The Deal Mommy

Why I Chose to Cancel American Express Business Platinum Card

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. 

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

 


25 thoughts on “Why I Chose to Cancel American Express Business Platinum Card

  1. Philco

    Funny I called in this week to cancel an Amex MR card (more on that in a minute). After being on hold for 15+ mins., I gave up and used online chat which was instantaneous to connect so that might be better for some. The guy was very helpful but the only offer I got was to downgrade to a no fee card though honestly I wasn’t really looking for a reason to keep the card.

    I am going to be cancelling all my MR cards in the next month or so due to my MR point balance being frozen despite no recent Amex signups (in over a year). Which is the second time it has happened to me so MR is off my list for the moment. If I cannot use the points when I need them then I’ll earn elsewhere. Especially since Amex insists on enforcing “stealth” freezes so you have no idea you are frozen until you actually try to use the points. I have no problem with Amex auditing accounts but at the very least they should communicate this in some fashion and set clear expectations on how long the audit will last.

    MR freeze aside my analysis is similar to yours for most part. I don’t fly through Centurion airports enough to make that worth while at this time (in two years I haven’t hit one so far though I will get to try one this month finally). I get better PP access with my Prestige, as well as 4th night free and much easier airline credit which I use easily each year it also has somewhat broader bonus categories. The 35% rebate on purchase with points is not enough for me to keep by Bus Plat either once my grandfathered 50% period ends in the near future.

    Basically the only real value I get out of Amex MR cards these days in comparison to other cards is the MR points but the freezes kill it for me. In the absence of the freeze I would have likely would have kept the personal Plat due to airline credit + uber credit + 5x on air fare was + Delta lounge access (though soon to be degraded) was enough for me and I want to be a decent customer to them. I would have also kept several other MR cards with AFs some of which I have held for years. On the bright side for Amex I do intend to keep my several non-MR cards with them.

    That said I wouldn’t be surprised to see Citi further degrade the Prestige since they seem have given up on the premium card market (by their own admission) so who knows maybe I’ll be back in the future. I don’t have the CSR because of 5/24 which I’ll be under again in the near future so maybe I’ll consider that. I have space for one or two premium ($450 cards) in my wallet but at this point Amex isn’t making the cut.

  2. Boraxo

    Glad you have discovered that amexsux.com

    No reason to pay inflated fees just to visit a couple of lounges you don’t really need

  3. P

    I’m kind of torn whether to cancel it in April. On the other hand, I’ve gotten two great Amex offers that never would have appeared in my other Amex cards. But on the other hand, I’ve had a tough time using the airline fee credit. Certain airline gift cards don’t seem to work and the one airline I chose no longer works. Then there’s that reduction of MR back from 50% to 35%. I also seem to have bad luck when trying to access Centurion lounges – I was at PHL a day before their lounge there opened, 3x connecting in SEA and Alaska was late 3x reducing connections from 2-3 hours to barely 30 minutes, 3x in SFO but only once that I was in the correct terminal with enough time to go to the lounge, and I got lost in Las Vegas. I think I’ll switch to the upcoming Hilton Aspire for Priority Pass when it comes out and see how that is.

  4. AlwaysFlying

    I’m a big fan of schwabing out. 1.25c per point is very rewarding with high balances and makes for the best redemption of all reward programs. AMEX points therefore have no match. No lounge access or flight credits can beat cash. Invested cash increases on value while points decrease in value. Therefore that is my next step and am looking forward to a nice fat cash bonus coming my way early next year. Once I cancel my Schwab Plat in about a year: Adios Amex until the next cycle of changes. Its been the greatest ride ever considering the two ANA business round trips and the load of cash coming my way.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      I think Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents a point give MR a run for their money. Hotel transfer partners are much better, too. I haven’t dabbled with Schwab or Ameriprise- may be my next step after Deal Dad cancels his Platinum. Or I may go the other direction entirely and pick up a no-fee everyday card. Thanks for your analysis- I know it’s helpful to many.

  5. stvr

    You can sell the GCs on Raise dot com. Assuming $170 for $200, the AF is now $280. Doesn’t seem like you’re getting $280 of value, though.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      That’s a really good way to put it. Kinda like Hyatt: a bad boyfriend who gives you just enough to stick around.

  6. Pingback: Canceling AMEX Platinum, AA Boeing 737 MAX Flight, FSA or HSA, Derbent - TravelBloggerBuzz

  7. Becky

    I haven’t had the platinum in years at this point…if another 100K offer comes out (I’m not targeted in the current round), I’m sure I’d sign up for the bonus alone and for a few benefits during that 12 months. IMO if you’re paying a fee, the Reserve is far better. Prestige & Platinum are tied in my book.

  8. Michael

    I’m going through the same argument now with my wife’s biz card (we only need access for 3 people plus I have authorized users on my personal card). She called and there were no retentions. However, my hesitation to close it is that I make enough Amex offer credits to actually make money on the annual fee. I think that angle is missing from your argument to close it. Unless you don’t have time to leverage as much Amex offers.

  9. weedibix

    The Plat makes sense to me only in its first year with a welcome bonus or in the case of Ameriprise, with its annual fee waived. Then it is an excellent deal.

    After 1 year, the costs climb while the benefits (if you got a welcome bonus) diminish greatly.

    For offers, consider the many other amex no annual fee or annual fee waived cards.

    For Plat benefits, consider a new Ameriprise.

    Make sure to keep the card long enough to collect your 2018 airline credit.

  10. JakePB

    No one ever seems to mention the pointless and dishonest “tax” Amex imposes on transfers made to airline partners. Fore, that is the biggest indignity of all.

      1. weedibix

        You can often avoid this by using non-US programs, which Amex does not “tax”.

        Like Flying Blue instead of Delta.

  11. John Caffrey

    No one ever talks about the Bank of America Premium Rewards card as an alternative to any/most of the so called “premium” cards. For $95 a year you get a $100 travel credit plus the $100 TSA/Global Entry credit every four years, plus travel insurance. If you can find the way to deposit $100k in a companion brokerage account the travel and dining points go to 3.5 cents and 2.6 cents on everyday spend. This card is why I am ditching the AMEX product..

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