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AMEX FEEDBACK TIME! 2019

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  • Jun 3rd, 2019 3:17 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2018
73 posts
52 upvotes

AMEX FEEDBACK TIME! 2019

Just got email from Amex asking for our feedback as cardholders.


Hello XXXXX,
At American Express, we want you to help shape our future. We value learning about your experiences and would greatly appreciate it if you would share some of your time to give us feedback.

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the application process?


ETC ETC..


I guess now is the time to let Amex know how we feel (about devaluations, no FYF, anti Churning, caps on Cobalt spend, and what products we want them to provide us with... NO FTF, better multiplying options, points transfer options ...whatever we want.

They do and will accept our FEEDBACK given to them and hopefully make changes we want to see.

Make it count.
25 replies
Member
User avatar
Mar 14, 2018
475 posts
520 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Honestly, I think most of the points you bring up are not really something we "deserve" to complain about.

  • The cap on the Cobalt is IMO more than fair for the majority of people, and only affects those who are closer to manufactured spending or abusing the 5x category.
  • Devaluation is a "strong" word currently. If you are talking in the sense of the Platinum switching to 1/2/3, I personally will make more points for each dollar average, and so will most people.
  • Anti-churning policies have always been in place by Amex, and are being enforced more strongly because of the abuse by some. The Amex train used to be a lot more profitable, but there is genuine reasons why Amex would discourage it.
  • FYF has never been a strong suit of Amex. Sure the Gold used to be (and part of the reasons why I got one), but Amex always has been the more "premium" issuer, with its compromises. Plus, most of their cards welcome bonus is worth more than the annual fee for a year.I expect to get close to 1,200 - 1,500$ of value out of my Platinum welcome bonus, easily offsetting the 499$ per year.
  • Amex has launched Amex Offers in Canada as a way to increase the earn rate of certain transactions, a similar model to the US. In the last month, I have scored some good credit statements and bonus MR on my purchases.
  • Point transfer is likely never gonna happen, as it is in Amex interest to keep the balances separate due to the various redemption options. I discuss it in the Atlas, but it would make no sense that the Cobalt MR would have "as much power" as the Platinum MR. It would devalue their portfolio and the prestige of the products.
  • Insurance on reward flights will not be included on the Platinum, or any other Amex product. TD has the "best" Aeroplan portfolio, and I assume they have contractual obligations not to offer those. Plus, with the often FYF on the TD Aeroplan VI, stacking them is not a crazy strategy.

HOWEVER, I gotta recognize some opportunities that Amex should seize.

  • No-FTF across the lineup, especially since they brand most of their cards as "travel".
  • Improve their insurance package (especially on the Platinum), as many cards are getting closer in that manner.
  • Increase the partner list of the FTP, including more US airlines or international carriers.
  • Not cut in the hotel benefits (a move that was discussed previously in a survey, though we haven't heard anything).

I can totally understand your frustration, but I do sincerely believe that American Express is one of the best issuer in Canada, and will likely sit in my wallet for years. Obviously, you vote with your money, and your complaints can be legitimate, but distiguishing "regular" consumers interests and "RFD churning dream" is important, as they are in it for a profit. Amex being stronger than ever is good as it encourages healthy competition, and with the increasing number of small issuers, market shares are up for grabs.

EDIT: Obviously, I hope it doesn't come across as insulting or pretentious. I have got amazing value out of my Amex products over the years, and don't expect to get any less in the upcoming years. Amex is focused on growing its market share, as they focus their attention on "new spenders" with lifestyle products like the Cobalt and the new 1/2/3 structure of the Platinum. It might not please some of the long-time cardholders, but the market changes and we are focused on "getting the most for ourselves", letting others subsidize our vacations or redemption. Averaging close to 10% return rate on an Amex is incredible.

