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Best credit card conversion rate to Asiamiles (HK) - 2014 and prior

Best credit card conversion rate to Asiamiles (HK) - 2014 and prior

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Old Jan 2, 15, 5:28 pm   -   Wikipost
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Old Feb 20, 12, 9:05 pm
  #76  
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Originally Posted by fakecd View Post
don't really want this to be an insurance topic but one must utilize insurance for the tail risk events... I agree that luggage delay or cancellation are handy benefits however this isn't going to worry me... what i really worry about, shud I be caught in middle of earthquake in Cebu and needed urgent medical evac for my injured 1yr old girl and wife in coma, I will probably quickly looking bills going north of 1mm HKD... also these "SOS service" isn't readily provided by your "world-wide health coverage" insurance... the generic insurance companies simply lacks the know-how to handle these emergency.

I'm sure the guys caught in Fukushima during aftermath of 3/11 or Phuket after 2005 Tsunami would agree they swear by the travel insurance, it's really that Tail event risk we gotta manage and protect for... all the other BS benefits (hole-in-one 1000 hkd benefits?) don't matter.
SOS is the one I'm really keen on...other than Amex, do any of the insurers provide it? Does Zurich?

Amex seems to have IPA rather than SOS https://secure.cmax.americanexpress....ce.pdf#page=11, but they seem to do the same thing (directing medical evacuations).

Many of the policies cover "evacuation" - I don't give a damn how much it costs - I want it to be available.

My parents were in Phuket when the tsunami hit. Fortunately they weren't there for the beach and were golfing when the tsunami hit (they used it to extol the virtues of golf for the 8 years since). They were able to get out on their scheduled tix but it's chilling.

I remember Amex CTS being able to charter a jet out of Egypt when hour HKShxtAR govt can't http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...ow.php?id=4872 but I think that's not covered by insurance.

Last edited by percysmith; Feb 21, 12 at 1:05 am
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Old Feb 20, 12, 10:26 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by fakecd View Post
don't really want this to be an insurance topic but one must utilize insurance for the tail risk events... [...] also these "SOS service" isn't readily provided by your "world-wide health coverage" insurance... the generic insurance companies simply lacks the know-how to handle these emergency.
Well, first of all: Insurance is a valid topic, since it's a benefit for which some here in this forum would pay loads of credit card fees instead of buying standalone insurances. So it's not too off-topic actually.

Agree on everything, except the blanket statement that "SOS service" is not covered by world-wide health-insurance. Yes, it's not covered by most normal ones, but mine does evacuation, etc. It includes as well transportation (flights, etc.) and accomodation of a person close to me from home to the travel destination and back if hospital stay is expected to be longer than 10 days - but unlike AMEX, it doesn't have to be immediate family member, so a "+1" would be eligible... and no pre-set financial limts.

On top of that they even provide like concierge service help to find temporary domestic helper, someone to take care of kids (that is even paidm not only arranged) and pets and even private tutoring if kids miss school. As mentioned, mine is what I understand under a really comprehensive health insurance. It's not what I get from work (before BUPA, now AIA) - i use those only to cover the gap of deductible I have with my comprehensive one to keep premiums low (e.g. for simple cold, etc. I take the local one from work).

A friend who was in similar situation got only stuck in one of their best private hospital in MNL with his 1-year old having a serious flu and allergy against some medicine. Although it was not life-critical, the insurance itself offered emergency evacuation - without asking and without seeking medical indication by local doctors (since the locals wanted to keep them there to "earn" on the patient). My friend actually declined since even he thought it's not necessary. It's just one of many examples knowing that they pay and won't discuss. So when already having that as key benefit of a travel insurance, there is not much reason for me to pay extra with lots of overlap.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 12:28 am
  #78  
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The insurer who my TA used to sell trip (not annual then) insurance from, Chartis, seems to do evacuations http://www.chartisinsurance.com.hk/T...velwise_pw.pdf

So does Zurich. BoC doesn't cover evacuations. SCB seems to want me treated overseas before evacuation...

So Amex, Zurich and Chartis seem to do (real) medevacs. But who would you trust? Normally I would think Amex has been in the business of medevacs longer http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...latinum-2.html, but their customer service in recent years....

Last edited by percysmith; Feb 21, 12 at 1:27 am
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Old Feb 21, 12, 2:09 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
So Amex, Zurich and Chartis seem to do (real) medevacs. But who would you trust? Normally I would think Amex has been in the business of medevacs longer http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...latinum-2.html, but their customer service in recent years....
I didn't look at the fine-print since it takes a bit too much time. To be honest, I don't know Chartis too well. So I would trust Zurich more than Chartis.

