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-   -   American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy? (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/208022-american-express-cards-one-do-you-have-you-happy.html)

defcon3 07.05.2014 22:08

American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I am being curious if banks outside the UBS/CreditSuisse rank, especially pure retail banks like the BCGE for example, offer AmEx cards (Gold/Platinum). Don't get me wrong - I can go visit each bank's website and all - seeking personal experiences more than anything.

So, which bank did you use to get an AmEx and has this been a positive experience?

Cheers ;)

3Wishes 07.05.2014 22:17

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
No bank, www.amex.com (many years ago, in the States). I have the Blue and have been very happy with it.

John_H 07.05.2014 22:26

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
What's different from any other visa/mastercard?

My visa is cleared monthly for example, would i somehow be better with amex clearing that monthly?

Just wondering?

defcon3 07.05.2014 23:57

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John_H (Post 2149434)
What's different from any other visa/mastercard?

My visa is cleared monthly for example, would i somehow be better with amex clearing that monthly?

Just wondering?

AmEx is the card of choice for most traveling people, as it often comes bundled (at least in gold/platinum flavors) with travel insurance, lost luggage insurance, delayed flight(s), assistance and the like. As it is not as widely accepted as Visa/Master, supporting banks also use incentives (bonus points, miles, gift cards) to grow the popularity. This is nice, as for example in Credit Suisse each CHF you spend with a Visa is ~1 reward point, whereas it is double that, or 2 points should you use your AmEx for the same purpose. Rewards vary but they tend to be more generous on AmEx to compensate for the higher costs and fees.

Hope this is the info you needed?

Cheezecake 08.05.2014 00:23

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
My ex employer usually gave us VISAs, but our Swedish colleagues received amex. I have no idea why as it was so painful outside the US. The number of places that accepted amex in Europe was so limited, Swedes basically had to pay cash and get reimbursed (i was on business trips with one of them a few times). I didn't know about those point system, but have a feeling it will be tough to earn them.

mirfield 08.05.2014 00:38

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have the SWISS Miles and More Amex. It's good for collecting Star Alliance miles (which don't expire), avoiding the economy class check-in queue (you can use the SWISS first/business check-in if you are flying with SWISS) and the various insurance bits and bobs.

I'm happy with it, but then I don't pay the annual fee (which is about 700 CHF). This is offset a bit by a 200 CHF (I think from memory) voucher that you receive each year, but you can only use it on a flight costing 1,000 or more.

st2lemans 08.05.2014 00:42

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have the normal one, simply because when I moved here it was the only card I could get transferred here.

Mainly use it for paypal these days.

Tom

22 yards 08.05.2014 01:56

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have the Centurion Card. It's a lovely colour and very heavy, and it makes Swiss shop assisants treat me better than Oprah Winfrey.

Also, it gets stuck in many card readers and ATMs, but hey, Amex doesn't charge for replacement cards, so ...

RetiredInNH 08.05.2014 02:19

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 22 yards (Post 2149530)
I have the Centurion Card ...

... And if anyone believes you I will be happy to sell them a bridge on which they can collect tolls :D

mirfield 08.05.2014 09:24

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 22 yards (Post 2149530)
Amex doesn't charge for replacement cards, so ...

That's true. They once couriered one out to me in UK when I'd left mine back in Basel.

Postfinance charged me something like 40 CHF when theirs fell to bits.

ullainga 08.05.2014 09:38

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by defcon3 (Post 2149488)
AmEx is the card of choice for most traveling people, as it often comes bundled (at least in gold/platinum flavors) with travel insurance, lost luggage insurance, delayed flight(s), assistance and the like

So do (most) VISA and Master gold/platinum cards. Unless all the travel is to US, I would not consider an Amex, after I saw the trouble an US colleague had in Europe to find a place where Amex was accepted.

Assassin 08.05.2014 10:31

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I dropped Amex years ago, for two reasons:

1) They messed up with their billing (their fault) and wouldn't credit back the interest that they charged. Completely intransigent and holier than thou, even though I was a platinum card holder and had been for years.

2) Saw a friend of mine with a few difficulties trying to resolve his issues with Amex and they point blank refused to be cooperative, just tried to take him to court.

