With more competition in the premium card space, can American Express continue to make their benefits so hard for cardmembers to use?
If you are considering booking travel or signing up for a new credit card please click here. Both support LiveAndLetsFly.com.
If you haven’t followed us on Facebook or Instagram, add us today.
Unnecessarily Complicated American Express Platinum Benefits
American Express was long the leader of the premium card market with eye-catching benefits that delivered real value. New entrants have made it clear that these benefits are neither exclusive nor as difficult to give to customers. Here are just some of the benefits offered by the Platinum card from American Express that the bank complicates unnecessarily:
- $200 Airline fee credit
- $200 Hotel credit
- $240 Entertainment credits
- $200 Uber credit
- $100 Saks credit/$400 Dell credit
- Lounge Access
Without going into all the other benefits that are complicated for virtually no reason, these ones are the lightning rods for many.
$200 Airline Fee Credit
On the surface, it looks like a great deal – offset the ancillary fees an airline charges so you don’t have to pay them, up to $200 every calendar year. Except it’s not that easy. If you have status with a major carrier, you’re unlikely to pay fees for checked bags, seat assignments, or even upgrades. When you do incur the charges (nearly every airline charges for wifi), you may have to call in if the charges don’t show up as AMEX expects to see them.
AMEX also makes cardmembers select their one airline at the beginning of the year or contact customer support to change it. If you usually fly on American but had to book United in a pinch, none of those fees are offset because you didn’t decide at the beginning of the year every eventuality for your travel.
For carriers like Spirit and Southwest that have traditionally lower fares, American Express can’t differentiate between the fare and the fees in some cases. This could mean you could have incredibly inexpensive flights free of charge, or it could mean that you have to contact support every time one of these charges comes in to ensure the credit is used.
Also, it’s not available for every carrier, so on the off chance you have a trip to Europe with an EasyJet leg, sorry Charlie, that isn’t an approved airline and will incur charges.
$200 Hotel Credit
This is a new benefit this year, and I really like the idea of finding new properties that I might not have tried due to my hotel loyalty points I would prefer to spend. But here come the caveats. The $200 Hotel credit only applies to hotels that are either a part of Fine Hotels & Resorts, or The Hotel Collection, and it must be booked with American Express travel; it also requires a two-night stay for The Hotel Collection, but not for Fine Hotels & Resorts.
The selection is the problem here. In Manchester, England for example this December offers just one property, the Kimpton Clocktower – The Hotel Collection. In Athens during the same trip, six properties split evenly between the two programs, in Barcelona, a few more but few recognizable properties.
Booking two nights on AMEX Travel also costs more ($458 vs $424 on Hotels.com) so while the credit offsets the higher nightly rates on a two-night stay with the initial benefit, it might not negate it in other examples and for longer stays.
That also suggests that a hotel doesn’t flow in and out of the program as we found with one hotel in Manchester – we went from two options to one as we hesitated on booking.
$240/year Entertainment Credits
Do you breathe oxygen? If you answered yes, you probably have a streaming subscription. This Entertainment credit can help wipe that away every month, but only if that entertainment outlet is:
- The New York Times
That’s right, every month you can spend $20 on these services and have that amount reimbursed. However, if you want to prepay for an annual subscription to the Times or SiriusXM – you only get the first $20 wiped even if you don’t use the rest of your credit and would be under the annual limit.
Don’t get me wrong, I subscribe to Audible and love it and that’s $15 back in my pocket. But Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ from my Verizon service is far more valuable to me. T-Mobile offers a free Netflix account – the only reason these are on there is because they made a deal with AMEX and discount the charges. It’s not a useful benefit to most.
The worst part is, even having a card with the benefit and finding a service for which you value enough to charge isn’t sufficient for receiving the benefit – cardmembers must first login to their account and “enroll” to receive the benefit instead of simply wiping the charge.
