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Forums Payment cards American Express Am I missing some value with the Platinum Card?

  • windym 20 posts

    I’m trying to justify keeping this card. I use the HN credits, dining credit in the UK and I did use it in Germany this year and have used the insurance cover. My big issue is to be covered by the Plat insurance, I have to pay on the card itself. Not a problem for paying in GBP but next year we are off to Mexico. Reward flights paid on the card but the hotel in Mexico is $11000. So with the forex rate charges I’m going to have to add $330 in fees. Booking direct with the hotel is the cheapest so that’s the way I will go.

    Paying $330 in fees sounds like a drop in the ocean compared to the total cost but when everything is added up, I think I will be well short of the fee. Am I missing a way to negate the FX fees so that the insurance will cover me?

    phil-lavin 75 posts

    Some thoughts here on the general value of the card. For most, it seems it doesn’t give the value of the fee: https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/to-cancel-or-not-to-cancel/

    Re avoiding FX. I just booked a reasonably expensive hotel in Tenerife for next summer. booking.com and the hotel’s direct price were identical however booking.com EUR to GBP rate is significantly more preferable than paying hotel in EUR plus Amex FX. You also earn Avios at a decent rate if you go through BA Exec Club referral link.

    If booking.com isn’t viable, 330 usd FX is a lot for the insurance it provides. You can get a pretty extensive single trip policy for much less than that. You can also get a pretty comprehensive free policy with HSBC Premier.

    NigelHamilton 207 posts

    Booking direct with the hotel is the cheapest so that’s the way I will go

    I strongly suspect that for a hotel of that value, the interline rate will be substantially less than the hotel’s direct booking engine. And you pay in GBP.

    If you’re willing to share the details of the hotel, dates, room category etc. I’d be happy to check for you. Or have you tried going through Emyr?

    On the question of the platinum card, it’s the cancellation insurance that requires payment by the platinum card, not the medical insurance. I agree those fees are far too much and requires some thinking to get round them, but in my view the true extra value from the platinum card (rather than the break even dining credits/insurance etc) comes in the form of free breakfasts and discounts through the hotel status’ and FHR. Usually I get about £1500 of value a year.

    StanTheMan 217 posts

    I’m trying to justify keeping this card. I use the HN credits, dining credit in the UK and I did use it in Germany this year and have used the insurance cover. My big issue is to be covered by the Plat insurance, I have to pay on the card itself. Not a problem for paying in GBP but next year we are off to Mexico. Reward flights paid on the card but the hotel in Mexico is $11000. So with the forex rate charges I’m going to have to add $330 in fees. Booking direct with the hotel is the cheapest so that’s the way I will go.

    Paying $330 in fees sounds like a drop in the ocean compared to the total cost but when everything is added up, I think I will be well short of the fee. Am I missing a way to negate the FX fees so that the insurance will cover me?

    Phone the hotel – put $200 or so on the Platinum, balance on another FX free card.

    JDB 4,360 posts

    I’m trying to justify keeping this card. I use the HN credits, dining credit in the UK and I did use it in Germany this year and have used the insurance cover. My big issue is to be covered by the Plat insurance, I have to pay on the card itself. Not a problem for paying in GBP but next year we are off to Mexico. Reward flights paid on the card but the hotel in Mexico is $11000. So with the forex rate charges I’m going to have to add $330 in fees. Booking direct with the hotel is the cheapest so that’s the way I will go.

    Paying $330 in fees sounds like a drop in the ocean compared to the total cost but when everything is added up, I think I will be well short of the fee. Am I missing a way to negate the FX fees so that the insurance will cover me?

    Phone the hotel – put $200 or so on the Platinum, balance on another FX free card.


    @StanTheMan
    – I think you may be confusing this with s75 where you can pay a small amount on a credit card but still be covered for the whole. The Plat insurance specifies that for Section 1.2 the “for the benefits under this section to apply transport and/or accommodation must have been Purchased in full using: the Card

    They aren’t quite as daft as you think!

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,201 posts

    This assumes you are pre-paying $11,000 though. If you are paying on departure, you can swipe an Amex at check-in and then, at check-out, pay on a 0% FX card if you’re still alive 🙂

    Clearly if you are pre-paying $11k months in advance then a) you’re a braver man than me and b) you don’t want to mess with the insurance rules – although in your case buying separate insurance purely to cover cancellation would be cheaper.

    andeh3 14 posts

    What’s the actual risk? Is the rate fully refundable, in which case the chances of you needing to use insurance is pretty low. Obviously that’s personal opinion and I understand as it’s such a big amount you might want extra insurance.

    If not refundable, as others have said try and find a rate in GBP or buy extra insurance.

    andeh3 14 posts

    As for value of plat, I agree and have cancelled mine. I think there is still value for a lot if you get a decent sign on, but for ongoing keeping the card after year 1, the amount of people that can find value must be dwindling fast.

