So, I just knew I was about to cancel (downgrade) my Platinum American Express card once I found out they were raising their annual fee by $100. I already had buyer's remorse because shortly after I was approved for my Platinum Card last year (got in on the 100K point offer - now, they are offering 60K), the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) came out, and I found no reason to have both cards. However, after really measuring the Platinum Card's benefits and perks versus the cost, I decided I was going to keep this bad boy in my wallet for a while. Here's why:
1. Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs
Although the Platinum American Express also gives you automatic Priority Pass Select membership, so that you have free access to lounges at virtually every airport you will go through, so does the CSR. So, this perk doesn't matter too much to me. However, what the CSR doesn't offer you, is access to the infamous Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling with Delta). These only add to the travel experience. This sounds uppity as hell, but since getting access to all of these lounges, I never chill out at the gates in those uncomfortable seats with the regular folk, when waiting to board a flight, LOL. I settle my happy ass right in one of the fancy lounges, and enjoy the free snacks and spirits. This is also why I don't mind showing up to the airports 2+ hours in advance, now. There's no incentive like spending a couple of hours drinking for free before a long [or hell, even short] flight.
2. $200 yearly airline credit
Once you designate an airline of your preference (for me, it's Delta), and you can get reimbursed for $200 worth of Delta-related fees, such as checking luggage. However, since I don't check luggage, I did my research, and found out that I could just purchase four $50 Delta gift cards with my AMEX, and that counts toward the credit, so...
This yearly credit is based on calendar year, by the way. So if you get the Platinum Card in, say...December, and you take advantage of the $200 credit, you can take advantage of it again in January. However, if you somehow forget to take advantage of that credit, before the year ends, you lose it...so, go for the gift cards!
3. Automatic Gold status with HHonors and SPG
If you know anything about Hilton Honors or Starwood Preferred Guests memberships, you know having status with them changes your hotel experience with them exponentially. When I was in Luxor, Egypt, I stayed at at Hilton property, and I was treated like a king. So many free perks are offered (including room upgrades) once the hotel staff notices you have status.
4. Elite status with car rental companies
So...I don't use this benefit often, because I find that when I do want to rent cars (in the U.S.), Hotwire seems to have the cheapest deals. However, when I do want to choose a specific rental company, I love National Rental! With the Platinum Card, you are automatically upgraded to the Executive level for the Emerald Club, National's membership program. This means, you get to choose your own car from the Executive isle when you arrive at your destination.
5. $200 Uber Credit
I really didn't pay attention to when these new benefits kicked in for my AMEX. However, when I opened my Uber app on Friday, March 31st, to go out, I noticed that I had a $15 AMEX credit on my account. I didn't question it...I used it! But the next day, Saturday, April 1st, I noticed another $15 credit! I thought it was a mistake...but I wasn't about to say anything. I was going to keep riding (pun intended) these deals 'til the wheels fell off. Well, I later found out about this benefit (when you have your AMEX card entered as one of your forms of payment in the app):
And then I was like...
6. Customer Service
It's no secret that American Express has some of the best customer service out there. Any time I think I'm about to purchase something even a little sketchy, I use my AMEX, because I know if I have a dispute, the customer service agents over at AMEX will have me taken care of.
7. The metal card...duh!
Okay, I'd be lying if I said the sexiness of the new Platinum American Express did not play a huge role in why I decided to stay. It's super sleek, and more attractive than any other card out there in my opinion. The credit card number is now located on the back of the card, much like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve.
At first, I read that current customers would not be able to upgrade to the new metal card until our current cards expired. That is not true at all. You can either call to get your new card sent to you, or you can log into your account, and choose your Platinum Card in the “My Accounts” section. Click on Account Services, then Card Management, and then Order Replacement Card.
The fact that I decided to keep my Platinum Card boils down to simple math:
There are a few other benefits that come with the Platinum Card, however, the ones mentioned in this blog post are my favorites.