How do you decide if AmEx Plat makes sense?

Old Aug 6, 2022, 6:17 pm
  #1  
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How do you decide if AmEx Plat makes sense?

I've got a lot of credit cards. I don't need more. Like...it's gotten crazy. I've got my first card, a Wells Fargo card from college, Apple Card, Amazon Prime card, a USAA card, a BofA card, and a British Airways card that I got only for the miles. The only ones I use regularly are the Apple Card (I love Apple Pay), the Amazon card and the WF card is my card for places that don't do Apple Pay. (I don't wanna carry that pretty white Apple Card and get it dirty.)

But surprisingly enough I've been doing a lot of travel this year. I fly out of either SJC or SFO and this year I've done SAN, LAS, and PDX on Southwest and ORD on United. Next month I'll be doing DEN on Southwest, and likely FLL in December on who knows what. The main reason I'm considering the AmEx card is the lounge access. On my ORD trip we had United passes and it reminds me how even when flying domestic it's nice to not be stuck in the gate area, especially as my partner LOVES to get to the airport early especially when flying home from an unfamiliar airport.

My primary use case is lounge access, but since we often fly United we can just buy lounge passes. If I could *always* just pay-per-use for lounge access I probably would. But those three Southwest flights (soon to be 4) have me thinking. Like my upcoming DEN trip the Centurion lounge is in the same terminal as SWA. That would be nice. But then I keep reading about how the lounges are overcrowded and people get turned away and that would suck if it's the main reason I'm paying the $700/year.

When I look at the other benefits some make sense. I do Uber a fair bit so that would get used. I have SiriusXM so that would get used as well. We have bought travel insurance for expensive trips in the past so *that* would get used.

Anyway, it's just a long winded way of asking how others do the math to justify the $700/yr.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 6:50 pm
  #2  
 
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You justify your Amex expense if you are sucker and believe a blogger that you will get your fee back every year in benefits. You justify your amex if you are stupid enough to believe you get value from high end resorts under the FHR rates that are often more expensive then you can book direct. Your justify your Amex if you believe the aspirational marketing and the protection insurance that probably will not help you when your flight is canceled because you are on a one way flight. You justify your Amex if you are fool.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 7:07 pm
  #3  
mia
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Originally Posted by Centurion
.....probably will not help you when your flight is canceled because you are on a one way flight. ....
It's one thing to express bitter antagonism toward American Express, but this statement is simply false. The travel insurance terms explicitly allow one-way flights.

Covered Trip means a period of round-trip travel to one or more destinations other than an Eligible Traveler’s city of residence at the time of departure where: (1) The Eligible Traveler departs by Common Carrier to begin the period of round-trip travel; (2) the period of round-trip travel ends when the Eligible Traveler returns by Common Carrier to the city of departure; (3) the period of round-trip travel does not exceed three hundred sixty-five (365) days away from the Eligible Traveler’s city of residence at the time of departure; and (4) the Eligible Traveler charges the full amount of the cost of transportation by Common Carrier(s) to your Eligible Card. The period of round-trip travel may consist of roundtrip, one-way, or combinations of roundtrip and one-way tickets with Common Carrier(s).

Last edited by mia; Aug 6, 2022 at 9:13 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 7:26 pm
  #4  
mia
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Originally Posted by JakiChan
.....it's nice to not be stuck in the gate area, especially as my partner LOVES to get to the airport early ....
Lounge access is a core benefit of American Express Platinum, and there is much more to it than Centurion lounges. However, be aware that you will not be able to bring a guest into Centurion Lounges after January 2023 unless you (a) pay $175/year for an additional card for your partner, or (b) put $75,000 spending on the Platinum Card in 2022. Assuming you will not make that spend, it increases the cost from $695 to $870.

In addition to Centurion lounges there is a Priority Pass membership, access to Escape Lounges (styled as Centurion Studios), Plaza Premium lounges (including Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, except LHR), Delta Skyclubs (when flying Delta, no guests). Note that there is no access to AA or UA lounges, although you can use the $200/year Airline Fee Credit to offset the cost of annual memberships or single visit passes to those lounges.

