American Express Platinum New Enhancements, But a $550 Annual Fee!

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You might have already heard by now, but The Platinum Card® from American Express is getting a bunch of new enhancements. And while they are in fact enhancements, they are coming with a steep price. The already high annual fee of $450/year is now increasing to $550/year. Rates & Fees. In my opinion, That is insanely high annual fee for a credit card! Although for some, the enhancements might actually pay for the annual fee increase.

Amex Platinum Increases Include:

  • $200 for Uber rides annually: Through an exclusive Uber in-app experience, Basic Card Members will receive up to $200 in annual credits for rides within the U.S., as well as VIP status where available.
  • 5X Membership Rewards: In addition to the recently unveiled 5X points for flights when booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, Card Members will receive 5X Membership Rewards points for eligible hotel bookings.
  • Expansion of the Global Lounge Collection: Card Members will have access to the growing Global Lounge Collection — over 1,000 airport lounges, located in 500 cities, across 120 countries.
  • Complimentary Additional Gold Cards: Card Members will be able to add additional Gold Cards on theirPlatinum Card Account for no annual fee.
  • Access to a new Global Dining Collection: American Express is partnering with world-renowned chefs to provide one-of-a-kind dining experiences around the world.
  • More Global Events: American Express is expanding its By Invitation Only® program to include more experiences in top destinations around the world, such as the Grand Prix de Monaco, French wine country and fashion tours with Harper’s Bazaar to celebrate the magazine’s 150th Anniversary.
  • Complimentary benefits with Fine Hotels & Resorts: Card Members will receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550. Sample benefits include complimentary daily breakfast for two and guaranteed 4PM late checkout.
  • New Card Design: American Express is introducing a new, sleek metal Card design.

These changes will take effect on March 30, 2017. That means, if you apply for the card between now and March 29th you’ll only be charged the $450 fee for the first year. Upon your anniversary date, you will then be charged the increased $550. And for those that already have the card, the new annual fee will take effect for those with an annual renewal date on or after September 1, 2017. Update: If you apply for the card now, the annual fee will be $550/year.

Ultimately, the card members that will benefit are the ones that take Uber often. For those that live in a major city, spending $15 a month on Uber is extremely easy. You are ultimately spending $100 more in an annual fee to save $200, definitely a win! When I lived in New York City I hit that spend monthly, so would have definitely benefited from this. However, now that I am in the burbs, I probably take an Uber a few times a year at most. I personally would never spend $100 more for these enhancements.

Aside from the Uber partnership, I really do not find any of the other enhancements too beneficial. While earning 5x points at eligible hotels is great, it is only valid for hotels booked through their site at amextravel.com. That means you aren’t able to get any additional discounts/rates (AAA rate, corporate rate, government rate, etc.). I do hope that they eventually change this so that all hotel spend will earn the 5x points regardless of how you book your hotel. They currently do this with airfare where you earn 5x points and do not have to book through the Amex Travel site, although the flight does need to be booked directly with the airline or with American Express Travel.

Remember, with this card you still receive up to $200 airline fee credits per calendar year at one qualifying airline as well as Global Entry reimbursement (worth $100).

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