Upgrade AMEX Gold to Platinum - Should I do it?
Received an upgrade invitation from AMEX - Gold (not the Premier Rewards Gold Card) to Platinum.
I am considering to go for it but need to know other people's opinion. Like a 2nd/3rd/4th/nth opinion...
My situation: I do use my AMEX Gold card on almost everything and every establishments that accepts AMEX cards. I only spend only regular stuffs - grocery/food, books, gas, paying utility bills (during the time this option is active; I think this feature was removed already), and some "personal" expenses. I seldom go to concerts, sports events, other special events, etc.
- Is it worth paying to $450.00 annual fee in my situation? Or stick to the Gold card - $125.00 annual fee?
- I'll ask anyway... is the AMEX Platinum's annual fee charged on the first few months upon approval of application or at the end of the year?
- Is it difficult to apply for an AMEX Platinum card [in the future] without receiving an upgrade invitation?
Just my 2 cents. From what you've said, I'm not sure why you even have a gold card. It sounds like you'd be better off with the Blue Cash.
Originally Posted by Celestine
If I'm not mistaken, you'll usually get the first year with no fee, then charged at the end of the year.
If you're qualified for the card now, there's no reason you shouldn't be qualified down the road assuming your credit stays the same. I was approved for both my Amex cards without being invited.
The first question you need to answer is: do you want to have the Platinum? If yes, then go for it. If not, then drop it and that's it.
If you want it, then, are you willing to pay the AF? if yes, again, go for it. If not, then drop it again.
IHMO those are the only 2 questions you need to figure out.
Answering your initial doubts:
Is it worth paying to $450.00 annual fee in my situation? Or stick to the Gold card - $125.00 annual fee? - Only you can answer this base on your own thoughts.
is the AMEX Platinum's annual fee charged on the first few months upon approval of application or at the end of the year? - AF is charged in front the very first month.
Is it difficult to apply for an AMEX Platinum card [in the future] without receiving an upgrade invitation? - Not really, as long as you have a good history with AMEX, this should not be an issue.
Is it worth paying to $450.00 annual fee in my situation? Or stick to the Gold card - $125.00 annual fee?
That depends. Most of teh rewards are geared toward travel. I get my money's worth even traveling only a little. But if you don't travel at all you probably will not benefit much.
is the AMEX Platinum's annual fee charged on the first few months upon approval of application or at the end of the year?
They will charge you a prorated annual fee as soon as you activate teh card and will refund the unused portion of your gold card fee.
Is it difficult to apply for an AMEX Platinum card [in the future] without receiving an upgrade invitation?
Nope. You can upgrade at any time. The invitation means nothing.
The pre-approval for the AMEX Gold card came from the mail. I filled it online and submitted it. Got approved.
Originally Posted by i_t_man
You would not believe me if I tell you that my application gets rejected by other creditors especially Discover even though they send me "pre-approval" (not "pre-qualified" - big difference between the two) notice on the mail. Even the Discover "student" credit card since I study on the evenings back then, and work full-time during the day.
I guess AMEX is better since I received a letter from them for a Gold card and gets approved. I am one happy bastard.
Thanks for everyone's opinion.
I guess... I'll stick to my Gold card for now.
I'll apply for a Platinum card after I have my very own family (wife and children)... so I can spoil them with all those perks associated with the Platinum card
or you can get the platinum now, and save up pts to spoil them sooner :P
I just had the same debate with myself, and upgraded primarily because of the travel, particularly foreign travel.
Some of the perks -- the Fine Hotels program, for instance -- are for the wealthy and don't provide any value to real people like me who are never going to stay in a Ritz Carlton in the first place. But others are great and more than worth price.
$200 credit of your choosing. This pays for more than half of the difference between annual fee of the gold and platinum. You can use it for baggage fees, drinks, food and seat upgrades. Only catch is you have select a single airline in the beginning of the year. But if you fly a lot, you are going to spend $200 each year no matter how well you plan. This by itself is worth the price when you consider you are only adding $325 to your AF (with gold I was spending $125 already)
* Airport first class lounge access. Isn't as accepted as well as it should be overseas, which I should have checked better. But incredible for U.S. travel, and most lounges include free wi-fi and other perks, so long layovers pay.
* AMEX reimburses for $100 U.S. Entry application fee. The government program lets you bypass long border/customs lines when returning to U.S. Huge advantage for Washington D.C. and New York, where lines can be hours. Other airports aren't as bad, so depends on which airport you fly into the most.
* No foreign transaction fees. Most cards (except Capital One) charge 2.7 percent. Last year I spent about $10,000 on business travel overseas (mostly airfare and hotel) , and that means about $270 in transaction fees. Again, it pays for itself.
* Upgrades to premium rental car programs. Doesn't seem to work in Europe, so not sure it is a huge help. In U.S., it's a nice perk.
* Upgrade to Starwood Preferred program. Again, it seems to be better for U.S.
* Concierge service and Fine Hotels program. Both are great if you are spending a lot of money for those type of things. For others, Orbitz can probably save a lot of cash without the frills. Although I want to go to a British Open this year, and they claim they can secure tickets. We'll see.
* Companion First Class/Business ticket. This is great because the cost of one Business ticket is only slightly more than two coach on many longer routes. It's a nice treat once a year if you have a flight that is going to take 18 hours or so.
It's expensive. Stupid expensive. Other cards can match some of the perks. Capital One goes free foreign transaction fees (although the points system and other upgrades are garbage compared to AMEX).
Basically if you travel a lot, it pays for itself without any question. If you don't, it's nice and shiny way to be pretentious. But frankly it's a little embarrassing to pull out in some spots, so I don't always use it.
Hope it helps.
Out of curiosity... why is it embarrassing to pull out in some spots? Like where (I want to know as a "heads-up")? I use my Gold card almost everywhere that accepts AMEX cards. From thrifty stores to dining experience.
Originally Posted by Jake
But recently, stupid KFC stopped accepting AMEX cards for some reason. So I am stuck with using a credit card whenever I go KFC. I eat less KFC now.
F.Y.I. I hate to carry cash with me... hehe... whenever I know I have cash in my wallet, I most of the time spend almost everything without knowing how much I spent XD.
The only reason it can be embarrassing is that you are sitting at a hotel in Chisinau, Moldova, or some small hotel in Ukraine -- where they are great people who don't have a down payment on a hot dog -- and here is some big American pulling out a Platinum American Express. I know the card means nothing, and you know the card means nothing, but to them I'm suddenly Warren Buffet, and it changes perceptions. Rarely in a good way.
Originally Posted by Celestine
So I put it away unless I'm at a hotel checking in or out.
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