American Express Gift Cards

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Don't buy this card, save your money. THIS IS SEVERE HORSE **. I went to go buy a watch that was $140.83 on Amazon and they took my money out of my account and Amazon "claims they don't have it." SO MY 140 DOLLARS IS FLOATING IN LIMBO SOMEWHERE ON THE PLANET.

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Be aware - to use your Amex gift card on Amazon. You must convert it to an Amazon e-gift card first. When you do that Amazon puts a $1 hold on the card. So, if you have a $50 Amex card, you can only convert $49 to an Amazon e-gift card. They are counting on either 1) you give up trying to use the card ("I can't use this at the grocery store, gas station, the restaurant or even Amazon!") or 2) at least they'll skim that $1 that they can keep if you do figure out how to use it. You can probably get that $1 back at some point - but who has the time and energy to waste on that. Very sneaky. Stick with good old cash or check.

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We received 7 Amex gift cards for the holidays and two birthdays in December 2016. One card didn't work, won't scan, yet when I call had $75 on it as it should. More than 30 minutes on the phone with them they said they would send a new one. I get two letters in the mail saying they won't replace without the gift receive. The gifts were from someone with an Amex card, but he does not have the receipts as he gave out gift cards to all of his nieces and nephews, not just our kids. My daughter is now out the $75. I WILL NEVER BUY AMEX GIFT CARDS and will tell all I know not to as well. They now made the card inactive so that we can't even use it online without the defective scanning strip. Disgraceful!

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These cards seem like a nice gift, but have so much conflicting instructions and restrictions they often end up worthless. A card is labeled 'Funds do not expire' yet they also have an expiry date on them. They are supposedly subject to the federal credit card act (that puts clear, concrete terms on when they can expire, and when they can begin charging service fees) but speaking to AmEx customer service you would swear no such laws ever existed, since they insist the funds have expired and nothing can be done (even when you point out the clear conflict with existing federal and state law, I.e. a card less than 12 months old that has 'expired').

Then they blame the company that gave/sold them to you, saying it is their fault and there is nothing AmEx can do (except collect the fees for providing this worthless card to you). The 'Terms and Conditions' that state 'Subject to Applicable Law' should say 'Subject to final decision of AmEx customer service, that has no authority to make the card comply with applicable laws'. Try to use these as quickly as you can, else any value in them promptly disappears.

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I have received at least 20 Amex gift cards this year. I have had problems with at least half of them! What a pain! Recently one of them was not working, I called Amex and literally was on the phone with a rep. who insisted it was valid. So frustrating, I know how to use a gift card and until I got her to send me another one was so exhausting. I received the new one today (had to wait 2 weeks) with the remaining balance from the card that didn't work. This one doesn't work either!!! I've had it, please do yourself a favor, buy Visa gift cards, so much easier to deal with!

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I went to use the gift card and it was declined. Standing there with an arm full of items. Felt like a jerk. I called the number on the card and it's all automated. Can't get the card to work. IT'S USELESS. DON'T be FOOLED into giving one. YOU might as well throw in the garbage which is where this one is going.

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I purchased a nice gift card for the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles for my sister. It was her birthday on 11/23. The first transaction declined my credit card. My bank picked it up as fraud and I didn't know about it until it was too late. (That was my fault for not seeing the AMEX email that it was declined for potential fraud). I reordered the gift card on 11/23, knowing it would be slightly late. Shipping does not usually take the full 10 days to ship. Most companies just say that for safety purposes. Of course though for AMEX that's their slow turnaround and you shouldn't expect anything better!

I called a few times to see where my gift was in the mail. They don't purchase trackers so they couldn't tell me. Of course their response was to call us back! (And wait in line on the Support line....again...) On 10th day, still not received. Lost in the mail. I called AMEX about 6 times. Funny thing is though you can't bypass the gift card service line without an account number. It's a gift card - I don't have an account number! So I had to call the main line, and then get transferred, which means double the wait times, repeat conversions, etc. Multiply that x6 with a few dropped calls and you'll understand my frustrations!