$200/year Uber Credits
Some of the US population lives in big cities on the coast where a car isn’t required and Uber is a way of life. Others always have a car, even a rental car when they travel. I was in the latter group and even on the odd occasion whereby I would use an Uber, the charge was routinely more than the $15/month – the limit. If I have three straight months where I use $0 of my $45 credit for that period but in the fourth month have a $60 Uber, I get $15 off because it fell outside of the calendar month.
December gets an extra $20 over the other months for those at home doing the math.
Cardmembers need to pair their Uber account with the credit so that it’s wiped off each month.
$100 Saks Credit/$400 Dell credit
Each of these two credits (Saks for personal American Express Platinum Cards, Dell for the business version) are split up between the two halves of the year. But that may not matter. If you buy a must-have computer accessory from Dell in early June, but it doesn’t ship until July, the charge will hit on the other half of the year and now you’ve used your second credit.
The annoyances with these credits are:
- Split between January-June, July-December instead of just giving the whole amount regardless of when the purchase is made,
- Can be hard to use given the buyer doesn’t know when it will ship, thus bill,
- Requires enrollment, and;
- Is for Dell rather than a more useful and technologically agnostic outlet like Best Buy. If this was Apple instead of Dell, I am sure it would get the same number of groans.
The annual includes lounge access. Centurion Lounges are popping up everywhere (but that doesn’t mean you can get into one) and Priority Pass Select opens another 1,200 lounge doors.
Starting in 2023, despite increases in the annual fee from $450 just a couple of years ago to now $695, guests are no longer allowed with cardmembers into the Centurion lounges unless they process $75,000/year on the card. In India, with less than a month’s notice – no guests of any kind are permitted.
The Priority Pass membership requires not only enrollment, but registering for a card with Priority Pass, and unlike other cards that offer the perk, it does not include restaurants which the lounge membership has added in airports with few lounge options.
Other Banks Do It Better
At nearly every turn, other premium cards offer these perks without requiring their premium customers to jump through hoops. That makes it clear that it’s not impossible or even difficult for American Express to do the same, they just believe there are opportunities to take advantage of customers who aren’t in the know.
Even I didn’t realize that enrollment was required for the entertainment credits before I had billed two months on one of our AMEX cards and I write about this stuff. Chase, as a competing credit card issuer, has made it especially easy to be lazy with benefits and get the value.
For example, any vendor that codes as “travel” which of course includes hotels, airlines, (whether tickets or fees), but even travel agencies, theme parks and parking – are wiped off the bill up to the first $300 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Capital One Venture Cards allow cardholders to use points to offset any charge that is coded by credit card processing machines as “travel” as well.
Chase doesn’t make you register or enroll for the benefits you receive like the car rental damage waiver on its Sapphire products. There’s no further action required for Capital One Venture cardholders to use their existing Venture cards for entry into its new lounge at DFW. They are making it easy for customers who don’t yet have the premium card to enter as opposed to telling its premium cardmembers that they aren’t worthy of entry.
Can AMEX Remain Competitive?
I can appreciate that American Express has long been the brand to beat in the premium credit card space and that they invented the concept. However, it’s been a long time since American Express re-evaluated not just what benefits it offers, but how it offers them.
To be clear, American Express holds the most absolute value despite their higher annual fees, and despite not all benefits necessarily applying to every customer in full. There’s still more than the annual fee in value for those who have American Express Platinum Cards. Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve can make the same claim, as can the Capital One Venture X but perhaps in both cases to a lesser degree.
That said, many cardholders are growing weary of American Express treating their cardholders as if they truly are “members” admitted into their private club of SiriusXM users and $15/month Uber riders. They believe that adding a Wal-Mart+ membership free for the first year, which basically gives customers free shipping on things sold by Wal-Mart, is in some way a value add for the average cardholder.
American Express has an awful lot of competition these days and send a mixed message when one side of their mouth says “our premium lounges are so popular that we just can’t allow guests any more” to becoming the Entertainment coupon book.
