There are a lot of things to love about the American Express Platinum Card and one thing not to love, the $450 annual fee. Last August I got in on a great sign-up bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after $5,000 of spend in the first three months. I met the minimum spend, got the points and they sat there for nearly a year.
I recently transferred them to Aeroplan for a business class award to Asia and used the scraps for the recent Amazon $25 off of $50 when using American Express points to pay. After using the airline fee credit to purchase $400 worth of Southwest gift cards between 2015 and 2016, it was time to cancel to make room for the Citi Prestige.
I called the American Express Platinum customer service number in hopes that they would offer me some kind of a retention offer, perhaps $100 off the fee or an incentive to spend for bonus points. After telling the rep that I was “considering” canceling the card he immediately transferred me to the team that handles this type of situation.
After listing to the 5 minute rant about the wonderful benefits I was finally asked why I wanted to cancel. I told him that the Citi Prestige was less restrictive on how the airline fee credit could be used, the fourth night free benefit was great, and they offered a better priority pass membership, etc. His response was, “Well they copied us” to which I replied, “yes, but they improved upon it.” I told him that I really love the Centurion Lounge benefit and that it was a big selling point for me.
Seeing where this call was heading, I flat out asked if there were any offers for me that would incentivize me to stay. There were not. This didn’t shock me since I had the card for less than a year and burned the points pretty quickly. After hearing that I decided it was time to let it go and cancel the card.
Beginning September 1, 2016 Amex will no longer prorate annual fees, meaning if you only keep the platinum card for six months, they will start charging you the full $450 instead of crediting back $225 after canceling. Thankfully, there are a number of other Platinum cards in the Amex portfolio, including the Mercedes Benz Platinum which I will go for next year.
The American Express Platinum is a great card to get when the sign-up bonus is big, but not one I would keep around long term. There are so many quirks and restrictions with American Express that really bother me. Keep in mind, if you have only had this card for a year and have put less than $50,000 in spend on it, don’t expect a retention offer. Amex has gotten a lot stingier over the years and have become very selective with these offers.