AMEX Platinum cruise benefits question

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#61
3,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by gatour
I normally fly Delta, and have never had problems in entering their lounges as long as I presented my AMEX platinum card and had a boarding pass for a flight on Delta that day.

To me that is a great benefit esp. when I am on vacation. Arrive at the airport at the recommended 2 hours before, if you get through TSA quickly, head to the Skymile lounge for a couple of "free" wines. In the bars in the terminal, this would be $28+ for me and my wife. Fly to Atlanta, where we repeat the Skymile lounge.

Return trip would be similar.

The $200 fee re-reimbursement which they started last year also is a plus. I am "old-school" where I don't want worry about how to pack all of my clothes into a carryon. I prefer to check in my suit cases and just worry about carrying on my camera/computer/electronic bag.

Base on the above scenario, I have already covered $300 of the platinum card's annual fee.

There is at least one intangibles.

In general the airline clubs can be a quiet respite from the "drone" of the main terminals and the airplanes themselves.

Each person needs to make their own cost/benefit judgement
Exactly!

Airline Lounge access is what caused me to get the Platinum Card in the first place. I was paying the same amount for an annual fee anyway so why not get the added benefits?
#62
1,458 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I like the lounge access. But I think my two favorite features are the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, and the ability to accumulate a ton of membership reward points.

Fine Hotels & Resorts give great benefits (room upgrade, guaranteed late checkout, complimentary meals at times, spa credits) and the rates are usually BETTER than they are through the hotel or other travel partners. Now, for those reservations, unlike the cruise benefits you do have to book through them.

I LOVE the rewards points, and they do a ton of multipliers. I own a business and I do a TON of business transactions ($30-50K a month) through the card. I haven't paid for an airline flight in three years!
#63
Atlanta, GA
533 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
These benefits all sound great, and I know I'd be able to recoup the annual fee easily through everything they offer. My main concern is that I'm also considering a different card that offers 2% cash back on everything, whereas the AMEX card only offers it on travel booked through their agency. In the end, that other card will give me over $1,000. I'm trying to see if it's even possible to recoup that same amount of money with the AMEX. The only way I see it's possible is to buy that one international first class ticket and get the complimentary one. The problem with that is I don't normally fly first class. So now I have to pay for a ticket that I wouldn't normally buy which means I have a cost that will be almost equal to the savings I get out of it. Unless someone normally flies first class internationally at least once a year, I don't see how this card can compete with a 2% cash back card. Can someone give me an example of how it would otherwise?
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#64
1,458 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by secret1122
These benefits all sound great, and I know I'd be able to recoup the annual fee easily through everything they offer. My main concern is that I'm also considering a different card that offers 2% cash back on everything, whereas the AMEX card only offers it on travel booked through their agency. In the end, that other card will give me over $1,000. I'm trying to see if it's even possible to recoup that same amount of money with the AMEX. The only way I see it's possible is to buy that one international first class ticket and get the complimentary one. The problem with that is I don't normally fly first class. So now I have to pay for a ticket that I wouldn't normally buy which means I have a cost that will be almost equal to the savings I get out of it. Unless someone normally flies first class internationally at least once a year, I don't see how this card can compete with a 2% cash back card. Can someone give me an example of how it would otherwise?
2% cash back is probably a little bit better. If the points is the only upside of the card to you, then I would probably go for the 2% card as well. There are a lot of opportunities for double and sometimes quadruple points. I made a killing when I needed to upgrade some IT stuff at my office. I spent about 35K and got quadruple points. 140,000 points one swing!
#65
Atlanta, GA
1,206 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by secret1122
Not related to cruising, but since we're on the topic of the card, I have read various complaints online that the 600 airport lounges available worldwide may be an exaggeration. I have read that MANY of these lounges either no longer accept the special passes AMEX gives out, or that they just experienced issues and couldn't get in. Have any of you have negative experiences with getting into any airport lounges?

