On Why American Express

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Old Jul 18, 18, 11:25 pm
  #1  
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On Why American Express

I’ve been reading the postings of the nuances of American Express Platinum vs. CSR and/or benefits and the choices of millennials.
From someone who is a long-time member and before I became Cent I want to say, as a way of thanking them, as to what a friend Amex has been.

Never mind that hot reservation to a new restaurant……. How about when your son is in Rome and needs a specialty doctor in a hurry, Amex was there for me and did it. Found the (English speaking) physician, arranged transportation and paid the physician!

Mom is visiting the UK, wallet stolen, not even a member, but she’s my Mom so Amex took care of her.

I have numerous such stories over decades. Amex has been a good friend. And, every time, I call I get a bright, well-spoken and knowledgeable local agent.

Worth it’s weight in gold or errr Platinum.

On today’s earning call Amex announced that they added 2.9 million cards and that “a significant share of people signing up for its Platinum card are millennial's.” Millennial's are smart! Nobody does consistently like Amex.

No, I don’t work for them, I’m just a long-time very appreciative member.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:44 am
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Eh, I suspect these new cardholders are just taking the initial bonus offers and milking the benefits (Uber, etc.). You did not mention the announced pretty significant increase in card benefits costs (including their concierge service in that bundle). If these new cardholders were not in it for the short-term, we wouldn't have seen so much of the language changes in the bonus rules from all the major banks.

There is really no loyalty in this game. I have avoided these high AF card just to be more disciplined. I know I am leaving so much free bonuses on the table, but it is just not my style.

I have greater respect for those cards like Synchrony Marvel Mastercard who ended up only offer $25 sign-up bonus, but also gave me almost 6% CB for a significant number of months last year. There is no chance they would have given such an offer if they had lots of churning cardholders.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:08 am
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We see it differently. I can tell you from experience, there is significant value in the long-term relationship.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:11 am
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I think AMEX has a good strategy and customer service.

But those 2.9 million new users lets face it how many of them are churners? OR one timers? The "I have a flight from NA to EU or NA to APAC I need at XX,XXXX points, wait AMEX has a transfer rate of 1:1 with Airline XY, apply. You can see how many threads about churners or bonus points and this is only FT there are lots of other people there who are from other forums that talk about it. For some AMEX is only as good as their last bonus points.

In the past few years, why did AMEX started lowering bonus points, increasing fees and spending requirements? Though I noticed that some of the benefits are "better" and some well it disappeared.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by LeonardR View Post
We see it differently. I can tell you from experience, there is significant value in the long-term relationship.
I agree. Churning may sound fun or exciting at first, but it will catch up with those folks. For good companies, loyalty goes both ways. I recently had an issue with my (non-Amex) bank. When they realized I have been a customer for 20+ years, the issue went away extremely quickly. Same thing with Amex. When you've had their cards for 20+ years, they are extremely happy to help you with whatever. Same thing with Amazon, and Costco, etc. etc. Over the long term, companies are going to realize that they make the most revenue when they help their loyal customers. There are more and more CRM systems being designed to track longevity, lifelong revenue, etc. and even route calls in the call center based on that.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:11 pm
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I agree. Amex was my very first credit card that I obtained when I turned 18, and I have been a member ever since. The service is unmatched, and they will go above and beyond to help you, especially if you have a long-term relationship with the company. Whenever I call in, they always start off by thanking me for my loyalty for so many years!
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Old Jul 19, 18, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I agree. Amex was my very first credit card that I obtained when I turned 18, and I have been a member ever since. The service is unmatched, and they will go above and beyond to help you, especially if you have a long-term relationship with the company. Whenever I call in, they always start off by thanking me for my loyalty for so many years!
i got my first at 23 ( a bit later) for the same reason. moved up to personal platinum at 28 and been there ever since. they've been very good to me (for someone who has also churned a couple personal hilton amex's )
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:32 pm
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I have both the AMEX Platinum and CSR. If push comes to shove, I'd keep the AMEX Platinum. Customer service is much better and the benefits are greater. While I'm not a churner, I want to maximize my spend. If there was an AMEX card that had 3x+ on dining and non-airfare travel, I'd drop Chase right away.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
I have both the AMEX Platinum and CSR. If push comes to shove, I'd keep the AMEX Platinum. Customer service is much better and the benefits are greater. While I'm not a churner, I want to maximize my spend. If there was an AMEX card that had 3x+ on dining and non-airfare travel, I'd drop Chase right away.
I'm a big fan of both AMEX and Chase. They're different sorts of companies, and I wouldn't expect the same level of service from Chase. But I've banked with them for many years and really have nothing but good things to say (except for the nasty currency conversion fees they now charge, which caused me to open a Schwab account for international travel).

