FoundersCard vs Amex Platinum in the UK

Amex Platinum is fairly well known. It’s a charge card with a high fee that gives you a bunch of mostly travel-related perks. In my view, the card and the perks are separate products. You buy in to an Amex charge card at the Green fee (£60 p.a.) and optionally choose to pay a bit extra for added perks. I previously wrote about how I think the UK Amex Platinum card doesn’t offer good value for money in my opinion.

The market for premium credit cards is getting more crowded all the time. I recently noticed something that stood out, though.

FoundersCard

FoundersCard is a bit like the Platinum Amex offer but without the charge card element. In other words, it’s just a collection of perks for an annual fee. The annual fee, if you are referred by an existing member, is $395 USD.

It’s mainly aimed at the US market, where is sits nicely alongside the US Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire and others, with a similar annual fee and similar perks. However, because it’s not a credit product, the exact same product is offered internationally. For folks like me in the UK, who are used to companies changing $ signs to £ signs, it means a more competitive offer. However, this must be balanced with the fact that most of the perks are rather US-centric.

The perks change regularly so if you’re curious, I’d advise registering for the preview, to see the current set, for free. However, here are the headline offers right now:

Category Company Offer UK Amex Plat. Equiv. Comment
Hotel Hilton Gold Tier Status Gold Tier Status Free breakfast!
Hotel Mariott/Starwood Gold Tier Status
(3 months only)
Gold Tier Status
(Ongoing)
Benefits are fairly limited
Hotel Caesars Diamond Tier Status N/A Huge range of benefits.
Must-have if you travel
to Vegas.
Car Hire Avis N/A (US only) Chance of Upgrade
Car Hire Hertz N/A (US only) Five Star Status
Car Hire Sixt Platinum Tier Status N/A
Car Hire GroundLink $30 off first trip then
15% off
N/A Good if you want to rent
a limo in the US
Car Hire Zipcar Free Signup N/A
Flight Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Tier Status N/A Cathay Pacific are a good
choice if you travel with a
company that insists on an
Economy ticket but you
want to upgrade.
Networking FoundersCard Regular networking
events in London
N/A
Software Harvest, Hive, HelpScout,
Namecheap & many others
Percentage discounts.
Better than generally
available coupons.
N/A Most are only for new accounts.

It’s a real shame that some of the best offers are restricted to the US (including Avis, Hertz, BMW, Audi, Dell, Apple & others). However, overall, I think this is a better alternative to Amex Platinum in the UK.

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