In the meantime, I'm happy with the regular MC and Visa set up. Amex is an "also ran" in Europe in my opinion.

porsch1909 08.05.2014 10:41

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 22 yards (Post 2149530)
Amex doesn't charge for replacement cards, so ...

I'd imagine so for 4200CHF per year :eek:

herc82 08.05.2014 11:27

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porsch1909 (Post 2149699)
I'd imagine so for 4200CHF per year :eek:

Oh don't be so negative - it's "free", so enjoy! :D

nigelr 08.05.2014 11:37

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I don't like AmEx because in Europe it is not so widely accepted and when mine was stolen they issued an immediate replacement free of charge in a foreign country - very impressive, apart from the fact that they then cancelled the replacement card and let the guy who stole the original run up several thousand pounds on it, whilst I couldn't get home.

It took me over 6 months to get it resolved, worst csutomer service I ever had anywhere.

At the same time the Nat West bank in the UK were brilliant.

Stick with MC or Visa in Europe.

defcon3 09.05.2014 10:13

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Thank you all for the feedback, guys. It is not that I favour AmEx above all other, or seek it as the ultimate solution. My limited experience and knowledge of the offers available in Switzerland (read CreditSuisse Bonviva Gold and UBS Family Gold) tells me that travel/luggage insurance is tied with AmEx.

Neither my Gold Master nor the Gold Visa has travel cancelation/delay or luggage lost insurance. Surely, I can get it for extra pay *separate* from the cards but this kinda defeats the purpose of the card bundle...

If you know of some gold/platinum cards with luggage insurance - please share ;)

ullainga 09.05.2014 10:39

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
No personal experience with those, but according to bank websites

Raiffeisen Gold (if you pay 60% of travel with card):
http://www.raiffeisen.ch/raiffeisen/...istungen_d.pdf

UBS Platinum:
As the holder of a UBS Platinum Credit Card, you can travel with full peace of mind – because UBS Travel Insurance Plus, worth 72 francs, is included free of charge. This insurance package protects you and your family from unforeseen financial risks arising from travel cancellation, medical treatment or loss of luggage.The insurance cover is valid all year round, irrespective of whether you pay using your UBS Credit Card

Zürich Kantonalbank Gold:

Reiseannullierungskosten- und Reiseunterbruchsversicherung
Gepäckversicherung bei Diebstahl, Verlust oder Beschädigung
Gepäckverspätungsversicherung
Mietwagen-Selbstbehalt-Versicherung
Einkaufsversicherung
Reiseunfallversicherung bei Tod oder Invalidität

Sean Connery 09.05.2014 10:45

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have cards from Cornercard.

http://www.cornercard.ch/export/ch.c...surance_en.pdf

I also have Zurich Relax. But that's because I want coverage for times where I travel without booking using the card.

I do have a corporate Amex but hate it.

dannyt986 10.05.2014 01:28

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mirfield (Post 2149503)
I have the SWISS Miles and More Amex. It's good for collecting Star Alliance miles (which don't expire), avoiding the economy class check-in queue (you can use the SWISS first/business check-in if you are flying with SWISS) and the various insurance bits and bobs.

I'm happy with it, but then I don't pay the annual fee (which is about 700 CHF). This is offset a bit by a 200 CHF (I think from memory) voucher that you receive each year, but you can only use it on a flight costing 1,000 or more.

We have that too, 700chf is steep but a business expense. The voucher is 300chf, but it never made sense to use it as it is 1000chf and a full fare, generally the Y tariff or whatever is still cheaper. Amex acceptance is good in Switzerland now, we use it for all business expenses, flight, food, fuel etc so the 1:1 miles easily pay for 1 or 2 award flights a year back to blighty which pretty much negates the card fee. I particularly like the hire car insurance which provides comprehensive cover on rentals so you can waive those pesky extra costs from the rental company.

Nukles85 29.02.2016 19:44

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I am starting to think that if you use that card only, and are ubs and migros customer, the ubs platinum card is a good deal.

In fact if you have just a normal ubs individual package, you pay 180 chf a year, and get 1 keyclub point each chf. Assuming one spends 24.000 a year on a credit card (so makes all expenses on the credit card), that returns you 240 points you can convert to a migros gift card, and use it there for a value of 240 chf.

