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I have a great credit score and banks are offering me a platinum credit card from American Express, is it worth the $550 yearly fee?I have been an American Express Business Platinum Card member since 1995. In that time the fees have gone up from $250 per year to over $500 per year now, but in that time the benefits have gone up too. I used to carry the Personal Platinum Card also, but I dropped my personal account back to Gold since most of the benefits I was getting were on the Business side and the Business Platinum benefits are MUCH better than the Personal Card benefits. There are dozens of ways to justify the fees, regardless of price. Most of those are little known, rarely documented and rarely used features.Purchase Protection: If you buy something and it is a no return non-refundable item, there is a good chance that AMEX will give you your money back for that item. The annual limit seems to vary, but I have heard that AMEX has gone as high as $3,000 in a year for one customer, likely due to their volume. I have done $1,000 in one year and routinely do $300 on transactions I get jammed up in.Travel Benefits: Access to upscale lounges in airports is enough for me. I will be going to Miami next week and my return trip on Wednesday will be at 9PM. I will get to the airport about 7PM and hang out for 2 hours in pure luxury in the lounge at MIA. I use this feature all the time for FREE food and free drinks and a place to crash away from the common folk. There are also baggage fees and other things you can get back. At $50 per bag additional baggage fees, you can make your money back just on that.Concierge Services: This is why after more than 20 years, I am still a Platinum member. These women (and they are always women for some reason) are AMAZING. Smart, sexy, capable and have bailed my ass out of a jam a number of times. I have been traveling and my hotel reservation was lost and everything is sold out and I am jammed up. Call their 800 number and found a hotel down the street for half the rate I was going to pay saving me $250 and it was for an entire 3 bedroom suite and not just a normal room. I loved it. Thank you American Express. Need concert tickets in Las Vegas to the sold out for month Celine Dion Concert, no problem. Call the 800 number and Rachel apologizes “Mr. Miller, I am sorry, I do have two seats together but unfortunately they are on the 3rd row, would that be Ok?!” Hell yeah! Tickets to a sold out show and apologizes because they aren’t front row. Geez, I am getting all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.American Express has saved my ass more times that I can count. I don’t care if the fee for Business Platinum was $1,000 per month I would pay it.
How can I make the most out of the SPG American Express credit card?Here are some things to look for to ensure you get the most out of the SPG American Express:Before signing up for an SPG Amex, look to see what kind of welcome bonus you can expect by signing up. Typically, you can expect a welcome bonus of 20,000 Starpoints (value of $446). Look online for any promotions happening which allow you to earn more Starpoints by booking during specific times or destinations. For example, SPG has a promotion right now where you can earn 1,000 bonus Starpoints when at least one night of your eligibile stay of two nights or more at any SPG hotel includes a weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). When booking hotels, you can earn up to 3 Starpoints per dollar spent if you book a Starwood hotel through the Starwood website, hotel, call center, their travel agent or corporate booking tool with your SPG American Express credit card.If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be earning enough Starpoints for free hotel nights in no time! Now, once you have your Starpoints, there are many tips to maximize the value you receive for them. According to RateHub.ca, the average value you receive for a Starpoint is $0.0223; this value varies quite dramatically depending on the hotel you book. Here are four tips on how you can maximize your Startpoints:Book hotels in categories 1, 2 & 5Certain hotel categories offer greater value for your Starpoints. For example, on average when you book a category 1 hotel, you receive $0.0348/Starpoint. This is more than double the value you receive when booking a category 4 hotel, $0.0170. Hotels in categories 1 and 2 offer the greatest value for your Starpoints but are often in undesirable locations (near airports). The greatest value you can get for redeeming your Starpoints is by booking a Category 2 hotel in Central & South America. Here is a summary on the average value you can expect per hotel category:· Category 1 = $0.0348· Category 2 = $0.0300· Category 3 = $0.0191· Category 4 = $0.0170· Category 5 = $0.0224· Category 6 = $0.0175· Category 7 = $0.0151 2. Redeem your Starpoints for hotels in the most valuable regionsThe number of Starpoints required to book a hotel varies with each category but not by region. Also, the category levels are tied to the quality of the hotel rather than being directly linked to the price. Since each region requires the same amount of Starpoints, you receive better value for your Starpoints in regions with high hotel prices. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to see an example of our calculations. Here is a summary on the average value you can expect per region:· North America = $0.0253· Central & South America = $0.0199· Europe = $0.0238· Africa = $0.0238· Middle East = $0.0161· Asia Pacific = $0.02143. Compare hotel pricesThe value you receive for your Starpoints is largely tied to the price of the hotel. On average, certain regions offer more value but it’s still important to look within a region since there are still large price discrepancies between hotels. A higher hotel price does not always mean that a hotel is superior but most people do notice a difference between a $175/night hotel and a $350/night hotel. When redeeming Starpoints it’s important to take note of the price differences between hotels in that category. 4. Consider booking hotels with cash and pointsSome hotels will offer the option of booking with Cash and Points. Choosing to book with Cash and Points is a good option if you do not have enough Starpoints because you still receive good value. Usually, you will receive more value for your Starpoints by redeeming only points but in some situations you receive better value by choosing the Cash and Points option. Click the link below to see an example. To see a more detailed explanation on how to maximize the value of your SPG points visit RateHub.ca. Our page The Value of a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoint outlines the seven hotel categories in this program, their value by world region and more tips on how to maximize the value of your Starpoints.
