AMEX Centurion US Air Platinum. Now What?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by Steven Schwartz, Feb 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Title says it. As I have watched and suffered thru the loss of Centurion benefits, I'm left wondering what will happen to my US Air Platinum status now that the merger has been approved. Anyone have any sense if AMEX can make this work with the merged AA or if it is likely that this benefit will go the way of Continental Gold?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm betting on it disappearing, though it all depends on just how much AmEx is paying for the right to issue the benefit. I'm betting not enough and Citi will likely be the CC financier for the new company so they'll want AmEx out if they can. Just like how Chase wanted AmEx out of United and Continental, even before the merger.
     
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  3. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    That leaves just Delta. Back when I got the card it was Delta, Continental Gold, Starwood Platinum, Hyatt Diamond. Been a fun road but looks like it is about to end.
     
  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    They really have denuded the status benefits of the card. DL did move from Gold to Platinum when Diamond was added. That was a valuable step up.

    Centurion still offers some other better-than-platinum benefits, but it feels like a short list these days.
     
  5. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    The issue, stupidly, is the knowledge that I would never qualify again. Back in the day, there was no initiation fee and the bar was $150,000 per year - easy for me with office expenses. For awhile, there were gift cards distributed that took away some of the bite at the loss of programs but lately I'm just not feeling the love. My guess is they're trying to get rid of people like me who rarely pay for luxury travel!
     
  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    After all they have few revolving customers on these cards, unlike their more bottom-feeding competitors. Thus, discount rates and annual fees are very important to them. That is why "high roller" products like Platinum (1984 IIRC) and later Centurion (1999 IIRC). Both offered customers the chance to pay extra for benefits that mostly made money for American Express instead of costing them money and both have made them handsome returns and many happy customers. Platinum cobrands have diluted that prestige value but centurion still holds its status.

    True enough, they don't want you if you don't spend enough.

    BTW, a little known fact is that Ken Chennault, Chairman of American Express, in one of his first major projects after joining American Express from Bain and Company, worked on the launch of the original Platinum card.
     
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  7. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    I agree. Lounge access will probably live on but I bet that comp elite status is gonzo.
     
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  8. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Lounge access is definitely staying...they currently offer it on both airlines involved in the merger, dont see why a combination woudn't keep it. Though I doubt we'll keep the US Airways Club even when not flying US Airways access. To me that is a huge loss (at least as long as US is in T1 at LAX and I can access when flying WN).
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    In fact, American Express and often is paid to give that benefit rather than the other way around. There is lots of variability, but often the benefits are issued by the benefit provider in order to get free access to the customer base.

    Citi will certainly continue with the new AA. Citi was the provider when Doug parker was with AA and they'll not throw away 25 years of joint history. If they want American express too, they have the option of Citi issuing American Express, American Express doing it, or something else. What will happen to Barclaycard is interesting, though, because they paid quite a lot to US Airways, and they'll not be inclined to give up their largest US affinity without inflicting some pain, nor will American Express roll over and play dead. For all of them airline affinities are their largest card profit pools, and AAdvantage in particular has long been the richest one. The merger will only enhance that.
     
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  10. zshanlon

    zshanlon Silver Member

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    Looks like it the old fashioned route to status now...sigh...
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Citi is already offering Amex AA affinity cards.
     
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  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    When America West acquired US Airways, the deal was funded by their co-brand issuer and one of the requirements of that deal was that US Airways exit as a Membership Rewards transfer partner. But that didn't stop them from giving Centurions status. And it didn't stop Amex from ADDING US Airways as a lounge partner when it became clear they would lose Continental (due to the United merger and United's tight relationship with Chase).

    Meanwhile, American's relationship with Citi did not prevent Amex from adding a lounge relationship with them either.

    It's not obvious to me that the merger necessarily means anything at all vis-a-vis Centurion status. It might if only because Amex doesn't already have a contract for this. But I wouldn't presuppose it. Surely Amex knows that they have risk here, and have lost a great deal of Centurion benefits while raising price. So they could well act to protect it.
     
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  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    According to a friend who works at AMEX, the likelihood of getting AA elite status through the centurion card is nil.
    Amex has a much better working relationship with Delta and Starwood, so there is much more likelihood of improvements with those companies such as the Delta-Starwood reciprocity that we have been reading about lately for elite members.
     
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  14. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I just thought about this:
    Suppose US Centurion holders get status in another Star or OW program .Maybe Etihad for OW and someone like TK for Star. That would solve lounge and status problem (free bag, priority boarding...no upgrades though).
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It would be surprising to me if they went with a foreign partner to make the status deal happen. While you're correct that it would provide the bag/lounge issue that would also require (in theory) crediting the flights to that program. And that sort of partner participation is beyond what 75% or more of passengers can understand. It would be a hard sell to most cardholders to explain that they sortof get the benefits when flying on AA if they just credit to a program affiliated with an airline they probably know nothing about.
     
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  16. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    problem solved. make Milepoint membership mandatory in order to get the benefits. (just joking of course)
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Why joke? Makes sense to me!

    Sent from my iPad using milepoint
     

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