I want to confirm a couple things. It seems we have agreed that you can book through any TA and then have them activate your AMEX perks through a phone call or other means. Is this statement correct? Also it was mentioned that other than the OBC offered by RCCL from a NC certificate or other means, no other discounts can be combined with your AMEX perks. This would include savings certificates and balcony discounts. Is this also a confirmed statement?

I need to be sure on these couple things because they will weigh heavily on my decision as to whether I get the card or not. I don't travel a lot, so hotel/rental car perks are not huge. When I DO travel, it'll almost always be a cruise, so cruise perks are a big deal to me. Airline perks would be second most important since I'll be flying to several ports as well.

Thanks in advance for any help. I know it's not all cruise related, but it's nice to have a place to get some other information as well, especially when a money making decision needs to be made, such as whether to pay $450 a year for a credit card.
The Amex Platinum Card itself will get you and 2 guests entry into the American Airlines Admirals Club and the Delta Air Lines Sky Club when you are flying those airlines. The card also includes US Airways Club access, but it doesn't matter whether you are flying US Airways that day or not. It also includes Priority Pass Select membership which will get you into a lot of additional lounges. You can read about Priority Pass here. The trick with Priority Pass is that if you buy a full Priority Pass membership on your own, most United Clubs accept it. Priority Pass Select membership specifically excludes access to United Clubs..... rumor has it that this is because Chase and Amex don't play well together and United and Chase are very tight. I have used Priority Pass Select a couple of times and had no issues. Lounge access using that is free to the card member, but 27 dollars per person for guests.

As for the Cruise Privileges Program, I use a travel agent that is not an American Express agent. She calls American Express on my behalf, gets what she refers to as a tracking number, and then has the benefits applied to my cruises. Amex benefits and others from the cruise line cannot be combined. My next cruise had a big OBC for booking onboard with RCL.... big enough that it exceeded the benefits of my Amex benefits, but I thought I'd give it a try and see if RCL would combine the 2. No go.
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#66
1,458 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by MJonTravel
rumor has it that this is because Chase and Amex don't play well together and United and Chase are very tight.
American Express also has a Delta card. So yeah, United doesn't exactly roll out the red carpet for them!
#67
Atlanta, GA
533 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by macruisefan
2% cash back is probably a little bit better. If the points is the only upside of the card to you, then I would probably go for the 2% card as well.
Well it's not that the "points" themselves are important. But the money these points give me can pay for most or all of the benefits that the AMEX card gives me, with cash left over to spend as I please. I'm starting to think maybe i should get BOTH cards. I can use some of the cash from the 2% card to pay the fee on the AMEX, and then get continued benefits of both.

Originally posted by MJonTravel
As for the Cruise Privileges Program, I use a travel agent that is not an American Express agent. She calls American Express on my behalf, gets what she refers to as a tracking number, and then has the benefits applied to my cruises. Amex benefits and others from the cruise line cannot be combined. My next cruise had a big OBC for booking onboard with RCL.... big enough that it exceeded the benefits of my Amex benefits, but I thought I'd give it a try and see if RCL would combine the 2. No go.
I thought that NC certificate OBC COULD be combined with the AMEX OBC. If not, that's disappointing. I guess I would have to see which offer is better and take it. I think I may try to apply for both cards and see what happens.
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Sailed:

Allure of the Seas 5/13/2012
Liberty of the Seas 11/15/2012
Silhouette 01/06/13
Silhouette 01/13/13
Allure of the Seas 5/18/2014
Carnival Breeze 01/02/2016

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#68
Atlantic City, NJ
349 Posts
Joined May 2012
I'd never heard of Platinum benefits for cruises until reading this thread. I asked my travel agent about it and she said there was no such thing because I didn't book through AMEX.

But the explanations in this thread were so compelling, so I called AMEX myself and was told it can be done. I e-mailed the details to my TA, and just now she came through with the goods. I now have the following for each of my 2 cabins:

* $100 OBC (cannot be used for gratuities or casino).
* Bottle of Champagne.
* Complimentary dinner for two in a specialty restaurant (reservations can't be made in advance for this, must be done after boarding ship).


