Official: Amex Platinum Gets New Perks, $695 Annual Fee

Official: Amex Platinum Gets New Perks, $695 Annual Fee

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American Express has today launched a refreshed version of The Platinum Card® from American Express in the United States. Changes had been rumored for several months, and we now have the official details.

With this update, we’re seeing the Amex Platinum’s annual fee increase, but we’re also seeing all kinds of new benefits, which for most people should more than offset the annual fee increase.

Amex Platinum annual fee increase from $550 to $695

Let’s get the bad news out of the way up front — the Amex Platinum‘s annual fee has increased from $550 to $695 (Rates & Fees) :

  • The $695 annual fee applies for new accounts opened as of July 1, 2021
  • For existing cardmembers, the increased annual fee will take effect for renewal dates on or after January 1, 2022

A $145 annual fee hike is significant (that’s a ~26% increase), and makes the Amex Platinum the highest annual fee card in the United States that’s not invitation-only (at least as far as I know).

The Amex Platinum’s annual fee is going up by $145

Amex Platinum adding new benefits

The American Express Platinum is getting new benefits across dining, wellness, retail, and entertainment. Amex argues that the card’s suite of benefits now offers $1,400 of value each year. It’s also suggested that while in the past this was more of a travel card, it’s now also a lifestyle card.

The Amex Platinum is getting the following new benefits:

  • $240 digital entertainment credit — $20 monthly statement credit on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times
  • $300 Equinox credit — $25 monthly statement credit on purchases of select Equinox Fitness Club monthly memberships or a digital subscription to Equinox+
  • $200 hotel credit — annual statement credit valid for prepaid bookings at Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made through American Express travel
  • $179 CLEAR credit — annual statement credit for a CLEAR membership, offering expedited security screening at major airports and stadiums across the United States
  • Global Dining Access by Resy — access to the new Global Dining Access program by Resy, giving access to premium events and other perks, like priority notify and VIP status
  • Premium Private Jet Program — access to a 20% discount on Wheels Up Connect and a 40% discount on Wheels Up Core memberships; also get a $500 or $2,000 credit added to your Wheels Up account to use toward your initial flight within the first year, depending on your selected membership
The Amex Platinum is getting a $200 hotel credit

This is in addition to the card’s existing benefits, which include the following credits:

  • $200 airline credit — up to $200 back in statement credits each year in incidental fees on a member-selected qualifying airline
  • $200 Uber Cash — $15 monthly credit (plus $20 bonus in December) towards Uber rides or Uber Eats orders in the United States
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit — statement credits in-store or online at saks.com, with a $50 credit in January through June, and a $50 credit in July through December
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit — up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, once every four years
The Amex Platinum continues to offer a Saks credit

That’s in addition to comprehensive lounge access (including access to Centurion Lounges, Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass lounges (enrollment required), and more), 5x Membership Rewards points on flights, access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, cell phone protection, travel coverage, and more.

I love the Amex Platinum lounge access perks

What about the Amex Business Platinum?

While The Business Platinum Card® from American Express isn’t undergoing a full refresh, the card is picking up a few new benefits, with change to its $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees). The Amex Business Platinum offers the $179 annual CLEAR credit, access to Global Dining Access by Resy, and access to the Premium Private Jet Program.

The Amex Business Platinum is also getting a CLEAR credit

My take on Amex Platinum changes

I’ve had the Amex Platinum for years, and I’ll continue to have the Amex Platinum after these changes. Existing cardmembers are immediately getting new perks, but will only be paying a higher annual fee starting in 2022. Even then, I think the incremental perks justify the $145 annual fee increase.

Here’s how I see myself using these perks (or not using them, as the case may be):

  • Getting significant value out of the $200 hotel credit should be easy enough, for those who stay at luxury hotels with any frequency
  • I’ll get value out of the CLEAR credit, though I’d value that at $119 at most, rather than $179; that’s because just for being a Delta SkyMiles member you can get a discount membership cost of $119
  • I’m disappointed that the digital entertainment credit has such limited partners, and since I don’t currently have subscriptions with any of those companies, I’m not sure I value that at anything
  • The Equinox credit will be valuable for those who are members, but I’m not, so I don’t value that at anything
  • I also don’t value the Global Dining Access by Resy and Premium Private Jet Program at anything, at least based on what I know as of now
I’m not an Equinox member, so won’t get value out of that

In my case I view this as paying $145 for a CLEAR membership and a $200 hotel credit, and I think that’s a good enough deal.

While the value checks out in my case, 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 expect from a luxury or premium product

The only spending I consistently put on my Amex Platinum is airfare purchases, and then I use the card for lounge access and essentially as a couponing card. The math works out, one $15, $20, $25, $50, $179, or $200 credit at a time. It just doesn’t feel very premium to me.

Then again, I’m guessing these are the only kinds of perks Amex can add to the card while still making the economics of the card work.

Bottom line

The Amex Platinum is undergoing a refresh. With this, we’re seeing the annual fee on the personal card increase to $695, while some perks are added. The new perks include a $240 digital entertainment credit, $300 Equinox credit, $200 hotel credit, $179 CLEAR credit, and more. There are significant restrictions with each of those perks, though.

While most cardmembers likely won’t be able to take advantage of all the new perks, I think most people will come out ahead if they value just one or two of these benefits. Still, the number of terms and how credits are doled out really doesn’t have a very premium feel, if you ask me.

What do you make of these Amex Platinum changes, and how does your math on this card change?

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

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  1. Andrew

    Ugh… only four options for the streaming credit? That’s probably the biggest shock to me. If it was any streaming service, I would have loved the changes.

    1. Allen

      I agree. Before the change, I don't recall any rumors suggesting the streaming credit would be such a limited list of (frankly useless) services. No Netflix, Hulu, Sling, YouTube TV, Disney+, HBO Max, or anything else remotely appealing. All the other so-called benefits are of little to no value to me (and, I suspect, to the majority of cardholders in most of the US, especially those of us already getting CLEAR for free). I was...

      I agree. Before the change, I don't recall any rumors suggesting the streaming credit would be such a limited list of (frankly useless) services. No Netflix, Hulu, Sling, YouTube TV, Disney+, HBO Max, or anything else remotely appealing. All the other so-called benefits are of little to no value to me (and, I suspect, to the majority of cardholders in most of the US, especially those of us already getting CLEAR for free). I was hoping for at least some benefit that would come close to offsetting the additional fee, but today's news dashes that hope. For me, it's a pure fee increase.

    2. Pilot OneWorld

      You don’t / can’t read The New York Times? That’s revealing. LoL.

    3. Pilot OneWorld

      A NYT subscription would benefit all of you.

    4. Lulu

      My NYT subscription is only $4 a month, so that’s a whopping $48 a year benefit. Not worth it.

    5. Andrew B

      Same here. Had that been at least a wider range (Netflix alone would be enough), it would be a no brainer renewal. Now it will be on the chopping block.

