AMEX Cuts Platinum Benefit

AMEX Cuts Platinum Benefit

The Platinum American Express Card has one less benefit to attract and retain cardmembers. As of Nov. 15, 2008, cardmembers no longer have the ability to book up to four complimentary companion tickets on qualifying domestic coach tickets. “The outsourced program (to API) was annoying to work with, very much non-transparent as to which flights were eligible and a cumbersome booking process (by phone, not the sharpest agents, and then the need to get transferred to reconfirm everything once the booking was over),” says blogger Gary Leff/View from the Wing. “But it was also a value that is being taken away from Platinum cardholders, and I will miss it.”

Cardmembers will still receive complimentary companion tickets on full-fare international first or business class tickets booked through the Platinum Travel Service. The Platinum card has a $450 annual fee and other benefits include personalized travel service, airport lounge access for cardmember and up to two companions as well as SPG Gold membership.

Leff points out that there are still other companion airfare offers that are worthwhile, including the Alaska Airlines $50 companion ticket that comes with the Bank of America/Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card. The annual credit card fee for this card is $75 and you get one $50 companion ticket every year. Visit

Another is the US Airways $99 companion ticket (up to two annually) that comes with both the Bank of America/US Airways co-branded Visa (annual fee is $90) and the Barclays/US Airways co-branded MasterCard (annual fee is $79). Visit

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