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Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

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Regular Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

Discover’s model seems to work to generate revenue but American Express comes across as a much more impressive company in terms of provided offerings.  I see Mastercard doing quite well with competitive offerings on World Mastercard Elite based cards and Visa with the Infinite cards whereby Amex Platinum, Visa Infinite and World Mastercard Elite cards essentially are competitive depending on what you are personally looking for.  But Discover seems to be a more mainstream based card which seems to be perceived as being better than other Mastercard/Visa tiered products as it has card expedition and allows people better interaction with support and payment and some added features and promotional spend bonuses

 

Personally I like to look at what the premium cards on the high end are doing

Message 21 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

does amex platinum have trip delay/cancellation protection? i understand most other amex cards don't. Seems like a nice stuff to offer since lot of visa/mc cards have it.

ᑭ⍶ndeᲠi८ ѠαԼԼεէ : ☕ Λlti-ၺ ☕▲B ⍟Ⲙilⅇⴑթ ✈☕թroթⅇl ⍟wſ -√ ⚕ᙪᙪ८
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PⵢA: Wear a respirator (Π95, Кп95, ҞҒ94), period.
Message 22 of 60
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Regular Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

Yes, Amex Platinum has Skyclub access at Atlanta already and both Atlanta and Newark for instance are controlled mostly by a single airline, with Delta at Atlanta and United at Newark which probably explains why these airports weren’t scheduled for Amex lounges.  Not sure about Chicago Ohare however where American and United both have significant operations.

 

At JFK, lounge access isn’t redundent for non Delta customers on other airlines and this opens up a new lounge for them.  I have a feeling Amex will eventually cut the Delta Skyclub benefit, perhaps after the additional lounges are done or further down the road as more lounges are done.  They already cut out on American airlines lounges and native lounges are a lot cheaper to maintain.  I was surprised that American Express kept up the access to Delta lounges but obviously their response is to build out their own lounges and with the latest round of future additions, it seems to be closing the gap.

Message 23 of 60
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Super Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.


@FortifiedHM wrote:

does amex platinum have trip delay/cancellation protection? i understand most other amex cards don't. Seems like a nice stuff to offer since lot of visa/mc cards have it.


Not by default. You'd have to purchase a policy from Amex for a specific trip in advance. Not expensive in itself, but it's an extra step and the costs add up.

 

I use Platinum for bag fees and CSR for the fare (or taxes miles don't cover).

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 24 of 60
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Super Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.


@FortifiedHM wrote:

thats an excellent point. You can't do a layover at ATL and not see one skyclub somewhere, lol.

 

I heard citi prestige and CSR also have decent lounge access?


They have Priority Pass. Prestige had AA Admirals Club access until July 2017.

 

Platinum has Priority Pass, plus:

Centurion

International Amex lounges outside of Centurion

Delta Sky Club (when flying Delta)

Escape

Airspace

Lufthansa (several restrictions)

Plaza Premium

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 25 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

guess thats a good reason to pc my SP to CSR next year. lol

ᑭ⍶ndeᲠi८ ѠαԼԼεէ : ☕ Λlti-ၺ ☕▲B ⍟Ⲙilⅇⴑթ ✈☕թroթⅇl ⍟wſ -√ ⚕ᙪᙪ८
⛪✈☕⸿ⵢᖇ ⍟Ԑժᑭ ⍟८ſ ┊Ҩⵢ ☏८ſⴑ ⛽ෲթƧ/βiz ⛽iէ | ८✙ ┊❡olδ┊ↇᏨ⛪
⸨ꜷ ᐰmzn ᐰ√ ☏⸿i⸿┊⸿iⴑ ⚕ᙪᙪթ⸩ Ձ൦Ձ❶ ✢ᖇēẉαrժ✙, ſ-ſlⅇx

PⵢA: Wear a respirator (Π95, Кп95, ҞҒ94), period.
Message 26 of 60
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Regular Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

American Express Platinum sure offers a ton of lounge access, more than other cards for now.

 

Financial institutions are hyper competitive especially on high end cards which is nice to see.  My Home airports are LGA and JFK so having an Amex lounge in both airports is a compelling feature going forward if I were travelling more as there will be two modern lounges as LGA is replaced with a new lounge and the JFK lounge will be new.  If I flew on American out of JFK, the Citibank AA would be more compelling however due to AA lounges being included, but at LGA, the Amex lounge will lilely be nicer than the AA lounge which is in the same terminal.  Airspace has a lounge at Jetblue T5 at JFK which is included wih Amex Platinum.  So Amex seems to lead on Platinum in most but not all senarios.  

