Longtime lurker of the money board but I had to finally join to chime in on this nonsense. This post will be long.
I have been an AMEX member since the beginning of 2011. It has been the single best decision I've probably made in the past 5 years. I'm 29 so that flare should probably be tempered.
2011-2012 I had the Gold Premier Rewards. I funneled every expense I could through that card. My total personal spend for 2012 brought me over 100,000 points for the year because of the multipliers. Along with the 25K Bonus and 15K spend bonus, I haven't paid for my last 4 domestic flights. I'm going to Las Vegas and NYC in the next couple months. All free.
I decided to upgrade to the Platinum last year and it was an awesome decision. I am not "wealthy" but I have a good credit score. I'm just single and travel. I do make a low six figure income but my spend is exasperated because my lack of obligations.
Couple Points about the Platinum:
1. It pays for itself 5 times over if you travel 3-4 times a year. I've probably sat and drank more free booze in Delta and Centurion (Las Vegas) lounges than I care to admit.
2. They reimburse you $200 a year for baggage fees and drinks (in my case). It just rolled over on Jan 1 so my limit is reset.
3. I'm upgraded at every hotel I visit- mostly starwood locations or those booked through AMEX. I've booked through AMEX Fine Hotels quite a few times. You're treated like royalty relative to just a plain customer. MGM Grand upgraded me to the Penthouse Suite last year when I had only booked Tower Suite. Maybe that's just good luck.
4. Not everyone can get the card. Generally, from what the rep told me, the only way you can upgrade is if you meet a spend threshold but there's no minimum spend if that makes sense. Targeted offers are different, I have no experience with that. Just upgrading.
It's not just you decide to pay $450 and they give it to you. That's a bunch of bull shite. Generally people that say that were either turned down or they got on through someone else's credit. It's still viewed as one of the top 2-3 most prestigious domestic cards in the U.S. without being tied to some Brokerage Firm.
5. Concierge has done more shite for me than I care to admit. I sat in Jim Beam box last year in Yankees Stadium because I called up concierge. When I go to a new city, I get them to send me an event guide. I tell them what I like and they filter everything into a report. No more playing Google. Any restaurant I want to go to, I'm never locked out. Even those last minute ones in NOLA that used to make me wait a hour.
6. I've never used Global Access but apparently it's reimbursed. Also, you get companion tickets if you book international business. I've never used them but I will soon as some family will be relocating oversees.
Basically, the $450 is pretty much nothing considering I was paying $175 for Rewards Gold with none of the associated benefits.
Someone mentioned Delta Reserve earlier. That's garbage and I'd throw that away. You're only getting access to Delta lounges for the same fee and not the same level of benefits of the Platinum.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 1:35 pm