Beginning on March 30, 2017, there will be some big changes to the Platinum Card from American Express. While some might be really excited about these changes, I am guessing many people will have lukewarm feelings. The Platinum Card’s annual fee will be raised from $450 per year to $550 per year. The good news is that while new benefits are being added, no current perks are going away (almost).
Link: Platinum Card Benefits
Major Changes To The Platinum Card
- Higher Annual Fee: Beginning March 30, 2017, the fee for the Platinum Card will increase to $550 annually. For current card holders, the increased annual fee will go into effect on their annual renewal date on or after September 1, 2017.
- Uber Rides With Platinum: Receive up to $200 credit annually for Uber rides in the U.S. However, this credit will not work like the current $200 travel credit. Each month, card members will receive $15 in credits for U.S. Uber rides and a $20 bonus credit in December each year. Card members will also receive automatic VIP status where available without meeting ride requirements.
- 5x Points on Prepaid Hotels Booked on AmexTravel.com: On the surface this seems like a fantastic deal, however this is only on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com and does not include Fine Hotels & Resorts. When booking on a 3rd party site like amextravel, you will sometimes not receive hotel points or elite stay credits. If hotel elite status or points earning isn’t important to you then this could be a great way to rack up some Amex Membership Rewards.
- Centurion Lounge Access: Previously, your American Express Platinum card granted you and 2 guests or any immediate family traveling with you access to the Centurion Lounges. Starting March 30, you will only be allowed 2 guests per visit, even if they are in your immediate family. After your first 2 guests, there will be a $50 charge per guest to access the lounges. This is going to be a huge hit to families traveling with more than 1 child. However, on the flip side, now the Priority Pass membership that comes with your Platinum card will have guest privileges.
Minor Changes To The Platinum Card
- New Metal Card Design: In line with other premium cards, new Platinum Cards will have an updated design on a metal card. Current card members will receive the metal card within 60 days of their current card’s expiration date or you can call to request a new metal card after March 30, 2017.
- Additional Gold Cards: You will now be able to add additional authorized user Gold Cards to your account with no annual fee.
- Access to Global Dining Program: Amex has partnered with world renowned chefs to offer incredible dining experiences (this kind of “perk” is useless fluff in my opinion)
- Amex Global Lounge Collection: The Global Lounge Collection will be expanding. It now offers access to over 1,000 airport lounges across 120 countries
My Take On The Platinum Card Changes
The Uber credit will be a nice benefit for consistent users of that service, but is underwhelming to someone like me who only uses Uber occasionally. I would be more excited if it wasn’t broken down into monthly increments. 5x points on prepaid hotels will surely excite some people…I am not one of them. I tend to book my hotel stays directly through the hotel to max out my points earnings and benefits (and I don’t like pre-paying for hotels if I don’t have to). All the other perks are just fluff in my opinion and don’t justify the higher annual fee.
I just renewed my Platinum card last month, but it’s not my favorite card. I am really only keeping it for a few of the benefits (mainly Hilton and SPG Gold Status). However, with this increased yearly fee of $550, I don’t see myself keeping it open after this year.
What do you think of these changes to the Platinum Card from American Express? Is it worth $550 a year?