Last month I had interactions with customer service at both American Express and Chase. American Express was for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Chase was for my Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card. All of them were excellent; really quite efficient, and in each case the representatives were not only knowledgeable but quite personable. Oddly enough… my top two card right now too.
My call for the SPG Card was a follow-up to a call from American Express and email I received about suspicious activity. Email + phone call were both received from Amex within the same minute… impressive. I spoke with Anna from American Express Fraud Prevention who wanted to confirm if I had attempted to make a charge with an international electronics retailer. I buy a lot of stuff online; too much, but I went through my email and scratched my head and couldn’t think of anything. A $740 charge for some computer equipment could have been me, but in this case it most certainly wasn’t. Anna indicated that American Express hadn’t approved the charge, and that it appears as though my card number had been compromised (sigh). The sigh is because I memorize a few of my cards, especially the ones I use frequently, and this was one of them… I was getting a new card number.
The card was sent overnight UPS; I had it by 12:30pm the next day… and had the new card number (and CID) memorized within 5 minutes. Simple and straightforward. The nice bonus to this whole process comes from whatever back-end systems American Express has in place, because the day after I received the following email:
Well done American Express; thanks for the heads up. In total about 20 vendors were listed and of them I updated 10 sites (including Amazon, iTunes, and GoGo). This saved me the frustration of later having to deal with last minute changes… and also prompted me to update an international vendor I have been using to move them off my SPG Amex to my Chase Sapphire Preferred to avoid foreign transaction fees. While frustrating to have to go through the process of getting a new card and number, American Express did what they could to make it as painless as possible. Bravo.
Moving on to Chase and the Sapphire Preferred…
One of the nice things about calling up customer service for the Sapphire Preferred card is that you get a person. An automated agent answers and asks you to have your card number ready… but you provide that card number to a human. Total wait time: 8 seconds. I chatted with Julie for two minutes about what was going on in Savannah, before we actually got to my request… but it felt quite natural. I was looking to lower the cash advance limit on my card to $0. She indicated that she couldn’t do it and that she’d have to get someone from lending. She placed me on a brief hold (25 seconds) and came back with Jim on the line. Julie introduced him, passed me over and Jim continued the discussion. He thanked me for being a Chase customer, repeated my request I had provided to Julie (which I confirmed) and he took care of it in about 10 seconds. He asked if there was anything else he could help with; thanked me again, and that was that. Total call time: 4 minutes 11 seconds.
While my call to Chase was quite simple and was me initiating the request it was still another great experience.
Neither of these experiences were out of this world, nor were they horrible. Just everyday frustration-free interactions with companies that make a pretty penny off of me each year. I’ve heard recently different experiences from customer service agents associated with other cards… perhaps less premium cards that Amex and Chase offer. Is this your experience, or are you having consistent frustration-free experiences?
For those a little more interested in how these two did in J.D. Power rankings… personally, I take rankings like this with a grain of salt and instead talk to people similar to me. Those that have expectations, spend patterns, and wants from a credit card to figure out service-wise who’s the best for me.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.