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  Reply # 620432 6-May-2012 13:53 Send private message

clevedon:
nakedmolerat: dont bother with amex...

it is a useless card. you are better off with visa or mastercard.


Explain? I have all three and Amex is by far the best.


it is useless overseas





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  Reply # 620563 6-May-2012 17:18 Send private message

nakedmolerat:
clevedon:
nakedmolerat: dont bother with amex...

it is a useless card. you are better off with visa or mastercard.


Explain? I have all three and Amex is by far the best.


it is useless overseas


In your first statement you said it was useless, now you say it is useless overseas - which is it ?





                                           

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  Reply # 620574 6-May-2012 17:44 Send private message

nakedmolerat: it is useless overseas

Simply incorrect. Since the beginning of the year I've been in the US, Germany, UK, France, NZ, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, India, etc. In all cases there was either _no_ place that took credit card and didn't take Amex or very few places that didn't take it (one or two in NZ and Australia - elsewhere, no problem). A lot of the places that did not accept Amex simply didn't take credit card at all.

For day-to-day spending when I lived in NZ it was probably a little more challenging, but the majority of retailers ('big store', restaurants, pubs/bars, petrol stations, supermarkets) and a reasonably large number of smaller retailers took it.

As I wrote before, my current ratio is about $15:$1 onto Amex vs. other payment forms, it was probably a bit lower in NZ ($10:$1) but "useless", no.

Regs: there are tons of places you cant use amex. you basically have to carry cash, or another credit card alongside it.

I guess it depends on where you live or where you are paying for things, but I didn't really find that a problem. Diners, on the other hand...

Of course your statement holds true for any payment mechanism: there are plenty of places where VI/MC are also not going to work (hello cash societies in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc; or EFTPOS-only retailers), so you'll need something else to supplement them anyway.

There's a reason why a lot of Corporates use Amex as their T&E card: the acceptance rate is high enough (i.e. not "useless") and the benefits of the card outweigh others.

khull: Also, has anyone used the concierge service and would like to share their experiences?

I've used the concierge a lot in a few countries -- if you get a good concierge they're great, if you get an average one they can be more of a hindrance than benefit.


NB: I'm not affiliated with AmEx, I just happen to live off a corporate card due to my job and for the most part, am happy.

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  Reply # 620696 6-May-2012 21:51 Send private message

nakedmolerat: dont bother with amex...

it is a useless card. you are better off with visa or mastercard.


Strange, 9/10 places that I've encountered that looked like they didn't accept AmEx, it turns out that if you ask about it they actually do accept it, they just don't advertise it due to the higher commission rate.

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  Reply # 622610 9-May-2012 23:44 Send private message

clevedon:
nakedmolerat: dont bother with amex...

it is a useless card. you are better off with visa or mastercard.


Explain? I have all three and Amex is by far the best.


how much does it cost you to retain three different cards, and how much real benefit do you get from the points programs once you subtract all those annual fees?

I put together a couple of  big spreadsheets a few years ago which judged the NET return on a card with points program, based on the relative cost in points for the average $100 reward.  one spreadsheet included the travel insurance benefits based on at least one overseas trip, whereas the other assume no travel was taken. 

AMEX programs (with the exception of westpac) had the best earning ratio by far, but if you had to add a second card - visa/mc etc - then the costs of the second card wiped out the extra rewards for a gross spend of less than $60,000 per annum.

if you have a premium card - gold/platinum/etc - if you don't take at least one international trip per year and use the travel insurance benefit then the card was basically costing you if your spend was less than $40,000 per annum.

the best card for raw returns was, as pointed out here, the BNZ globalplus amex.  the worst was the Westpac titanium card.

if you spend less than $20,000 on your card each year and don't travel, then the best option was either the national bank cash back card, or the kiwibank zero fee (and zero reward) card.

based on my annual spend (married with a couple of kids and everything going on the cards where possible), the number of bills that I could put on Visa but not Amex, and the fact that the Visa wiped annual fees for spend over a certain level, I ended up cancelling(*) my amex and upgrading to a platinum visa and using it for everything.

