American Express made our honeymoon epic. Service like that makes me a lifetime member

Some people don’t understand my love for American Express. To most people, it’s just another credit card. Sure, it has incredible customer service. When I call their 800 number, I always reach someone in the United States. But good customer service alone doesn’t drive the sort of obsession that I have for this company.

To love a company as much as I love American Express, they can’t be marginally better than their competition. They need to blow you away. They need to do something so great that you are left with a “wow” feeling. That builds a lifetime supporter.

I’ve had many “wow” moments with American Express.

  • I dropped my digital camera in Vegas in 2005 while running up an escalator. Amex replaced it. 
  • I broke my first ever iPhone and cracked it. It cost $600 back then. Amex replaced it. 
  • I purchased xenon headlights for my Audi from a shady online store. They didn’t work and the retailer wouldn’t refund me. Amex did. 
  • At the height of the dot com boom, I bought $400 of Flooz (online gift certificates) and the company went under. Amex refunded the money. 

All of these boil down to saved money. But these cases also give me peace of mind. I feel safe buying anything from anyone, as long as I use my American Express card.

When Kate went on our honeymoon in Kauai, even American Express outdid themselves.

  • I booked our flights through Amex travel and got a better price than anything online. 
  • I booked our hotel room at the Grand Hyatt through the Amex Fine Hotels program. 
  • Upon checking in, we were upgraded to an ocean view room for free. Worth $600 per night! 
  • We got free breakfast everyday, free champagne in the room, and free dessert at the restaurants. 
  • Amex gave us a $100 spa credit, free cabana on the beach, late checkout, and free parking. 

We were actually offered more free perks than we could keep track of and we weren’t able to take advantage of them all. American Express made our honeymoon epic, a truly unforgettable week. This goes beyond saving us money; they improved our experience to a level we’d never seen before.

What American Express does for me goes so far beyond just being a credit card. They make my life better. They make me happy. They surprise me with great offers and perks.

I love the American Express ad campaign, “Are you a member?” Having an Amex card in my wallet feels like membership to an elite club, not a credit card.

So, Amex, where is my Centurion card?

Sachinhd

22 comments

  1. The $100 a year fee is outweighed by the rewards program, exceptional customer service, and the fact that your balance is due at the end of each month – no nasty interest charges and lingering debt!I live and die by my AmEx when it comes to consolidating multiple bills (Rdio, Netflix, Cable, etc) into one payment or securing expensive purchases with their replacement program.

  2. Sachin, Ben – that sounds incredible. I spend a fair amount on travel, shopping on my check card but no bank has been able to convince me to replace that with a credit card. American Express – if you are reading this, call me.

  3. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Using a check card is absolutely the worst way to go. You get nearly zero protection from fraud and other issues.<br><div><div></div></div></body></html>

  4. Which AmEx card do you have? I know the free one (Blue/Blue Cash) provide some of these perks, but I wonder if you get the same travel perks?

  5. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">The platinum is the one that really bumps up the travel perks.<div><br></div><div>But even with the blue you can use amex travel to book stuff</div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

    1. I just called AMEX as well. I expailned to the first agent that my wife just received a new Plat card and was given 50K bonus miles for signing up and that as I long term card holder I was never given bonus miles. I suggested that I was going to cancel this card and get another card. She could not help BUT suggested that she put an account manager on the phone. The account manager asked for my reason to cancel and I offered up the Chase offer. She then extended this offer:a $400 account credit or 50,000 MR points. I took the points.

  6. You realize that all of those "free" replacements cost money. Those charges were passed on to all of their other customers. In essence the few with bad luck are supported by all the rest paying higher than necessary fees. In essence, they’re an expensive insurance company that’s worked well for your but in general to the detriment of others. Others who would have saved money elsewhere.All of that being said, I think it’s awesome that they helped make your honeymoon such an awesome trip. 🙂

  7. I have been a member for a long long time and I love Amex! I too have had many wonderful experiences with their customer service and feel 100% confident when I use my card to make a purchase. I like that Amex rewards the people who are making it go right!

  8. I’ve got an Amex Platinum Card.I’ve booked flights through them and they suck! You cannot determine your seats like you can with Expedia. You just get stuck with wherever they stick you. I buy my tickets with my Amex but I will never, ever book through them again. Expedia is far better that way.Also booked two hotels through them, but I already got suites, so didn’t get any upgrades 😛 I will continue to use the hotel booking service, as the rates are very good.Also, to get a Centurion Card invitation, you need to spend more than $250,000 a year on your Platinum Card, minimum.

  9. Sachin – congrats on your wedding and am I’m happy to hear you had a great honeymoon.I had an Amex card for 10+ years and recently had a terrible experience leading me to cancel it out of frustration. I try very hard to never carry a balance. When I recently moved I took Amex on their offer to do electronic statements which I thought would be a win win (more convenient, less paper waste, etc). Problem was I received an email notification a week prior to my bill due date. By the time I logged on to amex.com (a couple of days later) saw the bill and was able to send a check in, it was too late to make it on time. It arrived 3 days late. So next billing cycle I got a $39 late fee and a pretty large finance charge. I paid it (after all I was late) and made sure it went in on time. To my surprise I was charged a "periodic finance charge" for the next month too! I called up Amex (yes I got a US agent which was good), explained what happened with electronic statements and asked them to reverse all charges. All he would do is reverse one of the finance fees. I also asked him to explain why I was charged for two billing cycles, even though I was only late once. He tried to explain it to me, but frankly it made no sense to me. Given my long history, never missing payments, and the issues with their email reminders (I always received paper statements several weeks before the billing date) I thought they would reverse the charges, but they wouldn’t. Since I have other credit cards (including a Capital One card which does a good job with its airline miles program) I canceled it on the spot. I spoke to a friend who works with credit card companies and he explained that it’s common to have finance fees span multiple billing cycles given the complicated way these fees are calculated. I understand that the credit card industry does questionable things with finance fees, but I expected more from Amex.I never took advantage of the perks explained above with broken products. Partly because I’ve been lucky to date and also because when I have had the rare problem I ordered from Amazon which has an amazing and convenient return policy. Now that’s a company that I love!

  10. I recently read how AMEX is a heavy contributor to Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor of California. Meg makes my skin crawl.

  11. Awesome: New Amex platinum perk: $200 airline credit for baggage, flight change fees, inflight food, lounge accesshttps://www217.americanexpress.com/cards/platinum/benefit.do?benefitTemplate=template_b&benefitId=platinumbenefitnews

  12. Amex definitely has the best customer service, hands down.In terms of value, the Gold Preferred Rewards is the best card. The additional services offered by the Platinum card doesn’t justify the $450 annual fee. The Platinum and Centurion cards are just a prestige thing.I like the new ZYNC card — awesome for those who want a charge card without the higher annual fees. And the Green card seems pointless now with the ZYNC and Gold PR cards.FYI their travel site uses Travelocity. Exact same prices, except the Amex site has higher fees but bonus reward points.

  13. When Capital One asks "whats in your wallet?" I have to say AMEX hands down the CC to have. Unlike Capital One which raised my rates due to their poor business decisions AMEX has always been great. Any issues I’ve had with merchants they take care of you. I’m with you Sachin where’s my Centurion?

    1. This post had me thinking ..and I caelld Citi to ask them if they could do anything for me. I went through my whole speech about Chase Sapphire offering me a better deal. (Citi gives me a mile per dollar) In the end, all they offered me was 3,000 miles for spending 500 in 3 months. I guess something is better than nothing.

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