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What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?

redpat
Senior Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?

The cards are easy to get and they are two of the best reward cards on the market which should make those who travel a lot happy.  Plat gives you two hotel gold status and an airline lounge, no other travel card on the market gives you that, plus 5x for booking direct.  Gold 4x on grocery and dining, while with Chase you need freedom for 5x grocery which in limited to a quarter and $1,500.

 

I find accumulating and redeeming MR points easy and having business spend also makes these two cards no brainers.

 



Personal Cards: Amex Plat | Amex Delta Res | Amex Hilton | CSR | Citi AA Exec Business Cards: Ink+ | Amex BGR
Message 21 of 28
SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?


@redpat wrote:

The cards are easy to get and they are two of the best reward cards on the market which should make those who travel a lot happy.  Plat gives you two hotel gold status and an airline lounge, no other travel card on the market gives you that, plus 5x for booking direct.  Gold 4x on grocery and dining, while with Chase you need freedom for 5x grocery which in limited to a quarter and $1,500.

 

I find accumulating and redeeming MR points easy and having business spend also makes these two cards no brainers.

 


When you compare CFU to the gold & platinum cards, bear in mind that you're comparing apples and oranges -- a free card with cards that have $250 and $550 annual fees. If they had no annual fees they would be super cards.

 

With the gold, I feel like I have to jump through hoops to get the $250 back, and only then do the rewards start to take me into plus territory. For me personally, the gold card would be excellent if it had no annual fee, but with the annual fee it's subpar.

 

The platinum card would be excellent if it's annual fee were $95, but at $550 I can't justify it. I did love the lounges, and if I was a frequent business flyer I would definitely want that card again, but a couple of lounge visits a year aren't worth $550. Half the time I'm in an airport I don't even have time to visit a lounge.

 

These cards are just not for everybody.

 

 


Total revolving limits 663000 (585000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 716 TU 747 EX 713

Message 22 of 28
jetsfan2013
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?

While the rewards and perks are very nice, as a few have mentioned, charge cards aren't for everybody. Specifically if you are not financially disciplined, you can get yourself in some trouble. A co-worker on a business trip shared how he somehow got $10K in the hole using his Amex Platinum and unfortunately a few large checks he was expecting to come through did not on time, which caused a 30 day late on his credit. He lost 64 points for that 1 late and now has Amex nagging him daily wanting their money.

In the garden until Summer 2021
Message 23 of 28
KJinNC
Valued Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?

I have tried every which way to justify or find a path to recoup the Platinum annual fee for my spend and I simply cannot so far, at least not in a reliable way beyond the SUB. If I traveled about twice as much, I think it would be justifiable. Right now, I am planning a week in Europe, and I would love to have the status with Hilton and Marriot in hopes of lucking into room upgrades, but you can't count on that. I'd like the option to use lounges during the hours I'll spend changing planes, but no big deal. The actual statement credits you can get seem tailor-made to NOT work for me. I guess I could try Uber Eats. The airline incidental credits may not apply to some of the airlines I am considering for the flight, like Air Canada. Even the 5x points for travel doesn't seem that great, considering that I can usually find tickets a bit cheaper through other sites than Amex Travel. They say they price-match, but not sure how easy that is or if it's worth it, since I travel infrequently and wouldn't amass that many points anyway.

 

Trying to find $400 in value in that card, to me, seems difficult if not impossible. Note, however, that I said $400, not $550. I can get a $150 annual statement credit through the CAP program. Which is enough to keep me perpetually tempted and thinking about it. If I can pull off the SUB, that would be enough to justify the annual fee for at least two years, three if I get great value from the points. So then, the question is, do I want to open a card I know I'll close in two or three years? Not really?

