It’s no secret that the credit market, in general, has been on shaky ground for the last few years. Now that economic times are more stable, credit card issuers are looking for ways to get their cards in the hands of new users and entice current credit card holders to use their cards once again. If you’re lucky — or wealthy enough — to own or to obtain approval for an American Express Platinum (annual fee: $450) or Centurion card ($2,500, plus a $5,000 initiation fee), your deal just got a little sweeter. The company recently announced two programs to add more value for their high-end customers.
Priority Pass Select
The Priority Pass Select option is available to both types of American Express cardholders. It gives cardholders free access to 600 airport lounges in 325 airports around the world. This perk normally costs $399.
Free Global Entry
The second is free Global Entry, which gives expedited clearance for preapproved low-risk travelers coming into the U.S. from foreign countries. The program still requires face-to-face contact with a U.S. customs official, and proper documentation must be completed and submitted. American Express will provide a statement credit to reimburse the $100 fee for this program, which is open to holders of other cards as well.
Currency Exchange Fees
In addition to airport lounge access and global entry expedition, American Express will also join the ranks of other credit card issuers in lowering the foreign exchange fees. American Express cardholders will no longer pay a foreign currency exchange fee for purchases made in foreign countries. Before the change, the fee was 2.7% of the purchase amount.
Visa, too, is adding value incentives for new and existing cardholders. Visa partnered with British Airways to offer a new credit card with which cardholders can earn 100,000 miles: 50,000 miles for signing up for the card and 50,000 miles for spending $2,500 with the card within three months of opening the account.
As the credit market starts to return to normal, experts expect these types of incentives to continue. It is the credit card issuers’ way to get new customers on board. It’s also a smart way to get existing card holders to start using their credit cards once again.