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Platinum card questions

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Yada Yada

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Friends,

I've been using an Amex Gold Card for 20 years this year. It's served me well and I like it the best of all cc's I use.

I've just received another invitation to take up an Amex Platinum Card. In the past I've ignored these as the annual fee (AUD$900) looks quite steep and I am not entirely sure that I'd make use of many of the benefits. However I do like the idea of 1.5 rewards points per dollar.

Is there anyone here who has one that can share their experience with the card. For example:
  • Have you made use of the airline privileges (e.g. "subtantial savings on international travel when you fly first or business class on one of our partner airlines").
  • Related to the point above, have you found that you can get airfares just as cheap via online sites such as Zuji or via specials direct from the airlines such as the recent BA/MC promotion?
  • Who are the partner airlines? (sorry, I'm being lazy, they're not in the letter or the brochure).
  • Have you received the Hotel upgrades?
Thanks.
 

jasonja3

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Yada Yada said:
Friends,

I've been using an Amex Gold Card for 20 years this year. It's served me well and I like it the best of all cc's I use.

I've just received another invitation to take up an Amex Platinum Card. In the past I've ignored these as the annual fee (AUD$900) looks quite steep and I am not entirely sure that I'd make use of many of the benefits. However I do like the idea of 1.5 rewards points per dollar.

Is there anyone here who has one that can share their experience with the card. For example:
  • Have you made use of the airline privileges (e.g. "subtantial savings on international travel when you fly first or business class on one of our partner airlines").
  • Related to the point above, have you found that you can get airfares just as cheap via online sites such as Zuji or via specials direct from the airlines such as the recent BA/MC promotion?
  • Who are the partner airlines? (sorry, I'm being lazy, they're not in the letter or the brochure).
  • Have you received the Hotel upgrades?
Thanks.
Peter,

I have had this card for two years, managed to get out of paying the last renewal fee. Personally I don't use the services available. Everything is available online, cheaper, and just as quick (flowers, bookings etc)

They have never been able to beat any airfares I can get. Very helpful, great service though, from all departments.

I keep it only because I put about 300k PA on it for work, and with no credit limit, they don't question my purchases (not to mention 1.5 points:D ). Also the travel insurance is a cut above the standard cards, never had to use it though.

I have never received any special treatment (wow wee:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ) when using it, as AMEX suggests will happen. I will have to re-think the $900 when it comes around.

Hope this helps.

JJ
 
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NM

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If the 1.5 points/$ is the main attraction, then consider the Amex Rewards Maximiser credit card. If you don't need the extra features of the Platinum Charge Card, then the Rewards Maximise credit card can be a better value card.
 

Yada Yada

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jasonja3 and NM - thanks for the responses. I think I'll put this invitation in the bin again. :)

BTW, I just went to the Amex website and found the card comparison feature - very handy!

I also found the partner airlines:
www.americanexpress.com said:
Our current airline partners* include:
Air Canada, Air Mauritius, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

The destinations* include: Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa, South Pacific, United States, and the United Kingdom.
 

serfty

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Not in Oz!

They have three Oz Based Programs, Choices, Ascent & Spirit. None give anything to directly to any US airline.

Ascent:
If you are enrolled in Ascent, you can redeem your Membership Rewards points for points in one of our partner frequent flyer programs², including Qantas Frequent Flyer, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus.

You also have three worldwide frequent guest programs at your disposal- Hilton HHonors, Priority Club Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.
Choices
Virgin Blue Vouchers

Redeem your Membership Rewards points for Virgin Blue Vouchers and use them for Virgin Blue airfares. To redeem your points for Virgin Blue Vouchers, phone 1300 363 276 (8am to 7pm, Sydney time daily).
Travelscene American Express Travel Vouchers

The next time you’re planning to get away, make Travelscene American Express your first stop. They are one of Australia’s largest travel networks, with more than 600 offices nationally, and you can use your Membership Rewards points to redeem for travel vouchers and for all or part of your booking². To redeem your points simply browse our rewards online or phone 13 13 98
A choice of great places to stay

You can redeem your points for a wide range of accommodation rewards throughout Australia and Asia Pacific. From resorts to city stays, enjoy an escape with one of our Partner Hotels from just 13,500 points.
Are you a Frequent Traveller?

Then you’ll love Membership Rewards Ascent. Ascent offers all the benefits of Choices and the ability to redeem your points for points in five leading frequent flyer programs, and three frequent guest programs.
Spirit
Take to the skies with Qantas

If you travel frequently for business or you'd just like to get away and take it easy, Membership Rewards Spirit gives you an edge, since you have the option to transfer your points to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program - 1 point can be redeemed for 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point².

