I cancelled my amex platinum. Smart move or not?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by gmarchetti, Oct 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    I should have asked before... Anyway here are the reasons:
    - I have been consistently disappointed by the lounges. No domestic airline stands out, they are all quite similar IMHO. Most have been quite crowded, food is often of dubious quality and limited variety. Free wifi may be the main benefit, but it is free in several airports I normally fly to anyway.
    - $200 fee reimbursement is fine, but there are cheaper cards that will eliminate luggage fees etc... In addition, if you travel enough to achieve status those fees are often zero or reduced.
    - $100 global entry credit is useful on year 1. Once you have used it, global entry is valid for 5 years.
    - SPG gold is nice, but I can achieve it anyway. In addition, room upgrades are few in the USA, more common abroad. Other cards give status and a yearly free night at hotel chain, e.g. Chase Hyatt
    - cdw, extended warranties etc can be obtained with Amex pr gold, which is cheaper and earns more points.
    - car rental status is not that useful for me, as my company forces me to rent with Avis only anyway and has "corporate preferred"
    - there are cheaper cards with no foreign fees, e.g. Chase sapphire preferred
    Opinions?
     
  2. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Glad you posted these thoughts/questions...I just received my renewal and am considering cancelling as well...would love to hear some thoughts on this...
     
  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Now you know why I have the Gold card.
     
  4. artvndlay

    artvndlay Active Member

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    I'll be facing a similar decision early next year, the bonus miles made it a no brainer for the first year but renewal is a tough question. I could go either way, it is really a break even for me fee/benefits.

    You should always be able to use the $200 reimbursement almost like cash off air travel, there are big threads on using this benefit on other sites...much more use than just fees.
    Lounge access is worth a bit to me - very little business travel for my full time job, so I rarely fly enough miles for status or on fares that grant lounge access. I probably use it about 10x per year and I value the access at about $10 per use. As an IAH captive, I wish it had United lounge access.
    Global entry - I assume/hope it is valid for paying for anyone's global entry, not just the card holders? I'll be getting it for most of my family, probably worth $75 a year to me.
    Amex FHR access - These hotels are not usually in my price range, but once per year I might splurge and the AMEX benefits are pretty good. $100 or so.
    Roadside Assistance - Cancelled my AAA which costs $50 bucks a year.

    Just make sure you keep a card that lets you do what you want with your MR points. Cancelling the Plat would require me to transfer a bunch of MR points or keep gold which is still $100+ a year in fees. I read somewhere you get a 30 day grace period as long as you have any other Amex.

    What might push me to cancel is the new bonus language AMEX is using - holding a platinum card makes you ineligible for bonuses on several of their other cards. I think I'd rather cancel and churn in a year.
     
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  5. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    @gmarchetti, I have to agree with you completely. For the most part, the primary benefit (in comparison with the many other similar cards available) is the lounge access, which I find to be rather substandard stateside. In addition, if that is relevant to you, consider the Sky Guide Executive Privilege Club.You pay a $20.00 USD annual fee and then you get reimbursed for up to 12 airline lounge day passes per year. Just pay for the day pass with an Amex card like normal, then send in the receipts for the money back. I imagine that they can keep the price that low because most people either lose their receipts, or just are too busy (or lazy/forgetful) to send them in, then cash the check that gets sent back.
     
  6. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    ---- Good point. That's actually what I intend to do once I reach the year long or so since I've cancelled.
     
  7. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I've been debating this as well. But in NYC - we have recently renovated lounges - AA and DL which are very nice.

    If you factor in the $200 credit, doesn't the Amex Plat come close to the Gold card in terms of annual out of pocket?

    FHR is a nice benefit that i enjoy. Priority Pass is useful at times - it gets me into the SJU Admirals Club when i'm not flying AA.

    I currently have a US Club membership (for UA lounges) and going to let that expire and just keep the Amex Plat.
     
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  8. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I agree, but that's a different discussion. The question I would ask here is "Crap or not, do you use them?" If you do use them, are you willing to forego whatever benefit your derive from them? Does that change during irregular ops when the gates are a zoo and the reps behind the glass doors are priceless?
    I think where amex really falls down here is that you have to choose ONE airline where this applies. One way to approach this is to not choose the airline you have status with since you probably already get freebies with your preferred airline.
    Well, for lounges, you could subscribe to the full Priority Pass program for the price of the amex and you'll have even more lounge access (albeit without the ability to bring in guests for free).

