The American Express range
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No longer just the preserve of city mogul types, Amex now has a range of cards to suit credit card first-timers through to high-flying big-spenders. You can earn flights, holidays, hotel stays, gift vouchers and more with its numerous rewards programmes, which include American Express Experiences – bringing cardholders tickets to some of the most popular gigs, films and theatre shows.
American Express is also more widely-accepted than it used to be, has constantly-manned 24/7 customer service and has enhanced security measures for cardholders (including refund, purchase and fraud protection).
More about American Express
American Express offers many benefits for credit card customers and these are just some of them.
- Customer Service. Credit where credit’s due – the US generally does customer service better than us Brits. Our trials of Amex’s customer service and our user survey only strengthened this view. American Express provides almost-alarmingly-chirpy customer service 24 hours a day seven days a week; over the phone, by text, through email or straight forward mail. American Express also has a “Global Assist” team so even when you’re outside the UK, you can still contact someone, any time of the day, regardless of what country you’re calling from.
- Security and fraud prevention. To minimise fraudulent use of your card, American Express uses secure systems and early detection programmes. A key feature however, is the “Fraud Protection Guarantee” whereby you won’t be held responsible for fraud as long as you use your card carefully. American Express credit card customers also register for a “SafeKey” to add security to online purchases and you get free text and emails of your card activity.
- Section 75 protection. All UK credit cards come with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Purchases of individual items between £100 and £30,000 can be refunded if for some reason you don’t get what you paid for. Charge cards technically aren’t covered by this rule, however Amex voluntarily provides purchase protection on its charge cards.
- Global acceptance. American Express credit cards are accepted in a large number of countries around the world. Additionally, when you make a purchase abroad, it is converted to US dollars and then into UK pounds once the transaction goes through. If you make a purchase in the US or in US dollars, it is directly converted to UK pounds.
- Digital capability. To ensure you’re on top of your finances, you can manage your account online or via the Amex app, anywhere in the globe, at any time. This does not just include your credit card balance, but you can also pay bills and review your rewards and loyalty points as well.
The best service around. Love collecting Avios for flights and love the Shop Small incentive.”
How to apply for an American Express credit card
The quickest way to apply for an American Express card is online. You simply fill out an online form providing personal information such as name, address, income and work status.
There are basic eligibility requirements you will most likely need to meet to be accepted for an American Express credit card. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
American Express have a range of cards with a number of different requirements, so you will need to check your eligibility against each card when you apply (as they may differ). When you do apply, it can take as little as 10 minutes and you can get a response regarding eligibility in 60 seconds.
Typically you won’t be approved if you’ve got a history of bad debt or don’t meet the above eligibility criteria. If you’ve got an outstanding CCJ or are on an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) it is also likely you will not be approved. Equally, if you don’t have a credit record at all, you may be turned down.
What is the Membership Rewards programme?
A number of American Express cards let cardholders earn reward points via the Membership Rewards programme. When you activate your card you’ll be automatically enrolled into this, and you’ll be awarded points almost every time you use your card. From buying petrol to groceries, you can accumulate points almost anywhere, and redeem them on almost anything – from clothes to electronics. You can even use them to book flights, hotels or car hire while abroad.
What is American Express Experiences?
American Express Experiences (formerly American Express Invites) is a rewards programme which offers exclusive pre-sale tickets, discounts and competitions.
Can I use my American Express card to book taxis and private cars?
Yes, you can use your Amex card, including the American Express Platinum card, with a number of taxi companies in the UK, including:
- Addison Lee
- Flyde Executive Cars
- Silverpay Services
- Checker Cars
- Driven Worldwide
- Radio Taxis
Do I need to notify American Express if I travel?
No, although American Express encourages all customers to keep their contact details up to date in case it needs to contact you.
Pros and cons of American Express credit cards
- Widely accepted around the world
- 24/7 customer service
- Plenty of rewards and other perks including the Membership Rewards programme
- Awarded 5 out of 5 stars in our Finder 2020 Customer Satisfaction Awards
- May not be accepted by smaller shops and restaurants
- Fewer options for customers with limited or poor credit history
- Some credit cards may be subject to monthly fees
There’s no doubt about it, American Express is one of the big hitters in the credit card market but you’ll need to look at your own financial situation before deciding whether it could work for you.
It scored 5 out of 5 stars in our 2020 Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards and there’s plenty to take advantage of with its cards such as earning holidays, flights, hotel stays and gift vouchers. However, your credit report will need to be in a fairly good shape in order to be approved for one in the first place. Plus, you may be charged a monthly fee for the privilege.
Do a little research and compare Amex cards to its competitors above to see what might work for you.
American Express customer reviews
American Express has mixed to negative reviews from customers, according to review sites like Trustpilot and reviews.io. On Trustpilot, American Express currently has an average rating of 2 out of 5, based on over 1,200 reviews, which is considered a “poor” rating overall.
68% of American Express customers on Trustpilot gave it a “bad” rating, with many citing poor customer service and numerous fees as major negatives. However, other customer reviews reported that they had never had any issues with the Amex customer service.
Amex also has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 according to reviews.io, albeit this is only based on a handful of reviews. 75% of customers would recommend American Express, according to reviews.io.
Frequently asked questions
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