All airport lounges are sometimes crowded. American Express gives you access to the greatest number. If you are turned away at one, there may be another, but there is no guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 7:39 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Centurion
You justify your Amex expense if you are sucker and believe a blogger that you will get your fee back every year in benefits. You justify your amex if you are stupid enough to believe you get value from high end resorts under the FHR rates that are often more expensive then you can book direct. Your justify your Amex if you believe the aspirational marketing and the protection insurance that probably will not help you when your flight is canceled because you are on a one way flight. You justify your Amex if you are fool.
User name checks out. /s

Originally Posted by JakiChan
Anyway, it's just a long winded way of asking how others do the math to justify the $700/yr.
Go through all the benefits of the card and determine if you will likely use them, and what value you assign to them. Consider that lounge benefits change next year. If what you get from the card exceeds the cost, you aren’t losing money and should consider keeping the card. If the cost exceeds the benefit, it probably not worth having.
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Last edited by notquiteaff; Aug 6, 2022 at 7:52 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:09 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Centurion
You justify your Amex expense if you are sucker and believe a blogger that you will get your fee back every year in benefits. You justify your amex if you are stupid enough to believe you get value from high end resorts under the FHR rates that are often more expensive then you can book direct. Your justify your Amex if you believe the aspirational marketing and the protection insurance that probably will not help you when your flight is canceled because you are on a one way flight. You justify your Amex if you are fool.
Amex Plat is a great value for me, given the access to lounges, $200 Uber deal, $200 airline incidentals, $200 FHR credit, $100 Saks, 5x points on airline purchases, and other things. I'm no sucker, nor are scores of others here who find loads of value in Amex Plat.

Last edited by dhuey; Aug 6, 2022 at 9:49 pm
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:23 pm
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$240 digital credit - Hulu Live
$200 airline credit - UA Travel Bank
$200 Uber credit - including Uber Eats
$189 Clear, good for 1+1
$100 Saks credit

Net positive.

Last edited by mia; Aug 6, 2022 at 9:48 pm Reason: See Moderator Caution in post 8.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:47 pm
  #8  
mia
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Moderator Caution

Please write about American Express products, policies and practices, but not about other posters. If you disagree with something that another person wrote, challenge the idea, not the poster or their intellectual capacity. We bring different expectations and experiences to these discussions, and much of the value comes from understanding how others answer the same question. This only works if we respect one another's perspective, even when we disagree with it or find it provocative.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:50 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by mia
Please write about American Express products, policies and practices, but not about other posters. If you disagree with something that another person wrote, challenge the idea, not the poster or their intellectual capacity. We bring different expectations and experiences to these discussions, and much of the value comes from understanding how others answer the same question. This only works if we respect one another's perspective, even when we disagree with it or find it provocative.
Fair enough. I edited my post above to state only why Amex Plat is valuable to me, and many others here.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:11 pm
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In addition to what's been mentioned, I use the $20 a month New York Times to get the Sunday paper and the $12.95 / month for Walmart Plus cause sometimes the prices there are less than Amazon. And there's usually a couple of monthly deals that I sign up for and use.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:40 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by JakiChan
I've got a lot of credit cards. I don't need more. Like...it's gotten crazy. I've got my first card, a Wells Fargo card from college, Apple Card, Amazon Prime card, a USAA card, a BofA card, and a British Airways card that I got only for the miles. The only ones I use regularly are the Apple Card (I love Apple Pay), the Amazon card and the WF card is my card for places that don't do Apple Pay. (I don't wanna carry that pretty white Apple Card and get it dirty.)

But surprisingly enough I've been doing a lot of travel this year. I fly out of either SJC or SFO and this year I've done SAN, LAS, and PDX on Southwest and ORD on United. Next month I'll be doing DEN on Southwest, and likely FLL in December on who knows what. The main reason I'm considering the AmEx card is the lounge access. On my ORD trip we had United passes and it reminds me how even when flying domestic it's nice to not be stuck in the gate area, especially as my partner LOVES to get to the airport early especially when flying home from an unfamiliar airport.

