Help me Justify $1450 Amex Platinum Charge Card Annual Fee

astroboyong

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May 19, 2021
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I've been with Amex Explorer for 4 years and before that with Platinum Edge for 4 years.

I read lots of people sees Platinum Charge Card as the best Amex card out there.
But the annual fee is to high where as Explorer $395 Annual Fee is 'replaced' with $400 Travel Credit

I know Platinum Charge offer better feature such as
- higher 2.25 points per $1 compared to 2 points per $1
- extra qantas frequent flyer for transferring option
- insurance is included in both cards
- both has access to lounge
- fine hotel & resort program and gold status on certain hotel program

can anyone with Charge card help explain to me what it is that you value that you decided to pay $1450 for the card

*ps apart from first year 200k points sign up bonus

Thank you
 

Bell21

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I can still justify it, but it's getting more difficult, as they take away the perks - there's a lot of discussion about this on at least one other thread (have a look on general AMEX thread, as it's one of the recently active threads).

When I first had the card, it was a doddle to recoup the value of the card and much more - but they've taken away the $400 travel credit from the free companion card (Reserve Platinum) for new card holders and for all, the $600 AFR subscription - they also took away the restaurant benefit from Priority Pass, not to mention the overall halving of points value 2 years ago.

However, I may still keep the card (if they give me a retention bonus that will help my decision!), but it's getting 'tight' - the tangible benefits are the $450 (and $400) travel credit, the Accor Silver benefit with free night ($300), and the savings I made from not needing to purchase extra travel insurance (domestic and international), maybe $400 per year. So, that's around $1500 in direct savings for me, but not everyone will view those savings as tangibly as I do (the AFR was a real hit for me in whether I will definitely keep the card).

The card was also more valuable for me before I hit Virgin Gold, but less so now re lounge access, esp without international travel.

Then, there's the 'less predictable' benefits such as AMEX offering $400 grocery credits each of the last 2 financial years, as well as their 'double points' offer mid last year. There's also shop small (up to 40,000 bonus points), as well as earning a slightly higher rate than I would with other cards (extra 12.5%).

It's kind of line-ball really now given I'm forking out the $1450 upfront. I'm not sure I'd sign-up for the card now esp with the benefits they've taken away.

One factor that has influenced me though is there are some hidden benefits of the card that have surprised me - mainly re having Gold status at the hotel chains - there's been a few occasions when the hotels have really gone out of their way to save me $ when I've raised an issue - also, I've found FH&Resorts suprisingly cost-effective / rewarding - BUT (and it's a big BUT), this only really helps me when the international borders open up.
 

BillytheFIsh

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Apart from the first year 200k points sign up bonus (for which you are technically not eligible - although some have received the bonus anyway, including me), in my opinion, it is no longer justifiable for most new applicants.

It can be justified for existing card holders if the annual fee can be claimed as a deduction as a business expense and both the $450 and $400 travel credits are received, but as I understand it, Amex has discontinued the $400 travel credit on the Platinum Reserve companion card for new cardholders.

The exception to this is if you are putting say $40K+ through a month, then I think the points flexibility is probably worth it.
 

Matt_01

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I held the Platinum Charge for several years and cancelled in Jan/Feb this year, the cost did not not stack up at the moment. I was able to get the $400 travel credit via the reserve card (which I still have) most of the other benefits that are offered have no value to myself.
 

Schmucky

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I've had the card for about 4 years too. It used to present good value when travelling. With the removal of a number of perks (Priority Pass restaurant, AFR) I was on the verge of cancelling as I barely managed to use the travel credit. I asked for a retention bonus and they provided a small incentive of 30k points. I thought why not give them one more shot to redeem themselves. I'll be firmly in the cancel if they don't come with worthwhile credits that I can actually use.

Struggled to see value in The Net A Porter deal and Amex offers as of late... If they cut their fee while cutting benefits I can understand. No point retaining the card when there are so many offers out there.
 

astroboyong

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Thank you guys, seems like I can conclude that it is not worth applying now as some benefits that initially what makes this card attractive are now removed for new applicants.

I guess I will stay with Explorer in the mean time
 

Matt_01

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@astroboyong the card has good benefits if these are important and to you to be honest I never stayed abreast of what was on offer. I could have got rid of my card years ago but held onto it, I now longer see value in a $1450 annual fee, it was around $900 when I first received the card. When I mentioned the 'benefits that are offered have no value to myself' there are reasons for this. As mentioned I have never been 100% of what as been on offer however these are my thoughts:
  • Lounge access - Handy if you fly VA, I think it also gets you access to the DL lounges, gets access to the AMEX lounges and Priority Pass (now gone). I am OWE, VA WP, and SQ *G so lounge access benefits are not applicable. From memory I used the Priority Pass benefit on limited occasions mainly in CA and when flying MH or MI out of SIN.
  • Hotel Program Membership - If you have no status and stay in the chains in which status is given to this can be useful. Similar to above I have HH Diamond, PGR B, Shangri-la, Jade, Bonvoy Gold so the addition of Radisson/ Club Carlson or Accor Silver was of little value.
  • Hire car status - no value for 2 reasons - 1 my airline status programs afford me similar, 2 I do not use hire cars.
  • Complementary insurance - I usually (well used to) maintain a rolling international family cover policy. To me this was just a safer bet than ensuring every thing was booked and paid for (if only the taxes) through AMEX.
  • The AFR subscription - handy however I have since fond out I can get this through work. My Amex one still works as I think it was auto renewed prior to my card cancellation.
  • Points transfer - I warehouse AMEX points just to transfer to SQ so the loss of the not being able to transfer to QF is of no consequence. After the AMEX points changes in 2018 I was one of those who had their points balance doubled at the change over date and it is one of the reasons I did not ditch AMEX all together. I place high value on SQ miles and what is effectively a 1:1 earn rate for spending in AU works for me.
Other benefits I cannot or have no awareness of, there where 2 reasons why I held onto the card for years and these were intangible benefits. One was the ability to get connected to someone that could help when I had to the ring the call centre, the other was the uncapped credit limit. Good luck in your decision and if the AMEX Plat CC works for you go for it.
 
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astroboyong

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Thank you Matt for your input. I decided to keep my explorer for now and probably considering amex platinum if they offer more perks.
 

daft009

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Can you get a professional card for $1200? Makes it little easier to justify.

I don't travel enough to achieve status so it's worthwhile for these perks for me.
Hotel status, rental car status, lounge access, Accor plus and the $850 travel credit with the reserve card but not for newbies anymore
 

Bell21

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I've mentioned this a few times over the journey so far, but whilst it's not possible to quantify the value in advance, and whilst it doesn't really detract from recent loss of perks to the card, I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the perks I gain from the hotel statutes included in the card. Case in point - I organised a few members of my family to go away for the weekend, and due to hotel status (which I wouldn't get via travelling), I had a $200 room upgrade confirmed a week before the stay (and I would've happily paid for the upgrade) when talking to reservations. I find this sort of thing a pretty regular occurrence and sometimes the value is quite a bit more (eg, when the hotel makes an error and wants to rectify things due to status).
 

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