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Don't trust American Express they have become so much up themselves as to be embarrassing,with their holier than thou attitude
I previously had the Black Centurion Card until they trebled the price of the card and downgraded myself to Platinum,where the price has increased by 50% probably to pay the boss his annual $20+ million. Do not get this card for their insurance as they have farmed it out to AXA even though you are paying £450
( 60 plus emails and telephone calls to AXA for a simple claim,when my hire car was broken into in a hotel car park and a bag containing only clothes was stolen)
Do not get this card if you travel overseas as American Express refuse to communicate via email and don't reply to letters,when you are travelling.
Save yourself the exhorbitant fee by buying the Airline Lounge card direct through Priority Pass and your own travel insurance.
There appears to be some rather damning reviews of American Express and their services. They are not for everyone, they are only truly great if utilized to their fullest.
Is The AMEX Gold Card For Me?
If you travel regularly and spend high amounts then it will come in to its own
If you just want a card to use on odd occasions and wish to carry over a balance then it's not for you, as you will never realize the potential of what the card can do for you.
Value For Money?
£125 a year just to use a charge card? Madness? Well yes, if you don't use it as it is intended.
I'm 22 and have held the card for two years, each year I've easily made the card work for me and have received rewards that are much greater than the card fee.
Take last year;
2 x visits to airport lounges worth approx. £30
Membership rewards . £220 off my bill by redeeming rewards and a Monte Blanc card holder worth £100
All this from just using the card as I normally would. I use it for both personal and business spend much as I would use a debit card and only run up a balance that I know I can pay off at the end of the month.
A big selling point of AMEX is their customer service. My experience is very positive, calling AMEX is easy and you're speaking to a UK based agent instantly I've never been on hold.
I lost my card within my first year the next morning my new card arrived in the post.
While in Germany I needed help in obtaining a sim card to use with my phone as my UK network wouldn't allow me to use my phone abroad without arranging it before hand which I had overlooked.
Called AMEX and they took my request and arranged the tariff which was reserved at an o2 store less that 200m away from my hotel.
The fee is high but this is no ordinary card. It is designed for those who spend higher amounts and travel regularly. If you fit the criteria then you will benefit greatly from the service and the support that AMEX offers.
The American Express Platinum Cashback card is a good way to earn a bit of extra cash on your purchases. As Credit Cards go this is not really any different to any other AMEX other than the cashback feature. More retailers are accepting AMEX so is a good card to have but i would always keep a backup VISA or Mastercard as well!
The introductory cashback offer of 5% for 3 months is what attracted me to this card. I've had this card for a little over a year and have managed to accrue a couple of hundred pounds of cashback in that time. Whilst the introductory offer is enticing beware...the cashback rate drops significantly after the introductory period. Firstly, you need to spend £3000 in a year to even qualify for cashback. If you spend up to £3500 you will earn 0.5% cashback, £3501 - £7000 you earn 1% cashback, for £7000+ you earn 1.25% cashback. I would suggest that the cashback benefit of this card is not great if you dont spend significant amounts of money on a credit card.
If you're the type of credit card customer who pays off the balance of your card each month like me then this card is a good money earner as you're not paying any interest. However, beware that at 19.9% typical APR any cashback you earn will not outweigh any interest you pay if you do not pay off the balance each month.
I've summarised some of the key advantages and disadvantages below - please check the AMEX website for more info and to double check that the following information is still accurate before you look to apply for this card.
- good introductory cashback offer of 5%
- good cashback rates of 1.25% if you are a relatively high spender
- excellent online account management facility, online statements, payments, application, etc
- Purchase Protection Benefit - subject to conditions AMEX will replace anything damaged or broken bought on the card within 90 days of purchase
- Refund Protection Benefit - subject to conditions AMEX will refund the ;cost of an item bought on the card if the UK retailer refuses a refund.
- UK call centres
- Minimum £3000 spend to earn cashback
- Poor rates of cashback if you spend less than £3500 per year
- Relatively high eligibility criteria - min income £30k
- Reasonably high typical APR 19.9%
- AMEX still not accepted in all retailers
- Cashback paid annually
In summary this card has been useful for me over the past year. However, having now received my cashback i have switched to the BA AMEX where you earn BA Miles instead of cashback but keep all the other benefits of AMEX. I would recommend you look at the other reward schemes out there and look at how you use a credit card to make the choice thats right for you.
