Changes to Amex Platinum Starting March 30, 2017

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American Express has made some changes to The Platinum Card® from American Express. This includes some additional perks, but also an increased annual fee of $550 (Terms Apply - Rates & Fees), which is now higher than its competition from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Citi Prestige® Card. As of now, no changes to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express have been announced.

Full details on the update are available at AmericanExpress.com/platinumupdate (Amex Press Release).

Changes and Benefits

  • The annual fee increased $100/year to $550 per year from $450 per year
    • Cardmembers with their fee due prior to August 31, 2017, will still pay the old fee of $450.
    • Cardmembers with their fee due on or after September 1, 2017, will pay the newly increased fee of $550 (Rates & Fees)
  • Cardholders receive up to $200 in annual Uber Credits for rides in the US. Where available they will also receive VIP status.
    • To get the benefit, Card Members must add their card as a payment method on the Uber app
    • Cardholders will receive a monthly credit of $15
    • In December of each year, each cardholder will receive a $20 bonus credit, for a total of $200 in annual credits
  • Priority Pass Membership will now include up to two complimentary guests. Previously only the card-member had complimentary access and each guest was an additional $27.

In addition to the above, there are some other tweaks to the benefits cardholder receive:

  • A redesigned metal card
  • Access to Amex’s new Global Dining Collection
  • Additional Gold Cards now have no annual fee, previously 5 cards would set you back $45 in an annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • Earn 5X MR points for hotel stays when booked on AmexTravel.com
  • Cardmembers will now have access to an expanded lounge collection, with access to over 1,000 lounges in 120 countries
  • Amex is expanding its Invitation only special events program

Overall

Is the increase of annual fee worth the additional perks? It really depends on how you use the card. The increased Uber credits are worth the fee in their own right, add to that reduced cost for family members having additional Gold cards and the enhanced earning, and this is seemingly a positive move. What's your take?

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

Changes to Amex Platinum Starting March 30, 2017
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Comments

  • To answer the question of “is the increase of annual fee worth the additional perks?”, my opinion is the answer is a definite no. The Uber credits are only helpful if you have a regular need for Uber and, even if you do, the complicated $15 per month implementation is almost designed to be complicated. The other tweaks are shiny, but fairly meaningless at the end of the day.

    Amex’s response to challenges in the premium card space has been a resounding flop. This news makes me all the more satisfied with the Sapphire Reserve.

  • I added my Platinum to my Uber, I can at least get a few months out of it. Will depend on the renewal offer as to whether I keep it.

  • For me, these changes could easily fall under the heading of fantastic if the Uber credit was a on a yearly spend-to-get basis akin to the Sapphire Reserve travel credit. Unfortunately, I have to believe that for a lot of people, myself included, the $15/$35 per month rationing is next to useless.

  • Prashant Gangwal says:

    Changes not good enough to match up to Sapphire Reserve…especially with the fee increase!

  • I don’t use Uber on a monthly basis, so I’m gonna lose most of the monthly Uber credits, which would result in a net loss for me considering the increased annual fee.
    I also don’t book hotels via AmEx.
    Oh and I couldn’t care less about the card being made of metal.
    Overall, the changes are pretty negative for me, so I am going to cancel the card soon.
    What a shame…

  • rahul ramaswami says:

    The $100 increase isnt bad when I consider the uber credit (Pretty sure I used to use uber for more then $200/year). However, living in Austin this sucks (since no uber/lyft here).

    When it says:
    -Cardholders will receive a monthly credit of $15

    This means each month you get $15 credit correct? Would the credit roll over as long as you have the card?

  • What are these additional Gold cards? Are they the same as authorized user cards?

    Also, will authorized users be able to utilize the Uber credits?

  • Air Flyer says:

    The additional value add really comes down to whether you use Uber or not.

  • I think the increase is only worth it if people use Uber. Sucks for the people who don’t.

  • While any improvements are welcome, unfortunately I feel Amex’s latest salvo falls short of addressing some of its main weaknesses vs. the competition. For example, I would have liked to see better trip insurance coverage, hotels as a broader bonus category, and a more liberal travel credit. Let’s see how current and potential customers respond to the even higher annual fee…

  • Seems like a weak effort to counter the popularity of the CSR, in my opinion. If they really want to make noise, they should up the sign-up bonus.

