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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.
- £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.
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?