Amex's Platinum Business Card Promises Are Less Than Golden

Lois is a longtime American Express customer. She’s had an AmEx card in her wallet for longer than most Consumerist readers have been alive. When she received a mailing offering 50,000 bonus reward points and extra privileges for upgrading her account to a Platinum Business card, she went for it. Except she never received the reward points. Or the airport lounge privileges. Or, apparently, the upgrade to a Platinum Business card.

I’ve been an AmEx customer for nearly 40 years. It was my first card out of college. When I received a notice last summer that I could get 50,000 reward points for upgrading to a Platinum Business card, I did it. The service agent I spoke with assured me I would get the points. I’d been meaning to do it because allegedly you can get into airline lounges with it and I travel a lot. What a scam.

The first time I tried to use the card to get into a lounge I was told I had to have a ticket on THAT airline for the Platinum Card to work. No one ever said this. Sometimes you’re at an airport without a lounge for the club to which you belong and you just want to hang out. I overlooked that, waiting for my 50,000 points. When they didn’t come I kept calling and I was told it could take up to 90 days to appear in my account. The last time I called I was told I didn’t have the Platinum Business Card, I only had a Platinum Card and therefore no points. After four months of calling? Give me a break.

Last week I wrote to the Vice President of Customer Service in New York and today I received a call from someone in the so-called executive offices. She simply reiterated what everyone else said. No points. We don’t care if you close your account. So, after nearly 40 years I’ll be cutting up my card and mailing it to Kenneth Chenault, President and CEO of American Express.

Take heed, companies: even a longtime, loyal customer will walk away when you mislead her into an upsell.