Disclosure: I do NOT have an affiliate relationship with American Express Charge Cards so have no skin in this particular game.
Apologies if this post is a little inside baseball as it’s a response to a fellow Saverocity post, but I think it’s a good question to discuss: with all of the other products out there, are Membership Rewards worth collecting?
I’m going to answer this one quickly: Yes. Here’s why: diversify, diversify, diversify! As rapidly as the credit card reward schemes change, I find it foolish to keep all of my points in one basket. I like the hotel partners, especially in Europe. I just had a great stay at the Comfort Inn Bolivar in Rome for all of 10,000 Choice points a night. Also seems a good time as any to confess my ode to Avios.
I think Matt’s post does raise another good question: with all the recent changes, is the Platinum card still worth the $450 annual fee? First, we have to net out the fee to its actual cost by taking out the cash equivalent benefit of $200 airline credit. I’ll leave aside global entry as it can only be used once and the other various offers as they spread across most AMEX products. So we’re actually asking if the platinum is worth $250/year.
I’ll start by saying if we’re discussing the personal card, my answer is maybe. For some, too many benefits were stripped to make the juice worth the squeeze.
Here are the benefits that I use available across both cards:
- Fine Hotels and Resorts program, which I find extremely lucrative as the incentives stack with the hotel chains’ loyalty promotions and give stay credit.
- Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and numerous car rental chain status upgrades
- Car rental insurance and preferred rates (although less so now that I have a Citi Thank You)
- Priority Pass Select (less so with Citi AA Executive and Chase Sapphire Reserve)
- Departures Magazine (just seeing if you’re still with me!)
How does the math work for you? Will you pay an annual fee to hold on to your Platinum card? Please share your thoughts in the comments.