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Last week, Amex raised the sign-up bonus on the The Platinum Card from American Express 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, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN and corporate Platinum cards that should bring some more value back to it.

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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

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
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Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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