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Co-branded American Express cards: France and the Netherlands

Old Nov 4, 2013, 1:57 pm
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Between 1 September 2013 and 31 March 2018 the co-branded Gold & Platinum Flying Blue American Express cards also gave you Level Miles for purchases at AF/KL.

The Gold card will give you 1.5 Level Miles & Award Miles for AF/KL purchases; the Platinum card will give you 2 Level Miles & Award miles for AF/KL purchases.

As of 31 March 2018 the Flying Blue American Express co-cards give the main cardholder additional XP's when reaching the membership anniversary:
  • Silver: 15XP;
  • Gold: 30 XP
  • Platinum: 60 XP
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Co-branded American Express cards: France and the Netherlands

Old Jun 26, 2013, 8:49 am
  #61  
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One issue is whether you need to pay with your AMEX to receive coverage or whether it is a general travel insurance policy.
The other issue is what is covered and up to what amount. The French FB AMEX Gold had very limited extent of coverage even if you paid the air ticket with it. My general AMEX card had much better coverage.
When AMEX changed its policy regarding FB there were threads about the extent of coverage in both cards, especially the Dutch card.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 10:19 am
  #62  
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I'll have to call Amex about this when I get a chance. But one question is what constitues a booking? Is it airfare? Or hotel? Or some mix? What about train? Etc.

I make most of my air bookings with this Amex anyways, so it's not a big deal to me either way. But hotel bookings I may make with a different card if it is outside the Euro zone.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy
...) But hotel bookings I may make with a different card if it is outside the Euro zone.
May I ask why?
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 2:55 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
May I ask why?
Exchange rate fees maybe
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy
I did a thread about this on the BA board because I thought I had food poisoning from a BA flight to BDA, but in any case all I had to do was forward my medical bills from Bermuda to Amex NL and thanks to my FB Amex Plat card I was 100% reimbursed. And I had paid for the medical bills with a different credit card. The illness was painful, but the insurance experience was pain free.
Originally Posted by stimpy
I believe I did use that card, however it didn't matter. Both the experts here on the Dutch FB Amex and Amex themselves said I could have used any card to pay for the flight. And at no time during the claim process was I asked to prove how I paid for the flight or even what flight I took. All that mattered was that I was overseas on travel, got sick, and had medical bills. The only documents I had to forward were the hospital documents/bills. And those were sent to Amex's insurance company, not Amex themselves.
Originally Posted by San Gottardo
Excellent service from AMEX ^
I can also testify about excellent/impressive service from Amex insurances (with a FB Gold Amex):
- in the USA: Mrs Mud had to go to an hospital for a minor surgery. Amex even asked her if she wanted to be repatriated.
-in Peru (Machu Pichu): Mrs Mud (again )passed out due to a salmonella

In each cases Amex reimbursed all expenses upon presentation of bills without asking if they were initially paid with an Amex.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 7:30 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Mynameismud
In each cases Amex reimbursed all expenses upon presentation of bills without asking if they were initially paid with an Amex.
They do not need to ask, they know if the bill has been paid by AMEX.


I am not saying that the current French FB Amex is good or bad, but rather that one should carefully study what is the insurance provided by each card. There is nothing like a 'generic" AMEX card coverage; it depends on on the type of card, the country of issue. For each card there is a detailed insurance contract and details can be important. Better to know before the incident than after.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 11:14 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Gajan
Exchange rate fees maybe
Exactly.
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy
Exactly.
You mean Amex charges more? Strange.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 1:14 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
You mean Amex charges more? Strange.
What we mean is that most Amex cards charge a fee to card holders when they make charges outside of their currency zone. So if you hold an Amex product like the FB Amex in the Euro zone, and make a charge outside the Euro zone, in Switzerland, UK, Denmark, etc., you are assessed a fee for doing so. And of course most Visa and MC cards in the Euro zone do the same thing.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 2:37 am
  #70  
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Originally Posted by stimpy
What we mean is that most Amex cards charge a fee to card holders when they make charges outside of their currency zone. So if you hold an Amex product like the FB Amex in the Euro zone, and make a charge outside the Euro zone, in Switzerland, UK, Denmark, etc., you are assessed a fee for doing so. And of course most Visa and MC cards in the Euro zone do the same thing.
I think what is meant here is that the exchange rate/fee used by AMEX is much higher compared to MC/Visa. This is also my experience when paying for currency outside of the Euro. [I tried an experiment where I paid at the same restaurant at the same time but split the bill in two different payments, MC was about 0.8% lower compared to Amex]

Cheers!
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 3:10 am
  #71  
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Originally Posted by nldogbert
I think what is meant here is that the exchange rate/fee used by AMEX is much higher compared to MC/Visa. This is also my experience when paying for currency outside of the Euro. [I tried an experiment where I paid at the same restaurant at the same time but split the bill in two different payments, MC was about 0.8% lower compared to Amex]
No, that's not what I meant. I meant the fee or commission. Since I was talking about the Dutch card, the Wisselkoers commissie.

For instance, looking back to a time I used the card overseas, on a AU$798 charge I see a €13,08 commission charge from Amex NL. Normally i use another Amex that doesn't have this fee, but on that occasion I didn't have it in my pocket.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 5:55 am
  #72  
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well, speaking of fees

i spent a lot of time in Canada with my French Amex and VISA

for small amounts, the Amex is way cheaper than my VISA, simply because my bank would charge expensive fixed commission in addition to the rate

for instance, i tried to pay for my meals or small expenses (ie cinema ticket), my bank charged me like 1-2 euros for a $10 expense

while Amex charged me a few cents

that's why when i'm travelling to North America, i sometimes don't even use cash for small transactions considering how unsignificant the fees are with Amex

i don't know for other countries (NL for instance), does VISA/MC charge directly or is this your bank ?

now 100% of my expenses are paid with my Amex

the only use of my VISA is when i have no choice because Amex is not accepted (very rare outside Europe) and only the ATM

because Amex would charge an extra 2% for ATM use

otherwise i'm quite happy with their fees


also, pay attention to the fact that in France, each bank has its own fee grid
BNP for example charges a lot more than others for foreign transactions

i travelled with friends having 3 different accounts, paying the exact amounts on the same day with me, and our bank statements were very different in the end

as i recall, the ranking was like:

1 - me the cheapest with my Amex and sometimes my VISA with HSBC (or no fee at all when taking money in another HSBC)

2- my friend with La Poste (french post office)

3-4- my 2 friends with their VISA/MC at BNP and Societe Generale, i think it was a tie, and they really beat us with their huge fees


every time i come back from a trip, i can see that i paid very little fees with Amex
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 8:45 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy
What we mean is that most Amex cards charge a fee to card holders when they make charges outside of their currency zone. So if you hold an Amex product like the FB Amex in the Euro zone, and make a charge outside the Euro zone, in Switzerland, UK, Denmark, etc., you are assessed a fee for doing so. And of course most Visa and MC cards in the Euro zone do the same thing.
For French FB-Amex, it seems Amex first converts the amount in non-EUR currency to USD, then from USD to EUR.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 8:59 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by bodory
For French FB-Amex, it seems Amex first converts the amount in non-EUR currency to USD, then from USD to EUR.
that's correct

that's tricky, but sometimes still more interesting that several banks
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 9:15 am
  #75  
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Originally Posted by bodory
For French FB-Amex, it seemcurrency s Amex first converts the amount in non-EUR to USD, then from USD to EUR.
And the exchange rates used are usually very bad. Total fee can be 4% or more compared to interbank rate.
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