She said she was told that they normally don't add these amenities after final payment has been made but they made an exception.

But the bottom line is, she did it, and I have many of you good folks here at Cruise Critic to thank for it. Hmm, if any of you are on my Roll Call, I might just have to buy you a drink with that nice OBC!
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Yeh, don't believe that "sailed August 26th, 2012" thing above ... we were delayed 'til August 28th, 2012 due to TS Isaac ... only had a 5-day cruise instead of 7.

#69
Atlanta, GA
533 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I did some more research yesterday and decided to go with the other card I was reading about. It's the Capital One Venture card (the one that Alec Baldwin promotes in the commercials.) It will give me 2% back on EVERY purchase, which equates to well over $1,000 a year, plus many of the same benefits that the platinum AMEX offers. I get several perks on cruises, which is most important to me, plus many hotel, food, and airline benefits. It does not offer the BOGO first class international ticket, which was the only perk AMEX offered which has a value in the thousands of dollars, but most everything else the Venture card offers is similar in value. The $1,000+ spending money would more than cover anything else that's missing with plenty left over for me to spend as I please.

While I am going with a different card, as the last poster said, I want to thank everyone for participating in this thread, because it opened my eyes to the additional perks that some credit cards offer on top of the basic cash back awards. I was unaware that credit cards could offer perks such as hotel upgrades, cruise OBC, and free meals at hotels and other events. Although a lot of this thread was geared towards credit cards, and less about cruising in general, it sure made me a lot of extra money, so I thank you. I will continue reading here as I'm sure some other ideas might come up from new posts. This has been a very informative thread.
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Sailed:

Allure of the Seas 5/13/2012
Liberty of the Seas 11/15/2012
Silhouette 01/06/13
Silhouette 01/13/13
Allure of the Seas 5/18/2014
Carnival Breeze 01/02/2016

http://www.pbase.com/jeffklee13
#70
3,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by CleveRocks
I'd never heard of Platinum benefits for cruises until reading this thread. I asked my travel agent about it and she said there was no such thing because I didn't book through AMEX.

But the explanations in this thread were so compelling, so I called AMEX myself and was told it can be done. I e-mailed the details to my TA, and just now she came through with the goods. I now have the following for each of my 2 cabins:

* $100 OBC (cannot be used for gratuities or casino).
* Bottle of Champagne.
* Complimentary dinner for two in a specialty restaurant (reservations can't be made in advance for this, must be done after boarding ship).


She said she was told that they normally don't add these amenities after final payment has been made but they made an exception.

But the bottom line is, she did it, and I have many of you good folks here at Cruise Critic to thank for it. Hmm, if any of you are on my Roll Call, I might just have to buy you a drink with that nice OBC!
Congratulations! That must have made your day!!
#71
3,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by secret1122
I did some more research yesterday and decided to go with the other card I was reading about. It's the Capital One Venture card (the one that Alec Baldwin promotes in the commercials.) It will give me 2% back on EVERY purchase, which equates to well over $1,000 a year, plus many of the same benefits that the platinum AMEX offers. I get several perks on cruises, which is most important to me, plus many hotel, food, and airline benefits. It does not offer the BOGO first class international ticket, which was the only perk AMEX offered which has a value in the thousands of dollars, but most everything else the Venture card offers is similar in value. The $1,000+ spending money would more than cover anything else that's missing with plenty left over for me to spend as I please.

While I am going with a different card, as the last poster said, I want to thank everyone for participating in this thread, because it opened my eyes to the additional perks that some credit cards offer on top of the basic cash back awards. I was unaware that credit cards could offer perks such as hotel upgrades, cruise OBC, and free meals at hotels and other events. Although a lot of this thread was geared towards credit cards, and less about cruising in general, it sure made me a lot of extra money, so I thank you. I will continue reading here as I'm sure some other ideas might come up from new posts. This has been a very informative thread.
I agree...there is no "one size fits all". I do have the platinum Amex because for me the benefits far outweigh the fee. However, I charge everything on my Costco Amex so I get the cash back. You don't have to pay for the cruise with the Plat Amex to get the benefit...you can pay with any Amex.
#72
3,169 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Great. one size doesn't fill all.

