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Forums Payment cards American Express Centurion changes

  • cats_are_best 111 posts

    Just received a box with a hardback book in it describing changes.

    Positives…

    Choice of three card designs, I’m having the Kehinde Wiley one with the foliage.
    A new Prada ‘wearable card’, basically a leather wrist strap with a hidden chip.
    “Up to”…
    … £500 Harvey Nicks credit, split as 4 equal quarterly credits.
    …£500 CLOS19 credit, same split as HN.
    …8 roundtrip limo airport transfers per year for any flight booked via Centurion booking service.

    Negative…

    Not mentioned in the book, but relegated to a cover letter, the annual fee is getting a hefty hike to £3,400 (over 50% increase).

    Only just renewed so will see if any other positives emerge, otherwise I think it’ll be back to Platinum next time around.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,379 posts

    Whoa ….

    I mean, it was bad value at £1800 ….

    jj 560 posts

    But it’s Prada, darling. Prada! A bargain at twice the price.

    can 506 posts

    Limo trips would cover half the fee unless you live close to lhr

    AJA 1,158 posts

    Wow £3400 per year just to have the card? I find £250 for the BAPP just about acceptable and can’t justify the £595 for the Amex Platinum in addition. I’m definitely not a candidate for the Centurion, Prada or not.

    John 1,098 posts

    Limo trips would cover half the fee unless you live close to lhr

    … if you normally pay for a limo to LHR (and isn’t it any airport)

    can 506 posts

    Limo trips would cover half the fee unless you live close to lhr

    … if you normally pay for a limo to LHR (and isn’t it any airport)

    ..when my helipad is under construction, I have to

    CarpalTravel 381 posts

    “8 roundtrip limo airport transfers per year for any flight booked via Centurion booking service.”

    Obviously this card is not marketed towards people like me so I have no working knowledge of how good the services are, but that sounds a lot like one of those sorts of deals you see at hotels.

    E.g. £1000 for 5 nights or £1300 for 5 nights and “free” breakfast.

    Lady London 2,178 posts

    The thing is, does the Centurion card have the cachet for that size annual fee? (As there’s not that much other value unless @NigelthePensioner can tell us of any?)

    I would say not.

    Is Amex actually trying to kill these cards at the higher end? (This, and the Plat where the story on value is getting stretched.)

    moe8555 41 posts

    A UK Centurion member in a different forum recently reported that the travel service secured him five first class tickets at a price that was 12K below the public business class price for the same exact flights. He claimed the price did not show up on Amex Travel IAP fares and was only available by contacting travel services. So perhaps there is more than meets the eye?

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 7 months ago by .
    Harrods 125 posts

    Funky three (tacky) designs have been available in the US for a while now

    nw8727 22 posts

    MY father has the card and as a family we all use the perks from it.

    The biggest issue recently has been the Concierge service has been very hit and miss and how seemingly it is impossible to get into any of the events.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,379 posts

    A UK Centurion member in a different forum recently reported that the travel service secured him five first class tickets at a price that was 12K below the public business class price for the same exact flights. He claimed the price did not show up on Amex Travel IAP fares and was only available by contacting travel services. So perhaps there is more than meets the eye?

    Emyr would probably have had the same deal. Airlines tend to bung unpublished deals to selected travel agent groups.

    Harry T 101 posts

    A UK Centurion member in a different forum recently reported that the travel service secured him five first class tickets at a price that was 12K below the public business class price for the same exact flights. He claimed the price did not show up on Amex Travel IAP fares and was only available by contacting travel services. So perhaps there is more than meets the eye?

    Emyr would probably have had the same deal. Airlines tend to bung unpublished deals to selected travel agent groups.

    Emyr can book flights?

    OldFashioned 52 posts

    I got informed of these changes back in February and while the increase in fee is offset to a degree by the two £500 credits, which I can easily use the transfers are a different matter.

    The 8 roundtrip transfers are actually for domestic flights (any class) booked with Centurion travel, which is limiting in itself, what is more limiting is the 40 mile radius, which like so many things about the Centurion card is very much aimed at people within the London area. I realise that the vast amjority of card holders are London based, but for those who are not and happen not to live within 40 miles of the airport its very limiting, a alternative of Heathrow Express tcikets may have been a better option, but I am sure that would have been a benifit they would then expect people to actually use!

    They have said they are aware that the Centurion program in the UK has been falling very short of the mark and this is a step towards a total revamp in regards service as well, I am doubtfull to say the least, but as my renewal is a month before the changes, it works very well for me to test out and see how it goes! The also offered be a very large amount of points not to cancel, which I accepted.

    Lady London 2,178 posts

    @OldFashioned “a very large amount of points not to cancel”

    – what exact amount? Large is not the same to everyone.

    – what strings were attached? Spend $$$, retain x months, or none?

    davidl 31 posts

    My RM called me a few weeks back to discuss the changes.

    The servicing model is getting a major overhaul.

    Card Accounts go into pods who then have 20 managers to service your account. The hours the pods work are 7 days a week and much longer Monday to Friday than the current RM teams. Each Pod has an Executive.. in my case what was my RM. The Exec is responsible for the relationship and to try and pre-empt your needs.

    The phone system picks up your card and directs you to your pod. Over time you will have a dedicated team to your card.

    Agree the jury is still out on the fee. I’m about 48 miles from LHR and I was told they are going to try and make things work. Even to save the airport parking it’s worth it.

    I’m the old free til December so have time to see if works..

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 7 months ago by .
    davidl 31 posts

    I got informed of these changes back in February and while the increase in fee is offset to a degree by the two £500 credits, which I can easily use the transfers are a different matter.

