Report Centurion "WOW" Offers, Invites, Gifts

Old Dec 12, 2012, 9:45 am
  #151  
 
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Originally Posted by S.Bling
This was the same case with Chopard last year.
The moment the Cent vouchers came out, they removed all cheaper items from the store, which were on "back order" until exactly one day after the Cent cards expired...

I complained, but to deaf ears (both to Amex and to Chopard).

In previous years the free vouchers were a real bonus/gift. Since 2010 or 2011 they are simply marketing tools to get you in the store and purchase something more expensive (and in reality, the vouchers are a "discount of $XXX off a minimum purchase of "$XXX times four or five" - i.e. a 20-25% discount).
Frankly, they should have just imposed a minimum purchase instead of pulling the merchandise. Very lame, in my opinion!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:25 pm
  #152  
 
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Originally Posted by Latkesanddimsum
Frankly, they should have just imposed a minimum purchase instead of pulling the merchandise. Very lame, in my opinion!
Had they done that, most people wouldn't seriously consider going into the store.

A case in point is a few years ago, when given the $500 voucher for Domenico Vacca (with no minimum) I went straight over there - and promptly spent more that $500 (paying the rest on my Cent).
But when, every few months since then, I get the nice black-colored card from Domenico Vacca themselves, which looks very very similar ("$500 gift voucher") but has a small line on the back saying "minimum purchase of $1000" - I look at it for a couple of days and then it always ends up in the trash.

Nobody is giving you something for nothing; it's a marketing campaign to get (perceived) high-spending Cents into their stores. Obviously most people try to use it on items not much more than the value of the card (to get the maximum "free" effect) but enough people either purchase much more, or get introduced to the store (which they might not have considered) - to make it a worthwhile promotion for the retailer.

Believe it or not, they actually PAY amex sometimes for this privilege...
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 6:14 am
  #153  
 
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Originally Posted by S.Bling
Had they done that, most people wouldn't seriously consider going into the store.

A case in point is a few years ago, when given the $500 voucher for Domenico Vacca (with no minimum) I went straight over there - and promptly spent more that $500 (paying the rest on my Cent).
But when, every few months since then, I get the nice black-colored card from Domenico Vacca themselves, which looks very very similar ("$500 gift voucher") but has a small line on the back saying "minimum purchase of $1000" - I look at it for a couple of days and then it always ends up in the trash.

Nobody is giving you something for nothing; it's a marketing campaign to get (perceived) high-spending Cents into their stores. Obviously most people try to use it on items not much more than the value of the card (to get the maximum "free" effect) but enough people either purchase much more, or get introduced to the store (which they might not have considered) - to make it a worthwhile promotion for the retailer.

Believe it or not, they actually PAY amex sometimes for this privilege...
I totally understand the marketing aspect and would fall into their target category for this promotion (can't resist jewelry and would therefore be tempted to spend over the GC amount if I found something I liked!).

Obviously, since they ran a similar Cent promotion before, it was worth their while to offer another. I am super curious re: redemption statistics though, such as average spend over gift card amount! I would love to hear what other members found in the store.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 4:53 pm
  #154  
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Originally Posted by Latkesanddimsum
I am super curious re: redemption statistics though, such as average spend over gift card amount! I would love to hear what other members found in the store.
I've ended up spending at least twice the amount of the gift cards from Judith Ripka, Van Cleef & Mikimoto (earrings at all three). Since I don't like Chopard & Harry Winston, those two were thrown away.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 8:03 am
  #155  
 
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Well the redemption rates must be good, I counted 5 Centurion customers using their 150 Ferragamo gift card in the Old Bond St branch yesterday evening within the space of an hour. Plus another that had been given the gift card by her son and was trying to spend above it without the Centurion Card - they put the items on hold for her to return with the cardholder.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 5:15 am
  #156  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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WOW - Still no Centurion gifts this year????

So far, no black envelopes this year. Really surprised since the fees went up (for additionals and newbies) and my spend will be over $1.5 million. Anyone else shocked??

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Old Dec 19, 2012, 2:36 pm
  #157  
 
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by wspfan
So far, no black envelopes this year. Really surprised since the fees went up (for additionals and newbies) and my spend will be over $1.5 million. Anyone else shocked??

I remember the good old days when $500 gift cards came during the holidays and one year a BRAND NEW Canon digital camera was given out to members!!

What happened to the marketing dept?? Did the fiscal cliff or recession hit AMEX too hard and they now are trimming back to spends even for Centurion card members??
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 2:47 pm
  #158  
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Originally Posted by wspfan
So far, no black envelopes this year. Really surprised since the fees went up (for additionals and newbies) and my spend will be over $1.5 million. Anyone else shocked??
Originally Posted by DMDortho
I remember the good old days when $500 gift cards came during the holidays and one year a BRAND NEW Canon digital camera was given out to members!!

