Dividends and American Express to increase benefits, fees on Platinum Card

In an article by Ken Sweet of the Associated Press, American Express is upping the benefits and the fee on its flagship Platinum Card as it tries to hold onto its customer base as the economy opens up again.

American Express is changing how it views its customers – according to Rafel Mason, senior VP of international premium products at American Express, the card is aimed at those who travel extensively, but those who have an affluent lifestyle and are willing to pay for it.

Every credit card does the same thing, gives you credit to buy now and pay later, however some cards have higher limits than others. The card with the greatest limit is the black card of American Express but the platinum card ranks high on the list. The Platinum card has been in circulation since the 1980’s and it fit a very specific niche in the marketplace – it was aimed at those travelled, stayed at hotels, dined out and shopped. Consider the affects of COVID 19 on all the above for the past year and half, the revenue stream dropped as people could not do those things, what should American Express do?

The fee is being increased from $550 to $695 a year.

The benefits included a $179 credit with CLEAR, the security verification service found at many airports; a $200 credit for prepaid bookings on AmEx’s Fine Hotel & Resorts or Hotel Collections properties; a $240 annual entertainment credit service towards NBC’s Peacock or the New York Times and $300 annual credit to Equinox gym membership or a digital fitness class subscription.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, for generations American Express has been associated with those who travelled (fly business class); stayed at hotels (3 star plus); dined out (restaurants) and there are many people who have the card. Then the pandemic hit and although American Express does things, it was linked to travelling, hotels and eating out which meant they had to do a rethink of their business. As the world comes out of COVID 19 expect profits to roll in and that is why profit generating companies can continue. They can pivot when needed, change to the circumstances and keep going with their strong customer base.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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