. I figure I saved about $ 7-8k in savings over a few stays at high-end hotels in 2013, plus another $ 2k in benefits.

  • safari

    I called this morning and was offered a $200 statement credit and an additional $100 airline credit for AA/US Airways (my $200 credit is earmarked for Delta). Thanks for the post/suggestion TPG!

  • HerrHimmler

    Most people want small cars. The days of the mega-boat are gone !

  • Amex Airliner

    That valuation only works if you use all the benefits. I think universal lounge access was the big this for Amex platinum.

    Bye Amex Platinum. Call me when you are worth it.

  • Amex Airliner

    I’d say that global entry is worth $20, since you can only use it once every 5 years. Hilton gold $0(Doesn’t exist) SPG gold $50 Purchase protection $0 toehr card give this without fee. FHR $0, they make commission every-time you book, and give you inflated rates.

  • Sarina

    Markj, how do you get hyatt credit by booking via FHR? Is it as simple as providing your hyatt member number?

  • Steve

    Ordinarily, I would not
    pay for a credit card. There are too
    many good free ones. Some pay 2% for
    your business ($500 rebate on $25,000).
    However, after reading some commentaries, I decided to take the plunge
    since the card offers some benefits that might be of use. I was interested in the 2 for 1 int’l business
    travel because I have a vacation trip planned.
    I applied online, was instantly approved, and the card arrived in a few
    days. I called Platinum Travel service
    to book business seats on British Air and found the rep very helpful and
    anxious to please. Then I received an
    email indicating the charge had been blocked.
    After a lengthy call to card services (reps much less helpful), I
    learned the ticket cost exceeded my credit limit. Mind you, the cost was only $7500, well below
    any limit I have on any other card. Plus
    I have a 40 year stellar credit history (I charge everything) and significant assets. So what gives? How can they offer a card with
    a travel benefit that cannot be used? Card services grudgingly approved the ticket cost as a one-time exception, but this experience left a very bitter taste. This is not the way to treat a customer whose business they should be begging for. I will likely cancel this card and continue using my Fidelity card with 2% rebate. Much better value and much better service.

  • James

    Seems to be losing it’s value to me Hotel benefits seem to be all that’s left. One thing I think AMEX could do would be to give Platinum card members the same points earning as Gold Rewards seems silly that you can get 3X points for travel on Gold and 1X from Platinum

  • Locke42

    The valuations for the Plat’s benefits are spot-on, but only if you would have actually paid for those benefits in the first place. Otherwise, the valuations will vary wildly from person to person.

    Case in point:
    $200 airline rebate – Almost completely worthless to me, because when I travel I almost never incur fees, and the only times I check in a bag are when I travel internationally, where a checked bag is free anyway. Sure, I can purchase vouchers, but vouchers are inherently worth less than cash. I would put the value of this at $50-$100 at most.

    Airport lounge access – This is the biggie for me, the main reason I would have paid for Amex Plat at all. I think the valuation for this is correct. Losing lounges doesn’t really matter if there are still accessible lounges at the airports you fly through anyway. Who cares if you had your pick of four brands of lounges in one airport and now only can get into two brands (DL and PP)? Do you lounge-hop during your layover or something? Unless DL and PP lounges really, really suck compared to AA and US, the valuation of this benefit remains the same at $200.

    Global Entry – I would not have paid $100 for Global Entry. $50 at most. And since it renews every 5 years, this benefit is only worth $10 to me.

    Starwood Gold – Comparable status at Hilton or Hyatt can be had for less than $100. On top of that, Starwood is not as widely available as Hilton, and SPG Gold doesn’t give as many benefits as Hilton Gold. I’d value this at $50.

    Fine Hotels & Resorts – There’s no doubt you can squeeze a lot of value out of access to FHR, but again, unless you were actually going to use it to begin with, it’s not worth the stated valuation. It’s an extra, and how much you’d pay for those extra benefits is a personal question. I’d put it at $100, the same value as Hilton Gold.

    Purchase Protection – It’s good to have peace of mind, but every premium credit card offers purchase protection. This should be a standard, not a benefit. Therefore, it’s worth no value.

    Final tally: $410-$460. The Amex Plat JUST BARELY makes its annual fee back. The Mercedes Amex Plat has a higher annual fee, but the 50k sign on bonus makes that worth it.

  • Mike

    One thing to keep in mind with their purchase protection is that they include LOSS with Platinum (as well as Centurion). Most cards do not include loss. Theft and damage are common but I have many cards and none of them cover loss other than this one which is why I used it on my phone which I have actually since lost and am now filing a claim regarding. Read the terms on your other cards carefully before assuming they cover accidental loss.

