AmEx Platinum Boingo Wireless And TSA Pre Check Benefits Coming Soon

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The Platinum Card® from American Express announced a couple of new benefits for cardmembers today. Admittedly for many cardmembers the card has lost some value lately due to the loss of access to American Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs, and the reduced guesting privileges for Delta SkyClubs.

So it’s always nice to see them add more benefits:

Complimentary Boingo Wireless Global Plan

Boingo Wireless is the world’s largest operator of wifi hotspots, with more than 700,000 worldwide in airports, retail, and hotel locations. Starting in June 2014, Platinum cardmembers will be able to enjoy unlimited complimentary access to wifi without worrying about data caps or roaming fees.  A similar service from Boingo offering 2000 minutes per month of global wifi access today costs $59.95 per month or $15.95 per airport visit.

Boingo-Wireless

Once enrolled, cardmembers will have simultaneous internet access for up to four devices with connection speeds three times faster than 3G.  Complimentary wifi for multiple devices means multiple family members can browse or stream their favorite Internet content.

TSA Pre Check Fee Waiver

TSA Pre Check is one of the greatest things to happen to the US flying experience in a long time, and frankly I don’t know how I could go back to the days before it. I get access to TSA Pre Check because I have Global Entry, which costs $100 to enroll in. The Platinum Card also offers a fee waiver on Global Entry as of 2011, so by using my Platinum Card to pay the Global Entry fee I got it reimbursed.

But if you don’t want to get Global Entry for whatever reason, you can instead get TSA Pre Check and American Express will reimburse you the $85 enrollment fee. Keep in mind that you can only get either this benefit or the Global Entry benefit once every five years. I don’t see much value in this since it’s almost easier to enroll in Global Entry than TSA Pre Check, but it’s certainly another option.

Bottom Line

Personally I think the Boingo Wireless benefit is cool, though I’m not sure how much I’ll use it in practice. The TSA Pre Check statement credit really doesn’t add much value over the Global Entry benefit, unless you’re somehow now eligible for Global Entry but are eligible for TSA Pre Check.

Despite some erosion in lounge access benefits over the years, The Platinum Card® from American Express is still worth the money to me. The annual fee is $550, and for that you get a $200 airline fee credit, which for my personal uses essentially lowers the annual fee to $350. Then you get access to Priority Pass Lounges, Delta SkyClubs when traveling on Delta-operated flights (without guesting privileges), the amazing Centurion Lounges, American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, etc.

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Comments

  1. Boingo may be a huge thing for international travel, so long as it allows for use of 3rd party SSIDs outside of airports, (one example that comes to mind is TRUEWifi in Bangkok city)

  2. Does this mean we can access Gogo inflight internet too? (They offer Boingo as a roaming partner login). If so, that’s way more awesome than just Boingo alone.

  3. I use Gogo PLENTY internationally (I’m a monthly customer), so this is a very nice benefit. Not as financially meaningful as the lounge access, but still very nice.

    Question: Where do you get this news?? I got nothing by email or when I signed on this morning to my account.

  4. These are nominal additions at best. Like band-aids on bullet wounds. Boingo is a limited benefit (as it doesn’t apply to the Go-Go partnership), and no one in their right mind would apply for Free Pre-Check instead of Free Global Entry – an already existing card benefit. Garbage additions compared to lost lounge access, minimal points earnings (compared to the new “Everyday Amex” and much cheaper Gold Card), and Companion Flies Free benefit.

  5. Lounge access is so much more valuable to me — since you get free wifi inside the lounge. I would much prefer a statement credit to use or upgrading the priority pass to the prestige level.

  6. @Greg @lucky The TSA precheck waiver helps those who don’t have a passport, a subset of Americans larger than those with a passport. You can’t get Global Entry without having a passport, but there are certainly a large number of frequent flyers who fly only domestically and don’t need a passport, which costs almost $150 to get at the present time.

  7. Except that the subset of those carrying the Amex Platinum card who don’t have a passport is probably miniscule – since the Card’s primary benefits (at least used to be) for travel.

  8. I pay for boingo mobile currently. so this worths 100 USD to me. i was thinking to cancel the card at the end of May after my 10 runs on delta boxing day fare. but now, i incline to keep it.

