A New Platinum Card Benefit We All Missed: Improved Priority Pass

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American Express announced several new benefits for their Platinum Card® from American Express effective March 30. The biggest one is an annual Uber benefit up to $200 (and UberVIP status where applicable). I’m told that this benefit is for the primary cardholder only.

They’re going to offer metal cards, and while they’ll send those to you 60 days before your current expiration, or you can call to request one starting March 30.

In addition to the 5 points per dollar earning on hotels booked through American Express Travel and free authorized user Gold cards (there is no change to the $175 price for up to 3 additional Platinum cards and $175 for each additional after 3), they’re improving the Priority Pass lounge access benefit.

Reader Lenny points out that while you’ve had unlimited free Priority Pass lounge access for the cardmember through American Express Platinum for awhile, that benefit will increase to include two complimentary guests on each visit (instead of having to pay for those guests).

American Express confirms this in fine print:

Priority Pass Select
These Terms and Conditions govern [X] Card Members’ participation in and use of the Priority Pass™ Select program. Priority Pass is an independent airport lounge access program. At any visit to a Priority Pass Select lounge, you may bring in two guests for no charge. You will be charged $27 for any additional guests.

Priority Pass has over 40 lounges in the US you can access (including Alaska Airlines lounges) and over 1000 worldwide.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Any details on the $200 annual Uber benefit? Is it incremental? Like $5 or $10 off per ride, or like the airline benefit which credit as much as you spend up to $200?

  2. While this is nice, Amex must continue to realize that there are others in this same space challenging the value they bring to the table. In particular the Chase Sapphire Reserve includes access to Priority Pass and from its inception included access for “you and your accompanying guests”. While I have not tested that at the extreme the CSR on the surface of it seems more flexible, especially for those who are traveling with a family where it is common to have more than 3 in the party. Additionally, CSR is (as of this writing) still only $450/yr with generous travel benefits that offset the costs where as Amex is really only catching up to the competition while at the same time eroding this value by increasing annual fees to $550. So far, I am not certain I can justify the annual fee and come renewal time I am going to have to rethink this. My hope is that they will see the gap in value and hear this kind of feedback and will add substantive value to the card before then.

  3. Don’t get too excited about Priority Pass access to the Alaska board rooms. (1) they are pretty lame – especially in Seattle, and (2) they often bar Priority Pass access because they are crowded, or they expect to get crowded.

  4. @Gary Any idea when this takes effect? I have a trip coming up in 14 days where I had planned a visit to a few lounges with my wife. I suppose it it’s not in effect by then I could always call and ask them to issue statement credits for the $27 fees but I’d be nice not to have to.

  5. Priority Pass change is not enough to make this card appealing. I had some concern over holding AMEX Plat AND CSR but AMEX is making it clear they want Chase to have my business…

  6. It’s amazing how they are going to charge you $100 more to catch up with their competitors especially if you don’t use Uber regularly.

  7. And… do we have to get a new Priority Pass card? Or will the current one just suddenly have this benefit added?

  8. I’m wondering if it took effect today? I just looked at my PP account and it says my renewal date is 03/02/2018. And I know my account wasn’t supposed to renew today.

  9. Priority Pass benefits are way overblown.

    Many domestic lounges, most notable AS’ lounges in SEA and LAX, and KLM’s in IAH are refusing entry of PP holders because the PP T&C of usage has this killer clause – the lounge has the right to refuse entry under capacity control consideration.

    Shame on Gary not to make mention the lengthy thread in FT’s AS forum on how the Board Rooms are refusing PP holders to use the lounges.

    Personally have used quite a few PP lounges aboard and they are very MEH in capital letters.

    In airports where there are good lounges, usually the airlines own lounges are also very good (hence the competition!) If you are flying in premium cabins you do not need the PP card for good lounge access.

