Is Amex typically this infuriating?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:17 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:I don't have any of their cards, I never go to Disney World, and I don't ever fly. Trimming the fat cards that isn't needed is a good thing for the company. They don't need both the Gold at $160 and the Premier Rewards Gold at $195.

Most of the items I've listed should've already happened.

Chenault is an idiot for letting many partners go out the door while not bringing any in. He's also an idiot for coming out with an underwhelming "improvement" for the Platinum after the Sapphire Reserve was released. If he wanted to out-do the Sapphire Reserve he would've said the card is now made of metal, 5x on airfare, 3x on dining worldwide, primary rental insurance, and now has a $350/year airline credit to beat it.

FWIW with the exception of one or two cards, there's no excuse for AMEX to have the same rewards as the other networks and outsourced customer service when you're both the processor and the network PLUS you charge merchants higher rates than Visa, Disc, and MC at the same time. I understand AMEX has to spend a bit of money on benefits, but that's what the AF is for. Make money on the AF, interest, and other fees, and leave the interchange income to pay for the rewards, even if you're losing a little bit with the bonus categories.

The decisions AMEX makes these days are pretty questionable. Example: raising the BCP AF from $75 to $95 and placing a cap on the 6% in rewards while excluding certain supermarkets that should be categorized as supermarkets but aren't isn't going to help you gain or keep card members.

It sounds more like you want the AF to be for the airline credit... :ppp

mountaindewvoltage wrote:#1 = Move customer service back to America and make them bend over backwards for customer again.
#2 = Get rid of Green and Gold cards because they're worthless and fragment their card offerings.
#5 = Add more benefits to Platinum card to surpass Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
#6 = Remodel website so it's simpler and easier to navigate.

1. Maybe. American CSRs can still be idiots. Excellent CSRs and concierges may move to higher-paying positions where they can serve premium cards.
2. They can app for ED or app/PC to PRG/Plat if they're unhappy. Amex is very flexible about this. If others find a card I consider mediocre to be good for them, then who suffers?
5. For travel delay insurance, absolutely. Keep in mind Platinum has perks which CSR and Prestige can't rival. Meaningful elite hotel status, lounges other than Priority Pass, etc.
6. How do you have an opinion on this without being a customer? Are you just talking about the public part of the website? I agree the public homepage isn't great, but I rarely have to use it. Internally, the website is fine.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card


Tubpbs
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby Tubpbs » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:54 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:I don't have any of their cards, I never go to Disney World, and I don't ever fly. Trimming the fat cards that isn't needed is a good thing for the company. They don't need both the Gold at $160 and the Premier Rewards Gold at $195.

Most of the items I've listed should've already happened.

Chenault is an idiot for letting many partners go out the door while not bringing any in. He's also an idiot for coming out with an underwhelming "improvement" for the Platinum after the Sapphire Reserve was released. If he wanted to out-do the Sapphire Reserve he would've said the card is now made of metal, 5x on airfare, 3x on dining worldwide, primary rental insurance, and now has a $350/year airline credit to beat it.

FWIW with the exception of one or two cards, there's no excuse for AMEX to have the same rewards as the other networks and outsourced customer service when you're both the processor and the network PLUS you charge merchants higher rates than Visa, Disc, and MC at the same time. I understand AMEX has to spend a bit of money on benefits, but that's what the AF is for. Make money on the AF, interest, and other fees, and leave the interchange income to pay for the rewards, even if you're losing a little bit with the bonus categories.

The decisions AMEX makes these days are pretty questionable. Example: raising the BCP AF from $75 to $95 and placing a cap on the 6% in rewards while excluding certain supermarkets that should be categorized as supermarkets but aren't isn't going to help you gain or keep card members.


I disagree with almost everything you said.

Chenault is not an idiot. He has his own agenda and plan. It's different than yours. The improvement he came out with was probably not anywhere near his sole decision...I think their move was very calculated and probably very intelligent when all is said and done.

More precisely, I would say it is just enough to keep the people who are long term card members sticking around and won't matter much to bonus chasers and people who are on the fence anyway.

They thought about it much more than you have. That's definite.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

mountaindewvoltage
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:50 pm

I mean the Sapphire Reserve has a $300 airline fee credit with a $450 annual fee. AMEX can afford it.

mountaindewvoltage wrote:#1 = Move customer service back to America and make them bend over backwards for customer again.
#2 = Get rid of Green and Gold cards because they're worthless and fragment their card offerings.
#5 = Add more benefits to Platinum card to surpass Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
#6 = Remodel website so it's simpler and easier to navigate.

1. Maybe. American CSRs can still be idiots. Excellent CSRs and concierges may move to higher-paying positions where they can serve premium cards.
2. They can app for ED or app/PC to PRG/Plat if they're unhappy. Amex is very flexible about this. If others find a card I consider mediocre to be good for them, then who suffers?
5. For travel delay insurance, absolutely. Keep in mind Platinum has perks which CSR and Prestige can't rival. Meaningful elite hotel status, lounges other than Priority Pass, etc.
6. How do you have an opinion on this without being a customer? Are you just talking about the public part of the website? I agree the public homepage isn't great, but I rarely have to use it. Internally, the website is fine.
[/quote]


#1 - At least they don't sound like idiots as much. I'd say the percentage of idiot American customer service reps is 5% whereas the percentage of idiot India customer service reps is north of 90%.

#2 - I thought you had to wait a year. Those cards give AMEX a bad reputation by having mediocre rewards & benefits.
#5 - For most travelers I feel the Visa Sapphire Reserve is much better than a AMEX Platinum for international travel.
#6 - I'm always looking for improved AMEX benefits, you don't need to be a customer to navigate their site looking for a card. I was talking about the external experience.

