AMEX PULLS OUT OF CP!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Old Apr 26, 00, 10:53 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: YVR
Posts: 9,999
At least I now know who Milton's mentor was. I'm convinced it was C. Montgomery Burns, as typified in this quote:

"Well, if it's a crime to love one's country, then I'm guilty. And if it's a crime to steal a trillion dollars from our government and hand it over to communist Cuba, then I'm guilty of that, too. And if it's a crime to bribe a jury, then so help me, I'll soon be guilty of that!"

I wonder what's next?

And in other news... Once again, at 99 hours 57 minutes, I received an automated notification of my AA upgrades, as requested several weeks ago.
Ken hAAmer is offline  
Old Apr 26, 00, 11:07 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,661
When the news of the 3500 point fee after May 1 came with my statement, I called Amex and asked to convert my points to CP. The Amex agent told me to wait until the end of the month. So I called yesterday and learned of the breakup - the agent said it was a disaster for Amex - timing couldn't have been worse.
I wonder: is this not a case of fraud? I signed up and paid my fees in good faith with the understanding that I was accumulating rights to CP miles. When this is withdrawn I have been misled and defrauded. Maybe we can have a class action suit? I'd settle for a dollar per point and treble damages.
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Old Apr 26, 00, 5:50 pm
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Seems I'm the press release boy over the last few days. I haven't had time to make comments of my own, as I'm right in the middle of final exams. One left, and I'm going insane! I'll try to stop

Canadian Airlines clarifies position on American Express Membership Rewards Program -- immediate termination unnecessary

CALGARY, April 26 /CNW/ - Canadian Airlines is issuing the following
clarification in response to comments made by American Express officials
following their announcement on April 24th that Canadian Airlines was no
longer a partner in its Membership Rewards Program.
As part of the restructuring of the airline, Canadian has been attempting
to negotiate with Amex Bank of Canada to amend its Membership Rewards Program
agreement as the agreement was not economically viable and was not in the best
interests of Canadian. As a result, under the terms of a court order pursuant
to the Canadian Companies Arrangement Act, Canadian was forced to take action
to terminate the American Express Membership Rewards Program agreement.
Canadian has offered to Amex Bank of Canada the ability to continue to convert
Membership Rewards Points to Canadian Plus points until the end of the year
2000, under the same financial terms, effectively giving customers over seven
months to convert their points.
``The inconvenience to customers resulting from Amex's refusal to allow
for an orderly wind down of the program is totally unnecessary. Our offer to
Amex to extend the program to year end under the same financial terms remains
on the table. We urge them to consider their customers and the options that
remain open to them,'' said Paul Brotto, President and Chief Executive

[This message has been edited by Fisch (edited 04-26-2000).]
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Old Apr 26, 00, 6:23 pm
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Location: YVR
Posts: 9,999
Given other claims made by airlines in Canada of late, I'm not predisposed to give CP the benefit of the doubt at this point. It'll be interesting to see Amex's response. I'm especially surprised by this claim that CP offered to continue the deal as is until Dec 31. Seems improbable to me that Amex would cut the contract immediately, rather than continue to benefit from it for at least the next 8 months.

And hey, Fisch -- thanks for the regular and timely updates. It's times like this that FT really shines, and you particularly are a Godsend/Lifeline. Thanks.
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Old Apr 26, 00, 11:15 pm
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Montréal, Canada
Posts: 1,137
Brigitte and I were lucky enough to have used the Platinum Card's 2 for 1 voucher last Thursday for a trip to SYD. I'd like to say we had inside information, but it was just dumb luck, NO procrastination and Barb, our Platinum Travel Services contact.
We'll be moving 70,000 MR points into CO tomorrow to avoid the 3,500 surcharge and use them for a couple of coach tickets to South America next year.
My predictions for the future: Once AC's contract with Diners/Enroute has expired, they may be well disposed to forge a new partnership with Amex, which has a larger global presence. Two years from now CP will have gone the way of Nationair, Wardair, Nordair and Intair as will the Royal Bank's CanadianPlus credit card. Air Miles? They'll forge an alliance with Canada 3000 which will rise to take over CP's traditional underdog role as David to AC's Goliath. Just my $0.02!
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Old Apr 27, 00, 8:39 am
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 540
Originally posted by flyme2:
My predictions for the future: Once AC's contract with Diners/Enroute has expired, they may be well disposed to forge a new partnership with Amex, which has a larger global presence
Highly unlikely. When CIBC funded AC battle with Onex, one of the conditions was that AeroPlan sign up with CIBC AeroGold Visa for a 10 year term. Can't see this "exclusive" agreement leaving room for Amex, a much bigger threat to Visa than Diners Club, to sign up under AeroPlan as well. If Amex hopes to land AeroPlan, it wouldn't happen until 2010, or when Amex Bank merges with CIBC.

