“Should I cancel my American Express Platinum card?” is a phrase that comes up every year when that huge annual fee is due.
It’s true that many of the best rewards credit cards available have annual fees, and some of these fees can be quite hefty. Sometimes the benefits the card offers far outweigh the annual fee. Other times, it can be a toss-up and that’s the situation I am in right now. The annual fee on my husband’s Platinum Card from American Express has been posted, and I need to decide if I should cancel it or pay the $695 fee to keep it open for another year.
When Should You Cancel A Credit Card?
My husband and I have had multiple Amex Platinum cards for the last 6 years. I’ve received plenty of benefits from these cards over the years including huge sign-on bonuses. Now it’s time to decide if I keep the card or bid it a sweet farewell. Since I don’t actually use this card much at all if I keep it, it’s for the benefits alone and not the points-earning potential.
Let’s break it down.
American Express Platinum Card Benefits
It’s true that the Amex Platinum card is packed with benefits:
- $200 airline fee credit. This can be used for incidental fees such as checked bag fees or in-flight meals.
- $50 Saks credit (twice a year)
- Walmart+ membership
- $20 monthly digital entertainment credit
- $189 CLEAR credit
- Priority Pass membership
- Access to The Centurion Lounge network and Delta Sky Clubs (if you are flying Delta)
- Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($78) fee credit
- 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or at AmexTravel.com, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com
- $200 Fine Hotels & Resorts credit (the Fine Resorts & Hotels program offers perks such as daily breakfast for 2, a room upgrade when available, $100 amenity, guaranteed 4 p.m. late check-out, and noon check-in when available.)
- Monthly Uber $15 credit ($35 credit in December)
- Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold status
- Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance
- Premium Global Assist Hotline
- Baggage Insurance and Travel Accident Insurance
- $300 Equinox credit
The reality for me is that I don’t come close to using all of these benefits and many of them overlap with other cards in my wallet.
Here’s My Take
One of the biggest problems with keeping the Amex Platinum card is that guest access to Centurion Lounges is being cut as of February 1, 2023. That means, even though I also have an Amex Platinum card (the one in question is in my husband’s name), we would still have to pay for our daughter to access a Centurion Lounge when traveling as a family. That’s not going to happen which means the Centurion Lounge benefit is mostly gone for us.
This is a pretty big deal that’s one of the biggest factors in my decision of whether or not to cancel my husband’s Amex Platinum card.
The Priority Pass offered through the Amex Platinum card is worthless to me since I have a better version (that includes non-lounge locations like restaurants) through my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I use the Uber credits sometimes when I am traveling, but they go unused quite often. If this benefit wasn’t broken down monthly, I would value it much more.
The $200 airline incidental fee credit can be quite hard to use so I don’t value it at the full $200. For the last couple of years, I’ve used it to buy United Travel Bank credits, but I’m having a hard time using those credits since I rarely fly on United.
I already have CLEAR for both my husband and me through The Business Platinum Card from American Express. I also just renewed my Global Entry as well as Global Entry for my husband and daughter so those credits aren’t useful to me right now.
I love having the twice-annual $50 Saks credit, but that’s not enough to justify the annual fee of the Amex Platinum card.
The $200 Fine Hotels & Resorts credit is nice but I find it very hard to use since those locations tend to be very expensive.
I don’t value the Walmart+ membership or Equinox credits at all.
To Cancel or Not To Cancel the Amex Platinum Card
Last year I was able to get a $400 credit as a retention offer which made keeping the card a no-brainer. I wasn’t able to get a retention offer this year so if I want to keep the card, I am stuck paying the entire $695 annual fee.
After looking at the value I received last year from the Amex Platinum card (I keep a spreadsheet to keep track of this) and realizing it was less than $695 (not taking into account the retention offer I got last year), I have decided to cancel it.
While I love having this card, the reality is that it’s just not worth it for me anymore.
Yes, the card has some great benefits (and you should absolutely still get it when there’s a big sign-on bonus), but for many people (myself included) they just aren’t enough to make keeping this $695 card a good idea.
Even if I could maximize some of the credits, I would only come close to breaking even, and that’s just not a good enough value for such an expensive card.
Do These Things Before Canceling Your Amex Platinum Card
If you are thinking about canceling your American Express Platinum card, there are a couple of things you should do first.
The first thing you should do is ask for a retention offer. You can do this after your annual fee has been posted by calling or using the chat feature in your online account.
If you don’t get a retention offer and decide to go through with canceling your card, make sure you have another Membership Rewards card open so you don’t lose your points. The only downgrade options from the Amex Platinum card are the American Express Gold Card and the American Express Green Card, both of which have annual fees. Downgrading to either of these cards makes you ineligible to ever get a sign-on bonus for them so only downgrade if you’ve already gotten a bonus on those cards.
If you’d like to open a no-fee card to keep your Membership Rewards points active, The Amex EveryDay Credit Card will do the trick.
Lastly, use up any remaining credits you can before canceling your card.
You have 30 days from the time your annual fee posts to cancel your card and be eligible for a full refund of the fee.
Ultimately, I decided it was time to cancel my American Express Platinum card. While I’ll miss some of the card’s benefits, I’m just not getting enough value to justify the $695 annual fee.