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:47 pm

mdv,

Amex Platinum is really intended for people who use the lounges, elite hotel status, and other "travel enhancement" perks. Maybe you don't get value from those, but many travelers and big spenders do.

I think you focus far too much on the $200/$250/$300 annual travel/airline credits. They are nice, but those really aren't supposed to be the primary draw of the cards. For example, a few trips a year through a Centurion lounge with guests is worth a lot more than $100 to me. Getting a lot for $250 ($450-$200) can be better than getting only a little for $150 ($450-$300).

*Bonuses are a major factor, of course...and I wouldn't want to lose the $200 annual airfare extras credit on Platinum...but the $100 Platinum/CSR net AF difference can be easy to overcome with the Amex access perks.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

mountaindewvoltage
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:07 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:mdv,

Amex Platinum is really intended for people who use the lounges, elite hotel status, and other "travel enhancement" perks. Maybe you don't get value from those, but many travelers and big spenders do.

I think you focus far too much on the $200/$250/$300 annual travel/airline credits. They are nice, but those really aren't supposed to be the primary draw of the cards. For example, a few trips a year through a Centurion lounge with guests is worth a lot more than $100 to me. Getting a lot for $250 ($450-$200) can be better than getting only a little for $150 ($450-$300).

*Bonuses are a major factor, of course...and I wouldn't want to lose the $200 annual airfare extras credit on Platinum...but the $100 Platinum/CSR net AF difference can be easy to overcome with the Amex access perks.


Agreed, lounges are a big perk. I guess I don't know a whole lot about lounges... Doesn't the Sapphire Reserve have the same benefit, except they aren't Centurion lounges?

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:52 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:Agreed, lounges are a big perk. I guess I don't know a whole lot about lounges... Doesn't the Sapphire Reserve have the same benefit, except they aren't Centurion lounges?

Platinum: Centurion*, Priority Pass Select, Delta, Airspace*, International Amex Lounges*
CSR: Priority Pass Select*
Older Prestige: Priority Pass Select*, Admirals* (will be lost entirely mid-2017, not just the free guests)
Newer Prestige: Priority Pass Select*

* indicates at least one free guest

So CSR, unlike Amex, allows free guests at Priority Pass Select locations...but Platinum gives access to many lounges that CSR doesn't.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

Tubpbs
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby Tubpbs » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:27 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:Agreed, lounges are a big perk. I guess I don't know a whole lot about lounges... Doesn't the Sapphire Reserve have the same benefit, except they aren't Centurion lounges?

Platinum: Centurion*, Priority Pass Select, Delta, Airspace*, International Amex Lounges*
CSR: Priority Pass Select*
Older Prestige: Priority Pass Select*, Admirals* (will be lost entirely mid-2017, not just the free guests)
Newer Prestige: Priority Pass Select*

* indicates at least one free guest

So CSR, unlike Amex, allows free guests at Priority Pass Select locations...but Platinum gives access to many lounges that CSR doesn't.


Being able to walk into a Delta or Centurion lounge is a major major major perk in my experience.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:12 pm

I've heard some reports of Delta lounges being mediocre. The only Delta lounge I've been in is SFO T1, and I'd say it rivaled SFO Centurion (both being excellent).

In LAX Admirals now. It's okay, but not as good as either of the former, mainly due to the limited food selection. Soups, fruit, cookies, cheese, crackers, and salad stuff...but not a proper entrée (but you can pay for a nice sandwich).

No complaints about the complimentary* merlot, though. :cheers:

*The second pour was bigger when I ordered with the cash tip already visible in my hand.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

Tubpbs
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby Tubpbs » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:44 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I've heard some reports of Delta lounges being mediocre. The only Delta lounge I've been in is SFO T1, and I'd say it rivaled SFO Centurion (both being excellent).

In LAX Admirals now. It's okay, but not as good as either of the former, mainly due to the limited food selection. Soups, fruit, cookies, cheese, crackers, and salad stuff...but not a proper entrée (but you can pay for a nice sandwich).

No complaints about the complimentary* merlot, though. :cheers:

*The second pour was bigger when I ordered with the cash tip already visible in my hand.


I've been into the same JFK Delta lounge 2-4 times now. It's enormous and I like it. I liked the Admiral's lounges I was in the most so far. The only Centurion I've ever been in (I am prettt sure was in Vegas - not positive) was tiny and literally jammed to the brim with people. It was horrible. They were turning away people that wanted to pay to come in.

I don't know if that's typical or not (based on your comments about Centurion - I assume no), but the one I was in was painful.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Is Amex typically this infuriating?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:25 pm

Tubpbs wrote:I've been into the same JFK Delta lounge 2-4 times now. It's enormous and I like it. I liked the Admiral's lounges I was in the most so far. The only Centurion I've ever been in (I am prettt sure was in Vegas - not positive) was tiny and literally jammed to the brim with people. It was horrible. They were turning away people that wanted to pay to come in.

I don't know if that's typical or not (based on your comments about Centurion - I assume no), but the one I was in was painful.

I've heard Cent LAS can get especially crowded. Cent SFO can get busy, but I wouldn't say I've ever been uncomfortable.

Also, I think my experiences may be biased by the time of day. I've been to Admirals JFK C several times, but only in the early morning when the whole airport was relatively quiet. I expect it must get busy at times, but I think of it as almost a ghost town. My visits to Cent SFO were in the late morning and afternoon (more popular times to fly).
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card



Return to “American Express”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests