It’s the best time to get yourself an American Express Card

There are always three aspects I look out for, in a credit card before I pull out my chequebook to sign up for it. While the ability to earn rewards goes on top of that list, there are also aspects such as customer service I look out for. The third important aspect is the purchasing power, of course.

For the fact that American Express checks these boxes, I end up siding with them more often than not. I’ve been dealing with them for many years, held many of their cards, and here are some key reasons I think, this is the right time to go for an American Express card if you don’t have one already.

Unlimited Purchasing Power

Amex has been known for their charge cards for the longest time. While these were corporate payment tools initially, over the past many years, they have been available to individuals as well. With the American Express Cards, such as the Amex Gold Charge Card and the Amex Platinum Charge Card, you get no pre-set spending limit, and this can be a lifesaver in many cases. Think about picking the tab for a whole party of 20 corporate executives gone for an after party in a foreign country; I’ve done that with my Amex of course. It was a huge tab, and I minted lots of Membership Rewards points!

Fraud Protection

American Express has perhaps one of the best Fraud Protection teams out there. They keep analysing your transactions, and anything out of whack gets red-flagged. The whole process is, of course, analytics-driven. I remember a casual Sunday evening many years ago when I was sipping on tea, watching the sunset over the Arabian Sea from my home in Mumbai.

But my card was being charged by some unscrupulous folks in different parts of the world, including Vegas and Europe, all at the same time. The tickets were not small either. A couple of those transactions went through, and then Amex called me to check if I was making these transactions. I told them no.

The Amex team was very professional and advised me that my card should be blocked and a new one issued. I concurred, and within 48 hours a new card was in my wallet. As for the existing transactions, these were temporarily reversed within 24 hours and dropped off my card for good within a few days. Another Indian bank would have me on the hook, even before having me contest the charges.

Customer Service

Which brings me to the part about Customer Service. If you’ve studied the legend about American Express, over their storied past of over 160 years, they’ve had tons of great stories for their card members. These range from random acts of kindness, to those about going above and beyond for the customers.

While I’ve been fortunate enough to have my queries limited to the small ones, such as bill copies, sometimes a random charge here or there, there are many people I know who’ve gotten the great Amex service time and again. The folks at Amex mean it when they talk about the “powerful backing” of American Express – they go all out to assist their Cardmembers. I’ve heard of someone losing their Tiffany engagement ring at Mumbai Airport Lounge and calling Amex to help locate it – and they did! Another customer was on a business trip in Zurich without any business cards – he called Amex, and they got the cards designed, printed and delivered locally in less than 24 hours.

Round the World Presence

American Express is a global brand. Period. Everything they can do for you – they will be able to provide and deliver around the world. It could be small things such as sending flowers to your near and dear ones in a different country via their Concierge service, or it could be you moving bag and baggage to a different country, where, as an existing American Express customer, they will pass you along to the new country and help you get your Amex set up with minimal paperwork.

Membership Rewards

As a global brand, American Express has global partnerships. And that helps us customers get in on some exclusive deals only available on Amex. Think Hilton Honors and Marriott Rewards, two of the most prominent hospitality loyalty programs in the world, who only work with American Express.

Not just that, the brand catalogue, which gets refreshed every year, has tons to choose from. Like how about using your Membership Rewards to part pay the cost of your next BMW? Or use them towards an around-the-world cruise?

Lounge Access

Amex is perhaps the only global credit card issuing company to have their own network of lounges. American Express Platinum Card members have access to 1100+ airport lounges in more than 500 cities across 120 countries.  In India, they have a lounge at Terminal 3, Delhi Airport, and they provide access to 30+ lounges in airports around India. The global network includes 9 Centurion Lounges – 8 in the US and 1 in Hong Kong, 9 International American Express Lounges and complimentary membership of the Priority Pass network of more than 1,000 Priority Pass lounges in over 120 countries around the world

In short, this is the time to pick up an Amex if you don’t already have one. After all, that is what Amex says to you now, “don’t leave home without one.”

This content has been produced in partnership with Amex

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. The concierge in plat charge really needs to improve. It was one of the top reasons I got the card for,
    and like others have said, its a hit or miss.

  2. Amex has prided itself for membership rewards. I got a Taj voucher from Amex which was valid for 6 months. I specifically asked them if this can be extended and they told me it can extended without any concerns. When I needed them, they simply refused to extend. I told them that they should check the recorded line wherein they had confirmed for extension but they said internal policy has changed. No communication was done for any such change. Even after escalation when I was given the same response, eventually I had to leave it. All that customer service and membership rewards down the drain.

  3. Just completed the trio (Prestige, DCB) and recently got the Amex plt charge. Primary reason – heard some great reviews abt the conceirge and some decent hotel offers ( though the prestige 3+1 works best for me). Conceirge is a hit or miss. I’ve had instances where they gave just templated superficial Google search results. Except for one executive who really went above and beyond. It has been a month. Still exploring. With the sad MR earning rate, customer service and exclusive offers are the only reasons that will make the 78 k (with taxes) worth it. Definitely not a card to earn points on.

  4. In my personal experience, AmEx’s ‘glorious’ customer support went straight to the gutter when inspite of me telling their customer support that someone was repeatedly trying to use my card online and i was getting texts for it, the CCE responded ‘it might be a delayed text coming to you’. Yes, you read it right – the customer suspects its an attempted hack, and the executive be like oh no no no. Unless the customer insists to be connected to the fraud detection team, he is in the mercy of thee.

    AmEx support can never be as close to Citi in the next gazillion years – atleast in India. Heck even Axis’s support is better.

    ps: I work in the AmEx building in Gurgaon, and even the Tobacco-King outlet there bluntly refuses to take AmEx.

  5. For almost 8 years I was responsible for corporate travel in big multinational and we were having almost 8,000 employees having Amex card. In 8 years there will be negligible fraud cases which can be counted on fingers. They have best fraud protection service.
    Another important feature is data, Information system which most important for corporates which other cards companies yet to match.

  6. I agree with the service, though I’m only an Amex Travel cardholder, not the fancy charge cards. I recently called customer care for some transaction to be reversed and was impressed with the way the rep handled the call and confirmed reversal within a span of 10 mins. Any other card would require multiple calls & long waits for the same

  7. I hate to pile on but Ajay has clearly mentioned: “This content has been produced in partnership with Amex”.

    Though would have been helpful if that would have been on the top of the post. Nevertheless, I completely agree with the post. AMEX is top notch primarily for the service quality and fraud protection, and only subsequently for rewards and lounge.

  8. No offence but this seems like a paid post.. don’t get me wrong, can understand about mouths to feed and expenses to take care of, but I feel impact of post would have been much better if done like you usually do- talk about specific benefits, values, etc.

    I am planning to discontinue jet amex but would like to know alternative High value card for same in amex. Especially for booking non chain hotels.

    • i agree. The post looks like amex has sent it and it has been posted. Would be great if you had done the usual indepth work that u do

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