Summit Travel Group DBA Amex Ticket Fee?

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Old Mar 17, 18, 10:33 am
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Summit Travel Group DBA Amex Ticket Fee?

I have two $5 charges on my Amex Business Platinum from Summit Travel Group. The details claim the merchant is doing business as "Amex Ticket Fee" and each references a PNR that I have no record of.

I've been on the phone with Amex for a while now and they don't seem to be getting anywhere. They're as confused as I am. I haven't booked any travel on this card in a while.

The link to the merchant website just goes back to americanexpress.com.

Anyone ever see charges from this group before?

edit: both the front-line rep who answered the phone and the rep from Amex Travel are unable to find any record that would lead Amex to charge me these ticket fees. So I'll be filing a dispute on my Amex card against... Amex?

edit: Full details:

SUMMIT TRAVEL GROUP REP P0511***** T - HOUSTON, TX

AMERICAN EXPRESS TKT FEE
View Details on Merchant Website
2401 W BEHREND DR
PHOENIX
AZ
85027
UNITED STATES
Additional Information: XK**** 000 TRAVEL AGENCY
TRAVEL AGENCY
AMERICAN EXPRESS INTERACTIVE CAR\HOTEL
LAST/FIRST ME NOTOUCH
REC LOC# XK**** 03/05/18 0
TERM
Reference: 3201**************
Category: Travel - Travel Agencies
Some information redacted of course.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 5:24 pm
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I've heard it said that people who buy stolen credit card numbers will often try to put a small charge on their cloned card and see if it sticks before making larger purchases with it. If it's convenient for you right now, I might report the current card as lost/stolen and request a new card with a new number on it as a precaution.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 5:48 pm
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There are some AmEx city and corporate travel agencies that have different names, but you would need to contact them specifically to use their services, which are somewhat separate from the main AmEx travel agencies such as PTS (and do not offer 24 hour assistance, etc.), so it's unlikely that you would have been forwarded to such an office by accident or when phone queues are long.

Does anyone know whether AmEx vets merchants before permitting them to accept the card? I suspect not, but there might be some minor verification that the merchant is licensed or has a tax ID number. AmEx must have a way of verifying the merchant's name from some number on the transaction. OTOH, the record locator that a travel agent uses tends to be their own number for their systems and not a record locator that leads to the reservation in an airline system.

I've never heard of a travel agent ticket fee as low as $5, but I've sometimes experienced (usually overseas) travel agent charges for strange things, such as conference registration fees.

Have you tried googling Summit Travel Group or their address? However, IIRC the address in the OP is a real AmEx street address (or at least former address) as it looks vaguely familiar to me. It might be the Phoenix office for PTS (which now is mostly located in Florida) or it could be some corporate service address that I've used in the past to send card payments from abroad by courier services like FedEx (which won't deliver to a PO Box).

You could try to call the merchant, but you don't want to give them any personal information. It's possible that some typo in the number resulted in your credit card being charged, but I agree with beachmouse that this could very well just be a test of a stolen credit card number. Maybe someone at AmEx could call them to ask about the transaction?

Have you noticed anything that could cause you to suspect that your email has been hacked? Have you used your credit card (even a while ago) at any places that are known to have had their systems hacked?

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Mar 17, 18 at 5:54 pm
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Old Mar 17, 18, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Does anyone know whether AmEx vets merchants before permitting them to accept the card? I suspect not, but there might be some minor verification that the merchant is licensed or has a tax ID number. AmEx must have a way of verifying the merchant's name from some number on the transaction.
Yes, there is validation of a merchant prior to permitting card acceptance. When you think about it, card acceptance is actually almost an unlimited line of credit - Amex/BoA/Citi/Chase/whoever essentially pays out overnight on a transaction on the premise that the cardholder won't dispute the transaction. The cardholder can do this for up to six months, and while this is probably A-OK for most merchants, a nefarious one could potentially rack up millions then flee somewhere with the cash before the chargeback window expires, meaning Amex or whoever is left holding the bag for refunds.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I've heard it said that people who buy stolen credit card numbers will often try to put a small charge on their cloned card and see if it sticks before making larger purchases with it. If it's convenient for you right now, I might report the current card as lost/stolen and request a new card with a new number on it as a precaution.
The thought occurred to me. My day job is maintaining a credit card processing system for a major tech company so this is something I've had to deal with on the merchant side.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There are some AmEx city and corporate travel agencies that have different names, but you would need to contact them specifically to use their services, which are somewhat separate from the main AmEx travel agencies such as PTS (and do not offer 24 hour assistance, etc.), so it's unlikely that you would have been forwarded to such an office by accident or when phone queues are long.