Everyone who receives the survey should genuinely take the time to answer based on what they perceive, and what, as a consumer, they want to see. I received many surveys in my two years of cardholding, and Amex is probably one of the few issuers that genuinely cares for the customers feedback. Being honest benefits everyone, but we also need to recognize what is reasonable (or not) to expect.
American Express Platinum | Rogers World Elite
Author of The American Express Atlas
iPhone 12 Pro Max | Apple Watch Series 4 | MacBook Pro 2019 | SKYFALL 4.0
Member
Oct 29, 2016
304 posts
126 upvotes
thefusio15 wrote: [*]No-FTF across the lineup, especially since they brand most of their cards as "travel".
Good luck getting no FTF on AMEX. They have the most expensive FX rate of all the payment processors and I don't expect they would give up this revenue source.
The travel card benefits they give are loss leaders to get you to spend on their card in a foreign currency.
By removing FTF it would necessarily weaken the value of MR's and travel perks
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2018
959 posts
1095 upvotes
Montréal
My feedback to Amex would go something like this:

Dear Amex: Nobody accepts your card. As such, I never use it and it sits in a drawer. Sincerely, me.
Sr. Member
Apr 23, 2017
994 posts
1716 upvotes
I would tell them that giving Cobalt a cap lower than Scotia gives the Scotia Gold Amex is a bad move. If Amex wanted to cap Cobalt, they should have done so by matching Scotia's $50k cap.
Member
Jun 11, 2015
441 posts
437 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I don't use the card much due to low acceptance and FTF. I don't expect them to change those.


I'd appreciate the following, which seem easy to fix:

I wish I didn't have to confirm my card number when calling platinum services from my phone.

I wish they had no-popcorn packages for the movie prescreenings.

I wish the "recent activity" tab showed recent activity rather than just activity since my last statement.

I wish the foreign exchange rate was based off of the purchase date rather than the posting date and that it was applied to pending transactions. (This would allow me to do reimbursements earlier).
Sr. Member
Mar 21, 2019
746 posts
727 upvotes
seriesofcontradictions wrote: My feedback to Amex would go something like this:

Dear Amex: Nobody accepts your card. As such, I never use it and it sits in a drawer. Sincerely, me.
This depends where you live, and where you shop.
I use Amex SCP as my daily driver, and the only place I’ve encountered that don’t take it is A&W.
Even Dollarama takes AMEX..
Member
User avatar
Mar 14, 2018
475 posts
520 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
masterman wrote: This depends where you live, and where you shop.
I use Amex SCP as my daily driver, and the only place I’ve encountered that don’t take it is A&W.
Even Dollarama takes AMEX..
Reflects my experience too, about 90-95% of where I shop is fine with Amex. Heck, in two years the progress has been impressive!
American Express Platinum | Rogers World Elite
Author of The American Express Atlas
iPhone 12 Pro Max | Apple Watch Series 4 | MacBook Pro 2019 | SKYFALL 4.0
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 16, 2007
1234 posts
1312 upvotes
The only places regularly in my day to day that don't take Amex is... Wendy's and a mom and pop fast food place. It certainly feels as though things have improved.
🏦 Banking: Alterna Bank (1.2%, No fees), Motive Financial (1.55%, No fees)
📈 Investing: Scotia iTRADE (XGRO, No fee for buy/sell)
💳 Spending: Scotiabank Amex Gold (5pts dine/3pts drive/1pts, forex), Brim World Mastercard (1.5%, non-Amex spend)
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2009
2136 posts
1269 upvotes
My only real complaint is lack of acceptance outside North America.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 16, 2005
5470 posts
3542 upvotes
joshnet wrote: The only places regularly in my day to day that don't take Amex is... Wendy's and a mom and pop fast food place. It certainly feels as though things have improved.
I just did AMEX gold from perkopolis. Needed $1500 spend. Tried to pay my desjardin insurance which would have completed min spend but the y only visa and MC. Then tried to pay my reliance home comfort bill. Also only VISA and MC. Was quite annoyed since I then had to meet min spend some other way.
Member
Feb 12, 2019
296 posts
48 upvotes
Vancouver BC
Why do the US Amex have better deals such as no FTF?
Sr. Member
Jun 13, 2018
633 posts
470 upvotes
WayneW8682 wrote: Why do the US Amex have better deals such as no FTF?
because Americans do business in American dollars.
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
1554 posts
1959 upvotes
seriesofcontradictions wrote: My feedback to Amex would go something like this:

Dear Amex: Nobody accepts your card. As such, I never use it and it sits in a drawer. Sincerely, me.
That kind of feedback is beyond useless, because "nobody" is obviously a false statement. Hyperbole and rhetoric doesn't belong in constructive feedback - leave that to the politicians.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
10108 posts
12084 upvotes
Vancouver
bengigan wrote: Good luck getting no FTF on AMEX. They have the most expensive FX rate of all the payment processors
That's something of a myth. I pumped $10 worth of gas in the USA with a Fido MC and with a Scotia Amex Gold to test it out. There was a 1¢ difference in the converted amount that appeared on each statement.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
10108 posts
12084 upvotes
Vancouver
WayneW8682 wrote: Why do the US Amex have better deals such as no FTF?
No currency conversion is something that is competitive in the USA. Here it's not, because the markup is buried in the exchange rate, and Canadians don't even know it's there, unless they remember (if they even read) it being on the disclosure statement when they applied for the card.

