Follow-up Review: Amex Platty-plat

A while ago, I reviewed the Amex Platinum card (hereafter: platty-plat, platerino, or Planturion) and gave it an overall not-great score on my scientific scale. In time, however, I’ve grown fonder of that shiny gray bugger, so I thought I’d update my review now that I’ve had my card a year.

First, I wrote the review during the period of time when Amex wasn’t automatically reimbursing gift cards, so the $200 incidental fee reimbursement didn’t seem very useful to me. Luckily for me, things went back to normal a few weeks later, and I easily added $200 to my United gift registry. Then, once January rolled around, I bought $200 worth of Amazon gift cards from United Mileage Plus X, which were reimbursed within a couple days. That’s $400 in the first year that I reimbursed with something that (for me, at least) was cash-equivalent.

Second, I wasn’t super charitable about the platty-plat’s other benefits. Turns out I benefited directly from Starwood Gold status by getting treated shittily at a W hotel and earning 5000 “HOW DARE THEY TREAT A GOLD MEMBER THIS WAY” points from Starwood. And the Fine Hotels and Resorts portfolio may be too damn expensive in most locations, but in Vegas, it’s a total steal. My wife and I have a trip coming up in December, and the FHR benefits are going to save us quite a few bucks. I also booked an FHR rate at Hotel 1000 in Seattle (soon to be Loews Seattle), since it was reasonable for a downtown hotel, and the FHR credits ended up paying for breakfast and dinner both days I was there. I should note that both Mastercard, Visa, and Chase offer their own luxury hotel portfolios, but the number of properties is smaller, and the benefits usually aren’t as good.

Third, I mentioned Centurion lounges without also mentioning Delta SkyClubs. This is even more of an asset now that Citi has dumped Admiral’s Club access from the Prestige card, and Chase elected not to include United Club access with the Blapphire Reblerve. Especially since I most often fly to Seattle, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City, the platty-plat’s lounge access provides the most coverage, as well as guaranteeing I don’t have to spend any more time than absolutely necessary in SLC’s ninth-circle-of-hell of a terminal. (I could tell you why I hate SLC airport so much, but it’s outside the scope of this review.)

Fourth, I had an opportunity to compare the Amex and Citi concierge services side-by-side, and Amex won handily. I needed a reservation on a day’s notice at the Slanted Door in San Francisco, which usually requires a week or so, if not more. I called Citi first, and they said they couldn’t get one. I called Amex next, and not only did they get me a reservation within 15 minutes of the time I requested, but it was in a booth with a great view of the bay. So, if you value concierge service at all, it’s good to know that Amex can get the job done. I mention this because a lot of my old review was about how the Citi Prestige is better in most ways, and I no longer think that’s true (thought it is still better in many ways).

Finally, woe be to anyone who needs to call Citi’s customer service, which is abysmal. Long hold times, incompetent reps, and general frustration are the norm, whereas Amex’s customer service folks have always been great. I realize my experience may not be the norm, since horror stories about Amex abound, but this is MY review now isn’t it?

So there you have it. Now you have almost 2000 words of me bloviating about what I think of a credit card, and I’d imagine you’re better for it. Let’s get a great debate going in the comments about this card. Specifically, do you like “Platty-plat” or “Planturion” better as a nickname?

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