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Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo

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Regular Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo

All valid points above. 800$ in annual fee especially tied to one issuer is not a great idea. Probably better off splitting them between issuers to diversify your benefits.

Ex: not all restaurants get coded as 4x with gold which is a big issue that i am facing (my cafeteria at work (run by aramark?) does not get coded correctly by amex... where as citi does). 

 AU-> 
Message 11 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@iced wrote:


The question to ask is: what's worth $800 to you? Does your spending fit what the cards are suited to? Do you generate at least $800 worth of value out of the cards each year? If yes, the Gold and Platinum are working for you. However, if you're looking for ideas to squeeze a little more value out of them because you're not seeing it today, take that as a sign. Hearing how well the Gold + Platinum works for someone who doesn't fly the same airlines, spends the same on dining, or values the benefits as you would is an apples to oranges comparison.

 

When selecting a card program, I would hope people select a program that fits their travel patterns, not the other way around. If someone has to book stays at a hotel they might not otherwise choose or use services they might otherwise use not in order to take advantage of a benefit or credit, that's a sign that particular benefit isn't right for them. What may be a home run to one person can be meaningless to another. I have no problem using Uber credits up, but I get that others may find them useless. Same as how I find HHonors points useless but I get that to some they're quite valuable.

 

I worry that some people are trying to min-max their credit card portfolio without a second thought as to the travel programs behind that portfolio. So what if you maximized your point gains if you can only use them on airlines you don't fly or hotels you don't like to stay at? Is the extra point earning worth always taking a connection or having odd routings? Do you want to plan your vacations around where your points will take you or earn your points around where you want to go for vacations?

 

That said, it's a formidable pairing for someone whose spend fits the programs and who is happy with the redemption options. Is it a formidable pairing for you? Only you can answer that one.

 

I'd also second Chris' comment about international usage. Not crediting international dining can be a huge deal for some travelers, and should be considered when choosing a program.


Very, very wise words.  The cards should work for you, not the other way around.

Chase Sapphire Reserve • PenFed Power Cash Rewards • and five cards in the sock drawer

No CC debt • No bonus chasing • No app sprees • No gift cards • No AZEO • No airline incidentals • No hotel cards • No store cards • No business cards • No authorized users
Message 12 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@FortifiedHM wrote:

Gold AF is easier to be effectively lowered.

 

I fly 8+k USD per year, I can't justify Platinum card, mainly because uber credit is useless to me, when I need uber, its never less than 30USD, and most of the time, I don't use uber. I am not gonna spend extra just so I can claim its a credit to AF.


You spend 8K on airfare a year and don’t think the platinum card is worth it ? Even if you never used a single Uber credit and only used the airline credits and Saks. You’re still coming out ahead by $600 at 2CPP. (8K * 5 =40K).  That calculation doesn’t even include lounge access, FHR or THC, and Amex offers. Amex platinum runs some flight deals through IAP or even extra MR points on flights through Amex offers.

 

The hotel collection has has been a great benefit. I milk those $75 credits on short weekend stays. Most of the hotels aren’t super expensive either like FHR.

 

You should sit down with a spread sheet and run the numbers because if you’re really spending 8K on airfare a year it would be unwise not to have Platinum or CSR. 

 





Total Revolving Limits $194,600

FICO 8 scores 04/2019
EX-778
TU-714
EQ-716
Message 13 of 28
Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo

The problem that I have come across with using Amex is the way they code everything. Although platinum and gold does have high rewards on travel, they limit it to direct booking with airlines or through Amex travel. Before I had Amex, I was used to using travel booking sites such as Expedia or cheapoair, and bundling hotels and flights gave me significantly low prices that suits my budget. Using the Amex however, I have to account for extra time on trying to find the best airline deals + hotel deals, as booking them separately for me typical lot is a bit more if not much more expensive. However, the perks that they do come with especially hotel, rental car status and lounge access which I never really had before has more than made up for the time I spent sitting in front of the computer meticulously planning my trip and my spends. The platinum now really only comes out my wallet during hotel/flight booking in the comfort of my couch. The gold comes out for my restaurant swipes, but when I’m traveling which is typically international, they just stay in the wallet.
Gardening till 12/2019!




