If you have an American Express Platinum Card, you hopefully know the most worthwhile spending category is 5X Membership Rewards points you earn when paying for airfare. This category became more beneficial in 2020 when AMEX added travel benefits like trip delay and cancellation to its premium credit cards.
Since I have a Platinum Card again, I’m using it to pay for airfare. It’s no secret banks know when you’re booking travel, so I wasn’t surprised when AMEX sent me an email after paying for a Delta flight. They reminded me that I earned 5X points by using my card.
This part of the email was 100% correct. The rest of the email was full of questionable claims about how much value I could get from my Platinum Card.
Hmmm. $750 in Travel Value with my Platinum Card on my upcoming trip? Tell me more, American Express!
I’ll get a $200 hotel credit if I book with FH&R or The Hotel Collection with AMEX Travel. I’ll admit this is true, although I will be staying with friends for this trip so I’ll have no use for the credit. But theoretically, I could save $200.
What else can I save?
$200 with Uber Cash. Now that’s a lie. There’s no way I can save that much on a single trip. In fact, the most I could save is $50, and that’s if the trip straddles November and December and I could use both the $15 and $35 credits. We’re starting to stretch the reasonable limits of the AMEX Platinum’s value.
Does Hilton Gold Status provide extra value? Admittedly it’s the sweet spot of the Hilton program but now that they’ve done away with free breakfast in lieu of a food credit, you’re not getting that much value.
Centurion Club access? That depends if there’s a club where I’m traveling and the line isn’t too long. Maybe I’d visit the club but what’s that worth?
I hope that anyone paying for an AMEX Platinum Card knows that no one should be paying $189 a year for CLEAR. Just by having a frequent flyer account with Delta or United, your price drops to $119.
Last but not least, is the $200 airline fee credit—the hardest to use credit in the travel card marketplace.
To use all $200 on a single flight, you’d need to pay for lounge access, bags, seat assignments, and plenty of in-flight food and beverages.
I’d appreciate if anyone could show how these “benefits” adds up to $750 in Travel Value.
I get that AMEX wants to show travelers all the things that a Platinum Card provides, which is a considerable number of benefits. However, putting a dollar amount on those benefits for a single trip to justify the high annual fee doesn’t scan.
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