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New American Express Platinum Card Benefits – Free TSA PreCheck and Unlimited Free Boingo WiFi

by on March 20, 2014 · 35 comments

in American Express

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Last week, Amex raised the sign-up bonus on the Platinum Card to 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months, but many folks were still wondering whether that was worth it thanks to the recent diminishing of benefits of the card including the fact that it will no longer provide American and US Airways club access as of March 21, and will have more restricted Delta lounge access. Today, however, Amex announced that it would be adding a few new benefits to the personal, business and corporate Platinum cards that should bring some more value back to it.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.22.37 AM

The two perks Amex is adding are: complimentary, unlimited access to WiFi hotspots provided by Boingo Wireless, and an application fee statement credit option (worth $85) for the TSA PreCheck program. Here are the details on each.

Boingo Wireless
Starting in June 2014, Platinum Card members will receive complimentary, unlimited access to more than 700,000 land-based WiFi hotspots worldwide in airports, retail and hotel locations through the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. Once enrolled in the plan, Card Members can have simultaneous internet access for up to four devices without worrying about data caps or roaming fees.

The plan looks to be equivalent to the Boingo Global Plan, which costs $59 a month and includes the same access (though only up to 2,000 minutes per month).

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.36.34 AMSo if you’re on the road a lot and use Boingo regularly, you could be saving a lot of money through this benefit. When I was a road warrior, I was on Boingo all the time in airports, so this would have come in handy – especially since there are going to be fewer lounges to which you’ll have access with your Platinum card.

Statement Credit Option for TSA PreCheck
Starting in June 2014, Platinum Cardmembers will have the option to receive a statement credit for a TSA PreCheck application fee. The $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck is an alternative to the existing benefit that American Express launched in 2011―a $100 statement credit for a Global Entry application fee.  Cardmembers can receive a statement credit for either the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry program application fee once every five years.

TSA PreCheck makes navigating the airport so much simpler.

Here are the conditions:

o   If the Card Member travels internationally, Global Entry can reduce wait time at US Customs when returning from international travel. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, the Card Member will receive access to TSA PreCheck
o   If the Card Member does not travel internationally or does not think he/she meets the requirements of Global Entry, the Card Member can opt to apply for TSA PreCheck alone.  TSA PreCheck allows low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient screening at participating U.S. airports.

So as the bulleted points mention, if you get Global Entry, which has a $100 that is also covered by the Platinum Card, you automatically get TSA PreCheck, but the option just to get TSA PreCheck only might be something to consider for folks who don’t do much international travel, or who just want to avoid the long application/enrollment backlog that Global Entry currently has. Personally, I’d just go for the Global Entry and get into both trusted traveler programs at once, though.

My Thoughts
Overall, I think these are two decent new benefits – and that Boingo Wireless one should be a nice convenience factor for the road warriors out there who get stuck at airports a lot – but I’m hoping that Amex continues to roll out even more to make up for the loss of other perks like lounge access. What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the Platinum Card and its benefits, check out these posts:

American Express Platinum Card Sign-Up Bonus Increased to 40,000 Points – Worth It?
My Experience Getting Refunded for the Global Entry Application Fee With My Amex Platinum Card
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
TSA PreCheck Open Application and Enrollment Begins

Getting Around the Global Entry Backlog
Seriously, Get Global Entry – FAQ’s and How To Get It For Free

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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  • Goat Rodeo

    Cant you also use your Boingo account to access GoGo inflight? To me that would be the huge benefit here.

  • D

    Any insight as to whether this boingo account will let you roam on gogo inflight?

  • Mike

    If I already get GE reimbursement from AMEX so the TSA Pre-Check benefit is pretty useless for me.

    The Boingo is a nice touch, but I was really hoping for GoGo vs Boingo for in-flight wireless. Most lounges give free wifi anyway so I don’t see me using it a whole lot. It’s another nice benefit I would be happy to use when I need it, but its not really a compelling benefit I would use to make me keep the card.

    I love adding benefits, but these aren’t wow factors to me. As soon as they offer to reimburse for a monthly GoGO pass to even one airline (usually ~$40/month) I would be all over keeping this card.

  • Ben L

    > What are your thoughts?

    TSA PreCheck is not really that great a benefit. Like you said, One is better off getting GlobalEntry, which is reimbursed. Assuming that PreCheck doesn’t have the interview requirement that GE does, it just save one time so you don’t have to wait 3 months for an GE appointment.

    Boingo, on the other hand, is awesome, if you can roam with all the fee-based European hotspots (BT Openzone. t-mobile), AND if you can use it on GoGo inflight. The cost savings on GoGo subscription alone would make up for the loss of lounge access. I found this link below which looks like we can use Boingo with GoGo, but I’m not 100% sure.

    http://www.boingo.com/blog/2011/06/now-you-can-boingo-high-in-the-sky-with-gogo-wi-fi/

  • David

    Will this benefit apply for the mercedes benz version?

  • davep

    I already have GE and PreCheck (thanks AmEx but that was a one time expense) and if I’m not in a lounge or the airport doesn’t have WiFi my phone has an unlimited data plan and I have 2GB on my iPad. The Boingo would be nice if I travelled overseas a lot, but for once a year or so not with the $450, which is why I am planning on canceling my Plat next month when it is up for renewal.

  • Jeff

    Boingo clients can sign in using their account, but its simply a billing portal. You still have to pay for the in flight charges, just like any other Gogo customer. Not much benefit there.