What happened to the marketing dept?? Did the fiscal cliff or recession hit AMEX too hard and they now are trimming back to spends even for Centurion card members??
I am really disappointed about this. I am well over $1 million in *personal* and variable spend for 2012 and not a word of thanks from Amex. I get gifts from my other vendors for my business, sometimes really nice ones, but nothing from Amex.

I understand they lost the product manager who really cared about the client base and, in general, now have a different perspective where customers retention and service is no longer a primary concern, but rather revenue increase and cost reduction. The increase in additional cardholder fees, without including all benefits (like the airline fee benefit) and reduction of the number of allowed AU's is clearly an indication of this.

Initiation fees are now $7,500, so first year members pay $10,000. How long do they think the "prestige" of the program will carry itself without commensurate benefits?

Where is Amex on this subject? Why aren't they speaking to their customers about this? Anyone get a survey or asked for their opinion on the program?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 2:58 pm
  #159  
 
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I see nothing to complain about. We Swissies fork over the highest fees and have 0 = nill, zero, nada airline benefits. My biggest issue is with the ever decreasing acceptance of Amex. That is in the new & old world. Sigh!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 4:04 pm
  #160  
 
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Originally Posted by b8b
Where is Amex on this subject? Why aren't they speaking to their customers about this? Anyone get a survey or asked for their opinion on the program?
I was sent a survey by email a couple months ago. Quite surprised based on my responses I have not heard from them.

Last edited by drwilliams; Dec 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 5:13 pm
  #161  
 
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Only way AMEX will react is if their bottom line is eroded. My 6 digit monthly spend has gone to FIA (2% cash back amex) and Chase for the past 4 months. On the flip side, they are offsetting that by $10K handshakes for new accepted invitations...so that may be the new revenue stream as the heavy spenders move to other products for bonuses.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 5:33 pm
  #162  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Originally Posted by b8b
I am really disappointed about this. I am well over $1 million in *personal* and variable spend for 2012 and not a word of thanks from Amex. I get gifts from my other vendors for my business, sometimes really nice ones, but nothing from Amex.

I understand they lost the product manager who really cared about the client base and, in general, now have a different perspective where customers retention and service is no longer a primary concern, but rather revenue increase and cost reduction. The increase in additional cardholder fees, without including all benefits (like the airline fee benefit) and reduction of the number of allowed AU's is clearly an indication of this.

Initiation fees are now $7,500, so first year members pay $10,000. How long do they think the "prestige" of the program will carry itself without commensurate benefits?

Where is Amex on this subject? Why aren't they speaking to their customers about this? Anyone get a survey or asked for their opinion on the program?

+1 AMEN!! All I hear from AMEX is 2013 will be great for members (new benefits, etc.). I think they are full of crap. AMEX is making tons of money off of those spending $1 Million+ in addition to all the fees collected from members. Time to get that focus back on the customer - NOT the numbers.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 8:44 pm
  #163  
 
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I must confess this use to be one of the happiest parts of the season. Amex gift cards that made me feel like Santa Claus had come. Amex sending a camera and a gift card. I really felt like the gift card meant they appreciated me. Now I spend three to four times as much I the centurion and no gift card. $2500 for the wife's card next year. I use to think they had a slush fund to keep each card member happy ($15 deduction for each airline club use, $10 each concierge booking) and they payed you out with a gift card the balance of some 1% or so of your spend minus expenses. Clearly something has changed. Centurion travel team one spends 1/2 time explaining screw ups. Concierge is fine but not compelling. I think I would be better of with platinum (membership rewards the same) then paying some one $5k to give me a $1k Christmas gift card.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 1:59 am
  #164  
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Originally Posted by DMDortho
I remember the good old days when $500 gift cards came during the holidays and one year a BRAND NEW Canon digital camera was given out to members!!

What happened to the marketing dept?? Did the fiscal cliff or recession hit AMEX too hard and they now are trimming back to spends even for Centurion card members??
I think you are missing the point. Amex doesn't pay for these promos, they EARN money from these promos. The retailers "pay" for the gift card, and the right to market directly to Centurion members. Amex would love to do more of these. But people are shopping less at jewelry stores and more at Apple stores it seems.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 2:19 am
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by Winetemplar
I see nothing to complain about. We Swissies fork over the highest fees and have 0 = nill, zero, nada airline benefits. My biggest issue is with the ever decreasing acceptance of Amex. That is in the new & old world. Sigh!
Amen to that, Winetemplar. Last year we got at least a big black box by mail with useless Christmas crap inside, the nicest thing about it was the anticipation while unwrapping it (quickly matched by the subsequent disappointment). This year, nothing so far.

By the way, have you officially complained about Switzerland being the ONLY Cent country in Europe that has been left out of the fantastic CX Marco Polo promotion? I certainly have (on the highest level) and I won't rest my case until I get the CX Diamond card or I'll switch to the IEC Cent (better benefits at half the price).

Last edited by JohnRain; Dec 20, 2012 at 3:24 am
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