    6. WC

      When I look at the wording for the credit, I keep on seeing the word "or" in the below. Is there any chance the eligible purchases include other options? I am aligned with you if this is not the case and only these 4 are applicable.
      $240 digital entertainment credit — $20 monthly statement credit on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times

  2. Devin

    The CLEAR benefit also covers Family Membership charges ($50/year in addition to the $119) so for many the value will be up to $169.

    1. relidtm

      so better to get a family plan vs have an authorized user do it?

    2. JB

      What do authorized users get from these new benefits? I assume the hotel and streaming credits are not valid but what about the clear membership (since the card currently gives a Global Entry credit to all)?

    3. Bob

      If you have to think hard and strategize on how to get your $700 back it's probably not worth it.

      Think about it. This fee equates to 3 or 4 nights at a good hotel every year. Unless you already use many of the services they reimburse you're not going to come out ahead and I'm betting that's what Amex is banking on. Seriously, peacock, specific equinox plans and prepaid hotels??!

  3. Joey

    My Amex plat renewal date is October 2021. Does that mean if I renew, I'll pay the old price and still get all those new added benefits?

    1. Frank B

      As someone whose card renews on 12/13, I have nothing but good things to say about these changes until 12/12/2022. What are the odds Amex would extend my current fee 3 weeks rather than give me basically the next year at $550?

  4. KR

    The streaming credit restrictions are by far the biggest disappointment of all of this. Aside from that, I have zero need/interest in Equinox either and I get CLEAR with my DL status. The $200 hotel credit, when used, I suppose will be beneficial, but the property list is luxury-only.

    I suppose the good news is current members still get these perks for 2021. Although I don't know how much longer I'm going to keep...

    The streaming credit restrictions are by far the biggest disappointment of all of this. Aside from that, I have zero need/interest in Equinox either and I get CLEAR with my DL status. The $200 hotel credit, when used, I suppose will be beneficial, but the property list is luxury-only.

    I suppose the good news is current members still get these perks for 2021. Although I don't know how much longer I'm going to keep the card because the new benefits are virtually useless to me.

  5. AdamH

    Don’t think I’m reapplying for this any time soon. Cancelled before the pandemic after continued let downs in Centurion lounges.

    Curious about the prepaid rule for the hotel credit though. In my experience most of the FHR stays I ever did were settled up at the hotel (in fact all I think). Usually when it is prepaid through third party you also lose reward benefits. Does this shift impact that?

  6. Alonzo

    This is a joke. I feel bad for the folks that have this card and don't live in a major city. I just don't understand Amex's obsession with making people receive credits. What high income earner, earning 300k+ is keeping track of all these credits? Digital subscription credit is limited and super narrow list. Equinox is a small discount on an already over inflated membership price. I don't understand the value of Clear if you...

    This is a joke. I feel bad for the folks that have this card and don't live in a major city. I just don't understand Amex's obsession with making people receive credits. What high income earner, earning 300k+ is keeping track of all these credits? Digital subscription credit is limited and super narrow list. Equinox is a small discount on an already over inflated membership price. I don't understand the value of Clear if you already have Precheck. Sure it's becoming popular outside of airports, but come on. Gold and Green cards are looking pretty good. Time to downgrade my Sapp Reserve too. Premium my ass, Amex and Chase don't care about what you want. Jump through hoops little children.

    1. John G

      The value of Clear is skipping the entire ID check line which can move very slowly at certain times (even the pre check line).

    2. Alonzo

      Where? I live in NYC and travel frequently. Have never spent more than 5 minutes in a Precheck line.

    3. John G

      DCA where everyone is precheck basically (between global, tsa, DoD or Military).

    4. Alonzo

      I get it, but 4% of the entire country has Precheck (not including military). So while DCA has a lot of military members, the number of people who actually have Precheck is really low.

    5. eaci

      As a high income earner, I usually do not micro-manage the credits, but I do reassign monthly or annual subscriptions. As as example, as soon as I am done posting this, I will move my wife's and my Audible subscriptions to the card (which will better than cancel out the fee increase).

    6. relidtm

      same i did this and forgot to change my method of payment before hand it hit my amazon card first :) (I was doing the yearly plan)

    7. AW

      Clear is actually fantastic. Coupled with TSA Pre, I haven't waited more than 5 minutes in an airport line (in airports that have it, which is now most major ones) for years.

    8. TravelingChef

      I used to have this mindset re: Clear. But my primary airports are SEA, SFO, SJC, JFK and LAX. Each of those now has substantial numbers of TSA pre check members. Pre pandemic it wasn't uncommon for the Pre Check lines to be 30+ minutes long. With summer travel peaking, I'm already seeing that again.

      So with Clear I'm escorted to the front of the Pre Check line, which in many instances is a notable time savings.

    9. Alonzo

      I've lived in NYC for over a decade and have never experienced a Precheck line over 10 minutes. In most cases it's under 5 minutes. Lucky? I don't think so. I think folks really exaggerate wait times.

  7. GeorgeW

    This is useless for the majority of Equinox members as well (speaking as one). Not that many of us bother with an All Access or Destination Access membership.

    1. John G

      Depends on where you live. If you are in NYC, the destination is worth the extra $50 or so a month. Hudson Yards and Sports Club on the westside are a substantial upgrade from the run of the mill Equinox's around the city. Especially if you enjoy swimming, hot tubs and a sauna.

      In other cities, I tend to agree with you. I'm mostly in LA right now, I went to the Sports Club LA...

      Depends on where you live. If you are in NYC, the destination is worth the extra $50 or so a month. Hudson Yards and Sports Club on the westside are a substantial upgrade from the run of the mill Equinox's around the city. Especially if you enjoy swimming, hot tubs and a sauna.

      In other cities, I tend to agree with you. I'm mostly in LA right now, I went to the Sports Club LA (it wasn't as nice as NY) and a few others- I find myself only going to my home gym. With the Amex credit and if you have Founderscard- it ends up being a marginal difference from the single gym to all access.

    2. Kenny

      People really still pay just for access to one gym??? Thought they didn't even let you do that anymore.

    3. KB

      At some locations in NYC the cheapest membership is All Access. But most locations still allow you to do just one for about $150-$180.

    4. Tortuga

      Stupid question, but can the credit be used toward a day pass if I'm in a city with an Equinox while I'm traveling?

    5. KB

      Looks like it's only for the higher-tier memberships and the digital membership (app). No one-offs like spa, shop, etc. I also don't think they presently offer day passes unless you are already a member and need access to a different location.

    6. KB

      In NYC and LA it's pretty common to get All Access or above as there are so many locations that you might have one or two near work and a few near home. Especially if you take group fitness classes it really opens up the offering.