My primary use case is lounge access, but since we often fly United we can just buy lounge passes. If I could *always* just pay-per-use for lounge access I probably would. But those three Southwest flights (soon to be 4) have me thinking. Like my upcoming DEN trip the Centurion lounge is in the same terminal as SWA. That would be nice. But then I keep reading about how the lounges are overcrowded and people get turned away and that would suck if it's the main reason I'm paying the $700/year.

When I look at the other benefits some make sense. I do Uber a fair bit so that would get used. I have SiriusXM so that would get used as well. We have bought travel insurance for expensive trips in the past so *that* would get used.

Anyway, it's just a long winded way of asking how others do the math to justify the $700/yr.
You probably know this already. If your primary goal is lounge access (not just Amex/Centurion lounges specifically), there are other options you can consider.

LAX
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 11:55 pm
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Math to justify $700/ year: the Uber credits which can be used on Uber eats $200. Airline credit assume you pick Southwest and book sub-$100 tickets or priority boarding and get $200. Sacks fifth avenue credit I value at $60. That’s at least $460 without the FHR and entertainment credit. $870 for card plus auth user minus $460 is $410/ year. Five lounge visits for two people at $41/ pop is break even point BUT let’s not forget if you sign up for amex plat via Resy link you get 125,000 points= $1250 at least. So the open bonus means you’re certainly ahead the first two years (and it’s likely you’d get a retention offer). I would try out the card for a year or two and if you don’t like it or fee isn’t justified then just close it. Getting global entry and Clear is icing on the cake.

You can repeat apply with the Amex Schwab plat (if you have an account with over $250k in Schwab the annual fee is $100 less).

Off topic but if you’re an Apple Pay fanboy/ fangirl as I am, the US Bank altitude reserve gets 4.5% back on all Apple Pay purchases when redeemed for travel (not hard to do, text for rewards works for Lyft and Uber as well as any airfare), annual fee is net $75 ($400- 325 travel or dining credits). This beats the PANTS off the Apple Card, especially with the $750 signup bonus.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 1:35 am
  #13  
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After years of the card, and not having used more than a handful of points, I now have enough to take myself on a luxurious trip somewhere in the equivalent of paid F with earnings on whatever program I choose as if I had paid for the ticket. That, on top of the regular benefits I get ($200 WN/year, lounges from time to time, a modest amount of Amex offers (maybe $100/yr, maybe a bit more), UBER credit, Saks credit, etc. it remains worthwhile. Whether the particular math works out in any particular year, some years AX technically wins, other years, I do. I can't stress at any particular time if I only receive $500 in actual benefits in a year, or $1000 in another year. If my general sense remains "it seems worth it," I'll keep it. My VS lounge visits this year have only added value.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 2:08 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by LAX
You probably know this already. If your primary goal is lounge access (not just Amex/Centurion lounges specifically), there are other options you can consider.

LAX
Such as? Is there a product that can get me access to a lounge when Im flying SWA? What product is that and where do I find cost information?
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 4:22 am
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Just canceled my Amex Platinum (Germany).
  • Increased yearly fee
  • Excluded airport restaurants
  • Hence no lounge access at many places (e.g. Berlin)
  • Reduced insurance benefits
  • Very lousy customer service (in Germany: extremely slow in writing and not helpful)
  • Just got two 100% correct chargebacks declined with services never provided
I would pay 0 to 10 max. per month for this but not 600 per year.

I got other credit cards with better service and insurance, status for most flights for better lounges. For the ridiculous high annual fee I can eat really good in the best restaurant before every flight without lounge access. Plus Amex charges a rocket high Forex fee while other cards charge nothing.

In Austria they are apparently even worse: no hotel or flight credits included for the same cost and customer service and management really bad.
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