What credit card is better to have? The Chase Sapphire Reverve or the American Express PlatinumThe Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Platinum are both great cards. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the way to go.However, my vote goes to the AMEX Platinum as the better card to have.Let’s take a quick look at the top benefits of the card!A $100 fee credit for Global Entry or an $85 fee credit for TSA Pre Check. This can be redeemed once every four years. TSA Pre will allow you to be expedited through airport security. If you don’t already have this, then you are missing out!A $200 annual airline fee credit. The credit can be applied towards things such as baggage fees, pet flight fees, and change fees. This credit is given by calendar year so you can redeem this multiple times within 12 months (eg. if you get the card in November of this year the credit will reset in January of next year). The only bad thing about this credit is that it can only be used with one airline (that you select).Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. This includes the legendary Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs (only when flying with Delta). With lounge access you’ll actually look forward to arriving at the airport early and relaxing!A $200 Uber credit. This is split into $15 monthly credits plus a $20 bonus in December. We wish the card didn’t limit the credit to $15/month, but it’s still a nice feature.Complimentary Gold status at Hilton and Starwood Hotels. Since Marriott acquired Starwood, the Gold status can be transferred from SPG to Marriott. The Gold status will offer you perks such as free wi-fi and late checkout which can be a lifesaver!Complimentary status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive. The car rental status upgrades will allow you to skip the line when picking up your car, and provide complimentary vehicle upgrades where available.No foreign transaction fees. This is a key feature for any international traveler. If you’re charging a foreign currency to your standard credit card, it would cost you over 2% extra for the currency conversion. With no FX fees on the AMEX platinum, you only pay what the banks pay to convert your currency.Access to the Global Dining Collection. The dining collection gives you access to exclusive events with famous chefs as well as things like special menus and complimentary beverages at their restaurants. To get access, just contact the Platinum concierge and they can arrange this for you.Access to the Platinum Concierge Service. The American Express Platinum concierge is the best in the business. We have used concierges from all of the premium credit cards, and AMEX has the best one – no contest. Their experience with getting access to special events is unparalleled.Robust travel insurance coverage. This is the best insurance coverage you’re going to find on a credit card. The insurance package covers car rental loss and damage, lost/stolen/damaged baggage, premium roadside assistance, and travel medical/accidents.If I was making a decision purely based on benefits, then I would not choose the AMEX Platinum over the Chase Sapphire Reserve. What really puts AMEX over the top for me is their customer service.Very few companies in the world treat their clients as well as American Express does. As a platinum member, you will have access to their platinum-only contacts as well as the platinum concierge. It’s tough to quantify the value of their customer service in dollar amounts, but if you’ve ever dealt with their team you get the feeling that AMEX employees genuinely care about solving your problem – whether it be a lost card, reversing fraudulent charges, making restaurant reservations, or making an insurance claim.Here’s some more information on the AMEX Platinum: American Express Platinum Review
How good does my credit score need to be to qualify for an American Express Platinum card?How good does my credit score need to be to qualify for an American Express Platinum card?Credit Score of 700–720 $550 annual fee Sufficient annual incomeSOURCE: American Express - /us/credit-cards/*The American Express Platinum card carries one of the highest annual fees for a card in its class and a rewards rate that pales in comparison to similar cards; however, you can’t beat its extensive list of luxury travel perks, including access to exclusive Centurion lounges.RelatedAmerican Express Platinum ReviewPlatinum Card® from American Express ReviewsAmerican Express Platinum Review: Luxury Isn’t CheapSOURCE: americanExpressFootnotes What is the Credit Score Needed for the American Express Platinum? - American Express Platinum Credit Score The Platinum Card from American Express review Is the Amex Platinum Worth the Annual Fee? - The Points Guy American Express Platinum Credit Score The Platinum Card from American Express review