On July 1, 2021, American Express revamped their Platinum Card. Here’s what new!
Let’s get this out of the way: The annual fee increased to $695/year. Up from $550, this represents an increase of over 26%. The new annual fee takes effect at your upcoming renewal.
In exchange for the higher fee, American Express is offering the following new benefits:
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: In $20 monthly statement credits, you can now receive money back towards the New York Times, Audible, Peacock, or SiriusXM. This benefit is capped at $20/month, $240/year, and resets on January 1st annually.
- $200 Hotel Credit: This is a restrictive credit as it only applies to prepaid Fine Hotel + Resorts or The Hotel Collection. In order to receive this annual credit that resets January 1st annually, you must book through the AMEX Travel website.
- $179 CLEAR Credit: Initially offered by the AMEX Green Card with a lower $100 credit, this larger credit will cover much (if not all) of your family’s CLEAR bill each year. The credit resets on January 1st annually and can be used to cover your membership costs for the CLEAR biometric service at airports, ballparks and more.
- $300 Equinox Credit: In the form of $25 monthly credits, this benefit can help reduce your costs at the Luxury Gym and Fitness Club. However, unless you’re already a member, this benefit may not add value for you since the typical membership is around $190/mo after the $300 initiation fee.
American Express is adding the new benefits above, without removing any of the existing benefits on the card, including:
- 10% Back (5X Membership Reward Points) on all airfare
- 10% Back (5X Membership Reward Points) on prepaid hotels booked through AMEX Travel
- Airport Lounge access via Priority Pass and the AMEX Global Lounge Collection
- $200 in annual Airline Incidental Fee statement credits
- $200 in Uber Cash that is deposited to your account monthly ($15 all months; $35 in December)
- $100 TSA Pre-Check / Global Entry credit every 4.5 years (covers a 5-year membership)
- $100 in statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue ($50-semi-annually)
- Gold Elite Status with Hilton and Marriott hotel brands
- $800 in Cell Phone Insurance which covers damage and theft up to twice a year
- ShopRunner account which offers free two-day shipping on many online sites
- AMEX Concierge Service
- The ability to add Premium Car Rental Protection
Should I Keep the Card?
For me, the decision is easy because I already subscribe to the New York Times and Audible, so the $240 in Digital Entertainment Credits more than covers the increased annual fee since this was money I was budgeting anyway. For you, just as you would with any credit card rewards program, you should map out what you will receive based on your budgeted spend versus what you will pay in associated annual fees. If you’re net-positive, you should keep the card! If not, it may be time to cancel. As always, you only benefit from credit card rewards when you pay your balance in full every month, so keep that front-of-mind as well!