  • Goat Rodeo

    Thanks – thats pretty worthless then, since so many airports now have free wifi and most people who travel a lot will already be TSA Pre-Check through their airline. Alas.

  • Shannon

    I thought I read “free gogo” and got excited. I’ve tried Boingo several times in Europe and don’t think I was ever able to find a good connection. This is a non-benefit for me :(

  • John Guide

    If they would offer free access to GoGo Inflight, I would never cancel my Amex Plat

  • Juno

    You can use your Boingo account when logging into GoGo, but you will still be charged ($4.95 and up, per flight). The only benefit of using your Boingo account is that you only need one account for the 2 services, not 2 accounts.

  • thepointsguy

    At least let someone else use your TSA benefit- you should get reimbursed even if its not you.

    I would LOVE GoGo as well.. will pass along the feedback!

  • patrick

    The post says:

    “Cardmembers canreceive a statement credit for either the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry program application fee once every five years.”

    I was under the impression that I could get a statement credit for Global Entry every calendar year.

    Is that not the case? Is this changing that?

  • aaconvert

    GE reimbursement makes TSA worthless IMO. Also many road warriors have mifis or tethering capability so the Boingo is not really going to benefit many. Was considering the Plat Amex before the slew of recent devaluaitons / changes.

  • Rafael

    Seems to me like they’re eliminating high-end benefits like premium lounge access and attempting to make up for it with more mainstream perks. There’s no comparison between using a UAL/AA lounge to surf the web and take a load off between flights vs. using Boingo and eating plastic wrapped sandwiches in the main terminal. AMEX Plat is oxidizing as for as I’m concerned. Seriously considering other options after a decade of use.

  • Santastico

    Both new perks are BS in my opinion, i already have Global Entry so TSA Pre is automatic. Wifi hot spot? I have unlimited data plan with ATT for my iPhone so no use for that. If they had partnered with GoGo inflight then it would be a game changer.

    I am very mad with the changes in the benefits on my Amex Platinum but I find that they still have great benefits if you know how to use them, for example, I just booked 10 hotel nights using their Fine Hotels Program and I saved way more than $1k by using their service by getting 4th night free at Trump and St Regis hotels in Hawaii plus free breakfast, etc… Also, they have great benefits that you only see the value if you need them, such as Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection. Those are great benefits but people tend not to add value to them since you don’t use them often, however, if you ever use it will be worth way more than $450 you pay for the membership.

  • Danny

    Very nice that this includes the corporate card – not all platinum benefits are included there.

  • Arthur

    You can only get reimbursed for the TSA Pre-check if you haven’t been reimbursed for Global Entry in last 5 years, right? So if I already got reimbursed for GE earlier this year, I can’t be reimbursed for allowing someone else to use my TSA Pre-check benefit?

  • Bb

    But can’t you get access to luxury hotel programs and purchase protection/extended warranty/etc with other credit cards charging less than the $450 fee?

  • Rocky Rockwell

    My first thought was to get the TSA Pre for my wife as I did GE last year…maybe there is a way around it.

  • Brandon Maake

    Yea but if AMEX gives your free access to most sky clubs through Delta and Priority pass then why did I need WiFi access in the airport. I would have really liked to have seen this extended to on flight WiFi.

  • Loren

    Why would you expect an annual GE statement credit when it’s good for 5 years?

  • Loren

    The wording in the Amex announcement was reimbursement for Global Entry *once every five years*. I was under the impression that it was one-time benefit. I’m curious if 3 years from now I’ll get my second 5 years paid.

  • patrick

    So that you could sign someone else up (wife, kid, etc…). I know this has been how it worked in the past.

  • DanielH

    Are these benefits for new AMEX PLAT cardmembers only or does it also extend to existing AMEX PLAT cardmembers?

  • wwittman

    these “benefits’ are in no way worth the annual fee.
    Really, in this day and age, Amex (and the other credit card companies) should be making their money from merchant transactions and co-branding licenses, not from user fees.

    there is NO credit card worth $450 a year.

  • Frequent Flyer

    I went to cancel my card as only was receiving enough value for year 1 with points, and they tried to convince me to stay cause they are opening their own lounges this/next year. I still declined, and he credited the $450 fee, which I thought was unheard of. Also, he said starting yesterday there is an incremental American Airline only $200 credit (in addition to the existing $200 credit) that is a limited time offer, but I don’t see it anywhere online.

  • Matt

    I had gotten an e-mail back in December regarding the extra $200 American Airlines credit. They are recommending to use it to purchase an Admiral’s Club membership.

  • Kristen

    Agreed, Gogo inflight would totally be worth it!! Boingo enrollment for Amex card holders is now available.

  • http://blog.colwin.com Bruce Colwin

    The Amex/Boingo sign up page is now live …. https://amex.boingo.com/

  • Ed Chandler

    Regarding Boingo: Anyone know why the boingo iOS app seems to think your’e on a mobile plan with 2GB/month?

  • JRS847

    The loss of Admirals Club benefits is huge. It makes me reconsider the value of my Platinum card. I agree that Gogo would be a great perk, and much more valuable than Boingo is.

  • iorr61

    I think they need to get cracking building more Centurion lounges. They are nice, but far too few.

  • James

    American Express refused to honor my sign up bonus–even after a representative confirmed to me over the phone that I would receive it.

    I am terminating my relationship with American Express and will file complaints against AMEX with the BBB/FCPB/FTC.

  • Ronald

    I just received my AMEX Platinum Card, now I will see how great it is

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