Nobody likes a retraction of benefits. But, owners of the American Express Platinum credit card have seen a lot of that over the past few years. The biggest one came recently, when American Airlines and US Airways announced that cardmembers will no longer have access to their lounges, and Delta dictating that only the primary cardholder (no guests) are allowed in for free to theirs.
Well, things have a way of coming around, and American Express has announced some new benefits for their Platinum cardmembers. Let’s take a look and see what they are, exactly!
For starters, American Express has partnered with Boingo Wireless (you know, that company you see everywhere, but can never use their wifi for free) to offer its members free wifi at over 700,000 WiFi hotspots. These are not only in airports, but also hotels and coffee shops worldwide. This offering is a very, very big deal, as this benefit alone would cost you $59 a month if you bought through Boingo. This will definitely come in handy for me in airports, as I am constantly searching for free wifi!
Next up, American Express has decided to allow for its members to have a statement credit for TSA PreCheck application fees (an $85 value). This is great news, since some cardmembers may not qualify for the larger Global Entry program (it has stricter rules and a background check) and miss out on the free PreCheck that the Global Entry program comes with. This ability to sing up for just PreCheck is a new development, and should help people skip the hassle at the airport in a big way!
So, what does this mean for people who have the American Express Platinum credit card? These new benefits do deliver solid value to them. I would say that the free wifi from Boingo could be used every day, not just by those who travel. It’ll certainly cut down on the hassle in people’s lives in a big, big way. However, I see the PreCheck as just ‘another add on’ that really doesn’t add solid value to the Platinum card the way that the Boingo offering does. If you already were using their Global Entry benefit, then you already had PreCheck, so this doesn’t add anything for you, really.
[Check out our full review of the American Express Platinum credit card.]
What I would like to see is a furthering of lounge benefits for the card. I see what American Express is starting to do- offer up their own branded lounges with superior offerings than the legacy carriers have in theirs. Opening up a network of lounges takes time, for sure (right now there are only ones in Dallas and Las Vegas), but I like the way that American Express wants to control their benefits offered internally rather than be at the mercy of other companies.
So, what do you think? Do you think that this credit card got a whole lot more valuable with the new benefits offered up? Or, do you think that the $450 annual fee is just too expensive for you still?