Details on the American Express Platinum annual fee credit

As I blogged about last week, the partnership between American Express and Continental is ending September 30, 2011. That means that American Express cardholders will no longer get access to Presidents Clubs, and also that Continental OnePass will no longer participate in Membership Rewards.

To make up for this loss, American Express is adding a couple of benefits for Platinum members, including a $200 airline fee credit. Here’s how it was described back then:

Cardmembers can check a bag or enjoy an in-flight meal on American Express. Every year American Express will cover up to $200 of incidental airline fees that are charged on the Cardmember’s enrolled Card on a selected airline. The $200 Airline Fee Credit can apply to fees such as baggage fees, flight change fees, in-flight food and airport lounge day passes.

I was curious about what the terms and conditions would be. Well, they’re out now, and can be reviewed here. To summarize, the benefit starts on December 1 of this year, and the cardmember must enroll and choose a single airline to which they want to apply the $200 credit. The real catch is that you have to use your American Express card to purchase the ticket if you want to get any sort of discount for the incidentals.

Overall this is a nice new benefit. For those that don’t fly Continental, this is probably a net gain. For those that fly Continental, it’s probably a net loss, since you’ll have to find a new way to gain access to the Presidents Clubs.

Comments

  1. Meh. Considering the high annual fee and that the benefits have been deteriorating for a while I’ll be ditching the amex card this year.

    Having to nominate an airline makes it pretty useless for those of us with no airline loyalty.

  2. As a CO Gold, this is a loss for me. I joined UA Red Carpet, so no lounge fees there. Amex still gets me into AA, DL, US and *G covers international travel. I can’t figure which airline I should nominate.

    As for why Amex Plat, simple. It’s the medical concierge service. Twice in 15 years I’ve gotten very sick on the road and out of the US. I called Ames and spoke to the local equivalent of a paramedic or physician’s assistant, got a prescription phoned into a local pharmacy and sent a bellman to pick it up. In one of those cases, it got worse and I needed a doctor. Amex recommended a clean and safe clinic where the staff spoke good [enough] English (in Hungary).

    I consider the additional fee as $30/month travel health insurance. All the other features are bonuses. (Tho saving the club fee was, indeed, a very nice sweetener).

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