Big Changes Coming to Amex Platinum: Metal Card, Car Hire Credit, Higher Fee and More
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American Express UK is known for offering quite a range of credit card products. Its most premium of which, The Platinum Card from American Express, is widely considered to be the most premier credit card in the UK.
On Monday, American Express UK announced a slew of changes to its flagship Platinum Card from American Express, which are set to take effect beginning 11 June, 2019.
New Platinum Card Benefits
First of all, there are some positive changes:
- New metal cards — Newly issued Platinum Cards will be made of a metal material — the same as the Platinum Card offering in the US. This certainly makes the physical card feel a lot more premium, and has a ‘Wow’ factor when dropping the card down to pay a bill. With the metal design, the card number will move to the back of the card. Beginning 11 June, existing Platinum cardholders will automatically be issued a metal card upon their card expiry date. Additionally, supplementary Platinum cards will also be made of the metal material.
- Monthly private taxi hire credit — Platinum cardholders will get a monthly credit of £10 when booking a car with Addison Lee. The credit does not rollover or accumulate if you do not use this each month.
- Rental stay credit — Cardholders will get a US$200 (£150/€170) credit for every ‘OneFineStay‘ house rental of a minimum US$200 (£150/€170) in spend. Note that many properties have a minimum three-night booking policy, so you may have to spend significantly more than this to get the discount. This isn’t an annual or one-time credit. Instead, you’ll get the credit for each qualifying OneFineStay rental. You must opt in to receive this benefit once it goes live on the Amex site on 11 June.
To make the card seem more valuable for UK residents, Amex is also highlighting that its London Heathrow (LHR) Centurion Lounge is set to open later this year. The Platinum Card grants access to all Centurion Lounges, however, there are currently none in the UK. The soon-to-be-opened LHR Centurion Lounge will be located in Terminal 3.
Additionally with these changes, Amex is adding the ability to book Global Dining Collection reservations via the Amex app. It’s also adding a mobile messaging feature in the Amex app so you can more easily contact customer service.
Unfortunately, these positive changes are somewhat overshadowed by several negative changes:
- Annual fee — Beginning 11 June, the annual fee for new members increases from £450 to £575. For existing Platinum cardholders, the higher £575 fee will be charged on your next anniversary date that is on or after 1 August, 2019.
- Supplementary cardholders — The cost to add supplementary cardholders to your account is also increasing from £170 to £285. The first Platinum supplementary card remains complimentary. However, after that, you’ll have to pay the increased fee. This was a change that many predicted to come, as the previous £170 fee was low, considering the slew of benefits — elite status, lounge membership and more — that came with being a supplementary cardholder.
- Welcome bonus minimum spend — While the number of points you’ll earn as part of the welcome bonus is staying the same, you’ll have to spend more in order to get them. The required spend to obtain the 30,000-point welcome bonus is increasing from £2,000 in the first three months, to £4,000 in the same time period.
This card retains the most benefits of any UK-issued American Express card. Though with the increased annual fee, another card such as the British Airways Premium Plus Card from American Express UK may be a better overall value proposition. Of course, that depends on your circumstances and spending habits.
If you’re able to maximise the benefits added to the Platinum Card, such as the monthly car hire credits and OneFineStay savings, the increase to the annual fee likely won’t be a deal breaker. For example, if you use the £10 monthly Addison Lee credit for one year, that’s £120 in savings — just less than the £125 increase in the annual fee.
You can read of our full review of the Platinum Card from American Express UK (for applications prior to these changes going into effect) here.
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