Am Express Rewards Program Changing

Dec 15th, 2003, 01:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Am Express Rewards Program Changing

I just got the email. Here is the pertinent extract:

These changes will take effect March 15th, 2004 and include the following:

The fee to reinstate points forfeited for late payment will increase to $29 for each month of points reinstated.

For Cardmembers who cancel their Membership Rewards enrollment (or all Cards enrolled in the program) but still have one Card account open, the time period to redeem accrued points will change from 6 months to 30 days.

For each Corporate Card linked to a Membership Rewards account with another enrolled charge Card, the additional annual program fee will increase to $35.

For each transfer of points into the Frequent Flyer program of a US airline, a fee of $0.0004 per point*, with a maximum fee of $50, will be charged to your Card account. We charge this fee to offset the federal excise tax we must pay on such transfers. The fee may be more or less than the actual amount of the excise tax we pay on any individual transfer.

So, I've been thinking about cancelling my Am Ex card anyway and the only reason I'm staying is Rewards. This may finally cause me to go ahead and cancel.
carrolldf is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up; those changes will about do it for me, too.
Anonymous is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 03:47 PM
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So where do we go now?
wren is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 04:32 PM
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Okay, so here's my dilemma. Going to Florence and Rome on January 1st. Originally, I was going to use my AmEx points to stay at the Plaza Lucchesi in Florence, but then, based on negative posts about the hotel on this board, particularly how smokey it is, I changed to the Grand Hotel Baglioni. To make a long story short, I have since changed plans completely and now have reservations at a hotel in Florence where I can't use my points at all. So...any suggestions? With the dollar dropping by the day, anything would help.
LouisaH is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 04:10 AM
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Fellow travelers! I understand your frustration w/Am Ex. Check out and read what "professional" travellers have written. There are tons of great suggs. on how to get the pt. system to work to your benefit. E.g. By applying and consequently rcv'ing Am Ex's Delta card I was offered a 1:2 deal which means I would rcv 2 Delta Skymiles for every 1 Reward pt. Now I have over 50,000 miles, and THAT beats Am Ex's Rewards.
sixthlap is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 10:36 AM
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$4.00 for every 10,000 miles transferred to an airline's FF program? Over this you would make a decision to join or quit participation in AmEx Membership Rewards?

I don't think so.

What's next? Giving up American citizenship over the departure taxes?

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Rex, we're already paying for the privilege of HAVING the card in the first place, it's just becoming not cost-effective anymore.
Anonymous is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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I'm with Rex on this one. I think the flexibility of applying your miles to any one of several frequent flyer programs is worth the price. Thanks to the program, I've use FF miles for trips with at least 5 different airlines, something that would not have been possible without the Amex program.
HowardR is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 12:15 PM
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Rex -- you've been quiet lately (or I've just missed your posts).

Actually, it's more than just the $4.00/10K miles. It's also another $35 for adding a corporate card to the Membership Rewards Account which I'll bet many of us do. The main reason I have an AmEx card is the Rewards program -- but by the time I pay for AmEx (including the second card for my mother to use) and then for Membership Rewards and now the additional fees, it's just not cost effective. I can get a free MC or Visa and use the extra fees to buy the tickets I would eventually earn through AmEx. (And by the way, I usually have $25K or more per year on my AmEx since I put everything I can on the card and pay it all in a single payment instead of several small ones. When I have to travel more for work, it increases.)
carrolldf is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Yeah, but Sixthlap, the catch with this is that you have to actually fly Delta.

I used to swear by American Express because of its customer service. No more. I had a card stolen, and the thief was using the card for the next three months despite dozens of transAtlantic calls on my part (no, you cannot call the 800 number from overseas without paying a pretty penny, much less a centime. )

The thief finally stopped charging, according to my statements, but did American Express ever notify me the resolution. Not on your bottom-tanked-against-the euro dollar.

I will phase out my Amex card. They have gone downhill fast, and I just don't need the hassle.

SantaChiara is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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Quiet lately? I suppose you're right. 10-15 times a week over the last few months. Not like when it used to be 40-50. And nothing like ira, in the past year.
rex is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 06:29 PM
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Clients of mine had cancelled their American Express years ago, but reopened an account before going to Europe to do some MAJOR business entertaining. They were assured by American Express that they were approved for a no limit (and when they really pressed the issue as to what "no limit" meant, the person on the phone said, well at least $100,000). So you can imagine their embarrassment when after making a couple big charges -- approaching maybe $50,000 their card was turned down at a restaurant for a bill of a couple thousand dollars -- when entertaining major clients. American Express had no answer except to tell them, "well the card was so new and it was excessive spending, we thought it best to cancel until we could speak to you." Yea, great customer service.
Patrick is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 07:09 PM
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AMEX? Do not even get me started! I have been batteling with them since July over a disputed charge in London! They had the courage to send me a SURVEY asking me how satisfied I was with their handling of my dispute. I answerd truthfully and here is the address if you wish to send your own "survey" information: American Express Co., Inc., Survey Support Services, P.o. Box 27057, Greensboro, NC 27499-2786. Worst customer service EVER!
Calamari is offline  

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