With regards to the lates CP new release, Amex MR members should rise up and force Amex to take this deal. I know I will be writting to the Platinum Card customer service, what ever good that to does, given they've ignore my last two faxes to them. I hear a good tactic is to call them up and demand to speak to the Amex Canada CEO. The Platinum cardholders are after all their "best" customers, aren't they ?

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Old Apr 27, 00, 10:06 am
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Very unlikely. You need three elements for fraud:

1) Misrepresentation, 2) Reliance and 3) Loss.

You probably have 2), you relied on Amex's program description.

3) is debatable. You purchased things with Amex, getting goods and services for the same price you would have paid, anyway. Only if you paid a service charge to register in MR would you have an attributable loss.

You definitely don't have 1). Amex never promised it would last forever, or that there would be any warning or grace period before cancellation.

Similarly, you probably don't have a contract claim either. Read the fine print, but I am willing to wager cancellation of the program or elements of it is carefully covered.

Anyway, this isn't professional advice, so don't take my word for it. If you are feeling litigious, have a word in your lawyer's shell-like. You never know...
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Old Apr 27, 00, 10:11 am
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Well, I always look for a silver lining in a black cloud. As an Aeroplan member, every few months, I get a pre-approved CIBC Aeroplan Visa card invitation with the offer of 5K or 10K (variously) bonus Aeroplan miles upon first use. I have always passed on the offer, since I have the RBVisa/Cdn+ card and Amex Platinum and Cdn+ is my primary FF program. As well, I have my Diners enRoute|Maple Leaf card from the days of the old enRoute Club, and which I do use regularly.

I suppose the next time the invitation from CIBC comes around, I will take them up on it, and add 10K or more into my Aeroplan aco.....

Unless Amex quickly moves to shore up their Platinum card benefits in Canada (which will be difficult since the 2 for 1 coupon was the most valuable element) -- as well as the already disparaged Rewards program -- it may be time to reconsider the $300+ annual fee, my Charter Member status, and 28-year association with Amex. Their no-fee basic cards, or the AIR MILES card, are looking more and more attractive every day.

I am also surprised that Amex has not attempted to communicate any information directly with their Platinum members. Phone staff are uninformed -- surely the company could have provided them with a clear basic statement -- and both my email and fax number are on file so a prompt message could have gone out this week. (I am sure we'll get something in the mail within a week or two, but...) Their web notice is a disaster. When I downloaded the file and printed it out, it spooled 48 pages, most of which were uncomprehensible symbols and blank space! Even Amex's newspaper ads just appeared today and they blur the Rewards and Platinum card benefits, and thus are quite unclear.

Surely this will become a case study in corporate PR programs as "how not to do it". I guess all Amex's execs and PR staff were up in Muskoka over the Easter holiday, getting their cottages in shape for the Victoria Day weekend.
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Old Apr 27, 00, 10:26 am
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For what it's worth, here are details of the new U.S. Membership Rewards Plus program Amex is offering. (I've copied the highlights from a posting on one of the Amex forums.) You'll note how much better the points conversion rates are, and they are good for the full cost of the ticket, not just 50%.

Introducing the Membership Rewards Plus Program

The freedom to travel on your own terms

When you enroll in the Membership Rewards Plus program, you'll enjoy the freedom to fly where you want when you want. This extraordinary program includes all your current Membership Rewards benefits - plus much more.

Freedom from blackout dates and frequent flyer seat restrictions

With the new Your Ticket reward, you can redeem points for airline tickets worldwide, with no blackout dates or frequent flyer seat restrictions. Get a seat on the flight that's most convenient to you - without having to plan months in advance.*

Your Ticket Rewards

Round-trip, Coach-class Ticket to anywhere within the Continental United States, valued up to $500 -- 35,000
...the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, or Central America, valued up to $650 -- 45,000
...Alaska or Hawaii, valued up to $850 -- 60,000
...Europe, valued up to $900 -- 65,000
...South America, valued up to $1,000 -- 70,000
...Asia or the Middle East, valued up to $1,300 -- 90,000
...anywhere in the world, valued up to $2,000 -- 150,000

Freedom to choose the airlines you prefer

Your ticket also lets you fly on any airline. You'll even earn frequent flyer miles for each flight if you're enrolled in the airline's frequent flyer program.

Of course in addition to the new Your Ticket reward, you'll still be able to transfer Membership Rewards Plus points into the frequent flyer programs of our 12 major airline partners.

Freedom to use points for anything you charge to the Platinum Card

Another benefit of Membership Rewards Plus enrollment is Your Reward. This feature lets you use points to pay for any charges on your Platinum Card statement. Even your annual fee.**

Sign up now and enjoy the freedom

As a Platinum Card member, you're invited to take advantage of this exciting program for just $35 per year. When you enroll, your current Membership Rewards points balance will be transferred into your new Membership Rewards Plus account.

Please take a moment to complete and return the attached Enrollment Certificate. For immediate enrollment or more information, please call Customer Service at 1-800-443-9251 and mention code 9995.

