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As you likely know, American Express Platinum cards lose their ability to access the American Airlines AAdmiral’s Clubs and US Airways Clubs beginning very soon on March 22nd. The good news is that the sign-up bonus for the The Platinum Card® from American Express was recently increased to 40,000 Membership Reward points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. That obviously is an improvement for new applicants, but wasn’t a real benefit to those who already had the card.
Today American Express has announced two new benefits that will impact both new and existing card members.
Beginning in June 2014, American Express will expand its travel benefits for Consumer, Business and Corporate Platinum Card Members, including:
- Unlimited complimentary global access to Boingo WiFi hotspots
- Statement credit option for an application to TSA PreCheck
Here is a bit more info on both of these soon-to-come benefits.
Boingo Wireless has more than 700,000 worldwide WiFi hotspots in airports, retail and hotel locations. Starting in June, Platinum Card Members will be able to use unlimited complimentary access to Wi-Fi without worrying about data caps or roaming fees. A similar service from Boingo offering 2000 minutes per month of global Wi-Fi access today costs $59.95 per month or $15.95 per airport visit. Once enrolled, Platinum cardmembers will have simultaneous internet access for up to four devices with connection speeds three times faster than 3G. Complimentary WiFi for multiple devices means multiple family members can browse or stream their favorite Internet content. Note that you will have to sign-up for a Boingo American Express Preferred Plan and it won’t simply just convert your existing plan. Also this is for land-based use, not WiFi while in flight.
I personally pay about $15 per month for Boingo for myself on a couple of devices, and it is just for use in the US. Being able to get this both in the US and internationally on up to four devices will not only be an improvement over the service I currently pay for out of pocket, but it will also save me over $180 per year. This may not be big news to everyone, but for this traveling family it is a pretty nice improvement.
Statement Credit for TSA PreCheck:
As I’m sure you already know, “TSA Pre✓™ allows low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient screening at participating U.S. airports”. You get to keep your shoes on, laptop and liquids in their bags, etc. Travelers get it randomly at times without going through any formal application, but to get it more consistently you need to either have Global Entry or apply for TSA PreCheck directly for $85. There is no reason to do both, so Global Entry is likely a better option for most since that $100 application fee will trigger a $100 statement credit on the Platinum card and save you time both when traveling domestically and returning to the US from an international trip. However, I’m sure there are some people out there who would rather just get PreCheck, so having that $85 application charge trigger a $85 statement credit is an enhancement for some.
What do you think of these additions to the Platinum benefit line-up? Do you think you or a family member will be able to put these perks to good use? If you were making a wish list, what perks would you like to see added next?
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