    Amazing AMEX has made the decision for many whether one should keep an AMEX or a CSR. The $200 Uber credit only worth 50% of its value the way AMEX structures it. And it is a worthless benefit to those who hardly use Uber.
    Not to mention Uber as a company is very controversial.
    One should read this blog and the comments to get some glimpse on how the company’s culture is (VERY BAD – being racist and sexist to say the least).



  10. @FLL actually I have a post queued for tomorrow on crowded Alaska lounges and Priority Pass, and I was one of the first to share the Susan Fowler blog post on twitter after it went live. Uber has challenges, but that won’t stop me from using them at this point.

  11. One issue I have with CSR is the Priority Pass offered by them you must use the physical card as CHASE has not allowed the digital card feature according to Priority Pass. Just what I want to carry around.

  12. According to The Points Guy these benefits are only for the personal card, not business. Which is it Gary?

  13. I got a letter from Amex today about the changes. The thing that really shocked me though was that the rate next time the card gets renewed will be $100 more!!! I don’t care about Uber, only use them once or twice a year.

    “You can begin enjoying your new Platinum Card benefits on March 30th, 2017. The Platinum Card will have a new annual fee of $550 and your annual fee will not change until your annual renewal date…”

  14. Amex wants you to pay $100 a year more for less benefits. I used to be able to go in almost any american airline lounge.

    They still offer the $200 airline credit, but still make you sign up for one particular carrier. Which I find ludicrous, since I don’t fly just one carrier. Really find this annoying, and now $100 more… not sure I want to renew.

  15. Too little, too late. I’ve brought as many as 6 lounge guests using my PP card via Chase. And the $300 for travel credits from Chase is automatically applied to all hotel, airline, parking and car rental charges. No nonsense – as compared to Amex where you have to figure out what charges and fees are covered. Not to mention I get free UA Club membership with my JPM Reserve card – which has the same annual fee as CSR.
    Amex is going down the tubes under Kenny, and I for one could not be happier.

  16. OMG $100 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. The benefit change to Priority Pass begins March 30. It’s ONLY for the Platinum card, NOT the Business Open card.

  18. Agreed with @FLL

    The Priority Pass Select benefits that I got from the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card were worthless, here is my recent experience:

    – KAL Lounge LAX: Denied access stating PPS card is allowed entry up to 8:00 PM! Arrived at the airport slightly past 8:00 PM because our flight was at 12:30 AM. Called the PPS CS line and was hung up on twice. Since, others have reported the LAX KAL Lounge is only accessible from noon to 8 PM for the PPS card holders. Ended going to the Star Alliance lounge that night with my biz class boarding pass and enjoyed tremendously.
    – ICN: Granted access to both KAL and Asiana Lounges on the second floor and both were horrible, food and atmosphere-wise.
    – PEK: Air China Business Class Lounge & BGS Premier Lounge were both inedible horrible food, over-crowded condition and no access to bathroom!!! Denied access to First Class section at the BGS Premier Lounge even though I doubt if it was going to be any different than the others.

  19. “We” missed?? Speak for yourself!

    Oh wait, you just needed an excuse to put up another post with your affiliate link!

    Overall, @Boraxo said it pretty well.

  20. Can we please get rid of the trolls knocking these blogs. as 100’s of others have said, don’t read the blog if you have problems with it. imo, these trolls are probably other blogger fans and/ or cc/ airline proxies to discredit bloggers. I see so many deals on these sites that I literally can’t use them all. thanks to you bloggers for saving me and my family $1000’s of dollars each year.
    As for priority pass, I have never been turned away from a lounge.

  21. If they had returned the two guest policy to sky club, then maybe I’d renew for the extra hundy. But this is a joke.

  22. I agree that AmEx needs to extend their $200 annual airline credit to any airline. Many of us live and travel from home cities with minimal participation by AmEx’s selected Airlines. Not happy about the increase in annual fee….they are going to see more attrition from long time customers.

  23. One of the biggest changes right don’t understand why nobody is reporting is that they no longer give you a free business class Companion Pass it is a big bummer that may be for me the decision not to renew. I was planning on using it in the fall and got shocked when I heard the news.

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