  8. dc_nomad

    @Ben Do you know if there will be an increase on the fee additional members ($175 up to 3)

  9. John G

    With the exception for the Clear credit (Already free for Delta Diamond), all of the credits worked for me. Including the entertainment credit (my new car Sirius XM trial is just expiring). But it does seem these changes are really directed to the customers in the NY or CA regions.. Equinox, Resy, NY Time subscription credit ?

    @Ben, Yes- I agree they are turning this card into a coupon book but that's probably not a...

    With the exception for the Clear credit (Already free for Delta Diamond), all of the credits worked for me. Including the entertainment credit (my new car Sirius XM trial is just expiring). But it does seem these changes are really directed to the customers in the NY or CA regions.. Equinox, Resy, NY Time subscription credit ?

    @Ben, Yes- I agree they are turning this card into a coupon book but that's probably not a bad idea. Normally, I would only use this card for airfare purchases. All of these credits broken down monthly forces more customer engagement with the card to get the maximum value. They just got me to add three new recurring charges over to this card. But I suspect a good amount of people may not be so receptive to all of these changes. Time will tell.

  10. Anthony

    Equinox All Access is useful as a frequent traveler as I often find Equinox gyms near my hotels that are better options than the hotel gym.

    Changes are great for me, but the structure of the changes means it is harder to justify holding more than one Platinum card IMO (I know many have Business Platinum, Consumer Platinum, Charles Schwab, etc).

  11. Jonathan

    “The math works out, one $15, $20, $25, $50, $179, or $200 credit at a time”better than earning one mile at a time

  12. Green machine

    I am assuming the refundable hotel trick will still work with the that credit - I have no use for it over the near future as all my trips are booked

  13. Motion to Dismiss

    Just so everyone knows, the prepaid hotel credit does NOT mean that your reservation has to be nonrefundable. With many FHR reservations, you can prepay and then get a full refund if you cancel. I've done that many times, since like many of us my plans have been fluid during the pandemic. The advantage to booking FHR prepaid is that you earn 5x points instead of 1x points.

  14. Doug

    This is a crappy change. Digital credit is too limited to be valuable. Clear membership is worthless for 1K or DL Diamond members (who already receive this benefit from their airline). Equinox is a niche benefit for a handful of people in a few big cities who already use this service. They've also failed to differentiate benefits enough to justify holding the personal and business Platinum cards. Very disappointing overall.

  15. Ryan B

    Will the CLEAR benefit be available to Authorized Users? I believe the TSA/GE credit is, so curious if they’re letting them do their own CLEAR credit?

  16. NoBagsChecked

    While I agree with most comments that these are largely useless for people outside of major metro areas I would like to know if I can receive these benefits immediately. I am starting to travel for work again and a clear membership wouldn't hurt even though they still don't have it in CLT (AA hub for all you DL folks...).

    Also $20 less a month on streaming doesn't hurt, it's a set-it-&-forget-it perk.

  17. Justin

    I've had an AMEX platinum before but have been generally OK with my Citi Prestige for the past 5 years or so (even with the downgrade of that card I can't be bothered to change). This re-vamp of the AMEX card does nothing to attract me to switch back. I hate complicated benefits and things like EQUINOX, Clear and the really limited streaming credit aren't of interest to me at all. As someone else said,...

    I've had an AMEX platinum before but have been generally OK with my Citi Prestige for the past 5 years or so (even with the downgrade of that card I can't be bothered to change). This re-vamp of the AMEX card does nothing to attract me to switch back. I hate complicated benefits and things like EQUINOX, Clear and the really limited streaming credit aren't of interest to me at all. As someone else said, for many high-ish income earners, these nickel and dime conditional benefits aren't worth the bother to keep track of. I like @Ben's description of this becoming like an Entertainment book. For all the criticisms of the Citi Prestige, it's benefits are very straightforward (and I still get $1000+ of benefit out of the 4th night free even with the changes implemented to limit its use).

  18. Frederik

    The English card really is the poor elderly relation across the pond.

  19. John G

    Do authorized users get their own Clear credit (like precheck or global) ?

    1. greggers

      I read the terms and conditions. They do not get a separate one. Just a flat $179 per year. But, if you're a Delta Skymiles member, you can get membership for $119 and family members are $60 each. So you can join Skymiles and add one family member to use the full credit.

  20. upstater

    Lucky, What about Centurion Lounge access? It had been reported that the revised benefits eliminated a card member being allowed to bring 2 guests to the lounge. Only card members would have access.

    Is this the new policy? Thanks!

    1. Josh

      That change takes effect Feb. 1, 2023.

  21. KK13

    I get Disney+, Hulu and EPSN+ is for free offered by Verizon.
    I wish they had included Netflix, Sling, Apple TV or FuboTV... but nothing. I do have NY Times, so that kind of works. But I don't plan to have Equinox, or Clear - since I have Global Entry through United Explorer.

    This is a tough one, 'love it or list it'? Decisions, decisions....

    1. mdande7

      If you're at a large airport Clear can be a life saver, even if you have TSA PreCheck/Global Entry. And for free, why not give it a try!

    2. KK13

      Orlando (MCO), which is always busy.
      Although, I haven't faced more than 5 mins in any TSA lines for the past 5-6 years, you never know. If it's free, no harm in getting it.... thanks for the suggestion.

  22. Rudy

    Awful benefits. Poor choice by Amex. Been with them 20 years and frankly it’s insulting the card has become a coupon book. Should have kept the PayPal benefit all these extra things they added are almost useless. Even the hotel credit is limited to their hotel collection or fine hotels and resort. Weak at best will prob not renew again

  23. Ivan X

    I agree with Ben’s analysis. But I also don’t think anyone reading this blog is the target market for the card. Amex Platinum has historically been a status card for wealthy people (with Centurion reserved for extraordinarily wealthy people). The whole thing is having The Card, because other people in your circles have The Card too. I own a boutique consultancy in NYC and probably a third or half of my clients pay me with...

    I agree with Ben’s analysis. But I also don’t think anyone reading this blog is the target market for the card. Amex Platinum has historically been a status card for wealthy people (with Centurion reserved for extraordinarily wealthy people). The whole thing is having The Card, because other people in your circles have The Card too. I own a boutique consultancy in NYC and probably a third or half of my clients pay me with a Platinum (or Centurion, once in a while). and I can promise you many of them have not studied its benefits or even selected an airline for the incidentals credit. If I told them they should be paying me with a Blue Business Plus or an Everyday Preferred instead, they’d just look at me funny.

    They just know that if they need to dispute a charge, Amex will probably take their side, and that when they pay for something in person, they’ve got an Amex Plat to show like their peers, and they have access to Centurion and Delta lounges when they travel.

    So, viewed through that lens, I think the new “perks” are less about appealing to these people, and more about just seeming to offer something that doesn’t cost them much rather than a straight up big price hike. Amex wants to see how much their core market will pay for this card before they start losing them. It may well work in their favor, with the higher price inherently conferring “exclusivity”.