I’d like to see a revamped Citi premium card, or perhaps one from Barclays or Bank of America that competes with the AMEX Platinum to really drive some better change in the industry and I don’t know if those banks will be able to resist. Chase has been very public about just how successful their premium card push has been and Capital One clearly wants to chase that as well.
American Express unnecessarily complicates benefits that could hold real value for travelers but don’t for highly correctable, customer-friendly reasons. If they don’t want to offer a benefit, then don’t, but benefits won’t add value if they are a pain to receive. It has the opposite effect, something AMEX should know by now. I know that there are terms of service and that just because terms apply to receive a benefit, doesn’t mean it’s valueless, but it shouldn’t be work for the client. And if anyone at American Express is listening: that centurion on the front of the card is supposed to be for the protection of the cardholder, not guarding the gates against your own customers.
What do you think? Does American Express make its benefits unnecessarily complicated? Do you think competition will change this?
Does anyone know if the Airline Fee Credit can be used to pay for an upgrade? I fly United and oftentimes you can score a well priced paid upgrade a few days before travel.
Curious if this is valid and/or if anyone has had luck with this.
It can’t be used for upgrades, unfortunately. I believe United considers upgrades as ancillary airfare purchases, not fees.
Ymmv, I’ve paid for my husband’s seat upgrade on united once last year and once this year. Both times it cleared the credit, both time under $100, fwiw.
I’ve always maintained that the ton of credits on the AMEXP is a ton of work. It’s actually needs to be your only card considering the management hours it costs you. Also those gold hotels status are worthless to real travelers.
I always upgrade at the counter with AMEX, and they reimburse the fee. That’s really the only time I use the airline credit. I’ll buy an economy ticket and upgrade on check in
It certainly does. Agreed with the comments on the airline and hotel credit. Other rebates are getting hard to make use of as well. Feels like they have all those different credits just to justify the increase in annual fee. While I enjoyed the many perks of the Amex card in the past, with travel opening up it is hard to find space in the centurion lounge anymore. Hopefully with chase and capital one opening up lounges there will be stiffer completion which may help amex users.
This is the main reason I got rid of my Delta Gold card, and why I also avoid their other coupon-book cards.
If they issued a card with an easy-to-use universal airfare discount, I might bite, but I doubt that will ever happen.
Oops. I meant to write “Amex Gold card,” not “Delta.”
Couldn’t agree more, you so effectively summarize all of my qualms with the Amex card eco system (and I have the trifecta of Platinum, Gold, and Blue Business Plus cards). For $1,000 in annual fees, I end up feeling like I belong to the world’s most expensive coupon club and never maximizing the value of these cards no matter how hard I try.
The only reason I stay with Amex is because I travel Delta exclusively (and often) within the US, and the SkyClub benefit of the Amex Platinum warrants holding the card. I have contemplated trading the Platinum for the Delta Reserve card (to pursue fee waivers and get upgrade priority while retaining SkyClub access rights) but haven’t wanted to give up Centurion Lounge access or some of the other more minor perks of the card.
I hope that this new premium card war propels Amex to figure out a way to make the card compelling for premium cardholders.
With Fine hotels ypu can have jjst one night.
@Fonzi – I stand corrected and will update the post.
they were hawking the plat card hard in mexico city yesterday. Funny because the lounges are so crowded there is a waiting list to get in.
Excellent article and not something many bloggers would be willing to write about.
Totally agree that Amex is making it a PITA to use these credits. Fewer seem to post automatically than they used to. It seems like they are trying to create breakage and counting on more people not noticing or bothering to call than it costs to service those who do call. But that imposes a time tax on us, if we want the credit that we are entitled to. And when you do call, they make it sound like they are doing you a favor to give the credit that they promised.