There's no 1 rep I can talk to. They have to transfer me to 3 different departments. And they ask you to reconfirm your identity and tell them what the problem is each and every time :)... By this time, it's already 3 weeks past her birthday. Rather than express delivering so she at least gets it before Christmas, they say it'll take 7 business days and that's the best they can do because they take 5 days to process and create the card. So it's now 1 month late. They REALLY don't care, do they? Don't provide gifts if you can't deliver on time. It's your liability when the mail loses packages. It gets better, she's traveling for Christmas so will most likely not be able to see it until after Christmas. So much for a Birthday gift, I might as well cancel it and never buy from AMEX again.

Oh by the way, this is not my first bad experience with AMEX. I once had a credit card with them and it was the same thing. They're cheap and they don't care about the customer. Worst customer service out of all the different credit card companies/banks. I will not own an AMEX credit card in the future for this reason. And now I will never buy AMEX gift cards either...... Happy Holidays AMEX!

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On leaving a health organisation, a whole range of people including children raised £50 for an Amex gift card as part of my leaving gift. We managed to use it at our local supermarket to spend £25 nearly two years ago, and after that it has been declined at Argos, Homebase, Pizza Express and Sainsbury's. I tried to use it on ebay and Amazon and often with great difficulty. The reasons provided by Amex Customer Service - I use the term loosely - is that the merchant is not on line.

Eventually someone managed to explain to me what that meant. It meant that if the actual merchant was not registered with Amex, we would not be able to buy from them. BUT, the only way to find out is by attempting a purchase. Instead of being able to spend the £50, we have been charged £1.50 per month for not spending the money, which we have effectively been unable to spend. I have shared the full schedule of attempts with the individual who purchased the card and they are horrified. Needless to say, I will never buy an Amex gift card, and nor will my friend who is now debating whether to retain her Amex credit card.

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I received 2 American Express gift cards for $500.00 each. I had no problem with the 1st but the 2nd I used in 2 places and now it isn't being accepted. Nor is it accepted online. I tried several times to call the # on the card but I can't get a live person and continually get hung up on.

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I tried 4 times with 4 calls to customer support to order a $3,000 gift card and kept getting an error message "Unable to complete your order please call **" and when I called they said the error was on Chase's end but Chase had no record of the purchase so I finally had to give up. Glad I did after reading these reviews, yikes!

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Ok, so I just got a $250 Amex gift card (2 days ago) and I made 2 online purchases this morning, one of which is still pending on confirmation for a (1) business day. Fast forward to later in the evening, and now I'm @ home trying to order supplements online from a naturalist Canadian health store and for some reason my card isn't being accepted, no matter how much I re-enter the card info.

By now my thumbs are sore from re-entering all my card info so damn much so I decide to give the merchant a call. Their customer service rep that I contacted was able to find the fault and judging from all the previous comments on this issue. I'm sure you can surmise what the problem was: faulty Amex. But it wasn't the actual card itself, my card had been put on hold because the bank is thinking the card is fraudulent and I would need to contact them to approve my transaction; this is what the Canadian customer rep told me. There was more than sufficient funds on the card ($196.40).

This led me to the Amex gift card customer service trying to get the issue resolved, but to no avail. I talked to the Automated voice machine (Mrs. terminator) and got no help. By now I'm @ my wit's end, so I google what I can about who else had these problems like me. Lo and behold I find you guys and all your much needed honesty. My case may not be the worst, but reading all the other entries doesn't necessarily make me feel any more optimistic about my situation not going to the crapper like everyone else's. I will try to order from the health store again In a day or two but it just may already be too late for me to get anything out of this gift card. #Amexgiftcardsux.

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I redeemed miles for a $250 American Express Gift card under the understanding that I could use it online, specifically with PayPal. However, I have not been able to link the card to my PayPal account. I have been on the phone for at least 4 hours between AE and PP. Then I tried to use it a Canadian website, same thing. The error message says that the card was declined by the issuer.

I have talked to at least 5 incompetent people in AE and they all tell me different things. Finally I talked to a "senior" person who was the most incompetent of all. He said that my PayPal account is setup in Singapore (I am in Ontario Canada) and that if I want to use it, I could go to a store. The whole idea of the prepaid card was to use it online. Now I am stuck with a $250 that nobody wants to accept.

