13 Reasons Why I Canceled My Amex Platinum Card (2023)

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It’s fair to say $695 is a lot of money.

That sum is the primary reason why I canceled The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees). When I saw the annual fee hit my statement, I thought, “No way am I paying $695 for a credit card.” I must admit it made me a little sad, because I’ve held the card for two decades.

But since I live and breathe credit card benefits and know that some fees are worth the squeeze, I went through a thought experiment to determine whether or not the Amex Platinum was worth it for me. Here are 13 reasons why I decided not to renew my Amex Platinum.

Travel Benefits

I Have Other Cards That Get Me Into Airport Lounges

One of the Platinum’s main selling points is its expansive lounge access, but Amex is hardly the only player in the space. There are several cards currently available that can get you Priority Pass membership, and I happen to already have a number of them. Then consider that both Capital One and Chase are incubating networks of their own.

Losing the Amex Platinum card won’t leave me sitting by a crowded gate. Even if (gasp!) there’s no other lounge option, $695 buys a lot of wine at Vino Volo.

I Use Airport “Lounge” Restaurants More Than Actual Lounges

One of Priority Pass’ innovations over the past few years is the addition of close to 30 airside restaurants to the lineup of U.S. airport lounge options. With the right type of Priority Pass, you can get up to $56 per cardholder applied towards your bill. The restaurant options can be especially convenient if you travel early or late as the restaurant hours may be more flexible than those of a lounge. However, the Amex flavor of Priority Pass specifically excludes airport restaurant visits.

I Take My Family Into Airport Lounges

After Feb. 1, 2023 you’ll have to charge $75,000 to your American Express Platinum Card to unlock guest access to Centurion Lounges. Even if you do hit that staggering sum, you still can’t take guests into Delta SkyClubs without paying up.

The only way around this spend requirement is to purchase authorized user cards for your family at the tidy sum of $175. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card gives authorized user cards for free, with each getting their own Priority Pass membership that includes two guests of their own.

I Have Other Credit Cards That Give Me Free Baggage on Flights

Another marquee Amex Platinum benefit is the $200 annual airline incidental credit. While that sounds appealing, in reality it is cumbersome to use as you can’t apply it to airfare, just extras such as baggage or change fees, which most airlines have dropped. Co-branded airline cards give me the baggage benefit for a lot less money.

I Want Primary Rental Car Insurance but Amex Platinum Insurance Is Secondary²

There’s a huge difference between primary and secondary rental car insurance that can be summed up in one word: Hassle. Secondary insurance requires you to go through your own insurance company, then submit any overage to Amex. A number of my cards, including the no-annual-fee Bilt World Elite Mastercard®*, offer primary car rental insurance.

I Take More Lyft Than Uber

Amex doles out $200 in Uber Cash credits annually to Platinum cardholders, but there’s a big catch—they are given out in monthly increments. Some months I travel and use Uber, some months I don’t. In the months I stay home I’ve ended up ordering takeout from UberEats on the last day of the month that I don’t particularly want just to use up that credit.

Contrast that with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s relationship with Lyft. Through the end of March 2025, Lyft rides paid for with the Chase Sapphire Reserve will earn 10 Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar, effectively a 15% rebate if you use Pay Yourself Back. Considering I can use this benefit when I want to, not on a monthly basis, it’s much more valuable to me.

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Up to 10x Reward Rate

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel throughRead More

Welcome Bonus

60,000 bonus points

Annual Fee


Regular APR

21.74% - 28.74% Variable

Credit Score

Excellent(750 - 850)

Editorial Review

This card offers superior points earning rates if you spend frequently on travel and dining out. The $300 travel credit justifies much of the annual fee, and redeeming points for travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Pros & Cons

  • $300 annual travel credit is incredibly flexible
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase
  • Points transfer to valuable airline and hotel partners
  • High annual fee
  • High variable APR on purchases
  • Excellent credit recommended

Card Details

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

The $200 Hotel Credit Is Limited and Hard To Use

The card offers an annual $200 hotel credit which sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s limited to hotels on the Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) or Hotel Collection listings booked through the American Express Travel portal. Every year in December I scramble to the portal trying to find FHR or Hotel Collection properties that fit my plans and are within my normal travel budget. Unless I’m going to Las Vegas, the credits usually end up being used on a random staycation I didn’t need to take.

Lifestyle Benefits

I Am More Planet Fitness Than Equinox

My esteemed colleague described the Platinum Card as being ideal for The Real Housewives, and the Equinox credit offered with the card is exhibit A. The current $300 annual credit covers less than 20% of annual membership fees and Equinox locations are extremely limited. The Planet Fitness a mile from my house costs $22.99 per month for a Black Card that includes massage beds, which is good enough for me.

I Am More Target Than Walmart

I have to confess that the Walmart+ membership benefit on this card confuses me. I’m not sure which of the Kardashians shops at Walmart, but the perk seems out of line with the upscale vibe Amex obviously is striving to create.

Free delivery from Walmart is a feature I actually would use if it weren’t for one thing: Target. Many Visa cards offer a free subscription to Shipt and Shipt offers free same day delivery for orders of $35 and up from many, many stores including my beloved Bullseye.

I Have Never Needed Something From Saks Fifth Avenue

I can get fancy as much as the next girl but $50 every six months from Saks Fifth Avenue has become a running holiday joke in our family. For the last three years my husband has gotten popcorn for Christmas because it’s one way I know to use up the credit without spending half an hour poring over Saks.com. It’s decent popcorn but not exactly an urgent need.

I Don’t Need More Streaming Services, Especially When I Can’t Choose

I was excited to learn a streaming service credit was coming to the Platinum card—until I saw the limited list of valid outlets. I can live without Peacock and catch my reruns of The Office the fifteen times a day they’re on Comedy Central.

American Express Issues

I Didn’t Get a Retention Offer

Before closing any card I do what we recommend and ask for a retention offer. In my case, having held the card for over 20 years, I thought there was a good chance. Nada. But I did have an Amex chat rep tell me to check back daily (!) to see if an offer came along. Which leads me to my final reason.

Platinum Doesn’t Mean What It Used To

Owning the Amex Platinum used to mean never having to wait on hold. On this latest round of cancel/retention calls I’ve waited an average of 12 minutes to get to an agent. That’s pretty typical of my experience over the last five years. The white glove service has gotten pretty dingy of late.

Reasons To Stay With Amex

To be entirely fair to Amex, its cards offer some perks I am excited to keep but fortunately most are found on other Amex products besides the Platinum.

CLEAR® Plus Membership

I do get value out of CLEAR® Plus and will continue to pay for the subscription once I cancel my Amex Platinum. However, Amex values it at $189 but via United Airlines you can get it for at a discount even as a basic member with frequent promotions making it even less. Delta also has reduced pricing for CLEAR® Plus.

Membership Rewards

Membership Rewards points are valuable because they are so flexible, with close to 20 transfer partners. If the Platinum were my only Membership Rewards card I would have downgraded it rather than canceling. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card* lets you collect Membership Rewards points for a much more reasonable annual fee. Or the American Express® Gold Card (Terms Apply. See rates & fees) offers higher rates on dining and grocery spending.

Return Protection

I mentioned the Amex Everyday Preferred for a reason, as it offers return protection¹. I do enjoy being able to try something and know I can get credit for it if the store won’t take it back. The Amex Platinum has it, but fortunately it’s not the only card that does.

Amex Offers

Finally, targeted Amex Offers can give you significant discounts, sometimes on stuff you would actually buy. The good news is that almost every Amex card has Amex Offers so I won’t lose out by canceling the Platinum.

Bottom Line

Every time an annual fee hits, be sure to take a fresh look at your spending habits before you just pay the bill. You may decide, like I did, that the Amex Platinum no longer fits either your budget or your needs.

To view rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

¹Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
²Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.


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