[Rumor] American Express Working On Airport Restaurant Program

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.

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$500/50kMR
$500/50kMR

Datapoint: called 8/22 with annual fee coming in October, and was offered the $500/50kMR (no spending requirement). First year with the card, and <$16k spent YTD.

Pat
Pat

I only had my Hilton Ascend (now Surpass again…) for less than three months. Contacted them and got no retention offer, just the “we’re aware of the issue and we will take your comments as feedback blah blah blah”

DP
DP

Once again, a DOC article and helpful comments helped me to get more value from my card(s)… Just called Amex Platinum customer service regarding the Priority Pass issue. Initially, they didn’t want to offer anything at all. Escalated/transferred the call to a supervisor. Again, they said there is no official compensation policy for removed benefits. But for my LOYALTY, they offered me 30k MR points for 4k spend in 90 days. It helps if you can point out some sort of legit activity/reason for them helping you out. I recently transferred a lot of points to BA Avios. Planning a trip. My local airport (IND) has *0* Priority Pass or Centurion lounges — just PP restaurants. So the lost benefit is significant in my case. The supervisor even told me to call back when my annual fee hits in a couple of months to “renegotiate another offer” to continue to keep the card open. No joke. :o)

H Xu
H Xu

called today
got the $500 or 50K MR offer
take the latter one

in and out for 5 min

fastlanesimmons
fastlanesimmons

DP
Open AMEX Plat April
100K for 5K spend bonus received May
Called to see what retention offer, Amex CSR laughed at me. Said to call back when I am at 11 months.
He did mention something is brewing to replace ‘Priority Pass’ restaurants option

Zed
Zed

Just called Amex CSR, politely told them I was not thrilled about the removal of the Priority Pass restaurant benefit, and was eventually transferred to the Retention Department. Was then offered 30,000 MR points or $300 statement credit after spending $4,000 on the Platinum card in 3 months to keep the account open.

I happily accepted the offer.

bill 8
bill 8

I called two weeks ago hoping for at least a 20k point retention offer for my biz plat. I was offered 10k MR/$3k spend/90 days. When I asked if there was another offer with more points for more spend the rep went through my past year on all cards with amazing concise detail. At that point I felt I either accept the offer, praise Amex and profusely thank the rep or risk receiving a RAT lashing. I opted for the former.

perfectviking
perfectviking

I surmised with friends that Amex could leverage the Loungebuddy and Resy acquisitions to build out restaurant access in airports.

ezez
ezez

10months since I got the amex gold card. If I call in now, which is before my annual fee is posted, would there be retention offers?

David
David

Called Amex business platinum and nothing . . .

Creditian
Creditian

Amex can’t ditch Priority Pass entirely. They still need international coverages.