The reason why my health insurance is at the top end, is because Germany provides compulsory health insurance. So any private insurance has to provide so much more extra benefit to make it worth paying a higher premium - whereas in USA or here, anything is better than virtually nothing. The same could be said for Zurich - at least in Switzerland there's compulsory insurance for health. So it's likely that at least the policies offered to Swiss people have superb evacuation service and because they have very high hospital standards (likelihood may be higher for evacuation). But lots of assumptions.

Maybe fakecd can tell more because of the specific travel insurance research made.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 2:56 am
  #80  
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re Connecta - interesting point about the Swiss.

Chartis used to be AIG's Property and Casualty arm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartis . Which is more impressive than I first thought cos US insurers are very litigation-sensitive and authorise medevacs readily (this point I disagree with you Connecta).

I remember this anecdote in Air Babylon about a US insurer chartering a 747 to bring an injured American senior stateside after a "Venice Ankle" fall because alternative medevac wasn't available and the lawsuit risk was too great. There're also similar posts in the USA Platinum medevac thread.

Zurich, Chartis or Amex: it depends whether their HK arms' medevacs are done by the same people as if their US/Swiss clients, or whether their systems can differentiate and we're only offered "HK"-levels of service (which isn't a lot - we don't get to sue companies even for murder).
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Old Feb 21, 12, 4:02 am
  #81  
 
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Wow... chartering a 747? That is indeed impressive - as long as they're not on the brink of bankcruptcy again, or their astronomic employee bonuses eat up their claim funds

I don't think there's much difference if at least the insurance fine-print is comprehensive enough. For most global insurances they centralize such services and have only sales offices dotted worldwide.

But you are somewhat right: I have signed up with German bank account with German address of my parents for a policy issued in Germany, but with global coverage. It wasn't so much for the point you've mentioned, but there's indeed a (small) difference in what e.g. DKV health insurance is offering to German customers and what to Expats. But the differences are openly lined out in the fine-print of the insurance policies - at least with them there is no further hidden discrimination on residency. Another good sign is that even for the Expat insurance at DKV you have to send your claims back to Germany to process - so you would assume that everything is handled there to the same standard / service level.

Maybe simply ask Chartis, Zurich and AMEX how they handle their claims. Could be that their SOS hotline number is the same as for US and Swiss-issued insurance policies, etc.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 4:51 am
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Connecta View Post
Maybe simply ask Chartis, Zurich and AMEX how they handle their claims. Could be that their SOS hotline number is the same as for US and Swiss-issued insurance policies, etc.
Amex Plat Charge goes to (852) 2861 9281 during HK office hours (which seems to be a locally-staffed desk) but gets routed overseas via PTS/CTS after hours.

Chartis goes to (852) 3516 8699 which also has an overseas ring tone when I call them now. They advertise this is part of their "Travel Guard" offering which appears to be a global service http://www.travelguard.com/

Dunno how to test Zurich - fakecd?
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Old Feb 22, 12, 5:29 am
  #83  
 
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percysmith, I just briefly rushed through a couple sections of the Chartis fine-print. While being open-minded, there are quite a few exclusions in there. Not sure whether Zurich and Amex have the same, but could be worth taking a closer look - if you haven't done that already anyways. It's interesting that there's no cover for single or private room accomodation at hospitals. Generally, I'm surprised by the number of exclusions for medical expenses and evacuation. But maybe your health insurance has worldwide cover the gaps (like private room if needed)?

As for AMEX, I'm surprised by the disclaimer that certain services may not be provided in case of natural disasters etc. (while I understand terrorism & war as usual exclusion). So Fukushima incidents or general Tsunami incidents are excluded from medical evacuation in worst case? However, they make no exlusions on private rooms at hospitals, but would clarify with them to be sure.

Would be interested if fakecd could point to the fine-print of Zurich.

Btw.: Was just thinking - are all travels to the Phlippines still excluded by most insurances because HKG has it still on it's black travel alert?
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Old Feb 22, 12, 6:25 am
  #84  
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re connecta:

I've been checking an even worse policy that comes with BEA SupremeGold (Blue Cross). The text of the policy makes me wonder whether a medevac to Hong Kong is actually contemplated or not http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...ow.php?id=6645 - I'm arguing not (so it's like SCB/MSIG's "when you're better we'll repatriate you" worthless policy).

Chartis exclusions - sounds strict but not unreasonable. Have to remember to get a written report from the local doc tho!

Amex exclusions - doesn't exclude natural disaster outright, merely notes services may be limited. If it can be proven to be available, Amex must provide it. War's excluded by everyone.

