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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by zshanlon, Jan 10, 2014.
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"Mass Exodus from Amex Membership Rewards Program"
Now, this sounds fascinating. What is it all about? Care to share?
Changes to Delta's Skyclub program mean that the AMEX Platinum card will now only admit the holder, and not family or two guests, as was previously the case (indeed, the new "basic" Skyclub membership will have the same rule).
I'm not sure that it will mean an exodus from Membership Rewards, but combined with the USAirways / American pullout it does make the value proposition of the Platinum card a good deal harder to maintain. There is already a rumor that the airline credit will be increased from $200 to $300.
Thanks for the reminder @LarryInNYC. I read about it and I'm sure some will leave the AMEX program. Overall IMHO, overall bad news.
I do not know what the timing was, but American Express has been focusing on their Centurion Clubs - so far at DFW and LAS.
Maybe they anticipated changes, or were just being pro-active?
They certainly knew that there were negotiations ongoing with AA about renewing that deal, and I doubt any of them were surprised it didn't happen. AmEx is planning LGA and SFO in the coming year, which should help them a bit.
As to the premise of the OP, I don't think this is a reason to abandon the MR program. It is a reason to consider a switch away from the higher-priced cards (e.g. move from Platinum to Gold), but not a reason to run away from the points side of things.
Imagine how you would feel if you were a Centurion card holder???!!! They've kept me for a few years since I knew that I would never requalify with the latest requirements. But in my ten years, I've seen Centurion lose Starwood Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, Continental Gold and others. For a few years they sent $500 gift cards a few times a year. Of late, there has truly been nothing.
Of course, they tout their Centurion Travel Service. But in most cases, you get the same from a good Virtuoso agent with one major difference. You call your Virtuoso agent and they know you and your plans. Call Centurion and you get a new person every time and they spend 10 minutes getting up to speed.
Yeah, I know, I'm an idiot. But my anniversary is May and this will be it for me.
Seen at least one post where somebody called in and was offered $500 in credit towards AA Club Membership in compensation. YMMV.
Fair point. I should have said "mass exodus from Platinum card". The largest selling point of the card was lounge access. After you have gotten you $200 airline credit and free global entry there is very little left to justify the $250 annual fee for skyclub access for one person. Sure its cheaper than paying for a skyclub membership outright but the value was always that you got access to multiple lounges. People that only fly Delta can get a different card that rewards MQMs in addition to lounge access for the same price. Little reason for AA or US Airways flyers to have it anymore.
Ouch, that would be tough.
4 lounges in the entire US isnt a drop in the bucket in terms of restoring what has been lost.
Depends on how often you fly to/from/through one of those 4 airports.
But I agree that it isn't an enormous benefit.
You are correct, but it IS a start. We will need to see what else develops, how quickly, and where.
If they were to at least publish estimated dates for future lounges. But http://thecenturionlounge.com/ doesn't even list LGA and SFO as locations, they just say "more locations coming soon." That's not a way to retain this SFO-based flyer.
I'm not even convinced there will be a mass exodus from the Platinum card. Will a lot of people cancel their Platinum (or Delta Reserve) cards over this? Probably. But I don't think there will be a mass exodus from either card. There are probably people who have one or the other as their only AmEx, for example. Or there may be people who have the card for other reasons (whatever those reasons may be) and don't care about these changes. There may be people who travel alone, and don't care about the guest restrictions. And there are probably people who agree with the changes DL is making to try to thin out the crowds. In any case, when you consider the number of Platinum cards in circulation, I don't think there will be a mass exodus.
I tend to agree, but there will probably be a lot of people this year who, when the annual fee hits, ask themselves what they are actually getting for that fee. They may not all cancel, and it may be a small percentage of the overall membership... but I know I am going to be one of them
I agree. I pay $795 or so for two cards, and push as much through for business purchases as I can, primarily for the Membership Awards. As I don't travel as much for business anymore, when I did travel this year, it was on Delta and AA. I was able to take my daughter with me on all the occasions to the lounges for no charge. They were a nice oasis.
But after seeing United fall out of the programme, and now the USAir/AA problem, it makes me wonder again if this is a good deal. I used to rack up the miles on Diner's Club which had many more partners to transfer points/miles to. AMEX has lost A LOT of ground the past couple years as to which carriers you could use.
Just canceled platinum card. Got a snooty rep couldn't get me off the phone fast enough.
I'll be cancelling this year before my fee comes due. However, if Amex continues to build great clubs, and has them in the cities I travel through (SFO, ORD, DFW...) then I'd certainly consider reapplying in the future. Right now it won't be worth the fee.
That's surprising. Most of them try really hard to keep you considering you're plat.
Took me at least 20 mins to cancel when I did it a year ago.
More clubs and less crowded would be great...(although hard since there are lots of platinum members out there).
I refuse to join any club that would accept me as a member.
I refuse to join any club that would have you as a member too!
Next time, use amex chat online. I canceled 2 Plat cards and had no issues.
I've half a mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.
Oh, that's what DL is doing.