It was a decision three years in the making. Every December I get the statement with a $450 fee and ask myself if the juice is worth the squeeze. This is the year I determined it wasn’t.
Why I Chose to Cancel American Express Business Platinum Card
Airline Credits Mean Less to Me Than They Used to
One thing you hear from bloggers (and that I’ve told myself) is that “well, the fee is only $250 when you take out the airline credit.” No, it isn’t. It’s $200 in cash that you are forced to spend on a specific airline. (Yes, I know of the hacks out there to get around this, but let’s play by the rules for the purpose of this post.)
I’m currently sitting on $600+ of American Airlines gift cards that I’m not using in the foreseeable future. In February (after I specified an airline) I achieved United Silver and Delta Silver (lite) via the Marriott Platinum challenge. Between that and the Southwest Companion pass, my reasons for choosing American are limited unless they’re the cheapest- and they almost never are.
Hotel Status Given Means Less to Me Than It Used To
Another benefit of the AMEX Business Platinum is the automatic SPG Gold status. Because of the challenge above, I already have SPG Platinum.
So while hotel status in general means less to me traveling as a family, mid-level status means absolutely nothing.
Airline Lounge Access is Diminished
Between the disastrous for families guest limit, the tightening of Delta access for even myself, and flying more Southwest gateways (which have no lounges at all), I used my AMEX Lounge access only twice last year. SFO was nice for an hour and the EZE lounge was lovely. However, both required both my husband’s personal card and my business card to even access it with a family of four. I’m not keeping a card for two Centurion lounge visits when the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives Priority Pass with as many guests as I need.
The Pay With Points Rebate is Lessened
At a 50% rebate for flights with my chosen airline in economy or any flight in business, the pay with points rebate on the Business Platinum card was compelling. At 35% it’s about even with the 1.5 cents per dollar I get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve on any airline, in any class.
Customer Service has Tanked
This morning I waited five minutes on hold to get to an agent to cancel the card. The girl I spoke to noted that she wasn’t even born when I got my first American Express card in 1993. She also told me that she doesn’t even have an American Express card (!). She then tried to downsell me to the Gold card (which makes even less sense than the Platinum) before canceling the card with no attempt at retention.
This is the person American Express sends a 24 year Platinum card member to?
Wow. Just wow.
(And yes, I could have HUCA, but the experience reminded me of why it wasn’t worth bothering to try again.)
I’m Not Ditching AMEX Entirely, But…
I still think Membership Rewards points have value and am keeping both my husband’s personal Platinum and my personal Gold cards for now. At the next renewal I’ll probably drop to one or the other.
However, Chase put up a compelling product with the Sapphire Reserve. I’ve yet to see American Express rise to the challenge to compete with it.
Where do you stand with American Express? Have I missed something? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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