American Express Charge Cards - Perks, Costs, and Authorized Users

I currently have an Amex Platinum (Business) in my wallet and I’m looking at my options as I approach the renewal of the steep annual fee. Please note that this analysis is for Charge cards.

There’s information about sign-up bonuses for these cards in this other topic. But this thread is interested in more of the day-to-day of the cards.


Business
Green -

Business Gold Rewards:
AF - $0 first year; then $175
Points - 5 categories to choose from:

  • Airfare purchased direct from airlines
  • Advertising
  • Gas Stations
  • Shipping
  • Computer stuff
    Get 3x on one of those selected categories, 2x on the other 4, 1x on everything else
    AU Cost - $50 (waived first year) for first additional card, $0 for additional cards

Platinum
AF - $450
Points - 1x everywhere, 1.5x on purchases in excess of $5,000 (for $2m worth of spend)
AU Cost - $300 each (ouch!)
Perks: $200 Airline credit, Boingo Access, Global Entry/TSA Pre credit, $200 Uber Credit, Access to Centurion Lounges for you and two guests


Personal
Green:
AF - $0 First Year; $95 thereafter
Points - 1x MR on everything. 2x on travel purchased through AmexTravel.com
AU Cost - $30 gets up to 5 AUs, $30 for each additional AU
Other Perks: None

Gold (Unclear if this product is being phased out)
AF - $0 First Year; $160 thereafter
Points - 1x MR on everything, 2x Restuarants and Flights booked on AmexTravel
AU Cost - Unknown

Premier Rewards Gold:
AF - $0 First Year; $195 thereafter
Points - 1x MR on everything, 2x Restaurants Gas and Groceries, 3X Flights booked on AmexTravel
AU Cost - $0 for up to 5 Gold AUs, $35 for each subsequent Gold AU

Platinum:

  • AF - $495 per year. Occasional offers to waive first year.
  • Points - 1 MR per dollar everywhere; 5 MR per dollar when booking on Amex Travel
  • AU Cost - $175 gets up to 3 additional platinum AUs, each subsequent Platinum AU is $175
  • Add up to 99 Gold AUs for free. Note that Gold card holders will earn MR points as if their card was Platinum
  • Other Perks: $200 Airline credit, Boingo Access, Global Entry/TSA Pre credit, $200 Uber Credit, Access to Centurion Lounges for you and two guests (Platinum AUs don’t get Airline Credit or Uber Credit)

Does anyone have the Centurion :slight_smile:


A little OP analysis:

  1. I don’t see any reason to waste time with a green card. Get a blue cash that earns 1x MR (or better) and it probably has no AF
  2. The Personal Platinum is the way to go to leverage platinum benefits. 1 Platinum Card + 3 AUs for $600 would get 12 people access to a Centurion lounge!
  3. The Gold cards are a bit of a mystery as well. Their earning isn’t great, and they have a hefty annual fee. I’d rather go with a 2%+ everywhere cashback card.
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The annual fee for Military members is $0, for all of their products.

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Did not know this. Fantastic bonus for military members.

Anyone remember the guy on FWF a few years back who did extensive posting on his use of the Centurion? I think his user name began with an “A” but can’t remember anything other than that.

Is it Azurik ?

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Yes. Azurik. Had some great examples of the benefits of Centurion, how he qualified, etc. Might still be on FWF somewhere.

The only reason to have the Gold Business IMO (and why I have it) is 3x points on ad spending.

I then got the Platinum for the 1.5x bonus on purchases over $5k (inventory purchases for me) and travel benefits.

Shamelessly copying and sharing a link comparing all of the Platinum cards.

Credit where it is due. I lifted this from “AskSebby.” Not familiar with the site, but the analysis is legit!

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Without large organic spend, I can’t find a way to justify the Platinum (for just centurion lounges, which seems like the only incremental benefit). I’ve tried :/.

The airline fee credit could change is not guaranteed to always work on gift cards, and those aren’t worth full value anyways. (I have $Ks worth of Chase UR. So no “cash value” for airline gift cards) I use uber but pretty rarely. And I already have to meet travel spend requirements for CSR.

So basically I’m at $550 fee for $200 airline and $200 Uber (which I couldn’t use Uber easily), so maybe value that at net of $250 fee with work required to convert the benefits to value for JUST Centurion lounges.

On top of managing the CSR $300 travel credit, I also have a $250 airline incidental credit I have to hit from Amex Aspire, and a $250 hilton credit I have to hit from Amex Aspire. (As opposed to the Platinum, the Aspire works out to a good $$$ deal if the airline credit can cash out as gift cards. $450 fee, $250 hilton refund, $250 airline refund, plus a free weekend night. So, -$50 net fee plus a free night at almost any Hilton and Diamond status).

The amount of credit card annual fees I pay now is somewhat absurd. I think if I found a way to justify the Platinum (unlikely), I’d be up there near the Amex Centurion annual fee when combining them all.

Actually dumb observation, looks like Uber Eats works for the Uber credit? So maybe it’s worth ~$150 if you don’t really use Uber much? You would still have to manage tracking $15 per month.

Why do you need Uber Eats? Don’t you have a BBQ next door? :-:laughing:

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:sob:

I have an on-again, off-again relationship with the Platinum card. That annual fee is undeniably steep. The Centurion lounge is a pretty killer perk if you can use it. A signup bonus makes the first year palatable as well. But, on the whole, the platinum card doesn’t make sense for most people.

TG, the bizplat doesn’t come with the uber credit, only the personal Platinum.

IMHO if it’s worth getting the charge cards, it’s worth getting the non-reporting, no-fee, 2x on all spend to $50K “Blue for Business Plus.” Even more so if you churn these cards, because BBP lets you retain and transfer out “full” MR points even when your annual fee cards are closed.

Good point Dave. I’m also a fan of the Personal platinum cards because of the much better AU treatment. $175/year gets you up to 3 AUs. So 4 platinum cards for $725. Those same 4 platinum cards with Business Amex Platinum would cost $1,450!

Agreed TG.

The killer app for the BizPlat was the 2x MR airfare option. Now that that’s dead, the Personal Plat makes more sense for most, even with the AF that’s $100 higher.

One thing to mention re: Uber credits. A workaround to having to use $15 in the month is to call a ride, then immediately cancel. As long as you cancel within 2 minutes, there’s no charge, and the Amex credits get refunded as Uber credits, which don’t have an expiration date.

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Any current data points on the date reported to the credit bureaus when someone is added as an AU to an Amex card?

I have a 30-year old Cash Preferred card that my brother was added to a couple of years ago. Amex dated the card as the date he was added, irritatingly.

I want to add myself to his Gold card, which just past the 2-years open mark. But I don’t want it posted as a new account–that might involve enough hassle for me to hold off.

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