|by Mr Credit Card|
Mrs Credit Card was planning for our annual vacation. We had originally wanted to fly to San Diego and stay with our friend, see the San Diego Zoo and all the other California attraction. However, our plans had to change as our friends will not be around. So Mrs Credit Card made the executive decision to go to Florida and DisneyWorld.
As she was my supplementary card holder of my Amex Platinum Credit Card, she made some calls. We received a promotional flyer that advertised their Platinum Travel Service and the number listed is 1866-310-0684. The phone service was courteous and best of all you don’t have to wait long. However, the agent said at this number they will take our profile when we call the first time & assists in our requests. Subsequently, we should call 1800-443-7672 ! OK, she took down our details, and answered all her questions regarding using our points to redeem free air tickets. Mrs Credit card did express my frustration about having to call another number & what’s the difference ? She assured her that this number is mainly to take down the member’s profile.
Basically, 2 ways :
1) Paying with reward points – no restrictions. If you have 70000 points, you could redeem $700 towards a ticket.
2) If using airlines miles for Continental, Delta, Southwest etc, more restrictions but less points required. For example, 15000 Reward points can exchange for 1 Rapid Reward point for Southwest. Then, you are subject to the airline’s closed out dates. But first, we have to transfer the Platinum reward points to the selected airline frequent flyer program – that will take about 3 to 5 days.
Mrs Credit Card hanged up the phone & called me to discuss the issue. Then she called Southwest to check flight availability. It was available at our preferred dates but we need to transfer the points quickly and we can only make the bookings when the points are in the members account. So, Mrs Credit Card called 1800-443-7672 (the number that they told me to call subsequently) and guess what ? They asked her to call 1800-297-3276 – the Amex Platinum Membership Hotline. Only they can check the points & transfer points. Mrs Credit Card’s patience is obviously wearing thin but thankfully, she didn’t wait long for an agent to answer my call.
It turns out that I have about 72,000 membership reward points at the moment. However, because she was a supplementary card holder, she needed my “authorization” to give her the ability to use my membership reward points.
As easy as this sounds, it turned out to be a slightly complicated process. The Amex clearly has seperate departments. So I had to call each department and give Mrs Credit Card authorization to access my account and charge stuff to my card. The first stop was the membership rewards department. I had to call them up and authorize Mrs Credit Card to use my membership reward points.
Then I had to call up the travel concierge department to allow Mrs Credit Card to book flights and charge it to my card (note : she could simply charge them to her card – but she still needed my authorization to use my membership rewards points).
The process took quite a bit of time (call it about twenty minutes). I was quite disappointed that I could not call one number and simply have Mrs Credit Card fully authorized to do whatever she wanted with my account. Also, on the last stop (travel concierge), I was asked to verify my password. I said the correct password but the system rejected it the first time. I was pretty sure I had the correct password and the system accepted it the second time. Even the operator was “surprised”.
At least, Mrs Credit Card can now book our vacation (it is always a chore to do so for me). Plus with 77,000 points, we can get three Southwest Airline tickets for free. And I almost forgot, we could try to get the “free companion ticket”. Let’s see how this works out. We just have to pay for two other tickets and obviously the hotels. I will update the final plans soon.