Credit Card Dilemma - AMEX Plat or CO PPlus?

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by ab3i, Jun 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

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AMEX Plat or CO PPlus?

  1. AMEX Plat

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  2. CO PPlus

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  1. ab3i
    Original Member

    ab3i Silver Member

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    I do not use credit cards for the miles/points as most of my expenses are on my corporate amex and whatever personal expenses i have, go on cards i have had for years. That being said, i think its about time i got myself a 'nicer' personal card and i am trying to decide between the AMEX Plat or CO PPlus (as much as i am not fond of shelling out an annual fee). Reading through the forums here, it seems like both have very similar benefits, but CO PPlus also gets you AVIS President Club (don't know if it is worth it, but i do rent from AVIS every week, and First doesn't quite have any great benefits). I do like the no forex fee feature of both cards, but my international travel is usually around 6 times/year while domestic is every week.

    So, my first question - should i even consider getting one of these cards considering I wont be charging that much to them every year? Second, What is the better card of the two as in are there specific advantages that one has over the other (promos, benefits etc.)? Third, How will PPlus be affected due to the merger (any insider views?)
     
  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    The airport club access between the two is very different - you access either Presidents' clubs with the CO card or most other clubs (after I think sept, until then presidents clubs as well). As that's one of the more valuable benefits, your normal airline choice and how you value the club access benefit are a big factor.
     
  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    If you're a Continental elite, flying UA/CO regularly, the Presidential Plus card gets you bonus miles for your flying and lounge access which Amex Plat won't provide.

    If you aren't CO-loyal, the Amex Plat is getting you lounge access pretty much everywhere other than UA/CO.

    So your airline of choice likely drives this decision.
     
  4. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I think mattsteg pointed out that the major difference is between which lounges you have access to. If lounge access is important than I would pick whichever gets you into the lounges you'll use the most.

    I think the AMEX has some other useful benefits if you travel internationally, such as a statement credit for the Global Entry program. I also have heard (but not experienced) that the "Fine Hotels and Resorts" benefits are nice if you stay at those properties.

    The rest of the benefits are either duplicated by elite status on an airline or are available on cheaper cards. I think the main benefit of these cards are the no foreign transaction fee and the lounge access.

    It's probably worth looking at the "next step down" to determine if the added benefits are worth the annual fee.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) has no foreign transaction fees, similar travel insurance (cancellation, baggage delay, emergency travel services, etc). The "Ultimate Rewards" points aren't bad, and you can convert them 1:1 to CO or BA miles, or just give yourself 1% cash-back.
    http://www.chasesapphire.com/compare-cards/?id=preferred

    It has no airline or club benefits, so you'll be paying ~$300 more in annual fees if you want those with the other cards.
     
  5. ab3i
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    ab3i Silver Member

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    The bonus miles will not matter as almost 90% of my travel will be purchased through my corporate card through our traveldesk, or will i get an additional bonus on top of the elite bonus just for being a cardmember?
     
  6. ab3i
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    ab3i Silver Member

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    Thanks, I guess the global entry program membership credit is something to consider as well!
     
  7. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    If you're not going to put the travel on the card, then, no, the Presidential Plus card won't get you additional miles for flying. However, if you lack status, the PPlus card will upgrade you to Silver Elite on CO.

    In addition to Avis and the Global Entry benefits, you might also want to partially base the decision on which hotels you stay at frequently, and what extra perks/amenities you could receive. The PPlus card also gets you Hilton Platinum.
     
  8. dkelly1110
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    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    Hyatt Platinum
     
  9. From NYC
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    From NYC Gold Member

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    AmEx Plat also gives you up to $200 reimbursement for airline fees/charges (checked bags, food bought on board) for one airline that you designate and use the card to pay for. PPlus will give you discounts (about $2.00/drink) on booze bought in the Presidents Club and on board.
     
  10. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Both cards are valuable for their benefits - it really depends on what programs you use or what programs you want as a backup. Both cards are designed to compete with each other - and many benefits stack up quite closely.

    Airline Benefits:
    Amex Plat: DL, AA lounges when flying DL or AA, US anytime, CO PC until Set if flying CO. Priority Pass Select (no UA/CO after Sept), $200 airline fee reimbursement, global entry reimbursement
    CO PP: CO/UA/US, Star Gold lounges, Premier Access on CO (check-in, security lines, boarding), No Bag Fees on CO, Flex EQM (not as good as Delta or US credit card EQM equiv)

    If you want CO lounge access - waiting for a US club sale ($250) is usually the best deal. If you fly AA / DL Amex Plat is the way to go. US - it's a toss up.

    Hotel Programs:
    Amex Plat: Starwood Gold (mid tier 10 nights), Fine Hotel & Resorts (free breakfast, hotel amenity (usually a meal or spa credit), late checkout and space available upgrade)
    CO PP: Hyatt Plat (Mid tier 5 nights), Chase version of Fine Hotel & Resorts (much more limited participation)

    Amex Plat wins - i'm not sold on the value of Hyatt Plat. Free internet and bed choice were listed as benefits.

    Car Rental:
    Amex Plat: Hertz Gold (not very special) & National Executive (valuable)
    CO PP: Avis Presidents Club (special level created for CO)

    If you rent every week from Avis - i'm sure you're treated pretty well from them. I'm not sure if you'll get much better treatment with the CO credit card.

    The lounge access is by far the greatest value in these cards. I value the Amex hotel benefits (FHR & SPG) and National status as well. If you're not going to need the benefits there are plenty of other cards with lower annual fees and nice rewards
     
    adambadam and ab3i like this.

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