I don’t want to pay the $475 membership fee for the Amex Platinum, Benz edition. I definitely wouldn’t want to pay $550 for an annual fee, the increased price for the Amex Platinum card. But should I?
Let’s break it down by benefits:
$475 will get me $200 in airline gift cards, assuming this hack doesn’t go away. That leaves me with $275 to recoup.
The other credit that comes with the card is for Uber. It’s $15 a month but only applies to trips in the US.
I will be probably be around for August through November which is $80 in Uber rides. That leaves me with $195. Jan through June, I doubt I’ll be in the US more than once to use Uber. So let’s call that $15. Now I’m down to $180.
I have to ask myself if the perks of the card are worth the outstanding balance.
Amex Offers: I don’t do these because I’m lazy.
Value Verdict: Zero value for me.
Centurion Lounge: I go out of my way to get to the Centurion Lounge. These lounges actually delay my arrival to my destination as I go to the lounges after arrive. In Vegas, I pre-party there before going to my hotel. In New York, I stop in for drinks to avoid the traffic and prepare for the Uber headache at LaGuardia.
While the drinks are good, the food gets repetitive.
Value Verdict: I do not factor the cost of getting into a lounge in making my assessment. Before the points game, I sat in the terminal like everyone else. I have no issue doing that again.
Delta Sky Club: I talk a lot of trash about Delta Sky Clubs but they are very convenient when I’m flying from Montana to NYC and have a long layover.
Value Verdict: I won’t be making the Montana to NYC commute much longer. For the months I do, I’ll use Priority Pass where available.
Priority Pass: If you thought I was hard on Delta then you won’t appreciate how hard I am on Priority Pass Lounges (see Yuck Jakarta and Maple Leaf LaGuardia). Truth be told, I do not want to lose access to these lounges. Traveling from city to city due to TPOL’s max 4 night rule in one place is exhausting. Having a lounge to recharge and catch up on emails is indispensable. Fortunately, my US Bank Altitude card comes with access.
Value Verdict: No value here.
SPG Gold: I’m already Platinum, so no worries here.
Value Verdict: No value here.
Hilton Gold: I am canceling my Hilton Reserve so I would lose my gold status. The work around is that Hilton allows families to pool accounts. So long as one person has gold status, there’s no issue.
Value Verdict: Hilton Gold is big but I can find a way around it when I burn the rest of my Hilton points.
5X on Airfare
This is a serious perk worthy of consideration. I value MRs at 2 cents each. By that valuation, I would have to spend $1800 on airfare between now and next year to reach the $180 mark. I have my big trip for October already booked. I will use points when I fly overseas in December and when I return in May or June. I will have to go to NY a few times before then, but hopefully the 12k Delta points deal will be bookable. Otherwise, the tickets are $300 roundtrip. Combine this with cheap airfare in Europe or Asia (where I’m probably moving) and a reasonable estimate will be $2000 in travel or $200.
This would get me to the breakeven point.
X Factor #1: Ms TPOL has an Amex Platinum. If I’m with her I can access the Centurion Lounges. With her card, I can make airline bookings and earn 5x. The only thing I cannot do is access a lounge when I’m flying solo unless I became an authorized user for $175. Since I put zero value on lounge access, I would not pay for this.
X Factor #2: I have already had the Amex Platinum and the Business Amex Platinum but will hold out hope that there is another Platinum with a bonus offer or another that doesn’t have the once in a lifetime language.
Overall: It’s a close call on whether I should keep or cancel this card. I am leaning towards cancelling because I do not want to pay $475 today because that’s lot of money.