Amex Platinum Charge - alternative?


(Matthew) #1

I’ve had an Amex Platinum Charge for years - it has been good for the travel insurance, membership rewards (I convert to avios) and also the priority pass (though I use that rarely).

Anyway, Amex have been useless at resolving a complaint against them and I feel tempted to close my account.

Question is: what is closest alternative ?


#2

Miles and More? :joy:

I can’t think of one in the United Kingdom. It’s the result of the 0.3% cap on credit cards. Where is the profit in it for the business when they’re paying money out?

American Express only gets the pass because they’re not subject to that cap, as a processing network that isn’t one of the main two (not sure of the actual reason), mastercard and visa.


#3

The cap does apply to Amex when it issues cards through a third party for example BA. Which makes it a 4 way scheme. Currently Amex is the issuer and processor, and the retailer is the 2nd party with the customer being the 3rd party. When there is 4 or more parties fee caps come into play. However the cap will soon apply to Amex even on cards it issues itself, that is why many of the Amex schemes are no longer open or the actual benefits have changed.


#4

Why is this? Does this mean American Express will need to become an actual bank in the European Union to be worth sticking around here?

I don’t see why they’d continue if not staying as a higher interchange fee credit card that gave premium benefits.


#5

American Express announced last year it would not be looking for any new partnerships in Europe and will concentrate elsewhere as its core business is not and has never been Europe. The fee caps are the final nail. So it will operate but it won’t be bothering with new partnerships.

https://about.americanexpress.com/press-release/corporate/statement-revised-payment-services-directive-psd2-european-union

There has been other updates since, but all of them state the same, it won’t be operating in the EU as it has been, and won’t be launching anything new. As far as the UK is concerned, Amex will stay in its current form, but its partner programs will change or close.


#6

So in other words I’ll probably be fine to sign up to it’s current plans in the next year or so, but I shouldn’t bother hoping for anything new?


#7

I’m no expert on Amex or the payment services directive, but i do remember reading that the actually requirements will take a couple of years to come into effect completely. It’s the whole directive when in place Amex won’t implement. If it doesn’t implement certain parts, for example open access to processing, it can’t operate in the EU. The UK have passed the directive into law, so even if we leave the EU, that part of card processing etc will still be law, so will still apply.

As Amex charges a fee for a card it issues normally, there is no real reason why they won’t be offering something here, it is still worth millions to them, even with a cap. However I somehow doubt what they finally offer will be anything as good as that they offer now.


#8

Why are the EU trying to screw financial services? How does it want us to do well in the area of premium cards when they want to cripple the cards :unamused:


#9

I think the answer to that is simple. A central bank with complete control is easier to introduce when you regulate every part of the system already. The argument will be, well we already control the financial services through regulation, surely it makes sense for us to just have one bank controlling it.

I know its more complicated than that in practice, but everything is heading down the road of the European Central Bank taking over much more control of financial regulation, and that includes card processing, and banking regulation.


#10

I would understand that but isn’t the role of the European Central Bank purely to maintain the Euro’s value?


#11

Rules change. Use what you have, to control what you want. It’s logical progression for a federal Europe.


(sam) #12

I think the fee cap is necessary for the cashless society you dream of @recchan


#13

I’ve never understood why the fee cap is dependent on the number of parties involved. Can you elaborate on the logic that underpinned this arrangement?

Do you know when the fee cap is due to apply to cards Amex issues itself?


#14

I’m sure there are others on here with better awareness of alternatives, but perhaps HSBC Premier World Elite if you can meet the requirements for HSBC Premier.


#15

The argument was, the reason they had to charge higher fees was there was more people to split the fee with. The EU didn’t accept that argument. Bear in mind the card company itself doesn’t get anything from the interchange fee, the retailer pays a fee to it’s bank. Banks have arrangements with the card companies to pay for using them, but that’s not regulated and that is a contractual obligation between the bank and mastercard etc.

There is no decent argument in why there was higher fees for 4 way parties. That’s why a cap was enforced. Before the fee cap, some countries had fees over 1% per transaction (the highest was something like 1.70%), even in the UK it was reaching near 1%.

It is three years from when the ruling came into affect, so I work that out to be 2020 using my basic maths on a Saturday lol as the directive is a 2017 one.


#16

Was this actually happening? Prior to the cap were fees paid by retailers on 4-party cards (I assume this includes Visa and Mastercard based cards) higher than fees paid by retailers on Amex 3-party cards?

I’ve assumed retailer fees for accepting Amex cards have always been higher than for accepting Visa and Mastercard, which is why I’ve found it hard to understand why the cap applies to Visa and Mastercard, but not Amex.


#17

There is no evidence that anyone was better off with higher charges.

Amex has a different business model to Mastercard and Visa, it charges fees and gives rewards, introducing a cap immediately, would have damaged Amex substantially, so it was given three years to make required changes so it could abide by the cap and other regulations. Amex decided that the new regulations would not be financially viable as it would change how it operates its business,

Because a retailer would have a direct relationship with Amex it charged higher fees which meant a lot of retailers just didn’t sign up to it. However some banks offer Amex acceptance at a lower rate than going direct with Amex, that’s why recently more retailers accept Amex, but that then brings in another party thus fee capping.

In the US Amex is cutting its fees to get a bigger share of its core market. It is also subject to possible regulation in the US.

It’s fees are just not seen as fair or competitive. That is partly why its no longer that bothered about the EU, it makes most of it’s money in the American market, so needs to focus on that or go bust.


#18

Ah I see. So the caps were always intended to apply to all Amex cards as well but they’ve just been given some extra time. I was assuming the decision to cap Amex fees came after the decision to cap VISA and Mastercard fees.


(Matthew) #19

I think you have to open an account with them - which I’ve no wish to do.


#20

Yes, you would need a HSBC Premier current account to be eligible for this card.