Message 14 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@budugu wrote:

All valid points above. 800$ in annual fee especially tied to one issuer is not a great idea. Probably better off splitting them between issuers to diversify your benefits.

Ex: not all restaurants get coded as 4x with gold which is a big issue that i am facing (my cafeteria at work (run by aramark?) does not get coded correctly by amex... where as citi does). 


Disagree here.  Who cares how much AF is tied to one issuer if you get the points and perks out of the cards that you use.  

 

I have over 1k gross AFs with Amex and after the net and two biz cards AFs being tax deductible I come out way ahead of the AFs with points, perks, MR offers and 35% MR rebates.

 

 

Personal Cards: Amex Gold, & Plat | Amex Delta Res | Amex Hilton | CSR | Citi AA Exec Business Cards: Ink+ | Amex BGR | Amex Plat
Message 15 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo

I would not use 2 CPP as the value of an MR when doing comparison calculations unless you always fly first class or international business class.  I would use 1.5 CPP for international economy and a lower number for domestic economy.

Chase Sapphire Reserve • PenFed Power Cash Rewards • and five cards in the sock drawer

No CC debt • No bonus chasing • No app sprees • No gift cards • No AZEO • No airline incidentals • No hotel cards • No store cards • No business cards • No authorized users
Message 16 of 28
Established Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@UpperNwGuy wrote:

I would not use 2 CPP as the value of an MR when doing comparison calculations unless you always fly first class or international business class.  I would use 1.5 CPP for international economy and a lower number for domestic economy.


Its about 1.2-1.5 for most domestic flight, except for those who live in large hub and waited for flash sales.

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Message 17 of 28
Established Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@Shadowfactor wrote:

@FortifiedHM wrote:

Gold AF is easier to be effectively lowered.

 

I fly 8+k USD per year, I can't justify Platinum card, mainly because uber credit is useless to me, when I need uber, its never less than 30USD, and most of the time, I don't use uber. I am not gonna spend extra just so I can claim its a credit to AF.


You spend 8K on airfare a year and don’t think the platinum card is worth it ? Even if you never used a single Uber credit and only used the airline credits and Saks. You’re still coming out ahead by $600 at 2CPP. (8K * 5 =40K).  That calculation doesn’t even include lounge access, FHR or THC, and Amex offers. Amex platinum runs some flight deals through IAP or even extra MR points on flights through Amex offers.

 

The hotel collection has has been a great benefit. I milk those $75 credits on short weekend stays. Most of the hotels aren’t super expensive either like FHR.

 

You should sit down with a spread sheet and run the numbers because if you’re really spending 8K on airfare a year it would be unwise not to have Platinum or CSR. 

 


I don't "THINK" the platinum is not worth it, I MATHed it. I fly delta almost exclusively. I fly 30 trips per year, every trip has 2 legs each way connecting through ATL. There is no way in hell I can get 2ccp, its 1.2-1.3cpp every time (and don't ask virgin atlantic or aeromexico, they can't book the flight I need on delta). Subtract 350 AF, I get a return of 2.1% cashback. Thats a far cry from 4.5% I get from wells fargo propel+ visa siggy.

 

I will PC my CSP to a CSR when I can, but thats because my household has a lot of banking relationship with chase and we can pool points.

 

I can respect the fact that you can maxing platinum benefit, which is obviously great! But, please don't assume I don't crunch my numbers. Spending 8k (actually over 9k now) a year, I make sure I save however and wherever I can.

 

Platinum is not for everyone, no matter how great some may think it is.

