Why I have both an American Express Platinum Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card

One of the questions I’m often asked is why it’s worth it carry both the American Express Platinum card and the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, since both have fairly hefty fees. As a user of both, I wanted to explain my methodology behind having both in my wallet.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

Amex recently added some new benefits to this card, so for the purposes of discussing the true value behind what this card is worth, I’ll go ahead and talk about the new benefits as well.

This card will soon have a $195 fee, up from the current $175 fee.

It gives me:

  • 2x Membership Rewards points on Dining
  • 2x Membership Rewards points on Gas
  • 2x Membership Rewards points on Groceries
  • 3x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from the airline
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $100 annual airline fee rebate

It used to have a 15,000 point bonus when you spent $30,000 in a calendar year, but that benefit has since been removed, unfortunately. For me, this is my go-to every day spending card because of the categories I can earn bonus points on, but also because it comes with the protection American Express cards provide, as well as excellent customer service, which is important to me. Even with the removal of the 15K bonus, I’ll still get value out of the dining bonus and new airline fee rebate. That’s $195 well spent.

The American Express Platinum Card

Ar $450, this is one of Amex’s highest cost cards available to the public. Surprisingly, it remains in my wallet just like my Premier Rewards Gold Card, but for different reasons.

  • Centurion Lounge access – maybe it’s just me, but I’ll sometimes purposely connect in Dallas or another city featuring the lounges just to experience the great food and beverage offering.
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts – for me, I’ve gotten great value on receiving hotel credits, suite upgrades, breakfasts and more, sometimes at rates comparable to what is being offered to the general public, without all the benefits.
  • Delta SkyClub access – while I no longer fly Delta, it’s nice to know I have access when I need it.
  • Increased purchase protection benefits.
  • Concierge service, which I’ve used multiple times to book show tickets, restaurant reservations and other odd inquiries.
  • Priority Pass Membership, which allows me into Alaska Board Rooms
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $200 yearly airline fee rebate
  • Fee credit for TSA Pre-Check
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Why Keep Both?

So, the Premier Rewards Gold Card has a $195 fee, minus the $100 airline credit, which brings the cost down to $95. The Platinum card is $450, but subtracting the $200 airline credit, it’s a $250 fee. Combined that’s a $345 fee for membership rewards bonuses, lounge access, and the opportunity to book premier hotels at a discount. Juts based off of the Fine Hotels and Resorts program, I’ve saved enough money to cover the cost of both cards, which is why I’ll keep both in my wallet for years to come.

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Comments

  1. says

    I have the Business version and after reading your post I decided to look into the personal version as my business card does not offer any $100 airline fee rebate. Looking at the T&C for the personal card, I see no mention of this benefit!

  2. Antonio says

    Your logic to keep those cards totally makes sense. I do not travel as frequently as you. Do you think keeping those two cards would make sense for casual travelers such as myself?

      • Antonio says

        How? Any way I possibly can, haha. I’m new to the miles/points game, so I look to be able to enjoy 2-3 international vacations per year in first/business class. I think that’s what you were asking…

  3. Nick says

    James,

    I checked out the FHR site using a friends login credentials. I compared the room and cost to the room and costs listed on Expedia. I did this for a bunch of different hotels, firing different times of the year. I noticed that FHR would list the basic room, and charge the price that expedia had listed (or close to it) for the next upgraded room. Whole your still getting the free breakfast, or the $100 voucher, it seems that it forces you to spend more than is necessary.

    What are your thoughts?

    • says

      I find them to be comparable price, and worth it due to the extra perks. Even if they are expensive, as long as it’s not over $100 more, I’d still be getting the value of the F/B credit, if I didn’t have plans otherwise for food on my trip. While it lists a basic room, you are upgraded at time of check-in, so you can pretty much assume you’ll receive the next category or a suite in some cases, even though that’s what you are not booking.

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