Why I Almost Applied For The American Express Platinum Card.
I’ve always lusted after the The Platinum Card® from American Express. It just sounds like a card I need to have in my wallet.
I’m quickly grounded when I remember it has a $450 annual fee that isn’t waived the first year. Pricey. But if you travel often, especially internationally, it’s uber easy to justify this fee. Heck, I almost justified it.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a short 4 day family vaca to Mexico. Family tradition. We always have a stellar time when we go to Mexico. But the worst part about traveling internationally (for me) is the customs line when you come back to the States.
We flew out of Dallas, so coming back to Dallas, the customs line was REDIC. What does this have to do with the Amex Platinum card? Well, while we waited in the customs line for an hour and a half, I kept seeing a person here and there walking straight to the front of the lines where machines were placed. They would then swipe their passports and be on their way.
They were using Global Entry. Global Entry is a service that lets you bypass customs lines. Wowzer. I really wanted Global Entry in that moment. When you get back from a vacation and you’re at the airport, you just want to be home. Not waiting in lines. I would’ve pawned off my first offspring (if I had one) to not be standing in that line.
To make matters worse, the guy in front of us was a super douche bag. He must’ve been having a terrible day, but he was yelling at the lady in front of him and causing all sorts of drama. Yeah, I hate lines.
You don’t have to have the Amex Platinum card to receive Global Entry. There’s a $100 fee associated with Global Entry. Your Global Entry is only good for you, though- no family members or friends.
There is a process to get Global Entry, too. Because it’s for non-risk flyers, you must apply and even be interviewed. It’s legit, people. You will have to do a 30 minute interview at an airport, and don’t assume your local airport conducts Global Entry interviews. The closest airport to me that does Global Entry interviews is Dallas. Here’s the full list of centers and airports that conduct interviews.
Not every airport has the kiosks up front, but even if they don’t, you are supposed to be allowed expedited immigration service. Respect. Just be prepared for people giving you *go to hell* looks as you bypass them.
If you do get the American Express Platinum card, Global Entry comes free, so that’s a savings of $100 right there. And you can easily justify paying the rest of the annual fee with the access to 600+ lounges and $200 credit in airline incidentals. I’m lusting again.
In the end, if you travel internationally frequently, then Global Entry is a no brainer. I just have 2 international trips this year as of now, and I’m seriously thinking about pulling the trigger for Jordan and me.
— Noob Master