Travelocity American Express Credit Card: 2013 Pros & Cons

Posted by CreditCardGuru

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.

Travelocity American Express promotion

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!

Rewards

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.

Verdict?

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.

This post has been updated for 2013


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

24 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Happy traveler August 28, 2014 at 9:55AM

    I have the $39 dollar version (no longer avail) and could not be happier with the results. So far, no problem in redeeming my points, it’s done on the Barclay website a few days after purchase. one time I had to call when I did not get my points properly when booking a flight on their Travelocity website, and they corrected the mistake and sent a letter of apology. I now keep a log of the extra points I should be receiving . I only redeem in 20,000 increments to get the most return (.02 per dollar spent). Don’t forget to use the Rewards Boost portal on the Barclays website, that is where you get the most additional points. Example: BBQ at lowes cost $700, purchased at the store you would get the 700 points. Instead go home, log on to your Barclays account, click the rewards boost, click Lowes and order your BBQ…same price..free delivery. Lowes pays 3x the points doing it this way. So I got 700 points from the credit card, an extra 2100 points from the rewards boost, then they thanked me for using the rewards boost for some promotion that I was unaware of and got another 1000 points. This is a total of 3800 points, and if redeemed at .02 rate, that $72.00 forwards travel . Best card ever, I have redeemed 5 free or near free flights in the past year.

  2. Corey May 28, 2014 at 11:52PM

    The customer service reps are TERRIBLE, but the point system is amazing. This is especially true if you are in the 5x points per dollar through travelocity. I have had the card since 2010, and I put my sisters trips on the card to get points. Needless to say I have gotten over 2,000 in credits for trips in the past 3 years. I have a barclay Arrival World Elite mastercard which is awesome, but the points don’t match up exactly. There are sometimes I wish the card would go away cause of the high interest rate and terrible customer service, but since i pay everything off fast and travel so much from it, I have had a hard time letting go. In the past year I have flow my mom to see me 400 dollars, I have bought a ticket to Ireland 1,200 all for free ! The card sucks but its like a drug…. Always keeps me coming back lol.

  3. STAYAWAYFRMTHISCARD May 13, 2014 at 4:24PM

    I have this card. Avoid it and any of their offers. Points are not worth it. High interest rates and phone reps who do not really know what they are explaining. You have to escalate to a Supervisor to obtain accurate information on your account. The only good thing about this card is some places only allow AMEX purchases, like Costco/Sams Club, even still. Travelocity Reward AMEX card/Barclays, avoid it!

  4. Micah April 26, 2014 at 10:43AM

    Do not use travelocity AMEX! I have been fighting with these two horrible companies for 6 months trying to redeem my points. I booked correctly on travelocity.com and the option to redeem your points is suppose to appear on the barclaycardus.com sight. It never did. I called them and they told me I had to wait 3 weeks for a verdict on wether I could use my points or not. They never got back to me. I just called them and they said their system is down. I have wasted so much time getting transferred back and forth between travelocity and Barclay on the phone to people who are very difficult to understand. I wish I never used this card. Especially since I pay an annual fee. BS.

    • Middlin May 12, 2014 at 5:33PM

      This is hands down the worst credit card I’ve ever had. I had it for 3 years and it was nothing but problems. Redeeming points, getting statement credits, customer service. it all was awful.

    • Catina Rhinehart June 30, 2014 at 9:01PM

      I agree..I have over 40,000 points and they just talk in circles while trying to redeem points.

      • Saundra August 11, 2014 at 8:04PM

        I agree, I am going through the same thing! I have spent hours and hours being transferred from person to person in the PI, none of whom have any idea of what is going on. I was told I can use my points to book hotels, vacations airfares etc, as long as they were booked through Travelocity.com using my rewards card.

        Now they say you can no longer do this.

        They give you an option to purchase some things gift cards example Lowe’s card, outback etc total of 14 options! 10000 points = a $50 gift card so if I redeem my 40000 points, I get 200$ worth of gift card!
        Then their other option is a credit on eligible purchase made within 90 days…..WTF? This card is proving to be the biggest scam because they keep changing their rules.

  5. theooodore February 12, 2014 at 11:11PM

    How can
    I make contact with my card to pay bill
    ?

  6. Atman December 23, 2013 at 7:57AM

    I agree with Dave and Mar, this is the best travel rewards card in the market. Some complain about poor customer support but that is not an issue with the card itself, but the bank issuing it (Barclays). I’ve had this card for many years, I got it when the reward for the 39.00 was (and still is for me) 2 points per dollar in any category. That equal a rebate of 4%. However, it is important to use the point in increments of 20,000 ($400.00) to maximize the return. Never had any problems with it, and I travel for free every year.

    • Corey May 17, 2014 at 12:04AM

      We seem to be the only one’s who have similar experiences with the Travelocity card.. Yes the CSR are horrible, but I travel SO much because of this card.. I have th 5x points on this card too!