Once you've transferred your points into the Qantas Frequent Flyer program you can then choose to use your points with any of the other eight oneworld™ partner airlines including American Airlines®, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Lan.
A choice of great places to stay

Our unrivalled accommodation rewards give you two ways to stay. You can redeem points for a wide range of quality accommodation rewards at over 800 properties throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. From resorts to city stays, enjoy an escape with one of our Partner Hotels from just 11,000 points.

Alternatively, for stays worldwide, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to a frequent guest program partner², including Hilton HHonors, Priority Club Worldwide and Starwood Preferred Guest. ...
 

Maca44

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NM said:
If the 1.5 points/$ is the main attraction, then consider the Amex Rewards Maximiser credit card. If you don't need the extra features of the Platinum Charge Card, then the Rewards Maximise credit card can be a better value card.
I had the Amex Rewards Maximiser and all was good until I received the letter from Amex advising that the annual fee was being increased from $144 pa (billed on your account at $12 each month) to $192 pa. (See thread http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/american-express-rewards/amex-rewards-maximiser-increase-annual-6631.html )

So, for an extra $200 pa you get the Amex Platinum 'Credit' card still giving you 1.5 points plus the return flight each year. The flight includes all taxes etc etc, so I think a return SYD PER each year will cover the extra $200. The only problem I see is that you would have to book nearly 12 months in advance to get the flight you want, which might not appeal to those who want to book and fly.
 

NM

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Maca44 said:
I had the Amex Rewards Maximiser and all was good until I received the letter from Amex advising that the annual fee was being increased from $144 pa (billed on your account at $12 each month) to $192 pa. (See thread http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/american-express-rewards/amex-rewards-maximiser-increase-annual-6631.html )

So, for an extra $200 pa you get the Amex Platinum 'Credit' card still giving you 1.5 points plus the return flight each year. The flight includes all taxes etc etc, so I think a return SYD PER each year will cover the extra $200. The only problem I see is that you would have to book nearly 12 months in advance to get the flight you want, which might not appeal to those who want to book and fly.
Yes, if $200 for a pre-paid flight is of value to you, then that is a good deal. As I do not expect to be paying for a domestic flight each year, for me this would be a case of paying $200 for something I don't want or need, so I am better off just paying the Rewards Maximiser fee and sticking with that. Each person's situation will be different and needs to be considered.
 

Maca44

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NM, seeing that a return SYD PER enconomy flight on the QF site (incl taxes etc) is about $520 it is good value for me to pay the extra $200 for the Plat card, and it also gives me incentive to get to Perth to see friends each year which I haven't done for three years now. Even though the cost of flying say SYD-BNE or MEL would be slightly higher than the $200 extra that the Plat card cost, to me it would not be worth it and I would only do the Perth trips in any event. And yes, I could go to Perth every year..a great place to visit.

I concede that when trying to arrange free flights through AMEX you would no doubt have to give close to the max number of days notice as I suspect seats in the class they are booked would be limited. If the Rewards Maximiser will me $192 pa and a free flight with the Plat card will cost me $200 extra, then it is of benefit to me. It would appear you do a lot of flying for business as you do not expect to pay for a domestic flight each year, but my business trips have been minimal for the past 2 years so I would need to pay for flights. As you say, each person's situation is different.
 

CDS1959

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Aug 11, 2004
Messages
21
I've had the Platinum American Express Card for five years, and believe that it provides above average value to me, mainly due to the travel insurance coverage that comes with the card (not that we've ever had to use it - but my brother in law did once in New Zealand when a trip was disrupted, and he was very pleased with the service delivered).

My wife and I have used the Companion Airfares to travel business class on NZ to visit my family in the USA a couple times, as well as on TG to Bangkok in 2001, and were happy with the arrangements (travel booking service, as well as the airfares offered).

However, I do find that if you shop around on-line, you can often get two business class airfares at close to what is offered by Amex.

I like the 1.5 points per dollar, as well as being able to transfer points to Starwood Preferred Guest in addition to Qantas.

The American Express Concierge service is convenient, friendly, and will go OUT OF THEIR WAY to provide assistance: I requested eight tickets to The Wiggles concert in Brisbane last December, and even though they weren't on offer from Amex Platinum, the Concierge used her contacts to get the tickets for me....centre stage, four rows from the front!
 
