New to Amex Platinum, advice?

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New to Amex Platinum, advice?

Postby dmoney » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi All,

So after years of rebuilding my credit, I finally received my Amex Platinum in the mail yesterday. I'm brand to new Amex, especially the Platinum benefits, so any advice on getting started? I read somewhere about the "to-do" list of registering with various rental car company's and SPG. Also, any help on which airline I should choose for my $200 incidental charges? I've had real bad experiences with Delta and am looking to avoid them. I'm based out of NY if that helps. If any Platinum card holders here have their own "to-do" lists or advice, I would greatly appreciate the help. I also read somewhere that Amex will be getting rid of the 2.7% foreign transaction fees on the card soon, is this true?

I want to thank everyone here for the great advice that has been posted on these forums. Especially people like Mogul of Pineapples and jeffysdad.I don't know if this goes here, but I'm looking to get rid of my Capital One Venture card. I wish I had found this forum sooner so I could have avoided this card completely. But anyway, I've already accumulated 36,000 miles on this card already and was wondering what to do. I want to have a good, no annual fee, card as my backup, in case I run into a scenario where my Amex isn't accepted. Can anyone recommend a good Visa/Mastercard that would be used as a backup only card?

Thanks again everyone.

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Postby jeffysdad » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:21 am

Hi dmoney. Welcome and thanks for the shoutout. For a secondary card that you won't be using often (since nearly everyone takes Amex), I would suggest seeing what your bank offers. If you have a card with your bank your card info will almost surely appear along with your checking/savings info. on the bank's website. Assuming you manage your finances online, this can be a significant convenience. You won't have to remember yet another login and you'll be reminded of any card balance on your infrequently used card whenever you go online to manage your checking, etc. I think this would work great with Chase or Citi as both have attractive rewards cards. For Chase I would recommend Freedom; for Citi, with which I am less familiar, I think you should check out the Forward card. In either case, I would suggest setting up email account alerts and maybe autopay on the secondary card, since it's possible you might use it and not remember that you did.

Generally for a secondary reward card you'll want a relatively low threshold for points redemption, since you won't be accruing very fast (as using Amex mostly).
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Postby DoingHomework » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:32 pm

Well I've had my platinum card for about a month. Most of the signups you can do online. Here's my experience so far:

Airline credit - do it through the Amex website behind your login. I can't suggest which airline to pick. It should be the one you expect to have fees on. For example, if you a a super-elite-grand-poobah-flyer on American Airlines and fly them a lot but never have to pay fees because they give you everything free, that's not the airline to pick. Choose one that you'll rack up fees on even if it is not the one you fly most.

Rental cars - I signed up for Avis and National through the Platinum website. It went smoothly but I have not used them yet. I was already a gold at Hertz. I contacted them to say I had the platinum now. They put me on fee waiver but I already had it.

Starwood. I signed up. They are very slow to acknowledge.

Sony Cierge - contacted them to sign up but they do not call back.

Some places online my account shows up as "Membership Rewards" and elsewhere as "Membership Rewards First" - but I bought an airline ticket yesterday and got the rewards bonus for the MR First version.

I've already gotten a free night and the other benefits at a 5 star hotel.

I already saved $100 on an airline ticket using a small fraction of the points bonus I got with the card.

I have not signed up for the other things yet.

I used Platinum Travel Services to book a short trip, mostly just to try it. The fares were actually better than I got from the airline. All in all I am very happy and will definitely be able to use the benefits enough to make the card worth the annual fee.

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Postby bliztu » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:09 am

Hi, new to the forum but I thought I would chime in. I am a big Hilton guy even though I also carry the Chase Marriott card for the free annual night. So I always suggest the Citibank Hilton card since you get automatic silver status with hilton, plus a 30,000 point sign on bonus (good for one night). No annual fee and it's a Visa Signature card so it's pretty much accepted everywhere.

I too have a platinum Amex and love it. The concierge service is ok, not exactly stellar IMHO, but still nice to use for simple things. Other than that I don't have many gripes about the card.

Good luck

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:50 pm

o I always suggest the Citibank Hilton card since you get automatic silver status with hilton

Even though Credit Card Forum advertises the Citi Hilton, I believe the American Express version (which is currently not advertised here) is a better value. Check out this comparison of the Hilton HHonors credit cards and you will see what I mean.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby Smerri » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:47 am

Just while the HHonors are bring talked about (in case for anyone was thinking of applying) I would encourage looking at this link/offer (appears to be the most bonus points - 50,000)

Just wanted to make sure if someone does decide to apply that they get the best offer (don't want to hijack the thread).

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Postby lowphat » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:09 pm

I already have an SPG account. Anyone know what I need to do to get it upgraded to a SPG Gold? Is that the level that's included with the platinum card?

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Postby 4Runner » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:23 am

lowphat, yes, with the AMEX Platinum you get automatic the SPG gold level.

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Postby PlatinumAMEX94 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:08 pm

lowphat wrote:I already have an SPG account. Anyone know what I need to do to get it upgraded to a SPG Gold? Is that the level that's included with the platinum card?

You call the number on the back of your Platinum card, and they do a 3 way call, and connect you to SPG to finish the upgrade. It does not happen automatically. You must be registered with SPG first, which you can do online.
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