Amex Platinum versus BA premium PlusBack to Forum
Anonymous9 Nov 2012
Hi, I have had a BA Premium Plus credit card for a number of years collecting miles and companion vouchers which 50% of these go unused. This is due to flying with different airlines.
I also have the natwest black card as this is easier to use than the Amex and is not limited to BA award miles.
I am wondering if to give up on the BA Premium Plus or if to change over to the Amex platinum.
I live in the UK.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks and regards9 Nov 2012
BA P+ – 1.5 Avios per £ and 3 Avios per £ of BA spend
Platinum – Points earned 1 per £ spent – can be transferred to Avios on parity but with occasional special offers on transfer enhancements.
Only the p+ card gives you this – but its a substantial benefit IF you use it
The platinum card is now £400 per year. You can have the P+ card for an extra £30.
the P+ card is £150 per year
The main benefit to the Platinum card is the travel insurance for you and up to 4 other people. It is excellent cover – but note your travel must be paid for y an AMEX card of some sort (even a corporate card is fine) to now qualify for the cover.
Given all this – I take both cards. My main priorities are mileage accrual and travel insurance. I appreciate the concierge service too. I use an Lufthansa Miles and More visa card for back up when I cant use AMEX – which I have to say is increasingly rare.
I think its hard to justify both AMEX and NatWest black – the benefits completely overlap. But Natwest is only £250.
I understand you can convert Natwest points to Avios but im not sure of the redemption rate
So it depends on your priorities. If you have a healthy Avois balance and dont spend all you earn, focus on Natwest and just take the free BA Card for occasional mileage accrual.
But if you want to Max out on Avios collection and at least use 1 in 2 of the vouchers – Id follow my plan and ditch the NatWest card. (BA P+ Card + Natwest = £400 per year ; Amex Plat + BA P+ is £430 a year)9 Nov 2012
Amex Platinum travel insurance is anything but ‘excellent’ Cover was significantly debased in February this year and is now so poor I no longer rely on it. It is not just that cover was reduced (although it was); the real damage was done by the changes to the medical exclusion clauses which have been widened to such an extent that almost any conceivable claim can be excluded. I strongly recommend anyone who is considering relying on the Platinum travel insurance to first read and carefully consider the terms of the policy, especially the exclusion clauses, taking care to differentiate between the pre-February 2012 policy terms and the post-February terms, as even now the Amex web site still manages to confuse the two. There is full discussion of this in the Amex section of Flyertalk.10 Nov 2012
MartynSinclair – 10/11/2012 10:45 GMT
I would not ‘recommend’ any insurance to anyone; that person should carefully consider their individual needs and choose accordingly. Everyone’s needs are different.
But to answer the trust of your question, HSBC Premier travel insurance is streets ahead of the ‘enhanced’ Amex Platinum offering and, although I have not looked at it in detail, my impressions of Citibank’s bundled travel insurance are generally favourable.
I now rely on HSBC Premier. I benefit from two quite different HSBC Premier travel insurance products based on accounts in two different countries (itself a useful HSBC Premier benefit). I do still have an Amex Platinum card, a downgrade from a Centurion when that card’s price tripled a year ago but I but I will probably dump the Platinum card next year as its price has now also tripled. However, I no longer rely on the Amex Platinum insurance except for the hire car benefit which is not replicated by the HSBC Premier offering. That cover can easily be bought separately for about fifty quid a year.
In truth perhaps good travel insurance is too important to be left to the afterthoughts of some-or-other bank’s premium products.10 Nov 2012
Why_use_a_silly_name? – 10/11/2012 11:51 GMT
Thank you very much for your response. I am not sure if you saw any of my previous comments / questions about travel insurance but you are I think the first to offer any credible postings about alternative travel insurance options (from Amex). Most people seem to buy travel insurance based on price rather than benefits, which in my humble opinion is a recipe for disaster.
I will take a look at the HSBC travel policy. One of the key benefits about the Amex benefits is that its is an “insurance policy” in which the traveller is the policy holder and not just enjoying the benefits as a “favour” from the actual policy holder. This provides the traveller the full protection of the FSA in terms of insruance compnaies trying to wriggle out of paying etc etc.
One question I have for you, is you mention you have travel insurance benefits from HSBC in two different countries. Do you have any residency issues i.e. does the small print state you have to be a resident of a certain country for any benefit to be paid. I have in the past been offered travel insurance from the USA, but have been unable to accept the offer as the T & C’s cleary state, i have to be an American resident to benefit.
Look forward to hearing from you.10 Nov 2012
MartynSinclair – 10/11/2012 12:20 GMT
The HSBC Premier offering varies from country to country. Some, including the UK, do require local residency for the travel insurance benefit to operate whilst others do not.
The travel insurance benefit varies hugely between countries; caveat emptor and all that.10 Nov 2012
I have found the natwest Black card insurance looks more than reasonable and does this now have the same draw back as the Amex and are not preconditions always an issue?10 Nov 2012
The cards are not really comparable.
Amex Plat is a full package for the traveller. High fee, but the travel insurance is OK (especially for car rentals) plus you get Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Carlson Gold, BA Silver (as near as matters, via Cathay Gold) etc.
For miles earning it is not great (1 point per £1) so only worth it if you have miles in many programmes and appreciate the ability to ‘top off’.
BAPP has no real benefits apart from the 241 and the higher earning rate. The 241 is, of course, hugely value if used properly – you can get over 200,000 Avios of value if you do a 241 to Asia in F, for eg. But you still need to be earning a fair few Avios each year to be able to redeem the voucher. Even if you only saved 100,000 Avios every, say, 2 years (and the other voucher was ‘wasted’ on a 241 inside Europe), you are still getting £500 a year on average of value from the voucher.
The other alternative is to simply start churning cards for the sign up bonuses. 20k on the SPG Amex at the moment, 15k of United Amex, free night with the Hilton card … all worth having.10 Nov 2012
I can only reinforce earlier comments regarding Travel Insurance / benefits / cover
My initial read of the HSBC benefits highlight
1. You must be a UK resident to benefit
2. Trips need to start and finish in the UK (care should be taken when overseas as an ex-pat)
3. Max trip length is 90 days
4. Max time out of the UK in any one year 183 days – so of no value if you are living ex-pat
5. Could not see whether this was a POLICY or a BENEFIT
I get very nervous when a statement is made on a public forum that one travel insurance is better than another – 90% of the time it is simply not true.
Use a Financial Advisor, who specialises in travel insurance and is paid a fee rather than a commission and who will take responsibilty for the recommendation.
This is just my humble advice.10 Nov 2012
Amex Benefits – The Hertz gold membership and additional insurance is the most useful for me.
Re – Cathy Gold card – the original communication I had from Amex (when they informed me of the hike in membership fee!) suggested that the CX Gold card was to be a permanent benefit but now it appears to be only for one year.
Any body know any different??10 Nov 2012