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Amex trounces Chase Premium travel cards in Covid time

Amex trounces Chase Premium travel cards in Covid time

Old May 5, 20, 9:58 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York
Programs: United, Delta
Posts: 8
Exclamation Amex trounces Chase Premium travel cards in Covid time

Amex has made an effort to acknowledge that most premium travelers are not now getting what they paid for in th Amex Platinum card with the recent credits up to $320 for streaming and wireless charges, $20/each for 8 months through year-end, potentially.
In my opinion, what they SHOULD have done was to extend everyone's membership maturity by six months. Costs them no cash out of pocket, and doesn't force its premium customers to chase credits with rebooking how they pay for things - if indeed they can benefit. It's the usual credit card story - they will give you BACK what you are paying up front in dribs and drabs IF you give THEM more.
And, I would also say they ought to have notified their customers that--unsurprisingly--the Centurion Lounges are closed. Absent notification, had I had the nerve to travel, I would have been started to show up at La Guardia with the Centurion lounge card close with no notice. Amex knows very well from their data records that I use those lounges, so why wouldn't they alert me?
There's not a great answer to that.
But in the context of a difficult situation, Amex has don something which is far better than nothing.

By contrast, I have been told by Chase Sapphire Reserve and Presidential Plus cards (the latter succeeded by the Club card) that even though their services are in limbo, they are doing absolutely nothing for me, for either card.. This particularly rankles with the Club card, which I hold for the primary value of Club access. At least with the Sapphire Reserve I already got my $300 travel rebates, which is straightforward and generous. Most frequent flier Sapphire reserve holders probably used those up this calendar year already one way or other, I suspect.
(Since I am a million miler on United (almost two million...I'm been one flight away from that status for four months now...) the various other benefits such as free baggage, etc. mostly don't have extra value.)
On top of it, the customer service at these cards has been erratic because of inadequate staffing. Hats off big time to Amex for not having massive hold times. As has been my experience for over 20 years, Amex has hands down the most consistent and high-quality customer service of any of the big card brands. It's why I hesitate to ever drop the Platinum card even though it's become possible to imagine I could get the same or similar benefits and skip their annual fee. Amex remains, for me, peace of mind in a way Chase has not yet earned trust on.
Chase needs to step up to the plate and give some significant refunds/maturity extensions on their premium travel cards. For the time being, they are basically banking fees from captive customers (since they won't refund pro rata fees if you cancel mid-year) because they can. If they hear from a LOT of their customers on this point they might get some ethics. Speak up!
nycmarcus is offline  
Old May 5, 20, 1:53 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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5X on groceries for my CSR is a welcome benefit for me. 6X on my Chase Marriott as well.

My Netflix is prepaid until Nov or so, and Prime Video via Prime Video likely gets me nothing, so guess I can spend my streaming credits on services I otherwise might not buy.

My wireless service is Google Fi, which may not be covered by the credit.

On the flip side, the Hilton Aspire Resort credit turned into dining credit is helpful.

So... all these benefits are YMMV.

PS: I haven’t heard anything from Barclays, BofA, and Citibank....
notquiteaff is offline  
Old May 6, 20, 10:11 am
  #3  
 
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IMO, Chase has always come off with an attitude of "we're doing you a favor by extending you our cards" and does not seem like a particularly customer satisfaction oriented bank.
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Old May 6, 20, 2:15 pm
  #4  
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Is Chase the lousiest premium airline credit card issuer? Tell them!

That is my experience, too, with Chase...surly in deigning to charge you money.

I hope many Club card holders will scream, because clearly without major pressure Chase will do nothing.

It's outrageous that they are offering nothing at all to Club card holders who for at least half a year get no lounge value, which is the only real value of that card fo an elite flyer. I spoke to them yesterday. Stealing, in my opinion, for services not delivered. No acknowledgment of a problem, no sympathy, no hint of any compensation.

