American Express Travel Logo

American Express Travel

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7 User Reviews

While many people recognize American Express as a credit card company, they also double as a travel booking service with their online platform. The New York-based company started its travel arm in 1915 and has since become the primary focal point of the public company.

American Express is synonymous with offering some of the best travel rewards. The online travel company makes it possible for travelers to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises. Customers can choose to plan their next trip either directly online or enlist the services of an American Express Travel Insider. Travelers can also book their next trips with points earned from completing purchases with their American Express credit card. 

Read on for American Express Travel pros and cons. 

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The Good

  • Accommodations
  • Rewards Program
  • Social Media
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cruises

Accommodations

American Express Travel is a service that allows travelers to book their flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and other vacation packages. There is also the option to book accommodations in a bundle to earn additional rewards and save. Additional discounts are also available, but travelers may not always get to take advantage of these savings depending on travel time. American Express travel has created a platform for travelers to book their dream vacation or a casual business trip by maximizing reward earnings.

Rewards Program

American Express's travel rewards are among the best in the nation. The membership rewards program allows for double points earned and is designed so customers can use points to pay for travel expenses. In addition to earning American Express points, travelers can also earn rewards with Delta. American Express double points work as follows:

  • Earnings - Customers can earn double Membership Rewards points on each dollar of eligible purchases made when customers book using a membership rewards program-enrolled American Express Card on the American Express Travel website
  • Exclusions and Restrictions - Eligible purchases are all traveling purchases, excluding car reservations and non-prepaid hotels, booked through amextravel.com on your Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express Card

One of the greatest advantages of American Express rewards is the fact that travelers can pay for an entire trip using points. These rewards points can be redeemed at checkout and travelers do not have to pay hidden or extra fees as their rewards points can cover it all. Redemption works as follows:

  • Redeem - Customers can use Membership Rewards points to pay for all or part of their flight, hotel booked and paid in advance (prepaid hotel), vacation or cruise booking.com
  • Limitations - When customers book their flight(s) with American Express, there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Earn airline miles - Customers can still earn frequent flyer miles with their favorite airlines when using Membership Rewards points

Social Media

Customers can stay connected to American Express travel by following the online agency on Facebook and Twitter. Customers can also receive special offers and updates from American by signing up for the email listing. American Express often times offers email exclusive discounts or limited time options found on their social media platforms.

Travel Insurance

American Express also offers travel insurance for customers. This allows travelers who are not entirely set on their travel arrangements to get a refund in the event that they are unable to make the trip. Travel protection does cost a minimum fee (just like any other form of insurance) and it breaks down as follows:

  • Customized so customers can only choose the coverage they need
  • Purchased as a package starting at $59 per person

Cruises

Travelers that book cruises through American Express Travel also receive additional benefits. For instance, travelers can earn on-board credits to spend on various amenities. There are also call-in offers as well that result in additional savings or shipboard credits.

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The Bad

  • No Comparison Tool
  • Destinations
  • Hotel Chain Limitations
  • Additional Charges

No Comparison Tool

American Express does not provide a comparison tool to travelers looking to find the best deal available. If a traveler wants to see other offers found on travel booking sites, they will need to navigate to all sites prior to booking. American Express only lists rates of participating providers.

Destinations

For travelers who are looking for the best travel deals to Asia will most likely not find such deals with American Express travel. The destinations for many of the deals are to places in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. The most popular destinations that maximize rewards and savings include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Rome
  • Venice
  • Paris
  • Wailea Makena, HI
  • Aruba

Hotel Chain Limitations

However, even with their travel partnerships, American Express is limited in terms of participating hotel chains and destinations. Prior to making travel plans, users should make sure that American Express Travel will support the type of vacation desired and have deals in the region they wish to travel to.

Additional Charges

Along with not having a wide variety of deals, customers also need to be aware that prices listed are the average "base rate" per night. The listed price does not include taxes and other fees. Prices are subject to change at any time so customers must be prepared to account for added charges.

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The Bottom Line

With a double point system in place, travelers maximize rewards points while simultaneously booking comfortable or luxurious vacations/trips. On the other hand, choosing American Express may mean a poor customer service experience and hidden fees. Those that use American Express Travel can expect the following from the service:

  1. Unparalleled rewards
  2. Travel protection
  3. Book all accommodations
  4. No comparison tool
  5. Limited providers

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Star Rating

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7 Reviews

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1 grade

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Leslie Knowlton ,

Booked a car and had horrible experience with vendor. Tried to get help from American Express travel, was put on hold for an hour and then after explaining everything, was transferred to another place that couldn’t help at all. Called again when got home from trip and again placed on hold for 40 minutes so just gave up. Do not book through them!