(*) Cancelling:  actually, amex wiped the annual membership fees for the first two years where I told them I was going to cancel, it wasn't till the third year of little use that they didn't encourage me to keep it....  I hung on to it as a free backup card.




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  Reply # 622612 9-May-2012 23:54 Send private message

Amex cancelled the fee or your bank? If do which bank




Apologies for poor typing standards when on Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE/iPad 2 Wifi

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  Reply # 622629 10-May-2012 07:20 Send private message

Regs:
clevedon:
nakedmolerat: dont bother with amex...

it is a useless card. you are better off with visa or mastercard.


Explain? I have all three and Amex is by far the best.


how much does it cost you to retain three different cards, and how much real benefit do you get from the points programs once you subtract all those annual fees?

I put together a couple of  big spreadsheets a few years ago which judged the NET return on a card with points program, based on the relative cost in points for the average $100 reward.  one spreadsheet included the travel insurance benefits based on at least one overseas trip, whereas the other assume no travel was taken. 

AMEX programs (with the exception of westpac) had the best earning ratio by far, but if you had to add a second card - visa/mc etc - then the costs of the second card wiped out the extra rewards for a gross spend of less than $60,000 per annum.

if you have a premium card - gold/platinum/etc - if you don't take at least one international trip per year and use the travel insurance benefit then the card was basically costing you if your spend was less than $40,000 per annum.

the best card for raw returns was, as pointed out here, the BNZ globalplus amex.  the worst was the Westpac titanium card.

if you spend less than $20,000 on your card each year and don't travel, then the best option was either the national bank cash back card, or the kiwibank zero fee (and zero reward) card.

based on my annual spend (married with a couple of kids and everything going on the cards where possible), the number of bills that I could put on Visa but not Amex, and the fact that the Visa wiped annual fees for spend over a certain level, I ended up cancelling(*) my amex and upgrading to a platinum visa and using it for everything.

(*) Cancelling:  actually, amex wiped the annual membership fees for the first two years where I told them I was going to cancel, it wasn't till the third year of little use that they didn't encourage me to keep it....  I hung on to it as a free backup card.


Around 80% is business spending and we put on close to $200k per year on the cards, and Amex Platinum is certainly the best rewards scheme for us.




                                           

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  Reply # 622832 10-May-2012 12:34 Send private message

Travel insurance not valid for business trips?




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  Reply # 622869 10-May-2012 13:49 Send private message

Regs: did Amex write off the annual fee or did your issuing bank? I have always been curious on how that is done. Seeing that people can afford a platinum card why would they (neccassrily) care about annual fees - personally I think their entry criteria isn't that high anyway.

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  Reply # 622914 10-May-2012 15:22 Send private message

I have a AMEX GlobalPlus with BNZ.

The ones that doesn't support IME:
Your typical (IMO), hairdresser, dentist, cafe.  If you go to higher ended or chain stores like Lumino Dentists and/or in the CBD they may support them. 

AMP insurance don't support it. 

PaperPlus needs at least $10 but the same limitation does not apply to VISA or MC.

In terms of overseas, I import camera equipment, some of the larger stores which caters to Americans and foreigners don't take AMEX. 

Re: the AirNZ card.  It is a credit card, it is not a charge card.  You can get AMEX charge card but it's not the AirNZ card. 
The rewards are pretty good for what it is however, Globalplus AMEX Gold gets a higher Airpoint Dollar per amount spent and the annual fee is cheaper.  I think you spend $75 for 1APD with this card in question, the GP AMEX Gold is $66.  This loyalty program is AirNZ Airpoints, it doesn't use AMEX Rewards Programme.  That's charge card which requires a optional yearly fee just for the loyality programme.  But anyway, as AirNZ programme is custard, just look at flytertalk.com. 