    1. Shangster11

      I will admit that I used to value the "status symbol". Passed that stage perhaps at least 15-20 years ago now. Even Centurion does not elicit any oohs and aahs anymore.
      The card companies also have done a great job educating the masses to value the cards based on points, perks, and overall value (hence the existence of sites like this, TPG, etc), so...the less relevant the benefits, the less the value of the card.

    2. Lune

      I read this blog and I still view my AmEx Platinum the same way :-) Not the image stuff, but everything else.

      The Plat was my first annual fee card. Until then, I had only no annual fee cards, and thought even a $99 fee was wasteful. AmEx sent me an offer for 75k miles, and I figured I'd use them for a year and cancel. That was ~15 years ago... The biggest revelation was...

      I read this blog and I still view my AmEx Platinum the same way :-) Not the image stuff, but everything else.

      The Plat was my first annual fee card. Until then, I had only no annual fee cards, and thought even a $99 fee was wasteful. AmEx sent me an offer for 75k miles, and I figured I'd use them for a year and cancel. That was ~15 years ago... The biggest revelation was the service aspect. The aggravation factor of using other cards was completely gone. Whenever I had an issue, I could call and within 5 minutes get a human on the line, who was almost always nice and could solve my problem for me. And it wasn't unusual for them to go above and beyond to help me out (like calling a hotel directly to see if they could finagle a reservation for me, helping me fill out their baggage insurance claims, etc).

      Plus, they never ever decline a charge. Do you know how annoying it is to use Chase and/or Citi and have them decline a charge while you're traveling because you're in a new city that you don't normally charge things from? I've literally made charges in 3-4 different countries within 24hrs on my AmEx (home country, layover in Europe, another layover and final destination in Africa or Asia), without notifying them that I'm traveling, and they've accepted them without issue. When I had an emergency once in a remote part of a small foreign country and had to cut short my trip and get back home ASAP, I had to buy 6 tickets (for my family) including multiple tickets from different agencies in different countries as we were desperately trying to find flights back home. I pulled out my AmEx and just started charging, and never had to worry about the charge being declined. The last thing I needed was to waste time with some stupid "Please call our fraud prevention service to confirm a recent transaction" notification. Try that on Chase or Citi. (BTW, all those "fraud prevention notifications" aren't to protect you; you're already protected from fraudulent charges by the law, as long as you notify your CC company within 30 days. It's to protect them from having to eat the charge if it's fraudulent, like the law forces them to do).

      So overall, I feel like my Plat is an insurance policy. Yeah, I don't put a ton of spend on it. But when I need help, or I'm somewhere in the world where I don't want to worry about whether my card will work or not, I have the Plat to use. To me, that peace of mind is worth a few hundred bucks a year.

      That said, there are a few other cards that are catching up to the Plat in this regard. I've had a good experience with the Chase Sapphire, and more CC companies are seeing the value of having premium cards. So if the AF keeps going up and benefits cut, I could see myself eventually giving it up, or moving down to an AmEx Gold or something.

      WRT to the image thing, I actually kinda hate it when people see the card, especially overseas where AmEx still has some cachet. They view you as a bigger mark than the usual tourist / foreigner. Makes it hard to bargain for a good price on stuff :-)

  24. Shangster11

    And I'm also done. 35+ years continuous "membership", moderate spender by AMEX Plat standard (roughly $150K/ year).
    Like many have said, no way this is justifiable for the majority of us. "added benefits" -> grasping at the straw.

    1. greggers

      Forgive me for not understanding everyone's complaints. But the $200 extra hotel credit more than offsets the increase in fee. Am I missing something here? I assumed everyone who had this card traveled. What's the point in ever having it if not? Can you seriously not stay ONE day in a moderate to decent hotel to recoup the fee and then some?

    2. Shangster11

      Here's the problem. Most heavy-duty travelers, by the virtue of their elite statuses along with their perks and upgrades, would not find FHR's nightly rates to be justifiable. I'm a Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy TE-lifer, and Hilton Diamond - I've tried to book FHR. Many many times. Can't find the rate that would be better than I could get booking directly with the hotels.

    3. Gregory P Beaulieu

      As a Marriott Ambassador, I find the elite benefits close to meaningless. I've switched a lot of my bookings to FHR unless it's a Marriott hotel I know well and respect. I actually rebooked the Cosmopolitan in Vegas last month. It was $1800 (not prepaid, but prepaying wasn't an option for the room I wanted) through Marriott, but $1650 through FHR (prepaid). Plus, AMEX was running another credit for $150, so I actually saved $300...

      As a Marriott Ambassador, I find the elite benefits close to meaningless. I've switched a lot of my bookings to FHR unless it's a Marriott hotel I know well and respect. I actually rebooked the Cosmopolitan in Vegas last month. It was $1800 (not prepaid, but prepaying wasn't an option for the room I wanted) through Marriott, but $1650 through FHR (prepaid). Plus, AMEX was running another credit for $150, so I actually saved $300 booking the same room for the same time period using FHR. But I see your point. If you have more options that crappy Bonvoy, then this might not be as great for you all the time. I'm sure you can use it at least once a year though.

    4. Tiz

      AMEX’s problem is that they attract too many restrictions to their credits.

      I much prefer the Sapphire Reserve’s approach of a flat $300 credit for anything categorized as “travel”. I use that every year, no problem. It’s automatic.

      I need to go out of my way to remember to try and book something via FHR to utilize that credit, since most of my travel spend goes on to the Sapphire.

    5. KB

      Agree on AMEX restrictions vs. CSP/R. Just look at restaurants for multipliers. Literally any spot that will serve me food *or* drink will count with Chase, while with Amex it has to properly code as a restaurant. I get a free domestic flight from my CSR just from my local dive bar visits in a given year.

    6. Bob

      Probably because it's on prepaid and a specific list of hotels from their collection not any hotel and at amex's rate which you would expect to be higher than booking directly with the hotel. So going their route will not only make the $200 pointless but likely cost you more.

    7. Wkc

      Just booked 2 nights at ritz carlton via fhr, same rate as marriott flex rate on marriott website. Only gold bonvoy, so I will get breakfast, the $200 for preparing- but still cancellable, it's for prepaid, not prepaid to hotel, and the `special' benefit for this hotel is a $100 credit for spa or food. Heck, this 2 night stay will cover 80% of my fee this year. So its doable, but ymmv of course.

  25. Roamingredcoat

    Related note - Clear Secure the company IPO'd yesterday.

  26. Adam

    Are these benefits effective immediately for existing card holders?

    1. Steve

      Yeah can i go ahead and cancel or update my peacock and XM to this and can i book a Fine resort night right now and get the $200 credit? Or does this apply starting at a later date?

  27. Mo

    They could have made everyone (relatively) happy by making the digital entertainment credit for any streaming service and the Equinox credit for any gym membership. Unfortunately my renewal is up in January. That retention offer better be really good for me to justify this price increase.

