Another Downgrade For American Express Platinum

Delta has just announced a few changes to their lounge access policy.

-Regular club members who shell out $450/year can no longer bring free guests, they will have to pay $29 per guest or upgrade to a $695/year “executive” membership that still allows guest access.
-Effective 05/01 American Express Platinum and Delta Reserve cardholders will have to pay $29 extra for each additional guest they bring into the lounge.

The hits don’t stop coming for the American Express Platinum card.  03/21 is the last day to get free access to American and USAirways lounges and now 04/30 is the last day to bring your entire family for free into a Delta lounge.

You can add 3 additional users onto a personal Platinum card for $175, so if you do want to bring family members into the lounge for free you can add them onto your account.  Secondary users do get full lounge access.  And Platinum cards still give access to Airspace and Delta lounges even if the card is no longer active until the card expires in 4 years from when you get it.

It’s a surprising move even though we’re so used to Delta devaluations that the frequent flyer community calls their miles SkyPesos.  Delta is very close with American Express and for them to hurt American Express’ premium card like this right when American and USAirways did the same is almost shocking.

Perhaps the airlines are running scared of the Centurion lounge network that American Express is rolling out?  The airline lounges simply pale in comparison to these lounge. These lounges are already open in Dallas and Las Vegas and lounges in LaGuardia and San Francisco are up next with more locations to follow. Centurion lounges have premium drinks, food, and in Dallas you can even get a 15 minute clothes-on massage.

People have even been able to call ahead and get free hot kosher meals in the lounges!

Now that American Express has a competing and far superior lounge product all of the airlines have really given them the cold shoulder.

I think if American Express wants to keep the Platinum card competitive they’re going to need to speed up their roll-out of these lounges nationwide or else they’re going to bleed customers.

What else does the Platinum card still get you?
-You still get free access (along with your entire family or 2 guests) to Airspace lounges in Baltimore, Cleveland, and JFK. More Airspace lounges are set to open as well. And each guest gets a gift card to spend on items sold in Airspace lounges with every access.
-You still get a free Priority Pass membership which for now gives free access to USAirways lounges. It also gives access to hundreds of other lounges worldwide. Priority pass only gives free access to the cardholder but additional cardholders also can get priority pass membership

Other card benefits remain in place:
-1 free year of Amazon Prime membership when you open a new Platinum card (This is actually a new benefit and also applies to the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred cards)
-$200 of airline fee credits (or airline gift cards in $100 increments) per calendar year (PGGM continues to live on quite nicely for $400 cash back in your first cardmembership year which covers almost all of the $450 annual fee).
-$100 global entry expedited customs (5 year membership) refund.
-Other benefits include Starwood gold elite status (with a point rebate even on award stays), car rental perks at Avis, Hertz, and National, lost item refund protection (up to $10,000 per lost item), checked baggage protection, no foreign exchange fees, and more.
There is a $450 annual fee. As with all annual fees they are refundable if cancelled within 60 days, they are pro-rated if cancelled after 60 days and have another American Express card (i.e. if you have the card for 3 months and then cancel you would get a $337.50 refund), and they are pro-rated if you downgrade the card even if you have no other American Express card.

HT: chff, via DDF

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48 Responses to “Another Downgrade For American Express Platinum”

  1. chff Says:
    1

    “Starwood gold elite status (with a point rebate even on award stays)”. Umm?

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @chff:
    Yes, you get free SPG Gold and that gives you 250 points back with every stay.

    ReplyReply
  3. Steve Says:
    3

    OT but what can biz plat downgrade to? Preferably no AF?

    ReplyReply
  4. Worth Says:
    4

    You think it’s still worth getting the card? Doesn’t look it.

    ReplyReply
  5. Dan Says:
    5

    @Steve:
    Why downgrade and not cancel?

    @Worth:
    For a $50 annual fee via PGGM? Sure.

    ReplyReply
  6. mh Says:
    6

    working on my second “upgrade” to platinum – different offer 10,000 spend 30,000 points. another $200 in flight credits & I got anothe rGlobal entry credit to the AU’s card.

    Thanks for this info I totally did not know about the Airspace lounge right in the JFK JetBlue terminal for times I fly JetBlue!