    One thing I find useful is Amex plat has superb customer service. Probably better than any other. (I'm sure some of you will disagree with me on that though!) Not sure what value to place on that -- it's probably more intangible. But as an example, the extended warranty and price protection features are available with other cards too. That said, judging by other threads, Amex doesn't make you jump through hoops to use it. People using other cards' programs give up in disgust. (Which is funny since I imagine they're all run by the same entity anyhow -- I guess the card issuer has some say in how lenient to be.)

    If you have a large traveling family also consider the value (or lack of) of adding several additional cards for the 1 extra $295 annual fee. They can all have lounge access that way.

    I agree Amex's other benefits are marginal unless you can make use of things like the companion international business class ticket, which makes little sense for most people. Then again, sometimes there are great unexpected promotions like last year's DL MQM offer or even the small business shopping day. Wish we could count on more really special promotions. That might tip the scales for me.
     
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  9. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    @jetsettingEric: The PR Gold card is $175, no additional annual fee for up to 5 cards on the account. The platinum is $450 + $175 for up to 3 additional platinum cards. Alas here in Seattle the lounges leave a lot to be desired, imho. The BA one is quite nice, but not included with Amex or Priority Pass.
    I had forgotten about roadside assistance too. It seems equivalent to AAA "basic" membership?
    I was not aware of the ineligibility for bonus on other cards. One more reason to cancel.
     
  10. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Interesting as this discussion is totally focused on the US AX Platinum card .. the CDN version is less restrictive on the 200 reimbursement and gives full Priority Lounge access as well as much more ... I think I prefer the CDN version :)
     
  11. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    The AS Boardroom and DL SkyClub are reasonably nice domestic lounges in SEA. If you don't like those two, you're pretty much saying you don't care for any domestic lounge in the US.
     
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  12. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I've carried the Platinum card since 1998, and haven't blinked once about renewing. I have a supplemental card ($175) for my wife, and two free supplemental cards for each of our parents.

    The principal benefit for me (and my extended family) is lounge access on DL, AA, US and AS.

    I have status on all the major alliances and nearly always sit in front - so I don't really ever face baggage fees or the sort - I use the $200 annual credit to buy 4@$50 gift certificates - which I apply towards airfare.

    FHR has an important subtlety over Virtuoso/FSPP/Ritz Stars programs - the 4pm late checkout is guaranteed via FHR, versus subject to availability on the other programs. This is only relevant at holiday periods, but over Christmas, I know my late check out is set...and not subject to lottery. (I actually now book mainly via Virtuoso, but usually always book Christmas holidays via Amex for the guaranteed late checkout.)

    I use the Amex return protection program easily for $500 a year in otherwise non-returnable items.

    They also have the undocumented Single Traveler Benefit, which helps a few hundred dollars for solo long-haul trips.

    Finally, I've found their disposition in disputes to be 100% on my side. I invariably have one non-trivial disputed amount each year, and I always prevail.

    So, roughly I pay $550 a year in fees, I get $200 back in ticket credits from the airline credit, get $500 back from the return program, get lounge access on three of the four majors, plus AS for me, wife, and both sets of parents (I'm the favorite son-in-law ;)!). (I get UA lounge access via the good folks at A3, covering all the majors for me.)

    And, MR points have a pretty good track record of being transferable at some sort of bonus rate to carriers I use points on (BA, DL)...so I sort of effectively earn 1.3-1.4 miles per dollar spent on most dollars.

    I get integer multiples of value from the card when compared to the fee and cannot see a scenario where I'd cancel it. Your travel patterns may differ from mine.
     
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  13. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    I have used the lounges, just not been impressed. One episode stands out in particular: during a long layover, I had bought a decent coffee and a sandwich, but the Delta rep would not let me into the lounge with them. They had coffee and snacks only inside. I sat outside in a quiet corner having my lunch and wondering why I was bothering with lounge access at all. During irregular operations I must admit that both Delta and AA were quite proactive. They contacted me before I left for the airport and let me know my options - no need for a lounge there.
    Altogether, I won't miss them much.
    As for the choice of airline for reimbursement, I did choose an airline where I had no status. I don't fly them frequently obviously so I could not take advantage of the full $200. I ended up using the remainder for gift vouchers.
    I agree on the Amex customer service: I've had Amex cards for a long time and have always been impressed by it. I'm "downgrading" to a PR Gold.
     
