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This new American Express Platinum benefit was probably added to help compensate customers for losing American Airlines and US Airways lounge access with the card. While I think this is a nice new perk, it doesn’t nearly make up for removing lounge access. (But you can still get lounge access with other cards!)
How Does It Work?
Link: Boingo Wi-Fi
If you have an American Express Platinum card, you can sign-up for your free membership by entering your card details & creating a Boingo account. You’ll get an email confirmation once your account has been verified.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll get unlimited access to over a million Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. You can search online for hotspot locations, or download an app to your PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad, or Android device.
Boingo has Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, many airports, and retail locations. Each hotspot covers a wide area beyond the actual building. So in tourist areas or big cities, often much or all of the downtown or popular areas are covered.
This is great if you’re traveling and don’t have a data roaming plan on your phone! Plus, Boingo doesn’t charge roaming fees.
You’ll get unlimited access for up to 4 devices (simultaneously!) with connection speeds 3X faster than 3G data. So this is great if a family of 4 is traveling and everyone wants to connect to the internet at once!
Note: This program does NOT include Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi. Until very recently, you could use your Boingo account to sign-in to Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi. But effective June 1, 2014, Boingo and Gogo are no longer partners and you can NOT use your Boingo account to log-in to Gogo anymore!
What’s This Worth?
Boingo doesn’t actually have a retail plan that gives you unlimited worldwide access to Wi-Fi hotspots with all devices. You can get unlimited access in certain regions, or with mobile devices only, or worldwide access for all devices (capped at 2,000 minutes per month). Their closest product is the Global Plan, which gives worldwide access on up to 4 devices for a maximum of 2,000 minutes for $59 a month.
However, they have a cheaper plan that offers unlimited worldwide access on mobile devices only (smartphones or tablets, not laptops) for ~$8 a month.
So this benefit is worth either ~$8 or more than $59 per month ($708 per year) considering you get unlimited data on 4 devices! But I wouldn’t pay $708 for it and it’s probably not worth that much for most folks. Especially since you can use most smartphones as a hotspot within the US.
Again, it doesn’t exactly make up for losing American Airlines and US Airways lounge access with this card, but if you use a lot of Wi-Fi when you’re traveling, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth out of this perk!
Which American Express Cards Are Eligible?
Note: Both primary cardholders and authorized users can register for free Boingo Wi-Fi.
I don’t know if American Express will add Boingo as a perk to other cards, but it sure would be nice if they did!
Folks who travel internationally a lot will probably get the most out of this deal. Some may already have a free worldwide data plan (through T-Mobile, for example) but don’t like it because the connection is slow.
That said, I don’t know that this new benefit will attract new customers who might not otherwise have gotten an American Express Platinum card.
The $450 annual fee on the card already gets you 40,000 points (which you can transfer to airline and hotel partners) after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months, $200 credit on a qualifying airline, no foreign transaction fees, and lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass, and Centurion lounges.
Adding free internet to the list of benefits isn’t really enough to sway folks who might have been on the fence about getting this card!
You need to register your card and create a Boingo account. Both primary cardholders and authorized users can sign-up.
Similar Boingo plans cost $59 per month, so if you’re a heavy Wi-Fi user when traveling, you can save a lot of money with this perk. I’ll definitely be signing-up!
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