What are the real benefits of Amex Platinum

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by millarise, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. millarise

    millarise Newbie

    Jan 5, 2005
    8
    0
    Not all that long ago I signed up for an Amex Platinum Card. My understanding was that it would provide excellent airline and hotel upgrade deals. I have been quoted $12k for two Malaysian Airlines return business class fares to London ($14k Emirates) ==> certainly more than I thought it would be. I have since stayed at Westin and Hyatt hotels and been laughed at when asking for an upgrade. I must admit though, Hertz did give me a one class upgrade the other day.
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    The hotel and car hire rates they give are terrible. They are nowhere near Corporate rates. I know of the travel insurance benefits and 1.5 reward points per dollar ..... but is that it ??? surely there must be more to warrant the $900 ??
     
  2. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    AMEX Platinum I have found to have it's up's and down's. I've been with them for some 18 months now.

    Sadly travel services I have found to be one of the biggest let downs. Let me detail it:

    Airfares: For international you can generally get a better deal by calling your local agent or spending 10 minutes surfing the web. There so called specailly negotiated deals in my experience are not that special. You can still get the international insurance and assitance benefits even though the travel is not booked through AMEX (refer to the terms and conditions for details). Domestic airfares I have found they are about $15 to $40 more one way depending on route then online deals. My experience is this is standard accross most agents.

    Car hire: There rates are genreally really competitive and match some of the best corporate deals I can get.

    Hotels: It seems to be a hit and miss situation. Some times I find the rates to be great, othertimes calling the hotel for there rack rate is less. Some times they can better the extremly good corporate rate I can get through my employeer but othertimes there almost double it.

    In regards to other services. I found Amex Platinum concierge to be excellent, used them a fair bit and always do there best. Card services are also excellent in resolving any basic card issues I have, even arranging a emergency card replacement at 4am.

    If I was you and you wanted to pass your feedback through to AMEX call the platinum service and ask to speak to the customer relationship manager for the area your concerns relate to. They do take your feedback seriously and seek it. I would do it via phone however also in writing.

    Also I'd be keen to hear other AMEX platinum card holders experiences regarding the card?
     
  3. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Amex platinum?

    Strictly for suckers. AU$900 is pretty steep for an annual card fee - and you only get the "free second J ticket" if you pay full-fare on second-rate airlines.
     
  4. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    Who's says everyone pays the full annual fee :wink:

    Never pay full price for any card, especially after the first year :)
     
  5. millarise

    millarise Newbie

    Jan 5, 2005
    8
    0
    judging by the lack of replies .... its safe to assume the platinum amex doesn't have all that much to offer. I certainly wont be paying the full fee next year ... if at all !!
     
  6. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    To be perfectly honest, the list of merchants which accepts AMEX is shrinking and fast. To name a few, McDonalds and Utilities don't accept them.

    So from my point of view, having an AMEX in the first place is a waste of time let alone the Platinum card.

    And I think they're having a Centurion card.....
     
  7. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Ah, no.

    When I first joined the Amex card scheme, the following merchants did NOT accept Amex:

    - Woolworths
    - Coles
    - BiLo

    And a host of others. From memory the acceptance of Amex by the first major supermarket chain (can't recall if it was Woolies or Coles) was followed less than a month later by the competition.

    The number of merchants has grown exponentially in the past 10 years.

    As for McDonalds.....they should pay you to go there - not the other way around.

    If your utilities provider doesn't accept your card of choice - switch. There's no shortage of competition in that field now.


    Or, if your card of choice doesn't perform (and Amex is perilously close to being dumped by me as a personal card of choice), switch.
     
  8. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    The fact that the major grocery and deptartment stores and petrol stations all accept Amex, along with many specialty stores (clothing, hardware, electrical etc), I find the lack of acceptance by some utilities to be annoying but not a reason to drop my Amex.

    My Amex earns points are a much faster rate than any other card I can find/afford, at 1.5 points per dollar and then converts those points at 1:1 to Qantas FF points. So I keep a Visa for the few times that Amex is not accepted and I can still earn points, just not as many or as fast. I have earned 170K points through my Amex in two years, and none of that has been business expenses, so there must be plenty of places accepting it.

    I am about to get another 10K points from kids school fees! I like it when the kids school takes Amex for fee payment :) .

    In the last few months, the Visa has had to come out for: Medibank Private, Medical Centre, some specialty clothing shops, some bookshops, local Chemist, Local Pizza shop (not the majors who all accept Amex), music shop and dentist. But the total points earned (at 1 point per $) is still less than 10,000 in the 8 months since I cleared it out.
     
  9. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    Paying a car using AMEX is my favourite.

    Note the pattern. It has to be MAJOR groceries and MAJOR department stores for them to accept AMEX. I don't think my butcher likes AMEX. Traffic Infrigements don't accept AMEX. Council rates don't like AMEX. Most doctors (especially specialists) won't accept AMEX unless you're in hospital.