@Kyle Stewart FHR does NOT have a 2 night minimum, only the hotel collection does. Amex has long not cared what people think of them, I mean for Christ’s sake they’re currently under active investigation by nearly everyone(DOJ civil and criminal, OCC, treasury OIG, FDIC, and the fed) per WSJ yet they continue handing out shutdowns like candy. Personally I hate the no lounge on arrival, especially since they’re taking away guests but they DGAF. Separately Chase has shared how successful the CSR has been for them, successful for bleeding massive amounts of money. Even their strategy doesn’t work for everyone as it’s using the CSR as a loss leader to cross sell customers to other products, this wouldn’t work for amex or C1.
@Scott – I am updating the content to distinguish between the two-night requirement at the Hotel Collection and not Fine Hotels & Resorts – imagine that, AMEX created more unnecessary confusion around a benefit.
I’ll miss the centurion lounges, but that’s about it. I have the Gold and absolutely love it and really rack up points with my high grocery/dining spend. The Uber credits were useful, but I’ll still get some from my Gold.
As soon as an hard inquiry drops from my credit report, I’m getting the VentureX and dropping the Platinum – Just not getting the value I used to out of it.
I agree with Dominic about the gold card racking up points for grocery. Shocked no other cards offer groceries as a bonus category. If chase did I would give them 100% of my spend. But with all the points I earn from the gold card I struggle to burn them. What are people doing with their hoard of Amex points?
Use it to pay for charges on the card.
I transfer my AmEx points to the hotel programs that I use the most, Marriott and Hilton. Dropping AmEx Gold at next renewal; with pandemic, I’m not traveling except by my own auto and AmEx’s embrace of CRT last August was a real turnoff.
Too many hoops to jump through to be an AMEX customer these days. I was a bug AMEX fan for a while but it’s to the point where the platinum card really only makes sense if you book a high amount of airfare direct with airlines. Otherwise you are not using this card for spend.
The other solid benefit was lounge access with is now limited to one guest. I usually travel with more than 1 person and so this benefit is no longer useful. The cost for a guest is crazy and my children rarely eat or drink anything in the lounge. So not worth paying for the day pass to just sit in there.
The coupons are just too hard to use and require you to sign up. It should just be automatic. I’m happy with how chase and other providers make the benefits simple to use.
Point redemptions seem harder and harder. Unless you are going to transfer miles to an airline partner there is limited value in redeeming miles any other way. The flights are always more expensive in their portal and you can get 50% more value though chase. Plus Chase has better transfer partner’s like Hyatt and United. If you’re a delta flyer then it could make sense to have the Plat.
Insult to injury the price of the card keeps going up every few years. Hard to justify IMO.
I decided last week that I should wind down with AMEX and this article solidifies my thinking. Time to downgrade since I don’t want to lose my long credit history.
I originally got the Plat for the lounge access, which continued to be valuable with what domestic flying I’ve been doing in the pandemic. That said, I’ve had no trouble using the airline credit, the Saks credit and Uber credit, so I feel like I get my money’s worth. I looked into the hotel credit, but quickly concluded I would not likely be staying in those hotels. Don’t forget that last summer, they also had a credit for purchasing from local businesses. I maxed out on that one, and I thought it showed they were responding to decreased travel. Also got a $50 one time credit for Best Buy I used to buy an espresso machine I was going to buy anyway. So the long and short of it is that it is complicated, but I still get it to nearly pay for itself.
Agree completely with the article and previous comments. I was just lamenting this last week when I realized they don’t give the restaurant credit or the other offers you activate to the companion card I the account which seems absolutely ridiculous. Also, not sure why it sometimes takes weeks for credits to post to the account and other times it is instant. It causes me to have to monitor the account. It is frustrating. If their chat wasn’t so easy I wouldn’t have closed the account long ago.
100% agree. It’s ridiculous how much effort is required to take advantage of the benefits.
The uber credit and airline credits are infuriating. I only use Uber when I travel but the credit only works in the USA.
I’m sorry about the cursing, but WTF Amex. This is a travel card and the travel benefits only work domestically and may be useless for frequent flyers who have any airline status?!? I’m unlikely to renew next year unless this stuff gets fixed
They have no intention to “fix it”, they will only make it easier if customers start to leave.
