Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

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mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:37 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:There's no such thing as a premium brand anymore, in my opinion anyways. Look at Apple for instance... Steve Jobs died and now the company still thinks it offers the most premium product out there even though anyone with half a brain realizes it isn't true anymore. Comparing Apple to AMEX is the most absolute PERFECT example of two companies who were once considered "premium" who have fallen a long way.

AMEX is like the stubborn chick who hasn't realized she's gotten fat after high school. The next CEO they hire should clean house of the poor management they have there right now. How do you let your competitors catch up to you when you have every advantage to stay ahead?


Mdv, you've said you rarely travel and (at least until recently) had mostly $2k-and-under CLs. Why do you have such passionate opinions about any of these premium travel cards?

Take your complaint about Amex not recognizing bonus categories for international spending...just how much international spending do you have? It takes many thousand dollars of international travel/dining spend for the extra rewards to make a big difference.

*I'd just focus on what you can have now that's useful now. By the time you're eligible for a CSR (and have a use for one), it may be very unlike what it is now. Half the bonus has already evaporated (for online apps, and soon if not already for in-branch apps).


My portfolio has changed rapidly.

AMEX Blue = $2k
NavyFed Cash = $5k
Citi Diamond Preferred = $2.25k
Empower & Discover are at $1k and $1.5k.

I believe it's just the concept of what AMEX does that irritates me sometimes. Why offer bonus categories that are more narrow and only able to occur when used in the United States when your competitors honor them when used outside of the country? AMEX is just being cheap, resistant, and delaying rewards longer than any other financial company like usual... Or in other words, finding another way to cut corners.

The Platinum is designed for international travel, that's why it has no FTF's and a $100 global entry fee credit... At least until one looks at the T&C's and realizes the bonus categories aren't applicable outside of the United States. There is also the issue of lack of acceptance.

1. Your card's bonus categories are weaker.
2. Your card's overall merchant acceptance is weaker, especially overseas.
3. Your card's rewards take over a month to post to the account, whereas all others post at statement end.
4. Your card's airline fee reimbursement amount is $100 less/year.
5. The card doesn't give you the flexibility to carry a balance unless you're invited to.

I don't see why any credit card enthusiast would pick the Platinum over the Reserve unless they constantly stay at the fine hotels offered through AMEX travel or use Centurion lounges, if they're even available at your airport.

What gets me is how Visa and MasterCard share their interchange profits with the banks, but yet still offer similar or better products than a company that keeps their entire interchange rate for themselves. There's absolutely zero excuse as to why AMEX didn't increase their yearly airline reimbursement to $300 while offering international and domestic bonus "travel," not restricted to "air" categories on their Platinum card. Way to sit around with your thumbs in your ass, AMEX.


Tubpbs
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby Tubpbs » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:32 am

They didn't change the airline fee credit or any of the other things you're complaining about because they don't have to. It's pretty simple.
Amex - BCP, Platinum, Business Gold
BoA - BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Chase - Freedom, CSP, RC, Ink Plus
Citi - DC, Prestige
Discover - It

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:44 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:I believe it's just the concept of what AMEX does that irritates me sometimes. Why offer bonus categories that are more narrow and only able to occur when used in the United States when your competitors honor them when used outside of the country? Across the world, many merchants like to cheat foreigners because they can often get away with it. There is a bit more (not perfect) peace of mind when using Amex (when it's accepted). AMEX is just being cheap, resistant, and delaying rewards longer than any other financial company like usual... Or in other words, finding another way to cut corners.

The Platinum is designed for international travel, that's why it has no FTF's and a $100 global entry fee credit...and lounge and hotel/rental car status perks that exceed what's offered on competitor cards. At least until one looks at the T&C's and realizes the bonus categories aren't applicable outside of the United States. There is also the issue of lack of acceptance.

1. Your card's bonus categories are weaker. True. Lots of Platinum holders have other cards with better rewards for low-risk transactions.
2. Your card's overall merchant acceptance is weaker, especially overseas. Again, Platinum holders have other cards...but the reality is more complicated. Some merchants will, for example, only accept cards issued from in-country banks they are familiar with. They are supposed to take any and all Visa cards, but in practice they may not. Then you can get into PIN troubles, too.
3. Your card's rewards take over a month to post to the account, whereas all others post at statement end. This is a popular complaint, but I don't think it's actually that bad. If you're transferring MRs for a flight and are a little short, you can buy a small amount of miles to "top off". Bonus and special promotion MR points usually post within days. If it's cash back, how much in interest are you losing over the course of a month or two? I can see how it's irritating, but when you quantify it, it's small.
4. Your card's airline fee reimbursement amount is $100 less/year. A small difference for people who use the superior perks.
5. The card doesn't give you the flexibility to carry a balance unless you're invited to. IMO, if you don't have the money to PIF, you probably have no business with any of these cards. CSR APRs vary from 16.49% to 23.49%..not such a great alternative. There are exceptions for people who need to travel for work but don't get everything reimbursed, or are chasing bonuses and would be traveling anyway.
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
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:05 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:I believe it's just the concept of what AMEX does that irritates me sometimes. Why offer bonus categories that are more narrow and only able to occur when used in the United States when your competitors honor them when used outside of the country? Across the world, many merchants like to cheat foreigners because they can often get away with it. There is a bit more (not perfect) peace of mind when using Amex (when it's accepted). AMEX is just being cheap, resistant, and delaying rewards longer than any other financial company like usual... Or in other words, finding another way to cut corners.

