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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Amex and travelling

I think that if you've been with them for a long time, you don't need to call.

If you're newish (under a year or two), it certainly doesn't hurt to call. I asked them when I first got my Gold card, and they said it would be a good idea to give them a heads-up if I went more than a couple hundred miles away from my usual turf. The few times that I did this, they were very courteous and professional and made a note. Never had a problem.

For the member who always posts about not bothering the CSR's, please consider the possibility that your decades of membership and world-wide usage has made them comfortable with your spending patterns. You are not being helpful to those who are new cardholders to assume that your experience holds across the board.
* 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
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Jazzzy
Posts: 2,679
Registered: ‎07-29-2009
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Re: Amex and travelling

I got my AmEx in May. Went to Paris in July. I called them, and they told me it wasn't necessary.

 

I did find, however, that many merchants in Paris with the little signs up with pics of all the cards that they accept had their AmEx card logo taped over. Many small merchants didn't take the AmEx...so be sure to take a VISA or MC backup when you travel.

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Watchmann
Posts: 989
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
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Re: Amex and travelling


haulingthescoreup wrote:
For the member who always posts about not bothering the CSR's, please consider the possibility that your decades of membership and world-wide usage has made them comfortable with your spending patterns. You are not being helpful to those who are new cardholders to assume that your experience holds across the board.

Real world experience of how AMEX works in this regard from many users (short and long term) in this thread and others trumps hypothetical beliefs about this.  As far as AMEX is concerned I've never seen any documentation from them stating they want to be notified if you are travelling outside of your normal area.  They advertise themselves as the card to have for busy travellers, surely that doesn't mean within a radius of a couple of hundred miles from your address.  As I mentioned in my earlier post if a newbie cardholder feels more comfortable and wants to notify AMEX that they are travelling, great.  Go ahead and call.  Perhaps in a rare instance it may make a difference, but for the most part it just isn't necessary.  I think it is the ongoing paranoia of AMEX that drives the belief that you should notify them in advance lest you wake the sleeping god of an AMEX denial or FR.  That's just my opinion,  but supported by lots of experience from other AMEX cardholders.

 

Other cards are different.  I have a Visa card from my Credit Union that I've had for many years and that I used when I lived overseas.  But in the last year they have a new policy that they block any international charges (for fraud, I suppose), but if you tell them in advance that you will be going abroad they will lift that restriction.  In this case that is their policy so I will be calling them when I go overseas next year.

 

We should all try to be helpful in giving true, honest, real world advice.  I don't think I was being unhelpful in stating how I've seen it work in practice. 

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JimB
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-21-2008
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Re: Amex and travelling


Watchmann wrote:

They advertise themselves as the card to have for busy travellers, surely that doesn't mean within a radius of a couple of hundred miles from your address.   


I'm with you on this. It's worth noting that American Express has far more experience servicing travelers than almost anyone else. One of the main characters in a Hemingway novel talks about picking up his mail & cashing checks at the Amex office in Paris. This was way back in the 1920s.

 

I'm old enough to remember when the only payment options for Americans abroad were travelers checks (usually Amex) & Amex cards. In the days before global ATM networks, an Amex cardholder could cash personal checks at Amex offices. I did this a couple of times.

 

So you're absolutely right when you point out that Amex is an entirely different class when it comes to dealing with travelers. I always call the issuers of any bank cards that I'm taking with me before I leave for the airport. I never call Amex.

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MattH
Posts: 3,240
Registered: ‎04-03-2008
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Re: Amex and travelling

[ Edited ]

JimB wrote:

Watchmann wrote:

They advertise themselves as the card to have for busy travellers, surely that doesn't mean within a radius of a couple of hundred miles from your address.   


I'm with you on this. It's worth noting that American Express has far more experience servicing travelers than almost anyone else. One of the main characters in a Hemingway novel talks about picking up his mail & cashing checks at the Amex office in Paris. This was way back in the 1920s.

 

I'm old enough to remember when the only payment options for Americans abroad were travelers checks (usually Amex) & Amex cards. In the days before global ATM networks, an Amex cardholder could cash personal checks at Amex offices. I did this a couple of times.

 

So you're absolutely right when you point out that Amex is an entirely different class when it comes to dealing with travelers. I always call the issuers of any bank cards that I'm taking with me before I leave for the airport. I never call Amex.


I too recall cashing checks at AMEX offices in the days when that was the only way I could easily access money from my US bank account overseas, and using traveler's checks at currency exchanges.  Today of course I don't remember the last time I cashed a check or used a traveler's check, but I doubt I've done either in over a decade.

 

Message Edited by MattH on 12-17-2009 10:30 AM
TU 791 02/11/2013, EQ 800 1/29/2011 , EX Plus FAKO 812, EX Vantage Score 955 3/19/2010 wife's EQ 9/23/2009 803
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llecs
Posts: 32,869
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
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Re: Amex and travelling

Well, FTR, I used my Amex without any issues or problems. Used at restaurants, the hotel, food, etc. Had a blast too. BofA....on the otherhand. I used it one time for subway tickets (only had big bills) and BofA appearantly locked the use of my card after successfully buying 2 fare cards and tried to get two more but the transactions were denied. I didn't need the card and was a backup to a backup. I will call tomorrow.

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