I thought that I was already on top of every conceivable way to spend less and earn more until reading a credit card review on Dooyoo reminded me of the reward credit card earner. I read up on it on MSE and decided to apply for the American Express Platinum credit card which gives customers 5% cashback for the first 3 months (up to a maximum of £100 cashback) and 0.5, 1 or 1.5% after that depending on your annual spend, 0.5% for less than £3501, 1% for £3501 - £7500 and 1.5% for over £7501.
It is fairly obvious what the advantage of this card is, buy as much as possible on your card and be rewarded with a fat cheque after a year! There is no fee for this card and the process of applying online was easy and although my application was not approved immediately I received my card a few days later with no further imput from myself. The online account mangement clearly shows what you've spent and how much cashback you've earnt.
There are some disadvantages and danger areas though.
- your household income must be at least £30 000 pa
- you must spend at least £3000 on your card in the first 12 months or you won't get any cashback
- you will be charged a £20 dormancy fee if you don't use your card for any 12 month period
- cash advances, balance transfers and credit card cheques do not qualify for cashback and have extra fees and interest associated with them
- if you miss a payment you will not earn cashback that month (in addition to being charged a fee)
- the interest rate is 19.9%, therefore if you don't pay off your balance in full at each statement the interest charged will be higher than any cashback earnt
- the card is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard. So far Sainsbury's Kitchen Appliances and Tesco Petrol Kiosk accepted it. The MOT garage, B&Q and wherever my partner was trying to buy cricket tickets from didn't. Tesco Petrol Pay at the Pump and Tesco groceries online have not accepted the card but I think they should (they say they accept Amex) so I'm currently in discussion with them about it.
This is a very useful card for a specific purpose and not to be used as a general credit card. If you time getting the card with some big purchases (from places that accept Amex), do all your normal spending on the card, pay it off in full each month and cancel the card if you're no longer going to use it you will be rewarded. Make sure you always have a back up plan for payment when going somewhere new in case they don't accept it, and I'll be keeping my Tesco credit card for this purpose and for when I can't pay off the amount immediately.
I've only had the card for a couple of weeks so can't confirm that the promised cashback will arrive, although I don't have any concerns about that. However, I felt it worthwhile to write this review now to encourage people to be aware of possible pitfalls before they rush out to get one.
Used an American Express Gold card for 5 years and they honestly do not value their clients. All they need is your cash and everythink else be damned. Despite being a regular payer each month over the last five years,AMEX slammed an interest and late payment fee even after dropping the cheque in their drop box. Refused to waive the charges and threatened to report the matter to the police unless I paid up. The manager at the local office would not even agree to talk to me. Would not even agree to share the payinslip on which date my cheque was deposited. No action was taken despite two letters being submitted. The call centre staff are like androids just mindlessly saying the same old thing without listening to you. Insensitive management and an equally insensitive staff. Do not touch AMEX with a barge pole. Spread the word around and keep the sanity of your friends and family.
BA AMEX CARD Double Dips on Non £ or $ Foreign Transactions and other gripesBA AMEX - I feel a little agreived that I will be hit with 2x foreign transaction charges (~3%) charge every time I use this £ card for all non US$ transactions. Talk about double dipping - I need to get another card for use in these currencies.Not sure - check Amex's T&C'sAlso, why do I have to pay credit charge when using the BA Amex card on the British Airways web site? Seems strange that British Airways does not positively discriminates against the users of its own credit products.Otherwise - it does what it says on the tin.
For some reason by just having an Amex makes you feel that little bit more special. Maybe it's the whole image of it or fact that it has such a great reputation with many famous people having exclusive Amexs but you can't help but want to flash it about and use it anywhere you can. This can be a bit tricky as there are places which don't take it. It's not a huge number of places as the majority of the big shops will take it no problem but as American Express charge shops more than other credit cards some shops are reluctant to take it. But that's definitely not a reason to put you of. They really take care of their customers and their customer service is one of the best around. Having an American Express is not just having a credit card it's having a very influential and powerful company supporting you. They will do their best to help you out even if it isn't directly related to your purchases. They also seem to have a partnership with airports and so if you have a platinum Amex you can use the airport lounges which is usually only available to the first class and business ticket holders. They have a range of cards to suit everyone and their website will help you choose the right one for you. The cashback card is great you get 5% cashback for the first 3 months and then you get 0.5%. It's great because you get money for spending money! Also they people on the other side of the phone are so helpful, a lot of places seem to have forgotten the saying 'the customer is always right' but the Amex team restores your faith and you know that they will do everything in their power to solve your problems. This really is more than just a credit card.