The Platinum is designed for international travel, that's why it has no FTF's and a $100 global entry fee credit...and lounge and hotel/rental car status perks that exceed what's offered on competitor cards. At least until one looks at the T&C's and realizes the bonus categories aren't applicable outside of the United States. There is also the issue of lack of acceptance.

1. Your card's bonus categories are weaker. True. Lots of Platinum holders have other cards with better rewards for low-risk transactions.
2. Your card's overall merchant acceptance is weaker, especially overseas. Again, Platinum holders have other cards...but the reality is more complicated. Some merchants will, for example, only accept cards issued from in-country banks they are familiar with. They are supposed to take any and all Visa cards, but in practice they may not. Then you can get into PIN troubles, too.
3. Your card's rewards take over a month to post to the account, whereas all others post at statement end. This is a popular complaint, but I don't think it's actually that bad. If you're transferring MRs for a flight and are a little short, you can buy a small amount of miles to "top off". Bonus and special promotion MR points usually post within days. If it's cash back, how much in interest are you losing over the course of a month or two? I can see how it's irritating, but when you quantify it, it's small.
4. Your card's airline fee reimbursement amount is $100 less/year. A small difference for people who use the superior perks.
5. The card doesn't give you the flexibility to carry a balance unless you're invited to. IMO, if you don't have the money to PIF, you probably have no business with any of these cards. CSR APRs vary from 16.49% to 23.49%..not such a great alternative. There are exceptions for people who need to travel for work but don't get everything reimbursed, or are chasing bonuses and would be traveling anyway.


-Most merchants in foreign countries don't even take American Express.

-Centurion lounges are at a handful of airports, and the gold card gives you some pretty good hotel perks that cover mostly what's on the platinum already. I've never heard of cards being declined by a merchant because they're from a foreign bank... I think you're confusing that with the chip vs. magnetic stripe acceptance.

-I'm not sure how great ultimate rewards are, but I'm sure there's a way to get the points you need, and you don't have to wait over a month for them. I've never had Chase's "higher class" ultimate rewards cards like the CSP and CSR so I couldn't tell you if you're able to purchase points or not.

mountaindewvoltage
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:12 pm

Tubpbs wrote:They didn't change the airline fee credit or any of the other things you're complaining about because they don't have to. It's pretty simple.


RIGHT, but it's my opinion that they look like buffoons who are falling behind the game.

Let's see.... Less perks and less acceptance vs. more perks and more acceptance.

Don't even give me the excuse that the Platinum has the Centurion lounge benefit either... Literally a handful of airports in the U.S even have those lounges.

Everything else about the Chase Sapphire Reserve is superior, but I guess AMEX likes to continue to fall further into the category as the other guys rather than being the premium product vs. everyone else they used to be.

You can't even get a customer service rep on a direct call like when you call with the Platinum card.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:46 am

mountaindewvoltage wrote: -Most merchants in foreign countries don't even take American Express.

-Centurion lounges are at a handful of airports, and the gold card gives you some pretty good hotel perks that cover mostly what's on the platinum already. I've never heard of cards being declined by a merchant because they're from a foreign bank... I think you're confusing that with the chip vs. magnetic stripe acceptance.

-I'm not sure how great ultimate rewards are, but I'm sure there's a way to get the points you need, and you don't have to wait over a month for them. I've never had Chase's "higher class" ultimate rewards cards like the CSP and CSR so I couldn't tell you if you're able to purchase points or not.

Merchants that take any Visa CC are supposed to take every Visa (same for MC), but that doesn't always correspond to reality...and not just because a card lacks a chip.

The Hotel Collection can be an okay way to book 2+ night stays for mid/high-priced hotels in their slow times, but that's a far cry from being most of what's on the Platinum. FHR for premium hotels, and Marriott/SPG and Hilton Gold provide upgrades, late checkout, and free breakfast at a huge number of properties from cheap-ish to expensive. You can also stay any number of nights.

As I've told you previously, Platinum gives access to five separate lounge networks; Centurion just gets the most attention because it's the nicest.