  28. LAXDoug

    It is a large $ amount but the additional benefits to consider are the ADDED Apple care on purchases, REPLACEMENT of lost or stolen items, CONCIERGE services. If you travel and use their lounge each visit per person is a $50-$100 value if you have a few drinks and bites.

    CLEAR is superior especially out of JFK, DEN, LAX (and others). As a TSA pre-check and you ADD CLEAR, you cut through the TSA Pre-check line.

  29. James S

    I was considering signing up on the rumors to lock in the lower rate for a year but I'm glad I didn't.

    Limiting the streaming credit so much is insulting.

  30. ST

    Do FHR bookings allow earning of hotel points (e.g. with Bonvoy/HHonors)? I recall there being a point in time when they didn't.

    1. KB

      They generally don't but I've read reports of travelers occasionally sneaking their loyalty number in at check-in.

      I seem to recall booking a Hilton property once and getting both the FHR and Hilton Gold welcome presents.

    2. Wkc

      When you book for, you have a place to enter your loyalty #. I believe you get the nights credited, but not the benefits. However for fhr benefits tend to be better than the normal hotel loyalty ones, unless maybe you are the highest tier?

  31. Russ

    I wish they would just add in all the benefits of the gold card so I had one less card to carry/use/have. I wish they would do something to enable more day to day spend vs. just perks like the entertainment book.

    If this helps me get into the Centurion without waits and maybe I can move my SiriusXM over - though I already pay a discounted rate on a per six-month basis. One could probably enroll in their online only package and that would work though.

  32. DCAFrank

    Does this go into effect immediately, Ben? Have some travel tomorrow, so could get to the airport a little early and enroll in CLEAR. Glad my annual fee was due in June.

    1. Chris

      It takes less then 10 minutes to enroll in CLEAR for your planning purposes.

  33. Tabris

    Can I use the USD 200 credit starting today? I was about to book a hotel stay, and might as well use FH&R now...

    1. Jan

      Ew. That’s a lot of added “credits” that most people will never use. (New York Times, seriously?)

    2. Kenny

      NY Times has 7.8 million subscribers.

    3. Ken Adams

      I've subscribed to the NYT for years. Try it. You may learn something.

  34. tom

    Any news on the Morgan Stanley Platinum card?

    1. wens

      it is getting the same new benefits and the engagement bonus is also increasing to $695.

  35. Tabris

    Also, what about Equinox CORPORATE Destination Access subscriptions? Hopefully these are also eligible for the discount??

    1. Kenny

      You can log into your account on platinum.equinox.com and check

  36. Chris

    A $200 annual fee increase, AND eliminating lounge guest access? You can probably count me out upon renewal unless they're willing to discount the fee. Giving the Platinum a try for the first time this year and my main thing is the lounge access. Everything else isn't very useful to me. Seems like the Delta Reserve would be a better fit after the Platinum chamges. At least I would get the companion certificate out of it.

  37. Alex_77W

    I do not see much of attraction here. I do not fly DL but AA (and I do values AAClub membership while DL Club is useless for me), my home airport does not have Clear and any Priority Pass establishments, and my paid subscription is WSJ. Global Entry and Pre-Check are just fine. I still use Sapphire to charge my airfare and car rentals because of kickback and superior protection and I do use Priority...

    I do not see much of attraction here. I do not fly DL but AA (and I do values AAClub membership while DL Club is useless for me), my home airport does not have Clear and any Priority Pass establishments, and my paid subscription is WSJ. Global Entry and Pre-Check are just fine. I still use Sapphire to charge my airfare and car rentals because of kickback and superior protection and I do use Priority Pass (+1 free guest including restaurants) occasionally when AA or OneWorld Clubs are unavailable. My understanding AmEx Priority Pass membership does not cover restaurants. The Chase Hyatt card won over Bonvoy Amex and it is easy to get 2% back with a no fee Citi CC at Costco (another loss for AmEx). It looks like AmEx is loosing left and right nowadays.

  38. relidtm

    do authorized users get the cleared card access as well? I haven't had time to dig through the site

  39. pstm91

    How in the world can they do a huge "refresh" and not change the airline fee credits to just be "airline credits" (similar to how the CSR works)?? So frustrating. (Please correct me if they did make this change).

    1. Klick23

      That is the dumbest perk they offer…only way I can get to use it is if I change it to an airline I don’t fly as I don’t pay for baggage or have to pay for drinks or food (never mind never flying this year) as a 1K.

  40. Nick

    When is the hotel credit active? Now? Despite my Nov card member anniversary? Is the credit per calendar year or per card member anniversary?

    1. Kenny

      Now and it is per calendar year. Read the terms on the website if you're interested in terms.

  41. ATC

    This is ridiculous. I won’t be renewing next year.

  42. Ted

    My renewal is in March and the new credits are showing in my benefits (as "New"), so that's a nice few months without the new annual fee.

  43. AW

    If there are "significant restrictions" why don't you address them?

  44. Randy

    No benefit to me. UA gives free Clear to 1K. I do not book through AmEx travel for hotels. The subscriptions are limited as pointed out.

  45. Never In Doubt

    Sounds to me like visits to Centurion lounges will be less crowded come 2022!

    Sorry to see all of you go, not!

  46. Jordan

    I already receive $170 in discounts on Clear from having both the Amex Green card and Delta gold card bringing my clear membership down to $9 per year. I suppose I can now get rid of the green as I only keep it for the clear discount. When do these additional credits go into affect for current members? Can I switch my Sirius membership and receive the $20 credit this month?

    1. Never In Doubt

      Right now. Just checked the website and they are all listed.

    2. relidtm

      i use the green for 3x travel/cruise maybe im alone on this.

    3. Morris

      Nah, I actually use the Green for travel, dining, and transit charges. But I'm starting to have second thoughts and may go with the Citi Premier instead (includes gas and grocery, but loses transit).

    4. KB

      My monthly Sirius just posted today on a different card. I was a little angry. But yeah, everything is available immediately.

  47. Rachel

    This might be of interest to folks. I was able to negotiate a retention bonus through Amex chat this morning due to this fee increase, even though I have only had the Platinum card since January.

    My strategy was to explain that the fee increase felt like a bait-and-switch given that I had only been a cardmember for several months, and I would not have applied for the card under the current parameters. I...

    This might be of interest to folks. I was able to negotiate a retention bonus through Amex chat this morning due to this fee increase, even though I have only had the Platinum card since January.

    My strategy was to explain that the fee increase felt like a bait-and-switch given that I had only been a cardmember for several months, and I would not have applied for the card under the current parameters. I followed up with saying that I want to operate in good faith and not cancel the card after less than a year of membership, but the fee increase was more than my budget and I would need an offsetting statement credit or points to continue with the card.

    They then offered me 30k points which I accepted, and said this would allow me to commit to another year of card ownership since it made up for the fee hike. Hope this works for others out there!

