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I never imagined I would consider an AmEx Platinum Card...

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  • I never imagined I would consider an AmEx Platinum Card...

    My younger, quite financially disciplined self carried only no fee credit cards and we always paid them off every month. I tended to prefer to cash back cards as I value simplicity.

    These days we have reached FI but I am still working. So we often look for ways to splurge and have fun. Our biggest splurge has been on some amazing trips. We are probably going to take about 7 or 8 domestic trips in 2020, and 3 international. Surprisingly, l recently became interested in the AmEx platinum card despite the $550 annual fee. But it actually looks like the platinum card could lead to significant savings.

    The platinum international airline program offers significant discounts on fares above economy class. And the platinum Uber link gives $200 in Uber credits per year. Then I get $200 in credits on Delta for things like premium seats and luggage fees each year. Although we don't care all that much about the airport lounges, the Platinum card would get us into those lounges for free drinks and food before domestic flights. It looks like the savings from all of this will easily surpass 1 to 2 thousand per year.

    Has anyone used the platinum card for the international airline program? Any other experiences with platinum to share? I am probably going to pull the trigger as they are also offering 60,000 points for signing up.

  • #2
    I've had an Amex Reserve for years and am looking forward to the new perks. I use the club access many times per year (each trip at least twice--snacks/food/coffee/beer plus the higher end customer service reps, crucial if something goes off the rails). I already get free bags with status. I appreciate the favorable/no-fee exchange rate on foreign currency. It is supposed to help prioritize you for upgrades--no idea if that works. And I use the extra miles to keep a higher status level. Also, I appreciate their customer service based upon a couple interactions in the past. Finally, perhaps it is just a coincidence, but Amex is the only card that has never been hacked.

    Bottom line, yeah, worth the annual fee for sure, even if for 1/4 of the trips that you have planned.

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    • #3
      There are often 100k bonuses. Look for that. I’ve not used the Intl airline program as we usually fly economy. Airline lounge access can be nice but you may have to pay for guests or find the lounge is crowded. The Uber credits are spread monthly and are use it or lose it.

      ive had several Plat cards (including Schwab and biz) but usually downgrade after the first year

      same for chase sapphire
      my radiology group is hiring, pm if you can do msk and are interested

      Comment


      • #4
        We have CSR card with similar annual fee. We use the perks and for us the card basically pays for itself. I have no problem paying a premium for better service and extra creature comforts. Free airport lounge access in Zimbabwe? Yes, please (we used this).

        Comment


        • #5
          Just looking at that platinum card. Are all of your trips on the same airline consortium? You mentioned Delta--with 10 trips you will probably be Diamond by the end of the year. You will be able to select free club access with that (in 2021) vs other options like travel voucher or upgrade coupons, it is unlikely that you will ever have to pay for bags/food on flights (so take away that airline credit from Amex).

          For that much flying, I'd probably go with the Reserve card, get high medallion status, and enjoy the airport/flight portion of all of those trips.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by G View Post
            I've had an Amex Reserve for years and am looking forward to the new perks. I use the club access many times per year (each trip at least twice--snacks/food/coffee/beer plus the higher end customer service reps, crucial if something goes off the rails). I already get free bags with status. I appreciate the favorable/no-fee exchange rate on foreign currency. It is supposed to help prioritize you for upgrades--no idea if that works. And I use the extra miles to keep a higher status level. Also, I appreciate their customer service based upon a couple interactions in the past. Finally, perhaps it is just a coincidence, but Amex is the only card that has never been hacked.

            Bottom line, yeah, worth the annual fee for sure, even if for 1/4 of the trips that you have planned.
            Yes, I have heard that the AmEx customer service is much better than that offered by other cards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post
              There are often 100k bonuses. Look for that. I’ve not used the Intl airline program as we usually fly economy. Airline lounge access can be nice but you may have to pay for guests or find the lounge is crowded. The Uber credits are spread monthly and are use it or lose it.

              ive had several Plat cards (including Schwab and biz) but usually downgrade after the first year

              same for chase sapphire
              The international airline program is probably going to turn out to be the largest cost savings of this card. Even if we save 20% on a $5,000 business class airfare for 2 on one trip half way around the world, that is already $1,000 saved.

              I looked around for the 100k bonus, but am only able to score 60k bonus at the moment.

              When you say that you downgrade, do you then again become eligible for the bonus if you apply again?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by G View Post
                Just looking at that platinum card. Are all of your trips on the same airline consortium? You mentioned Delta--with 10 trips you will probably be Diamond by the end of the year. You will be able to select free club access with that (in 2021) vs other options like travel voucher or upgrade coupons, it is unlikely that you will ever have to pay for bags/food on flights (so take away that airline credit from Amex).