  14. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    "One episode stands out in particular: during a long layover, I had bought a decent coffee and a sandwich, but the Delta rep would not let me into the lounge with them."

    This happened to me just last month at a US lounge. I love the lounge access overall (I find them to always be an improvement over the gate area, regardless of how crowded they might be) and have no near term intention of cancelling my Platinum, but I did get a little annoyed that my turkey sandwich was seen as competition for their bowl of chex mix. I realize they have good reasons for the "no outside food" policy, but it's still a shame. Being able to squirrel your lunch away behind the glass doors would make the lounges even more attractive for me personally.
     
  15. zornoff

    zornoff Active Member

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    I got the card last year because I was targeted for 100K sign-up MR points. I'll probably cancel before it renews because I have lounge access already and don't use any of the other benefits.
     
  16. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    NBY,
    Can you apply the gift cards toward award travel atxes & fees? I was told by AMEX the $200 cannot be used towards award travel but maybe transfering first into gift cards would circumvent this issue?

    Alos, familair with the AMEX Centurion(Special invite card)? Curious of the features on that card.
     
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  17. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Yes, you can use the gift certificates towards award travel co-pays/fuel charges/taxes. The only thing I've been unable to use the gift certificates for was Five Star service on AA. The GCs make a good circumvention.

    As to the Centurion card, start with knowing the fee is $2,500, and there is a similar initiation fee. Several of my friends who have the card quite like the service. I've not been offered it, and I'm quite pleased with the regular Platinum card (as you could tell from my post). The Centurion card does give you one-level-from-top elite status on a few carriers...that is a nice benefit.
     
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  18. kofucious

    kofucious Silver Member

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    I just cancelled my Mercedes Benz Platinum Amex. My annual fee was due and did not want to pay it. It's been a great card for the one year I used it. I was able to use the lounges when I travel overseas. The purchase protection is quite awesome. Unfortunately, I don't foresee myself utilizing it that often in the upcoming year and will be traveling less. It was nice while it lasted.
     
  19. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    Hey gmarchetti,
    so what do ya think since canceling your amex PLT? Do you have any regrets? Or are you relieved that the large AF is out of your hands?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  20. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    I'm not missing it.
     
  21. Flying Machine

    Flying Machine Silver Member

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    Hmm.. Been Plat since the 80's.. I dont seem to use most of the benefits. Oh, let me think. $200 for UA Credits, check.. Emerald Executive, Hertz Gold, Priority Plus, check.. $150 back when they made a mistake regarding my card. Therefore, $100 out of pocket.. Wait! actually $50, I cancelled the AAA a few years back ( bummer is.. you have to wait for a tow turck longer, with this service. I average 45-60 Minutes AAA was a consistent 20-30.. ) All in all, not a bad card at all and the price??

    Thanks and Safe Travels
     
  22. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    None of the lounges (AFAIK) let outside food in. The reason is principally to keep "smelly" outside food out --- and it's too difficult to have a "no smelly food" rule. One person's odor is another person's fragrance, so to speak.

    I cancelled my Amex Platinum a long time ago and really haven't missed it. I get the benefits that I need from the fee-free Costco Amex at no cost. The "wow" factor isn't there that the Platinum Card used to have, but I'm not sure that any card has a "wow" factor anymore.
     
  23. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    I really do love the lounge access, as much as for the little conveniences as for anything else. I was running real low on phone battery last Thursday at IAH, and simply popped into the KLM lounge and squared that problem away. I could have recharged outside of the lounge of course, but I find the density of available outlets in any lounge better than at any gate.

    Whereas I said in an earlier post that I had no plans to cancel my Platinum, I am looking at the US/AA merger with some trepidation. The ability to use the US Airways lounges regardless of who is carrying me that day is a tremendous benefit for me. If the merger causes that benefit to go away, then I'm going to be substantially less happy about paying $450/year for that card.
     
  24. dc_traveler
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    dc_traveler Silver Member

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    I am pretty sure that AA lounges (Admirals Club) allows outside food -- certainly in practice, as I often pick up from Tortas Frontera at ORD and bring into the lounge. I do try to sit far away from other people to avoid bothering them!

     
  25. impsycho

    impsycho Silver Member

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    I fly mainly AA so it's a great deal. The Admirals Club fee is $350 so combined with the $200 airline credits the two benefits pay for the card fee. Priority Pass usually works well when I'm not flying AA or flying international and the no foreign transaction fees was a great benefit before other cards started offering the same.
     

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