I chose an Amex Platinum Cashback Card, as the idea of getting cashback on purchases appealed to me.
Application for the card was fairly easy, I had to fill in an online form, then wait until they confirmed my application by a letter in the post.
The information they initially sent me did not fully explain how cashback worked, so I phoned them to ask. I was amazed to find that their contact number was a normal landline number - not an 08 anything. I was more amazed still when the phone rang, and a person answered! No automated "press 1 for this press 2 for that". I was very impressed!
The person who answered my call was friendly and helpful and explained that cashback would be paid annually in the form of a cheque.
As soon as I started spending I could see the cashback adding up on my statement. For the first three months they give 5% cashabck, so get this card just before you make a big purchase such as a holiday or before you do your Christmas shopping. After 3 months this goes down to between 0.5% and 1.5% depending on how much you spend.
This card provides a really good deal for me personally, but I'm using it for normal spending to get the cashback, then paying it off in full. The APR on the card is quite high, around 26% I think, so if you are not going to be able to pay it off each month, it's an expensive way to borrow, and that far outweighs the cashback.
The American Express British Airways Airmiles credit card.
I applied for this credit card back in February this year through the cash back website Quidco - therefore earning a £35 cash incentive to do so. As this has just been paid to me today I thought that the time was right to write a review of my experience so far.
I chose this credit card as I do a lot of travel with work so I am always using my credit card for work expenses. I pay the balance off in full every month so I am not motivated to choose a card based on interest rates but on what the credit card company will give me for choosing their card.
I have had an Egg Money cash back card for years but this year went over the maximum spend on the card to gain cash back so wanted to make sure that I was always being rewarded for my spending.
1. As noted above £35 for applying for the card through Quidco.
2. The other big incentive for me is the fact that you earn British Airways Airmiles for every £ that you spend. As an initial incentive I received 1000 BA airmiles for spending £500 during the first three months of my card. I then receive 1 airmile for every £1 that I spend (barring balance transfers, cash withdrawals and foreign exchange purchases). If you spend £2,000 in your first three months you are given another 1000 Airmiles thus giving you a total of £2000 as a welcome bonus.
3. As a further incentive if you spend £20,000 on the card during a calendar year you are sent a "companion voucher" for a British Airways flight. This means that if you use your Amex card to purchase a flight that you will receive a free ticket to match this. All you have to pay are the taxes on that ticket. My husband and I travel to New Zealand most years to visit his family so want to rack up the £20,000 spending and then get a free business class ticket to New Zealand return. The companion voucher can be used on any BA flight to any destination in any class of cabin.
4. Refund and purchase protection. If items that you purchase are damaged or stolen within the first 90 days or you are refused a refund Amex will replace your goods or refund you. I haven't used this facility yet but believe it to be good.
5. Free cards for friends / family - you can add a second card holder to the account for free.
The small print
There is no annual fee with this card (just as well) so it is free provided that you pay off your balance each month.
Interest rates are currently a hefty 19.9 % APR so definitely not a good deal if you don't pay your balance off in full every month.
American Express are more fussy about who they accept than Visa and Mastercard - you need to be earning at least £30,000 and have a good credit rating otherwise they will say no.
Customer services are available on the internet and telephone 24/7 and when I have called them I have been treated with the upmost respect and friendliness.
The card I was sent out had a small fault with it which meant that it could not be used until a replacement was sent out. American Express replaced the card within 3 days and gave me £50 as an apology without me asking for anything!
You can use internet banking to manage your card. This is a great site which is very secure and easy to use. You can see your balance easily and make payment using a debit card. You could also if you wanted to transfer balances here. Or seek advice re financial difficulties!
Telephone banking - you can make payments by phone.
Cash machines - you can withdraw cash from numerous machines if you want to.
Payment - can also be made by post with a cheque or in a bank. You can also pay by direct debit - the minimum, a fixed amount or the whole balance.
