American Express has announced an upcoming nerf to the AMEX Platinum Reserve card, which affects cardholders whose renewal or approval takes place from 1 January 2024 onwards.
The S$100 Tower Club dining voucher will be discontinued, and the Frasers Hospitality complimentary 2-night stay certificate will be reduced to just one night.
This reduces the value proposition of the card significantly, though I wouldn’t say it was worth paying the annual fee even before these changes were announced.
AMEX Platinum Reserve nerf
Per an email from American Express, the following changes will be made to the annual membership pack for AMEX Platinum Reserve cardholders whose renewal or approval takes place from 1 January 2024 onwards:
- The S$100 Tower Club voucher will be removed
- The 2-night complimentary Frasers Hospitality stay will be reduced to one night
All existing Tower Club and 2-night Frasers Hospitality vouchers can continue to be utilised until their respective expiry dates.
There is no change to the rest of the membership pack vouchers, which include:
- 2x complimentary bottles of wine from Grand Cru (no purchase required)
- 1x complimentary bottle of wine from Napoleon (no purchase required)
- S$150/S$190 nett stays at Hotel Fort Canning, M Social, Rendezvous Hotel and Outpost Hotel under the Near Away staycation programme
- Discounted spa treatment vouchers and assorted dining vouchers
What does this mean for existing cardholders?
The AMEX Platinum Reserve has an annual fee of S$540, but my guess is that very few readers are actually paying this.
If you do hold an AMEX Platinum Reserve, chances are you’re also an AMEX Platinum Charge cardholder, and got your Reserve approved before 1 November 2022 when the “one annual fee” policy still applied.
Since your Reserve is free anyway, there’s really no reason to cancel it despite these changes- unless this also affects your decision whether or not to renew the AMEX Platinum Charge. The upshot is your valuation has just decreased by S$90 (we don’t take the full S$100 value for the Tower Club voucher, since AMEX members pay a 10% markup on everything) plus the cost of one night at a Frasers Hospitality property.
If you’re an AMEX Platinum Charge cardholder who didn’t manage to get approved before the 1 November 2022 cutoff, then this change doesn’t affect you since you were never entitled to a free Platinum Reserve card in the first place.
Frankly speaking, I struggle to see why anyone would ever pay for an AMEX Platinum Reserve in the first place, given its relatively high annual fee and underwhelming benefits. The annual fee costs the same as a Citi Prestige, which offers perks like unlimited lounge access, airport limo transfers, the 4th night free on hotel stays and other World Elite Mastercard benefits, all of which the Platinum Reserve lacks.
I’m surprised that American Express hasn’t just canned the product altogether or else refreshed it, given its neither here nor there positioning. In fact, AMEX hasn’t even bothered to give the card art an update- it’s the only remaining card that features the old Centurion logo, with the rest of the portfolio having moved on to the newer Centurion design.
From January 2024, the AMEX Platinum Reserve will be nerfing two of its biggest benefits: the S$100 Tower Club voucher and 2-night Frasers Hospitality stay.
In that sense it’s inching closer towards the entry-level AMEX Platinum Credit Card, and I personally can’t think of a case for paying the substantial S$540 annual fee.