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I opted for the Gold early last year to help with the new home furnishings and other big expenses that come. Made out pretty well with the points offsetting the fee. They keep spamming me to upgrade to platinum but I don't travel so there aren't a whole lot of perks for me.Cancelled my old starwood amex since it has now turned into the marriot "bonvoy" card and I didn't want to pay another annual fee for that crap.
Instead sprung for the Amex Platinum. We'll see if I keep it for more than a year, but with the signup bonus and all of the other perks, I'm gonna come out way ahead on the $550 membership fee in the first year.
-Global Entry reimbursement (my precheck renewal is due soon) pays $100
-Uber credits pay $200 and I should have no problem dealing with the fact that they come in monthly chunks.
-$200 airline incidental credit is a little tricky since you have to pick an airline in advance. I usually fly United or Southwest...United spend goes through my united credit card which waives checked bags and southwest doesn't charge. Luckily I have an upcoming trip on AA where I know I need to check bags both ways so that's $60 + any food or drink I can now buy for "free". Can change the airline in January and reset the $200 amount.
-Lounge access is a joke in Chicago--only option is in the international terminal--but it will be usable for sure on my next trip. Generally I'd rather get to the airport on time rather than show up early and wait in a lounge, but might come in handy for delays or the rare layover.
-$100 (2x50) credit at Saks is...weird?...but I need some new socks.
-Hotel status is high enough to actually claim some real value. What is maddening is that it grants a higher status at Marriot/Starwood than branded starwood card did...
Have to hit 5k spend by mid-November for the signup bonus. Shouldn't be too hard, although I kind of wish I had applied a week or two earlier as I just bought a bunch of stuff and paid for a 4-person vacation rental. If it is looking close, I think I can drum up some car expenses...
We'll see if the other perks/service/concierge end up being worthwhile.
Yeah, Amazon wouldn't have been real good for me although I kind of like rewards more than cash back... A couple percent here and there just gets lost in the mix. More fun to get a treat of a nice hotel or the ability to make a miles booking when a flight is distastefully expensive... Even if the total value is about the same.I opted for the Gold early last year to help with the new home furnishings and other big expenses that come. Made out pretty well with the points offsetting the fee. They keep spamming me to upgrade to platinum but I don't travel so there aren't a whole lot of perks for me.
Instead, we opened an Amazon visa which is real nice if you shop Amazon a lot. Our budget review found that we would have saved something like $500-$1k if we would have had it a year ago. Plus it saves at Whole Foods too.
Chicago gets screwed. Only priority pass lounge is in the international terminal, and half of the time, international flights don't even use the international terminal for departures. Those lounges have got to be the worst two in the airport and they supposedly reject priority pass guests when they are busy.The platnium also gets you the priority pass card, which gives access to more lounges.