At the start of this month American Express cardholders with Priority Pass access lost the ability to use Priority Pass ‘restaurant’ options. This was a significant devaluation, especially for people with a home airport where the restaurant option was the only lounge available. Reddit user eagleslanding called American Express asking for a retention offer on the Platinum card due to this devaluation and they were offered either a $500 statement credit or 50,000 Membership Rewards points (no minimum spend requirement). The customer service representative also stated that ‘American Express is aware of the issue and is working on a restaurant program of their own to replace it.
I assume American Express’ acquisition of LoungeBuddy & Resy has something to do with this plan. American Express is in a somewhat unique situation where they have the Centurion Lounges and also the Escape lounges that are available to eligible American Express cardholders but not Priority Pass users. My guess is that eventually American Express will ditch Priority Pass entirely and offer their own lounge program. In the short term it’ll be interesting to see what happens on the restaurant front.
Also this just goes to show you should always be calling for retention, $500/50,000 MR points isn’t bad for a few minutes of work. When benefits are devalued this is always a good time to call as card issuers are often trying to keep retention rates as high as possible.