    The list goes on....
     
  10. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    Agree. I have recommened to AMEX many places that do not accept the card. After my feedback a large % of those I recommened do now accept the card.
    If you know a merchant that doesn't accept the card consider filling the following: https://home3.americanexpress.com/australia/merchant/secure/leads_general/prospect.asp?australia_nav=csmain

    Agree.
     
  11. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    A common trend I do notice is that most medical related merchants do not accept AMEX, not exactly sure why that one particular area does not want to accept it at all?
     
  12. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    I payed my recent speeding fine via AMEX. Think you'll find the goverment will take your fines in almost any legal form of money you have.
     
  13. arun

    arun Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    311
    0
    Sydney
    "My Amex earns points are a much faster rate than any other card I can find/afford, at 1.5 points per dollar and then converts those points at 1:1 to Qantas FF points. So I keep a Visa for the few times that Amex is not accepted and I can still earn points, just not as many or as fast."

    Totally agree.
    My CPA Amex is fee - free, earns 1.5 points after an annual spend of$5K, earns 2 points at major groceries and petrol station during special promotions. My only complaint is that my son's school does not accept AMEX. I will report to AMEX using that link.
     
  14. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Interesting comments about Amex availability. Wasn't it only a few years back that the Golden Arches didn't even accept Credit Cards at all? Hardly fair saying that they now don't accept Amex - did they ever accept it?

    We have corporate Amex's, and interesting hearing the viewpoint of our reps which are scattered throughout the countryside. The further away you get from capital cities the less it seems to be accepted. However, there are number of stories where reps have asked businesses (eg motels) to get Amex in turn for getting their business (happy to pay a surcharge for the facility) and the (more progressive) businesses have made it happen.
     
  15. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    Yes they do; although it's not made public and they won't discuss anything major about the cards or benefits unless then your platinum card holder. Even then you don't really get full details to you receive a invitation to join the Centurion Card.
     
  16. New Chump

    New Chump Intern

    Nov 23, 2004
    91
    24
    MEL
    If you are someone who uses a credit card for the purpose of collecting QFF points, rather than to obtain some of the airfare/hotel/care hire etc "benefits" mentioned by Netaddict above, I totally agree with NM, Arun et al that an AMEX card offering 1.5 rewards points per dollar that convert at 1:1 to QFF points is the best offer going at the moment.

    Particulary if you can obtain a fee free card that AMEX offers to members of various bodies like law institutes, AMA, CPAs etc.

    The free supplementary card that AMEX offers (which also gives 1.5 rewards points per dollar that convert at 1:1 to QFF points), when given to your spouse can help ease the pain of said spouse's spending habits, at least in my case with Mrs Chump's prodigious work on her card. :shock:

    Yes, AMEX is not accepted everywhere, so a back-up visa or mastercard card as suggesed by NM is necessary. The vast majority of ordinary day-to-day purchases, particulary larger purchases, will end up on the AMEX.

    Total annual fees: AMEX = zero; visa/mastercard say $59 (or around the $114 mark if you want a gold card).

    If there is a better deal around to collect OFF points, I have not been able to find it.

    This has gone bit OT from the original AMEX Platinum thread (but a $900 per year annual fee is just too much to pay IMHO, at least if you use the card simply to collect QFF points.)
     
  17. arun

    arun Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    311
    0
    Sydney
    It took a while to get my wife to start using the AMEX supplementary card though. She was so used to the WP Altitude that she hardly touched the AMEX. But now she has got used to it. Yes, it is a fee free supplementary card!
     
  18. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    I was offered a Platinum Card before. Didn't really read it but most platinum cards will give you access to their concierge service. Have anybody been using it? Could be useful if you're travelling O/S.

    This may be offtopic but what's the diff b/w Platinum and Centurion then?

    You know, even though you can get 1.5p for $1 spent (which then converts to 1.5QF points), that benefit diminishes indirectly after 27 May 2005. There's no alternative...
     
  19. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    I have used the concierge service numerous times. Just in the last few days noticed a book on something, wanted it and had no idea what it was, rang thme gave them a brief outline, few hours later they had it on it's way to me via post.

    Concert tickets, they have organised them many times as well for me. Also used them for bar recommendations when travelling.

    Basically a few added benefits. Also with Centurion they will meet and do any legal and morally correct request via concierge. They recently organised a weeding from start to finish. This apprently kept 2 consultants busy for 2 months.

    What do oyu mean by "diminishes indirectly after 27 May 2005." I thought 1.5 points per $ for AMEX Platinum was a permanent feature?
     
  20. ioki

    ioki Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    156
    0
    SIN
    <SNIP>
    They recently organised a weeding from start to finish. This apprently kept 2 consultants busy for 2 months.
    <SNIP>

    perhaps a dump question, but one i've been dying to ask with reference to the above line, aside from the annual card cost, did you had to pay for the service?
     
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