  • Daniel Stephens

    How was anyone able to get points or credits? ive already used my 200$ on delta, called and spoke with account specialist, and they gave me a long run around about how great the card still is but told me they couldnt give me any other points at this time. did you have to threaten canceling your card?

  • Bella Boo

    I am a military service member deployed almost every year, I sent them copies of my military orders and ID, they waived my $450.00 for as long as I stay in the Army. One of the perks I get for serving the country. As far as airline cost, I never have to pay baggage fees if I show my military ID even if travel for leisure.
    I keep the card for monthly bills and for its travel value. My mom is one of the cardholders on my account and I feel confident that she uses the card during her foreign travel and know that I don’t get slammed with foreign transaction fees.

  • arglebargle

    Yeah, in fact, if you call SPG directly, they tell you to call Amex. (Although I did this, my upgrade didn’t “take” for some reason, and now I have to call back. Yay!)

  • Ben

    You only get Delta Lounge if you fly Delta. US Air lounges didn’t need a ticket for that day on their Airline

  • Rusty Longwood

    A $450 sticker price probably makes it feel more exclusive.

  • Rusty Longwood

    Agree. AMEX has done a brilliant job marketing the card, making a lot of features found on free cards seem like benefits worth paying for. The rewards on spending are wimpy and the supposedly elite status conveyed by simply being a cardholder has been whittled to near nothing. No reason to renew.

  • osuwillis

    THEPOINTSGUY… or any other member…. Can you advise if I purchase UNITED gift certificates from UNITED if these will qualify for the AMEX “$200 Airline Fee Credit”?? I am not aware that you can buy actual UNITED “gift cards” anywhere. In talking directly with AMEX, they gave me the impression that a UNITED gift certificate would show up as a “ticket purchase” and thus not qualify for the “$200 Airline Fee Credit”. Has anyone been successful in purchasing UNITED gift certificates and then getting it reimbursed by AMEX under the “$200 Airline Fee Credit”????

  • Soon to be EX Amex user

    Had this card for over 10 years. Spend over $80k /year on it. No matter the rationale – a card that is offering me 1% cash back trumps a card that COSTS me $500/year

  • Eric Gilbert

    The card is not worth the fee. Besides everything listed above, competitor cards provide you double or triple purchases depending if its gas you charge or groceries. With the Platinum card , its only one dollar per reward point no matter who the merchant is. This was not the case years ago when you did receive double points on certain purchases. The Centurion club in Vegas is nice but you can enter with any card and just pay a one time fee of 50. I am bewildered on how the other Centurion lounge opening in Miami will be successful because there are different terminals depending on which airline you fly and most clients would want to be checked in through airport security before using the lounge. American Express should lower the annual fee to 100 per year and take away the 200 credit for checking in your bag that has no value to me as I carry on everything and the route mentioned in this article of getting gift cards is not something I should fo. This card was worth the fee in the past but no longer the case.

  • JCA

    I am not seeing much value with the card anymore. I have about 145,000 points and am a platinum traveler with American Airlines and Starwood Hotels. Can anyone recommend how to best transfer them to get the most value? Thank you!

  • Amex5140

    I work for AMEX Platinum concierge. I want to inform you all what we do in the concierge. We have ZERO special access to anything at all when I say zero I mean nothing at all. The only tools that we have to assist you are a computer and a phone. All we do is use Google to recommend restaurants exc. as far as tickets we just go through the box office or brokers we have no additional access than you would using your visa debit card with no fees. I often have card members call in and absolutely loose there mind because I am not able to get them show tickets within the first 5 rows on the isle exc. Majority of the cardmembers I speak with are overprivledged snobs. I’m not the idiot paying $450.00 a year for a credit card. Bottom line if you are keeping this card for your concierge benefits (cancel your card) and please keep in mind that we are constantly being forced to take calls back to back with NO time to actually complete your requests.. PLEASE READ THE REVIEWS AT THE LINK BELOW from your concierge team

  • Michael Paul

    Would you say the first year was worth it? I just got a targeted offer of 100,000 points for $3K spent in first 3 months. Seems to me like the play on this offer is to accept it, pay the $450 fee, transfer your points to partner airlines so you can book awards (for example, we have a trip to Hawaii coming up which would easily cost more than $450 in airfare) then cancel before your first year ends (since most of these benefits I would never use or be able to extract value from). Thoughts?

  • Andrew G

    To clarify “What’s even better is that though you normally have to book a room directly through a hotel or loyalty program’s website in order to earn points and elite credit from your stay, hotel programs consider FHR as a travel agent rather than an Online Travel Agency (OTA), you get points and elite credit and still enjoy elite benefits and these value-added perks. It’s like having the best of both worlds and getting the most value possible out of your stay. ” Does this mean you can book the hotel through any online site as long as its on your platinum card and get the FHR benefits…or does it have to be booked on Amex FHR site/concierge?

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