  48. Andrew

    The economy has reopened for banks and financial institutions. Let the avarice ensue!

  49. TurningLeft

    I agree with you, Ben. For me, the $200 hotel credit is good enough to justify the hike. Sometimes those FHR and HC hotels in Vegas or Scottsdale can be quite cheap in the middle of the summer. However, the availability of streaming/digital credit is mediocre - NY Times is just fine, Peacock has limited content, I don't use audiobooks, and SiriusXM is cheaper when you have a 6-month subscription. Equinox - don't have it...

    I agree with you, Ben. For me, the $200 hotel credit is good enough to justify the hike. Sometimes those FHR and HC hotels in Vegas or Scottsdale can be quite cheap in the middle of the summer. However, the availability of streaming/digital credit is mediocre - NY Times is just fine, Peacock has limited content, I don't use audiobooks, and SiriusXM is cheaper when you have a 6-month subscription. Equinox - don't have it around here. CLEAR - tough to use when you travel with your family.

  50. Keith

    Does anyone know if the NYT Subscription can be a physical paper one as well? I already subscribe to NYT, but it's $4.99/month for digital, so I wouldn't get the full $20 credit which is a bummer, but if I could do Sunday delivery + digital access, that would be useful.

  51. Andy 11235

    I struggle to understand the target market for this card. Rich people who are bad at math? Obviously these "perks" are all designed for maximum breakage, while trying to entice spend on a card that is fundamentally not rewarding. If I still had my amex platinum I would probably care.

    1. Andrew

      It's taken me a long time to get here, but there's "rich" and "wanting to look rich", which are distinct market segments.

      This card is for the latter - rich people don't pay for derpy coupon books.

    2. Josey

      However, the intelligent Rich, do not like to throw away money. Even for the Rich there comes a point where the fee does not justify the "perception". I suppose I fall into the "wanting to look Rich :-)" and for that reason I will not just throw my money away to assist a huge Corporation to get richer! Renewal once the new fee is applied to my account will not be a consideration for me....

      However, the intelligent Rich, do not like to throw away money. Even for the Rich there comes a point where the fee does not justify the "perception". I suppose I fall into the "wanting to look Rich :-)" and for that reason I will not just throw my money away to assist a huge Corporation to get richer! Renewal once the new fee is applied to my account will not be a consideration for me. I expect a return in my money - a degree of return. Even removing Companion lounge benefits had me already considering saying bye - this was the last string!

    3. Andrew

      Been there; I hear you. I also (previously) paid for a companion card. With $695 + $175, that comes to $870 annual.

      If I invested that money for 10 years and got a 6% return, I'd be north of $11k.

      However, if I spent it on Saks and got some crappy socks or a gaudy tie because that's what fits into the credit, or I subscribed to Equinox and lost even more money to their nutty subscription fees, I think I would have regrets at the end of the road.

  52. Bill S

    I had a hard time justifying the old fee. I think my last renewal will be my last renewal.
    I like the coupon book analogy!

  53. Seth

    Disappointed. I hate those coupon books. I will likely cancel. I just want a reasonable annual fee and access to Centurion Lounge. Coupon books are stupid.

  54. James

    @ben, will any of these items apply to Authorized Users (such as Clear)? Any impact on AUs with existing benefits?

  55. Alex R

    Although not an explicit benefit in terms of fee increase, the monthly merchant member offers has been an opportunity to get significant discounts at main stream retailers and online merchants. Best Buy and Home Depot resulting in $100 discounts each just to name a few.

  56. Brewer

    I signed up for it last night anticipating the fee increase. Resy's affiliate offer was pretty good, 75K MR after $5k plus $300 in statement credits for restaurant spend and the typical 10x on Gas and Groceries for the first six months. But they new offer is even better. I wish I had waited for today even with the higher annual fee.

    The Platinum Card®
    Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend...

    I signed up for it last night anticipating the fee increase. Resy's affiliate offer was pretty good, 75K MR after $5k plus $300 in statement credits for restaurant spend and the typical 10x on Gas and Groceries for the first six months. But they new offer is even better. I wish I had waited for today even with the higher annual fee.

    The Platinum Card®
    Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. †

    Plus, earn 15x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That's an additional 14 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases. †

    Have we EVER seen a publicly available (non targeted/cardmatch) 125K offer on any personal MR/UR/TY card? I'm hoping AMEX has more offers like the Best Buy and Home Depot credits targeting people who signed up before the fee increase.

  57. Irishprincess

    Wow this is really bad. First of all, the partners on the list are hardly valuable to most. If you travel a lot for business, your company probably reimburses you on most of these anyway. Additionally, these businesses are on the list are probably ones that can't thrive on their own, so they have these deals at "whole sale price" to force people use them. Not good.

  58. Josey

    Disappointing new benefits and increase. I agree with the article's analysis regarding how the card is used. I use is similarly. I use my other AmEx cards to earn points given that I get better bang for my money from the other AmEx cards. I will keep the card this year since I am part of the old fee and will keep it until the 2022 renewal hits. Thus, late 2022 I will close the...

    Disappointing new benefits and increase. I agree with the article's analysis regarding how the card is used. I use is similarly. I use my other AmEx cards to earn points given that I get better bang for my money from the other AmEx cards. I will keep the card this year since I am part of the old fee and will keep it until the 2022 renewal hits. Thus, late 2022 I will close the account. Especially, because after ends of 2022 lounge access will be limited only to the member no companions. This benefit now makes it worthless for me. I tend to travel with family. I don't to pay a premium to have a card just for looks or to be a part of the jones clan. Nope! The original benefits were already very restrictive. Given that this was coming for this reason I did not have my husband apply for the AmEx Platinum not worth it even the bonus of 100K given the price for the card. Again, gettin full use of the benefits forces you to really plan "how do I get use of the benefits". It becomes a chore. I hope it bites AmEx and they lose a lot of clients. I suppose they did this to pay for all the MR points they handed out in 2020 for the enhanced bonuses that were out there for the new card members.

  59. Anastasia

    This looks mega unappealing, but I'm guessing I'm not the target audience for this card (I do not stay at high-end "luxury" hotels very often, for starters).

  60. Logan

    The Luxury Card Gold Card has a higher annual fee

  61. TM

    This update makes me glad I never applied for this card the first place. I can’t help but feel that this card largely exists to make urbanites with fragile egos feel special. It’s a $695 status symbol. Other than airfare purchases, it’s a pretty crappy card to put your spending on yet I see people use it all the time for purchases at 1 point per dollar. I find most of these credits to be...

    This update makes me glad I never applied for this card the first place. I can’t help but feel that this card largely exists to make urbanites with fragile egos feel special. It’s a $695 status symbol. Other than airfare purchases, it’s a pretty crappy card to put your spending on yet I see people use it all the time for purchases at 1 point per dollar. I find most of these credits to be pretty useless as well. I had no idea what Equinox was before this, I don’t use any of those media/streaming services regularly, I can count on one hand the number of Uber rides I take in a year, and I’ve never set foot in a Saks 5th. Clearly, I’m not their target audience but really how many users will actually make use of all those credits? AmEx knows that very few actually will while they’ll continue to rake in those AFs.