FYI, you va. use your Uber monthly credit with Uber eats. You can even choose to pick it up and save on the fees. It’s what I do if I’m. ot traveling that month.
FYI, you can use your Uber monthly credit with Uber eats. You can even choose to pick it up and save on the fees. It’s what I do if I’m. ot traveling that month.
The Uber credit can be applied for Uber Eats also, that’s how we use that up.
It’s crystal clear that AMEX designs their benefits to encourage a significant amount of breakage. I also got tripped up by the need to “enroll” to get my digital NYT credit. Pretty infuriating. I got tired of chasing them down for the October dining credit that didn’t automatically post on a card – I’m still not sure if I ended up getting the credit since I got so tired of tracking it.
The main reason I still have the platinum card is for 5x points on airfare – I spend $20k-$30k on airfare each year and prefer to book direct, so Chase and CapOne’s bonus points on airfare aren’t as competitive since it must be booked through the bank portal to get the juiced bonus points. Though, frankly, even with my airfare spend, I’m marginally breakeven on the new annual fee for the platinum card.
One of your better posts, Kyle. And clearly lays out the issues. This was helpful as I often don’t pay attention to the details.
Okay, so I’m also on the fence with both the Gold and Platinum cards.
Last year, I kept my American Express Gold with no incentive because during the pandemic, 4x on dining and groceries were golden as the only travel we did was via our own car to hotels paid with points. This year, I’m getting annoyed with having to remember to use the $10 dining credit as I’m not in the office where there’s a nearby Shake Shack and when I return, I’ll only be in the office twice a week. The $10 a month Uber credit is much easier to use as I’ll use it on UberEats or taking an Uber, but then I live in a big city. Since I didn’t get a retention offer last year, I’ll close until I get a retention offer. I currently old both the CSP and the Citi Premier and the overlap in bonus categories means the higher multiplier for Amex is not worth jumping through hoops to make the annual fee less.
As for the Platinum card, I downgraded that in December of 2020, as I wasn’t traveling and the coupon type retention offers they offered me while valuable were also too gamey for me (for example, I couldn’t use the streaming credit fully). Fast forward to mid 2021, and American Express offered me 20K MR to upgrade my Green card (which I had gotten only for the new cardholder bonus) to a Platinum. I read about the increase in annual fees and pulled the trigger at the end of May, paid the old lower annual fee and got the new enhanced benefits. The card was a no brainer this year, but next year with a renewal up and the $50 (or whatever it is) Centurion lounge guest charge, as well as the higher $695 annual fee I looked at alternatives. I applied for the Venture X and was denied. Having said that, the CSR with it’s $550 annual fee isn’t looking so attractive. First, we are selling are car and benefits like UberEats Pass and Walmart Plus which some find gimmicky, are well worth sticker price when you are car free and if Amex is picking up the bill, why not. The second is, and this purely speculative on my part but I think American Express backtracks at least partially on the all guest are paid for Centurion lounges. Either the lower the guest fee, or they give everyone a few guest passes each year. I mean, I don’t travel for business, but when I travel for leisure, I’m with my partner 90 percent of the time. I’m like one of those 4-5 times a year Centurion lounge users (maybe more as they expand the number of Centurion lounges) and I can live with 4 or 5 guest passes a year. American Express has done very well in expanding the numbers that hold it’s Platinum card, I’m thinking they won’t kill the golden goose, especially if the numbers show people are defecting from the Platinum card due to guest charge.
Finally, I’m not convinced the Capital One and Chase airport lounges will be competitive with American Express Centurion lounges EVER. What gives, American Express the cash that it needs to keep opening and expanding Centurion lounges is that $695 annual fee. Chase and Capital One will never be able to keep up as their annual fees are lower. I also see Capital One increasing the annual fee on the Venture X to $550 within the next two years, and I see CSR thinking about adding benefits and jacking up the CSR annual fee in that same timeframe.
