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AMEX Platinum & CSR

longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR


@iced wrote:

 

Similarly, it doesn't matter if we're talking about a $550 AF, a $12 Netflix subscription, or a $25,000 timeshare; these are all discretionary things and if any of them require someone to go looking for reasons to keep them, that's an immediate sign right there that these things may not be right for them.


I think in each of those cases, while the (very) affluent might have a "get 'em all" approach, it's reasonable that those will less may still be perfectly willing to incur charges for one of a category, without hardship, but feel that two is pushing it.   And so you ask advice about which is best. (with the answer CSR, HULU, and that one in Myrtle Beach)

 

 

Message 21 of 27
coreysw12
Valued Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR


@iced wrote:

@wasCB14 wrote:

@longtimelurker wrote:

@GrandBaker wrote:

@K-in-Boston  Well said! This in a nutshell 

It may not be for everyone, but if the math works there's no one answer for whether it makes sense to have multiple high AF cards;


Right, and another factor is disposable assets.    A quick analysis might show, for example, "If I do make these two trips in 2021, then I will be way ahead, otherwise a loss"     If you have "enough" money, the $550/$1100 AF and the prospect of a loss if things don't go to plan may not really matter at all.   With much less money, you may not want to take the chance, or at least wait until you have a much better idea about whether those trips are going to happen.


Business and emergency travel aside, if $550 would be a serious loss for me then neither card might make much sense.

 

Travel spend in general, delivery and dining vs. groceries, airport lounges, Saks...all luxuries to one degree or another.


This is something I never quite understood with the logic some pursue such things with.

 

Cards like CSR/Platinum are travel/"luxury" cards, geared toward a more affluent demographic. Small amounts like $550 are well within discretionary for this demographic, if not outright pocket change. There's nothing stopping anyone outside this demographic from getting them, but if someone's on limited income or a tight budget such that even the AF is going to impact their finances, why still try to justify or shoehorn such an expense into their budget? Even if there is a return on value that exceeds the AF in this case, if it's something that has a significant negative impact on one's budget, it's probably not the best idea to pursue.

 

Someone making $80k a year can technically 'afford' to buy a Porsche (maintenance is probably out of the question, though), and they may really, really, REALLY enjoy driving it, but if it comes at the cost of obliterating one's budget to the point everything else is off the table or at risk, maybe it's time to say that a Porsche isn't really right for them. Yet, I see some similar behavior with some card chasers -- they go after the big ticket cards and the biggest concern on their mind 9 months in becomes how are they going to deal with the AF when it comes up for renewal.

 

Similarly, it doesn't matter if we're talking about a $550 AF, a $12 Netflix subscription, or a $25,000 timeshare; these are all discretionary things and if any of them require someone to go looking for reasons to keep them, that's an immediate sign right there that these things may not be right for them.


Also it shouldn't be ignored (but for some reason, usually is) that the CSR's AF is really only $250 ( because, let's be honest, if someone isn't getting the $300 travel credit every year, then they really have no business having this card). If someone struggles to justify $250 for the CSR then I'm surprised they decided to have the card in the first place, but I do understand that all different kinds of people with different goals and needs have these cards.

    Total Loan Balance: $58k / $65k

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Goal cards:



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Message 22 of 27
Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR


@coreysw12 wrote:


Also it shouldn't be ignored (but for some reason, usually is) that the CSR's AF is really only $250 ( because, let's be honest, if someone isn't getting the $300 travel credit every year, then they really have no business having this card).


 ... or even less than $250 but no more than that. 

 

See my discussion of my CSR credits and benefits

https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit-Cards/CSR-updates-coming-10-5/m-p/6157121#M1749173

 

Same for AMEX Platinum, depending on circumstances.  There are direct credits against the Platinum's $550 AF for the Schwab investment version or for people with cards in the Corporate Account Program.  And for active duty military personnel.  Plus, the $200 annual credits in airfare incidental fees, $200 in annual UBER credits, and $100 in Fine Hotels and Resorts credits.   

 

Annual fees can be deceptive at face value but we all have to be honest with ourselves about how much we can value from the credits with organic spending versus how much the credits might push us to spend on things we normally would not.    Each situation can be unique.  My spend could never organically pay for Platinum but CSR is easy to justify.  



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Message 23 of 27
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR


@Aim_High wrote:

 

Annual fees can be deceptive at face value but we all have to be honest with ourselves about how much we can value from the credits with organic spending versus how much the credits might push us to spend on things we normally would not.    Each situation can be unique.  My spend could never organically pay for Platinum but CSR is easy to justify.  


And of course, circumstances change as well.   Many here had no problem using the travel credits in past years, but some now find it more problematic!  While a good broad travel category like CSR does make it easier (parking and tolls even if there is no other travel) I still used the grocery-for-travel-credit feature (when it was also 5x on groceries) and I'm getting the $325 travel credit on AR from dining.

Message 24 of 27
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR


@longtimelurker wrote:

@Aim_High wrote:

 

Annual fees can be deceptive at face value but we all have to be honest with ourselves about how much we can value from the credits with organic spending versus how much the credits might push us to spend on things we normally would not.    Each situation can be unique.  My spend could never organically pay for Platinum but CSR is easy to justify.  


And of course, circumstances change as well.   Many here had no problem using the travel credits in past years, but some now find it more problematic!  While a good broad travel category like CSR does make it easier (parking and tolls even if there is no other travel) I still used the grocery-for-travel-credit feature (when it was also 5x on groceries) and I'm getting the $325 travel credit on AR from dining.


This is the first year I'll not be using the Platinum's $200 airfare extras credit in full. I was able to use $128 of it, at least.

 

And the CSR gives no rewards on the $300 of travel spend offset by the credit, so the lost rewards that you could earn on $300 of travel using another card may reasonably be added back to the net AF. That could be $6 if the alternative is a 2% card or 1500 MRs in the case of air travel for someone with a Platinum.

 

(Not that the decision whether to get 0/1/2 $550 cards should be affected by such a small amount.)

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
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Message 25 of 27
NoHardLimits
Regular Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR

I was also unable to use the full $200 airline incidentals credit on my Platinum Amex this year, but the $20 monthly streaming and wireless credits do a good job of offsetting that loss.  Chase CSR's Pay Yourself Back is a nice enhancement as well.  We will have to see how long these temporary enhancements last.  Chase's PYB has been extended through April 2021, but the Platinum credits are currently set to end in December.

June 2021 Snapshot -

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Message 26 of 27
drboxing
Established Contributor

Re: AMEX Platinum & CSR

I only carry the AMEX Platinum and with all the travel perks it works fine. I personally see no need to carry the CSR
Message 27 of 27
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