  62. Garrett

    Equinox is a trash company, so that's worthless. Most of the others will get used I guess, but you're right to say that it's starting to feel a little downmarket.

  63. K.M.

    last year the temporary streaming credits were a lot more broad. what gives for these new streaming credits?

  64. Rich

    Streaming credit is a huge disappointment. Even if you have Sirius, it’s much cheaper to pay annual then monthly and Peacock is free for any using Comcast /xfinity. I hope they open this up to Hulu or Other streaming services.

  65. Sir Walter Raleigh

    Only benefit that feels useful is the hotel credit. Math still works out for me from that, but this is basically a coupon booklet at this point. I will keep my platinum card, but it hardly feels "premium"

    I'd rather they just double down on what they're good at and consistently offer good perks there. Like fix the overcrowding at centurion lounge (and get rid of the kids running around), offer some solid airline and...

    Only benefit that feels useful is the hotel credit. Math still works out for me from that, but this is basically a coupon booklet at this point. I will keep my platinum card, but it hardly feels "premium"

    I'd rather they just double down on what they're good at and consistently offer good perks there. Like fix the overcrowding at centurion lounge (and get rid of the kids running around), offer some solid airline and hotel perks, and call it a day. Personally, I would pay $1.5k/yr if I can consistently get into a quiet lounge in most airport terminals, and get some practical perks like checked bags or hotel lounge access with some consistency.

  66. Janet

    I just cancelled my Platinum card as it was too much work trying to use the benefits. Without frequent travel there was no value. This latest change makes me glad I pulled the plug.

  67. Steven Sharoff

    I think that the huge increase for what you are getting is not worth the fee.

  68. Mynor A. Vargas

    I will give it a try for one more year. If they take the Centurion Guest out, I WILL ALSO BE OUT of AMEX Platinum.

  69. Alonzo

    And for all the folks complaining that everyone has TSA Precheck now, they have just announced last year that they have just hit 10 million members. That's less than 4% of the USA population for those of you that cannot do math.

  70. Isaac

    Most of the "new" benefits are not of value to me. For example, as a Delta Diamond, Clear is free, though it will pay for my wife's annual fee. Also, the $ 200 airline credit, that has been in place for many years, is not worth much as a Platinum, who travels First/Delta One. No drinks purchases, no extra bag fees, free Sky Club Entry, etc. I have no way to use the $ 200 ... unless they reinstate the Gift Card option.

  71. Grey

    So essentially, if you want/need priority pass, and you are willing to really make an effort to navigate the offers, this card could be quite a good value. Otherwise, it is a waste. But I mean, still much better value than the Dutch equivalent which has far fewer benefits and costs 700 EUR (+/-830 USD). (Plus nobody in NL accepts Amex anyways)

  72. Anthony Chang

    As mentioned, this sounds more like couponing than a luxury/premium brand card. I agree the Equinox and streaming offers are pretty much worthless for most. I would think if AMEX lowered the fee and made it more accessible than having subscribers having to "justify" the cost of the card, they would get more users to use the card more often than just as a coupon card. I had both the Platinum and Gold card at...

    As mentioned, this sounds more like couponing than a luxury/premium brand card. I agree the Equinox and streaming offers are pretty much worthless for most. I would think if AMEX lowered the fee and made it more accessible than having subscribers having to "justify" the cost of the card, they would get more users to use the card more often than just as a coupon card. I had both the Platinum and Gold card at one time and that is exactly what I did, use Platinum just for those offers where I recouped my fees, and then the Gold card for most purchases since you get much more value from the actual purchases placed on the card like 4x points.

  73. Robert D

    Interesting. I went online to "reactivate" my Clear membership. I had closed it during the pandemic because I wasn't traveling. To reactivate, the only option is the $179 fee. Even though my SkyMiles number is on my Clear profile, there is no option to reactivate at the discounted rate. I guess it's OK because Amex will cover the $179, but I still find it kind of odd.

  74. Steve

    The insurance on all phones with a Verizon account is pretty significant too

  75. Alan

    Absolutely insane value with those solid perks like airline and hotel credit. We pay £575, get no cash credits like these (do get Priority Pass and hotel status) and only earn 1 MR per £!

  76. AC

    Guess I’m lucky. Have SiriusXM in 3 cars and they are set up for monthly billing. Just by changing payment to my Platinum card I get $240 in bottom line value.

    No need for Clear or Equinox but will likely use the hotel credit

  77. Robel

    It’s a marketing tactic. Their plan is to make the Platinum card so shitty, that the only option we have is to open a green or gold. I can’t think of any other reason why they would make this shitty card even shittier…

  78. Andrew

    Can I just say how terrible it is they haven't changed the earning rates on the card? If this became the "ONE CARD TO RULE THEM ALL" (4x dining, 3x travel, 1x unbonused + all the benefits), then I'd be in the "maybe" camp.

    But I need a Gold card (4x dining, 3x airfare) or a Green card (3x dining and 3x travel) to complete the set, before we start talking about the lame 1.5x unbonused spend card.

  79. Jeff

    High earner in a rural area. Makes this even a harder pass. Know your audience and the way things are going Amex

  80. Jules Rosen

    The writer seems to forget that the purpose of a credit card is to make money for the credit card company. They make almost 3% on the fees to the store or companies that accept the card as a fee. Everything that you get is basically paid for by you charging things. If AMX truly wanted to be a premium card they could do so much more but unfortunately they don't have a marketing department...

    The writer seems to forget that the purpose of a credit card is to make money for the credit card company. They make almost 3% on the fees to the store or companies that accept the card as a fee. Everything that you get is basically paid for by you charging things. If AMX truly wanted to be a premium card they could do so much more but unfortunately they don't have a marketing department that truly understands the needs of their card holders. As an example they could give a 50% discount quite easily for limousine service to airports. They could offer a wholesale discount for luggage. They can physically give away free tickets to many events. Amex makes billions of dollars yearly on their charge cards. They could be further in cahoots with airlines and have special airfare pricing for first class to premium card holders. They could have monthly contest for vacations via bidding with your points and everything could be given away to charity. Amex could raise a few billion dollars for charity much easier and I would support that as many people would also

    1. Wkc

      Amex platinum already has special pricing for first, business, prem econ with a bunch of airlines.

  81. Jules Rosen

    Haha you guys paying gym memberships? In Florida there is a bunch of gyms for $10 a month. No pools, just exercise equipment. For swimming I have a free community pool

  82. Jules Rosen

    I don't know why any of you guys are complaining if your corporations are paying for the cards.

