If you keep or cancel the Amex Platinum
The American Express Platinum CardÂ® has a long-standing reputation as a premium travel card. Since its inception in 1984, the card has been a coveted commodity for those who enjoy luxury travel, credit card rewards, and the added benefits of the card.
Like many credit card issuers, American Express has revamped its credit card offerings to accommodate changes in consumer spending, so it’s only natural for the Amex Platinum to get a facelift to maintain its popularity.
For some cardholders, however, the new changes are not so well received. They came up with a substantial increase in annual fees, now $ 695 from $ 550. This raises the question “Should you keep or cancel the updated American Express Platinum card?” “
In this article, we’ll explore a very informal canvassing of people with the same question. Their answers might help you decide what to do with your Amex Platinum card.
What are the changes to the Amex Platinum card?
Before we dive into the opinions, let’s take a look at the map upgrades and changes. The two most important changes concern the annual membership fee and the increased welcome bonus. New cardholders can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points, up from 75,000 points, after spending $ 6,000 on purchases in the first six months after obtaining the card.
Some new card applicants may receive a bonus of up to 150,000 points if they apply for the Platinum card through Bankrate’s CardMatch tool. The value of this bonus could potentially double when used through Amex transfer partners.
However, with many people’s travel plans at stake, American Express decided to expand the Platinum Card rewards program beyond travel benefits and perks. The card issuer now wants to reward spending in lifestyle categories such as dining, wellness, retail and entertainment.
The list of credits, rewards, perks and perks reflects this goal:
- $ 200 Airfare Credit for Incidental Charges with a Selected Airline
- $ 200 resort credit for prepaid hotel reservations at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel
- $ 200 Uber Credit ($ 15 per month, plus an additional $ 20 in December)
- $ 179 Clear Credit
- Up to $ 100 application fee credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck ($ 100 or $ 85 every five years)
- $ 240 digital entertainment credit (up to $ 20 total statement credits per month) for Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times subscriptions (registration required)
- Up to $ 100 for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases per year ($ 50 from January to June and $ 50 from July to December)
- Equinox credit of $ 300 (up to $ 25 per month) for club or digital membership fees
In total, these credits offer a value of over $ 1,400 to new card members. Additionally, the new rewards structure offers more return on food, travel and small business spending:
- Reward rate: Earn 10x the points at qualifying restaurants around the world and when you shop small in the US, up to $ 25,000 in combined purchases in your first six months of Ã la carte membership; 5X points on up to $ 500,000 spent on airline tickets and flights booked directly and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: 100,000 points after spending $ 6,000 on purchases with your new card in the first six months
- Annual subscription : $ 695 (effective January 1, 2022, for existing cardholders)
- APR purchase intro: N / A
- Regular APR: See the APR of compensation over time
But is it all worth the new, higher fees of $ 695? Here’s what some cardholders have to say:
I keep my Amex Platinum
Some cardholders continue to travel enough to justify the benefits of the card. Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Senior Director of Content at Bankrate.com, said: âI got it because the 10X on restaurants and gas was a big incentive for me. The sign-up bonus was also excellent (although not as good as the current one). In addition, I realized that my family and I would be vaccinated by the summer and available to travel again. (Note that the card no longer offers 10X on gasoline purchases.)
Ruiz-Camacho is also a fan of the Clear credit offered with his Platinum card. Clear is airport security technology and membership that allows travelers to go through airport security faster and easier.
Rick Hoskins, owner of an e-commerce business, admitted that the annual card fee is more than justified to him: âI keep my Amex Platinum for one reason, and one only, travel. I travel a lot for business and pleasure, so I should have no problem maximizing the benefits of Amex Platinum travel.
He also added that the numbers made sense for his jet-set lifestyle: âWhen I sat down and did the math, I realized I would only have to travel two or three times. per year so that this card pays for itself. “
Some Platinum cardholders retain the card for other perks and benefits. Los Angeles-based mortgage broker Julie Aragon has been an Amex Platinum member since 2004. Here is her take on the benefits of the meal card: âOf course, the increased fees hurt! But I keep my Platinum Amex as long as they can get me into those restaurants that are mysteriously booked every Friday or Saturday night for four months in advance.
