American Express is introducing many changes to its American Express Personal Platinum Card effective March 30, 2017. The personal platinum card benefits change includes additional benefits like credit for using Uber, improved priority pass lounge access. This additional benefit comes at an increased annual fee of $100.
American Express Personal Platinum Card New Benefits
American Express personal Platinum card is one of the premium card available in the market. When Chase introduced its personal premium card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, back in September of last year, the card gave a lot of benefits compared to the American Express premium card.
Now American Express does not want to be left behind in the premium card business they are introducing a lot of changes to the program. But if you look at the changes, they are not earth-shattering looks like they still want to be left behind and do not want to compete for the benefits offered by Chase Sapphire Reserve.
New Benefits Added to the Personal Card
- Uber VIP status plus $15 per month in UBER credit and additional $20 credit in the month of December. You will see the credit appear only you register your American Express Personal Platinum card with UBER and use the card to pay for services.
- Priority Pass allows you to get two additional guests free of cost to Priority Pass lounges.
- 5x membership rewards points for hotel booking made through American Express Travel.
- 5x membership rewards points for an airline ticket purchased through American Express Travel.
- You can add up to 99 additional American Express Gold Card with no additional annual fee.
- $200 Airline credit applied to your registered carriers for airline incident fees like checked baggage fee or fee assessed by airlines for the change of ticket.
- 5x membership rewards points for an airline ticket purchased directly from airline websites.
- Access to American Express Global lounges worldwide as well as Delta Sky Club lounges.
- Additional American Express Personal Platinum Card at an annual fee of $175
- Transfer your membership rewards points to airline and hotel programs.
- Hilton and SPG (which includes Marriott) Gold Status.
- TSA Pre or Global Entry credit of $100 every 4 years.
What it cost to you for the added Benefits
As part of the increased benefits, should I say non-significant benefits, American Express is increasing the annual fee of the card from $450 to $550. For a start, if you are like me using Uber only a few times a year, the Uber credit is no use to you. The 5x membership rewards points for hotel booking made through Amex Travel is no good if you are booking through third party hotel booking sites or directly using the hotel booking sites, which most of us does anyway, given that they offer much better deal then American Express Travel.
What American Express should have done to make the Product compete with Chase Sapphire Reserve
From the additional benefits, it looks like American Express wants to give other benefits at the same time it is making harder for anyone to receive those benefits. The benefits change is no way closer to the benefits offered by Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If American Express wanted the card to be attractive to all the consumers, it should have made the following changes.
- $15 per month restaurant credit instead of $15 Uber credit per month. Everyone eats out at least $15 or more every month that change would have attracted more people to apply for the Platinum card then the Uber credit.
- In addition to 5x membership rewards point awarded for hotels booked directly through American Express Travel, if American Express has added benefits of 3x membership rewards point for hotels booked using the card through any websites it would have encouraged folks to use American Express Platinum card for getting additional points.
- $200 credit the existing benefits should be made for any airline related incident fee like excess baggage fee. Currently American Express forces us to register an airline with American Express to receive the credit. It would be even better if they offered a $200 credit for any airlines or any expense related to air travel including ticket purchase.
- 3x American Express rewards point for any airlines reservation booked from any site. Currently American Express offers 5x American Express rewards point for a ticket purchased directly from the airline websites or through American Express travel.
American Express is introducing metal card for American Express Platinum Card just like Chase Sapphire Reserve. It looks like American Express wants to complete with Chase Sapphire Reserve, only how the physical card look and feel and not on real benefits.
Half Baked Card for Higher Price
Overall the benefits pale in comparison to Chase Sapphire Preferred Reserve benefits. If American Express wants to compete with Chase Sapphire Reserve, they need to change the half-baked card benefits and remove all the draconian rules for getting the benefits offered by the card.
Which Platinum Cards will Receive the Benefits (Non-Benefits)
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for Ameriprise
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for Charles Schwab
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for Goldman Sachs
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for Mercedes-Benz
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for Morgan Stanley
Is there any Positive Aspect to the Card
This card offers a signup bonus offer of 40,000 points. In the past, they have offered 75000 to 100000 signup bonus points. Wait till American Express offers an increased bonus offer before you apply for the card. Apart from the signup bonus (75000 or above) and the existing benefits, I do not consider American Express Platinum is better than Chase Sapphire Reserve. Without comparing to Chase Sapphire Reserve, the card benefits looks good so if you have not had this card in the past and the additional benefits like Uber and 5x hotel points booked through American Express Travel appealing to you, you can apply and get the card.
If you had the American Express Personal Platinum Card before and received the signup bonus you are not eligible to receive the signup bonus again. American Express has a limit of giving out one sign up bonus per card per person for the lifetime.
Photo Credit: American Express