Wednesday, June 13, 2012

American Express revamps The Platinum Card and makes it about the 'Wealth of Experience'

Recently American Express Canada released the details of their revamp to The Platinum Card from American Express. These changes are due to take effect on June 29 with information packets already arriving to current Platinum Card holders. What follows are the new details of this card which I must say live up to their marketing slogan "a wealth of experience". Don't be fooled by the $699 annual fee (the highest of any publicly available card in Canada, the Amex Centurion is more but that is invite only!) as this card packs a punch in the benefits that come with it. Obviously we are a travel rewards site and this card is targeted specifically to many of our readers as the majority of the new or enhanced benefits are travel related. I will leave it at that as I know most people only skim blogs, so with that said check out what this card now offers:

Lounge Access:
Priority Pass Prestige Membership which offers access to over 600 lounges Worldwide. If you are not familiar with Priority Pass, it is a third party lounge access program that has different membership levels. The top level or Prestige provides free access to any of the lounges in their network. The lower levels have entry fees for the lounges. For The Platinum Card by American Express Cardholders the cardholder and guest can access the lounges free of charge. Typically the Prestige version of the Priority Pass programs costs $399 per year

Over and above the Priority Pass Platinum access, the card provides the following:
- Canadian Platinum Lounge benefit: Free of charge access for the cardmember + Spouse and 2 children or one guest participating lounges in Canada
- The Card provides Cathay Pacific The Marco Polo Club membership which provides free of charge access to Cathay Pacific Marco Polo lounges and/or OneWorld alliance lounges for the cardmember and one travelling companion who are travelling on Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any oneworld carrier..
- Access to American Airlines Admirals Club for no charge for the cardmember + Spouse and 2 children or two travelling companions who are holding an AA flight boarding pass
- Access to US Airways Clubs for no charge for the cardmember + Spouse and 2 children or two travelling companions regardless of the airline you are travelling on
- Access to Delta Sky Clubs for no charge for the cardmember + Spouse and 2 children or two travelling companions who are holding an Delta flight boarding pass
- Access to American Express lounges for the cardholder + 1 travelling companion

$200 Annual Travel Credit
The Platinum Card comes with an annual $200 Travel Credit that can be used towards any single travel booking of $200 or more charged to the card through the Platinum Card Travel Service.

Toronto Pearson Benefits
The Platinum Card offers several benefits for travellers flying from or through Toronto Pearson:

Complimentary Valet Service at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. The $25 Valet service fee is waived when you present your Platinum Card upon car pick up.

15% Discount on parking when you use the Platinum Card to pay for the parking at the Express Park in Terminal 1 and Daily Park in Terminals 1 and 3.

Finally, the card provides access to the the Pearson Priority Lane when clearing security at Terminals 1 and 3.

Elite Statuses and Complimentary Memberships
Platinum Card holders will now be awarded the following Elite Statuses and memberships:
Starwood Hotels: Starwood Gold Preferred Guest
Carlson Hotels: Club Carlson Gold Elite Status
Accor Hotels: Le Club accorhotels Platinum
Fairmont Hotels: Accelerated earning of Fairmont Presidents Club Platinum (requires 5 stays to achieve)
Cathay Pacific: The Marco Polo Club Gold
Hertz: Hertz #1 Club Gold
Avis: Avis Preferred

Fine Hotels and Resorts
This is just like the program for the U.S. Platinum Card and provides special offers at participating hotels including discounted rates, free nights, upgrades, complimentary meals or massages and more.

Rewards and Insurance Benefits
Of course the card still comes with Concierge service, American Express Front of the Line service and the same insurance benefits as before such as Trip Cancellation, Out of Province Medical, Flight Delay/Interruption and more. On the earning side it still offers 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on the card.

What it apparent here is that this card is for those people who travel a lot and are looking to enhance those travels. Many of the people who get this card as I have been told by American Express are not getting it for the rewards but for the experiences it brings when travelling while the 1.25 MR points are simply a bonus to those experiences. Overall some people may balk at the thought of paying so much for a credit card while the seasoned travel may find this card an exceptional value for the benefits it brings to the plate

For more information on the Platinum Card please visit


  1. Give me a break!
    Benefits are far less than the u.s. platinum
    Yet, asking more

    Been a holder for a very long time
    Will probably let it expire

    1. I wouldn't say they are far less, the cards are quite equal with each having their pros and cons. The biggest thing the U.S. platinum has that the Canadian card doesn't is no foreign transaction fees. Other than that the lounge access is pretty much the same, the Canadian card gives you more elite statuses than the U.S., they both have the same airline credit, they both have Fine Hotels and Resorts. The U.S. card earns a base 1 point/$ spent, the Canadian is 1.25/$.

  2. There's a $125 cash back applying through canadian rebate!