platinum = meh

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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MB131174
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platinum = meh

Postby MB131174 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:31 pm

So I've had my Platinum for a little over a month now. The luster has already worn off. I'll probably downgrade it to green before the AF is due in 11 months.
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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:42 pm

Are there any other cards like that you're interested in like the Citi Prestige? I'm sure there are alternatives to the Platinum you might like better.
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MB131174
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Postby MB131174 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:56 pm

popamode72 wrote:Are there any other cards like that you're interested in like the Citi Prestige? I'm sure there are alternatives to the Platinum you might like better.


No, not really. One thing I like is when you have a dispute, etc., you don't need to call your bank, then go thru visa or mc. You call AmEx and deal with AmEx. There's something to be said for the processing network and card issuer being the same.

I'm also kinda over the "high end luxury card" aspect too. Just give me a dependable card backed by an institution I trust and I'll be happy. I read an article about rewards a little bit ago. A lot of "rewards" are psychological, especially if you end up dreaming about them more than actually having them. That said, I may just go back to using my Discover card after my spend requirements are met for the 40,000 MR points bonus. Maybe. Remember I used to rave about my Hyatt visa? Well, when I saw how long it was taking just to get 1 night in a room I gave up using that card as my daily driver. I keep it because the yearly room outweighs the fee. The 40,000 MR points will get me a free flight to Panama, but other than that, I won't really have much use for MR points. It looks like I may not be traveling as much this year as I thought I would be.

I'll probably use the plat card until the annual fee is due then downgrade it to green. The green is a classic. It keeps my spend in check, which itself can outweigh the annual fee. I do notice I'm more cautious of what I'm buying since I know I have to pay it when I get the bill. If that saves me from spending $10 a month frivolously, that'll save $120 a year. 120 > 95

My one gripe about AmEx is acceptance. My second favorite, Discover, has great acceptance; however, I feel like I'll be stuck at 3k limit forever.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:02 pm

I don't understand. Did you get the card for the MR signup bonus? Because you just thought the Platinum was cool? Cobranded cards are getting most of your travel spending?

The value in the card is for people who fly a lot and can use the airport lounges. Hotel upgrades, dining reservations, and other perks are also nice and of the greatest value to frequent flyers. Except for a job loss or a family emergency (which could greatly reduce someone's travel frequency and spending), I can't imagine how this card could look like a good value for someone one month, and a bad deal the next.

Then again, I had my BCE as my gas and grocery card for only about two weeks before I switched to Sallie Mae. But those cards don't have annual fees.

Edit: I see your follow-up post about Amex not having great acceptance. That's certainly true for a lot of small merchants, but wouldn't pretty much any airline (except for maybe a few very small ones) take Amex?
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Postby Battery111 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:09 pm

It's odd. When I got my first AMEX I thought acceptance would be an issue. The reality at least for me, however, has been pretty wide acceptance. I honestly don't have too many cases where I can't use it. It could be a regional thing though. Most of the places I've encountered that don't take AMEX are in the northwest. Even then it's usually not a big issue but Around here and most of the places I travel, I don't even think twice before pulling it out and it's not an issue.
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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:53 pm

MB131174 wrote: A lot of "rewards" are psychological, especially if you end up dreaming about them more than actually having them. That said, I may just go back to using my Discover card after my spend requirements are met for the 40,000 MR points bonus. Maybe. Remember I used to rave about my Hyatt visa? Well, when I saw how long it was taking just to get 1 night in a room I gave up using that card as my daily driver. I keep it because the yearly room outweighs the fee. The 40,000 MR points will get me a free flight to Panama, but other than that, I won't really have much use for MR points. It looks like I may not be traveling as much this year as I thought I would be.



I'd like to read that article on rewards that you mentioned.

With that said, one of my least favorite aspects about Amex is also acceptance in certain places, even on websites where I want to pay certain bills and other kinds of situations that have popped up like going to an auto repair shop where they just don't take either amex or discover cards at all. I thought that the AF for the Platinum would immediately be due though. I had no idea that they give you 11 months until the AF actually posts.

I'm trying to make the sign up bonus on my PRG worthwhile though because of the special $1k spend, 50k MR points link that I applied through. I think I'll be downgrading that card after a year to the Green too. I even heard there's such thing as a Senior Green card I can also look into so I won't have to pay as much in AF costs though there aren't any MR points on it so I'd have to transfer those over to my Everyday card before going through with that.

I've also come to appreciate just how useful the charge cards can keeping my own spending in check and making sure that I'm not buying more things than I actually need for instance.