If you get a platinum one, with the ubs individual package you pay 30 chf more per month but earn triple points. So assuming you do the credit card expense, you get 720 points back, but you spend on the card about 360 a year. Assuming you still convert the points into a migros gift card, you now get 360 chf back instead of 240.

And 4 free access vouchers to airport lounges. And a travel insurance...

Of course this is different for lower credit card expenses per year.

CH_Greg 29.02.2016 20:47

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nukles85 (Post 2546576)
I am starting to think that if you use that card only, and are ubs and migros customer, the ubs platinum card is a good deal.

In fact if you have just a normal ubs individual package, you pay 180 chf a year, and get 1 keyclub point each chf. Assuming one spends 24.000 a year on a credit card (so makes all expenses on the credit card), that returns you 240 points you can convert to a migros gift card, and use it there for a value of 240 chf.

If you get a platinum one, with the ubs individual package you pay 30 chf more per month but earn triple points. So assuming you do the credit card expense, you get 720 points back, but you spend on the card about 360 a year. Assuming you still convert the points into a migros gift card, you now get 360 chf back instead of 240.

And 4 free access vouchers to airport lounges. And a travel insurance...

Of course this is different for lower credit card expenses per year.

Except you don't get 1 KeyClub point per 100 CHF but 3 points for each 1000 CHF. So with an annual spending of 24K, you could get a 72 CHF shopping voucher at Migros. With a Gold package, you would spend 96 CHF extra on the card per year, and you could get a Migros voucher for 144 CHF, so still losing 24 CHF. With a Platinum package, you would spend 360 extra on the card, get a Migros voucher for 216 CHF and lose 216 CHF vs standard package.

Note that it's a good idea to spend KeyClub points on paying for the UBS package, as their value is then slightly above 1 CHF.

Overall, if you have sufficient money deposited there, I find that the UBS packages are pretty good value, contrarily to popular opinion around here.

Nukles 29.02.2016 21:11

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CH_Greg (Post 2546626)
Except you don't get 1 KeyClub point per 100 CHF but 3 points for each 1000 CHF. So with an annual spending of 24K, you could get a 72 CHF shopping voucher at Migros. With a Gold package, you would spend 96 CHF extra on the card per year, and you could get a Migros voucher for 144 CHF, so still losing 24 CHF. With a Platinum package, you would spend 360 extra on the card, get a Migros voucher for 216 CHF and lose 216 CHF vs standard package.

Note that it's a good idea to spend KeyClub points on paying for the UBS package, as their value is then slightly above 1 CHF.

Overall, if you have sufficient money deposited there, I find that the UBS packages are pretty good value, contrarily to popular opinion around here.

Thank you for pointing that out... guess I messed up Migros Cumulus points with KeyClub points...

As you said, this is what comes from the UBS website:

UBS Prepaid Card and UBS Credit Card Classic/Standard, Special Edition 3 points, Gold 6 points, Platinum 9 points for every CHF 1,000 spent.

ChrisNeedsToKnow 02.03.2016 00:56

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
If you're into collecting AmEx points, imaginecurve has a brilliant business idea. I´ll describe what I gathered from glancing over their product, not 100% sure on anything here:

The EU capped credit card fees for PRIVATE card holder, not for BUSINESS card holders.

So imaginecurve will issue their customers with a BUSINESS Mastercard. This allows them to collect up to 3% from merchants, while as an end-customer you don't feel a difference.

Whatever you spend with imaginecurve's Mastercard is then collected from your private AMEX card at less than 3% (not sure what AmEx charges exactly, I guess 2%)? Imaginecurve pockets the difference (note price for end customer is still 1:1).

Also, imaginecurve charge 1% for foreign fx, while AmEx would charge something like 2.5% - so here customers even win.

As a result you can
  • indirectly use your AmEx card everywhere Mastercard is accepted (and thus collect AmEx points)
  • save on fx-fees

Treverus 02.03.2016 09:08

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CH_Greg (Post 2546626)
Overall, if you have sufficient money deposited there, I find that the UBS packages are pretty good value, contrarily to popular opinion around here.

