Big Changes to the Amex Platinum – New Benefits and a Higher Annual Fee

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HeadForPoints reported this morning on a number of changes being made to the Amex Platinum Card. The headline changes are as follows:

  • Annual fee increasing from £450 to £575 from 11th June. Existing cardholders will be charged £575 from their next renewal after 1st August.
  • Minimum spend required to trigger the sign up bonus is doubling from £2,000 to £4,000.
  • Fee for additional Platinum supplementary cards after the first free one is increasing from £170 to £285.

New benefits

  • £10 cashback per month on Addison Lee taxi rides.
  • £150 cashback each time you spend £150 (or local currency equivalent) on a onefinestay house or apartment rental. Don’t get too excited though – onefinestay rentals tend to cost a lot more than £150, so this isn’t anywhere near as generous as it might sound.
  • Platinum Card will be made from metal. Whether you see this as a benefit or not is a personal thing – I actually don’t like metal cards.

This is just a quick summary – for the full gory details, I’d recommend having a read of the HFP article here.

Bottom line

If you’re a regular Addison Lee customer, the Amex Platinum annual fee increase doesn’t really affect you that much – if you got the £10 back each month, you’re additional net cost would only be a fiver. If you can’t make use of that benefit though, this is a substantial increase that might well change your view on whether it’s worth getting/keeping the Platinum.

These latest alterations come hot on the heels of the sweeping changes Amex has already made over the last few months and it’s clear that a very different customer acquisition strategy is now being pursued, compared to what we had become used to in recent years. Perhaps the old system was too generous, but I’m not at all convinced that Amex will still have as many cardholders next year as it does this year.

Shrinking a business to concentrate on profitability can be a smart plan (better to have fewer profitable customers than a greater number of not profitable customers), though when you look at the changes as a whole, I do wonder if they’ve got the balance a bit wrong.

From a personal perspective, I’ll potentially be moving from always paying with an Amex whenever possible and usually holding an Amex Platinum, to possibly having significant gaps when I don’t have any sort of Amex whatsoever in my wallet.

What do you think about the changes? Do you think the Amex Platinum is still good value at £575 per year?

Comments

  1. Pangolin says

    Both those ‘benefits’ are completely useless to me. In general, I hate this new model of adding on ever higher costs (which apply to 100% of cardholders) but offsetting them with certain benefits (which may or may not be useful, but are never worth as much as the cash equivalent).

    It’s clear they’ve followed the US changes from a couple of years ago, but the US card gave Uber credits and airline credits which were much more useful than what the UK version offers.

    I had Platinum till last August but I certainly won’t be considering it any more.

  2. chris riches says

    Addison Lee, who? better to use a global or at least national entity, Uber, for example. Lets substitute the useless “one fine stay” with credit against an international chain, Marriott/Hilton/IHG? That’s a big increase. I travel a lot with family and family members have supplementary cards each with their own travel insurance. Perhaps I’ll charge them £50 each to help with the subscription. If I stop travelling, I’ll cancel my membership (member since 1985). A metal card is more likely to be swiped by airport security – they’re bad enough already, I don’t need another reason for a spot check when in a hurry at the airport. Just have to ensure that I claim enough on the insurance each year to break even. They make a bundle out of the commission on my charges plus 2.99% on international transactions, so its like being charged twice.

  3. Ian Roberts says

    I have been a Platinum card holder since 1992. There is a certain degree of exclusivity to being a Platinum member which, unless you are a high end user, comes at a cost.

    I have accepted the cost increases for the last few years but I cannot justify this latest increase; I for one will not be renewing again at this price and may not even bother downgrading the card but just walk away from it.

  4. Scott says

    I currently hold a gold card and had been considering platinum, but definitely not anymore. It’s just not cost effective for me. Shame!

  5. Jamesay says

    I agree with above comment on USA Amex platinum which gets better benefits like airline credit and Global Entry cashback. Yes time to leave after being platinum member since 1997!

  6. Julie says

    I really only kept my AMEX platinum for the ‘what appeared to be ‘ generous travel insurance ,hire car insurance benefits and the priority pass. That was until I had plan to go to Srilanka after my initial flight to India tomorrow. Post the terrorist incident on Easter Sunday and UK foreign office advice not to travel – I thought with the AMEX insurance I would be safe and able to get a curtailment reimbursement – ABSOLUTELY NOT. The second leg of he journey is not covered.
    Axa who run the insurance we’re adamant and AMEX abdicated responsibility – loads of platitudes but no movement. So in effect not covered if I go either as the Government advice is standing yet no help with costs for curtailing holiday. I have looked at cover elsewhere ( and although I won’t be covered for this trip) terrorist cover curtailment cover etc for a year are @ £300 + you can buy excess damage cover for around £60 per annum ( rather than paying the astronomical scam charges when renting a car from any company to cover excess damage etc) Priority passes can also be bought for less than £200 pounds a year but seeing as their lounges are becoming just a self service place to hang out I’d rather not bother and get a decent ( theirs are now powdered coffee not fresh ground) coffee from Pret A Manger.
    Bitterly dissapointed with AMEX and on return from this trip will be telling AMEX where to put their platinum card!!!!

  7. Edward says

    I currently have a Platinum card but on hearing this news, I’m struggling to see how I could possibly justify the increase come my renewal. I simply can’t. More importantly how can they justify increasing the fee for what appears to be less in return?

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