  83. Luis villada

    Its sucks, its really not worth it any more, as if i can afford to join equinox or fly on a private jet or go to a pricey luxury hotel. And the electronic subscription is very limited. Dont see any real benefit added

  84. wens

    Agree that these new perks are kind of crappy and hard to use. But what people often forget is the Amex Offers which is the real gem in my opinion. Other than airfare which gets 5x, the only other charges I make on this card are ones with Amex Offers. Other than the well known Home Depot, Best Buy and Home Chef ones (which is literally free stuff), they often have deals like 5x -...

    Agree that these new perks are kind of crappy and hard to use. But what people often forget is the Amex Offers which is the real gem in my opinion. Other than airfare which gets 5x, the only other charges I make on this card are ones with Amex Offers. Other than the well known Home Depot, Best Buy and Home Chef ones (which is literally free stuff), they often have deals like 5x - 8x extra points on Amazon purchases (I load up on gift cards during these times), a sleuth of spend $xxx get $xxx back offers (I saved $120 on a $700 hotel bill last month, better return than 3x points I would get had I charged it to my Sapphire Reserve). I have saved hundreds on these offers alone on purchases I would have made anyway. Plus I have the Morgan Stanley version where the engagement bonus completely offsets the annual fee so it really is a no brainer (confirmed that the engagement bonus will also increase to $695). Yes yes you have to keep 25K in an account, but the way I see it is, you get $695 return on an 25K investment, which is 2.78% return, but it's tax free, which is the equivalent to a 4.63% return on normal taxable investments (assuming a marginal tax rate of 40%) and it's essentially risk free. Not too shabby I would say. But if I had to pay the annual fee out of pocket, then yeah, for sure I would not keep or get this card.

  85. Abhi

    I am in the same boat, most of these new digital entertainment benefits with such limited partners seems useless. I don’t plan to start equinox membership and how is New York Times considered digital entertainment? Why can’t they add Netflix or Disney Plus streaming services credit back, more lucrative, even for me. The price hike is ridiculous, time to cancel the card

  86. James

    Wow for $699/yr on the Canadian card, I wish we got all these perks over and above the usual hotel status.

  87. WB

    Cancel this card. Take the money you would have paid in annual fees, take that money, put it into an index fund every year for the next 20 years, and you’ll have over $70,000. Anyone who pays an annual fee on any credit card is financially stupid.

  88. Drew

    Ambivalent about these changes. I keep a spreadsheet to track the value I get from cards with annual fees (what can I say, we all need hobbies), with three categories - stuff I would be paying for regardless of a credit (in my case, NYT digital subscription, some FHR stays), stuff I buy and use because of the credit but wouldn't otherwise at the merchant (Saks credit), and stuff I use that doesn't have an...

    Ambivalent about these changes. I keep a spreadsheet to track the value I get from cards with annual fees (what can I say, we all need hobbies), with three categories - stuff I would be paying for regardless of a credit (in my case, NYT digital subscription, some FHR stays), stuff I buy and use because of the credit but wouldn't otherwise at the merchant (Saks credit), and stuff I use that doesn't have an explicit dollar value (Centurion lounge access). The first category is the key one for me, and it looks like Platinum will deliver more than $695 annually. So I will likely renew next year.

    But the less tangible, more subjective issue is brand perception. People have referred to this as a coupon book - I'd also argue it's become a prepayment program. So effectively I've bought my annual NYT subscription in advance, and part of one of my hotel stays, etc. There is NOTHING "premium" about any of this - it's purely transactional. Maybe our little corner of the blogosphere doesn't reflect the general population which may still associate prestige with an AmEx Platinum card, but for me it's become a pure value play. If that's what AmEx wants going forward, so be it. But I can't help thinking it's short-sighted.

  89. Asyd

    So this may just push me to Chase who’s been hounding me for the Sapphire Reserve. I don’t use Equinox, no locations near me. What about Sirius XM? My Sirius bill is paid annually, so what benefit do I get when I use the service and it isn’t a monthly bill?

    These cards are becoming more and more like cable services — where they make you take "benefits" you don’t need or want (like soccer...

    So this may just push me to Chase who’s been hounding me for the Sapphire Reserve. I don’t use Equinox, no locations near me. What about Sirius XM? My Sirius bill is paid annually, so what benefit do I get when I use the service and it isn’t a monthly bill?

    These cards are becoming more and more like cable services — where they make you take "benefits" you don’t need or want (like soccer or football) and jack up the fees for everyone, instead of making the 10 people who want sports pay the fee as an add-on.

  90. Will

    You wish that was a $200 credit. Hotels on the FHR are often times more expensive than booking directly with the hotel or another travel agency. Was looking at a Waldorf the other day. It was about $50/night more on FHR compared to booking directly with the hotel. And $80/night more compared to another online travel agency.

  91. raj

    American express is loosing its value
    i have heard a rumor that they are taking away lounge access untill you spend 75000 dollars
    In that case i will be dropping the card

  92. mike

    The hotels that the $200 can be used are expensive and require two nights stay. Clear is not needed with Global Entry that's already included by this and other cards. What is Resy good for? Streaming covers a very few services, NOT Netflix or other widely used ones. You need special equipment for Sirrus XM radio. Equinox is very expensive and in very few places. The credit is only for a membership, not for day...

    The hotels that the $200 can be used are expensive and require two nights stay. Clear is not needed with Global Entry that's already included by this and other cards. What is Resy good for? Streaming covers a very few services, NOT Netflix or other widely used ones. You need special equipment for Sirrus XM radio. Equinox is very expensive and in very few places. The credit is only for a membership, not for day passes. If they wanted to cover a gym it should have been one with a lot more locations.

  93. DFlyer

    I think the other thing you should have covered is what benefits they are surreptitiously taking away. If I'm not mistaken, you will no longer be able take guests into the Centurion Lounges without a fee. Similarly, I think that the meals benefits at restaurants may be going away as well. Could you address not only benefits added, but those taken away?

  94. Marcus

    The bad news is not just the fee hike; it’s that after 2022 those who spend less than $75k a year will no longer be able to bring a guest into lounges without charge. For those who travel with a spouse frequently, this will be another $175 hike for additional platinum cards, in effect. That Amex says your existing perks “aren’t going anywhere” and has “updated” its lounge policy when it’s a material cut in a high-profile benefit, is disappointingly indirect.

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Pilot OneWorld

A NYT subscription would benefit all of you.

GeorgeW

This is useless for the majority of Equinox members as well (speaking as one). Not that many of us bother with an All Access or Destination Access membership.

KR

The streaming credit restrictions are by far the biggest disappointment of all of this. Aside from that, I have zero need/interest in Equinox either and I get CLEAR with my DL status. The $200 hotel credit, when used, I suppose will be beneficial, but the property list is luxury-only. I suppose the good news is current members still get these perks for 2021. Although I don't know how much longer I'm going to keep the card because the new benefits are virtually useless to me.

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