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USA: New (2017) personal Platinum benefits; Higher annual fee ($550)

USA: New (2017) personal Platinum benefits; Higher annual fee ($550)

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Old Sep 20, 17, 1:17 am   -   Wikipost
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American Express press release is HERE.

American Express product site is HERE.


Price change dates for new and existing accounts:
When is the fee increasing for Platinum Card Membership?

Beginning on March 30th, 2017, the new annual fee for Platinum Card will be $550. For Existing Platinum Card Members, the annual fee will take effect on their annual renewal date on or after September 1st, 2017.

Unpublicized change to Priority Pass benefit:
At any visit to a Priority Pass Select lounge, you may bring in two guests for no charge.
Terms of the Uber benefit:
Only Basic Card Members on a Platinum Card account are eligible for Uber VIP and monthly ride Credits. To receive this benefit, you must have downloaded the Uber App version 3.219 or later for iOS or version 3.126 or later for Android and your eligible Platinum Card must be a method of payment in your Uber account. If you are assigned a new Card number, you must update your method of payment in your Uber account. Cards added to your Uber account through a third party such as Apple Pay or PayPal will not be eligible. A Platinum Card account may receive this benefit on one Uber account. If the same Card is added to multiple Uber accounts, only the first Uber account to which the Card is added will receive the benefit. Uber VIP is available in select cities and is governed by Uberís terms and conditions. To redeem monthly ride Credits, you must select to use the Credit in your Uber app prior to completing the Uber ride. The discount will not apply to previous Uber rides. New and existing Uber users are eligible. Uber will apply discount at the point of sale. There is no limit to the number of rides you may apply the Credit to each month, up to a total of $15 in Credits per month. Each year in December, you may apply up to $35 in Credit. The discounted cost of a ride will be displayed on your post-ride email receipt. If you are eligible to receive additional Membership Rewards points on your ride, points will be awarded on the balance of the cost of the trip after Credits are applied. Credit may be applied to all Uber car types and cannot be applied to other Uber services. Credit may only be applied to rides within the United States. Monthly ride Credit expires at 11:59 PM local time on the last day of each month. Unused Credit will not carry over to the following month. Credit will be applied for the month in which the ride is completed. If ride is eligible for another promotion that you have added to your Uber account, the promotion will be applied before the Credit. Certain Uber-branded credits may be applied to your ride balance prior to this Credit.
*If you do not see a $15 credit appear and you receive a message your card may be the registered payment to another Uber account and you must delete your card from all Uber accounts and reenter your card on the Uber account your want the credit benefit.

Metal card availability:

How can Platinum Card Members get the new metal Card?

The new metal Card will be issued to Platinum Card Members 60 days prior to their Card expiration date or can be requested beginning on March 30th, 2017 by calling the number on the back of the Card or requesting a replacement card after you sign in to www.americanexpress.com and click on replace lost damaged card.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 9:18 pm
  #601  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
As MIA noted, the bonus points are not awarded for those categories outside the USA (restaurants, gas, groceries, etc). Sorry for the confusion. My hunch is that AMEX doesn't make as much interchange on those swipes and therefore, doesn't pay out the MR.
Amex limits other thing as well. Their insurance only covers a person who lives in The US. So if youíre an American expat, for example, you wonít be covered.
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Old Oct 28, 17, 5:58 am
  #602  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
As MIA noted, the bonus points are not awarded for those categories outside the USA (restaurants, gas, groceries, etc). Sorry for the confusion. My hunch is that AMEX doesn't make as much interchange on those swipes and therefore, doesn't pay out the MR.
I'll just correct a couple of things, and lend some credibility to the theory - AMEX doesn't actually have "interchange" per se. Interchange is the fee paid by the acquirer to the issuer when the card is swiped, dipped, or tapped. AMEX is a closed acquirer system - in all cases, AMEX is both the acquirer and issuer, so the entire commission is pocketed by AMEX.

However, unlike Visa and MasterCard where the rate paid is usually higher than the rate paid for a domestic card, AMEX treats cards the same no matter which AMEX entity issued it, meaning if my contracted merchant commission were 1.5% (which it is), then the commission on that transaction is 1.5% regardless if the card is issued by American Express USA Inc, American Express Australia Pty Ltd, or American Express UK plc (examples, not real entity names).

Basically it means that since outside the home country AMEX cannot rely on getting 3% from the merchant, they likely choose not to treat the transaction the same as a domestic one and therefore don't give you bonuses.

Also fun fact: I dunno why you're complaining about a $550 annual fee. For us in Australia it's $1200 annual fee and less benefits! Though I suppose the travel credit kind of makes up for it.
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Old Oct 28, 17, 6:18 am
  #603  
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Originally Posted by kyanar View Post
Basically it means that since outside the home country AMEX cannot rely on getting 3% from the merchant, they likely choose not to treat the transaction the same as a domestic one and therefore don't give you bonuses.
I'd imagine they'd have some sort of idea how often a card's used domestically vs. internationally, though, and would be able to adjust the card's benefits to take that into account while being able to offer them everywhere. Chase probably doesn't get 3% in most other countries, for example, yet I've been getting the full 3x on my CSR for every travel/dining transaction I've made in the UK thus far.
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Old Oct 28, 17, 7:57 am
  #604  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Chase probably doesn't get 3% in most other countries, for example, yet I've been getting the full 3x on my CSR for every travel/dining transaction I've made in the UK thus far.
The Chase United Presidential Plus card also gives 2x miles for qualifying categories (car rental and hotel) worldwide.
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Old May 14, 18, 8:53 am
  #605  
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if I book two rooms with FHR/The Hotel Collection via the AMEX prepaid portal using my platinum card, do I get the platinum benefits on both rooms (eg, resort/F&B credits, upgrade opportunities, and other plat perks)?