The 5x for travel is good. I also will check the Amex travel website for deals. I am not a fan of OTAs, but the occasionally have a good one.
You are 100% right Kyle. This coupon book mentality is exactly the reason I have the CSR vs. the Amex Platinum. The Amex might be more rewarding if you maximize the benefits but I don’t have the time to perfectly maximize my cards. The CSR just makes it easier.
“Does American Express make its benefits unnecessarily complicated?”
Yes, but how is this any different than it’s ever been? I called the Amex Plat the most overrated premium card in the market for exactly the reasons you put forth like 3 years ago. Amex essentially built a “resort fee” type of business model – one where in theory you can obtain value >> the annual fee, but they bet they’ll come out ahead on the breakage most of the time. The apologists were out in force when I made that argument before, and even then the Centurion Lounges were already overrun. So what exactly has changed since then?
Great article!!! Sadly Amex is no longer competitive.
Chase Saphire is a much better card.
This article deserves an award! I’ve said this so many times and in so many forums. It has become truly ridiculous. The $200 airline fee credit should be across any airline. It beggars belief that they need customers to register the airline for the year or enroll for various other benefits. The Uber credit is truly nonsensical and Amex should be ashamed of even advertising it.. $15 probably gets you on a 3 mile city journey, once a month. Only somebody with a philanthropic feeling towards Amex would be paying these ridiculous fees for using the personal card line up. With so many 2% cash back cards available (I myself have a 2.625% cashback with Bank of America as Platinum Honors) its a no brainer for most situations.
The only niche spot I see some value is the x 1.5 points on the Platinum biz card for charges above $5k. However for the vast majority of people this shouldn’t apply.
Once the welcome bonus is obtained and a year has passed, anyone in their right mind should bid au revoir to Amex.
In my mind’s eye it’s all a scam. Just my opinion folks but if you can’t afford those Ubers yourself or the streaming cost and you’re not really making enough money and you just really wasting time to get back $20 here and $50 there. Yes we all like to save a little money when it’s really your game if you’re giving them seven hundred bucks even if it’s your employer doing it
And think about it this way if you have to jump through hoops and do all the sign of work yourself, then obviously you’re really just a number to them. As usual the top 1% of the 1% or just known by name
You’ve basically defined “Breakage”. The card is designed for Amex to make money not give it away. They have to gain back the sign-up bonus so for most people who don’t put a lot of travel spend on this card it doesn’t pay to keep it past 1 year.
I keep a spreadsheet for AmEx Plat with two columns, one for benefits I would be using even without an AmEx credit (eg, I live in an urban area and use Uber and Uber Eats) and one for benefits I use only because they are included with the Plat (eg, I would not pay out of pocket for access to a PP lounge). So far, every year I end up ahead by $100-$200 on the first category alone and I see that continuing with the $695 annual fee since it’s more than offset by the $200 hotel credit.
But I’m one of those people who enjoys this type of expense tracking as a hobby. I can understand how for many folks it’s not worth the effort, particularly with so many individual credits available with different T&Cs and enrollment required.
The most interesting new benefit for me is the WalMart+ membership reimbursement. The city where I live has a Walmart within reasonable walking distance but it’s a horrible shopping experience, so I never go there. But with WalMart+ which I wasn’t expecting to use it turns out I can order household supplies at a very reasonable cost and often have them delivered the same or next day because WalMart+ will deliver from a local store via courier (they seem to use DoorDash) if the items are in stock there. So this has just turned out to be surprisingly convenient.
I do wonder about long-term brand dilution for AmEx from this coupon book approach, though. It’s kind of ridiculous that any payment mechanism would be considered prestige, but that’s obviously been AmEx’s identity for years in comparison with Visa and MasterCard. Hard to see how that image means anything with this new panoply of random, individually de minimis benefits.
I 1000% agree. Amex is making themselves uncompetitive, trying to solve for problems that do not exist, making new problems in the process, and isolating consumers.
