American Express sent out word today of two new benefits coming for their Platinum card cardholders this June… which is right around the corner.
Starting in June 2014, Platinum Card Members will receive complimentary, unlimited access to more than 700,000 land-based Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide in airports, retail and hotel locations through the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. Once enrolled in the plan, Card Members can have simultaneous internet access for up to four devices without worrying about data caps or roaming fees.
Statement Credit Option for TSA Pre✓™
Starting in June 2014, Platinum Card Members will have the option to receive a statement credit for a TSA Pre✓™ application fee. The $85 statement credit for TSA Pre✓™ is an alternative to the existing benefit that American Express launched in 2011―a $100 statement credit for a Global Entry application fee. Card Members can receive a statement credit for either the TSA Pre✓™ or Global Entry program application fee once every five years.
- If the Card Member travels internationally, Global Entry can reduce wait time at US Customs when returning from international travel. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, the Card Member will receive access to TSA Pre✓™
- If the Card Member does not travel internationally or does not think he/she meets the requirements of Global Entry, the Card Member can opt to apply for TSA Pre✓™ alone. TSA Pre✓™ allows low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient screening at participating U.S. airports.
Unlimited Boingo Internet Access Worldwide
Unlimited internet access for up to 4 devices, worldwide, seems on-face huge. The closest approximation of a plan from Boingo appears to be their $59.95 monthly plan that’s capped at 2000 minutes. So in some sense this benefit is worth ‘at least’ $720 a year.
In practice, though, I’m not sure how often I will use it. That’s because I have internet access pretty much anywhere I go in the world already — a Verizon MiFi device here in the States, and an unlocked wireless hotspot for international travel that I can put international data sim cards into and I also have a reasonably-priced SIM card that works across much of the world.
Still, there are many airports where internet access isn’t free, and international data even with my unlocked hotspot device isn’t cheap so I’ll certainly be signing up for this.
TSA PreCheck Benefit
The Platinum card already offers a $100 statement credit for Global Entry applications, and you cannot take that and the $85 statement credit for applying directly for PreCheck of course there’s no reason that you would need both.
I finally got Global Entry last year (I used my Platinum fee credit to cover the cost of applying) and it’s fantastic.
I’m through immigration formalities in the States in moments, and I’m even looking forward to using it in Australia later in the year.
Getting PreCheck used to be somewhat hit or miss for me but I’ve had it almost universally since being approved for Global Entry. So if you’re eligible, I’d definitely recommend getting Global Entry.
However if you aren’t eligible for Global Entry it’s nice to know that you aren’t shut out with the card, that they’ll cover the PreCheck application instead.
New Lounges Cardholders Can Access
The new Newark Airport Art & Lounge that I wrote about last omnth club on Concourse B has become a Priority Pass lounge, meaning that American Express Platinum cardholders can access it via their Priority Pass Select benefit.
In addition, the Virgin America Loft at LAX (Terminal 3) has also become a Priority Pass lounge.
More About the Card
I offered an extensive review of the card and its benefits last week, prior to the announcement of these two new benefits.
I love it for the Centurion lounge, the $200 airline fee credit, and if I wasn’t already qualifying on my own for Starwood Gold and National Car Rental Executive status.
I think it’s fantastic that American Express is adding benefits to the Platinum card. Taken together it’s more than enough value that the card continues to have a place in my wallet.
(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)
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