A couple of years ago, I wrote about why I planned to dump the Amex Platinum card. In my opinion, the Amex Platinum card had completely deviated from its value proposition. What was supposed to be a premium travel credit card had become a glorified expensive shopping coupon book.
Amex Platinum Card changes
As per Doctor of Credit, these negative changes on three fronts. Firstly, Amex is taking away the Audible benefit. Secondly, Amex is increasing the annual fee on authorized user cards. Thirdly and probably the biggest blow, Amex is putting more restrictions on who can earn the welcome bonus.
Amex Platinum Card Devalues
Here’s a quick summary of the changes coming to the card:
- The Audible credit will go away and be replaced by a WSJ credit starting October 1, 2023. When I had the card, I used Audible quite frequently to download Audiobook. In my opinion, this is a big hit to the benefits but may not be that big a deal for others.
- Previously, you could add up to three authorized users for a total of $175. Now, you’ll need to pay an additional $195 for each additional authorized user card. For those who used this benefit in the past, this is a massive devaluation. However, I can well see why they may have done that. It could well be in response to the overcrowding of Amex Centurion lounges.
- Last but not the least, this one probably hurts the most. Amex will now restrict welcome bonuses across the family of Platinum cards. Why does it matter? In the past you could get the Amex Platinum card and get the welcome bonus. In spite of Amex’s once-in-a-lifetime restriction policy, one could still get the Schwab Platinum card or the Morgan Stanley Platinum cards and get the welcome bonuses on them as they were treated as separate products. However, these new restrictions mean that once you get a welcome bonus for one type of Platinum card, you cannot get the welcome bonus on other Platinum cards.
You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card, the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Charles Schwab, the Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley or previous versions of these Cards. You also may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors. If you are not eligible for a welcome offer, we will notify you prior to processing your application so you have the option to withdraw your application.
The Pundit’s Mantra
I’d initially signed up for the Amex Platinum card back in 2013, when it still had the $450 annual fee. Over the last couple of years, I’ve only seen the card go downhill. More fees and fewer benefits that make sense from a frequent traveler’s standpoint. I recently signed up for the Amex Green card with the $150 annual fee. I find it pretty useful for earning points on travel and dining. Moreover, the card is also currently offering its best ever welcome bonus, which is slated to be ending soon on August 23.
In my opinion, the welcome bonus restriction is a big blow to points chasers like us who like to sign up for different cards to get the welcome bonuses. For those that frequented Centurion lounges with authorized users, this is a killer blow. Previously, you had to pay a total of $870 per year and you could have 4 people access these lounges. Now, if you wish to continue to do so, you’ll need to pay a massive $1,280 in annual fees on the card.
How do these changes to the Amex Platinum cardaffect your travel credit card strategy? Do you plan to still keep the Amex Platinum card when the annual fee hits next? Tell us in the comments section.