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Travel Consider your options: 3 reasons to downgrade from the Amex Platinum to Amex Gold

20:35  04 november  2021
20:35  04 november  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

One week left: Don’t miss out on TPG’s exclusive 125k welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum

  One week left: Don’t miss out on TPG’s exclusive 125k welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market. In particular, the Amex Business Platinum’s benefits make the card an excellent fit for business owners who travel frequently. …With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market. In particular, the Amex Business Platinum’s benefits make the card an excellent fit for business owners who travel frequently.

  Consider your options: 3 reasons to downgrade from the Amex Platinum to Amex Gold © Provided by The Points Guy
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While The Platinum Card® from American Express has travel and lifestyle perks aplenty, it also is one of the most expensive cards on the market at $695 per year (see rates and fees).

Meanwhile, slotted below the Platinum is the American Express® Gold Card, a product that carries fewer benefits but a more palatable $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). Both cards offer a variety of statement credits and perks to help offset their yearly fees.

Only one week left: Don’t miss out on TPG’s exclusive 125k welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum

  Only one week left: Don’t miss out on TPG’s exclusive 125k welcome bonus on the Amex Business Platinum Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market. In particular, the Amex Business Platinum’s benefits make the card an excellent fit for business owners who travel frequently. …With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market. In particular, the Amex Business Platinum’s benefits make the card an excellent fit for business owners who travel frequently.

While every cardholder has their reasons for considering a downgrade, the Amex Platinum’s recent 2021 refresh has raised some eyebrows (mine included). From Walmart+ memberships to Equinox credits, a laundry list of perks was introduced to lend the card even more potential value. While there is no doubt that benefits are great, there is also a point at which quantity trumps quality, especially when considering an annual fee that is nearly $700.

If you’re thinking about a downgrade from the Amex Platinum Card, here are three reasons to migrate to the Amex Gold Card, specifically, and how to do it to maximize your points potential.

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Here’s how you can earn 100,000 points on the Amex Business Platinum card

  Here’s how you can earn 100,000 points on the Amex Business Platinum card Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market. If you’ve been considering whether to add the Amex Business Platinum to your wallet, the card’s current offer is …With unparalleled travel perks and premium benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business cards on the market.

Quick comparison of Amex Platinum vs. Amex Gold

Here is a quick overview of what the Amex Platinum and Amex Gold card offer.

Amex Platinum Amex Gold
Annual fee $695 $250
Earning rates

5x on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year)

5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

1x on other eligible purchases

4x on dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery)

4x at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x)

3x on airfare purchased directly from the airline or through American Express Travel

1x on other eligible purchases

Welcome offer 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your new card in the first six months of card membership
Built-in credits More than $1,400 in annual statement credits: Up to $200 in Uber Cash, up to $200 in credit for airline fees, up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credit, up to $200 in credit on prepaid hotels, up to $240 in credit for digital entertainment, up to $179 in credit for a Clear membership and more (Enrollment required for select benefits) Up to $120 in annual dining credit ($10 per month at participating restaurants)

$10 in monthly Uber Cash, up to $120 annually

How to maximize your earning with the Amex Platinum

  How to maximize your earning with the Amex Platinum The Platinum Card® from American Express is an iconic card that’s recognizable from across the room. You may think that the card is reserved only for the most luxury-oriented of travelers, as it comes with a daunting, $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). But did you know that the Amex Platinum comes with the …But did you know that the Amex Platinum comes with the most statement credits of practically any rewards card available? With more than $1,700 in potential annual credits, not to mention other value-added perks like Centurion Lounge access and the ability to earn Membership Rewards points for travel, the sticker shock starts to wears off — at least a little.

(Enrollment required for select benefits)

Lounge access Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escape lounges, along with Delta Sky Clubs on same-day flights None
Hotel status Complimentary Gold status with the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs None
Cellphone protection Up to two claims; $800 per claim, up to $1,600 per 12-month period; $50 deductible None
Trip interruption, cancellation and delay coverage Trip interruption/cancellation: $10,000 per trip, maximum of $20,000 per account per 12-month period

Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip when the delay is six or more hours

Trip interruption/cancellation: $10,000 per trip, maximum of $20,000 per account per 12-month period

Trip delay: Up to $300 per trip when the delay is 12 or more hours

Concierge Dedicated Platinum concierge Standard Amex concierge service

Why you might downgrade to the Amex Gold

You don’t want to deal with so many credits

The Amex Platinum has a plethora of annual statement credits (over $1,400 worth, in fact) that span a variety of categories from shopping (Walmart+ subscription) to travel (up-to-$200 airline fee credit) and much, much more.

Battle of the premium travel rewards cards — which one is best for you?

  Battle of the premium travel rewards cards — which one is best for you? Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. Picking the best travel rewards credit cards can be challenging. Each one offers different perks, and this is especially true for premium credit cards. And because issuers keep upping the ante, adding benefits (and sometimes hiking annual fees), there’s more competition than ever. …Picking the best travel rewards credit cards can be challenging. Each one offers different perks, and this is especially true for premium credit cards. And because issuers keep upping the ante, adding benefits (and sometimes hiking annual fees), there’s more competition than ever.