1 month ago

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Pete Stafford, VA

I had to change a set of international airline tickets through American Express Travel. Original price of tickets: $3470. Some comments: first, the lady couldn't find flights for me--I had to give her specific flight numbers that I found on Google Flights while I was listening to her typing and clicking away on her keyboard; second, a $300 change fee, plus a ticket fee from the airline. As I was changing 3 tickets, change fee = $1117 (32% of the original ticket price). Because one of the legs was cheaper than the original set of tickets, the lady had to call the airlines to work out an airline credit "because of the fare rules" and would not take it off the $1117 charge. Lastly, I was on the phone for about an hour. Not sure what exactly took so long, but I could have accomplished the same through Google Flights (where I found the specific flights for her) in 10-20 minutes w/ tickets that had some flexibility without requiring a $300 fee/ticket. I would expect Amex Platinum to treat their customers a little better and make the process a little more competitive. Not worth getting 5X points.

1 year ago

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Mehrdad Zamani San Jose, CA

I stayed at W Barcelona from 4/22/19 to 4/24/19 and then I booked one more night for 4/24/19 and I cancelled it in less than one hour because of family emergency , I've followed up with hotel management and also I sent the doctor's note but after 2 month back and forth they said they won't be able to refund the money back, Basically the charged me $428 for nothing, this is so frustrating and I was so disappointed , After that hotel approved the full refund even I had the full refund confirmation email from hotel but AMEX Travel keep avoiding to give my money back and last time they put me on hold for 3 hours on the phone, BASICALLY AMEX TRAVEL STOLE MY MONEY this was worst experience with AMEX TRAVEL

1 year ago

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yogi Leander, TX

I've had terrible experience with them numerous times. The travel agents there are greedy, trying to make as much as they can . I booked a flight through Amex Travel and My flight got cancelled, when I called American Airlines, the airline informed me about Amex getting the credit and that I had to work with Amex getting a refund since I booked through them. When I called Amex they put me on hold for 2 hours and 30 minutes and told that i had to pay additional exorbitant of money to rebook the flight. it was twice as much as listed on their site. When i called them second time they again put me on hold for 1 and half hour and said they would call me back, but never did. They have my airline credit , but wouldn't refund me while American airlines clearly mentioned that its a refundable ticket because of cancellation.

1 year ago

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Tracy Ross Peachtree City, GA

I am a Platinum Card holder and thought I would get excellent service by using the Amex Online Travel. Booked a hotel in Thailand and showed up, the hotel said they had refused the booking as they were full. Called Amex Travel and they were not helpful at all, they told me to dispute the charge as it was a pre-paid booking and the charge already went through. I tried to dispute the charge with American Express and they continue to transfer me to Online Travel. They will not credit back my card. Not only did I spend money on a boat and taxi service to get to the hotel, but I sat out on the street for 4 hours trying to sort out the reservation and find a new place to stay. A week later I am still trying to get a credit back for a hotel I did not stay in. Do yourself a favor and Do NOT USE Amex Online Travel Services, they are the worst and don't care if you have been an Amex card holder for over 10 years.

2 years ago

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Martin Lanigan Basking Ridge, NJ

Absolutely terrible ...will never use again .. Booked an international trip with AMEX for my family, at their recommendation with a boutique airline, La Compagnie ...having never flown or heard of La Compagnie, I was to reliability etc..AMEX Travel (Erin) assured me there was nothing to worry about .. I book my flights and two months later get a call about a “wrinkle”..the wrinkle being the airline no longer flies to Charles de Gaulle and so my flights and connections no longer work .. Their solution. ..? ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... Well..you can get a refund ...or add days to each side of your trip. I requested they put us other carriers for the leg at the same price and refused ...five times ...each level up (Britney, Constance and Shelby) all tried to humor me with same script ...while telling me if I want a comparable trip it now $6,000 more !!! They assumed no responsibility for recommended an unstable boutique airline that failed to honor tickets bought two months ago for a flight 75 days from now ... AMEX Travel has zero credibility, as does La Companie .... I will never use AMEX Travel again and no one should trust La Compagnie as a viable airline ...

3 years ago

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Craig Meier

It's very time consuming to find business flights with specific times to fit our busy schedule

2 years ago

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