FastSRT8 wrote:I realized back in the day AMEX was not widely accepted due to the high rates they charge the merchants versus Visa or Mastercard but correct me if I am wrong, have they not lowered their merchants rates?
Also I may be biased but I feel Amex has really good customer service and if you ever have an issue with charges they are very good at resolving them in a timely manner.
I have dealt with Amex in the past and they did have wonderful service when something went wrong though I find my Visa Signature (the US version of Visa Infinite) offers equivalent service in most cases.
For replacement cards in major cities there is no equal to Amex (they have card printers on-site in their travel offices), and I believe an Amex cardmember can have their mail forwarded to an Amex office for pickup if needed, but aside from that I prefer not having to wonder if my card will be accepted and prefer the better cash-back rewards that other banks offer.
If you're traveling by air a lot then an Amex Platinum or Centurion makes sense, they offer unmatched benefits such as airport lounge access and lost luggage replacement, but for most everything else I find my Visa Signature on par with Amex and I don't miss the annual fee.
Amex didn't reduce their merchant charges, Visa increased theirs. There's actually a complicated system to calculate the fee based on the card level and merchant category. Visa has a detailed chart on their website. A Visa Signature has roughly the same merchant fee as an Amex.