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beware american express travellers cheque card

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tallahassee,fl
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27 posts
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beware american express travellers cheque card

I spent 4 hours on the phone last week complaining to american express about their travellers cheque card and then just yesterday received a form letter in reply. Here is my story. I hope people can find it deep in these forum pages but I am an avid reader of trip advisor & feel an obligation to warn travellers about the card.

April 2006, my husband and I took a trip to the Yucatan. We did not just go to Cancun but also to Merida and to several other smaller towns in the area. I had read about this area being primarily a cash economy and the smaller hotels requested payment in pesos. I purchased a couple thousand dollars of American Express travellers cheques cards for this purpose. I called american express traveles cheque card prior to purchasing to inquire about acceptance of the travellers cheque card at ATM's in the Yucatan. I was told "no problem our card is accepted at 10000 ATMs and businesses all over Mexico" I also purchased the cards because they came with a "buy one domestic airfare get one free"

We ended up just about stranded in Mexico with no money because the american express cheque card was not accepted anywhere. I was able to cash in one for $500 at the american express office in Merida but that was a major pain. The card was not accepted at any business or any ATM. When we got back I called American Express to complain. They still claimed it was accepted everywhere in Mexico. Finally the complaint department looked it up. Guess what, they could not find any place in Quantana Roo or Yucatan which accepted the card.

Problem two, which i believe constitues fraud, is the free companion airfare. My husband and I received our companion airfare vouchers in the mail and planned on using them to take our two daughters from Tallahassee to Seattle in August. I met all the criteria on the voucher and beleive me there are many many restrictions. First I found out Tallahassee was not a major airport to fly from. This is not listed on the restrictions & i found this out after being on hold for 1/2 hour. So I said "ok we will fly from Jacksonville" Well American Express's designated travel agency could not find a flight from Jacksonville to Seattle for over $379. This was their designated per ticket price. I was looking at all the airfares from the southeast to seattle on the internet . The fares ranged from 350 to 900 dollars round trip. The american express travel agency could not find any airfare anywhere from a "major airport" in the southeast for over 379. I have been routinely flying to seattle for several years now and I am always absolutely thrilled if I can find a flight for less than $400. I believe the booking agency american express has choosen to handle their companion airfare program purposely puts travellers in a catch 22 situation. You must book through them but yet they quote prices so low they do not meet the criteria.

I really really trusted American Express. I have had an Amex green card for many years. I did not expect such a rip off and out and out lies from them. Please please do not let yourself be stranded in a foreign country like we were without any cash. Do not buy the American Express Traveller Cheque Card and do not allow yourself to be lured into the free companion airfare offer like we were.

Memphis
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1. Re: beware american express travellers cheque card

You might want to post this in the Mexico forum.

Somewhere on Earth...
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2. Re: beware american express travellers cheque card

szamp,

Really sorry you had such a problem. I've read before about someone else who had an issue using the AMEX travelers cheques. We travel frequently in the caribbean and never use travelers checks - just our credit card (either AMEX or VISA) and cash. We have never had a problem with acceptance of one of the credit cards anywhere we go, including the four times we've been to Mexico from Cancun down south close to Belize. I think the issue is more with the travelers checks for some reason.

Thanks for posting. Maybe your experience can benefit others before traveling outside the states.

New Orleans
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3. Re: beware american express travellers cheque card

good post, buat keep in mind that AMEX's traveler check card is NOT the same as their credit (actually charge) card...

American Express is about as bogus as evrybody else, here lately they have changed the rules and terms of conditions on the use of their cards sort of sneeky-ly and they are under investigation for it...the have sent out NEW agreements that state your future or continued use (moving forward) constitutes acceptance of the new terms of the legal agreement.....read we can JACK UP YOUR interst rates....it's happened to neighbors,lawyers, relatives of mine...so watch out, they also now have the right to review your non-AMEX accounts and total credit score and 'adjust' your rates (always up) even if you have a perfect 20 year history of payment with THEM....it happened to my brother, who all of a sudden had a 125.00 bogus charge back from Cingular telephone which appeared on the Equifax report....and the Cingular charge back was not even his...he never even had used Cingular, but AMEX relied on the bozos at EQUIFAX (and if you've EVER dealt with these morons in Atlanta you'll know what I mean).....after getting the Equifax report corrected, which took 35 days (yep), AMEX refused to lower the rate back down to the original rate.

Go figure, even when you call AMEX these days you can't talk to someone in the US, more than likely you'll talk to someone in Pakistan ! or India !

tallahassee,fl
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4. Re: beware american express travellers cheque card

i have never had any problems with the amex credit cards i have. i was told by amex i should use the amex cheque card just like i use the credit card with the exception i could not use it to guarantee hotel rooms or rental car

I also apologize for posting this in Memphis forum. I thought i was posting on a general forum under amex.

After being on the phone for an hour thisl morning again i finally got my free companion airfare. I talked to supervisors at both amex and the travel agency and explained that i had all ready posted on tripadvisor and would post on other travel forums as well as contact our local tv and attorney general office. the companion airfare is nice but still does not rectify being stuck in Mexico unable to access our cash from the cheque card.

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