It used to be that way in the USA too, until regulators started to force issuers to list the conversion fees separately on the statement, to make them transparent to consumers. That's when people started to notice and complain about them, and when no-FX started to become a competitive advantage. Maybe that will come here someday.
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
14073 posts
11728 upvotes
Not Leask
Kiraly wrote: No currency conversion is something that is competitive in the USA. Here it's not, because the markup is buried in the exchange rate, and Canadians don't even know it's there, unless they remember (if they even read) it being on the disclosure statement when they applied for the card.

It used to be that way in the USA too, until regulators started to force issuers to list the conversion fees separately on the statement, to make them transparent to consumers. That's when people started to notice and complain about them, and when no-FX started to become a competitive advantage. Maybe that will come here someday.
But do we really want that? When consumers gain something through regulations, the big co's find other ways to fudge consumers. We've seen this in several ways in telecommunications, among other industries. The credit card race for big welcome bonuses and higher earn rates he came about since the last economic crash a decade ago. Since manufactured spend and churning have been heavily abused in the US, many outlets to that are already closed off. Sure, to the average Joe, can get a much better card to earn rewards with no annual fee, and maybe no-FTF at a B&M bank or CU locally in the US compared to Canada, but we already have Brim/HTP/Robbers/HSBC WE/BNS PP Inf for forex spend and on little effort can pick up US issued TD Cash. While most Canadian cardholders get looted by the big banks, we RFDers rake the rewards while banks are sustainably paying us out in big welcome bonuses.

Imagine if EVERY big bank had to offer a no-FTF, no-AF card just to maintain sustainable market share. They'll pull other strings (more frequent devaluations, crack down on manufactured spend, make sure WB's are once in a lifetime and enforce it, etc.). They may fight for the right to turn customers down for exploiting their offerings.
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 20, 2018
73 posts
52 upvotes
thefusio15 wrote: Honestly, I think most of the points you bring up are not really something we "deserve" to complain about.

  • The cap on the Cobalt is IMO more than fair for the majority of people, and only affects those who are closer to manufactured spending or abusing the 5x category.
  • Devaluation is a "strong" word currently. If you are talking in the sense of the Platinum switching to 1/2/3, I personally will make more points for each dollar average, and so will most people.
  • Anti-churning policies have always been in place by Amex, and are being enforced more strongly because of the abuse by some. The Amex train used to be a lot more profitable, but there is genuine reasons why Amex would discourage it.
  • FYF has never been a strong suit of Amex. Sure the Gold used to be (and part of the reasons why I got one), but Amex always has been the more "premium" issuer, with its compromises. Plus, most of their cards welcome bonus is worth more than the annual fee for a year.I expect to get close to 1,200 - 1,500$ of value out of my Platinum welcome bonus, easily offsetting the 499$ per year.
  • Amex has launched Amex Offers in Canada as a way to increase the earn rate of certain transactions, a similar model to the US. In the last month, I have scored some good credit statements and bonus MR on my purchases.
  • Point transfer is likely never gonna happen, as it is in Amex interest to keep the balances separate due to the various redemption options. I discuss it in the Atlas, but it would make no sense that the Cobalt MR would have "as much power" as the Platinum MR. It would devalue their portfolio and the prestige of the products.
  • Insurance on reward flights will not be included on the Platinum, or any other Amex product. TD has the "best" Aeroplan portfolio, and I assume they have contractual obligations not to offer those. Plus, with the often FYF on the TD Aeroplan VI, stacking them is not a crazy strategy.

HOWEVER, I gotta recognize some opportunities that Amex should seize.