I also wrote to United's 1K desk and said that I think it reflects badly on them to permit this situation with their credit card partner, Chase.
I received a polite form letter reply from them quite promptly, saying that United appreciates my candid feedback. LOL
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Old May 6, 20, 2:22 pm
  #5  
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Yes you are right: very YMMV, I'm afraid.
And of course, they didn't do the simple thing of just rebating or extending card renewal maturity.
It's erbate in drips of your prepaid steep annual fee if you can jump through these hoops that give us more charge business..
But at least with Amex there might BE a little mileage lol.
One thing you might explore: do you have a niece or nephew or loved one whose hulu or similar services you could pay for for the next 8 months? I did this for my niece and she gets a benefit of no bill of $23/month for eight months, and it costs me just $3 of her $23 monthly bill after the Amex monthly rebate Likewise, I switched my wireless phone bill from a business Amex card to the Amex Platinum, and will get the $20/ a month. I was getting $9 a month back on the other Amex card, but it's still a bit more. So if you are determined, and choose to spend the time and energy to chase these little credits, there might be a way to squeeze more value out of all this.
With Chase - it's a void.
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Old May 7, 20, 5:55 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by kdm31091 View Post
IMO, Chase has always come off with an attitude of "we're doing you a favor by extending you our cards" and does not seem like a particularly customer satisfaction oriented bank.
In a way, it's true.
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Old May 25, 20, 4:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
My wireless service is Google Fi, which may not be covered by the credit.
FYI, despite early reports, it seems Amex updated their system in response to complaints and Google Fi is working for the phone credits now.
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Old May 25, 20, 8:47 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by gregsfortytwo View Post
FYI, despite early reports, it seems Amex updated their system in response to complaints and Google Fi is working for the phone credits now.
yes, my credit eventually posted.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32397859-post387.html
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Old May 26, 20, 11:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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I am also extremely underwhelmed by Chase at the moment. I haven't been able to use my $300 travel credit on my CSR due to Covid-19. I have zero travel plans for the rest of the calendar year. Maybe next year depending on how the pandemic evolves. I'm looking for ways to use this credit. So far I have been quarantined since early march and not leaving my house. I will be working the rest of the year from home most likely.

First, Chase raised the annual fee $100.

Then, they added a Doordash pass. I looked into using it, but it turns out Doordash will not deliver from 90% of the restaurants we used to visit in person, because of our location is a mansion the hills and not at all central. There is almost no restaurant within a 25 minute drive, and that's apparently the threshold Doordash has set to exclude them. If we lived downtown, we could order Doordash from those same restaurants. Anyway, long story short, the value of the Doordash pass is $0 to us.

They also added rewards on Lyft, but we use this only once a year when we take international flights out of SFO, as it would cost too much to park the car for several weeks. Since we live in a car-dependent area, we never use any ride sharing service otherwise. So, the Lyft benefit is also worth $0 to us.

My next CSR annual fee (a hefty $625 with the AU) will post in August. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to keep it unless Chase waives the fee altogether this year. All the benefits the CSR offers can be duplicated by other cards with lower annual fees - just not all combined into one card. The Priority Pass benefit seems to be the main one that's hard to match in terms of what CSR offers. It is usually available on other premium cards. I would probably apply for one only once international travel becomes safer WRT COVID-19.

At the moment, none of the other premium cards seem like a good value. Amex Platinum has a $550 AF, and $175 for 1 authorized user, so a total of $725, even more than Chase CSR.
The $15/month Uber credit is useless to us. At least they do offer travel insurance now, which they lacked the last time I had it, and is the reason I dropped it. They did try to add some new benefits for wireless service and streaming. Unfortunately, we have Netflix 4K billed through T-mobile as a single charge, so we would miss on half the credits. Also, the Amex Platinum doesn't offer cell phone insurance. We have our wireless bill charged to a no-AF Wells Fargo card just for this benefit - and we have collected thousands over the years when our high-end phones were damaged or stolen. I prefer the insurance benefit on a no-AF card, vs a temporary wireless credit just to try to recoup the cost of a $725 AF.

