How did I ever survive without the Internet? My main area of anal retentiveness is Credit Card websites. I simply must check balances all the time. This stems from having been double-billed too many times to count. Now that all of our credit cards have websites, I can easily catch these rotters and set things straight almost right as it happens. HA!
One of the great things about American Express is their platinum card. It’s quite high on the annual fee at about $395-ish, but with that you get so many great extras, one of which is pretty much no-argue disputing. They’ll immediately remove anything while they investigate, rather than leave it pending their investigation… and they will err on your (the cardholder’s) side if it’s on the line.
But this is about the American Express website so I’ll stop gushing about the platinum card. Mainly I brought it up to let you know what my perspective is of their website. Other card holders may have different options from the platinum users. I don’t know.
The American Express website itself is fairly plain and very straight forward. It’s a white background with little bits of blue here and there, and everything is relatively very easy to find. Simple navigation is a major plus. I really hate sites that I have to guess and hunt through.
At any rate, you can go to the site and sign up for an AmEx card if you’ve not already got one. If you do have one, sign up to use it to manage your card(s). Everything is right there and appears in real time on the site. The minute someone buys a Starbucks coffee, I see it. HA! I could really care less what he buys with his money, but this also means I can see any other charges and dispute them right there from the website if they’re hinky at all.
You can also see your statement and pay your bill right away if you like. It remembers the routing and account number for me so it’s really just a click of a button now. The only hard part is making sure there’s enough cash flow to pay it… heh.
With our card we rack up points too. The website keeps track of these for us and has everything listed here, with descriptions, that we could ever possibly want to redeem those points for, along with instructions on how to go about doing that should we want to. For instance, if we wanted 2 tickets to London, it shows us how many points for each (the second one, termed a companion ticket, is less points), and it tells us we need to book with Virgin and tell them we’re using points, then call the points people and tell them we’ve booked, etc.. Easy to understand instructions. I’ve spent days on end just browsing through the redemption options and dreaming…
Even if you are not a card member, you can use this site to easily order traveler’s cheques in just about any sort of denomination, except US Dollars. For those you do have to go to one of their physical sites for some weird reason. You can also order actual foreign currency on the website at whatever the current exchange rate happens to be.
We’ve used the Gift Card feature to send money to people in Florida. It was easy, but a bit irritating. You see, the highest denomination you can order is $500, so to send someone $2,500 I had to key all the same info in over and over… 5 times. My hands hurt like hell! I wish they would install a feature that remembered what you typed in before and would give you option of just clicking that. Ah well. The cards arrived to him within 10 days, which is what they said would happen exactly.
If it’s a trip you’re planning, you can do that through the American Express website too; from hotels to airfare to cruises to car rental, they can handle it all for you. Their prices may not be the best though, so do check around.
You can get a free financial consultation on the site, take care of auto insurance, banking, retirement funds, or simply find out which merchants accept American Express.
Each time we’ve had to contact customer service to clarify something they have been just really nice about it all so I have to give high marks to them for that. They’re friendly, efficient, and helpful.
All in all I am quite pleased with this website. I’m not going with 5 stars though because it just seems silly that you can’t get US traveler’s cheques there. I mean it’s downright aggravating. That takes them down to 4 stars, but then they lose another because of log-in problems. You see, it is capable of remembering everything for you, only it doesn’t take the auto-log in correctly about 75% of the time and I have to wrack my little bLoNdE head as to what I used on this particular site… sure it would be easier to use the same thing on all our banking and CC sites, but that’s just asking for trouble, innit? So yeah, this feature would be great if it actually worked, but it doesn’t so that leaves us at 3 stars for the AmEx website even though they do have a ton of great features that I use quite frequently. Go ahead and use them, just write down your log in info somewhere…