What is the allure of Amex?

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MemberSince99
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What is the allure of Amex?

Postby MemberSince99 » Sun May 27, 2012 12:12 pm

I have been thinking about this. There are a LOT of credit providers out there, what is it that sets Amex apart?

To me, honestly, the biggest thing is they are in your corner. If you get ripped off by a shady merchant, Amex will back you period. I've had experiences in the past where the attitude was basically too bad, so sad, suck it up, the merchant had every right to screw you. (And I'm talking about a screwing as blatant as not receiving what you paid for and the merchant telling me I'm not going to get it, and yes the provider in question backed the merchant claiming it was due to "intangible goods" - that alone might tell you who the guilty party was....). When you get a screwing along these lines to the tune of hundreds of dollars, you are already angry, and the last thing you need is the provider not caring and holding you down while the merchant rips you off.
That ALONE makes Amex stand out from the crowd. And that to me is the biggest reason why I use it whenever I can.

But there is honestly more. What other company backdates your accounts? No one I know of, this is Amex only. And the customer service is terrific. I've called them several times and I have yet to speak with one who I can barely understand, reading from a script with no real answers to my questions, where I could get one answer today and call back tomorrow and get the opposite answer. I have experienced this before, and that sort of "support" is basically worthless. With companies like Amex (and Discover, FNBO and other prime lenders) you get Americans on the phone who you can understand and who can and will help you. When I called them and was talking with the CSR I was thinking I really felt good about dealing with a company that puts our fellow Americans to work.

These are the biggest things to me that really make Amex stand out from the crowd, other than the prestige of the brand (and that may not be worth much to others honestly).

I will go so far as to say the only reason I do not exclusively have Amex in my wallet is simply - potential FR, they could take it away at any time. And if they do I want to be able to fall back on plan B and move on with life. If this wasn't a concern, plus the fact that some places just don't take Amex, I'd see no reason to have another card.

And if you are wondering no I didn't lie on my applications to Amex, but that doesn't mean I still couldn't be closed down.

So in short, man I love Amex and these are the reasons that to me, this company stands above the rest.


DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sun May 27, 2012 12:53 pm

I have used Amex cards and Visa cards. I've had occasional problems with both, and my issues were handled quickly and efficiently.

The buyers protection on Visa Signature is 90 days, same as Amex. The things that Amex can do that other banks can't is make a replacement card at an Amex travel office and the office can be used as a mail drop.

Amex is not accepted in a lot of places Visa is, especially locally. This is why I got the Fidelity Visa to backup my Fidelity Amex. I like the Amex Platinum for Priority Pass and the hotel room upgrades, but wouldn't use it enough to make it worth the annual fee.

Like Visa, Amex has made a huge marketing push to replace cash, but all credit cards have their pluses and minuses.

Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Sun May 27, 2012 1:10 pm

Btw, AMEX doesn't only have US based CSRs. On their higher end cards, I noticed it is. AMEX is unique in that they control 100% of their experience and the consistency of it is important as they have mostly done a good job with customer service. Even with high end visa signature, the customer service is done by all the different issuers so experience will vary.

With AMEX revolvers, I really appreciate their transparent CLI policy. Up to 3X till 25k at 61 days and every six months afterwards. All this based on soft pull so no credit effect. Other issuers are so unclear.
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k

PopiLopi
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Postby PopiLopi » Sun May 27, 2012 6:16 pm

I agree with Crashem, not all customer service for amex cards is based in the US, actually for the 2 cards I have I had to call at least 3 times because I have an alert in my credit reports and they won't approve the application without speaking with me. Every single time I got a guy in India, I asked him and he openly admitted it. I don't discriminate against people with accents, I have one myself.

To Amex's favor I have to say that regardless of the agent's location they were always very helpful and solved my issues.
Amex: Business Platinum (09/12) BCP $10,500 (03/13)
Visa: Capital One Journey $750 (04/11) Chase Freedom $1,800 (04/12)
MasterCard Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select $8,500 (05/13)
Discover: Discover It $2500 (07/11)
Store Cards: Amazon $3900 (12/11) Macy's $500 (04/11) Kohl's $500 (05/12) Victoria's Secret $750 (11/12)

Celestine
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Postby Celestine » Sun May 27, 2012 10:27 pm

Maybe because AmEx has been there since the 1800s and managed to survive the World Wars? Not sure though. But heck if they managed to survived all those situations, then that sets them apart from VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and other creditors.
"Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you really want to test a man's character - give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Sun May 27, 2012 10:30 pm

Celestine wrote:Maybe because AmEx has been there since the 1800s and managed to survive the World Wars? Not sure though. But heck if they managed to survived all those situations, then that sets them apart from VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and other creditors.


I thought at first you were kidding, then I Googled it and Wikipedia says you are exactly right. Wow I honestly had no idea! You know your Amex!

Celestine
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Postby Celestine » Sun May 27, 2012 10:36 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:I thought at first you were kidding, then I Googled it and Wikipedia says you are exactly right. Wow I honestly had no idea! You know your Amex!


Yup! It is difficult to believe that AmEx survived that long and through those events in history.

Regarding their customer service, I have only called them twice or thrice and those but their CSR is friendly and professional - at least on the Platinum customer service.
"Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you really want to test a man's character - give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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danpass
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Postby danpass » Mon May 28, 2012 8:57 am

They have history, cachet and consistency. For example you can just about count on the various policies concerning MR points to remain solid for a long time if not forever.

Other cards seem to change their policy 'often' as they seek to maximize their profit margin, and always as people seem to approach that important milestone. This is where Amex has that particular advantage since they own the whole chain.

Their marketing certainly helps elevate the brand. Except for that Aziz character. I hope they get rid of that as soon as possible.

I like that it's a charge card where I have to pay the whole amount, keeps me out of trouble lol.

Great CSR and also the fact that I get a person rather quickly and that person can do most everything (i.e. no transferring to another dept)

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FastSRT8
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Postby FastSRT8 » Mon May 28, 2012 11:56 am

I think it all boils down to personal preference. To me Amex has been a solid card serving all my needs since 89. They have always been fair to me in the handful of disputes and were also there for me in my travels and needs.

Your experiences and milage may vary.
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