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My good friend Mr Credit Card actually has the American Express Platinum Card. While $450 is a lot to pay for the annual fee, he says that it is still of value if you use it to your advantage. Below are his thoughts on why it might sense to actually have the card. Aside from his blog, you can also follow him on his Ask Mr Credit Card Twitter Page.
These days the credit card companies are trying to make up for their loss of fee income since the implementation of the Card Act. They are not charities and they will do what is necessary to make a profit. They are doing it in two ways, by increasing interest rates, and by raising annual fees. Now more than ever, cardholders really need to evaluate if their card is worth its annual fee.
The hardest fees to justify are the most expensive ones, and the American Express Platinum card has always had of of the highest annual fees out there. At $450 a year, Amex customers really had to find some good, solid reasons to pay that fee every year. Fortunately, Amex seems to have gotten the message and is providing some real value in that area.
Start With A Huge Sign Up Bonus
There are currently offers out there for 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000 on the card in your first three months. Make no mistake, anyone bothering to hold an Amex Platinum should have no problem spending that kind of money in 90 days.
Next, Add In The Airline Club Memberships
One of the biggest values of the Platinum card is the membership in a variety of airline lounges. With the card, you gain acceptance in to lounges operated by Delta, American Airlines, and US Airways. Each of those lounge memberships costs at least $200 dollars right there.
Through In A Statement Credit For Airline Fees
Amex is now offering a $200 a year statement credit for incidental airline fees. There are some catches here, but it does seem like a solid value for most travelers. You have to designate a single airline, and they won’t reimburse you for third party onboard amenities such as Wi-Fi. On the other hand, it is quite easy to see how you could spend $200 in change fees, luggage fees, and other fees very quickly. Let’s just say that increasing airline fees have joined death and taxes on the list of things we can never avoid.
Is It Worth It?
That is the real question. If you need the lounge memberships, you will probably get your money out of this card, so long as you take advantage of the statement credit for airline fees. There are also some intangibles that come with the Platinum Card. Cardholders I know report that American Express is extremely generous in giving these particular cardholders in good standing the benefit of the doubt when it comes to chargebacks, car insurance issues, and just about any other potential dispute. It is as if their customer service representatives are empowered to issue statement credits for a broad variety of reasons.
A $450 annual fee is nothing to sneeze at, but for many people out there the Amex Platinum carries its weight, and then some.