 

As for Gold, for my spend, it's a no-brainer ... and, I get a $100 annual statement credit via CAP, so, I only need to make up $150/year, not $250/year. (And don't think the part of my brain that tries to talk me into stuff hasn't pointed out that if I got both cards, the combined annual statement credits would equal the Gold card's annual fee, so I'd pay what most people pay for Platinum and get both.) I figure the SUB alone covers me for about four years. And going forward, including the CAP credit, the AF works out to under $3/week. I can recoup that in points by spending $40 at restaurants and grocery stores per week. Without that $100 credit, you could still recoup it with like $60 of restaurant and grocery spend per week on average, which is easy for most people. Of course, if you already have a Blue Cash or Savor or something else with good rewards for overlapping categories, the math is a bit more murky, but I haven't even tried to account for the other benefits, like the $100/year airline fee or the $15/month plus $20 in December for a selection of restaurants.

 

If these cards had no annual fee, they'd be beyond incredible ...and Amex would eliminate SUBs, and possibly eliminate the cards entirely once they realize they are losing money on them.

 

As things stand, it really just depends on your spend and lifestyle. But I think probably 5 times as many people would come out ahead with Gold than with Platinum, because Gold fits pretty universal lifestyles and Platinum really only fits a certain type of traveler. JMO!


FICO Resilience Index: 66. Cards: 13/24, 2/12, 2/6. Accounts including loans: 14/24, 3/12, 2/6. At first accidentally, later deliberately, I used what I call the "thick-start" build method, which leads to heavy credit-seeking for a while with the goal of coming out of it without needing to build a thin profile for years. There are pros and cons. Thread describing method
Cards (oldest to newest)


Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan / Personal loan

Card CLs total $144,100, not counting the AU card. The AU card brings the total to $170,600. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0.
CU and bank memberships: Coastal Credit Union, member since 1987, direct deposit; PenFed, member since 2019; Navy Federal, member since 2020; USAA, member since 2020; Chase Bank, member since 2020.

Closed but still on reports: American Express Delta Gold, $1,000, 09/19-10/20 | American Express Hilton Aspire, $3,100, 09/19-12/20 | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Note: My signature is updated frequently, and updates appear on all instances of my signature including on old posts.
Message 24 of 28
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?


@KJinNC wrote:

I have tried every which way to justify or find a path to recoup the Platinum annual fee for my spend and I simply cannot so far, at least not in a reliable way beyond the SUB. If I traveled about twice as much, I think it would be justifiable. Right now, I am planning a week in Europe, and I would love to have the status with Hilton and Marriot in hopes of lucking into room upgrades, but you can't count on that. I'd like the option to use lounges during the hours I'll spend changing planes, but no big deal. Assuming NC in your name is North Carolina, do you fly out of CLT? It's getting a Centurion sometime in the next year or so. The actual statement credits you can get seem tailor-made to NOT work for me. I guess I could try Uber Eats. Keep in mind it's a monthly trickle benefit, and the various fees on an order (especially a small one) can really eat into the $15. Don't be surprised if $8 of actual food eats up the whole $15 credit even before giving a tip. It depends on the restaurant, the ability to share a delivery driver with another customer, and Uber promotions. Look at your local options on the EATS app and price out a hypothetical order. The airline incidental credits may not apply to some of the airlines I am considering for the flight, like Air Canada. Even the 5x points for travel doesn't seem that great, considering that I can usually find tickets a bit cheaper through other sites than Amex Travel. They say they price-match, but not sure how easy that is or if it's worth it, since I travel infrequently and wouldn't amass that many points anyway.

 

Trying to find $400 in value in that card, to me, seems difficult if not impossible. Note, however, that I said $400, not $550. I can get a $150 annual statement credit through the CAP program. Which is enough to keep me perpetually tempted and thinking about it. If I can pull off the SUB, that would be enough to justify the annual fee for at least two years, three if I get great value from the points. So then, the question is, do I want to open a card I know I'll close in two or three years? Not really?

 

As for Gold, for my spend, it's a no-brainer ... and, I get a $100 annual statement credit via CAP, so, I only need to make up $150/year, not $250/year. I figure the SUB alone covers me for about four years. And going forward, including the CAP credit, the AF works out to under $3/week. I can recoup that in points by spending $40 at restaurants and grocery stores per week. Without that $100 credit, you could still recoup it with like $60 of restaurant and grocery spend per week on average, which is easy for most people. Of course, if you already have a Blue Cash or Savor or something else with good rewards for overlapping categories, the math is a bit more murky.