Does anyone know whether AmEx vets merchants before permitting them to accept the card? I suspect not, but there might be some minor verification that the merchant is licensed or has a tax ID number. AmEx must have a way of verifying the merchant's name from some number on the transaction. OTOH, the record locator that a travel agent uses tends to be their own number for their systems and not a record locator that leads to the reservation in an airline system.

I've never heard of a travel agent ticket fee as low as $5, but I've sometimes experienced (usually overseas) travel agent charges for strange things, such as conference registration fees.

Have you tried googling Summit Travel Group or their address? However, IIRC the address in the OP is a real AmEx street address (or at least former address) as it looks vaguely familiar to me. It might be the Phoenix office for PTS (which now is mostly located in Florida) or it could be some corporate service address that I've used in the past to send card payments from abroad by courier services like FedEx (which won't deliver to a PO Box).

You could try to call the merchant, but you don't want to give them any personal information. It's possible that some typo in the number resulted in your credit card being charged, but I agree with beachmouse that this could very well just be a test of a stolen credit card number. Maybe someone at AmEx could call them to ask about the transaction?

Have you noticed anything that could cause you to suspect that your email has been hacked? Have you used your credit card (even a while ago) at any places that are known to have had their systems hacked?
The address is next to (what Google believes to be) an actual Amex address. Easily possible that somebody at PTS charged the wrong card, but according to the fee table I found for Amex Travel, none of their fees are as low as $5.

I don't use this card for my full-time job, so it's not the Concur fee (which is higher than $5 anyways). I rarely even use it.

The only reason I hesitate to dispute the charge is because I've been booking a trip to Croatia, and while I don't think I've been putting any of that travel on this card, it's possible I'm missing one. OTOH, I've been going through those records and haven't found anything on this card.

The last time I knowingly used this card to book travel was in November.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
I have two $5 charges ....
Pending or posted?
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Old Mar 17, 18, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Pending or posted?
Posted. One is from last month.
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Old Mar 17, 18, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
Posted. ....
Dispute them. The first option on the online dispute form is I do not recognize this transaction. If the charges are valid an explanation will be provided. There is no downside. You are not claiming that the charges are invalid, only that you do not recognize them.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Dispute them. The first option on the online dispute form is I do not recognize this transaction. If the charges are valid an explanation will be provided. There is no downside. You are not claiming that the charges are invalid, only that you do not recognize them.
Dispute filed.

This is either a mistake by Amex Travel or someone pretending to be Amex Travel.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 6:56 pm
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Given that OP has not booked any travel in the recent past, there should not be any ticketing fees from any merchant for any reason. The fees are therefore either an error or a fraud. But, that is not important to OP.

If you see a charge which you do not recognize and for which there is not some easy explanation (such as an error you yourself made), dispute it. Don't spend a lot of time on the phone because time is money.
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Old Mar 18, 18, 7:21 pm
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Strange. Looks like they may be connected to Frosch Travel ... FROSCH

They are in Houston, which is consistent with your posting.

Does that ring any bells?

I once had a travel agency charge my government citicard by mistake. There were a couple of transposed numbers but it somehow went through. It was difficult to get fixed
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Old Mar 19, 18, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Given that OP has not booked any travel in the recent past, there should not be any ticketing fees from any merchant for any reason....
Possible that an audit of old transactions found that fees were not billed timely, but the merchant shouldn't just submit the charges now with no explanation.
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Old Mar 20, 18, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Strange. Looks like they may be connected to Frosch Travel ... FROSCH

They are in Houston, which is consistent with your posting.

Does that ring any bells?

I once had a travel agency charge my government citicard by mistake. There were a couple of transposed numbers but it somehow went through. It was difficult to get fixed
I moved out of Houston five years ago.

Originally Posted by mia View Post
Possible that an audit of old transactions found that fees were not billed timely, but the merchant shouldn't just submit the charges now with no explanation.
I'll never know. Amex credited back the money. Honestly over two $5 charges I would be surprised if Amex even investigated.
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