This only means you have been in Switzerland for too long. When I lived in Asia were credit cards for free - all banks run promotions pretty much all the time which gives you the card for the first year for free... after a year will you get a bill with an annual fee, you call up the call center and tell them "if you dont waive it will I cancel the card right away". I got it waived with every single card I had. People use much more CCs there as they offer real deals as in "20% off in the restaurant if you pay with a card from bank x"... since they are for free do people tend to get at least a couple of cards. The one you actually use the most will usually get upgraded to gold or platinum for free as the bank wants to keep your business. Long story short: Platinum card in other countries is free, here I pay a couple of hundreds a year for my platinum Amex (and I dont care about migros vouchers, but much more about their excellent insurance services when I travel). As others have said already is the problem with Amex that it is the Pepsi of credit cards... "Is Amex ok?" is one of my standards whenever I pay a hotel bill.

st2lemans 02.03.2016 09:15

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 2547491)
after a year will you get a bill with an annual fee, you call up the call center and tell them "if you dont waive it will I cancel the card right away". I got it waived with every single card I had.

This works here as well. ;)

Tom

Patagonia 02.03.2016 09:18

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have the Platinum one and is excellent, but expensive (CHF 1500 fee per year). It has a travel insurance which I sued several times (for tickets flights refund, clothes refund, wallet lost, etc.)

CH_Greg 02.03.2016 12:30

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 2547491)
This only means you have been in Switzerland for too long.

Hah sure, I only meant compared to other banks in Switzerland. Of course, as for everything, we get milked, but it's part of the system :msnnerd:

robBob 05.03.2016 20:30

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Two friends once worked for Amex and they couldn't use their Amex cards in Sardina. But I could make payment with my Mastercard. But that was years ago. Anyway, I just have the Migros Cumulus (Mastercard) and never have any trouble with it. And I get cumulus points too! Oh yes. No yearly charge!

Nukles 06.03.2016 12:27

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 2547491)
This only means you have been in Switzerland for too long. When I lived in Asia were credit cards for free - all banks run promotions pretty much all the time which gives you the card for the first year for free... after a year will you get a bill with an annual fee, you call up the call center and tell them "if you dont waive it will I cancel the card right away". I got it waived with every single card I had. People use much more CCs there as they offer real deals as in "20% off in the restaurant if you pay with a card from bank x"... since they are for free do people tend to get at least a couple of cards. The one you actually use the most will usually get upgraded to gold or platinum for free as the bank wants to keep your business. Long story short: Platinum card in other countries is free, here I pay a couple of hundreds a year for my platinum Amex (and I dont care about migros vouchers, but much more about their excellent insurance services when I travel). As others have said already is the problem with Amex that it is the Pepsi of credit cards... "Is Amex ok?" is one of my standards whenever I pay a hotel bill.

A couple of hundreds? In CH it costs abour 750 a year... which one do you have?

Treverus 06.03.2016 18:44

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nukles (Post 2549720)
A couple of hundreds? In CH it costs abour 750 a year... which one do you have?

I get an employee discount as my wife works at a bank. Don't remember exactly but I think we pay about half...

acf69 10.03.2016 13:27

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mirfield (Post 2149503)
I have the SWISS Miles and More Amex. It's good for collecting Star Alliance miles (which don't expire), avoiding the economy class check-in queue (you can use the SWISS first/business check-in if you are flying with SWISS) and the various insurance bits and bobs.

I'm happy with it, but then I don't pay the annual fee (which is about 700 CHF). This is offset a bit by a 200 CHF (I think from memory) voucher that you receive each year, but you can only use it on a flight costing 1,000 or more.

Care to share why you don't have to pay the fee?

CrazyN8s 10.03.2016 18:42

Re: American Express Cards: Which One Do You Have and Are You Happy?
 
I have an AMEX (Blue Cash, specifically, but I am not sure it is offered outside of the US). I am okay with it: it's free, but there is transaction fee on non-USD purchases. I really only use it here for the AMEX Premium Car Rental Insurance. I haven't had to file a claim yet, but we'll see.

In general, I use a different card (a Visa Signature one) for my usual purchases. It's not free, but it's cheap enough per year it doesn't matter. It does the usual trip insurance, etc, stuff for us.


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