Ⳏroſilē oſ ᥠ chԑap, ſrēqⴑēnt ſlyԑr ✈⛽⛾ ⳎroⳎel ✈⛾ ८s ⛾⬮ ᦑold ☎ q§ ⚕ ββⳎ
⛪ ▲G ┊ Ⲙileⴑp ┊८ſu ┊ ↇᏨ ┊ ēD ┊८∰ ⛎ ᐰmzn √/ᐰ ┊ wſ -√ ┊ iէ ⛪ Ɲĕхт: ➕ citiⳎrēm ┊ βoſᥠ ८R
Message 18 of 28
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@chriz_r wrote:
The problem that I have come across with using Amex is the way they code everything. Although platinum and gold does have high rewards on travel, they limit it to direct booking with airlines or through Amex travel. Before I had Amex, I was used to using travel booking sites such as Expedia or cheapoair, and bundling hotels and flights gave me significantly low prices that suits my budget. Using the Amex however, I have to account for extra time on trying to find the best airline deals + hotel deals, as booking them separately for me typical lot is a bit more if not much more expensive. However, the perks that they do come with especially hotel, rental car status and lounge access which I never really had before has more than made up for the time I spent sitting in front of the computer meticulously planning my trip and my spends. The platinum now really only comes out my wallet during hotel/flight booking in the comfort of my couch. The gold comes out for my restaurant swipes, but when I’m traveling which is typically international, they just stay in the wallet.

While still offering some flexibility, the UR/MR travel programs are best suited to those who build loyalty around one or two airlines in particular.

 

If price is the biggest (or only) determinator in which airline/hotel you choose, you will find the MR program occasionally challenging (as you have), and may be better suited to a program that builds cash value rather than mileage. Otherwise, I recommend you only use sites like Expedia/Orbitz/etc when your go-to airline/hotel isn't available where you want to go and instead book direct with hotels and airlines. Brand consistency also translates into a much smoother travel experience since you build familiarity and rapport with the airline/hotel and it makes everything just go smoother when traveling. My reservations don't get lost or mixed up, and I'm not carrying printouts of tickets. I have forgotten what it's like to travel without using my 4-5 go-to travel apps (Delta/Marriott/Uber are my trifecta with Tripadvisor for recommendations) and those apps alone make things easy and consistent from the moment I step out of my door until the moment I step into my hotel room. Sometimes I don't even talk to the front desk at the hotel - I just walk right to my room and let myself in with my phone. These types of conveniences are worth paying for (at least to me), so I stopped caring if what I paid was the cheapest fare/rate or not.

 

One adecdotal experience I'll add is that the Platinum does code flight-related purchases that are not under the travel credit as "airfare" and thus 5x eligible, such as upgrades. As my employer only pays for economy on domestic flights, I'll pay for the FC upgrade out-of-pocket on my personal Platinum, and those code as 5x even though no flight itinerary gets associated with it like fare purchases do.

Message 19 of 28
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex Gold + Amex Plat Combo


@AlexCredible wrote:
I know there have been tons posts about the merits of these cards individually. I'm interested in hearing some feedback however on the strengths and weaknesses of these cards paired together. There's obviously a big hole where non-category spend is concerned and I'm aware that those who can fill this gap with the Amex BBP. How about just these two (gold and plat) together though? Assuming that all the credits can be used, and taking the perks and shortcomings of each card as well as redemption options for MR points into consideration, is it a formidable pairing? It it worth spending $800 in annual fees?

I may get cut by a member or two saying this but I believe the Plat to be slightly overstated/overvalued, strictly on based on utility. I really really want to drink the plat kool aid but just cant, here's why:

 

-Very narrow reward categories with specific requirements

-Credits to offset the AF must be used each month or you lose money (smart for AMEX, I get it, but less user friendly)

-No other travel spending will trigger the enhanced points

-Most of value rests in airport lounge access and other perks

--> These perks are pretty decent but also seem to appeal to a certain type of traveler, again narrow view; and not "exclusive" narrow.

-Only a 2MR/dollar difference on flights from the Gold at half the price. (tho the plat does offer points on hotels, which can get spendy, you MUST pre-pay thru their portal to get the enhanced points).

 

My personal opinion is the AMEX Gold with the CSR for earning (Yes they're 2 different ecosystems but you can capitalize on on both xfer partners and even combine both UR and MR points with some partners).

 

If you want the plat get one of the co branded ones such as schwab that offers additional "perks" that might be easier to offset the AF.

 

I think the AMEX Gold does a great job of hitting the main spend categories for most folks (Food, groceries and some travel).

 

Just a 2 cent opinion from some rando on the interwebs, take it for what it's worth.

 




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TOTAL: $128k | EX: 808 TU: 810 | 28 yo
Message 20 of 28
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