    ReplyReply
  7. Niraj Says:
    7

    What is PGGM? Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  8. Rt Says:
    8

    Maybe airlines are realizing their lounges are overcrowded by platinum card holders. The delta lounges are always crowded and I can hardly find a seat

    ReplyReply
  9. Steve Says:
    9

    @dan because I want to keep my points. Only have Spg pers biz and blue sky.

    ReplyReply
  10. Nick @ PFDigest Says:
    10

    Hopefully the Platinum product managers will get desperate to bring in new accounts and start sending out more 100K offers…

    ReplyReply
  11. mjd612 Says:
    11

    @dan If you cancel can you transfer credit line to a personal card?

    ReplyReply
  12. EL Says:
    12

    I already have Amazon Prime. If I sign up for a card that includes a year of it, will my subscription be extended a year? Or does the free year start from when I sign up for the card?

    ReplyReply
  13. philbenjoe Says:
    13

    A bit of topic, amex platinum in canada is a whopping $695 non-refundable fee that also offers the $200 airline credit, however its only if you book your travel through amex travel services. Do you think the PGGM will work? Would amex let you just cancel right after booking? EC would have to be through them and not the airline…TIA

    ReplyReply
  14. gd Says:
    14

    Do you think AMEX Platinum will start offering catagory bonuses as an additional incentive?

    ReplyReply
  15. Anonymous Says:
    15

    @Dan:
    Never saw this, nor gotten back any points

    ReplyReply
  16. Just Says:
    16

    i have a Platinum card. How do I get the free Priority Pass membership?

    ReplyReply
  17. Dan Says:
    17

    @Niraj:
    It’s in the post.

    @Steve:
    Don’t have an airline that you find useful?

    You can also add your spouse as an AU on your card and if she has a primary account transfer the points to her.

    @mjd612:
    This is a charge card, it has no credit line.

    @EL:
    Not sure but you can always open a new Amazon account, no?

    @philbenjoe:
    No idea.

    @gd:
    Nope. I think they’re going to invest in their own lounge network.

    @Anonymous:
    Then ask for your points amenity next time!
    You can also chat with SPG to get it.

    @Just:
    https://rewards.americanexpress.com/olet/splash?campaignId=plpp0401&offerType=platinumprioritypass

    ReplyReply
  18. Al Says:
    18

    If your Platinum fee is due this month and you are out of $200 credits is there any reason to NOT to cancel? If you cancel, when can you reapply for a new bonus, 12 months?

    ReplyReply
  19. Bob Says:
    19

    Dan – how do you figure a $50 annual fee. -$200 via PGGM and what else? I assume your not factoring in the amazon prime or global entry stuff.

    ReplyReply
  20. Dan Says:
    20

    @Al:
    You can reapply 12 months after cancelling.

    @Bob:
    The $200 fee refund is per calendar year, thus can be done twice in one membership year.
    The other benefits like the ones you mention are just gravy.

    ReplyReply
  21. anon Says:
    21

    can u get in2 centurion lounges with cancelled platinum card?

    ReplyReply
  22. Steve Says:
    22

    Currently don’t have the time to travel too much. What about to Spg?

    ReplyReply
  23. Ben Says:
    23

    Do Delta Platinum card holders get free access to the Centurion lounge?

    ReplyReply
  24. Steve Says:
    24

    Does the blue sky use MR?

    Is there a no AF card I can downgrade or only choice is to transfer out?

    ReplyReply
  25. bob Says:
    25

    @philbenjoe:
    Easy, just book a refundable hotel with amex travel Canada, then cancel room with hotel

    ReplyReply
  26. DS Says:
    26

    @Dan: If it’s a personal Platinum card, doesn’t it hurt my credit to cancel the card? Is there a way to cancel the card without hurting my credit? What are my options if I want to get rid of my personal Platinum card so I don’t have to keep paying the fee? Is there a free card that I can downgrade to?

    ReplyReply
  27. ben Says:
    27

    Hi Dan when do the 60 days to cancel start? From when you open the card or from when the annual fee posts? Thanks.

    ReplyReply
  28. Thank You Says:
    28

    @dan- Awesome event in 5t! quick question. For chase how long should one wait to apply for new card after downgrading? can you get new sapphire preffered if you downgrade to sapphire regular or only freedom?
    THANKS AGAIN!