Message 27 of 60
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Regular Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/jfk-t5-airspace-lounge-to-close/ 

 

T4 and T5 are right next door fortunately so with the new lounge hopefully it will give easy access as airport will become more unified in the future.  The Amex lounges are much nicer than Airspace as well so it is not a downgrade.  Perhaps the new Amex JFK lounge is related to the closing of the Airspace lounge as it will no longer be needed.  I didn’t realize Airspace closed already.

 

T8 however is far from T4 at JFK so AA lounge is needed for those flights as it is too much of a hassle unless you can get into perhaps the Alaska Air lounge at T7.    

Message 28 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.


@adamj023 wrote:

American Express is actively building out new airport lounges including the 15,000 square foot JFK lounge at Terminal 4.  The lounges get high reviews as well which are accessible with Platinum and Centurion.  Other cards seem to partner with lounge programs but it seems as though American Express is the only card issuer to actually have their own airport lounges that I know of.  In the old days the Diners Club card was competitive as a high end card but they aren’t accepting applications for their cards while the highest end is based off the World Mastercard Elite and I believe the last issued Diners Club may have been based off of Priority Pass lounges.  One wonders if Chase will ever build out airport lounges for its Sapphire Reserve to compete against American Express if additional lounge space at some airports is possible or if other card issuers will evolve on lounge offerings.

 


I don't think Chase will be building lounges, because they don't need to. Many CSR holders are either happy with PP or don't even care about the lounge benefit because they get access to airport lounges or similar services via other means.

 

That said, the Centurion Lounge (or PP lounges, or UCs, or AC, or SkyClubs...) isn't where the elite want to go to be pampered and we're all kidding ourselves if we think for a moment that's what top-tier customers want most from their card. No... lounges are where the middle-class masses and business bros go to drink free alcohol and eat free food while they wait to board a plane. They're an upgrade from sitting at the gate next to a backpacker who hasn't bathed since last Wednesday, but they're not nearly the experience TPG and other paid bloggers make them out to be. Most are packed (especially ones tied to credit cards) and tend to attract the one airport monster worse than the kettle: the DYKWIA.

 

I've walked out of lounges right after entering about 10 times this year because of complete lack of seating or because the only seating was next to some moron yelling at a speakerphone or Facetime about how they're actually in a lounge or that there's free food. Building more lounges helps this somewhat, but they also have to cut back on who can get in, and handing out access with any credit card with a $400+ AF isn't helping matters. Go to a United Polaris lounge, then go to a United Club and see if you can spot the difference.

 

 

Message 29 of 60
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Valued Contributor

Re: Cards with top benefits for top tier customers.


@iced wrote:

I've walked out of lounges right after entering about 10 times this year because of complete lack of seating or because the only seating was next to some moron yelling at a speakerphone or Facetime about how they're actually in a lounge or that there's free food. Building more lounges helps this somewhat, but they also have to cut back on who can get in, and handing out access with any credit card with a $400+ AF isn't helping matters. Go to a United Polaris lounge, then go to a United Club and see if you can spot the difference.


All kinds of tiers in richness, lol.

ᑭ⍶ndeᲠi८ ѠαԼԼεէ : ☕ Λlti-ၺ ☕▲B ⍟Ⲙilⅇⴑթ ✈☕թroթⅇl ⍟wſ -√ ⚕ᙪᙪ८
⛪✈☕⸿ⵢᖇ ⍟Ԑժᑭ ⍟८ſ ┊Ҩⵢ ☏८ſⴑ ⛽ෲթƧ/βiz ⛽iէ | ८✙ ┊❡olδ┊ↇᏨ⛪
⸨ꜷ ᐰmzn ᐰ√ ☏⸿i⸿┊⸿iⴑ ⚕ᙪᙪթ⸩ Ձ൦Ձ❶ ✢ᖇēẉαrժ✙, ſ-ſlⅇx

PⵢA: Wear a respirator (Π95, Кп95, ҞҒ94), period.
Message 30 of 60
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