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STT757
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Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:30 am

Keep getting offers to upgrade to the Platinum AMEX card, currently have a Gold Card. Is it worth the $450+ annual fee, we would get two cards so all together I think the annual fee is $625.
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DocLightning
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:35 am

I have it and upgraded from Gold. I like the Delta lounge access. I like the concierge (used them for gift advice today). I don't use all of the features, but it's a nice enough card.

My problem with AmEx has been the physical cards themselves. I find that the magnetic stripe never lasts more than 4 months.
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Ken777
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:35 am

I don't travel enough these days to pay for AmEx.

I like the British Airways card from Chase - when I spend $30K a year I get a 2 for 1 travel certificate. That puts Business Class for half the miles - well worth it for us old folks.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:22 am

Yes for me it certainly does.

Some benefits that I make use of:
o Airline club entry benefits (eg AAdmirals)
o Get another annual $200 credit for miscellaneous airline charges
o Free membership to Priority Pass Select - lots of global lounges
o Free Gold Starwood Preferred Status
o Various other hotel benefits
o Free Global Entry membership
o Some rental car benefits at Hertz and National
o 2 for 1 premium ticket offers. (need to be mindful however the offer is based on full fare tickets).
o Concierge services, including getting hard to find tickets to events, or last minute reservations to top end restaurants
o Increased warranty and buyer protection on items


However if you get the Plat card why keep the Gold??
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panam330
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:51 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
My problem with AmEx has been the physical cards themselves. I find that the magnetic stripe never lasts more than 4 months.

Dear god man, how frequently do you use it?! I use mine almost exclusively - I never carry cash, and only use debit if the store doesn't take AmEx (which isn't many these days) - upwards of 5 swipes a day, and I get a solid year out of them before having to order a replacement.

I find the Plat to be worth it if you travel at least 4 times a year. Between the airline credit, lounge access, and (my personal hotel chain preference) SPG status, it's worth every penny. If you don't care for the Membership Rewards program and just want airline miles and hotel status, the SPG card is a wonderful value.
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:09 am

A year ago i switched to the Priority Rewards Black Visa - it's $150 a year, but gives you a free nights stay at any IHG hotel as long as you spend over £10,000 a year. I figured that alone was worth it. A few months ago they changed the rules so that you also now get Platinum IHG Rewards status, which entitles you to a free upgrade and a free drink on check-in.

I was about to head on a trip to Las Vegas at the time, and was staying in the Palazzo, an IHG affiliate hotel. On check-in we got a room upgrade worth $50 a night ($200) and 10 free drink vouchers ($70).

I had just qualified for my free night in any hotel, so as we were passing through New York on the way home, I phoned up and asked if I could book the Intercontinental, Times Square ($550 a night). "Sure, no problems" they said!

I ended up getting $820 worth of benefits for that $150 a year fee. Well worth it!
 
Max Q
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:30 am

Quoting panam330 (Reply 4):

Dear god man, how frequently do you use it?! I use mine almost exclusively - I never carry cash, and only use debit if the store doesn't take AmEx (which isn't many these days) - upwards of 5 swipes a day, and I get a solid year out of them before having to order a replacement.

I've had the same problem and I use mine for everything as well.


Sometimes only get 3 months out of a card !
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7478MTOW
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):

Keep getting offers to upgrade to the Platinum AMEX card, currently have a Gold Card. Is it worth the $450+ annual fee, we would get two cards so all together I think the annual fee is $625.

I ditched the Gold Card (that I had since 18) for the Costco AmEx. It offers a cash reward and I don't regret the decision at all. Then again, I work for an airline and my wife works for a major hotel company, so the travel benefits that many find alluring aren't as meaningful to me.

I like the shopping protection that AmEx provides, but don't use those often and find that the perceived value of these benefits is inflated by many people. I like AmEx and considered moving to the Platinum card but didn't see the value added. Removing travel/lounge benefits from the discussion...

Costco AmEx Rundown:
Fee: $0 or $50
The card is free if you're a Costco member but a membership is $50 if you don't already have one.
Rebate:
Exists as a voucher for cash sent out in February. The minimum rebate is 1% for purchases and up to 3% for others.
The Costco AmEx also has the novelty of serving double duty as your Costco membership card. A small thing for sure but it's one less item to carry. Although I never carry a balance, the option would exist to carry a balance on this card if I'd choose or need to. I suppose this could be construed as a "benefit" under extreme circumstances.

AmEx Gold Rundown:
Fee: $125
I couldn't imagine it's lower now as that figure is from memory and was last paid years ago.
Rebate:
In practice, the rebate is 1% if spent at retail ($10k in spending gets you a $100 gift card). Occasional points bonuses exist, but 1% is pretty accurate. The rebate can be received in "cash" terms (a credit against your statement), but the rebate drops to 0.5% ($20k for a $100 credit).