  • No-FTF across the lineup, especially since they brand most of their cards as "travel".
  • Improve their insurance package (especially on the Platinum), as many cards are getting closer in that manner.
  • Increase the partner list of the FTP, including more US airlines or international carriers.
  • Not cut in the hotel benefits (a move that was discussed previously in a survey, though we haven't heard anything).

I can totally understand your frustration, but I do sincerely believe that American Express is one of the best issuer in Canada, and will likely sit in my wallet for years. Obviously, you vote with your money, and your complaints can be legitimate, but distiguishing "regular" consumers interests and "RFD churning dream" is important, as they are in it for a profit. Amex being stronger than ever is good as it encourages healthy competition, and with the increasing number of small issuers, market shares are up for grabs.

EDIT: Obviously, I hope it doesn't come across as insulting or pretentious. I have got amazing value out of my Amex products over the years, and don't expect to get any less in the upcoming years. Amex is focused on growing its market share, as they focus their attention on "new spenders" with lifestyle products like the Cobalt and the new 1/2/3 structure of the Platinum. It might not please some of the long-time cardholders, but the market changes and we are focused on "getting the most for ourselves", letting others subsidize our vacations or redemption. Averaging close to 10% return rate on an Amex is incredible.

Everyone who receives the survey should genuinely take the time to answer based on what they perceive, and what, as a consumer, they want to see. I received many surveys in my two years of cardholding, and Amex is probably one of the few issuers that genuinely cares for the customers feedback. Being honest benefits everyone, but we also need to recognize what is reasonable (or not) to expect.
I guess my post came off in an incorrect manner (NEWBIE).
What i was trying to say was "Some others" might have issues with AMEX and if they have to opportunity to participate, their input might shape the way AMEX deals with existing, and or new potential clients for new, modified or existing products across the line.
If we as card members are always discussing the same things we want from AMEX, and when we are offered to present them to AMEX we should be.
Like you mentioned AMEX wants to keep existing members (so they make money), obtain new members at the least cost and have them use the cards.
So where do they get the DATA for that from sites like RFD and all , and customer satisfaction surveys.

For me I have been with them for a very short time, but I like the way they operate.
I am on the train, but its not a runaway... more like a commuter (daily grind)
They have excellent quick customer service on the telephone.
Good internet and app based sites.
Yes, Excellent sign up bonuses, and if we hunt or discuss we can get AF deals or refunds.
FTF would be something they could and should be able to compete with .... Yes we have all the usual suspects (ROBBERS ETC) and now SCOTIA AMEX (AUG 19).
Capping and possible clawback of point for the Cobalt crew, well I guess we all saw that coming. For the average person (ME) it wont affect.
The recent (hours ago) BONVOY reduction from 60k to 50k sign up bonus, well that really sucks. (was my next card)
Insurance packages are great as well as perks ie statement credits deals etc,

I ike amex and use them EVERYWHERE i can. I do notice some merchants don't accept but it really doesn't phase me too much.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
10108 posts
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Vancouver
MerrickON wrote: FTF would be something they could and should be able to compete with .... Yes we have all the usual suspects (ROBBERS ETC) and now SCOTIA AMEX (AUG 19).
The vast majority of Canadians either 1) don't know about the 2.5% conversion markup, or 2) do know but think it's a necessarily evil and don't realize there are alternatives, or 3) do know about it, and do know there are alternatives, but don't care. Those of us who do care are a very small number; a niche client base. I can assure you that the card issuers have teams of actuaries who are constantly looking at ways to be more competitive, and for now, have largely determined that they make more money with that fee than they would without it. So despite some indications that this is starting to change, I don't see the conversion fee markups going away any time soon.
Deal Guru
User avatar
May 8, 2009
14073 posts
11728 upvotes
Not Leask
Kiraly wrote: The vast majority of Canadians either 1) don't know about the 2.5% conversion markup, or 2) do know but think it's a necessarily evil and don't realize there are alternatives, or 3) do know about it, and do know there are alternatives, but don't care. Those of us who do care are a very small number; a niche client base. I can assure you that the card issuers have teams of actuaries who are constantly looking at ways to be more competitive, and for now, have largely determined that they make more money with that fee than they would without it. So despite some indications that this is starting to change, I don't see the conversion fee markups going away any time soon.
TL;DR if I were to launch a CC in Canada today, it'd have the 2.5% FTF. Might as well rake!
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