You’ve probably noticed that just about any time you book a flight on Travelocity, you get hounded with a promotion to apply for the Travelocity American Express card.
It’s no accident that they show this to you on the last page when you’re making the reservation, the same page where you enter your payment info. They’re hoping, of course, that the sticker shock from the ticket price might further incline you to hit “Apply Now” to save a few bucks.
But should you bite the bait or not?
The old version of their credit card (a MasterCard) had its fair share of bad reviews due to customer service. The newer AmEx Travelocity credit cards were launched back back in 2010. It’s been almost 2 years now and I haven’t heard anything (positive or negative) about it, so I made the assumption “no news is good news” and their customer service department must have finally gotten their act together. Boy was I wrong…
Researching this was a nightmare
The AmEx comes in 2 versions and other than the standard bullet points, I didn’t see any detailed info about the benefits and rewards programs. So I thought I could call up customer service to get the answers…
First Call? Dug around on the site and found this number, 1-866-734-8040. It’s one of those prompts where they won’t let you talk to anyone without entering your account number (a problem if you’re like me and don’t have one!). So what you have to do is enter random numbers five times and then finally, the system says it’s connecting you to a “relationship manager.”
This “relationship manager” I was connected to could barely speak English, could not understand my basic question (how much is one point worth?) and kept asking for my Social Security number, even though I repeatedly said I did not have an account. Eventually she told me to call this number instead…
Second Call? 1-888-872-8356 was equally nightmarish and I got transferred around a few times before someone who even was remotely knowledgeable about the credit cards. Apparently this is a mixed-use call center, because he kept mixing up the Travelocity American Express credit card with the one from Frontier Airlines. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to answer my questions either and told me to call the number from the first call. In other words, a never-ending vicious cycle if there ever was one.
Conclusion? The Travelocity credit card customer service seemingly hasn’t improved. Unfortunatetely, that also means that the following review of rewards and benefits may or may not be accurate, since no one could answer my damn questions!
This is what comes with the no annual fee version:
- 3 points per dollar spent on Travelocity
- 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere
The $39.00 annual fee version gives this:
- 5 points per dollar on Travelocity
- 2 points per dollar on one of the following categories: restaurants, gas, or groceries
- 1 point per dollar elsewhere
The point value varies depending on how many points are being redeemed. This is some of the information I was trying to clarify over phone:
- $50 statement credit = 5,000 points ($0.01 per point)
- $75 statement credit = 7,500 points ($0.01 per point)
- $400 statement credit = 20,000 points ($0.02 per point)
The statement credits can be applied towards Travelocity.com purchases that were made using the credit card account. The first two redemption levels are average but the $400 statement credit is certainly a very tempting offer.
As far as benefits are concerned, that’s something that I didn’t see full details for on the website or application page, so unfortunately, there’s not anything to write about them.
On one hand you have great rewards, but on the other you have treacherous customer service. If I would have to speak to those some foreigners to use my statement credit, than that would make me think twice about the Travelocity Rewards American Express. Another drawback is the promotional offer which is quite disappointing. Ultimately the choice is yours if the pros outweigh the cons.
So what’s the best travel card for 2013?
It’s hard to beat the rewards and travel benefits that you get with the Venture:
This post has been updated for 2013