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NM

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Maca44 said:
NM, seeing that a return SYD PER enconomy flight on the QF site (incl taxes etc) is about $520 it is good value for me to pay the extra $200 for the Plat card, and it also gives me incentive to get to Perth to see friends each year which I haven't done for three years now. Even though the cost of flying say SYD-BNE or MEL would be slightly higher than the $200 extra that the Plat card cost, to me it would not be worth it and I would only do the Perth trips in any event. And yes, I could go to Perth every year..a great place to visit.
It is indeed good value if you would be taking the flights anyway. If not, then its like being offered a card that costs $200 more than a standard card, but includes 200 tons of brussel sprouts that can only be consumed by your eligible family members. Certainly brussel sprouts cost more than $1/ton on the open market, but if you have no need for 200 tons of the things (or no eligible family members whose diet is high in such vegetables) then its not a wise investment of $200.

So for may people the Amex Plat card is a wise investment over the Rewards Maximiser. But for my personal situation, I am better of with the $200 in my wallet.

Maca44 said:
I concede that when trying to arrange free flights through AMEX you would no doubt have to give close to the max number of days notice as I suspect seats in the class they are booked would be limited.
I thought the free flight came from N (or similar) fare inventory, so should be available anywhere a red-e-deal N fare is available.
 

oz_mark

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Maca44 said:
NM, seeing that a return SYD PER enconomy flight on the QF site (incl taxes etc) is about $520 it is good value for me to pay the extra $200 for the Plat card, and it also gives me incentive to get to Perth to see friends each year which I haven't done for three years now. Even though the cost of flying say SYD-BNE or MEL would be slightly higher than the $200 extra that the Plat card cost, to me it would not be worth it and I would only do the Perth trips in any event. And yes, I could go to Perth every year..a great place to visit.
In my case, as I make a number of trips for personal reasons across Australia each year there is value in the card for me. May not be in a few years time, when I will need to re-assess whether the card has value for me.

For people that would not make the trip, or do not use the benefit, then the value may not be there. Certainly for other members of my family, there would be no benefit other than the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with holding a platinum card. Of course, some people won;t pay for such a feeling.
 

oc7

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i just have a question about the companion flights..

for buisness class for instance to the US or europe how much are we talking with the amex plat. service ???
 

beardoc

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NM said:
I thought the free flight came from N (or similar) fare inventory, so should be available anywhere a red-e-deal N fare is available.
I thought this was the case as well, and it was the reason that I have applied and got the card. It is the case that you can get any flight that still has a red E-deal avaliable, right?
 

turtlemichael

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beardoc said:
I thought this was the case as well, and it was the reason that I have applied and got the card. It is the case that you can get any flight that still has a red E-deal available, right?
That is my understanding. In any case, I just checked availability on several days during school holidays in January Sydney-Perth and all flights each day were available so that does not appear to be an issue.
 

ksthommo

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Would consider this card if they offered more routes, ie bypass the capital cities as the departure/destination points.
 

Mal

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I just redeemed ~$650 worth of airfares as a last minute booking courtesy of my Amex Plat Credit Card.

Nice seeing I don't pay anything near that for the card. Although, in true fashion, I'm not sure I'd be heading where I was heading soon if I didn't get the flight for free (I'd normally plan it a lot better a couple of months out) :D

The ticket is booked in O Class (OPTWEBU Fare basis). So I assume O is the availability you need to look out for. I think the only eligible flights are direct flights. The tickets are also booked through Amex Plat Travel Services, so if you want to make changes you get stung twice for change fees. ($38.50+$27). Also note the confirmation number you get will be for Galileo ViewTrip (www.viewtrip.com) so you'll need to visit there to get your Amadeus reference.

The benefit is a good one. Pity we earn no FF miles on the ticket, and are not able to throw in miles to upgrade, but still with nothing to pay for the ticket (taxes, fines and base fare are included) it is a good benefit.
 
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Maca44

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The website also states, "the flight may be booked in the name of any person (other than unaccompanied children)" so that a bonus as well.
 

ansettrule

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Can somebody out there please explian to me why AMEX would keep sending you an application for a platinum credit card when you have used AMEX for about 3 years and have an income of $25,000 after tax?????.
This has happened to me I got sick of getting application number 5 so I applied and got it. HOW??????
 

Yada Yada

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ansettrule said:
Can somebody out there please explian to me why AMEX would keep sending you an application for a platinum credit card when you have used AMEX for about 3 years and have an income of $25,000 after tax?????.
This has happened to me I got sick of getting application number 5 so I applied and got it. HOW??????
Their mailhouse seems to have gone nuts in the past week. I've received two invitations for the Platinum card, one for a Gold Business credit card, and one for a Gold personal credit card all within about 6 days. :eek:
 

oz_mark

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Yada Yada said:
Their mailhouse seems to have gone nuts in the past week. I've received two invitations for the Platinum card, one for a Gold Business credit card, and one for a Gold personal credit card all within about 6 days. :eek:
They sent me my monthly statement twice as well!
 
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