Casual Amex Platinum users should therefore take a closer look at what these credits are. It’s clear from the specific nature of several of these perks that many cardholders will not be able to fully utilize all of them. With an annual fee of $695, you’ll want to at least use several without having to go out of your way.

a bunch of luggage sitting on top of a bench: The Platinum comes with an Equinox credit. (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy The Platinum comes with an Equinox credit. (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)

There are at least 10 credits on the Amex Platinum: four are yearly, four are monthly, one is biannual, and one is every 4 1/2 years. The annual credits are for Clear, prepaid hotels, SoulCycle and airline fees; the monthly credits are for Equinox, digital entertainment, Walmart+ and Uber Cash; the biannual credit is for Saks Fifth Avenue; and the credit for a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck enrollment fee is every 4 1/2 years.

Meanwhile, the Amex Gold simply has two credits and is therefore much easier to manage. These include both an up-to-$120 annual dining credit and up to $120 in annual Uber Cash.

Related: Does it make sense to hold an Amex Platinum and Amex Gold Card?

You don’t need airport lounge access or hotel elite status

a glass door: (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Several other Amex Platinum travel perks also provide significant value that can’t be pegged to specific dollar amounts. But for more casual travelers, these perks might not be of much use.

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For example, you’ll get one of the most comprehensive airport lounge memberships with the Amex Platinum. Specifically, you’ll enjoy Priority Pass Select (enrollment required), access to Amex’s ever-growing collection of Centurion Lounges and access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. That makes the Amex Platinum one of the best cards for airport lounge access. Platinum cardholders can also register for Gold elite status with both Marriott and Hilton and even enlist the help of premium concierge services.

However, the Amex Gold card might be a better fit if all of these travel amenities seem superfluous.

You care more about earning points for everyday spending

The Amex Platinum Card excels in many ways but earning on everyday spending is not one of them. Earning 1x on all purchases aside from eligible airfare booked directly or airfare and hotels booked with American Express Travel (5x) doesn’t make it a winning card to carry every day.

Meanwhile, the Amex Gold Card earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and supermarkets in the U.S. (on up to $25,000, then 1x), where a large portion of the typical household’s spending goes each month. Earning 3x on airfare obviously isn’t 5x, but it means you are not entirely missing out on potential rewards when carrying the Amex Gold.

Related: 8 ways to make the most of the Amex Gold Card

How to ‘downgrade’ to the Amex Gold

timeline: (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The strategy

Let’s start by making one thing clear: If you decide to downgrade your Platinum Card, you might want to close it outright and then open a new Amex Gold Card rather than directly requesting a downgrade to the Gold. Why? Well, because with Amex, a card product change will not qualify you for the welcome offer on the card, and you likely don’t want to miss out on that.

3 reasons my husband and I are keeping our Amex Platinum Cards

  3 reasons my husband and I are keeping our Amex Platinum Cards Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It isn’t easy to top The Platinum Card® from American Express when it comes to premium travel perks. But, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and associated border closures and flight cancellations — my husband and I haven’t traveled internationally much in the last …It isn’t easy to top The Platinum Card® from American Express when it comes to premium travel perks. But, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and associated border closures and flight cancellations — my husband and I haven’t traveled internationally much in the last year.

Currently, the Amex Gold Card is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on your new card in your first six months of card membership (although you may be targeted for an even higher bonus when you apply using the CardMatch Tool; offer is subject to change). This publicly available bonus is worth another $1,200 based on TPG valuations.

Note that you can usually only earn the welcome bonus on any Amex card once per lifetime, so if you’ve earned the bonus on a Gold Card before, you’ll probably be out of luck. And while Amex doesn’t officially require you to hold a card for a certain period before downgrading it, you should likely wait at least one full year before canceling or downgrading the Platinum.

One other alternative is to downgrade your Platinum to the American Express® Green Card since the Platinum, Gold and Green are all considered to be within the same card family. Once you do that, you can apply for the Amex Gold Card outright (but of course, that means you still have two cards).

The information for the Amex Green has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Retention offers

Before making a final decision on whether to cancel or downgrade your Platinum, it is definitely worthwhile to give Amex a call (or live chat) when your annual fee is due to see if you’re targeted for a retention offer. These offers are essentially Amex’s last-ditch effort to, well, retain you as a cardholder. Ask to be transferred to the Amex retention line when you call and to speak with someone from that department.

In the past, I’ve received 20,000 Membership Rewards points just for keeping my card open for another year.

Bottom line

Downgrading to an Amex Gold may be a good option for some cardholders.

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If you only want to pay one annual fee, you can frame the question as follows: Do you want higher everyday earning rates on a wider variety of categories? Or, do you want valuable travel and lifestyle perks that will add luxury to your upcoming travel? If the first option sounds like you, then the Amex Gold may be a better fit. But, if the second scenario aligns with your needs, you may want to keep the Amex Platinum.

However, know that there is room for both of these cards in your wallet. In fact, the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum complement each other very well in the Amex Trifecta.

Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

What your favorite destinations looked like before tourism .
Since the 1970s, millions of people have routinely jetted off on vacations to destinations all over the world. Tourism has increased year on year, and popular cities and places of interest have become more and more congested. Until the pandemic, we could hardly imagine Venice or Times Square without huge crowds of people – but back before cheap vacations, paid time-off and Airbnb, these sites were peaceful backwaters visited only by locals or the wealthy elite. We take a restful look back at those calmer, quieter days…

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