Five years ago this month American Express introduced a $200 annual airline fee credit to their Platinum and Centurion card products.
There’s been a lot of ebb and flow to American Express Platinum and Centurion benefits over the years.
- A few of the big losses on the Centurion card over the years were Starwood Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, and US Airways Platinum status. Centurion cardholders no longer even get bonus miles when flying Delta with their comped Platinum status. They do get better champagne in Centurion lounges, though.
- For Platinum cards things have been more mixed. When it became clear that American Express would lose its Continental partnership as a result of the United merger, they added US Airways lounge access. While Amex has lost American Airlines lounge access, that’s a benefit that they added long after I had gotten my Platinum card.
- Then they added a Priority Pass lounge access benefit too months later along with Global Entry fee credit.
- Of course that all came three years after eliminating the domestic companion airfare benefit which was frustrating to use but awesome for savings.
That airline fee credit, though, was a real boon. It was effectively $200 almost as good as cash per calendar year, a huge offset to the card’s annual fee, because even though it wasn’t supposed to work that way, American Express would reimburse most gift card purchases such as $50 and $100 electronic gift cards from American Airlines.
Since it was contrary to rules, it’s always been possible for this to change. Doctor of Credit believes it has finally changed. And indeed, I purchased a $50 American Airlines e-gift card on my Premier Rewards Gold gold (that card had a $100 airline fee credit added this year) on August 29 and at this point it hasn’t yet been reimbursed.
While still under ‘developing’ reports seem more credible than in the past. American Express benefits change, this wouldn’t be a change in benefits per se but a change in practice so that things worked de facto the way they are described de jure.
If accurate it will make the Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum cards more expensive for me to keep.
The fee credits are good on your choice of one airline for the year from amongst:
The airline fee credit is available for your choice of:
And will cover things like checked bag fees and onboard purchases. But perhaps, it seems, no longer gift cards which spend like cash towards airfare — something you can specifically buy with Citi Prestige’s $250 airfare credit, making that card a relatively better value than before even.