trying to figure out the best way to bring my sister and brother in law out for a meetup in Napa and weighing some hotels versus VRBO options.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:16 am
  #606  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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AMEX FHR isn't a pre-paid rate. You'll pay at the hotel (where I have swapped the card out for a more rewarding hotel spend card). My understanding that the rate code is like a corporate rate and includes the benefits and therefore you should be good. However, I'll let others clarify.
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Old May 14, 18, 9:37 am
  #607  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
AMEX FHR isn't a pre-paid rate. You'll pay at the hotel (where I have swapped the card out for a more rewarding hotel spend card). My understanding that the rate code is like a corporate rate and includes the benefits and therefore you should be good. However, I'll let others clarify.
You have to book the FHR rate, either online through FHR website or over the phone. You will not get FHR benefits if you book through Amex Travel website.
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Old May 15, 18, 2:34 pm
  #608  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Question about the viability of using the Plat for everyday spend. My main issue is that I'm just plain wondering how useful it is.

1x is just about every category, but 5x in airline, and and 5x hotels booked through Amex portals.

Is there something I'm missing? It seems like even their gold card is a better everyday card than this, and the obvious overall winner is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
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Old May 15, 18, 3:20 pm
  #609  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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My Platinum sits in my wallet most of the time. The only time I use it is if I am booking airfare, using uber eats, redeeming my $200 airline credit, getting into a lounge or booking a hotel that isn't Hilton (I have Amex Hilton Aspire too).
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Old May 15, 18, 5:57 pm
  #610  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,174
So.... anyone else get a $450 annual fee this year? I got in before the increase last year but assumed it'd go up to $550 this year. It did not.
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Old May 15, 18, 6:09 pm
  #611  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Originally Posted by Heliface View Post
Question about the viability of using the Plat for everyday spend. My main issue is that I'm just plain wondering how useful it is.

1x is just about every category, but 5x in airline, and and 5x hotels booked through Amex portals.

Is there something I'm missing? It seems like even their gold card is a better everyday card than this, and the obvious overall winner is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
platinum card is all about the benefits, not so much the points earning. the lounge access, loyalty tiers with hotels and car rental company etc are more the draw to the platinum card.
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Old May 15, 18, 7:02 pm
  #612  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by cplush View Post
platinum card is all about the benefits, not so much the points earning. the lounge access, loyalty tiers with hotels and car rental company etc are more the draw to the platinum card.
Is that how Amex looks at it, too? $550 in exchange for a bunch of benefits?

I suspect they wouldn't mind earning some $$$ from me actually using the card, but frankly other than for airfare I have very little incentive to use it. Unless I am traveling, I don't even carry it in my wallet.
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Old May 15, 18, 7:50 pm
  #613  
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The Sync offers can be attractive.
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Old May 15, 18, 9:17 pm
  #614  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
...but frankly other than for airfare I have very little incentive to use it. Unless I am traveling, I don't even carry it in my wallet.
Same. I wish Amex would give more of an incentive to use the card. If feels kind of strange carrying my no AF first year Ameriprise Gold card for the better earnings on dining, the Everyday for groceries, yet leaving the $550 AF Plat sitting in my CC binder.

Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
The Sync offers can be attractive.
They can, but that argument only really works if you're getting better usable offers on a Platinum card vs. other Amex cards. Personally I can't say I get better offers on my Plat than I do on my other Amex cards, including my no annual fee cards. Most of the decent ones I see cross-posted across my Platinum and Everyday cards.
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Old May 16, 18, 12:08 pm
  #615  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Originally Posted by Heliface View Post
Question about the viability of using the Plat for everyday spend. My main issue is that I'm just plain wondering how useful it is.

1x is just about every category, but 5x in airline, and and 5x hotels booked through Amex portals.

Is there something I'm missing? It seems like even their gold card is a better everyday card than this, and the obvious overall winner is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
No, you're not missing anything. The Platinum is a glorified membership card. It's only two uses are airfare purchases and getting into SkyClubs and Centurion Lounges. I've maybe put $200 of non-airfare purchases on it in a year and that was mostly on accident where it was my default payment method for something and I forgot to change it to a more useful card.

Don't get me wrong, even with the high annual fee the Platinum is still well worth it for me for SkyClub access alone, but it serves absolutely zero purpose for daily spend. If it weren't for lounge access, I wouldn't even carry it in my wallet. Now, if they ever go to 5x for hotels booked direct, rather than from the Amex portal, Amex would see my spend on that card multiply exponentially. With the SPG/Marriott benefits getting destroyed, Amex could sure get back in my good graces by just going 5x MR for direct hotel bookings. Just ballparking it, I'd have earned nearly 50K MR from hotel bookings alone last year if there was 5x MR for direct booking.
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