AMEX and Chase both have great travel reward credit cards but there's one big difference with AMEX if you have a family that travels a lot and travels independent of each other.

AMEX Platinum: Not All Premium Cards Are Created Equal

Currently us four Gottliebs are on two continents. Of the three here in North America only two of us are in California. This is not unusual. We travel a lot. We travel for business. We travel for pleasure. If we’re really lucky we travel for a little monkey business.

We are a family on the move.

Back in 2011 someone got ahold of my Chase account number and could have financially destroyed us (shred everything people!). The help I got from my local branch was nothing short of spectacular and I’ve been a happy customer since.

I really liked Chase’s Sapphire Credit Card and when the Sapphire Reserve Card made its debut it was a no-brainer. That card pays for itself by March every year and the miles are really the best ever. I ended up taking my family of four to Europe, business class, for $900.

Because the Sapphire Reserve Card is so generous with its benefits I’d come dangerously close to canceling my Platinum American Express Card, particularly because the fees for it rose this year. When AMEX added $200 a year of Uber (we use quite a bit more than that as a family) to the $200 flight credits, and threw in free gold cards for four more people I decided that I’d wait a year before canceling the card. I decided that I’d do the math and only jettison cards that didn’t pay for themselves.

We all have both the AMEX and the Chase Credit card.

The Platinum AMEX paid for itself this week in a way that I’ve learned only AMEX can. 

My daughter is traveling in Europe. My husband was in New York. My son and I were in Los Angeles and my AMEX was being used in Portland Oregon. This isn’t really that big of a deal on a normal day. You call AMEX, alert them to the fraud and typically a card arrives before 48 hours has passed.

The only reason that this was a very big deal was because Mr. G’s Chase card had been stolen the week prior and replacements had been sent after our daughter had already left for Europe. This means that she would have two credit cards that didn’t work and that I’d have to throw cash onto her debit card and hope for the best. Typically a terrible plan with a teenager for a million different reasons.

I called American Express, possibly while hyperventilating, and explained the situation to the lady on the other end of the line. She commiserated about how annoying all this theft is and then explained to me that my daughter’s card wasn’t stolen.

Yes it was!!! I might have been shrill.

Then she explained me that that even though it’s one account we all have different card numbers so when one is lost or stolen they needn’t all be replaced.

I will never get rid of that American Express. I’d never checked the cards closely (only the bills/balances – eek!) and hadn’t realized that our numbers were different. I can’t imagine why other banks don’t offer this within their accounts. It’s easy to offer customers rewards. What’s not easy is protecting a traveller and her family.

I do have one complaint about both of these cards. They’re made of metal. Does no one at AMEX or Chase have a manicure or a new wallet? Do they not understand that when credit cards don’t bend a little they’re near impossible to get out of a wallet? I know it’s an absurd problem since I mostly use apple pay anyhow. But really…. plastic. We want our plastic to be plastic.