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Should I Keep Both the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige?

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TPG reader Will sent me a message on Facebook to ask about premium rewards cards:

“I’ve had the Amex Platinum card for four years now, but I recently got the Citi Prestige. What are your thoughts on keeping them both or downgrading to the Premier Rewards Gold card? I have Delta Diamond Medallion status, so the Sky Club access from the Platinum card isn’t worth much to me.”

Every so often I take inventory of my credit cards to sort out which ones are worth keeping and which ones are no longer needed. I evaluate each card on its own merits, but I also evaluate them in the context of my whole portfolio. In particular, I try to look for redundant benefits between different cards, since I’d rather not keep two cards (and pay two annual fees) if they serve the same purpose.

Personally, I think the Citi Prestige Card and The Platinum Card from American Express are two of the most valuable cards out there. I have both of them (technically I have the business version of the Platinum card), and while they’re premium credit cards with relatively high $450 annual fees, I have no doubt that I get my money’s worth. They do have a few overlapping features, but I think it’s easy to justify having both if you can take advantage of their other unique benefits.

For starters, both cards offer airline credits that help offset the annual fee. The Platinum card comes with a $200 credit for airline incidentals like baggage fees or in-flight amenities, but many people have used it to buy airline gift cards as well. Meanwhile, the $250 Air Travel Credit on the Prestige card explicitly applies to airfare, making it even easier to redeem. If you would typically spend at least $450 on airfare and incidentals each year, then your total annual fee for the two cards is effectively reduced by that amount.

Moving on, I think Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status and Hilton HHonors Gold status more than make up for the remaining portion of the Platinum card’s annual fee. However, there are plenty of other benefits, such as complimentary Boingo Preferred Wi-Fi, the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and access to the growing network of Centurion Lounges. The main similarities between the two cards are the Priority Pass lounge access and the fee credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, so there’s not too much overlap.

The
The Platinum Card offers plenty of value even if you don’t need Delta Sky Club access.

If you aren’t convinced you’ll get enough value out of the other Platinum benefits, downgrading to the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card is a decent option. That will help keep your Membership Rewards account active, and you’ll still get an annual $100 credit for airline incidentals. The Gold card emphasizes points instead of perks, so even though you’ll lose several notable benefits, you’ll pick up some lucrative bonus categories.

If you decide to close the account outright, make sure you follow the right steps to protect your existing points balance and take advantage of any unused benefits.

For more on each of these cards, check out the following posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Citi Prestige® Card

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  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge.
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49%* (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit