American Express is putting on a full-court press to court and keep its affluent — and high card fee paying — Platinum members happy.
Happy — and away from their emerging competitors at Chase and Citibank.
To that end, Amex will (as of this month) be giving its Platinum members a series of new perks. Among them are $200 a year in Uber rides, richer credits for spending, access to more airport lounges, special dining and entertainment options and free use by family members of an American Express Gold card.
But as membership has its advantages, it also has its costs. As of March 30th, the annual fee for card holders will increase to $550 a year from $450 a year.
JPMorgan stirred up the high-end card market when it introduced its $450-per-year Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and Citi has been pushing its Prestige card for a while. Both firms are looking to eat into America Expresses’ superior profit margins and more affluent and card-spending customer base. The Sapphire Reserve has turned out to be particularly popular for its huge points bonus for signing on — and for being made of metal.
American Express will now start using metal for its Platinum cards.
Amex notes it has been working on changes to the Platinum card long before JPMC rolled out the Sapphire Reserve card.
“This is a response to listening to our customers,” an Amex official noted. “We are always looking at ways to bring value to our card members.”