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AMEX USA Priority Pass will exclude Restaurants (August 2019)

AMEX USA Priority Pass will exclude Restaurants (August 2019)

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Old May 30, 19, 7:30 am
  #136  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 241
Originally Posted by alangore View Post
Amex has a habit of announcing some whiz-bang new benefit, and subsequently slicing off bits of it and taking them back, until the feature quietly disappears. Old-timers may remember the credit line, and the ability to get cash abroad at Amex offices.

I had Amex continuously since 1970, Plat since launch in 1984, but at the beginning of this year I dropped it in favor of Chase Sapphire Reserve. Yes, that was 49 years with Amex.

I remember the line of credit. My first card in 83 was a Gold Card with a 10k line of credit back while I was still in college. The gold card was issued by a bank because of the line of credit. Later AMEX started a USA Bank (they had AMEX International Banking Corp for non-USA citizens), so they could issue the cards directly. Folks got the gold card to show off, mainly guy to impress women. You could go anywhere where AMEX had a travel service office and cash a check. I remember the the Platinum Card lunched but I thought its was 1985, when the trademark on "The Gold Card" expired. If my memory is also correct you had to be a card member for at least two year and be invited to apply. I remember received my invitation. The benefits were marginal compared to the gold card, it was more an impress folks card. I believe that AMEX opened it up to anyone with a pulse late 90's.

I will repeat again, this is not AMEX first time on the club business. Old folks will also remember the Centurion Clubs that are long gone.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:11 am
  #137  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I have never used PP restaurants because I normally go to sky club or escape lounge at MSP. It seems the abuse is due to greedy people AND restaurants not checking boarding passes. If someone is legitimately flying out every week, s/he should be able to use the benefit every week.

The sure way to prevent abuses/fraud would be to change the benefits to reimbursement. You pay it upfront with your qualifying card and get reimbursed after submitting your boarding pass and receipts.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:32 am
  #138  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
CARD act says you must provide 45 day notice for APR change or any other "significant change". for first year, just cannot raise rate unless 60 days delinquent or intro rate
I don't know that it's cut & dry that this change would fall under that CARD Act rule.

First, I don't know if auxiliary card benefits qualify as "significant change". I admittedly haven't read every line of the CARD Act, but if auxiliary benefits aren't explicitly called out, I could see some room for interpretation. And the spirit of the CARD Act was more to govern the actual financial aspects of the account - interest rates, fees, etc.

Second, I think there's a very good argument that even if auxiliary benefits are covered by CARD Act, this is not a "significant change" in that the core benefit itself has not been removed. The nature of a single benefit has altered, but the fact is that the people holding these Amex cards will still receive a Priority Pass Select membership after August 1. The difference is that such membership will simply allow a different sort of access than before.

Yes, the end result is the same, but one could compare this change to any of the following: PP removing lounges from its program; Hilton/Marriott changing the benefits associated with Gold status; Uber changing the fee structure for rides; Uber adding/eliminating EATS as an eligible purchase; etc. In all of these cases, I would not expect Amex to have an obligation to inform me of such changes.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:33 am
  #139  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
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Originally Posted by Troopers View Post
I understand the loss of benefit. Will you be replacing your Platinum with another Citi or Chase card with PP?



You're currently holding the Hilton Ascend card, correct? Will you be purchasing a PP membership direct or be getting a PP via Citi or Chase?
I can't speak for RedElmo but I am calling AmEx today about my Ascend card. I am still deciding what I want to do. I could switch back to the no-fee Hilton Amex but I'm kind of interested in the Everyday card for the promos it has. We'll see.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:37 am
  #140  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by zxrst View Post
I have never used PP restaurants because I normally go to sky club or escape lounge at MSP. It seems the abuse is due to greedy people AND restaurants not checking boarding passes. If someone is legitimately flying out every week, s/he should be able to use the benefit every week.
The restaurants don't exactly have much incentive to police things, provided that they are still getting paid. Which probably plays a large part in how we ended up where we are.