 

If these cards had no annual fee, they'd be beyond incredible ...and Amex would eliminate SUBs, and possibly eliminate the cards entirely once they realize they are losing money on them.

 

As things stand, it really just depends on your spend and lifestyle. But I think probably 5 times as many people would come out ahead with Gold than with Platinum, because Gold fits pretty universal lifestyles and Platinum really only fits a certain type of traveler. JMO!


 

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 28
KJinNC
Valued Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?

My main airport is RDU, but a lounge in Charlotte could work out well, since it's one of the more common places I'd have a layover, depending on airline and destination. Thanks for pointing that out. With Uber Eats, I wouldn't consider it full value unless it's something I would have paid for anyway, and I have never used Uber Eats or GrubHub. But I guess it would offer some value (like half the stated value). All of the Platinum stuff is like that for me Smiley Happy


FICO Resilience Index: 66. Cards: 13/24, 2/12, 2/6. Accounts including loans: 14/24, 3/12, 2/6. At first accidentally, later deliberately, I used what I call the "thick-start" build method, which leads to heavy credit-seeking for a while with the goal of coming out of it without needing to build a thin profile for years. There are pros and cons. Thread describing method
Cards (oldest to newest)


Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan / Personal loan

Card CLs total $144,100, not counting the AU card. The AU card brings the total to $170,600. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0.
CU and bank memberships: Coastal Credit Union, member since 1987, direct deposit; PenFed, member since 2019; Navy Federal, member since 2020; USAA, member since 2020; Chase Bank, member since 2020.

Closed but still on reports: American Express Delta Gold, $1,000, 09/19-10/20 | American Express Hilton Aspire, $3,100, 09/19-12/20 | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Note: My signature is updated frequently, and updates appear on all instances of my signature including on old posts.
Message 26 of 28
Janus
Senior Contributor

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?


@jetsfan2013 wrote:

While the rewards and perks are very nice, as a few have mentioned, charge cards aren't for everybody. Specifically if you are not financially disciplined, you can get yourself in some trouble. A co-worker on a business trip shared how he somehow got $10K in the hole using his Amex Platinum and unfortunately a few large checks he was expecting to come through did not on time, which caused a 30 day late on his credit. He lost 64 points for that 1 late and now has Amex nagging him daily wanting their money.


This is why I have Discover as backup. If for some reason my finances experience a delay, I just BT to them or to my Bank. Then Pay off the Charge Card. I would never have just a Charge Card though, for that exact reason. 






Message 27 of 28
Loquat
Moderator

Re: What's With Amex Gold & Platinum?


@SouthJamaica wrote:

@kshurika wrote:
Amex is banging on my head about these two cards. Mail, email, CSR's; they're all going at me. I won't go into the benefits of each card, or compare them. From what I can see, Platinum is a burn unless you travel a lot. I've got CSP for that and it's 95$/ vs. Platinum's 550$. The real sucker trap IMHO is that Platinum gives you 20% more sign-up points for 250% increase in initial spend.

Never been a big fan of charge cards. Can they boost your credit rating? (I KNOW they can crush it if you don't pay on time.) Do they drop your AAoA? Am I overlooking something? Convince me. I'm an attentive student.

Thanks.

Unless you're a big traveler, skip it. I used to have a business platinum card, and was just throwing my money out. I presently have the gold card, and am constantly struggling to find value in it equivalent to the huge annual fee. It's like I'm working for them, instead of having a card that works for me. If the gold card had no annual fee it would be a good card; with the annual fee it's not IMHO.

 

Don't be cowed by their marketing department.

 

Amex has been pushing those things for a long long time, so they are expert at pulling your strings.


+1 @SouthJamaica   Even with Citi ditching all of their benefits I can still find more value in the Citi Prestige than I can the Amex Platinum.  If I really find that I need my trip protected then I can put my air fare on my Ritz Carlton or my CSP.  My Amex setup is BBP, Amex Gold, and Bonvoy Brilliant/Business cards.  

Message 28 of 28
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