And I absolutely love my AMEX Plat. I think I get something like 8x the annual fee in value per year.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
... I wouldn't expect the same level of service from Chase..
Maybe Platinum cards have their own dedicated service center, but in general with Amex I've had some of the most incompetent service of all the CC banks, except maybe 3rd tier players like USBank. It ranges from clueless support who don't know their product, to constant glitches with points posting.

Just today I got an email asking me to confirm receipt of a new Blue Business card. I've had the darn card for over a month now and have since paid one statement. I had to make sure it's not a phishing email or something. Oh and of course it's been 2 weeks since statement closed and I don't have the MR points posted still. Now have to waste time calling and getting confusing responses as to how it'll probably take another month.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by littlewinglet View Post
....it's been 2 weeks since statement closed and I don't have the MR points posted .....
This is normal. Membership Rewards points earned on any statement post after the next statement is generated, provided payment is made as required.

How long does it usually take for USA MR points to post ?

Last edited by mia; Jul 20, 18 at 8:17 am
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Old Jul 20, 18, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by captaindomon View Post
I agree. Churning may sound fun or exciting at first, but it will catch up with those folks. For good companies, loyalty goes both ways. I recently had an issue with my (non-Amex) bank. When they realized I have been a customer for 20+ years, the issue went away extremely quickly. Same thing with Amex. When you've had their cards for 20+ years, they are extremely happy to help you with whatever.
I like Amex a lot as a company, and I've been a satisfied cardholder for almost 20 years. That being said, I have also churned them and other card issuers to the tune of several million airline/hotel miles and points and about $10,000 worth of cash sign-up bnouses. And I know that those numbers are small compared to a lot of folks around here have pulled in. So calling churning fun or exciting kind of diminishes the potential benefits. With banks getting more restrictive, it will be harder in the future to reap those benefits, so that's why I think it's wise to get what's available when it's available.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 10:22 am
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Churning in Canada is more limited and Amex is pretty much the only serious game up here, I participate in it and have gone on many trips I could not have afforded to in J or F.

I have consistently kept my Amex Platinum over the years, even if it reduces the yearly MR I can churn significantly, because Amex has always been there for me from a customer service standpoint and the annual fee has been recovered many times from various insurance claims over the years.

I usually only need to send one message/make one call to Amex, the frontline CS reps seem more empowered than other companies. Sure seems that way at least.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I agree. Amex was my very first credit card that I obtained when I turned 18, and I have been a member ever since. The service is unmatched, and they will go above and beyond to help you, especially if you have a long-term relationship with the company. Whenever I call in, they always start off by thanking me for my loyalty for so many years!

Also agree. My first card was an Amex in 1980 because my dad always had one. Sure I've changed Visa/MC's through the tears but Amex has been the one constant in my wallet.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
This is normal. Membership Rewards points earned on any statement post after the next statement is generated, provided payment is made as required.

How long does it usually take for USA MR points to post ?
I figured that's probably the case, but that system of delaying points is asinine. No other CC issuer has such a convoluted system.
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