Categorized | Money, Tips

Is American Express Platinum An Ideal Credit Card for Travel?

Posted on 18 September 2011 by onthegroundtravel


Yes, we accept American Express Platinum, but not yours

We’ve always assumed American Express Platinum is an ideal credit card for travel.  However, once I started using it heavily on our trips overseas, I was quite disappointed with the benefits of the card. For the $495 annual fees, I simply expected a lot more. I carried my Platinum card with me in my recent travel to Egypt and Jordan. I had expected to be treated royally – breezing through the airports, hanging out at airport lounge while waiting for my next flight, being able to get into the finest restaurant with no prior reservation, or simply top-notch advice from the Concierge on what to see in these countries. I was disappointed on all fronts. The last straw for us was when we were in the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, we walked into the airport lounge and was denied access even though the lounge clearly accepts American Express cards. Apparently, you need the American Express cards issued in that part of the world to get in, and if you have a card from the U.S., you are out of luck. WHAT THE HECK? I am still furious as I am reliving this experience.


New American Express Platinum benefits

Having said that, it appears that American Express has listened to its Cardmembers, and has rolled out a series of travel benefits that if worked, will make us Platinum Cardmembers feel special again. First of all, Cardmembers can now gain access to over 600 lounges worldwide by enrolling in the Priority Pass Select program free of charge. I checked, Queen Alia Airport in Jordan is on the list. Secondly, American Express will also refund the application fee ($100 value) of Global Entry, a program that expedites clearance for approved travelers returning from an international trip. Foreign transaction fee is now gone. There is also an annual $200 credit for incidental airline fees such as baggage fees, inflight food and beverages etc. All these benefits can quickly add up to $495 fees we pay.

I am very excited about these new Platinum benefits, and I am glad American Express implemented them before the rest of us Platinum Cardmembers leave en mass. I just hope these benefits stick around. If you are a Platinum Cardmember, sign up for these benefits now (you are not enrolled in them automatically). If you are not a Cardmember and travel extensively, you should give this card a try.

What is your ideal credit card for travel?  Have used American Express Platinum before?  Would love to hear from you!


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