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Amex travel booking site: bonus points, fees, and limitations [Consolidated]

Amex travel booking site: bonus points, fees, and limitations [Consolidated]

Old Feb 12, 10, 4:14 pm
  #1  
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Amex travel booking site: bonus points, fees, and limitations [Consolidated]

Boy, this website certainly makes one check every opportunity to get points!

Three days ago I couldn't care less about them useless points on my amex card lol ^

Is there any benefit from booking your airplane ticket via the Amex site? Are the rates with a mark up, or are they real rates? Any added insurance benefits or something? In a nutshell: ANy benefit from booking via the Amex website vs a normal website?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 12, 10, 4:53 pm
  #2  
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For some cards and some transactions you get double Membership Rewards points. I believe they still charge a ticketing fee for airline tickets, though I'm not certain.
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Old Feb 12, 10, 4:56 pm
  #3  
mia
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The USA version...

https://www134.americanexpress.com/c...?vanity=travel

...is outsourced to Travelocity, and offers one bonus point per dollar if payment is made with a USA-issued card which participates in Membership Rewards. There is also a booking fee. American Express websites located in other countries are likely to have different offers and terms.
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Old Feb 13, 10, 11:22 am
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Boooking Fees!

/me runs

tbh I use sidestep (airlines), hotels.com (us), and bookings.com (eu) for 99% of my reservations these days.
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Old Feb 14, 10, 7:26 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by freeflipflops View Post
Boy, this website certainly makes one check every opportunity to get points!
Three days ago I couldn't care less about them useless points on my amex card lol ^
Is there any benefit from booking your airplane ticket via the Amex site? Are the rates with a mark up, or are they real rates? Any added insurance benefits or something? In a nutshell: ANy benefit from booking via the Amex website vs a normal website?
Thanks!
There are many ways to do it from Amex.
1
See if your travel plans include a carrier that has award seats available.
If award seats available, you can book and hold and transfer the points to the program.
This often gets you better seats for the money /points
2
If you have to pay cash and you want to save the money, use the amex travel site,
and select the pay with points, you get about 1c per point value.
I personally try always to use 1 above, but at times, in a hurry, I have used the simpler version, 2 above.
3
use the travel site and pay with a charge card and get double points.
4
Use the travel agency number
In the good days of Maxjet, I have been to London for 899$ return when BA was selling the economy for 799.
Stansted was also a much quicker airport and got me to City much faster.
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Old Jul 25, 10, 6:46 am
  #6  
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Euro Amex Travel charges booking fees?

I tried booking, for the first time, a flight with American Express France. The process was just like the US, except for one thing. They charged 40 booking fee! Is this normal? Do all Euro countries do this?
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Old Jul 25, 10, 1:27 pm
  #7  
mia
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I believe Platinum/Centurion Travel Service in the USA also assess a booking fee, which is higher than the one incurred if booking through americanexpress.com/travel which is outsourced to Travelocity.
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Old Jul 25, 10, 2:46 pm
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Can't say if all Euro countries do it, but Finland does. The charge is about the same as other full service travel agents charge.

That combined with the fact that I can most of the time get better hotel rates on the web has lead me not to use them that much. I spoke with them about the hotel rates and they claimed they cannot book the web specials many hotels offer. It seems to me it is not a case of cannot but do not want instead - they would probably not get commissions on the web direct deals.

Cheers,
T.
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Old Jul 25, 10, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I believe Platinum/Centurion Travel Service in the USA also assess a booking fee, which is higher than the one incurred if booking through americanexpress.com/travel which is outsourced to Travelocity.
Nope, I use US Centurion travel several times per year for odd foreign bookings and never incur a charge.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 2:14 pm
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Amex travel website

I couldn't find a thread for people's experiences on the Amex travel website.

I was looking into an intl flight to get double MR, but I was surprised to discover that they don't give the child discount (75% of adult fare) that one usually gets when booking directly with the airline. Also, couldn't figure out before paying what the actual fare was, fare rules, etc. Everything was very vague - there may be a baggage fee (when flying intl there usually isn't), there may be a cancellation fee (the site was quoting a $$ amount more than the airline website).

Child discount aside, the adult fare was also more $ (by maybe just $100 but it adds up for a party of 4). Now I know I may not comparing apples to apples, but that's why I was looking for the fare code. In the end I think I'll go back to the airline just because it's much more clear what you're buying.

Anyone have thoughts on this? I would be interested to find out what other people's experiences are, any unexpected situations arise out of buying tickets from them?
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Old Nov 26, 10, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ENFO View Post
I couldn't find a thread for people's experiences on the Amex travel website.

