Yesterday, American Express announced new benefits coming to the Platinum card and after having time to think about the new benefits, I’ve decided to cancel my card in May when my annual fee hits. If you didn’t see the news of the new Amex Platinum benefits, see yesterdays post here.
Why am I cancelling?
Before the release of the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, American Express had little to no competition in the premium credit card market. The Platinum card was simply the best premium travel card out there. However, times have changed and Citi and Chase have changed the premium travel credit card market and American Express has completely failed in responding to the competition. While Chase and Citi were busy releasing cards with valuable perks with that earned more points and made it easier to redeem points, American Express was busy responding with benefits that are hard to use and useless spending bonus categories, all at an increased annual fee of $550. Simply put, American Express failed to respond to the competition.
Perks of the American Express Platinum card vs Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve
- $200 annual airfare fee credit
- Must select one airline and does not include airfare. Only covers baggage fees, in flight refreshments, flight change fees, and other incidentals.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: offers a $300 annual travel credit that is eligible on any travel purchase including airfare and hotels.
- Citi Presige: offers a $250 annual air travel credit that is eligible on airfare, upgradess, and other releated air travel expenses.
- 5x on air fare purchases
- Only eligible on flights booked directly with airline or Amex Travel. Travel agencies not included
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3x on travel including travel agencies
- Citi Prestige: 3x on air travel including travel agencies
- 5x on hotels through AmexTravel.com (starting March 30th, 2017)
- Only eligible on hotel purchases made through AmexTravel.com, which
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3x on travel including hotel purchases made directly with hotels and travel agencies
- Citi Prestige: 3x on hotel purchases made directly with hotels and travel agencies
- $200 annual Uber credit
- Earn a $15 credit each month ($35 in December), which expires at the end of the month if not used.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 3x on all ride sharing services
- Citi Prestige: None
- Airport Lounge Access
- Centurion lounge (two free guests or immediate family), Delta Sky Club (only eligible if flying with Delta, no free guests), Priority Pass (two free guests), Airspace (two free guests)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Priority Pass (unlimited free guests)
- Citi Prestige: Priority Pass (two free guests or immediate family)
- SPG Gold and Hilton Gold
- Free SPG Gold Status and Hilton Gold status for cardholders and authorized users
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: No hotel elite status
- Citi Prestige: No hotel elite status
- Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts (900+ properties)
- Free daily breakfast for two, room upgrade (when available), $100 amenity (often a spa or dining credit), guaranteed 4 PM check out, noon check in (when available), complimentary Wi-Fi
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: The Luxury Hotel Collection (900+ Hotels, Resorts, Lodges, and Spas) giving free daily breakfast for two, special benefit unique to each property, room upgrade (if available), early check in and check out (if available)
- Citi Prestige: Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel after booking through Citi Prestige Concierge (company rate codes can be used)
- Amex Cruise Program
- $100-$300 credit per stateroom (up to 3 staterooms) depending on the type of stateroom booked for cruises 5 nights or longer, must book through Amex Travel, earn 1 additional Membership Rewards point per dollar
There are other benefits the Amex Platinum card offers but I find these to be most desirable. Other Platinum benefits can be seen here.
What card will I use instead?
While the Amex Platinum card carries many benefits, the Platinum card has very few unique benefits and the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige card often beats out the Amex Platinum card on non unique perks. Going forward I will start using the Chase Sapphire Reserve which will earn me 3x on travel and dining and also offer me travel insurances such as trip delay and trip cancellation.
What should benefits should Amex have added?
Instead of the Uber credit and 5x on hotels purchases through Amex travel I think Amex should’ve added the following benefits:
- 2x or 3x on dining
- 3x on airfare and hotels (5x on airfare and hotels booked through AmexTravel.com)
- Travel insurance including trip delay and trip cancellation
- 1.5 cent value from points used through AmexTravel.com
If the benefits above were added, I think it would warrant a $550 annual fee consider the elite status offered with the Amex Platinum card.
After comparing the newly announced Amex Platinum card benefits with other premium travel cards, I’m truly disappointed with what Amex released. I think they are trying to market the card towards millennials with the new Uber credit though unfortunately to them, I don’t think this will work. Hopefully enough people speak out and American Express corrects their mistake. As for now, my Platinum card is getting cancelled in May when my annual fee hits.