There are a bunch of new changes out today for both the personal and business versions of the American Express Platinum card. I’ve been an American Express cardmember for over 20 years, though I don’t currently hold a Platinum card. I do carry both the personal and business versions of the Starwood Preferred American Express card. And, I’ve had a Platinum, Gold and Green cards over the years. Today’s changes will definitely give me something to think about. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s discuss the changes.
What To Expect From The New American Express Platinum
The AMEX Platinum card has offered a host of benefits travelers find useful. Some of those include:
- $200 travel credit on your chosen airline. This is a reimbursement for fees like checked bags or seat selection, not a straight discount off an airline ticket.
- Access to the American Express Centurion lounges. These are beautiful lounges located in a handful of airports, and expanding. Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle all have lounges today.
- Up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- I didn’t notice this one, but View From The Wing details a benefit where you can get half of your points back anytime you book an airline ticket using points for paid tickets. This is interesting, I need to think about it some more.
Along with these benefits, American Express is adding:
- $200 in Uber credit and VIP status with Uber. The credit is divided up in $15 increments on a monthly basis.
- 5X points on hotel bookings through American Express Travel. This one isn’t a good fit for me, since those bookings generally don’t earn elite status.
- Free Gold cards for additional members.
- Expanded invitation-only experiences. Think dining with top chefs, once-in-a-lifetime cultural and sporting events.
- As I was writing this, View From the Wing pointed out something he (and I) missed, that the Priority Pass membership gets an upgrade as well, allowing guests.
Is The New Platinum AMEX Worth It?
Great question. The annual fee takes a bump from $450 to $550. I really need to take some time to compare this card to other premium offerings. Ultimately, I think the answer is going to be it depends.
If you use Uber, then it should be pretty easy to stretch an extra $200 in value out of the card, especially if you travel on a regular basis. Couple that with the $200 annual fee credit and you’re almost at the $550 annual fee.
5X points on airlines is a solid value, though the 5X on hotels won’t be a big value for those who chase hotel elite status. If you can find value in things like the free Boingo Wi-Fi and Gogo passes, the card can essentially be “free”.
I’ll take some more time in the future to compare this to other premium cards. In the interim, it appears that those who apply before March 30th will get the $450 annual fee for their first year of membership. You can find full details of the changes on the AMEX website.
I don’t earn any referral or affiliate credit if you apply for this card. The changes today are meaningful ones for many folks.
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