American Express Travel Review

Updated on February 5, 2019
Edwin Liou profile image

I'm a travel enthusiast who grew up in Asia, lives in North America, and has traveled all over the world.

American Express Travel is the travel-agent arm of AMEX. The service includes an online portal for booking travel as well as access to their travel and lifestyle consultants. Most people who use AMEX travel have an American Express credit card that allows them to earn points that can be redeemed through this travel service.

The big question on everyone’s mind is why in the world you would use AMEX travel in this day and age when Expedia has the largest collection of travel products, and reviews of every travel destination can be found online.

Check out the review of AMEX travel below to help you figure out when you should use this service!

AMEX Travel Review

Back in the day (pre-2000), AMEX travel was actually pretty good. Their agents were knowledgeable, and their pricing was reasonable. Fast forward to today, and much of what made AMEX travel good isn’t there anymore.

The staff aren't particularly knowledgeable.

When it comes to knowledge regarding your destination, you’re much better off doing a quick google search, and reading reviews on TripAdvisor. We found the AMEX travel staff to be somewhat knowledgeable on popular North American destinations, poorly educated on European locations, and clueless when it came to Asian locations.

The pricing isn't competitive.

When it comes to pricing, sites like Expedia will almost always have lower prices. If you call your AMEX travel agent, they might actually book your trip through Expedia and charge you the fee for using their phone booking service.

The AMEX Travel Platinum counselors were useless.

One thing that we weren’t sure about was whether the AMEX Travel Platinum Counselors would level the playing field and bring value to the travel experience. This is a service that is exclusively available to AMEX Platinum and Centurion (black card) holders. Since we are AMEX Platinum card holders, we put this to the test!

The AMEX Platinum Travel Counselor Experience

The Platinum Travel Counselors are sold as people who can provide tailored recommendations and help you take advantage of unique travel benefits and special offers.

We got in touch with the counselors and asked them to plan a 10-day trip to Hawaii. We provided information such as the types of activities we’re looking for, and some potential islands we want to visit.

The response from the travel counselor was terrible. For the tailored recommendations, all we got was an e-mail with five bullet points on potential activities (which looked suspiciously like a list from a popular online travel-review site).

For our itinerary, we got a very overpriced Fine Hotel and Resorts accommodation and a multiple-transfer flight even though there are direct flights from our location to Hawaii. We checked the AMEX travel online portal, and that flight was the only one showing, so we’re guessing they were just trying to push their inventory on us.

We think one reason for the lack of service is the fact that the travel planning isn't done through AMEX's concierge service.

Other concierge services such as the Visa Infinite Concierge will handle travel planning themselves, and they do a much better job. We sent the same request to Visa Infinite and got an amazing seven-page PDF that planned out each day’s activities. They were awesome.

Should You Use AMEX Travel?

No. We recommend you stay away from AMEX for any travel planning! The only benefit we found is that you can redeem your hard-earned AMEX rewards points against travel purchases. This can take the form of a direct point redemption for travel dollars or redeeming the points for their fixed points travel program (eg. 25,000 points for a flight). If you have a credit card that comes with an AMEX travel credit, then it will have to be redeemed through AMEX travel.

Otherwise, you will be able to find better prices on Expedia, better travel information from TripAdvisor or travel blogs, and have a broader selection of travel options by not using AMEX travel.

If you need further convincing, just check out their rating on Consumer Affairs.

There are tons of stories where AMEX travel accidentally cancelled someone's reservation, misled the customer regarding travel insurance policies, and provided customers with long wait times when urgent issues need to be resolved.

This is a little sad to see since I'm a big fan of American Express and their customer service. However, it seems like the travel portion of their company isn't getting the funding or development it needs to be at the same level as the credit card department.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Edwin

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 weeks ago from UK

        I have sometimes wondered what Amex travel is like. This gives useful feedback.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)