  • Agree with most of the comments that while this is a unique offer, with the additional fee and the benefit spread over months it is less attractive to me.

  • Just read about the BIz Platinum adding some benefits as well.

  • ADAM PARSONS says:

    I still do not know why people bother with amex platinum when you get similar perks from having a gold card but don’t have to pay the outrageous annual fee.

  • The Uber credit is like cash to me, so it’s worth it to me.

  • The new priority pass benefit is an excellent addition to the platinum card

  • I like the new Uber benefit. It will actually encourage me to use Uber more often.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    I find these changes as unwelcome especially the increase in annual fee.

  • I know American Express does transfer to a lot of airlines, etc. I love Chase Sapphire, but wish they would transfer to American Airlines and Delta and Alaskan. Do you see American Express a better option for transferring points and usage than Sapphire? Sapphire being a Visa is just accepted everywhere, where as, American Express is not. I worry about being able to use it on vacation in Europe or a small town. I’ll probably stick with Sapphire but I would like to know your opinion or is it more which do you prefer to transfer points to more?

    • It really depends on your travel goals and the points/miles you use. I frequently transfer Amex to Air Canada, but at the same time Chase has excellent partners as well. You really need to look at how you’re redeeming points — regardless, if you decide to stick with only one program, you should look at how you earn to decide which card and program(s) will maximize your return.

      • Karen Klein says:

        True! I can see the benefit of having the Sapphire since I do earn miles often with United on surveys and dinning/shopping. Didn’t even think about that! Thank you!

  • Ouch! The increase to $550 from $450 annual fee hurts. I rarely take Ubers. I thought Amex was losing market share.

  • Rob Arias says:

    I wish the Uber money was more of a pool that you take out of instead of 15 bucks a month. Its very frustrating and difficult to use I’d say

  • I prefer the Business at $450 without Uber and with all the other enhancements.

  • It’s looking like I’m going to need to get a second job just to support all of my annual fees! Boo!

  • Alessandro says:

    In Italy the Amex Platinum fee is EUR 700,00…

  • I’m sure there are many who would find additional value in the changes but I personally wouldn’t. I rarely use Uber so those credits would be wasted for me.

  • I think this makes the card a lot better even given the higher fee

  • As someone who doesn’t use Uber often due to my location, this perk doesn’t help me much. So the extra $100 would keep me from renewing.

  • I think going over $500 is a psychological barrier and could very well tip the balance against the card. Personally I have absolutely no interest in the Uber credit.

  • Cathy Krasnianski says:

    It will be interested to see how many people will drop the card because of the increased annual fee.

  • Not impressed. Massive annual fee and complicated ways to get some of it back. Will jump on 100k if I see one, but only for that.

  • I’ll stick with the CSR card too. I do worry, though, that Priority Pass may become increasingly useless in places like the Alaska Board Rooms where it seems that is is almost the norm to deny PP holders entrance because of (or purportedly because of) overcrowding.

    • I have experienced that too at one particular airport where I have been repeatedly turned away as a priority pass holder as it is too busy, yet said if I had paid extra to pre book I would have got in. I’m glad I hadn’t paid extra as I wouldn’t want to pay that to get into an overcrowded lounge!

  • if can use on ubereats that would be nice

  • Would be great to see some improvements to the Canadian Platinum. No commission on foreign spending would be at the top of my list.

  • Will be tough to keep this card with the annual fee increase. Glad I just renewed so good for almost another year.

  • Amex did too little to compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve…!

  • I just go an upgrade offer from Amex Gold with 60,000 points. No hard pull.

  • Just a heads-up, Amex made another silent change to their international airline program and pulled the Platinum companion ticket offer without any notice 3 days ago. 1) I find the timing suspicious considering it was pulled just before the main summer travel season and 2) the new “discount” benefits seem to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors as the business class ticket I was looking at last week and ready to book this weekend is literally the EXACT same price now as it was a week ago even though they have a new “discount” program in place. Called in and received no support or apology from Amex on the sudden, silent change. Reconsidering my future membership if this is how Amex is going to treat it’s members (been a member for over 16 years).

  • Is there a comparison of Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve somewhere?

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