Hospital room - Chartis excludes private room explicitly. Amex does not say they'll provide a private room so assume they do not. Wonder if Zurich will allow one explicitly?

I thought my BUPA insurance from work will exclude stuff I do overseas whilst not on business, but it explicitly does. So I still get my semi-private room. Doesn't cover evacuations tho so I'll still need travel insurance.

Amex Part III section 12 will exclude anywhere with a black travel alert. Chartis exclusion 23 argurably does the same.

Last edited by percysmith; Apr 17, 12 at 11:35 am
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Old Feb 22, 12, 7:25 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Amex exclusions - doesn't exclude natural disaster outright, merely notes services may be limited. If it can be proven to be available, Amex must provide it.
Yes, just wondering if Chartis would make everything possible and pull a 747 charter anecdote you've mentioned or whatever similar in such worst case while Amex _may_ theoretically limit themselves somewhat by referring to that clause. With your BUPA covering semi-private rooms, looks like Chartis is a tad better for above mentioned extreme situations?

Written report from doc will probably not be of any issue in such situation, especially since you (or someone else) would need to call up their hotline to get their services approved in advance anyways - assume that one would ask the insurance just to be sure on what else is needed and then be hopefully reminded on that.
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Old Feb 22, 12, 7:36 am
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Connecta View Post
Yes, just wondering if Chartis would make everything possible and pull a 747 charter anecdote you've mentioned or whatever similar in such worst case while Amex _may_ theoretically limit themselves somewhat by referring to that clause.
I thought the "exclusion" (I prefer to call it a note as it is not absolute) would only be used to point out Amex can't land a 747 in Iceland during the 2010 volcano eruptions. For situations less extreme than that, Amex will charter if medically necessary and no alternative available.

Last edited by percysmith; Feb 22, 12 at 7:41 am
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Old Feb 22, 12, 7:56 am
  #87  
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Blue Cross Medevac has just been trashed on hongkongcard.com http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...ow.php?id=6645 (link corrected)

Worrisome note - Blue Cross used IPA as the service company, which is same as Amex. The Sichuan local doc told the hongkongcard.com OP to fly on their own without detailed assessment - HKSAR rep at Chengdu was actually able to arrange for a much more thorough assessment + HKG airside medical pick up.

Shxt - IPA does Amex too...

Last edited by percysmith; Feb 22, 12 at 9:53 am
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Old Feb 22, 12, 8:47 am
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Blue Cross Medevac has just been trashed on hongkongcard.com http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...hp?id=6643&p=1
Have you maybe copied the link of another hongkongcard.com thread? Couldn't find anything about Blue Cross in there. But yes, worrisome from what you've summarized if basically IPA is being trashed which Amex uses as well.

As 'scary' as your discovery might be, it's very helpful stuff actually: So many are willing to pay the relatively expensive Amex fees only for the insurance. If medical evacuation would be the only/primary key benefit for those card holders and it's basically only on paper and very not useful in practice, then it may really make more sense to consider ditching the card and buy standalone insurance instead.
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Old Feb 22, 12, 9:10 am
  #89  
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Whoops wrong link. Right one http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...ow.php?id=6645

Standalone only worth if it's someone better than IPA servicing them. OP in the hongkongcard thread has stand-alone from hang seng but performance of the insurance obligations was outsourced to IPA so not much help.

Last edited by percysmith; Feb 22, 12 at 9:50 am
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Old Feb 23, 12, 8:30 pm
  #90  
 
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Updates:
1. Received the bonus pts from ShaComm Bank (1,000 bonus pts for HK$5k) for tax payment. Not bad

2. Fulfilled the spending requirements (HK$3,500) for HSBC CUP. Although I could just use it to buy Wellcome coupons during the CNY Promo, I chose not to as I already have quite a substantial amount to last me for at least 6 months. So, I only spent about $2,000 (of my own money) shopping for various items that I really need (cloths, DVDs, books) in Times Square. The other $1,500 was fulfilled last week (not using my own money obviously ). So, I expect to receive close to 500 Bonus Cash Rewards in total (300+200 for shopping in Times Square). Already put the card to the shelves

No promo right now that suits me and I am also not spending much. Should be a quiet quarter (Mar-May 2012) in terms of CC spending for me. Anyway, not really needing the miles now as I expect to be grounded in HKG till at least end of the year

I keep only 3 cards at the moment in my wallet: DBS Black, BankComm CUP (if AE is not accepted....at least in major retail outlets in HKG, mainly used for transactions > HK$300), ShaComm Plat Visa (for dining out).

Last edited by MilesBuzz; Feb 23, 12 at 8:38 pm
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