Have both Reserve and Plat and almost no idea what I'm doing...

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InCredulous
 
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:37 pm
Location: Los Angeles CA / Gainesville FL

Have both Reserve and Plat and almost no idea what I'm doing...

Postby InCredulous » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:01 pm

I thought I may as well be honest about it. Detailed management of finances is not my primary skill-set. Honestly, the best thing that every happened to me was automatic bill-paying.

So anyway, here's my deal:

I fly a lot every year, on my own dime. (LAX-MCO every two weeks. I have a son in FL and I live in LA.) So back in 07, I got the Delta-American Express Platinum co-branded card. It's pretty decent, mostly for bonus-mile accrual, but in a twist which I think is rather odd, you don't get Sky Club access. (You do with the "Reserve" card, but I had that one for a year and it was frankly, a ridiculous expenditure of $500 a year. You do get Sky Club access, but not membership, which means you still have to pay for internet, etc., and not other clubs. So I reverted back to the Delta Plat.)

So last week, I had to call and let them know I was going to be traveling in other countries for a while, and at the end of the call they offered me the Platinum Amex. The cost per year is $450, but I get $200 back when I use it the first time, and other credits when I use it for Delta purchases, not to mention all the other benefits, AND access to virtually any airport lounge.

But the thing is... it was sort of an impulse decision.

I sort of fell for the shiny card with the impressive guy in the helmet.

I admit to wanting to be able to casually mention that I have a platinum Amex.

Last week I would have sworn that I'm not materialistic. :D

So I was having buyer's remorse, but as I've been reading, I'm sort of finding that I may be able to make this work for me, so here are my questions, for those of you who are AMEX savvy:

1) Boiled down, does anyone think it's of any benefit to have both of these?

(Apart, that is, from being able to carry a balance, which I do on the Delta card.)

And in your real-world experiences, what are your:

2a) Favorite Non-travel-related benefits to either card?

2b) Favorite travel-related benefits to either card?


And by the way, thank you all for the ton of stuff I've already learned by reading around on this site. I've been reading around on here for a few years, and I think it's probably some of the decisions I've made from what I've read here that has made my score so good.

And thank you in advance to any advice for a brand new member.

Thanks! -JP


Jacksnow
Platinum Member
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Postby Jacksnow » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:05 am

1) Boiled down, does anyone think it's of any benefit to have both of these?


You're going to run into (some) overlap with features, and a bit of an issue in the sense that you're paying for 2 cards one accrues MR points, one SkyMiles. I guess transfer the MR points to Skymiles?


(Apart, that is, from being able to carry a balance, which I do on the Delta card.)

You can do that on Platinum too.


And in your real-world experiences, what are your:

2a) Favorite Non-travel-related benefits to either card?

The purchase protection, I move around a lot for work. And not always to the best places.
Purchase protection is amazing.


2b) Favorite travel-related benefits to either card?
Elite Status at Hotels. Hilton and Starwood.
National Executive is a good benefit.
Also the no ForEx fee is nice.
As is the insurance

Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:25 am

I'm a Delta Platinum Medallion flyer (and former Diamond for two years). I'm a little confused here. Internet is free in the Sky Club, regardless of how you got there (Diamond Medallion, paid membership, Delta Reserve or Amex Platinum). Delta did start charging for upscale mixed drinks recently, but that's for everyone.

The Amex Platinum has always been a great all around travel card for the Delta system. First, you get into the Sky Club no questions asked, and if you ever end up on American, you can get in their club too. Amex now has a couple of their own airport clubs (Las Vegas and Dallas) where Platinum Card members can gain access to (originally it was just Centurion card members without a fee). Then there's other stuff like road side assistance, $200 a year airline incidental fee reimbursement (bag fees, food and drinks on the plane). Amex Platinum will also pay for your $100 application to TSA's GOES program for using the lightly used border customs kiosks versus the long lines other travelers have to do (and as a bonus, you get TSA Pre line access at any available airport!). Then there's warranty extensions for consumer electronics, rental car insurance and other stuff I'm probably forgetting. For me, it's well worth the $450 a year.

I've looked over at the Delta-branded Amex cards with passing interest but at the end of the day, there hasn't been a great reason to switch. The only thing I could think of is the MQM mileage rewards for spending a certain amount on airfare through the card. In my case, 95% of my airfare is through my company so its a moot point. Since you're traveling on your own dime, it might make more sense keeping it around, but there's still the annual fee to weigh against. Since you're flying from MCO to LAX twice a month, I'd have to think you're at least a Platinum flyer anyway and maybe Diamond. If you're Diamond, you don't need a card for Sky Club access, you get it anyway. Anything less and you're paying at least $300 to get in, which makes the Amex Plat card attractive.

So, I'd probably keep the Amex Platinum. The decision point for you is whether the annual fee for the Delta Amex Platinum is too much for the benefits (MQM miles, 1st bag free) you get with that card when you pay for travel with it.
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)

InCredulous
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:37 pm
Location: Los Angeles CA / Gainesville FL

Postby InCredulous » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:51 pm

Hmm... I wonder if it was just an Orlando Sky Club thing. I know they never charged at LAX. Orlando definitely used to. Anyway, after I dropped the Reserve, I let my Sky Club membership lapse and haven't been back for a while, so perhaps they're doing something different system-wide. And yes, I'm a ten-year Plat Medallion with Delta..

I think I have two cards with some redundant benefits, but if I take some time to follow up on some of the benefits, I can make it well worth it. From what I'm seeing, I can probably use just about every benefit in some way every year.

Incidentally, the subject line was incorrectly altered. (Which, I have to tell you, feels creepy. Not a fan.) I no longer have a Reserve card. I have the Delta/AmEx Platinum credit card and the AmEx Platinum charge card with the dude in the helmet.

GoCreditGo!
Centurion Member
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Seattle WA

Postby GoCreditGo! » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:44 am

I guess we know where AMEX gets spent the most. Wish there was one at Sea Tac.



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