I was looking into an intl flight to get double MR, but I was surprised to discover that they don't give the child discount (75% of adult fare) that one usually gets when booking directly with the airline. Also, couldn't figure out before paying what the actual fare was, fare rules, etc. Everything was very vague - there may be a baggage fee (when flying intl there usually isn't), there may be a cancellation fee (the site was quoting a $$ amount more than the airline website).

Child discount aside, the adult fare was also more $ (by maybe just $100 but it adds up for a party of 4). Now I know I may not comparing apples to apples, but that's why I was looking for the fare code. In the end I think I'll go back to the airline just because it's much more clear what you're buying.

Anyone have thoughts on this? I would be interested to find out what other people's experiences are, any unexpected situations arise out of buying tickets from them?

I use the amex travel booking site all the time because of the 5x multiplier for points (gold rewards card) and will agree that the site usually has a small premium for the same fare as you'll find on other websites. Plus they will charge a small booking fee.

As far as the kid discount, you may want to call amex directly. Their booking engine isnt the most dynamic. I think they sublet it through travelocity.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 7:15 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by 1967cougar View Post
...because of the 5x multiplier for points (gold rewards card) ...
You are only earning 4 points per dollar total, and only one of those points is attributable to the website:

1 point for spending a dollar
2 points for spending on airfare
1 point for booking on americanexpress.com/travel

It's probably not worth paying the booking fee to earn an extra point per dollar, bearing in mind that you can earn bonus for booking through Expedia or Travelocity etc if starting from various online shopping portals.
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Old Dec 5, 10, 2:54 pm
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AMEX charges service fee

I booked Jet blue ticket recently so that I could get double pts on the amex travel website. When the total price came up it showed fees of approx $28, knowing that prices quoted didn't include taxes and fees associated with airline, I thought it was the airline charges. Lo and behold on my statement was a $6.99 charge to book my own ticket thru their website. I know its not alot, BUT I thought there are many sites with no service fee, also what was worse, was that they said I couldn't book seat assignments, so I had to go to the jet blue site anyways pull up reservation and get the seats. BEWARE, if you don't know like I didn't that there IS a service charge when booking airline and some hotel reservations! I thought it used to be FREE on their website.

jean
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Old Dec 5, 10, 6:15 pm
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Just read your post, so I decided to go through the checkout to see what fees are charged for processing a ticket purchase.

When you click on the fees link it shows this:

Service Fees:

Online Service Fee. A non-refundable fee of up to US$5 per ticket is charged for each air transaction on an airline that pays us a standard fee or commission. A non-refundable fee of up to US$10 or more per ticket is charged on all other airlines. To the extent any service fee applies, it will be included in the airfare and itemized prior to purchase. The current maximum number of tickets per transaction is six. Purchasing more than six tickets begins a new transaction with its own fees. This online service fee applies to both e-tickets and paper tickets. There is no service fee on air transactions that are a part of a travel package (for example a vacation package), or on rental car or cruise transactions made via this web site.

Offline Service Fee. A non-refundable fee of US$15.95 per ticket is charged for airline tickets purchased by telephone via our toll-free number. Reservations for departure in 24 hours or fewer cannot be booked by telephone.

Paper Ticket Shipping Fees. Most air transactions can be fulfilled using e-tickets. However, if an airline does not offer e-ticketing, or if you request paper tickets, there will be a shipping fee assessed of US$19.95 per transaction for second business day delivery; US$24.95 per transaction for next business day delivery; or US$39.95 per transaction for international delivery. Airlines may assess additional charges for issuance of paper tickets and additional charges may apply to Sabre Agency Ticketing. We will bill any such paper ticket fees to the credit card or debit card provided in the booking process.

Fees for Changes/Cancellations/Refunds. Itinerary changes, cancellations and refunds, if permitted for the airfare, may carry a fee of up to US$150 that may vary by market, carrier and specific fare rule.

Last edited by angel.x.martinez; Dec 5, 10 at 6:25 pm
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Old Dec 5, 10, 6:43 pm
  #15  
mia
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The travel booking site is operated by Travelocity, and it's true that they continue to charge a booking fee on americanexpress.com/travel even though they no longer do so on their own site. I think you may be able to persuade American Express to refund the fee if you point out this confusing language on the website.

Go to: https://axptravel.americanexpress.co...vel/travel.do?

On the left side, click: Customer Support

Scroll down to the FAQ section and expand this question:

Do you charge service fees?

There is no fee to access and use our online reservations system.

Service charges, resort fees, extra person charges, child fees, and/or any other incidentals unless otherwise noted may apply to certain hotel bookings. An estimate of this fee may be included under the taxes and fees total in the 'Reservation Summary' area presented prior to completion of your booking. Also, please note that any currency conversion is based on today's exchange rate
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