Originally Posted by zxrst View Post
The sure way to prevent abuses/fraud would be to change the benefits to reimbursement. You pay it upfront with your qualifying card and get reimbursed after submitting your boarding pass and receipts.
It would be interesting to see some numbers on how many visits are repeat visits in the same location on the same day, average number of guests, and so on.

Even more interesting would be how many are the same person using multiple cards but that's probably not feasible to gather.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:40 am
  #141  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Originally Posted by shoodawg View Post
Agreed that a limit on visits would have been a better approach, this would have nearly painlessly shut down the multiple visits per day by some travelers, and those by airport terminal workers that could have been dining daily, multiple times as well.
But the Ascend already had a 10 visit yearly limit and a requirement to use only for same-day travel and it is being tossed anyway.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:41 am
  #142  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA MileagePlus (Premier Gold); Hilton HHonors (Gold); Amex Plat
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
So basically Amex is balking at the difference in fees in restaurants vs lounges? Restaurants costs more.
Well that's only because PP is offering like $25+ worth of credits per visit. Last year, I ran up $120 worth of charges in about 15 days (but that happened to be it for the year for me). Just so happened that all of my flying in/out of SFO after they rolled out the restaurant credit happened within a 15 day time span. But honestly, each time, I actually ordered appetizers and other sorts of extras because I hadn't yet hit the limit. I'd have thought that this benefit was pretty cool even if it was $10-15 off a meal, or if it came in the form of a 25-50% discount on menu prices. So I don't know what the big deal is about restaurants. They could easily make this the policy for example:

1. Find out what a typical lounge visit costs. Make that the amount of discount that is offered at restaurants.

2. If visiting a specific airport, you must decide whether you want to visit a restaurant OR visit the lounges on that calendar day on any specific PP account. Once you visit a lounge at that airport on a calendar day, you cannot use the benefit at a restaurant, and vice versa. MULTIPLE lounge visits on the same day would be OK, but only ONE restaurant visit OR multiple lounge visits but not both restaurants and lounges.

There are a lot of ways to curb abuse without yanking the benefit entirely. AMEX is using a nuclear weapon to do this when a firecracker will do.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:38 am
  #143  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
There are a lot of ways to curb abuse without yanking the benefit entirely. AMEX is using a nuclear weapon to do this when a firecracker will do.
Not so sure...never underestimate what people will do to extract/abuse as much as possible.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:57 am
  #144  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Originally the Plat card really was invitation only and required some (unpublished) number of years with some other AmEx charge (not credit) card first, plus undisclosed additional criteria. AmEx tends to put a lot of weight on your own history with them and I don't think they would be allowed to pull a credit report before inviting you to upgrade your card or get Plat as an additional card.
I once saw the criteria (partial?) posted at an AMEX office cashier counter in Toronto. Platinum Card invitation required 10,000 CAD charge annually. There was also a life time membership option which was about 10X the annual fee at the time. What a bargain, in hind sight.
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Old May 30, 19, 12:56 pm
  #145  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by Javier1704 View Post
This may be just me, but I think Amex is trying to move to an "exclusive experience" type of card. No offense, but Priority Pass restaurant benefit is just attracting churners and millennial who get overly excited about "free food" at airports.That's what the CSR is for, a low "high" tier card with an $150 annual fee... for churners.
I don't think that's the demographic Amex wants to target, they want people with higher income who value good food and enjoy having exclusive menus and courtesy drinks at high end restaurants (like with their Global Dining Collection). This may be the reason why they chose to acquire Resy. Looking forward to see what they come up with.
I agree that the Platinum Card is no longer a "status symbol" and I think that's what Amex is trying to "regain". Personally, I'm fine with Amex dropping this if this means more exclusive perks at certain events by Amex, more Centurion Lounges and more pro small businesses marketing (like their Instagram account promoting small stores and restaurants at various cities). I see this card as a membership: hotel status, purchase protection, exclusive events, courtesy drinks and special menus at restaurants, etc.
Given the Amex Platinum is one of the easiest cards to get (FICO scores just need to be in the mid 600s) and given heavy issuance of this card has led to SkyClubs and Centurion Lounge overcrowding, I am not sure if Amex can complain if the card is no longer a status symbol
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Old May 30, 19, 1:00 pm
  #146  
 