    ReplyReply
  29. goblue255 Says:
    29

    @DS You can downgrade to Blue for a no annual fee card with membership rewards. Note that this card has a basic version of MR that does not allow you to transfer to travel partners, although you will retain your points if you get a card in the future with an annual fee that allows transfers.

    ReplyReply
  30. netlevy Says:
    30

    Dan,
    I have 170K points on my Platinum which is due for the hefty annual fee
    I want to close it, will i loose the points ?
    if so should i just transfer them to AA via point.com
    Thank you as always for your great advice!

    ReplyReply
  31. J Says:
    31

    This is a system wide change for Delta and while it hurts the Platinum Card somewhat, more incentives and benefits will be forthcoming so keep an eye out (especially if you are a current Platinum Cardmember). The Centurion lounge network will be growing with new lounges coming this year (including LGA and SFO) with others on the way. If you haven’t seen a Centurion lounge, check it out (especially in Dallas.. great massages)

    ReplyReply
  32. Dave Says:
    32

    You mention above that people have called ahead and got kosher meals arranged for them at the lounge, i looked everywhere for a contact number to the LAS lounge, and couldn’t find it, do you have it? Thanks!!!

    ReplyReply
  33. Avi Says:
    33

    I juat got a platinum card for 10k to spend in 3 months and 100k points
    So I did the 200$ in December and will do in now in January
    And will cancel the card will I make the 400$ and my 100k points or they will ask for the 450$ fee for the card ???
    Thank you

    ReplyReply
  34. Solomon Says:
    34

    @Dave: I was there yesterday, No need to reserve, They have a full delicious kosher menu always in stock.

    ReplyReply
  35. momo613 Says:
    35

    The Virgin America loft lounge in lax terminal 3 just started taking priority pass. I went last week. It was really nice!

    ReplyReply
  36. KoolFatKat Says:
    36

    If I’ll cancel my Platinum card will I get to use Priority Pass membership beyond the cancellation date?

    ReplyReply
  37. Tuvz Says:
    37

    As of now Amex plat also gets you Hilton gold

    ReplyReply
  38. devya Says:
    38

    i’m in Israel now and have this amex card, I want the global entry but I need an interview only in the US (I’ll be there in march) but want to shut my card already. can I open an application now for the global entry and pay with my card and do the interview later, or do they only bill you after the interview?

    ReplyReply
  39. yudig Says:
    39

    In the short term we may see more of these ‘downgrades’ but as amex plat is one of amex’s premium cards, it shouldn’t be long before they start releasing some new benefits…

    they run great promos throughout the year and there are plenty of new benefits they could add..increased airline credits, more spend and save deals etc

    id just stay put for now

    ReplyReply
  40. Avi Says:
    40

    If i cancel my card the platnum how will i get back the money what they charge the
    Fee ?

    ReplyReply
  41. Mark Says:
    41

    @Solomon:

    Dave where did you find the kosher food. I’m here right now and spoke with the chef. They don’t have kosher but he said they will probably have in the future.

    ReplyReply
  42. Dan Says:
    42

    @Mark:
    Are you in DFW or LAS?

    ReplyReply
  43. Mark Says:
    43

    I’m at DFW

    ReplyReply
  44. Dan Says:
    44

    @Mark:
    The LAS club carries kosher food in stock.

    Did you tell the chef at DFW that perhaps they should stock it as well? Is there a number to call to order it?

    ReplyReply
  45. Mark Says:
    45

    I will certainly ask next time I’m here. I’m now at terminal E it’s a big pain to go back to D.

    ReplyReply
  46. Avi Says:
    46

    I have an offer of 200 for aa or usairways lounge or extras anyway i can do the delta trick with them?

    ReplyReply
  47. yudig Says:
    47

    Called amex and asked about compensation as no more aa/us lounge access..manager offered $100..should I take it?

    ReplyReply
  48. Moish Says:
    48

    I cancelled my Amex Platnium card recently and will be having a stopover in Dallas next week for a few hours. Will I be able to access the Centurion lounge with it? If not, how much do they charge/what are other good options? Thanks!

    ReplyReply

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