The Deal Mommy

American Express Gave Us Poop. Let’s Bake a Pie.

If you’ve been around the blogosphere you already know American Express rolled out “enhancements” to their Platinum cards recently.  In summary, they amount to a big pile of poop for families with two kids or more.

American Express Gave Us Poop.

Besides increasing annual fees $100 and adding an Uber “benefit” most suburban families won’t come close to maximizing, American Express now limits Centurion Lounge access to the cardmember and two guests. Note it’s CARDMEMBER, NOT CARD.  Any further guests- regardless of their age or relation-  will now cost $50/each. 

I’ve asked no fewer than five AMEX reps exactly who counts as a “cardmember”. Not a single answer has been consistent. The latest I’ve heard, and let’s see if it sticks, is that yes, an $175 authorized user cardholder is a “cardmember”. I’m adding this info with a big asterisk. This is the single least organized rollout of a policy change I’ve ever seen and anything you are told is subject to change until AMEX gets its act together.

I need you to read that again to make sure you get it: your infant whose only libation is breast milk? If you’re there with your spouse and another kid- $50. Do you have 6 year old twins? Pick your favorite or pony up. Joe suggested a Hunger Games arena in front of the Centurion lounge.

I find this policy change especially egregious because I came thissss close to cancelling my Platinum Card in December when the fee came up. One of the upsell reasons I was given to keep it was the extraordinary Centurion lounges and how they helped make travel easier for my family. 

American Express gave us poop. Let's bake a pie.

Yum.

Let’s Bake a Pie

Around here we’re not complainers (ok, sometimes we’re complainers)- we’re problem solvers.  Taking a page from The Help I suggest we take this pile of poop and bake it into a pie. Let’s use American Express’ own Centurion Lounge policy as a workaround for their sorry Centurion Lounge policy. 

Since the Centurion Lounge guest policy is two people regardless of age or relation when you are traveling with a party smaller than three you can bring in someone else’s kid as your guest and there’s no valid reason American Express can say no. 

Jeff suggested hanging around the Centurion Lounge doors with your most pathetic looking kid until someone with an extra guest slot came in:

Won't you please share (your guess access to the Centurion lounge)?

Won’t you please share (your guest access to the Centurion lounge)?

#2ndKidsMatter is born

I say we get organized. Next time you’re visiting a Centurion Lounge with less than 3 people shoot me a tweet. Use the hashtag #2ndKidsMatter and where and when you’ll be there. I’ll RT it (and if you see a #2ndKidsMatter hashtag, please RT as well). There may be a parent out there wandering lounge-less who can use your help. 

We have a few days to get the word out as the policy officially changes March 30. I don’t expect this campaign to last very long as most parents of two or more kids I know will not be renewing their Platinum cards. I know I won’t. 

After all, poop pie is a dish best served cold.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network.

 

 


13 thoughts on “American Express Gave Us Poop. Let’s Bake a Pie.

  1. thedealmommy Post author

    Thanks. I was trying to think of something more immediate and visible- hence Twitter. I think people don’t want to do work but might help in the moment if it’s easy.

  2. Robert

    Thanks for posting this, since reading it made it occur to me that since my wife and I both have AmEx Platinum cards currently we can get our family of 4 in.

    I was thinking that the policy would effectively be like Delta lounge access gained through carrying a Platinum card whereby even if you have multiple AmEx Platinum cards per person you can’t bring any of your kids in without paying. But that’s not the case since each cardmember can guest a kid (or two!) in.

  3. MickiSue

    I’ll gladly play. It’s frequently just me, or at most, me and Husband in the lounge.

    But I have a more radical idea. Why don’t we organize a snail mail campaign so that Amex is made aware of just how poopy their changes are? I NEVER use Uber. If I need a ride share program, I use Lyft. And even if I were to use Uber, it would be in chunks, like getting around Vegas this w/e for the wholesaler show and the mini DO.

    To raise the already steep cost by $100 while taking away value? To put it bluntly, that sucks, and I think the E suite at Amex needs a whole lot of letters telling them so. Because nothing says pissed off customer than taking the time to send a real letter. Tweets are efficient. Letters are impactful.

    As, just FTR are calls.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Not yet. To be honest, I’m cleaning out my membership rewards and spending all my available credits before I do so.

  4. Montain Man

    I am not sure if you’re reading this correct. “Note it’s CARDMEMBER, NOT CARD”, if you’re an authorized user, are you not a CARDMEMEBER? AU’s should have access to the lounge just like the primary account holder.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Mountain man,
      This has been a point of discussion over Twitter, over the phone, and over chat. Each gave me a different answer as to who exactly a “cardmember” is!

      The latest I’ve heard, and let’s see if it sticks, is that yes, an authorized user is a “cardmember”. I’ll edit the post for now, with a big asterisk. This is the single least organized rollout of a policy change I’ve ever seen and anything you are told is subject to change until AMEX gets its act together.

      1. Montain Man

        I can tell you from experience that AU’s have the same guesting privileges as the primary. I and 2 friends are the AU’s on my other friend’s account so we split the fees 4 ways to each have a Platinum card just for the purpose of access to the Centurion lounges as our primary airports have these lounges.

        1. Montain Man

          Also, you can add 3 cards to the Platinum account for $175 and each gets the GE/Pre fee applied. If you have friends and family that wants one, might be a good idea to lower your annual fees this way. The great thing about Amex is that you have such control on the account that your liability is limited as you can set very low limits on the AU cards.

          1. thedealmommy Post author

            Hi Mountain man,
            Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope it carries forward.
            The problem with American Express’ botched handling of this rollout is that they haven’t clarified which guest access policies are changing and which are not. Therefore I’m still not entirely confident.

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