You cannot buy URs (unless you MS, that is).
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
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:41 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote: -Most merchants in foreign countries don't even take American Express.

-Centurion lounges are at a handful of airports, and the gold card gives you some pretty good hotel perks that cover mostly what's on the platinum already. I've never heard of cards being declined by a merchant because they're from a foreign bank... I think you're confusing that with the chip vs. magnetic stripe acceptance.

-I'm not sure how great ultimate rewards are, but I'm sure there's a way to get the points you need, and you don't have to wait over a month for them. I've never had Chase's "higher class" ultimate rewards cards like the CSP and CSR so I couldn't tell you if you're able to purchase points or not.

Merchants that take any Visa CC are supposed to take every Visa (same for MC), but that doesn't always correspond to reality...and not just because a card lacks a chip.

The Hotel Collection can be an okay way to book 2+ night stays for mid/high-priced hotels in their slow times, but that's a far cry from being most of what's on the Platinum. FHR for premium hotels, and Marriott/SPG and Hilton Gold provide upgrades, late checkout, and free breakfast at a huge number of properties from cheap-ish to expensive. You can also stay any number of nights.


As I've told you previously, Platinum gives access to five separate lounge networks; Centurion just gets the most attention because it's the nicest.

You cannot buy URs (unless you MS, that is).


How would the cashier ever know you're using an American credit card then? Other countries aren't filled with the stupid people we have here... They have a system in place where the terminal always faces the consumer and they insert their own card into the terminal when paying for something. They don't take the card out of my hand and swipe it like our stupid society somehow thinks it acceptable to do.

And while I cannot find details on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I've heard their hotel collection benefits are better, such as the same as Platinum but a $100 credit instead of $75. May not seem like a lot but for a $450/year card, $25 gives you another 5% of what the annual fee costs.

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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:01 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:How would the cashier ever know you're using an American credit card then? Other countries aren't filled with the stupid people we have here... They have a system in place where the terminal always faces the consumer and they insert their own card into the terminal when paying for something. They don't take the card out of my hand and swipe it like our stupid society somehow thinks it acceptable to do.

And while I cannot find details on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I've heard their hotel collection benefits are better, such as the same as Platinum but a $100 credit instead of $75. May not seem like a lot but for a $450/year card, $25 gives you another 5% of what the annual fee costs.

It doesn't have to be the cashier's doing. Card terminals can be fussy, especially outside of touristy areas. It's going to be a YMMV thing. I'm just saying CSR won't work everything Visa is accepted.

Not every Chase LHRC property gets the $100 credit. A few minutes of searching suggests it's mostly at places that cost $500+ per night. Chase benefits are greatly reduced at even the $300/night places.

I know this because LHRC doesn't even require a CSR. They accepted my CSP as a "proof of eligibility" credential. Even the no-AF Ink Cash is supposedly eligible along with the (AF) personal United Explorer and Club cards (but I can't personally confirm this).
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
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby mountaindewvoltage » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:13 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
mountaindewvoltage wrote:How would the cashier ever know you're using an American credit card then? Other countries aren't filled with the stupid people we have here... They have a system in place where the terminal always faces the consumer and they insert their own card into the terminal when paying for something. They don't take the card out of my hand and swipe it like our stupid society somehow thinks it acceptable to do.

And while I cannot find details on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I've heard their hotel collection benefits are better, such as the same as Platinum but a $100 credit instead of $75. May not seem like a lot but for a $450/year card, $25 gives you another 5% of what the annual fee costs.

It doesn't have to be the cashier's doing. Card terminals can be fussy, especially outside of touristy areas. It's going to be a YMMV thing. I'm just saying CSR won't work everything Visa is accepted.

Not every Chase LHRC property gets the $100 credit. A few minutes of searching suggests it's mostly at places that cost $500+ per night. Chase benefits are greatly reduced at even the $300/night places.

I know this because LHRC doesn't even require a CSR. They accepted my CSP as a "proof of eligibility" credential. Even the no-AF Ink Cash is supposedly eligible along with the (AF) personal United Explorer and Club cards (but I can't personally confirm this).


"Fine hotels and resorts" are also limited to expensive properties. When I was booking my vacation through AMEX (or tried to but ultimately didn't go through them), many of the hotels with the credit, free breakfast, etc. were all $400+ a night.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Went right up once side of an AMEX rep...

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:27 pm

mountaindewvoltage wrote:"Fine hotels and resorts" are also limited to expensive properties. When I was booking my vacation through AMEX (or tried to but ultimately didn't go through them), many of the hotels with the credit, free breakfast, etc. were all $400+ a night.

...which shows you the value of Marriott/SPG and Hilton status...getting upgrades and some food without needing to stay somewhere very expensive.
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



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