    • jgeckmann May 23, 2014 at 1:02PM

      Agree that this is the best rewards card out there for moderate to heavy users who also travel often. Redemption process has been changed in early 2014, but still able to redeem points online. If you carry a balance you should be looking primarily for low interest and not big rewards!!

    • Saundra August 11, 2014 at 8:07PM

      Please explain to me how I can use mine and for what?! I have 40000 reward points!

      • Happy traveler August 28, 2014 at 10:01AM

        Log in to your travelocity account…you have to log in not just buy your tickets on their site…once logged in your name should be on the top of the screen. You have to use the Travelocity credit card to make the purchase. After making your purchases wait a few days and now look at your credit card account on the Barclay website. Go to the manage your rewards and then to redeem your rewards. You have 90 days to do it and it gives you different points amounts options. Once selected it takes a few days to show up on your account as a credit statement

  7. Stephanie November 22, 2013 at 6:55AM

    This card is the biggest scam ever! I have 115,000 miles that I can’t seem to get a statement credit for.I have already completed the travel and never received the credit. DON’T GET THIS CARD CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EVEN RELATIONS CAN”T HELP YOU!

  8. Dave_ October 28, 2013 at 11:43AM

    My wife and I use the annual fee version of the Travelocity Amex as our primary credit card. We previously chose gas as our preferred category, but don’t drive as much and were able to switch to groceries, no questions asked.

    As for the rewards levels, if you only redeem in multiples of 20,000 points for the $400 credit (40,000 points for 800 credit, etc.), then this is hands down the best card out there as long as you are able to book the majority of your travel on Travelocity.com. The points value equates to 2% back on regular purchases, 4% back on your chosen preferred category, and 10% back on purchases made through Travelocity. The Travelocity purchases have to be paid for on Travelocity, so car rentals and hotels reserved through Travelocity but paid directly to the rental agency/hotel at time of use will only be counted as a regular purchase, not a Travelocity purchase. This is minor in our case.

    The to redeeming the points is to save your Travelocity Amex as your only card on your Travelocity.com profile. When you book and pay for your next travel through Travelocity.com, select your Travelocity Amex as the payment card and the website confirms exactly how many points you will earn at that time.

    The redeem points, you can directly redeem at Travelocity.com when purchasing your flight/car/hotel (but most of the time used for flights…). When on the payment screen, there will be a dropdown asking if you want to redeem points for the cash rebate. The great part about this is your card will still be charged the full amount, thus earning full 5x rewards on the purchase, then a separate credit will credit to your card within a day or two.

    I’ve been in touch with Barclays (the card-issuing bank) over the phone a couple of times over the past few years. They have always been easy to communicate with, very knowledgeable and helpful, and prompt with questions and answers. They have also shown their proactive fraud monitoring by contacting us a couple of times to ask about or question charges. When we moved across the country last year and used our credit card in three different states at gas pumps on the same day, they call us immediately to ask if these were legitimate charges or if they needed to cancel our cards asap. They’ve gained my trust and confidence for their product and as long as the points remain this valuable, I don’t see changing to another card anytime soon.

    If I had one wish, it would be that they would drop the 1.5% foreign exchange fee on foreign transactions. I still carry a backup world MasterCard that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, but is also a MC rather than Amex, so is much more widely accepted overseas anyway. Now we just need to upgrade our inundated US technology and issues PIN based transactional cards and we’ll really be talking! This isn’t a knock on the Travelocity Amex, but almost all US credit cards.

  9. Ben September 19, 2013 at 9:40AM

    They just updated their site with a new reward points redemption slider. It makes redeeming much easier. I really like this card, I get up to 10% back on my travel spend!!!

  10. Kevin September 11, 2013 at 2:58PM

    It’s a fraud. I have 40,000 points and tried to use them to buy a ticket. Those miles were never applied. Only the customer service people can do that, and they don’t have to. So now I have all those miles that can’t be redeemed and I’m too nervous to buy another airline ticket, knowing I’m spending more money going through Travelocity and just get screwed again.

  11. Jennifer B August 13, 2013 at 11:55AM

    I have had a terrible experience with this card and company. I have other cards that earn miles for specific airlines that are much better, and the only cards I will use in the future. I would not recommend this card to anyone.

  12. Mar March 19, 2013 at 12:58PM

    “It’s hard to beat the rewards and travel benefits that you get with the Venture”. Yeah, it’s hard to beat them, but the Travelocity Amex does it.

    I had to chime in here because everyone seems to be bashing this card, yet it’s my favorite card and maybe the best travel card out there. In an effort to show how amazing this card is, it’s list time.

    1) VentureRewards is the best travel card of 2013 huh? Let’s compare. It gives 2 miles per $1 spent anywhere. The Travelocity card gives you 1 point per $1 spent anywhere, BUT! As you point out, the redemption rate doubles at the 20,000 point level on the Travelocity card, and so that’s the only level you should ever redeem at. If you do, you are getting basically 2 points per $1 spent anywhere. So the only rewards level of the Venture is equivalent to the Travelocity’s card WORST reward level.

