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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.
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.
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.