Credit card issuers don’t just market their individual cards, they try to create an overall brand image that will attract customers. American Express has succeeded in projecting a brand identity that focuses on travel benefits and customer service. Yet despite their positive image, cardholders generally do not take advantage of all of the benefits they are extended. Here are the top three American Express perks (excluding credit card rewards) that most cardholders are probably not taking advantage of:
1. American Express Platinum Fee Credits. Cardholders love the rewards and service offered by the Platinum card, but many are unaware of some of its biggest advantages. Platinum cardholders must designate an airline to use their $200 annual fee credit. After that, many incidental airline purchases such as lounge access, baggage fees, and in-flight food and beverage purchases are automatically reimbursed. In addition, cardholders can be reimbursed for purchases of the Global Entry card from the US Customs and Border Patrol; a $100 value. Finally, Platinum card holders can also be credited for their enrollment expenses in the TSA’s PreCheck program as well.
2. Membership Rewards Points To Miles. The American Express Membership Rewards program features dozens of different options for redeeming points. Yet the vast majority of the travel, merchandise, and gift card options only return one cent in value for each point redeemed. The major exception to this rule is when cardholders redeem their points for miles in airline frequent flier programs. When these miles are then used for premium class international travel, cardholders can realize as many as five cents per point in value or more. For example, 100,000 Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 100,000 British Airways Avios points. These points could then be used for a business class ticket to Europe on American Airlines worth at least $6,000.
3. Return and Reimbursement Protection. In many instances, shoppers are unable to return items when they want to. Stores have cut off dates, policy exceptions, and documentation requirements. Many American Express cards come with a return protection program that allows cardholders to be reimbursed for the full purchase price in these situations. Claims must be processed within 90 days of the purchase date, and there is a limit of up to $300.
By understanding all of the benefits that American Express offers its cardholders, customers can find the best new credit cards and receive as much value as possible from the products they already possess. For more information, please see the American Express section of CardWisdom.