The card is accepted in lots of places but there are also a large number of websites and shops which don't accept. This is the major downside of Amex - it costs the retailers more so a lot say no. This is probably the one factor that could stop me reaching my target of a £20,000 spend.
If you have a good credit rating and want to be rewarded for spending then this could be the card for you. It is a really generous reward scheme and has great customer service. You do need to be really disciplined about both using the card for everything (£5 in Starbucks for example) in order to spend such a huge amount of money but I guess that it means that money sits in our offset mortgage account longer which is also good. You also need to make sure that you pay it off every month or it gets very expensive. Other than that a great card which comes highly recommended!
The American Express Platinum credit card is a must have for anyone that spends money and can mange their finances to some degree. The biggest appeal of the card and my sole reason for applying for one was its cash back reward system. The Amex offers 5% cash back for the first three months up to a maximum of £2000 (£100 cash back). For the remainder of the year you can earn up to 1.5% cash back dependant upon how much money you spend on the card. Admittedly you are not going to get life changing sums of money back but if the choice is to get some back or none at all, I know which I prefer. Cash back is sent in the form of a cheque on the anniversary of your card.
One of the first things to therefore consider is when the optimum time would be to apply for one. For me, as I was moving into a new house and with Christmas and my girlfriend's birthday approaching, I applied for and received one in November 2007 and I certainly made the most of it! I'm sure now would be a good time for people to apply with the summer and holidays that are likely to cost people money.
Another important aspect to consider in order to get the most from Amex is the use of additional card holders. This was advice I took and I feel it is definitely worth passing on. Like most cards you can have an additional card holder so I added my girlfriend. Just before the end of the three months when the 5% finishes, my girlfriend applied for the card and added me as an additional card holder. Therefore between the two of us we were earning 5% cash back for six months instead of the three.
The main way I utilise my card is to use it, where possible, for all my spending where I would ordinarily use cash or a debit card. This requires you to make sure you don't overspend and keep the cash you need to pay off your bill the following month.
One of the recognised downsides with the card is the slightly limited number of retailers that accept it (due to the higher costs then incur if they do). I can honestly say I have not found this to be a problem, with the vast majority of the larger retailers accepting it. I'm not sure if it is a common procedure but in the last few weeks I received a letter from Amex stating B&Q were no longer accepting the card (I may have received this due to the large number of times I have used the card in this shop). I cannot think of a retailer that I would consider to be larger then B&Q that does not accept the card.
With regards to my personal experiences with the company I have contacted them twice. The first time was to chase up my application which had apparently taken longer to process due to the high volume of applications they had received (presumably people take advantage of the 5% nearer to Christmas). The second time was to pay a bill as their website was temporarily down due to maintenance. On both occasions I found their customer service very good. My queries were both simple but I appreciated the polite manner of the staff. With regards to the website, which I normally use to pay my bill and monitor my spending, this I find to be excellent, being easy to navigate and use.
There are obviously terms and conditions with regards to acceptance and cash back but these would be best read from the American Express website.
I applied for the American Express platinum card because of the initial offer of the 5% cash back for the first three months after which it then goes to 1.5% if you spend a certain amount which is slightly better than a lot of the other cashback cards on the market at the moment, if you don't spend the guideline amount then the cashback drops to 0.5% which isn't so great.
I use my American Express in place of my debit card and conveniently arranged a direct debit from my current account to pay the balance off in full every month so I can benefit fully from the cashback. I use it for shopping, petrol and any other purchases where it is accepted as payment.
Cashback is paid annually from the date you recieve the card so it builds up and you can recieve a substantial payment (depending on how much you spent!).
Requirements for acceptance are that you are earning at least £20,000 per annum.
American Express is actually accepted in more places now than you may think -if in doubt or if there isn't a sign saying the shop accepts American Express just ask and more often than not they do accept it.
i applied for the american express platinum card mainly being because of the initial offer of the 5% cash back for the first three months. after the three months it then goes to 1.5% which is alright when compared to other cashback cards on the market at the moment.
I use my american express basically like a debit card and always always pay it off in full so you can benefit from the cashback.
Cashback is paid annually from the date you got accepted for the card which is good because it builds up and you get a nice chunk back (depending on how much you spent on the card).
You can only be accepted for an american express platinum card if you are earning atleast £20,000 per annum.
