Amex Platinum Ending Boingo Wi-Fi Benefit

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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The Platinum Card® from American Express is an all-around excellent card that I have for the benefits it offers. The card has a $550 annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers a long list of perks.

These include a comprehensive lounge access benefit (Amex Centurion Lounge access, a Priority Pass membership, access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day, etc.), a $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 annual Uber credit, $100 annual Saks credit, Hilton Honors Gold status, Marriott Gold status, and more.


Centurion Lounge access is one of my favorite Amex Platinum benefits

When it comes to listing the benefits of the card, one of the benefits that I often don’t get even around to listing is the Boingo Preferred Plan.

In 2014 Amex added the Boingo Preferred Plan as a benefit on the Amex Platinum Card. This gave those with eligible American Express cards complimentary unlimited wifi access at over one million hotspots around the world for up to four devices.

Registration for that benefit is required, and it’s something I’ve found to be pretty useful. I’ve found myself using this in some cities, but primarily I’ve used it at airports that either doesn’t offer complimentary Wi-Fi or offer a premium (higher speed) option through Boingo.

Unfortunately, it looks like this benefit is ending. As of May 1, 2019, the Boingo Preferred Plan will no longer be an Amex Platinum Card benefit. However, if you are enrolled as of April 30, 2019, you’ll continue to have access through December 31, 2019.

We know about this because people are reporting that their latest Amex Platinum Card statement has the following note:

Effective May 1, 2019, Boingo Preferred Plan will no longer be a benefit on the Platinum Card®. Card Members who are enrolled in Boingo Preferred Plan as of 4/30/2019, will continue to have access to this benefit until 12/31/2019.

While I’m sad to see this change, this wasn’t one of the primary reasons I had the card, so it also won’t impact whether or not I keep the card.

If you have an eligible card and don’t yet have a Boingo membership, you can still register for a Boingo Amex Preferred Plan here. The process is easy, and you just have to provide your 15 digit card number to verify eligibility and get started.

So far I’ve only seen reports of people seeing this notice on the Amex Platinum Card. However, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card offer this benefit as well.

It could be that this is just staying on as a business card benefit, or it could be that it’s being cut from those cards as well. If anyone has either of those cards and had a statement that recently closed, please report back with whether you see such a notice or not.

Will you miss the Boingo benefit on the Amex Platinum Card?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. At least Gogo flight pass courtesy of Amex Business Platinum isn’t ending. I thought that will end too.

  2. The Boingo benefit was nice when traveling outside the US. I use it a lot when traveling instead of renting a pocket wifi in certain countries.

    The accountants have kicked the marketing people out of American Express. New benefits are lame. They are forgetting the reason for having benefits -> to build good fuzzy feelings with customers so when they have to choose a card to pay with they select American Express. Especially at the lounges the whole goal is to create good fuzzy feeling but having restrictions totally defeats the purpose.

  3. I hate Boingo. I spent an hour or so on a flight trying to log on with my free account from the Platinum Card and then after I landed, found out when I called them that you cannot use this free benefit on planes. And whenever you see Boingo is providing service at an airport, you know that you have to pay when it should be free.

    However from reading your article above I signed up for the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue benefit, I had no idea that existed, thanks!

  4. @Dan Nainan, you shouldnt have to pay in airports. I’ve used it in airports and it worked fine, thats probably the only time I actually do use it. You are correct about airplanes though, it is not valid for inflight wifi.

    This isn’t a huge loss, but there definitely is a trend of benefits either being dropped, devalued or becoming useless lately.

  5. I don’t get the appeal of Amex Platinum and evidently I’m not alone, as their problems connecting with millennials (who prefer Chase) has been well-documented. But then, I’ve never been impressed by someone’s credit card.

    $50 twice a year from Saks and a $200 airline fee credit (but only from one airline you have to select in advance) are pretty lame perks Amex counts on most cardholders not redeeming.

  6. @GuruJanitor I think he meant airports are choosing to funnel all users through paid Boingo hotspots instead of offering complimentary WiFi to flyers. Yes it’s”free” for Amex holders, but arguably it is a service airports should charge for free to everyone, since it costs relatively little, and the cell service in some parts of these airports is dismal. At the end of the day, it’s the airports’ decisions, anyway, and we can only vote with our dollars…

  7. @Randy: if you fly Delta, having access to Delta Sky Lounges is the best benefit you can get from Amex. That alone is worth $495 so add the $100 for Saks plus $200 airline fee credit and the card is a winner for me.

  8. Haha @Randy way to humblebrag about your own egalitarianism. How very Millennial 😉

    Amex’s “Millenial Problem” is indeed well documented, which is why they launched a reboot of the Gold Card last year with massive rewards for dining out, grocers and decent travel awards, and a lower annual fee than the Platinum Card (and in rose gold…). By all accounts this has been somewhat successful so far.

    To be fair I don’t think the Platinum Card was ever really targeted at millennials – it has tried to keep a clear demographic lead among professionals who travel all the time and who stay at business hotels and traditional luxury hotels, more than “off the map” experiential stuff.

    They also watched chase lose a ton of money getting all the millennials with the crazy sapphire reserve benefits (many of which like the welcome bonus mate now being trimmed).

    However I do think Amex now needs to be careful trimming more benefits from Platinum – they have not launched any really amazing new benefits recently and the slow trimming of a lot of the smaller ones will def annoy people.

  9. The benefits far outweigh the negatives for most cardholders. And it’s not Amex that hopes you don’t use them. Amex doesn’t pay anything to Sak’s for the $100 annual credit. That’s Sak’s footing the bill for the marketing and accessing of the Amex Platinum members.

    I’d expect AMEX’s marketing department to keep coming up with partnerships that will offer perks in exchange for marketing. Look at Dell and the $100 free credit on the Platinum Biz card. They have tons of stuff you can order from Dell that are non-PC stuff (memory cards, etc).

    Also, if you notice there are more and more AMEX offers. That’s just free stuff offered that AMEX isn’t spending a penny on. That’s smart marketing and I’d expect more benefits like this. I get tons of benefits (much more than the annual fee of card) now on Amex Offers.

  10. I can’t remember the last time I was in an airport that didn’t have its own free Wifi — haven’t used this benefit in years.

  11. Date Point: I just checked my Charles Schwab statement from February — this language is not on there. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get added to the March statement!

  12. I’ve used it occasionally in airports, more often in random public spaces that happen to have it, but still pretty rarely. However, after this clusterf*$% with Uber cash in October/November, I’m not very happy that Amex seems to be carving things off of the card, rather than improving the value proposition.

    The limitations on using the lounge have definitely been a major devaluation of the card for me, since I’ve frequently used the lounge upon arrival.

    So, yeah, I’m beginning to increasingly question how the numbers work out for this card, for me. One more thing like this, and I’ll probably swap over to the Chase Reserve (I had the platinum already when they introduced it).

  13. This was garbage and actually getting worse, from a brand standpoint this is good. Hopefully some budget to add something else

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