Amex Tweaks Platinum Card Including Authorized User Fee Hike
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American Express has announced some tweaks to its iconic Platinum Card, including updates to its authorized user fee and its Digital Entertainment Credit.
About the authorized user fee update:
Effective today, as TPG reports, the American Express Platinum will not only hike its authorized user fee but will also change the pricing structure altogether. Previously, Platinum cardmembers could add up to three AUs for a total of $175 per year — meaning, whether you added one user or three, you’d pay the same $175 fee. Now, Amex is raising this fee to $195 per card. This fee has already been updated for new cardholders and current cardholders now adding AUs. Those with existing AU accounts will see new fees when those accounts renew.
Although the fee for Platinum Card authorized users is going up, cardmembers do still have a free AU option. However, Amex is also updating a piece of its nomenclature in this department. Prior to today, the free authorized user option was referred to as a Gold Card. This proved confusing since the card bore no resemblance to the actual American Express Gold Card and, instead, merely gave users a way to have friends and family charge their main account. Now, this free authorized user card will be referred to as a Companion Platinum Card. If imagery on the Amex site is to be believed, these cards will have a plain white design and are likely made of plastic versus the metal of the Platinum Card. As a reminder, those with the Companion Platinum Card will not enjoy any of the status perks or lounge access of the paid Platinum AU card.
Changes to Digital Entertainment Credit:
Another feature that Amex is tinkering with is the Platinum Card’s Digital Entertainment Credit. Starting today, the Wall Street Journal will be eligible for the card’s $20 per month credit, joining The Disney Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, and/or ESPN+), The New York Times, Peacock, and Sirius XM. However, while Audible will remain eligible through October 1st, the audiobook platform will be dropped from the offering after that.
As a Platinum Card customer — and one with three authorized users, at that — this is clearly bad news for me. While the hike from $175 to $195 is modest, making it per card now means that the cost of my AUs will go from $175 annually to $585. Granted, this total is still less that the main card’s annual fee, but authorized users don’t enjoy all of the same offsetting credits that the main account does. Meanwhile, the update to the Digital Entertainment Credit is also a bummer for me since I use the bulk of my monthly credit for my Audible subscription.
Despite these negative changes, I still think that the Platinum Card is worth its hefty cost. Unfortunately, however, I may need to drop a couple of authorized users (unless they’re willing to cover the cost themselves).
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