Funny story in regards to the airline fee reimbursement. Last year I flew out to Las Vegas on Delta. When I got back and received my 2nd credit card statement since the trip, I saw several $6 credits in relation to Delta. It took me a bit to remember that I had a few glasses of wine on the flights. I put two and two together and checked AMEX website and found that the $200 fee coverage, covers pretty much everything. I had thought it only covered baggage fees, seat upgrades and that sort of thing. If I knew that I may have ordered a few more glasses of wine, since I didn't come close to using up the $200 last year.


Originally posted by secret1122
I did some more research yesterday and decided to go with the other card I was reading about. It's the Capital One Venture card (the one that Alec Baldwin promotes in the commercials.) It will give me 2% back on EVERY purchase, which equates to well over $1,000 a year, plus many of the same benefits that the platinum AMEX offers. I get several perks on cruises, which is most important to me, plus many hotel, food, and airline benefits. It does not offer the BOGO first class international ticket, which was the only perk AMEX offered which has a value in the thousands of dollars, but most everything else the Venture card offers is similar in value. The $1,000+ spending money would more than cover anything else that's missing with plenty left over for me to spend as I please.

While I am going with a different card, as the last poster said, I want to thank everyone for participating in this thread, because it opened my eyes to the additional perks that some credit cards offer on top of the basic cash back awards. I was unaware that credit cards could offer perks such as hotel upgrades, cruise OBC, and free meals at hotels and other events. Although a lot of this thread was geared towards credit cards, and less about cruising in general, it sure made me a lot of extra money, so I thank you. I will continue reading here as I'm sure some other ideas might come up from new posts. This has been a very informative thread.
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#73
United States
7 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
I just came back from the Freedom of the Seas 4/27/14 sailing. We used American Express Platinum for the booking with includes $300 shipboard credit. Many times in the past, including as recently as November 2013, I was able to get onboard credit from applying a NextCruise deposit in addition to the Amex Platinum OBC.
But on this sailing, I was told those two OBC's are not combineable. Since getting off the ship yesterday I've been trying to find out when the policy was changed and how it was communicated. Amex Platinum Travel was unaware of the new policy.
I'm also an RCL stockholder and have NOT been able to combine that OBC with the other two, but in following the stock one of the key goals of RCL is to boost "net revenue yield" while simultaneously lowering operating costs. So I assume this quiet change in policy is designed to boost net revenue yield.
I'm actually okay with that, but what I'm not okay with is changing the rules with no communication to those affected!
#74
Canton, MI
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by ctcruiser1721
I have the Plat but have never booked through them as my TA gives 10% OBC which is usually quite a bit higher. But I would be interested in knowing how you make out with regard to the 3 cat upgrade. The last time I called to check, RC was not one of the lines participating in this program. Please keep us posted!

Also, as I'm sure you are aware, we can now choose an airline and receive up to $200 in credits for things like baggage fees, meals, drinks, etc. It's one of my favorite benefits.
Wow your TA gives 10% OBC!! I would like to get your TA's information but I know we are not supposed to discuss TA's on this board. Can you e-mail me the information? [email protected]
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#75
3,022 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by ctcruiser1721
I have the Plat but have never booked through them as my TA gives 10% OBC which is usually quite a bit higher.
This has been mentioned but just to be clear, your TA benefits will be in addition to the Plat Amex benefits. Any travel agent should be able to register and obtain the benefits...you don't have to choose one over the other.
#76
Manchester, England
2,904 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Very interesting.

Quite an old thread so I'll have to do some up-to-date research.
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#78
AZ
3,699 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by krisko
Does anybody know if Delta SkyMiles Platinum AMEX offers the same benefits?
I do not believe so, I'm pretty sure it's only the standard Amex Platinum card. Others here will confirm or dispute.
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