Possible New Amex Platinum Card Changes Coming Soon

I received a survey yesterday asking my opinion on some possible changes they’re considering for their Platinum card. Of course, there were several disclaimers indicating that the changes being posed were only “possible” changes, and that nothing had been determined yet, but nonetheless I found some of them very interesting.

Amex Platinum

Here’s the new benefits I was asked to rate, and below each, in italics, my thoughts:

Amex Price Rewind

If a purchase you make with your Card is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed for the difference up to $500 per item.

This is a great benefit, since most other premium credit cards seem to offer some type of purchase protection for pricing. This puts the Amex Platinum back in line with other credit cards of the same benefit.

Tech Concierge

Unlimited technical support with your mobile device, home computer, television and everything you connect to. From set-up and troubleshooting, to simply discovering new features is just a phone call away.

Personally, I find this useless. I have Apple Care on my Apple devices, and don’t need any additional support.

Mobile Device Insurance

Set up your monthly wireless device bill for recurring automatic bill payment on your Card and if your mobile device is lost, stolen or damaged, you’re protected for the actual purchase value (up to $600 subject to a $25 deductible).

I already have insurance on my cell phone, so like the tech insurance above, a useless benefit for me.

Amex AirCare

Use the Amex AirCare Mobile App to register your upcoming trip. If a travel issue arises you will automatically receive help rebooking a missed connection, making your wait more comfortable and replacing lost luggage quickly. You will also receive alerts to problems like a missed connection or flight delay – often before they are posted at the airline, so you are informed about any changes and are first in line for rebooking options.

This one is interesting and one I wouldn’t necessarily discredit right off of the bat. On the outside, it seems like a pointless benefit for those with elite status. However, too often, I find myself on partner flights where there doesn’t seem to be as proactive attention as their should be, or on a non-alliance (where I have elite status) flight airline, where I don’t have status to protect me. I could also see this helpful for award tickets, if they were eligible for such protection.

Flight Watch

If the cost of an airfare purchased on AmexTravel.com decreases (up until 14 days prior to your trip), you can be refunded the difference up to $500 per ticket.

This one doesn’t appeal to me for one key reason – airfare must be booked on AmexTravel.com, where I won’t be able to redeem Barclay Arrival miles or earn 3x Membership Rewards points on the Amex Premier Rewards Gold.

Warranty Protection

Increase warranty length For items with original warranty of 2-5 years:
Add 2 years to the original warranty (vs. currently only 1 year)

Not really helpful to me, but I could see this coming in handy.

For items with original warranty of 2 yrs. or less: Add additional warranty equal to the original warranty (e.g., 18 month original warranty gets 18 additional months extended warranty) vs. currently capping the additional matching warranty at 1 year or less

Not really helpful to me, but I could see this coming in handy.

Expand the Extended Warranty protection so that it serves as the primary warranty (such that you would not need to file your loss with the original provider or any other warranty provider). Note: This is different than the current policy which requires that you file your loss against the original warranty during time periods in which that original warranty is still active

Not really helpful to me, but I could see this coming in handy. I don’t usually have issues with warranties.

Increase warranty length: Add 1 additional year to the original warranty regardless of original warranty length (vs. current policy which adds 1 year for items with original warranty of 1-5 years and matches the original warranty for items with original warranties under 1 year [e.g., 6 month original warranty currently gets 6 additional months extended warranty])

Not really helpful to me, but I could see this coming in handy. I don’t usually have issues with warranties.

Premium Purchase Protection

Expand to primary coverage: Expand coverage to primary coverage (meaning that you would not need to file your loss with your primary insurance i.e., homeowners insurance) vs. current coverage which only pays benefits not paid by your other insurance

This one is by far one of the best benefits there is here. I have used the purchased protection program several times, and on many of those occasions was denied my claim, simply because they told me the current program was only for secondary coverage and not primary coverage. While I did have several legitimate cases where I wanted to have protection, I could see this benefit abused by members.

Increase coverage length: Increase coverage length to 150 days from date of purchase (vs. current 90 days)

Not a bad offer in my opinion, since sometimes things don’t break or damage until far after purchase. Overall, a good idea.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Expand Type of Vehicles Included: Expand coverage to include full-size sport utility vehicles

Not really applicable to me since I don’t usually rent SUV vehicles, but could come in handy for those that do.

Expand range of vehicles included: Expand coverage to provide up to $75,000 for vehicles that have a MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) over $75,000 (vs. currently vehicles with MSRP over $75,000 are not covered at all)

I can’t think of the last time I was in a vehicle matching this price tag, but for those who rent high end vehicles, it could certainly come in handy. My gut feeling is the majority of Platinum card members would not make use of this benefit.

My Experience With the Survey

Multiple times throughout the survey I was asked repeat questions asking “Was I sure” of the answer I selected. In other words, when I told them that I would value the primary protection benefit under the Purchase Protection program more if it was changed, I was asked “Are you sure?” since it was only a minor change, vs. an entirely new benefit. I found this interesting, as if Amex was trying to sway me towards options that were either cheaper to them or not as valuable to me as a customer.

The survey did take about 20-30 minutes to complete and wasn’t short by any means. It was very descriptive, comparing both current benefits and possible future benefits. There was also a large part of the survey focusing on how my spending patters would change depending on the benefits changing. Of course, this is what Amex is primarily concerned with, and I wasn’t surprised by this approach.

My Take

It looks like Amex is looking to change up their Platinum program sometime soon. I do agree that it is in need of a re-fresh, and am hoping Amex adds benefits that are actually beneficial to the cardholder, unlike some of the benefits that were offered to me in the survey.

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Comments

  1. Gene says

    Don’t you pay for insurance on your cell phone? If so, I wouldn’t call that benefit useless, especially given how high cell phone insurance has gotten in recent years.

  2. Veejay says

    For those who don’t play for cell phone insurance, this benefit would be outstanding, and worth $75 a year or more. For those who do have it, why wouldn’t you cancel it?

    • says

      In my opinion, I’d prefer the increased purchase protection benefit more. But that’s just me. I also have an Otterbox on my phone so there’s a reduced chance of it breaking. Of course, I know things can always happen.

  3. Pam says

    Surveys were sent out after the loss of AAdmiral’s Club access, asking questions that pertained to some cool travel benefits. Rumors started about Amex adding some new features. Never happened.

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