American express is actually accepted in more places now than people may think so there are a lot more chances for you to be earning that lovely cashback.
for example i use mine at certain petrol stations to earn some money on petrol i would be buying anyway, even to do my monthly shop.
a tip to remember even if there isnt a sign saying the shop accepts american express always ask because ive found that usually they do!
I applied for an AMEX nectar card so that I could get extra nectar points every time I use it....This is a great facility to have as i can still earn nectar points even if i do my shopping at one of the other supermarkets. I must admit I was incentivised by the offer which was to be credited with 5,000 nectar bonus points when I spent £200 on the card plus double nectar points for the first 3 months.
I do do most of my food shopping with the AMEX card. You do have to be dsiciplined however and I put the money I have spent on shopping into an easy access savings account and pay it off at the end of each month...so as well as gaining extra nectar points I do get a little bit of interest too.
Other advatages are that you can also get 2 points for every £1 spent on the Card with Nectar partners and 1 point for every £1 spent on the card elsewhere.
Benefits include purchase protection so if items you buy with the card are stolen or damaged inside 90 days they are replaced or the cost refunded.
One of the main disadvantages iof AMEX is that not all retailers will accept the AMEX card and I feel a bit embarassed when i try to use the card and am told that it is not accepted.
Great card for initial offer, but read on for a major problem I have had!
I signed up for online paying of statements, it states on the site that you can't make 2 payments to pay off your balance within 3 days. This was great to read when I stupidly couldn't remember if I had paid my balance off on 4th July when I looked 2 days later. So I paid the full amount (£263). Within a couple of days it was clear from my current account that I had indeed paid the full amount on 4th July as 2 payments of £263 had gone out.
Fair enough, partly my fault, rang customer services on 7th July to request one of the payments be returned. Mentioned the 'no 2 payments in 3 days' stated on site, was told that's no longer the case. It's now the 27th July, and the refund has still not arrived in my account, although it left AE 2 weeks ago. 3 phone calls to very pleasant and helpful people in, I think, India, repeating the same problem each time. Hard to make them understand the problem if it veers away from their script, and hard for me to understand softly but quickly spoken English as a second language. I am writing this whilst waiting for them to ring back.
Another point to note - I am not getting £263, I am getting the difference between that and my balance when I phoned for the refund - a bit unfair considering I had paid off the full amount needed (twice!) and the balance in question actually belongs to the NEXT statement period.
The online account facility is not clear to understand. No-where does it clearly state what you owe and when it needs to be paid by, or what you have paid and your balance. Morgan Stanley is excellent in comparism, and does not allow you to make payments over what you owe.
If you do get this card, use it for an initial offer, don't make more than one payment in error like I did as it's really hard to get the money back! When this is sorted I am closing the account immediately.
Well okay the cash back feature seems very attractive, IF it works. My bad experiences started when I noticed a significant shortage in my first year's cash back. There is a threshold of $6500 that afterwards your cash back rate becomes higher. i.e. if you spend more than $6500 you are supposed to receive 5% cash back on everyday purchases and 1.5% on everything else (before that the percentages are 1% and 0.5%). So clearly if you spend more than $6500 you have to receive 6500*1.5% AT LEAST. However this amount should be much more since you should have a lot of purchases which qualify for 5% cash back (simple math so far). Having said this the amount which I received was even less than 6500*0.5% whereas I had spent much more than the 6500 threshold (three mistakes so far). I gave them a call to resolve this issue for 4 TIMES!! EVERY TIME I was told that the system does not work or it is under maintenance and I should give them a call back in a day or so and when I did, again I was told that I should call later! Anyway I decided to cancel the card and after canceling (which is a story of its own), I keep getting finance charges that I have not paid my balance in full. This is where their own website has my account paid in full!! Now I have about $80 in finance charges which I don't even know what are they correspond to. MOREOVER the lady whom I talked regarding canceling the account, although agreed with mistake in their calculation didn't give me the rest of my cash back because I was canceling the card which is ridiculous since I had the card for more than one year and I had to get the first year's cash back in full.
For a credit card company the first thing that you expect is not have mistakes in their systems which American Express failed to do so in my personal experience. If you are thinking of getting a card with cash back, there is no competition for Discover or if you are looking for a card which is acceptable worldwide go for the Chase visa which are much better options. Also there are many chain stores which don't accept AMEX simply because they charge them a lot!