Old May 9, 04, 8:47 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Coconut Creek, FL
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum-2 MM Starwood Plat,Delta DM
Posts: 949

Originally Posted by ILUVCITIBANK
the ritz is so far out of my typical spending patterns and consumer preferences, that their affiliation with this chain is actually a disincentive. ditto for the hour sessions with a jet.

An hour in a jet gets me no where that I need to go and can't get there with a 25K award at a decent airline or a $250 priceline tix.

Both are ultra-high end perks that do not appeal to me, no matter the ratios of dollars to points.

IMO, Merrill has created a dud just like diners club did with their high-end product whose name escapes me because it was designed so poorly. I trashed the invitation I got the day it arrived from diners club, and waited until, true to my guesstimates, citibank mercifully pulled the plug.

This one seems to be targeting "old wealth" and I am not sure those guys will respond.

AMEX's Centurion card, IMO, appeals more to "new wealth", ie the group about whom the book "The Millionaire Next Door" was written, and with AMEX's shotgun approach in selecting affinity partners and elite perks for their Centurion card...managed to catch me with one single perk...but it was enough. It is telling that AMEX has tied up Hyatt (DIAMOND), Starwood (PLAT), and Hilton (GOLD) with one single credit card product...I'm betting exclusives at that. Merrill is shut out of the three major hotel chains it appears.
I dont understand this stuff. On the surface if you look at all of the point cards-membership rewards, citi aa, etc. They offer no perk like the merrill extras (3 free nights etc) There is no disputing this. I have a large number of the point cards. I dont get one single thing from any of them without spending points. Those Ritz nights are a tremendous perk on a card that charges no annual fee. The heck with Amex. I do several million in charges on the amex cards I have and I see no such extras. They charge me annual fees on all the cards I hold. Considering the huge profits they make from me you would think at the least there would be a way to use points to pay the annual fees. They offer no such thing...In some of my dealings with amex I have not always been so impressed with their service or their reps.

I like when AMEX reps tell me that they offer the same great level of service to the guy that charges 50 bucks a month to me somebody who is an AMEX merchant, and also spends from 1.2-2 million in charges per year. Amex has no real appreciation for their members.

Now the comments about centurion getting you domestic upgrades to first, I heave not heard anything about that. Are you guys saying I can book all my aa tickets in coach and get unlimited domestic upgrades? The airline club thinghas limited appeal for me. You need to be flying the airline that is offered, and only a few airlines qualify. AMEX platnium offers the same perk.

Starwood platnium status is not worth a cost of 2500 a year either..You definitely can trade the ritz certs or give them as a great gift to somebody. AMEX even charges the fees for the Membership reward program on many of their cards. They just pile on the fees.


Last edited by robertw477; May 9, 04 at 8:56 pm
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