And small business owner Mitch Goldstone has received hotel upgrades with his Amex Platinum. âSince 1986 the stories of why I stayed with Amex have been fantastic. I once was upgraded from a Bungalow Suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel ($ 2,500 per night) to the Presidential Suite at $ 15,000. While I spent 15 months without traveling by air, other perks came in handy. But I stayed with them. Because of 35 years of loyalty, âhe said.
I cancel or downgrade my Amex Platinum
Some cardholders no longer seem to justify the annual fee. These cardholders feel they won’t get as much from the card now that they don’t travel as much. The lifestyle benefits of the card also don’t offer them enough value at this point. Here’s what some cardholders have to say about canceling or downgrading their Amex Platinum card.
Lindsay Stevens is a public relations professional who has owned her Amex Platinum for four years. âI couldn’t use any of the amenities during the pandemic like bag check credit [or] airport lounges. I can no longer justify the cost. Even with the trip back, I won’t be doing at least 50% of the pre-COVID levels for work, if at all, âshe said. Lindsay’s plans include canceling the card and requesting an American Express card that allows her to accumulate hotel rewards without the annual fee.
Sue Davies is a teacher and fundraising consultant in New York City who will downgrade her Amex Platinum card because the higher fees are no longer worth it for her and her husband. She said, “Some of the other perks don’t work for us – Uber, Saks, etc. We’ll be using Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® instead.”
Charlotte Spence, a North Carolina-based sleep researcher, is also downgrading her Amex card. “My travel plans have largely been put on hold as border restrictions have not yet returned to pre-pandemic status, and with the increase in annual fees, I have decided to downgrade my card,” a- she declared. However, it does not rule out getting the Platinum card in the future; âI might upgrade again as travel becomes a more normal part of my life, but right now I don’t benefit enough to justify the $ 695 fee. “
Other comments on the Amex Platinum
Wylie Allen from the Chicago area will apply for the Amex Platinum as a new cardholder. He is part of an emerging group that is not deterred by the new higher annual card fees and is keen to support small business owners like him.
âPlus, since I’m a small business myself, I like to support small local restaurants when I dine out,â Allen said. He also added that âI already have an American Express business credit card for my small business, and having my personal credit card from the same business as my business credit card will make my life easier. “
Travel enthusiast and blogger Nick Serati plans to test the new features until he pays the higher fees next year. He said: âMy plan at the moment is to use all the benefits over the next year to see if I can really justify the higher price. Since my annual fee won’t hit my card until November, I actually won’t be required to pay the higher annual fee until November 2022, as existing cardholders won’t pay the higher annual fee before they leave. first renewal after January 1, 2022.. “
He also specifically explained what benefits might justify the annual membership fee for him,
âThe new Clear Credit will allow me to get it for my wife and I at no cost, and I’m already paying for Sirius XM radio. Even without the intention of using Equinox credit, I think those two things alone will be worth the higher price for me, âSerati said.
Should I keep or cancel the updated American Express card?
From our analysis, along with a handful of personal anecdotes, it seems frequent travelers always come out on top with this card.
While there are now many lifestyle-focused perks, perks, and card credits, travel perks like 10X meal rewards (in the first six months) and 5X travel rewards, still focus on travel for many cardholders.
If, however, you are someone who will reap rewards for meals and other lifestyle credits and benefits, the annual fee could also be covered in just a few months of deliberate spending.
If you’re not ready to commit to the increased annual fee for this card, you still have plenty of options, including getting another mid-tier travel card or simply downgrading your Amex Platinum to an American ExpressÂ® Gold card. or American ExpressÂ® Green Card.
If you don’t want to downgrade, you can request one of these Amex cards through the CardMatch tool to see if you qualify for a prequalified offer or a high welcome bonus.
Whatever the scenario, the best thing you can do is take a look at the new Amex Platinum perks and make sure you use them enough to justify those high annual fees, whether it’s for travel or something else.
If you can stick with some to test out the enhanced benefits before your annual fee hits, even better. Once you understand your spending habits and financial goals, the decision to keep or cancel the Platinum card should be easier.