                For that much flying, I'd probably go with the Reserve card, get high medallion status, and enjoy the airport/flight portion of all of those trips.
                We typically fly on many different airlines depending on where we are going, the schedule and the cost. Currently I am holding reservations on Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Air China, and Southwest for upcoming trips. And I am going to be making reservations shortly on British Airways and SAS. So I receive and use frequent flyer miles on various airlines, but I never saw the point of using only one airline to build up status if the flights are less convenient or more costly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

                  The international airline program is probably going to turn out to be the largest cost savings of this card. Even if we save 20% on a $5,000 business class airfare for 2 on one trip half way around the world, that is already $1,000 saved.

                  I looked around for the 100k bonus, but am only able to score 60k bonus at the moment.

                  When you say that you downgrade, do you then again become eligible for the bonus if you apply again?
                  You’d have to look at specific terms of the intl airline program. I’m sure you have to book through Amex travel and I’ve found their site occasionally a hassle and they may not have the best price available

                  make sure you look around for bonus or regular Amex plat and also Schwab Amex plat and biz plat

                  you can only get the bonus once per card. But there is more than one plat card as noted above. Plus spouse can get cards separate.

                  I find chase and SW points easier to use for my family. Sitting on a bunch of Amex points
                  my radiology group is hiring, pm if you can do msk and are interested

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

                    I never saw the point of using only one airline to build up status if the flights are less convenient or more costly.
                    I get that and would never disparage that approach. For me, there is something to be said for rolling up to the elite check-in line, free bags with elite/priority handling, getting the elite security line, the elite boarding/overhead space, the elite seating plus/minus free upgrades...and if something goes wrong, the elite customer service. I also am familiar with the aircraft (where not to sit, which flights have better chance of upgrades) and hub airports (how long does it take to get from X to Z, which coffee place to hit if not going to lounge, where to stay/what to do if overnight is required). Add on the lounge, and I actually enjoy flying!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
                      My younger, quite financially disciplined self carried only no fee credit cards and we always paid them off every month. I tended to prefer to cash back cards as I value simplicity.

                      These days we have reached FI but I am still working. So we often look for ways to splurge and have fun. Our biggest splurge has been on some amazing trips. We are probably going to take about 7 or 8 domestic trips in 2020, and 3 international. Surprisingly, l recently became interested in the AmEx platinum card despite the $550 annual fee. But it actually looks like the platinum card could lead to significant savings.

                      The platinum international airline program offers significant discounts on fares above economy class. And the platinum Uber link gives $200 in Uber credits per year. Then I get $200 in credits on Delta for things like premium seats and luggage fees each year. Although we don't care all that much about the airport lounges, the Platinum card would get us into those lounges for free drinks and food before domestic flights. It looks like the savings from all of this will easily surpass 1 to 2 thousand per year.

                      Has anyone used the platinum card for the international airline program? Any other experiences with platinum to share? I am probably going to pull the trigger as they are also offering 60,000 points for signing up.
                      Some credit cards are worth the annual fee. Especially for someone in your situation with a lot of travel, a card like Chase Sapphire Preferred with a lot of bonus travel points would be a good one. $95 annual fee.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have been waiting for the 100k bonus to show up to get the card. Just keep in mind some of the caveats to get those credits. The Uber credit is 200 divided over 12 months. And the airline credit, i believe, is with a designated airline. But it sounds like you are going to get good value out of the other perks of the card anyway.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have been considering it for years but have never pulled the trigger. A fair amount of travel to Africa and other far flung destinations and lounge access would be great. One of the issues is that over the years the perks have seemed to decrease especially in terms of lounge access and lounges have become more and more busy. I think it would be excellent if you were frequently flying out of or even better transferring through an airport where they had one of the high end lounges. I wish I had pulled the trigger when I was traveling several times a year back and forth from Dubai, often with 4 children in tow but money was harder to come by then and we often stopped in London for a few days in transit. Perhaps as retirement travel ramps up I will take the plunge. At the end of the day, it isn't a great deal of money and I could pay it with corporate dollars.

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                          • #14
                            Yea I just ordered Chase Sapphire Reserve this week. Go big or go home I guess.

                            Originally posted by GUtiger View Post
                            We have CSR card with similar annual fee. We use the perks and for us the card basically pays for itself. I have no problem paying a premium for better service and extra creature comforts. Free airport lounge access in Zimbabwe? Yes, please (we used this).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I’m pretty sure the Amex airline credit resets 1/1

                              so you get the credit twice under the first year annual fee if you do it right.

                              It’s easier with airlines where you can buy gift cards that code as airline fees that qualify for the credit, if you don’t have a trip ipcoming

                              ive done this with SW in the past
                              my radiology group is hiring, pm if you can do msk and are interested

                              Comment

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