Why I Canceled my American Express Platinum Card

Why I Canceled my American Express Platinum Card

I made the difficult decision to cancel my American Express Platinum card a couple of days ago even though it was one of my favorite cards to carry in my wallet.  I know that I promote the American Express cards a lot so I figured I owed it to my readers to be as transparent as possible as to my reasons for canceling.

I will preface this by saying that I am still a HUGE fan of the card and the benefits it provides.  I won’t go into detail about it in this post but if you are interested in the benefits, feel free to read about them in my review.

Why I Canceled

Ultimately, it was the annual fee that made me cancel the card.  At $699 a year, it’s a tough pill to swallow even considering that there were significant benefits that I enjoyed with the card, the biggest of which was the Priority Pass membership because I used that benefit a lot when I traveled.  I also enjoyed using the Centurion Lounges, especially in Dallas.  Houston isn’t bad either but Seattle needs a lot of improvement.

The card also provides benefits such as status with hotels including Hilton, SPG, and Club Carlson but I have already earned higher status through hotel stays and status matches so there was no real benefit there for me.

I have used the concierge service before and they do a decent job but because I’m a pretty planned out guy, the level of detail they provide in trip planning is not quite up to my expectations.  Others may find their research effort to go above and beyond but they are just okay by my books.

The Biggest Reason

The biggest reason that I canceled the card is that the retention offer that was made to me (10,000 Membership Rewards) just didn’t move the needle at all and I know that I can reapply for the card again.

The benefit of reapplying for the card is that I will now be able to redeem for my $200 travel credit twice.  Once in 2017 and again in 2018.  If I kept my card, I would only be able to claim the 2018 travel credit because I had already claimed the 2017 credit.

Long story short, I am given two choices:

  1. Keep the card for the $699 annual fee and get  1 x $200 travel credit – Actual cost of the card = $499 ($699 – $200)
  2. Cancel the card and reapply for it … still pay the $699 annual fee but get the $200 travel credit in 2017 AND 2018 – Actual cost of the card = $299 ($699 – $200 – $200).

What About the Sign-Up Bonus?

As you may or may not know, American Express limits the sign-up bonus to once per person per lifetime.  The full terms are below:

This offer is only available to new Platinum® Card Cardmembers. For current or former Platinum® Card Cardmembers, we may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus. Account must be in good standing. To qualify for the 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points, you must have at least $3,000 in net purchases posted to your account in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Purchases must be posted to your account on or before your three month anniversary date. Please allow up to six weeks for the welcome Bonus to be awarded.

Now I have heard of people getting the bonus more than once but if I were to get the card again, I would still meet the minimum spend requirements and hope for the best but there would be no expectation that I would receive the sign-up bonus.

Best case scenario is that I reapply for the card later, get the sign-up bonus AND the 2 x $200 Annual Travel Credits.  The most likely scenario is that I get the card and the 2 x $200 credits.

Conclusion

While I still love the American Express Platinum card with all of its benefits, I felt that I could get a better deal by canceling the card and reapplying for it down the road.  If you are in the same boat and are charged your annual fee, read my post about Negotiating Your Annual Fee before you do anything.  When you understand your options, step through the question of whether it would be more beneficial for you to cancel and reapply or retain the card.  For me, in this particular instance, it was better to reapply at a later time.

11 Comments
  1. I was offered 15,000 to stay, but I pulled the plug for the same reasons, plus, I first referred my husband, so we will trade years. The only downside is when I travel without him, I can’t use PP. I’m considering getting a supplementary card on his account to negate that.

  2. Hello Jayce,

    Let us know how it goes once the application is approved.

  3. Will I be able to get my Amex Platinum annual fee refunded if I cancel it within 30 days?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Paul. Yes, you should have no issue with getting a refund if you cancel within 30 days of the annual fee posting. Cheers

      Jayce

  4. Called Amex Platinum Canada twice today (no customer retention dept) and first rep was just prepared to cancel w/o discussion of staying as a cardholder, so I just put it off.
    The second call I made got s more experienced rep who stated he couldn’t offer anything particularly because the Canadian side of Amex much smaller. In fact, he said I’d even be charged back the $200 travel credit I used for 2017!
    I said I’ll explore other options first and let them know…

    1. Hi Steven,

      Remember, the terms and conditions are on your side. The $200 travel credit is an annual benefit and has nothing to do with when the card is cancelled. If they refuse to honor your rights for the travel credit, escalate it. It goes from the Front Line Rep –> Supervisor –> Team Lead. By the time you get to the Team Lead level, you should have the proper resolution. Cheers

      Jayce

      1. While it’s not prohibited, it seems like a really bad idea to insist. There is no obligation for AMEX to do business with you either, and they can certainly blacklist you (and they definitely have a blacklist). At best, insisting will make AMEX continue to tighten their terms and offers.

  5. I always thought this was a churnable card, maybe I am mistaken but is the “Once-in-a-lifetime” policy really enforced?

    1. Hi Robert,

      There have been reports that “once-in-a-lifetime” is enforced and others that say it isn’t. To be safe, I would set your expectation that it is enforced so as to not get your hopes too high. Cheers

      Jayce

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