The Amex Platinum Equinox benefit is no longer active. Amex Platinum used to offer numerous free Equinox perks, such as 2 personal training sessions, spa discounts and guest passes, when purchasing an Equinox Fitness Club membership with an Amex Platinum or Platinum Business card. American Express dropped the benefit from both cards at the end of 2013.
While there’s no indication Amex Platinum Equinox perks will ever return, the Amex Centurion “Black” card added its own Equinox benefit at the end of 2019. The high-end fitness center’s Destination Access Membership is free to all Centurion cardholders. It includes access to all 100+ Equinox facilities throughout the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. The benefit has a $3,600 annual value.
The American Express Platinum card is worth it if you travel frequently, spend a lot, and can take advantage of the card’s many benefits. American Express Platinum card benefits include Uber and airline fee credits, lounge access and more. But the American Express Platinum card is not worth it if you rarely travel and won’t spend enough ($5,000 in the first 6 months) to qualify for the card’s initial bonus: 75,000 points. That bonus, along with the card’s annual travel credits, goes a long way toward affording the American Express Platinum card’s $550 annual fee.… read full answer
But before you decide, let’s do a little bit of math to see whether the American Express Platinum card is worth the expense, starting the first year.
Here’s more info about the American Express Platinum card:
Annual fee: $550
Initial bonus: 75,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first 6 months
Rewards earned: 1 - 5 points per $1, depending on the type of purchase
Annual Uber credit: Up to $200, annually
Annual airline fee credit: Up to $200, annually
Saks Fifth Avenue Credit: Up to $100, annually
Lounge access: $429
TSA pre-screening or Global Entry application waiver: $85 or $100, respectively
So, for your first year alone, you could wind up with hundreds of dollars in net value. And that doesn’t even factor in the card’s normal, purchase-based rewards. Normal spending could add even more, too, if your purchases qualify for the American Express Platinum card’s ongoing bonus rewards rates: 5 points / $1 spent on airfare and prepaid hotel stays booked through American Express. Similarly, there are other benefits that you could take advantage of, including Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors loyalty programs and complimentary amenities worth with an average of $550 per stay at participating Fine Hotels and Resorts.
Now let’s look at the card’s second year. You’re still paying the $550 annual fee, but you no longer have an initial bonus to help make up for it. Also gone in year two is the value of the pre-screening application waiver, if you use it year one. As a result, if you spend the same amount as the first year, the total value of your benefits wouldn’t be much more than the annual fee. So, you’d be putting in and getting out about the same amount of value. To really make money with this card after the first year, you’d have to spend a lot more.
So, the American Express Platinum card is a good card for big spenders who travel all the time and can wring every drop of value out of its benefits. But it’s too expensive for light spenders and occasional travelers.
To get American Express Platinum’s annual fee waived, call the American Express retention department at 1 (800) 452-3945. State that you’re considering cancelling or switching cards because of the high annual fee.
American Express typically does not waive annual fees entirely, but it may offer a side benefit to offset the Platinum card’s $550 annual fee. Retention offers traditionally include statement credits, bonus points or spending bonuses. If there’s no offer, a customer can always cancel the card. Downgrading to an American Express card with a lower annual fee is also an option.… read full answer
If you’re requesting an annual fee waiver because of financial hardship, American Express offers a financial relief program for eligible cardholders. If you qualify, American Express will waive the annual fee, but depending on the program, you may not be able to use your Platinum card while you’re enrolled.
There is still another way you could possibly get American Express Platinum’s annual fee waived. If you’re a military member who meets the requirements for benefits under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), American Express will waive Amex Platinum’s $550 annual fee every year that you’re on active duty. You’ll still get all of the card’s benefits, which include 5 points per $1 spent on airfare booked through Amex Travel, $200 annual credits for both airline fees and Uber rides, and more.
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