Why I Got An American Express Platinum: Damn the Maths

This week, I have been staying at a Hilton property. For some reason, which remains unquestioned, I got bumped up to an Executive Suite, which is on one of the higher levels and includes access to the Executive Lounge on the top floor. In addition, it comes with other perks. This is my first experience with the perk. I liked it. The mystery of it is that I do not have enough stays to be a Gold member. I am not one to inspect equine gifts.

This summer, Mrs. TWM and I went to Las Vegas. Our return flight was cancelled twice. Ultimately, we flew to another city in Texas and drove the rest of the way home. We spent an entire day and a half at the airport. Fortunately, we did not spend the night, staying at a hotel instead. Still, the experience would have been nicer if we had stayed at an airport lounge with food and drink.

On the drive home, there was a special that let us upgrade the rental car for around $15 more than the regular cost. Of course, I took advantage and drove an Infiniti Q50. That was a fun drive. It almost, almost made up for being stranded in Las Vegas.

The point of all this is that I appreciate the upgrades and the perks. My budget only allows for me to buy X. If there is some way I can pay for X and get some Y with that, I consider it a win. For this reason, I decided to get the American Express Platinum card despite its $550 annual fee.

There are plenty of bloggers out there who run the numbers on the value of getting a card based on the points you get. They can tell you that each point is worth a penny and change if redeemed on a full moon on non leap years. In other words, they get into the weeds on quantifying the value of the credit card reward points.

This is not to say that I do not value points. Rather, points are the secondary concern. They are the icing on the cake. The real value of having the American Express Platinum card is immediate access to the perks that it offers. My sense is that the travel hacking bloggers consider getting a dollar for dollar or greater return on your AMEX Platinum membership fee is the only value to getting the card.

In my own humble estimation, the value of the Platinum card is that you get to cut in front of the line for loyalty programs. By the time you accumulate points for free travel, you've already won through the perks.

2018 is going to be a busy year for travel for me due to my job, which is paid by my company. Fortunately, I can use my newly purchased membership statuses to squeeze a bit more out of my work sponsored travel. It is going to be a fun year taking advantage of all the benefits.