American Express - Let down by American Express

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 8:59am CST by 085b40d5

Company: American Express

Location: US

Category: Travel, Vacations

My wife and I have always used American Express over our other credit cards in order to earn American Express points to then use on booking travel, usually airline flights. We typically spend about $60,000.00 per year on the Gold Card. Using American Express is not always easy as many merchants either do not accept it or try to steer you away from using it as American Express charges merchants a higher percentage than Visa or Mastercard.

Recently, my wife contacted Delta, an American Express travel partner, to inquire on flights home to California over the Christmas holiday. She found a flight she liked and was told by the Delta rep to contact American Express to convert her points one to one for Delta miles. The tickets would then cost 50,000 miles each for two.

My wife contacted American Express travel who told her that Delta was incorrect and that the conversion of points to miles was not one to one and that, further, she should book a Delta flight through American Express as she would then earn miles on the flight itself, something that would not be possible if she flew on converted miles. Trusting American Express, she booked a flight (they could not book her on the more desireable flight she had reserved through Delta) through them at the cost of 80,000 points per ticket, approximately. Since we only had 100,000 points she was told she need to purchase an additional 60,000 points at a cost in excess of $600.

After further research on the American Express website we found out that the Amex travel rep was, in fact, wrong. The conversion to Delta miles was one for one which meant that we paid $600+dollars to Amex that we did not need to for a flight less desireable than the one we wanted through Delta.

A call to Amex travel, after several hours on the phone, brought an offer to cancel the tickets and refund the points but no gaurantee of when the points would be available nor that a flight would be available. Christmas flights book quickly. We could not risk being without a flight at this point so we requested a refund of the $600+ instead which would have been more than fair given the dilemma our good business partner American Express created. After another hour plus on the phone and reaching a customer service manager we were offered a $300 credit on our bill which we declined as it made no sense. We wanted to be made whole for our loss caused by Amex, our long time and frequently used credit card. We weren't haggling for a rug in some third world market.

So very disappointed. American Express has become not worth the effort to use it.


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