In case you hadn’t already heard, American Airlines and USAirways decided to merge and become “the new American.” One of the casualties of this merger is the complimentary American Airlines AAdmirals Club and USAirways Club lounge access that American Express Platinum credit card holders, myself included, currently enjoy. As you can see in the below email, after March 22, 2014 I will no longer have complimentary access to these clubs.
Citi is going to be the exclusive credit card partner of American Airlines and has forced AA to cancel their relationships with other banks/credit card companies. For some folks, especially business travelers that fly mostly or entirely American and enjoy their lounges, this is a significant loss because 1 of 2 things will now happen if they cancel their Platinum card:
- now they have to pay the $500 annual AAdmirals Club membership fee without possessing any of the ancillary Platinum card benefits (text concierge, Delta Skyclub lounge access, $200 annual flight credit, more here).
- now they have to pay the $450 annual fee on the Citi Executive World Mastercard, which guarantees AAdmirals Club access, but also does not have the additional Platinum benefits.
So, these folks are out a significant bit of pocket change if they want to maintain their lifestyle. For me, it’s not a huge loss since I’m not a business traveler, although it is nice to enjoy the semi-stale croissants and rock-hard apples at LaGuardia from time to time 😉
However, AmEx has proactively send out emails to some cardholders, myself again included, offering statement credits with regards to charges on American Airlines to make up for the loss of access.
My amount is $200, although from reading online the amounts range from $100-$500. These statement credits are good for baggage fees, ticket change fees, AAdmirals Club/USAirways Club membership fees and one-day AAdmirals Club/USAirways club passes. However, I’m hoping that this $200 will be good for purchasing a $200 AA gift certificate – I’ll read around online until I find a history of folks doing just that and then I’ll pull the trigger. In any case, $200 won’t count until March 22, 2014, so it’s a waiting game, regardless.
All in all, I’m pretty happy – I don’t have to do anything and I’m coming out ahead financially.