IMO.  If you basically travel only with AirNZ and do it frequently enough go for it - that means you are a AirNZ Gold or higher member.  Access to complimentary AirNZ lounges. 

For me, I don't travel every week or every month so I get more freebies with a Star Alliance overseas airline programme.  At the same time I can fly AirNZ for the fares that is not too cheap and still get points.

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  Reply # 622923 10-May-2012 15:32 Send private message

If you DO want a charge card this is it then:
http://www.americanexpress.com/newzealand/charge-cards


It's not the AirNZ card.

And if you want good customer service, that is if AMEX are good, not had myself directly with them, you need a card straight thru to them. Not BNZ or Westpac.

$1,250 annual fee and I believe you might need $80k or $120k salary etc...

Charge cards you pay off the amount in full every month I think.

To add:
You are over 18 years of age
•  You have a good credit history
•  You have an annual income of $140,000 p.a. or more
•  You are a permanent resident/citizen of New Zealand
•  If self-employed, you have been trading for at least 18 months or 12 months, if you hold an    existing American Express issued Card

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  Reply # 623084 10-May-2012 18:22 Send private message

khull: Regs: did Amex write off the annual fee or did your issuing bank? I have always been curious on how that is done. Seeing that people can afford a platinum card why would they (neccassrily) care about annual fees - personally I think their entry criteria isn't that high anyway.


Just marketing IMO.  In Singapore, university students can apply for Platinum cards.  Actually the name of the card says National University of Singpoare so it's only for students.  There are diff cards that may have higher fees or salary requirements ie., AMEX charge card plat or some of the other cards like Plat airlines off a bank etc ..

One could get a Plat Kiwibank card too.  As low as $80 comes with AirNZ airpoints too ..

I vaguely heard that AMEX might waive the fee for you as a good gesture, prob depends how much you put thru the card too ... There is also a Centurion Black (real) Titanium card.  That's if you put thru $1M USD every year or something like that or maybe $100k or $250k per year for the last 5 or so years ... invitation only.  Visa has one too but cannot remember the name.  Heard teh annual fee is like $10k or something ..

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  Reply # 623331 11-May-2012 02:53 Send private message

khull: Regs: did Amex write off the annual fee or did your issuing bank? I have always been curious on how that is done. Seeing that people can afford a platinum card why would they (neccassrily) care about annual fees - personally I think their entry criteria isn't that high anyway.


amex wrote off the fee.

the platinum card worked out at $325 per annum, but when you take into account the extra fees for "turbo" (i.e. the double points earning program) and you have multiple cardholders (e.g. wife, business), the fees aren't that much different than the gold cards elsewhere.  If you don't have additional cardholders, then the fees work out a bit steeper.




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  Reply # 623332 11-May-2012 03:01 Send private message

clevedon:
Around 80% is business spending and we put on close to $200k per year on the cards, and Amex Platinum is certainly the best rewards scheme for us.


yep.  $200K is a lot of spending and when you get to that level it does work out best - even if you still have to pay for a visa on the side.

most people I've talked to spend less than $30K per year on their cards though, and therefore most of them are wasting money on multiple cards, or platinum cards etc.

one thing my spreadsheets didn't take into account was the surcharges.  they are becoming more common these days and they basically start to wipe out any benefits you would have received by earning points.  Its no point paying a $5 surcharge to get $3 worth of reward points...

Amex cards, with "Turbo" points program, give you $100 back for around $8000 spending.  If you had to pay a 3% surcharge on every purchase, you would end up spending $300 to get $100 in rewards (less any annual card fees too).  Thats false economy and means that you would have to make bloody good use of the additional benefits in order to come out on top.




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  Reply # 626247 16-May-2012 15:49 Send private message

The attractive thing about this over the GP/Kiwibank ones is the domestic travel insurance. Plus the cash back from membership rewards is about 192-220 points to the dollar which is pale in comparison (unless you are in turbo or use the $1=3 points promotion). It's way too confusing to convert

I'll probably take a stab for the first year and see how it works out

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