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Old 04-17-2002, 04:08 AM   #1
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Platinum Card annual fee raised

First of all, I realize that this post is humorous considering my last post to this forum.

That said, the word is that American Express is raising the annual fee on The Platinum Card from $300 to $395. Although it's only a $95 increase, it is 32% more (or 42% more for Fidelity cardholders).

It's made me reconsider the value of the Platinum card a bit over the Gold card. 95% of the reason that I carry The Platinum Card is because of the access to Continental and Northwest airline clubs when flying the respective airline. However, it's such a bummer that I can't get into a CO club when flying NW and vice versa. Additionally, being required to fly on the day that I want to visit the club is a pain. At some airports, you can show your airline club card to get past security and take advantage of the facilities when dropping off or picking up another passenger.

If I switch to the Fidelity Gold Card, I can join the Presidents Club again for only $250 and end up saving $70 a year, plus have even more access to the CO and NW clubs.

Any thoughts on the subject? Anyone else reconsidering if Platinums is really worth $320 more each year?
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Old 04-17-2002, 01:08 PM   #2
JW
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Is there word that any new benefits are being added for Plat cardmembers?

If not, it's starting to look better to just keep a Green or Gold with MR...

-jw
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Old 04-17-2002, 03:15 PM   #3
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This does put me into a dilemma. I find the debit mechanism of the Fidelity Gold Amex to be cumbersome and obtuse enough that I can't imagine actually using it on a regular basis.

There's also the issue that my Plat card currently gets me "free" enrollment in Membership Rewards, a benefit I appreciate and would have to pay $40/year for if I downgraded to a Gold Amex.

It's a bit difficult to determine exactly what benefit I've gotten from the Plat Concierge. My experiences have been pretty spotty, nothing I couldn't live without.

In booking my Tokyo hotel through PTS I got a bump to the executive floor and a fairly decent room rate. That's more of an anomaly than the norm, though. I've found the PTS to be pretty worthless for domestic travel.

I'd say that I'm in the "wavering" camp right now. Without a shift or improvement in benefits to justify the increase I might drop the card.
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Old 04-17-2002, 03:18 PM   #4
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Interesting point -- I'd completely forgotten that I'd have to start paying the annual fee for Membership Rewards! That does at a notable value to the card; you can put a pricetag on that, too.

I share the same Concierge / PTS experiences as you. I'd probably be better off finding a real, personal travel agent if I really thought that I needed it. Someone who would be aware of my travel requirements, preferences, and could work with me on more than just a single call basis.
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