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The Platinum Card® from American Express has lengthy been a pacesetter in terms of travel credit cards with luxurious advantages. But during the last yr, as card members had been grounded by the pandemic, Amex discovered success biking in momentary “at-home” perks to maintain members engaged with their playing cards even whereas their journey advantages had been unavailable to them.
Now, with journey resuming and planes again within the air, the issuer has introduced the addition of a number of new everlasting journey and retail advantages for the card. However, these new perks include a considerably greater annual fee which will make shoppers assume twice, particularly if the new advantages are of restricted use to them relying on their shopping for habits and geographical location.
The Amex Platinum card already has a strong suite of elite VIP advantages, all of which stay in place. But as well as, beginning July 1, the next new credit and reductions can be out there to each new and present card members:
- An annual $200 assertion credit score for pay as you go bookings at Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties made by American Express Travel.
- An annual $179 assertion credit score for a Clear membership. Clear gives expedited safety screening at choose airports and stadiums throughout the nation.
- Up to $240 in annual assertion credit on eligible purchases or subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM or The New York Times. These credit can be found in parts of as much as $20 every month all year long.
- Up to $300 in annual assertion credit on purchases of choose Equinox Fitness Club month-to-month memberships or a digital subscription to the Equinox+ app. These credit can be found in parts of as much as $25 every month.
- A 20% low cost on a Wheels Up Connect non-public jet membership (common value $2,995) and a 40% low cost on a Wheels Up Core membership (common value $17,500). Card members may also get a $500 or $2,000 credit score added to their Wheels Up account to make use of towards their preliminary flight throughout the first yr relying on the chosen Wheels Up membership.
In addition, card members may have entry to the new Global Dining Access program by Resy, which can supply unique reservations at a few of the world’s high eating places, together with entry to premium occasions and different perks like precedence notify and VIP standing.
The Amex airport lounge portfolio additionally continues to broaden. The issuer’s Global Lounge Collection already consists of entry to Escape Lounges throughout the US, however the lounges can be up to date and newly co-branded as Centurion Studio companions. Also, American Express International Lounge areas in spots like Mexico City and Sydney, Australia, can be transformed into Centurion Lounges.
The new Amex Centurion Lounge at New York’s LaGuardia airport is one in every of over 40 lounges worldwide that can be branded with the Centurion title.
Finally, an present lounge partnership is being made everlasting. Amex Platinum card members may have entry to select Lufthansa lounges around the world, together with Business Lounges when flying Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian Airlines in any class, and Lufthansa Senator Lounges when flying in enterprise class on Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian Airlines.
These new perks, credit and reductions are accompanied by a new greater annual fee on the Amex Platinum. Starting July 1, 2021, the card may have an annual fee of $695, up from the earlier $550 (see rates and fees). For card members who opened their accounts previous to July 1, 2021, the new annual fee will take impact in your annual renewal date on or after January 1, 2022.
While this makes the annual fee on the non-public Amex Platinum card $100 greater than the $595 annual fee of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees), the enterprise model of the card isn’t getting all these new advantages. However, Business Platinum card members will get the annual $179 Clear credit score, reductions towards a Wheels Up membership, entry to the Global Dining Access program by Resy and, in fact, entry to the expanded Centurion Lounge community.
You’ll want to have the ability to reap the benefits of at the very least one in every of these new Amex Platinum perks to be able to make the upper annual fee price the fee.
Frankly, a number of of those newly-added perks will enchantment solely to a slim viewers. For occasion, in case you’re already a member of an Equinox club, or if accessing the Equinox+ app appeals to you, then you definitely’ll discover the as much as $300 in new Equinox credit engaging. But in case you don’t have an Equinox close to you and the app isn’t a part of your exercise routine, you’re not going to get any profit from this new perk.
Similarly, the as much as $240 in digital leisure credit are solely out there to be used with 4 Amex companions: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times. If you don’t need or want a membership with any of those 4 providers, you received’t discover any use for these new month-to-month credit.
Of broader curiosity are the new $200 in pay as you go lodge credit and the $179 in annual Clear credit. The latter will absolutely cowl an annual Clear membership, and might even cowl the price of including a good friend or member of the family in case you’re in a position to get most well-liked Clear pricing by being a Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus member. Clear gives expedited entry by TSA safety checkpoints the place it’s out there, and might even be stacked on high of your present TSA PreCheck membershp, so you possibly can transfer by safety even quicker.
And whereas reserving a pay as you go lodge sometimes means much less flexibility since a lot of these reservations are normally non-refundable and non-changeable, in case you’re sure you possibly can decide to your reserving, a $200 low cost is a pleasant financial savings, although you might be restricted as to which properties are eligible by the 2 Amex packages.
Overall, once you mix these new perks with the present Amex Platinum advantages — particularly the as much as $200 in annual airline fee credit and the as much as $200 in annual Uber credit — it’s definitely doable to see a path the place the $695 annual fee is price the fee, notably if you end up in airport lounges regularly. But you’ll want to take a seat down and do the maths to see if it is smart for you.
Looking for a new journey credit score card? Check out CNN Underscored’s checklist of the best travel credit cards of 2021.
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