New American Express Benefits Save Business Travelers Time and Money

By Paul Riegler on 9 April 2011
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Rare is the credit or charge card benefit that has a direct impact on the bottom line.  However American Express has added multiple new benefits to its consumer and small business Platinum Card as well as to its Centurion Card that are fairly significant in scope.

As of March 27 of this year, American Express eliminated the 2.7% foreign currency transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S.  Savings on a typical five-day trip would be in the $50 range for most travelers.

Another new benefit is free membership in Global Entry, a program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency that provides members with expedited immigration clearance and the ability to bypass lines (which, depending on where and when one arrives, could be 20-30 minutes long).  Simply pay the $100 application fee with the Platinum Card and American Express will issue a statement credit for the fee.  Membership is valid for five years.

Travelers can also enroll at no cost in Priority Pass Select, a program that offers flyers access to more than 600 international airport lounges in 100 countries and 300 cities worldwide.  Benefits may vary but typically include snacks, drinks, and free Internet access.  This is in addition to access to American Airlines Admirals Club, Delta Sky Club, and US Airways Club lounges within the U.S. and abroad.  This benefit was already available to Centurion Card holders but has now been extended to Platinum Card holders as well.

Although not a new benefit, American Express offers a $200 airline fee credit that some Platinum Card holders may not be aware of.  A member can receive up to $200 in credits towards incidental expenses such as baggage fees, in-flight food, flight change fees, and airport lounge day passes.  Enrollment is required and the member must select a specific airline in order to receive the credit.

–Paul Riegler is Technology Editor of Executive Road Warrior.

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