I Finally Caved and Applied for The AMEX Platinum

For years I’ve resisted applying for the American Express Platinum. The American Express Everyday Preferred took care of my membership rewards needs and I have the Citi Prestige and the Chase Sapphire Reserve already and didn’t feel the need to get another premium card. That changed recently and here’s why.

Lounge Access

This past July Citi took away the Admirals club benefit from the Citi Prestige. With no Admirals club, I was stuck with using Priority Pass for lounge access. Priority Pass is great when traveling internationally but the domestic options leave a lot to be desired.

The Centurion Lounges are great and American Express seems committed to opening up new lounges where their card members travel to or from the most. American Express has had some pop up events at O’Hare advertising the Centurion Lounge network and I’m hoping one is opening up there soon.

5X Earning on Airfare

Over the past year I’ve spent more money on airfare then I have before. Usually I would use points or miles to pay for the majority of my flights but that changed with the decrease in price of business class and airfares in general. Using miles and points didn’t make sense in most circumstances and I’d rather redeem for aspirational flights and experiences. The Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige at most gave me 3x points on airfare while the AMEX Platinum gives me 5x.

$200 Uber Credit

The AMEX Platinum recently added this benefit. It’s not $200 all at once but $15 to use every month and a $20 bonus in December. When I’m in the US, I prefer Lyft but the credit can be used for UberEats which I do use.

$200 Airline Credit

Unlike the Prestige and the Sapphire this credit does not apply to actually airfare. This will still come in handy as I do purchase 500 mile upgrades on American. I’ll probably also use the credit towards Admirals Club admission.

Cash back is worth at least 1.25 cents per MR Point

The version of the card I applied for was from Schwab. The Schwab version of the card allows customers to transfer membership rewards to their Schwab account at a rate of 1 MR point to 1.25 cents. An added benefit for Schwab customers is if you have $250,000 in assets (a guy can dream, right) or $1,000,000 assets you get a $100 or $200 statement credit respectively.

Consolidation of my Cards and Saving Annual Fees

The AMEX Platinum gives me Hilton Gold and Starwood Gold status. I was planning on applying for the Starwood AMEX cards to get the 5 nights and 2 stays toward Gold status but that’s unnecessary now. An added benefit is I save the $95 annual fee.

I can also downgrade my American Express Surpass card to the no fee version and save the $75 annual fee.

These are some of the reasons why I finally applied for the card. The Platinum card also offers I a lot more benefits that I’m interested in exploring.