For a while there have been rumors of some major changes coming to the personal version of the Amex Platinum Card (in addition to the changes to Amex Centurion Lounge access that we are expecting to see as of 2023). These rumors keep getting stronger, so in this post I wanted to summarize what’s out there.
Let me once again emphasize that this is all rumored, and all of this is subject to change until there’s an official announcement.
Rumored Amex Platinum annual fee increase
According to the rumor, the Amex Platinum annual fee will increase from $550 to $695, but only for the personal version of the card. This change is expected to kick in for new cardmembers as of July 2021, and for existing cardmembers as of January 2022.
Rumored Amex Platinum benefits changes
With these rumored changes, the Amex Platinum will be positioned more as a lifestyle card than a travel card, and we can expect the following potential new perks:
- A $300 annual Equinox credit
- A $240 annual entertainment credit, broken down as a $20 monthly credit towards magazine & news subscriptions, video streaming services, and audio & music streaming services
- A $200 annual credit for prepaid hotel bookings through Amex Travel
- An annual CLEAR membership, potentially replacing the TSA Pre-Check credit
- A $100 Resy credit, but only as a temporary benefit
It’s my understanding that most of the current card perks are expected to stick around as well, unless noted otherwise. So I believe this card would still offer:
- A $200 annual airline fee credit (there are rumors that this could be cut, though only time will tell)
- A $200 annual Uber credit, broken down as a $15 monthly credit, and a $35 credit in December
- A $100 annual Saks credit, broken down as a $50 credit every six months
- Centurion Lounge access, Delta SkyClub access, a Priority Pass membership, and more
- 5x Membership Rewards points for airfare purchases
My take on these rumored changes
Assuming these rumored changes are true, what’s my take? Well, we’d essentially be seeing a $145 annual fee increase, and we’d see annual credits added to the card that are potentially worth well over $700.
If these changes are true, I actually think the math very much works out favorably for many:
- Personally I don’t see myself using the Equinox credit, but if you are an Equinox member, that could be hugely valuable
- The entertainment credit, prepaid hotel credit, and CLEAR membership potentially way more than justify the annual fee
So I’d ultimately view these changes as being positive, personally.
At the same time, I can’t help but feel like the Amex Platinum is kind of becoming like one of those Entertainment Coupon Books that I had to sell in middle school to raise money:
- On the one hand, Amex is able to offer so many perks that have such a high dollar value on the surface because of how many “catches” there are associated with them — I imagine Amex isn’t actually paying much for most of these partner perks, given the affluent consumer base companies are getting access to
- At the same time, most of these perks have significant terms associated with them, and it almost feels a bit like couponing, which is the opposite of what you’d generally expect from a luxury or premium product
I know the Amex Platinum has never really been about offering a compelling value proposition on spending, but I sure wish it had a better rewards structure, so that I’d actually want to spend money on the card. Looking at my own Amex strategy, I find the Amex Platinum to be well worth it for the perks, while I use other Amex cards for spending.
What about a new ultra premium Amex card?
In early 2020 there were rumors of Amex introducing a new ultra premium card, somewhere between the Amex Platinum and Amex Centurion. This rumor was based on a document that listed the vendors that produce American Express cards in the US, listing a new “Titanium” and “Black Charge Metal” card (it separately listed the Centurion Card, which is otherwise often referred to as the “Black Card”).
Obviously a lot has changed in the world in the past year, so I’m curious to see if there’s still a plan for a card like that to be introduced, or if we’ll instead just see an annual fee hike and new benefits on the Amex Platinum.
It’s being rumored that the Amex Platinum will be seeing a $145 annual fee hike in the coming months, bringing the annual fee to $695. However, the card would offer a variety of new perks, including annual Equinox, entertainment, and hotel credits.
Based on what we know it seems like these changes would be a positive for most (even if you won’t use the Equinox credit), even though there may be quite a few terms associated with each of these benefits.
What do you make of these rumored Amex Platinum changes?
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)