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Originally Posted by OUTraveling View Post
So lets review what I get as an AMEX Plat cardholder:
-$550 Annual Fee: Highest of all the cards.
-Centurion Lounges: Often Crowded. This will make it worse as people who may go to restaurants (e.g. Timeberline in Denver, P.F. Change @ LAX) will now crowd the lounge.
-Hotel Program: Bonvoyed! and Hilton
-PP Lounges: Amex Plat make up a significant percentage of PP membership. Now, instead of being able to use restaurants to alleviate pressure on lounges or get a bite to eat when PP lounges are at capacity, either we crowd the PP lounge more or we are left in the cold.
-Uber: $10 per month. Enough for perhaps one ride.
-Airline credit: That I can only use for incidentals.
-Saks Credit: Useful for some but I shop at Banana Republic and find Sak's overpriced.

Seriously, we are paying for an upper tier premium product, I would expect to be treated as such.
The Amex Platinum works best if you are a Delta flyer (SkyClubs). If you aren't, the value of the card declines. Aside from the SkyClubs (which I use often), I still like the card due to the NSPL, Uber and Saks credit (full value for me), Airline Credit (I use these to buy into the occasional AAdmirals Club), various benefits (concierge, FHR, etc), Amex Offers, 5x on Airfare, etc. I am spending less and less on it though (Chase gets most of my spend these days)
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Old May 30, 19, 1:02 pm
  #147  
 
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For those of you with USA card do you see the restaurants in the pp app? I've a UK card but the app doesn't say the restaurants at all
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Old May 30, 19, 1:11 pm
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
The restaurants don't exactly have much incentive to police things, provided that they are still getting paid. Which probably plays a large part in how we ended up where we are.



It would be interesting to see some numbers on how many visits are repeat visits in the same location on the same day, average number of guests, and so on.

Even more interesting would be how many are the same person using multiple cards but that's probably not feasible to gather.
AmEx certainly can identify unique individuals even though they might alternate among the AmEx cards they use, and if they can get the membership account number from PP (or pass information to PP regarding which individuals are associated with lists of multiple PP Select memberships given by AmEx), it should be easy to detect multiple visits by AmEx cardholders.

What could be harder to catch would be someone using a PP from AmEx and PP from another credit card or a paid PP account multiple times in the same day at the same restaurant, but this would be of somewhat less concern to AmEx, although in many cases it would still be abusive.

During bad IROPs, multiple restaurant visits at the same airport on the same day or a restaurant followed by a lounge would seem OK. If your airport stay stretches to ten or more hours, you obviously want more than an appetizer and a drink, or if you've done this, you then need a good place to wait for the remaining time.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; May 30, 19 at 1:17 pm
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Old May 30, 19, 1:14 pm
  #149  
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Originally Posted by beep88 View Post
I once saw the criteria (partial?) posted at an AMEX office cashier counter in Toronto. Platinum Card invitation required 10,000 CAD charge annually. There was also a life time membership option which was about 10X the annual fee at the time. What a bargain, in hind sight.
I've never seen the lifetime membership offered in the USA. It could be messy if AmEx later wanted to cancel the account.
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Old May 30, 19, 1:38 pm
  #150  
mia
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Originally Posted by BobbySteel View Post
...I've a UK card but the app doesn't say the restaurants at all

Yes, restaurants are still listed. There is not a separate Restaurant category. They are commingled with conventional lounges (see below).
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