Earlier in the month the U.K. based points and miles blog Head for Points announced the U.K. version of the Platinum Card from American Express was losing its Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle Jade elite status benefit. Rewards Canada immediately reached out to American Express Canada who confirmed this is the case for Canadian cardholders as well. At Amex Canada’s request we didn’t release the details until now as Platinum Cardmembers will be receiving details on their next statement about the departure of this benefit. Based on the U.K. and Canada losing this benefit I am under the impression this is a change seen by American Express globally.
While news like this isn’t what we like to hear as it always hurts to lose benefits from a card the one bright light is that this benefit does not end right away. In fact it will be available for existing and new cardholders until March 31, 2021. So that’s where you need to get a plan into action and activate this benefit if you haven’t done so yet. And I’ll go into details why you should. First, most of what follows is a rehash from our feature How to maximize the elite status benefits from The Platinum Card from American Express where Rewards Canada shows how you can get 11 Hotel Elite Statuses. 1 Airline Elite Status. 2 Car Rental Elite Statuses and 1 Cruise Line Elite Status all from the 5 elite statuses the card provides. Unfortunately those numbers will drop to 9 hotel and 0 airline elite status options when the Shangri-La benefit ends. That’s why you should sign up for this benefit before the end of March so that you can have three more elite status cards in your back pocket.
Here’s how you do it. First log in to your American Express account and navigate to the Platinum benefits section (or just click here and log in from there), click on Travel Benefits –> Hotel Benefits –> Shangri-La’s Golden Circle Jade membership and you’ll find yourself looking at the following:
Click on the enrol button, fill out the form, click submit and the rest is history – well not really as if I recall correctly when Amex added this benefit and I enrolled it took at least a month if not a little longer before the Jade elite status showed up in my Shangri-La account. Here’s what you’ll see in your Golden Circle account once all is set:
You’ll see that I have amassed a huge amount of points totaling…. zero points in the Golden Circle program but I do hold that Jade status thanks to the Platinum card. That sets your first of the two hotel elite statuses that this is card is technically losing. The next is for Taj Hotels.
Shangri-La has a partnership with Taj Hotels that
offers reciprocal benefits in each other’s programs. The partnership is
called Warmer Welcomes and provides Shangri-La Jade members with
automatic Gold status in Taj Hotels Inner Circle Program. There are
some other benefits included in this partnership. Find out more about Warmer Welcomes here
Once you have your Shangri-La Jade status make sure you visit the Warmer Welcomes page that is linked to above and link your account to Taj so that you can get Inner Circle Gold status. That covers the two hotel statuses but what about the one airline status we mention? That also comes to us courtesy of Shangri-La Golden Circle.
Shangri-La has a partnership with Singapore Airlines
that is called Infinite Journeys and this provides Shangri-La Jade
members with automatic Silver status in KrisFlyer program. There is
also a fast track where you only have to take three Singapore Airlines
flights within four months of registering to get KrisFlyer Gold
status. Find out more about Infinite Journeys here
Now Silver Elite status with Singapore Airlines is the
‘entry-level’ tier in their program and it doesn’t get you too much – it
provides 25% bonus KrisFlyer miles on Singapore Airlines & Silk Air
flights as well as complimentary standard seat selection. It also
translates to Star Alliance Silver – not much again in benefits however
now that you have an airline elite status in your pocket you can use
that to try to status match to other airline’s elite status although it may be highly unlikely if you have no flight activity to show with your status.
You may want to time the linking of your Golden Circle to KrisFlyer memberships at a time that is right for you. That is, if you know you’ll be taking flights with three flights with Singapore Airlines within a four month period don’t link your accounts until a short period before your first flight. That way you can bump up to KrisFlyer Gold Elite status. Of course this is easier said than done with the current travel situation globally.
And there you have it. Are you going to use any of the above status benefits? I think for most of us Platinum cardholders the answer to that question will be no and that’s mainly due to not much travel happening right now. Your best bet if you want to experience the Golden Circle Jade benefits sooner than later is to stay at the one of the two Shangri-La Hotels in Canada which are in Vancouver and Toronto. If and when travel opens up later this year then you’ll have more options to try out depending on your travel patterns.
Amex Canada’s Shangri-La page has now been updated to reflect this change:
This doesn’t spell the end of cooperation between American Express and Shangri-La hotels however as Amex Canada told us the following:
We will focus on our continued partnership with Shangri-La and their properties as part of our Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection program.
At least we have that, the Fine Hotels & Resorts option from the Platinum Card provides benefits that are actually similar to what you would get with Golden Circle Jade status like room upgrades, early check in, late check out and breakfast. The only thing FHR won’t get you is the 25% bonus Golden Circle points.
Overall if there is a status benefit the Platinum card has to lose without causing too much of an issue for Canadian cardmembers it is this one. The others, namely Marriott, Hilton & Radisson provide much more tangible benefits due to the footprints those hotel chains have around the world and would be a bigger loss for this card. I do hope however that American Express (either Canada or globally) is working on adding other partners as this is the second hotel elite status to be lost in the course of a few years after the card lost Le Club AccorHotels (now known as ALL Accor Live Limitless). In my mind it actually would be pretty awesome if Amex could bring Accor back with a Gold status benefit seeing that the French hotelier is the proud owner of Fairmont Hotels and it would be nice to use those benefits at the iconic hotel chain. I wouldn’t put much weight behind that but it is wishful thinking!
Learn more about The Platinum Card from American Express here