    Carlos 758 posts

    P2 could get an amex gold, you could be listed as a supplementary card and use that as the t&cs stipulate you just need to use any amex card to be covered and get the extra MR points as a bonus in this situation.

    In return you would get 2x MR for every £1 (thats almost 18,000 MR points by doing so instead of 9,000). Something to consider

    JDB 4,360 posts

    What’s the actual risk? Is the rate fully refundable, in which case the chances of you needing to use insurance is pretty low. Obviously that’s personal opinion and I understand as it’s such a big amount you might want extra insurance.

    If not refundable, as others have said try and find a rate in GBP or buy extra insurance.

    If this were a fully refundable rate, the issue wouldn’t really arise. The benefits of s75 (so not using eg Curve/Revolut) and/or insurance shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s very common for resort hotels, particularly smaller independents to require substantial deposits at booking and full payment well before arrival. It’s also fairly standard for villa or Airbnb bookings. The insurance provides cover in case you need to cancel unexpectedly and s75 provides cover for all sorts of eventualities. @Carlos mentions getting the Gold card which gives 2-2.5MR for FX spend which is what I do for foreign flight/hotel bookings; the resulting benefit of the FX fee is a very small price to pay.

    windym 20 posts

    Hi thanks for all the replies. It is a refundable rate until the day before. The hotel is Excellence Riveria Maya and its for 2 rooms.I have tried around to get a better price in GBP so I could use the Plat but the hotel have very competitive rates booking direct.

    I didn’t realise medical is still covered even if I don’t pay with the card but I think I may just get rid of the Plat card and buy an all in one policy to cover everything. Thanks again.

    zapato1060 628 posts

    @JDB I find it ridiculous that Amex’s second level product “Gold” has better features than it’s leading supposedly premier offering “Plat”. You would think they would be adding the 2MR on foreign spend on the latter, but then many a Amex decision makes one bat an eyelid.

    Reney 763 posts

    @JDB I find it ridiculous that Amex’s second level product “Gold” has better features than it’s leading supposedly premier offering “Plat”. You would think they would be adding the 2MR on foreign spend on the latter, but then many an Amex decision makes one bat an eyelid.

    It’s only better if you value the benefit. You might get 2MR points on foreign spend but you have to pay FX fee which cancels out some of that. There are a number of FX free cards that you can use. For people whose % of total spend in other currency are not that high, the 2MR benefit before FX fee is very low.

    BBbetter 634 posts

    I find it ridiculous that Amex’s second level product “Gold” has better features than it’s leading supposedly premier offering “Plat”.

    Only in the first year. From the second year, its very poor value.

    Carlos 758 posts

    Isnt one of the platinum perk to be able to issue unlimited green and gold cards for supplementary holders? Only one plat supp included

    JDB 4,360 posts

    Isnt one of the platinum perk to be able to issue unlimited green and gold cards for supplementary holders? Only one plat supp included

    Only on the Plat charge that isn’t open to new applications. The Plat credit gets one Plat supp for free, further ones chargeable.

    JDB 4,360 posts

    @JDB I find it ridiculous that Amex’s second level product “Gold” has better features than it’s leading supposedly premier offering “Plat”. You would think they would be adding the 2MR on foreign spend on the latter, but then many an Amex decision makes one bat an eyelid.

    It’s only better if you value the benefit. You might get 2MR points on foreign spend but you have to pay FX fee which cancels out some of that. There are a number of FX free cards that you can use. For people whose % of total spend in other currency are not that high, the 2MR benefit before FX fee is very low.

    I think the very valid point @zapato1060 was making is that it is ridiculous for the most expensive flagship of Amex’s ‘big 3’ to have the lowest earnings rate. It’s also advertises itself as “Designed to heighten your travels” when it is in fact a highly undesirable card to use abroad.

    Guernsey Globetrotter 587 posts

    That it is an undesirable card in many ways is undeniable. It almost seems like Amex is banking on the ‘cachet’ of waving a metal card being sufficient in the mind of the average card applicant to trump these real world benefits. Seems bizarre to those of us on here who are all about the marginal gains but perhaps Amex’s data tells them that most people behave sub-optimally, given a shiny enough product ?!

    John 1,000 posts

    Seems bizarre to those of us on here who are all about the marginal gains but perhaps Amex’s data tells them that most people behave sub-optimally, given a shiny enough product ?!

    Plenty of people on here do things which would seem ridiculous to others to get shiny airline cards too

    Luca M 391 posts

    I am one of those that still find the Platinum Chargecard to give plenty of benefit and so at the moment planning to keep it even with the fee increase to £650.

    With regards to the commentary above, in terms of MR points earning, the rea flagship, the centurion, is equally bad, so it makes the Platinum earning rate not a big issue. I personally use the BAPP for most of my spend, and the Platinum for offers related spending only.

    With regards to the free additional green/gold cards on our Platinum Chargecard account, my understanding is that no matter the colour of the card, the earning rate will still be the one of the underlining card account, and thus the platinum, am I wrong?

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