In material terms (with relatively constant spending habits), I save $125 right away with the Costco card (I had a membership long before getting the card, but you could call this a $75 savings if you insisted on including the Costco membership as a fee for the card). Typically I'll get ~$600-700 back each year on the Costco card. With the Gold Card and equivalent spending I'd pay the $125 fee and get ~$400 in gift cards on the year.

I do give up some of the perks, but never used them anyway.
 
N1120A
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:32 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I find that the magnetic stripe never lasts more than 4 months.

Buying a lot of dog treats for Lusy? Yeesh. I use mine almost exclusively and have no issues.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Airline club entry benefits (eg AAdmirals)

This is the exact reason why I upgraded. When AA matched my status and I started flying them, I figured it was an economic advantage over the AAdmirals membership. I can use any US Club - even when not flying US or Star Alliance. I can use DL in the extremely unlikely event I fly them. I can use AS Board Rooms when I fly them. The rest of the benefits are simply gravy.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Get another annual $200 credit for miscellaneous airline charges

Yep - and they even apply this to when you buy premium drinks in the airline lounge or BOB (of course, I don't pay for BOB on AA in the rare event I miss an upgrade)

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Free membership to Priority Pass Select - lots of global lounges

This is also priceless. You can get into a lounge at almost any airport, anywhere.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Free Gold Starwood Preferred Status

I didn't know this. I have to figure out how to link.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Free Global Entry membership

This is not a benefit for me. Why? Because I'm a NEXUS holder. Unlike UA does for 0P and above, AMEX only refunds GE - despite it being $50 more than NEXUS. Plus, I had my NEXUS before my AMEX Platinum.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Some rental car benefits at Hertz and National

AAA is better for Hertz

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Concierge services, including getting hard to find tickets to events, or last minute reservations to top end restaurants

This is something I haven't used, but should look into.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
o Increased warranty and buyer protection on items

This is very nice. Of course, the general AMEX customer protection is amazing anyway.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
However if you get the Plat card why keep the Gold??

I don't think the OP meant that. I think he was saying he gets 2 cards anyway. For him and his SO.
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Revelation
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:14 am

Quoting STT757 (Thread starter):
Is it worth the $450+ annual fee

Just to be devil's advocate, there's a lot of things one can do with $450...
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N1120A
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
Just to be devil's advocate, there's a lot of things one can do with $450...

Depends on if you are already spending money on a lounge membership.
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LAXintl
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:25 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 8):
AAA is better for Hertz

Don't think AAA gives you Gold Hertz #1 Club membership as AMEX does. Also you get the Emerald Club elite level for National via AMEX as well.
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sevenheavy
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:56 am

I had the U.K. Platinum Amex for a number of years so this is not strictly relevant, but they upped the price this year from £300 (@$450) TO £650 (@$1000).

Amex also did this to me before with the centurion card (from £650 to £1800 overnight).

I always liked the card and used most of the benefits so can't speak particularly negatively about the experience, but when they upped the price without really offering any additional benefits I took my business elsewhere. The Amex reps had clearly been well trained on how to handle the mass of complaints but the upshot was that they didnt want to retain any customers who werent willing to swallow the annual fee doubling overnight.

Their membership rewards program is also not the most generous ouT there (at least in the U.K.)

That said, If you travel a lot it's a good card (if it was $450 for me I'd still have it!) but there are others out there. I have both Starwood and Hilton cards now and find their loyalty programs far better than either, and at a far lower annual fee.
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nickh
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:47 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
Just to be devil's advocate, there's a lot of things one can do with $450...

True, although the 'Invitation Only' American Express "Black Card" or 'Centurion Card' is $2500/year + a $7500 initiation fee. Used to be $3500/year.

See:

http://www.americanexpress.com/lacid...ress_centurion_card_benefits.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_card

I know someone that has one -- it's impressive to look at (his is the titatium version with carbon-fiber) - a bit heavier than standard cards - asked him if it ever got stuck in a card slot on one of those motorized card readers - not yet, he said). As far as the benefits vs. yearly cost (remember, it will cost you $10,000 initially just to get one), well, that is debatable. See the above URLs for the Centurion Card perks list.

If you use the card as your daily currency, I suppose then that the metallic stripe would last longer than 3 months. Most of my credit cards have a metallic stripe on the back, even though they are plastic cards, I imagine that they do this for durability and partly for security, since the metallic stripe has laser etched holograms on them.
However, I have noticed that those metallic strips sometimes do not read correctly on some automatic card readers.

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N1120A
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RE: Platinum American Express, Is It Worth It?

Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:23 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Don't think AAA gives you Gold Hertz #1 Club membership as AMEX does.

Actually, AAA does give you a free #1 Club Gold membership - though, Hertz has been giving that away for some time now. AAA's benefits with Hertz are more related to the nice discount codes.
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