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In the last year or so we have seen lots of dramatic improvements for some of the most premium rewards credit cards that come with annual fees in the $400 – $500+ range. Last year, The Platinum Card® from American Express made some improvements like awarding 5x Membership Reward points for flights booked directly with airlines or via Amex Travel. As of today they now have some more changes, benefits, and 5x earnings to go along with last year’s enhancements!
New Amex Platinum Features:
Earn 5X Membership Rewards points for eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. I have reached out for clarification, but this 5x benefit does not seem to extend to the Fine Hotels and Resort Collection bookings.
$200 in annual Uber credits for rides within the United States as well as utilize Uber VIP status where available. This will work out to $15 in Uber credit per month, with an additional $20 bonus in December, when the Platinum Card is added as a payment method to the Uber app.
Complimentary additional Gold Cards. Platinum Card Members will be able to add additional Gold Cards on their Platinum Card Account for no annual fee and existing additional Gold Cards will also have no annual fee. Card Members can earn Membership Rewards points for all eligible purchases made by their additional card members.
New metal card design. In addition to the new perks the Platinum card will join the ranks of the other metal rewards credit cards.
Two new Centurion Lounges opening in 2017. While Centurion Lounge access is not a new feature of the Platinum card, two new Centurions are opening this year in Hong Kong and Philadelphia.
New Global Dining Collection launching. American Express has partnered with chefs, including Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, Stephanie Izard and José Andrés, to provide Platinum Card Members with access to one-of-a-kind dining experiences like the EMP Summer House in the Hamptons, a pop-up restaurant from the Eleven Madison Park team exclusively available for American Express Card Members. Card Members will also get access to exclusive reserved seating, culinary events and other exciting benefits.
The Platinum Card will retain things like the $200 Airline Fee Credit, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status, Hilton Honors Gold Status, fee credit for Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓ program application, and no foreign exchange fees. Terms and Limitations apply.
Amex Platinum Annual Fee Increasing
Unfortunately there is also bad news to go along with the enhancements as beginning March 30th, the new annual fee for the Platinum Card will be $550. Yes, $550. If you apply before March 30th you will be able to lock in the current $450 annual fee for the first year. For existing Platinum cardholders, the new annual fee will take effect on annual renewal dates that come on or after September 1, 2017.
Mommy Points’ View on the Amex Platinum Changes
My take on these changes is….sort of meh. I have personally had some version of an Amex Platinum card for years and don’t forsee that changing in any immediate future, but these changes haven’t helped make a stronger case for the card in my own wallet. I don’t live in a city where Uber is a monthly thing for me, so while I may get some value out of the Uber credits, I won’t get anywhere near the full $200 each year. I also don’t typically book hotels via third party sites like AmexTravel.com, so I am not likely to earn very many extra points from the new 5x bonus category. I wouldn’t mind if the new perks didn’t help me personally if they didn’t also increase the annual fee $100 annually, but the fee is increasing whether the new perks help you or not.
How do the new Amex Platinum changes impact you? Do they make it more or less likely that you will get or hang onto the card?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.