    The 8 roundtrip transfers are actually for domestic flights (any class) booked with Centurion travel, which is limiting in itself, what is more limiting is the 40 mile radius, which like so many things about the Centurion card is very much aimed at people within the London area. I realise that the vast amjority of card holders are London based, but for those who are not and happen not to live within 40 miles of the airport its very limiting, a alternative of Heathrow Express tcikets may have been a better option, but I am sure that would have been a benifit they would then expect people to actually use!

    They have said they are aware that the Centurion program in the UK has been falling very short of the mark and this is a step towards a total revamp in regards service as well, I am doubtfull to say the least, but as my renewal is a month before the changes, it works very well for me to test out and see how it goes! The also offered be a very large amount of points not to cancel, which I accepted.

    Youllnever 183 posts

    My RM called me a few weeks back to discuss the changes.

    The servicing model is getting a major overhaul.

    Card Accounts go into pods who then have 20 managers to service your account. The hours the pods work are 7 days a week and much longer Monday to Friday than the current RM teams. Each Pod has an Executive.. in my case what was my RM. The Exec is responsible for the relationship and to try and pre-empt your needs.

    The phone system picks up your card and directs you to your pod. Over time you will have a dedicated team to your card.

    Agree the jury is still out on the fee. I’m about 48 miles from LHR and I was told they are going to try and make things work. Even to save the airport parking it’s worth it.

    I’m the old free til December so have time to see if works..

    Very intriguing. I wonder how many pods there are to service all the centurion cardmembers in the UK.

    OldFashioned 52 posts

    @OldFashioned “a very large amount of points not to cancel”

    – what exact amount? Large is not the same to everyone.

    – what strings were attached? Spend $$$, retain x months, or none?

    No strings other than a request to be discreet, so as far as I am willing to say is that its is considerably larger than any sign up bonus for any card there has been in the UK.

    OldFashioned 52 posts

    Funky three (tacky) designs have been available in the US for a while now

    I have to say my thoughts are similar, more cheapens it. Thankfully can keep the card as it is and not have to switch. As for the Prada wearable, from my point of view less said the better!

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 7 months ago by .
    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,379 posts

    Emyr can book flights?

    Yes. The reason we don’t promote it is that there is minimal margin EXCEPT on special deals and they are not meant to be openly pushed.

    What you might not know is that the travel agency business is a bit bent when it comes to flights. Airlines desperate to shift tickets will offer deals to agents but these are not meant to be passed on. You are meant to charge the standard rate and pocket the difference.

    So, for eg, Virgin may offer a £3k ticket to agents for £1.5k. They are not meant to sell it for £1.5k. Next time a customer wants to go to that destination, the agent is meant to pick Virgin over BA etc, charge £3k and pocket £1.5k profit. Publicising these deals wouldn’t make anyone popular.

    Harry T 101 posts

    Emyr can book flights?

    Yes. The reason we don’t promote it is that there is minimal margin EXCEPT on special deals and they are not meant to be openly pushed.

    What you might not know is that the travel agency business is a bit bent when it comes to flights. Airlines desperate to shift tickets will offer deals to agents but these are not meant to be passed on. You are meant to charge the standard rate and pocket the difference.

    So, for eg, Virgin may offer a £3k ticket to agents for £1.5k. They are not meant to sell it for £1.5k. Next time a customer wants to go to that destination, the agent is meant to pick Virgin over BA etc, charge £3k and pocket £1.5k profit. Publicising these deals wouldn’t make anyone popular.

    thanks, Rob, very interesting. I’ll contact Emyr next time I’m looking for flights. He’s been great for hotels!

    George K 311 posts

    These Centurion changes went live in the US a couple of years ago (Prada bracelet, new designs etc), which makes me wonder if the funky US Platinum card designs will ever trickle through to the UK versions…

    rogernet 3 posts

    Just got my ‘book’ too, love the hidden charges letter.

    I had someone who worked in Centurion team for a while before leaving as it was a ‘sales cess pit’. Apparently it’s just an ethos even into training of ‘Centurion members are ultra wealthy and don’t care about cost’, whereas, quite obviously, the majority are quite the blinking opposite. Therefore it’s commission based bun fight as opposed to the service it should be (and really should be for this extra hike).

    How accurate the above is I don’t know but I have known them a long time and they love good Customer Service.

    Travel insurance for my parents (mid 70s and centurion covers to 80 not 70 like Plat) is massive benefit in isolation and I run the fee through the business but even so it’s punchy.

    Service levels since they went to new model have been truly awful. it’s apparently been escalated but I haven’t heard from my account manager or whatever fancy title they have now. Restaurants they used to be able to get you a table they now ‘can’t’. I know this to be a lie as I was at Amazonico on Saturday night with centurion said there were no tables. Email to Assistant GM and straight in – they certainly weren’t totally full. That really sticks in the craw.

    Got got a decent sum of points to renew (6 figures but lower end to be discrete) last year and also generally can’t get into any of the events save one which was Champagne related and was ok.

    Agree on flights – Limo is ok for me from Central London but SkyScanner and Uber Exec is always way cheaper haha.

    On odd occasion (Peninsula Hong Kong) they did amazing deal/upgrade etc but basically no one cares about the card which they are ‘supposed to’.

    £500 split into four is just annoying and dumb – especially if you want to buy an £180 bottle for example – but I guess that’s the idea!

    Fancy cards I couldn’t care less about frankly but it’s the lack of service and terrible pricing. Points help of course with transfer to anything.

    If it wasn’t for insurance I am not sure I would bother.

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