Discover I've come to appreciate a lot more lately especially in the CLIs I've started to get on the card. I really wish my limit was $3k though and I'm still working on trying to get in contact with the EO about that. If it was at least that much, it would automatically become one of my main cards again. I've earned quite a bit of cashback and rewards alone on that card despite the lower limit that it has and the customer service is always reliable
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:43 am

I’m a bit cynical of the argument that charge cards contribute to fiscal responsibility. Now, to be clear, I do believe:

1. Broadly speaking, people spend more when paying with credit than with cash.
2. Careful budgeting and paying for stuff with paper (technically, cloth) money instead of plastic (or metal) does work for a lot of people. Using jars or envelopes as sub-accounts for rent, food, clothes etc. can work.
3. Some people will spend irresponsibly no matter what the method of payment they use.
4. Having the paper trail that a credit card creates can be useful and convenient for some people.
5. If you’re spending responsibly, credit card rewards can be nice.
6. Planning purchases (like a grocery list) in advance can help reduce overspending. This is the one that really works for me.

But I’ve heard people say here and elsewhere that spending using a debit card or a charge card can instill “cash-like” behavior. I wouldn’t assume so. The research I found is of limited relevance here in that it compares only cash and credit cards in general as payment methods. Furthermore, there are several complicated factors that affect purchasing behavior other than the ability to pay for the purchase over several months.

I’m not aware of any research that investigates whether using a debit or charge card makes a person act more like a cash user or a credit card user. I’m inclined to think it’s more like credit behavior. Signing a slip of paper to authorize a $100 debit charge for me doesn’t feel 10x as involved as signing one for a $10 charge, but paying for something with 10 $10 bills is a lot more involved than paying with one $10 bill.

I see a second problem with the charge card responsibility argument. I have seven credit cards (or, technically, six credit cards and one charge card). I use most of them in any given month, and I always pay in full. When I’m choosing which card to use for a particular transaction, I generally go with the one that will give me the best rewards or perks.

If I was contemplating buying something I really shouldn’t, I don’t see how having that charge card in my wallet makes any difference in whether I buy it or not. If I was tempted to buy something I couldn’t PIF on and would have to carry a balance, then wouldn’t I have to close all my revolving accounts so I wasn’t tempted to use them? I’d have to only carry a charge card and make all my purchases with it. I’ve heard a lot of people praise charge cards for the responsibility they allegedly encourage, but I’ve never heard anyone take the next ‘logical’ step of swearing off revolvers completely. To me, that seems like a recovering alcoholic praising the benefits of tea while keeping cases of alcohol in the house. If someone is especially vulnerable to a temptation, keeping it around all the time can be a recipe for disaster in a future moment of weakness.

That’s assuming that a charge card instills cash-like behavior, which I doubt. Furthermore, since an Amex Green or Gold card has minimal rewards and perks compared to other rewards cards (especially other cards with annual fees), there will be another temptation for an over-spender to use a revolving card with better rewards instead of a charge card. I won’t extend that claim to PRG and above because those cards can give excellent perks in some cases that outweigh regular points or cash back.

Maybe there are other factors I'm missing that help charge card users spend more responsibly, but I suspect the effect is pretty small.

If you don’t have the responsibility to avoid buying things you shouldn’t, I just really don’t think a charge card will make a big difference. There’s cash, and then there’s everything else.

One frequently cited paper anyone can read (no paid database subscription is required): http://web.mit.edu/simester/Public/Papers/Alwaysleavehome.pdf
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Postby takeshi » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:16 pm

MB131174 wrote:So I've had my Platinum for a little over a month now. The luster has already worn off.

Good reason to not use "luster" as a reason to apply. Apply for cards that suit your needs/wants.

MB131174 wrote:A lot of "rewards" are psychological, especially if you end up dreaming about them more than actually having them.

Run the numbers on rewards when researching cards.

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:That’s assuming that a charge card instills cash-like behavior, which I doubt.

A charge card certainly isn't a replacement for financial responsiblity but people aren't all identical. You can cite studies, statistics and trends as well as how things work specifically for you but it's really the specific individual that matters. Some find that it helps. For some it makes no difference.

Be careful assuming that "X doesn't work for me = X doesn't work for anyone" and "I've never seen X = X does not exist" regardless of topic.

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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:57 pm

MB131174 wrote:So I've had my Platinum for a little over a month now. The luster has already worn off. I'll probably downgrade it to green before the AF is due in 11 months.


I was thinking about getting the Platinum but i`m having second thought (maybe you remember)... not sure if its really worth it - i`m barely starting to travel but not a lot since work has to happen for trips to work out
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Postby samhradh » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:55 am

Wait, so the OP wasn't just being sarcastic?
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