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Regular Contributor
GomerPyle
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎03-17-2009

AMEX Overseas questions

My 21 year old son is an AU on my AMEX Blue account. He is leaving for Shanghai China in three weeks. I want him to be able to use the AMEX card if he needs to. I have some  questions.

 

1. Will he be able to use the card in China?

2. Should I call AMEX to advise of his trip?

3. Will this freak out the already freaked out folks at AMEX?

 

I am in total paranoia with AMEX they really scare me.

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Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: AMEX Overseas questions


GomerPyle wrote:

My 21 year old son is an AU on my AMEX Blue account. He is leaving for Shanghai China in three weeks. I want him to be able to use the AMEX card if he needs to. I have some  questions.

 

1. Will he be able to use the card in China?

2. Should I call AMEX to advise of his trip?

3. Will this freak out the already freaked out folks at AMEX?

 

I am in total paranoia with AMEX they really scare me.



Last summer I put my daughter on my Gold for her internship in Ireland. She also spread some AmEx magic in Paris and in Wales, and they were utterly delighted to have her run up some charges.

Absolutely, call to let them know that your card will be going fun places, and that you're aware of it, and that it's OK. I don't know anything specifically about AmEx and Shanghai, but since it's an international destination, I would say that it will be accepted at any major sites. You might even ask them for advice on his itinerary and so forth. They love this kind of stuff.

This shouldn't bother them a bit. After all, this was the original function of an American Express card. They seem a lot more perturbed to have it used to buy 3 dozen disposable diapers at Wally World.

Hope your son has a great time!
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Established Contributor
Watchmann
Posts: 985
Registered: ‎05-14-2008

Re: AMEX Overseas questions

Have had AMEX since 1980 and have travelled and lived overseas for many years (80's and 90's) and never had any problem with AMEX.  Major stores and hotels all take it, but you may find some smaller businesses balking at it due to the higher fees they have to pay.  I never called AMEX and told them where or how I was going to use it.  AMEX's bread and butter is business travel and businessmen are not calling up AMEX before going off to China or Thailand and alerting them.  It probably won't hurt, but I don't think it is necessary.  I used my AMEX Starwood Card on Christmas Eve 2008 in the Netherland Antilles for a $20,000 purchase (normal monthly charges about $1,000) and other than AMEX asking the merchant to positively check my ID there was no problem.  Be aware that all of the CCC's now charge a fee 3-4% for foreign transactions.  This is a ripoff in my opinion, but you really can't get around it.  Just be aware of it.  The freaking out of AMEX is mostly overblown.  Millions of business cliants have seen no change in their ability to use their cards, although some personal cardholders have seen their use crimped.  To be safe I'd have a backup card if possible, but I wouldn't be afraid to use AMEX as needed.
Regular Contributor
CHARGE_IT
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎07-13-2008

Re: AMEX Overseas questions

Because of the destination, I would call AMEX. They may very well give you some valuable info for the trip, and they also often give specific phone numbers to call on the road, just in case, so that you don't get caught waiting on the right person if you have a need to call.

 

Most important, I would call because it is an AU CARD. My SO uses a couple of our cards more than I do and AMEX recognizes us both without issue, but on such a long trip, I would want the security of talking to them.

They are really good to work with. I know others are having problems and I have tried to figure out what makes me different but I can't. Use it.

 

CI

Established Contributor
Chopbrocoli
Posts: 805
Registered: ‎05-11-2007

Re: AMEX Overseas questions

Hi Gomer,

 

1. From my experience in Shanghai last year, many local merchants don't really take AMEX except for the usual starbucks, fine boutiques, and some restaurants. However, majority of the merchants take Visa, MC, and a particular Chinese network The only time AMEX benefited me was some stores in the mall and as said, starbucks. The Chinese are not really into CC's however they are continuously being exposed to it by the banks. They do use their debit card a lot though, thus why AMEX has not been greatly accepted. 

 

2. Yes, definitely call AMEX otherwise there will be a red flag placed on the account, with an inevitable freeze. 

 

3. The only thing that will freak out AMEX is a missed payment, maxed out limit, overall utilization on other various credit products, and anything slightly minor or major on the Experian report. 

 

The fact is never leave AMEX without a back up. My best advice for your son is forget the AMEX and carry reasonable amount of Yuan and a Visa. As well, make sure he has the international # to the bank of the issuing card since there are a lot of pick pockets. 

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Regular Contributor
CHARGE_IT
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎07-13-2008

Re: AMEX Overseas questions

Local use of AMEX in all communist countries has not caught up yet.(obvious reasons , despite great progress)

The reason your son should have AMEX with him as well as VISA has nothing to do with shopping.

He will find AMEX offices in Shanghai, and both there and by electronic communications, he can rely on medical and legal help and no one can help with lost documents like AMEX.

Remember that AMEX has always been  about travel. Having a cup of coffee is the last thing on your mind if your documents are stolen.

This is why I suggest calling. They can update you on all the resources that he should be aware of in case of the unexpected.

 

Best wishes,

CI

Regular Contributor
GomerPyle
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎03-17-2009

Re: AMEX Overseas questions

Great responses to my questions. I appreciate them all. Thank you.

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