The Dell.com store being a great example. The store doesn’t carry much. The prices aren’t competitive. The Dell.com credits are just as much a curse….as a benefit.
On Dell.com, it is important to make use of their price matching guarantee, as this easily makes pricing competitive. However, that cuts back to the article’s premise that the benefit is needlessly complex.
Correction to the author: Equinox is not a part of the $240/yr entertainment credit but rather its own separate $300/yr credit. The $300/yr Equinox credit is doled out in $25/mo increments and can be used on All Access, Destination, or E membership fees. You can also receive a $300 credit on a SoulCycle bike (up to 15 bikes per calendar year – lol).
I also noticed that the article did not discuss the CLEAR credit or the Walmart+ credits, although those are both fairly straightforward to use (whether or not you get value out of them is a separate question).
While I personally get more value out of the card than the AF, I agree with the article’s premise that it takes some effort to accomplish and some of the exclusivity or prestige has certainly been lost in the wash.
American Express still has the best rental car insurance coverage as far as I can see.
All my other cards have dropped that very valuable benefit.
This is literally the whiniest article I’ve ever read . You click benefits and go down the list . They actually highlighted which require enrollment.
And your ridiculous complaint about FHR ? They are high end and luxury properties, of course there’s isn’t a bunch . And comparing the price to hotels.com but failing to mention the 100 credit , 2 free breakfast and 4 pm checkout thst you gain for the 30 more , is pretty disingenuous.
I could not agree more with this article. All the other premium cards trounce the platinum on a dollar per point basis. I dont have time to find and try to make my monthly credits work..every year they increase the fee and make it even more complicated. Its too expensive now and not worth it. No reason whatsoever to have it as an everyday card.
100% agree with this article. Amex has become a high-end coupon book.
I have the Gold card that I pretty much just use for dining and groceries. The airline fee credit is a joke if you have status, though this year I did find a way to use them on Hawaiian since we live in HI. We book inter-island flights then “select” a seat in FC after booking, which still codes as a seat assignment ($50). That gets us free bags and of course a FC seat (and a couple of free beers on a 30 min flight). The dining credit is impossible to use if you don’t live near a Ruth’s Chris, Shake Shack, or Cheesecake Factory (there are like 3 Grub Hub options on Maui).
I barely remember to use the $20 dining credit each month on the Bonvoy Luxury Card (and my wife’s Aspire card).
As far as the Platinum, never would I ever pay for $700 for that card. I had the CSR for years and loved how easy it was to us the benefits (recently downgraded to CSP for SUB). Unless you frequently use the Centurion Lounges, the Amex Platinum is nothing more than a wanna-be status symbol for many.
I’m contemplating if I want to keep the platinum card next year for many of the reasons you mention. When I signed up it was before the price increase and I received 100k bonus points and 10x points on groceries and gas for 6 months which was fantastic. Now that it’s come to an end it’s not really worth using outside of flight purchases. Another “perk” you didn’t mention was the equinox credit which is worthless unless you want to spend $1k+ a year on a gym membership. I will say the uber credit is useful for me because it can also be used on uber eats and I live in a big city.
Exactly the analysis I posted on FT but with more detail. Love the “entertainment book” coupon reference! It boils down to nickel and diming customers and making them jump through hoops on a $695 AF card.
I signed up for Amex Plat this year but doubt I will renew with the changes in lounge access for guests. Too much hassle compared to CSR and CSR does not make me buy RT tickets to get the travel insurance benefits.
Doesn’t seem complicated at all … baffle customers with BS and hope they can’t sort it out. It’s the dominant theme of the whole credit card points and miles world. Duh.
vakit buldukça bir bayan ile görüşmek istermisiniz
Yup. This card is a NO go for sure. Agree too complex to get the benefits and need to be an Uber user, use the Entertainment Credits, 2 night hotel stay, potentially worthless travel benefit. all of these four are worthless to me. Lounges are overcrowded and difficult to get in. Sapphire Preferred it is.