Altitude Reserve would look like the better fit for us, except the travel insurance is limited to $2000 per trip, and our once a year trips tend to cost $10,000+. Also, only a single PP membership vs 2 on the CSR. That could be solved by having a pair of Reserve, but that raises the AF to $800. Even with 2 Altitude Reserve, we would still only have a $4000 combined in travel insurance. Again these are insurance benefits we have had to use due to chronic conditions. I used to buy separate travel insurance policies before I started using high AF cards instead. It looks like Citi eliminated travel insurance benefits on the Costco card last year, so it's not an option to use it for the remainder of travel charges. Citi Prestige no longer has any travel insurance either, so it's no longer an option. Seems like Barclays no longer offers any travel insurance on any cards. I still have the discontinued no-AF Barclays Arrival which still offers $1500 of trip cancellation, interestingly. But still in an insufficient amount.

I guess I should worry about this when our travel actually resumes, which is not likely to be in 2020. The credit card market might not look the same anymore.
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Old May 28, 20, 8:25 am
  #10  
mia
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Originally Posted by madbrain View Post
I am also extremely underwhelmed by Chase at the moment.
Chase has now addressed many of these concerns: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32410097-post86.html
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Old May 28, 20, 4:35 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Chase has now addressed many of these concerns: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32410097-post86.html
Thanks. The temporary annual fee rollback certainly is welcome.

The ability to use the $300 credit for groceries would be very nice in theory. But our groceries mostly come from merchants that do not code as grocery stores : Costco (vast majority), Wal-mart, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Target.
In fact, we used the Chase Freedom for all our grocery shopping in April - not because of the rewards, but because it is our oldest joint credit card (14 years) and Chase warned us they were going to shut id down due to inactivity if we didn't use it.
I just checked the Freedom statement that closed March 3, and there were only 202 points from 5% grocery store categories, from one $34.52 charge at Safeway and another $15.84 charge at Food Maxx.
In reality, according to my Quicken data, our grocery shopping exploded in April due to shelter in place, and we spend over $1300 in groceries that month. But they just don't code as 5%. And presumably they wouldn't count towards the $300 travel credit on the CSR either.
At about $50/month of spending coding as grocery, and the credit only being usable for groceries between May 31 and September 30, we would still only recoup $150 of the credit. I guess buying $300 of Amazon gift cards all at once at Safeway between June 1 - September 30 on the CSR would be the way to go to utilize the travel credit.

Our gas usage has dropped to $0 due to shelter in place. I drive a PHEV but have stayed at home except for medical appointments, and only used electricity for those trips. My Volt actually ran the "engine maintenance" this week when going to the doctor to burn some old gas that had been sitting in the tank, because it had been so many months since the car had burnt any ! The 9 gallon tank is still half full, but it's not smart to top it with no likely use for it before the end of the year. And we would only be talking about $15 worth of premium gas anyway. My husband still commutes to work, but drives a 100% EV, so no gas spending there either.

I hope this pandemic situation ends soon and we can resume our international travel next year. When that happens, I would much rather see Chase keep the base fee at $450 permanently and get rid of the useless Doordash and Lyft benefits.
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Old May 28, 20, 8:37 pm
  #12  
mia
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Originally Posted by madbrain View Post
.... Instacart, Amazon Fresh,
Chase recognizes these as grocery merchants, but these national companies apparently use different merchant accounts in various markets. If they do not code properly in your market you will need to ask Chase to manually adjust. Discussion here:

Freedom 2020 Q2 bonus categories: grocery, fitness clubs, gyms & "select" streaming.
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Old May 28, 20, 8:58 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Chase recognizes these as grocery merchants, but these national companies apparently use different merchant accounts in various markets. If they do not code properly in your market you will need to ask Chase to manually adjust. Discussion here:

Freedom 2020 Q2 bonus categories: grocery, fitness clubs, gyms & "select" streaming.
Thanks !

I will place my next Amazon Fresh order with the CSR on monday after the changes are effective and see if it counts against the $300 credit.
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