Much has been written about the news that holders of the Platinum Card from American Express® will lose access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs in March 2014. Speculating about what could have gone on behind the scenes to bring this about is always interesting. One could imagine that with the upcoming merger of the combined airlines’ club products, there could be more demand than lounge capacity with keeping Platinum Card holders in the mix. It’s also not difficult to imagine a scenario where the new airline’s credit card issuer(s) began to throw their weight around not unlike the Chase – United relationship.

Without much question, this move makes the Citi Executive AAdvantage card a near go-to product for American Airlines flyers. I say “near” because there is always the possibility that you are happy with whatever credit card product you have and could just (gasp) join the Admirals Club if you’re a regular AA flyer.

But What About Keeping the Platinum Card?

Well, like all things…that depends. Personally, as the card with my longest credit history, and one I have maintained for a long time is a card for almost every frequent travelers wallet, I am leaning towards keeping it. There are some things that work in the card’s favor in my situation.

  • I fly Delta almost exclusively and the card will continue to provide Sky Club access.
  • The American Express Centurion lounges are quite nice, and are expanding beyond DFW and LAS.
  • The Cruise Privileges Program (CPP) remains a benefit of the card, and I do get to use this benefit from time to time.
  • The $200 airline fee credit.
  • SPG Gold Status.

Now, that’s a list of benefits that are uniquely beneficial to me as a Delta flyer and frequent floater. Working against keeping the card.

  • I already have Sky Club access via my Delta Reserve Business Card.
  • I am frequently prevented from using Cruise Privileges benefits with my primary cruise line, Royal Caribbean, because I cannot combine CPP benefits and the benefits of my Diamond Plus status with Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program. My Diamond Plus benefits are almost always of greater value.
  • I can downgrade the Platinum Card to another Amex product, maintain my credit history, and no longer pay a $450 annual fee.

The bottom line on this – while I’m leaning towards keeping the card, the value proposition has changed a bit. I don’t fly American that much anymore, but that’s not the same as never flying American, and I liked having Admirals Club access when I did. The annual fee will be due next month, and for the first time in a long time there is a real chance that I make a change. More on this coming soon. Are you a Platinum Card holder, and have you made any decisions on keeping the card? I’d love to hear your comments.

11 Responses

  1. I am a Delta flyer and a Platinum Card holder. Whenever Delta was not the most convenient route, I would always choose American because I wanted lounge access that will now change. Since you already have SkyClub access with your Delta reserve card, why don’t you downgrade to the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card. I use that as my primary card and my AMEX Platinum solely for its benefits. Would be a good way to lower your annual fee and start collecting more points per dollar spent.

    Comment by William IV on December 11th, 2013 at 3:04 pm
  2. Canceling an Amex card doesn’t change your credit history since all Amex are backdated to oldest card…

  3. Just booking Singapore Airlines with points transferred from Membership Rewards…sweet!

    I am a big user of the AMEX FHR program particularly in Las Vegas. Probably collected a minimum of $800 in spa credits and $1000 in dining credits there plus room upgrades this year. Terrific program!

    I don’t charge much on my Platinum card but I won’t give it up!

  4. You can downgrade of course. Drop it to a Green if you just want to keep the history on your credit file. Course it’ll still cost you something every year, $65/$75ish I think. Up to you. If you have another Amex card to maintain your “member since” status I don’t think there’s much reason to keep it honestly, if you’re not getting the value out of it.

    Of course part of the math would be that you can get $200 out of the card again on Jan 1. Course you need to get that re-imbursed before you cancel. And it sounds like your annual fee is due. I think Amex does the pro-rated thing, but don’t know how that works out exactly honestly. If you wait until February do you get back 11/12ths of your fee? Any other carrier the answer would be no…

    I’m gonna cancel mine before the membership comes due. It prevents me from getting a bonus on a new PRG if a nice offer comes around and without AA/US club access it’s not worth much to me.

  5. I plan on going down to gold when AA drops out as this was the only real benefit I used.

  6. I really am looking for a definitive word on whether all of us are going to get some sort of statement credit. The targeted $200 and $500 perks to some are extremely off-putting.

  7. When I complained on Amex chat last week, the rep told me that Priority Club still (will?) get us into the AA clubs and also that Amex would reimburse up to $100 per year (blah, blah) for AA club admission.

  8. Just like you, I am up for renewal in Feb. I upgraded to this card in 2011, when they offered me 25k miles to upgrade ( from Gold PRG ).

    I want to downgrade back to where I started cause I only fly AA.

    I am very interested in other options/opinions, so will keep an eye on FT and here as well.

  9. I’ll be keeping my Amex Platinum. I use many of the other benefits and it’s still worth it to me. The one I use the most, though, is Admiral’s Club access. I’m going to be bitter at the new American for a long time about this one….

    Not getting the Citi card with its $450 annual price tag. If Priority Pass doesn’t get me into the AC after March, I *may* bite the bullet and get an Admiral’s Club membership.

    Hacking off your frequent flyers and business travelers who have purchasing power. What a great way to get started, New American….


  10. Appreciate all the great comments. Sorry that some were slow to post. Wireless internet on the ship was out most of yesterday.

  11. […] hit the card product hard. I wrote about the now questionable value of the card for certain people here. That said, after considering everything, I am keeping the Platinum […]

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