Much has been written about the news that holders of the Platinum Card from American Express® will lose access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs in March 2014. Speculating about what could have gone on behind the scenes to bring this about is always interesting. One could imagine that with the upcoming merger of the combined airlines’ club products, there could be more demand than lounge capacity with keeping Platinum Card holders in the mix. It’s also not difficult to imagine a scenario where the new airline’s credit card issuer(s) began to throw their weight around not unlike the Chase – United relationship.
Without much question, this move makes the Citi Executive AAdvantage card a near go-to product for American Airlines flyers. I say “near” because there is always the possibility that you are happy with whatever credit card product you have and could just (gasp) join the Admirals Club if you’re a regular AA flyer.
But What About Keeping the Platinum Card?
Well, like all things…that depends. Personally, as the card with my longest credit history, and one I have maintained for a long time is a card for almost every frequent travelers wallet, I am leaning towards keeping it. There are some things that work in the card’s favor in my situation.
- I fly Delta almost exclusively and the card will continue to provide Sky Club access.
- The American Express Centurion lounges are quite nice, and are expanding beyond DFW and LAS.
- The Cruise Privileges Program (CPP) remains a benefit of the card, and I do get to use this benefit from time to time.
- The $200 airline fee credit.
- SPG Gold Status.
Now, that’s a list of benefits that are uniquely beneficial to me as a Delta flyer and frequent floater. Working against keeping the card.
- I already have Sky Club access via my Delta Reserve Business Card.
- I am frequently prevented from using Cruise Privileges benefits with my primary cruise line, Royal Caribbean, because I cannot combine CPP benefits and the benefits of my Diamond Plus status with Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program. My Diamond Plus benefits are almost always of greater value.
- I can downgrade the Platinum Card to another Amex product, maintain my credit history, and no longer pay a $450 annual fee.
The bottom line on this – while I’m leaning towards keeping the card, the value proposition has changed a bit. I don’t fly American that much anymore, but that’s not the same as never flying American, and I liked having Admirals Club access when I did. The annual fee will be due next month, and for the first time in a long time there is a real chance that I make a change. More on this coming soon. Are you a Platinum Card holder, and have you made any decisions on keeping the card? I’d love to hear your comments.