03 Mar Amex Platinum’s MAJOR, Yet Not-So Rewarding Changes
Before I get started, if you haven’t heard, American Express just announced changes to the Platinum Card from American Express. Other BA bloggers have covered this in detail (in random order):
Rather than Re-List Benefits, here is my reaction to the news, via play-by-play!
I woke up yesterday to quite the headline over at OMAAT!
“Amex Announces MAJOR Changes To The Platinum Card As Of March 30, 2017”
OMG what did they do!? What did they improve!? I knew this day was coming…
It was only 5:45am on the East Coast, but the points and miles world was already abuzz and I was wide awake!
It had that Christmas morning excitement feel to it, but this was even better! Unexpected and new and it would soon be all mine to have!
I opened the article and scrolled with eagerness for what was to come! Let’s See…
$200 in Uber credits… 5x on hotel bookings… a new metal design…
These start sounding really neat on the surface – then I read into the details and put some thought into it. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s good…
Here is why I don’t care for the changes:
$100 increase in to the Annual Fee –
First, people will attempt the easy analysis: Added Benefits > Fee Increase?
While I may agree that $200 in Uber credits, 5x points when booking eligible hotel stays, a new metal card design and complimentary gold authorized users CAN be worth over $100, it doesn’t mean that’s what you should spend your money on!? I mean $450 is hard to bear… but $550!?
Sure, I can buy a $250 parka on deep discount at only $100, but that doesn’t mean I should!? I live in Tampa, Florida! A parka has no use to me and is NOT what I need to be spending my money on!
But it’s such a great deal…
It’s the concepts of “great deal” and/or “value” that trip people up all the time which can result in overspending.
The Points of Life (TPOL) said it best… Have we become so desensitized to annual fees that $550 seems reasonable?
Actual value of $200 in Uber Credits –
I love Uber and ride when them on the reg! This was the benefit that initially caught my eye as the largest value increase, until I saw the credit structure via TPG – $15 in Uber credits for U.S. rides every month plus a $20 bonus in December, directly through the Uber app.
I appreciate the effort – don’t get me wrong! But, I would have much preferred this credit to be banked all at once, or perhaps process automatically through Amex like the airline reimbursement fees.
I will work to maximize the value out of this, but wouldn’t label this as a straight forward $200 benefit value increase. There is also mention of Uber VIP status… whatever that is?
5X Membership Rewards points for “eligible hotel bookings” –
By eligible, Amex means booked through amextravel.com. I have never booked a hotel stay through amextravel.com and I am not sure 5x points is enough to get me there. About 90% of my hotel stays are booked with points or somehow discounted with gift cards, so unless there is an Amex offer that comes out in conjunction with this – this has little value to me.
Does anyone ever book through amextravel.com? Will this be enough incentive for you to start?
Side note – I am a fan of the 5x earning airfare announced in 2016, considering that multiple applies both via amextravel.com and directly with airlines!
Improved Priority Pass Matches Other Premium Cards –
This was pointed out over at View From the Wing and is a nice little upgrade to compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige! The upgrade sounds nice, but if you have either of those other premium cards already (I have the CSR) then this is another non-factor additional benefit.
There is some other blah, like…
Complimentary Additional Gold Cards, Expansion of the Global Lounge Collection, Access to a new Global Dining Collection
In my opinion, those are hardly worth going into much detail.
But Wait! There’s More!
I almost forgot to tell you about the new metal design…
Did you hear that guys!? METAL
To be honest, as silly as it sounds, I am actually quite excited about the metal card…
While the Amex Platinum will undergo MAJOR changes, they are not very rewarding changes and do little to nothing to close the gap between Platinum and CSR.
Are me and TPOL the only ones really pissed off at Amex!?
$550!? Are you serious!?
Happy amextravel.com Hotel Bookings!