Amex Platinum New Benefits; Fee Increases to $695

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The American Express Platinum Card has officially increased its annual membership fee to $695, up from $550 previously. Its popular Centurion lounges have experienced some severe overcrowding issues, so this fee increase could partially be part due to attracting a more selective crowd.

With the increased fee, there are some new benefits to the card including a CLEAR membership, a new $200 hotel credit, a $25 monthly Equinox credit; and a $20 month limited digital entertainment credit.

Here’s a look at the new benefits:

  • New: $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on select digital subscriptions when you pay with your Platinum Card. (ONLY Valid for Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times)
  • New: $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card.
  • New: $179 CLEAR Credit: CLEAR uses biometrics to assign you a touchless ID, allowing you to move faster through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can cover the cost of a CLEAR membership with up to $179 in statement credits per year after you pay for CLEAR with your Platinum Card
  • New: $300 Equinox Credit: Choose the best membership for you at Equinox – whether it’s digital or in-club – and get up to $300 back per year. Enrollment required.
  • New: Premium Private Jet Program: Make your private flight experience even more unforgettable. Get discounted rates on Wheels Up memberships with your Platinum Card.

Bottom Line

American Express has increased the annual fee of the Platinum Card by 27% from $550 to $695. There is no doubt that the card issuer is looking for a reduction of cardholders on this product. The Centurion lounges have been a huge hit, however there is severe overcrowding as a result, with wait times of 45+ minutes to get in.

Even if 5% of the cardholders were to either drop or downgrade this card, the issuer comes out way ahead with the massive 27% fee increase, which I suspect is the plan.

When it comes to new benefits, the $200 hotel credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings seems to be the most valuable, which should get you a free night or two depending on where you book.

The $20 monthly Digital Entertainment Credit is probably one that is least exciting given how restrictive this is. It’s only valid at four merchants vs. last year which included hundreds of options.

The $179 CLEAR benefit will be nice for those who don’t receive CLEAR complimentary from holding airline elite status, though I haven’t used CLEAR the past two years and haven’t missed it.

See our earlier post on Amex Platinum Fee Increasing to $695 July 1st. Current cardmembers will see the increased annual fee take effect for renewal dates starting January 1, 2022

What are your thoughts on the American Express Platinum card increasing its annual fee to $695? Do you plan to remain a cardholder after the fee increase? 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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