* Your Ticket rewards are booked with Membership Rewards Plus Customer Service and require a 21-day advance booking and Saturday night stay. Only Membership Rewards Plus points may be redeemed for Your Tickets rewards. Your Ticket rewards are available for round-trip, coach-class flights only. Four airline tickets can be redeemed with Your Ticket per calendar year, per program account. If the airfare on your preferred carrier is more expensive than the lowest priced airfare available on a major airline carrier or if the cost of the ticket is more expensive than the allowable ticket value, you may redeem the specified number of points for the ticket and pay the difference on your Platinum Card. For the 35,000 point level, travel must originate in the 48 continental United States. For all other point levels, travel must originate in any of the 50 United States.

** For Your Reward, Membership Rewards Plus points can be used to pay for any charge made within the last six months on any of your eligible American Express Cards enrolled in the Membership Rewards Plus program. When you are ready to redeem for Your Reward, call Membership Rewards Plus Customer Service to determine the number of points necessary for the charge. Your current bill will be due in full and a credit for the amount of the charge will appear on the next billing statement of the primary enrolled Card account.

[This message has been edited by Shareholder (edited 04-27-2000).]
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Old Apr 28, 00, 10:48 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
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An item of semi-good news for a change... just called AMEX Platinum to transfer my points, originally destined for CDN Plus, now to Delta, prior to the May 1st deadline.

They've extended the deadline, I am told now, until July 1st. This means there will be no 3,500 points transfer fee until July 1.

Wish they would have done away with it all together, but it's a start!
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Old Apr 29, 00, 7:49 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Toronto, Ont.
Posts: 225
Well if they've decided to extend the deadline on transferring points without charge, it's like YYZ says it's a start, but not nearly enough. Perhaps they're also rethinking their inane substitution "benefit" of $100 for 10,000 pts. If they're not, they should. The offer is insulting!
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Old Apr 29, 00, 11:08 pm
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 8,521
Back on April 26, B1 reported that "the agent said it was a disaster for Amex - timing couldn't have been worse."

In fact I think the timing couldn't have been better. It would have been much worse for Amex if it had happened on May 2, right after most members cleaned out their MR accounts into CP at the old redemption fee (0) and the old minimum (5000).

Best for them would have been to continue the program at a cost favourable to themselves. But if the relationship had to end, better to end right before massive transfers, rather than right after. Shurely a coincidence!


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Old Apr 30, 00, 11:47 am
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AW, you been reading FRANK magazine again? Conspiracy theory? Say it isn't so...
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Old Apr 30, 00, 2:58 pm
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Shareholder, when I was in Michigan for 8 months in 1996, I subscribed to two publications to keep up with the news from home: Globe & Mail and Frank!

andrew, "Frank by name, frank by nature"

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Old May 1, 00, 2:01 pm
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I wrote Amex on the 27th to express my own concerns -- as noted in these and other FlyerTalk postings -- about the sudden devaluation of the Platinum card and its benefits. A few minutes ago I just received a faxed response from Alan Stark, president of Amex Canada.

"Canadian Airlines terminated the contract we had with them late on Thursday, April 20th just before the holiday weekend... This was a sudden and surprise move which is clearly related to their financial restructuring while under bankruptcy protection. It would appear that the timing was such that it offered us little legal recourse against their action. The structure of the airline industry is going through a great deal of change right now and problems such as ours and other frequent flyer programs are going to go through change also as a consequence.

"To give you some background on the manner thatthis occurred, there was some discussion with Canadian during the last week which basically amounted to them presenting us with a list of demands and concessions that were frankly very unreasonable and would not have allowed us to sustain the program. We went back to them with what we felt were reasonable comproimses -- despite the fact that we had an existing contract that is due to run until at least the end of 2002.

"It was clear though they were not really interested in negotiating and that they simply wanted to get out of the contract while they are still under bankruptcy protection."

Most of Mr. Stark's other remarks explain what they've already posted: the new program is a first step (vouchers can be used on seat sales, etc. thus increasing their value) and that other enhancements are "in the pipeline and [we] will be working aggressively to come up with travel rewards that we hope to be able to announce in the coming months. This includes talking with other airlines about potential partnerships in the program.

"I guess in a nutshell what I am saying is, this did happen very suddenly. We have tried to go some way to quickly provide an alternative, and we are offering an incentive to you in the bonus points to stay with us while we work on other longer term solutions."

Stark attached a copy of the fax sent by Canadian to them on Thursday, April 20th at 4:03 pm Calgary time [6:03 Toronto time] the day before the Good Friday holiday. The actual fax printout is scrawled across the top of the copy indicated these times. It is addressed to the General Counsel, Amex Bank of Canada, and indicates that Canadian intends to terminate its Agreement as of April 24, 2000 and that on that date Canadian will no longer honour services to Amex including points transfers...

Anyone else receive a response to their letters as yet?

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