  9. While not intended, couldn’t a cardholder sign up for Global Entry for himself, and then sign up & pay for a travel companion’s Pre-Check fee to maximize the benefit without paying for additional AX cards?

  10. I am very mad with the changes in the benefits on my Amex Platinum but I find that they still have great benefits if you know how to use them, for example, I just booked 10 hotel nights using their Fine Hotels Program and I saved way more than $1k by using their service by getting 4th night free at Trump and St Regis hotels in Hawaii plus free breakfast, etc…

  11. @Greg If we want to get into smaller sample sizes, I personally know of a person who travels internationally 3-4 times per year at a minimum, and has an Amex Platinum card. However, due to a minor court appearance 20+ years ago, Global Entry told this person that the person was not eligible for Global Entry. I do believe that this issue would not be a problem for TSA Precheck though, so if this person wants Precheck, GE is not a valid path. This new benefit would be helpful for this person in a way that GE is not.

  12. I guess now when we’re sitting on the floor by the gate, sipping our bottles of water that we had to pay $6 for, at least we’ll have internet access.

  13. Why would you use the BA Card if you value avios at only 1.3 cents per mile? Get the 2% cash back card. Unless that is not what you really value miles at….

  14. I cancelled the card a few months ago. But now the new added benefit makes the card look interesting again. Is it possible to sign up again within 1 year of cancellation to get another sign up bonus?

  15. A quick search using their map to locate some of those claimed 700,000 locations shows the vast majority are free access anyway. In fact in my area most are residences where the owners either accidentally or on purpose set their wifi up without a passcode. Virtually every one had a red dot to indicate it was “unverified.”

    In other words, take what these guys say with a large grain of salt. Free is free but free often means not very useful. I’d bet more than 90% of these supposed locations aren’t going to be something you can access because they no longer exist or the owners have put a passcoe on them.

  16. I’m curious how the TSA Precheck/GE benefit will work for border state residents. As a Washington State resident I qualify for a NEXUS pass which costs $50 and includes TSA Precheck and Global Entry. Will Amex still credit the full $100, essentially PAYING you $50?

  17. Nexus doesn’t include Global Entry – GE includes Nexus (Sentri, and others). Your Nexus membership gives you no privileges aside from Canada/US or Canada/Mexico.

  18. @ markiteight — I don’t believe American Express is offering a statement credit for Nexus anymore, unfortunately, just Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. Some people have had success with it, but it’s not a published benefit that I know of.

  19. @ Greg – That is not correct. Nexus includes TSA Pre Check AND Global Entry. I have a Nexus card but I have yet to actually use it for travel to Canada. I got it primarily for the Global Entry and TSA Precheck that are included in the $50 fee.

    @ Lucky – There is no need for additional enrollment in GE or Pre Check when applying for Nexus. All three are included as standard for the nominal $50 fee. This information is current as of five months ago when I applied for and received my Nexus credentials.

    I’m quite sure you don’t get Nexus with Global Entry. But even if you could, why would someone want to pay $100 for GE to get Nexus when you can pay $50 for Nexus and get GE?

  20. One reason is because several other countries accept Global Entry, and you could use it to express through their customs and immigration lines. Nexus will not give you that ability.

  21. Boingo is nice but doesn’t make up for the loss of other benefits.

    PreCheck, I guess, is for those that only travel domestically but Global Entry is obviously a better deal (or Nexus if you can get it).

  22. i think the best platinum card to get currently is the mercedes benz personal one. higher bonus offer, plus although $25 more in annual fees, it comes with a $100 MB accessories voucher – one could buy $100 worth of stuff and hawk it on ebay. picking the card up in the middle of a calendar year gives one time to claw back the calendar year $200 incidentals as well… in theory the whole $475 is recoverable.
    http://www.igobyplane.com/2014/03/27/is-the-amex-platinum-charge-card-worth-it/

  23. A word on Boingo, as someone mentioned above that most locations are free… The free offers are often in limited locations, and almost always limited to times between 10 and 30 minutes, and the connection is also quite slow. The paid version is much faster and more readily available.

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