    2) Because, of course, once you start buying things in your preferred category (for me, groceries, but you can choose gas or restaurants), it’s now 4% off. That’s 2 points per $1, which translates to 4% off when redeemed at the 20,000 point level. What’s the Venture card’s answer to the Travelocity card’s 2nd best rewards level? Nothing.

    3) This is a travel card, so ostensibly you are “travel person” spending a good bit on travel throughout the year. Well, all that stuff you are buying (only through Travelocity.com, of course) is now getting a hefty, no-equal-in-the-industry 10% off. This is the Travelocity card’s best reward level. It’s huge. What does the Venture card offer at this level of rewards? Nothing. You’ll never get more than 2% back on anything ever. But let’s not be too hard on the Venture because no card that I’ve seen offers anything close to 10% back on travel.

    4) The Venture card’s annual fee is $59. The Travelocity is $39.

    5) You have to spend a good bit ($1000) to get the Venture card’s one-time-only bonus, equivalent to $100. You don’t have to spend anything to get Travelocity’s one-time-only bonus, equivalent to $150.

    6) Maybe I’m just a 21st century guy that does everything on the Internet, but I just don’t get this emphasis on the telephone. I’ve called Travelocity twice before over many years of card ownership. All calls were brief, and never did I have an accent or lack-of-English problem. More importantly, I have no need or desire to call them because their website (which very recently got a nice aesthetic / clarity overhaul) works great and gives me all the detailed information I could want on billing, rewards amounts, payment info, etc. I basically never use the phone. If you want to pay your bill or check your rewards, it should take you no longer than sixty seconds on the website.

    7) I have no idea about Shelly Frank’s problem, but Angy and Ted must be doing something wrong. Regarding Ted’s complaint, I can assure you that the points can be redeemed for flights. It would be absurd if they couldn’t. My most recent $400 cashback reward was received for me by buying someone else’s flight to Central America. The total cost was $450, and I redeemed 20,000 points to make the total cost $50. There was no hotels or anything else in the bill. This type of purchase (flight only) is the MAIN way I use this card. Of course it’s possible to do.

    8) Remembering this last bit reminded me of another nice side benefit of the card. You get full points even for a flight whose cost was reduced by a rewards. In others words, regarding that flight above ($450), it was reduced by $400 because I redeemed the rewards. A worse card would only give you the points on what you are paying less the rewards ($50 * 5, so 250 points), but on the Travelocity you’ll still get the full value ($450 * 5 = 2250 points) even though the net cost of that transaction to you is going to be $50. This is not a big deal, but it’s nice.

    • Jeff April 24, 2013 at 10:39AM

      I have to agree. Who talks to people on the phone? You can do everything online now.

  13. Angy June 12, 2012 at 2:07PM

    Wow!!!!

    Reading Michael’s review just makes me feel like my crazy horror stories all over again. I don’t think that any of the individuals posting are even exaggerating, I have had my share of a little bit problems and I don’t thing that these rewards worth all the troubles I have been through. I have 10K points that I have been unable to redeem. I called the credit card before purchasing my tickets, to make sure that I was doing the right thing to have my redemption benefits, however, after purchasing the airline tickets, I was given a different story. Last Friday I spent almost 3 hours on the phone, I was been transfer from one person to another and I still can’t have the points redeem.

    I am a foreigner and I don’t have a problem with speaking with people with accent, but the people who answer the calls were not able to understand basic questions or concerns they are scary. I think that they thing that reading a script would answer any question. This is the WORSE credit card I have ever had. RUN if you can.

  14. Ted February 21, 2012 at 7:23PM

    Tried to redeem my points when checking out today. I was booking a flight from San Diego to Seattle. When no “use points” appeared on the checkout page I called “customer service.”

    They said, you can’t use your points for flights-only purchases, only flights-with-hotel packages. I am stupified. Had I known this was the case, I’d never sign up for the card.

    • Tracy May 6, 2013 at 10:54PM

      Ted,

      I’m considering getting a Travelocity (or a Southwest Airlines, etc) credit card. I ONLY use Travelocity for “flight-only” purchases!

      Did you say that you must redeem points only for packages??? Its been a year and a half since you made this post. Is that still true?

      Thank you for your help. -Tracy

  15. Shelly Frank January 19, 2012 at 3:13PM

    I started with the Travelocity MasterCard and then they sent me the Travelocity AX. I no longer use that card and have not used it in quite a while…paid off the balance over a year ago. I just received a letter from Barclays that they decided to close my account because I had a few credit inquiries recently and that has adversely affected my credit score.

    Well guess what Barclays…I bought a car! Yes, believe it or not they do check your credit score when you decided to buy a new car. Credit score is 780…they decided that was not good enough because of the inquiries. Is this for real? So I am guessing they decided since I was not using the card they would find a reason to cancel it? I can’t think of any other reason.

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