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This seems to be an inside job from the reviews I'm reading on this site and other sites. I had this SERVE card for 2 years with no problem that I noticed. Well last Friday I received my direct deposit and almost immediately all of my $461 were person to person debited. Called AMEX serve immediately and they started what they call a fraud investigation and I would receive a call in 48 hours. Never received the call. I then received an email saying I violated their service agreement and my account has been permanently closed!! WTF!?

I called today about this "investigation" only to be told it's been declined and I'm not getting my money back. I'm in tears because now my car is in jeopardy of being repossessed. They do not care at all, telling me to file a police report. What is the police going to do. The so called supervisor was clearly reading from script and could careless. Do not get this card and if you have it, get all your money off of it and cut it up. This is the worst day of my life with no recourse.

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I have found this card cannot be used at 99% of the places that I normally use - gas stations, grocery stores, department stores, etc. Additionally, I was unable to get cash from the card at numerous ATM machines. This card created so many inconveniences and wasted time and driving all over the place. It's even difficult trying to find business that accept this card through an on-line search. Never again.

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I purchased a $75.00 prepaid American Express gift card for my son. When my son tried to use the card he was told by the cashier that the card was never activated when purchased. I have been in contact with Amex numerous times to resolve this situation. Each time I have been in contact Amex has thwarted my efforts to recoup my money. I sent Amex clear photocopies of the gift card and receipts. Several times they claimed the copies were illegible. I followed up with very clear color copies included in the attached documentation. Amex is giving me the big runaround after attempting to recoup my money. Please help. I have exhausted my options with Amex. I have uploaded documentation and receipts.

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So I bought a $250 gift card to pay for my house rents because apparently I had issues with my credit card at the time. And I turned out paying to the bad guys who started by debiting $20 when I discovered and called customer service to have my card blocked to prevent access to my card which I was assured. Only then did I seat back to relax when I checked 3 days later and discovered more money had been taken out to the point of a negative balance as the lady (with a horrible accent) I spoke to didn't do anything to prevent access to card which I was totally shocked and dismayed at such a lack in work ethics and record irresponsibility of AMEX.

Called in immediately and was given the usual response to fax in front and back of card, drivers license, purchase receipt and brief description and that I will be contacted within a few days or call back to check in. I did all these and wasn't even given a case number and when I called back, first thing was asking for a case number which I wasn't given to begin with. I had to start explaining from scratch to all the support guys I called which I find absoeffinglutely outrageous!

Up to a month now, still nothing done and ironically the responses I get each time I called indirectly accusing me as though I didn't call to initially report the case and keep getting different responses each time, typical of their customer service - "unfortunately your card has no balance", "re-fax your documents", "the resolution team will examine your case..." all of which never makes sense and worst of all why do you keep saying, "Your call is being recorded for quality purposes" when you never and can't access the information or refer to previous conversation to go through the validity of the caller's claims. Never am I going to be using such a crappy company with sketchy service. BE ADVISED AND TELL YOUR LOVED ONES TO STAY CLEAR!!

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This is literally the 2nd AMEX gift card that I have received in the last 5 years that I cannot use. I called up 2 months ago because this last one expired. The person on the phone said - "yes there is $100 still on the card. Fax us the front and back of the card along with your driver's license and they will issue you a new gift card." 2 months later, NOTHING BACK! So I call again - 877 axp gift. They are now telling me the card was never funded!! Do you really think someone just gave me a gift card and didn't fund it? This is the absolute worst department to deal with. I will NEVER buy another gift card from AMEX ever again. I am so disgusted. This is total FRAUD!!

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I would not even rate them with one star. They are pretty bad at helping customers. They don't have a standard answer, kept giving me different answers each time. Hold times were long but I am pretty sure they don't know what they are doing over there. I lost my gift card without even opening the package and they kept insisting that I need to have the package in order for them to look up the card number. Then they said the receipt with which the card was purchased would suffice. I gave them all the numbers on the receipt but they couldn't find any information. They apparently don't know what number to look for exactly. They did not even provide any case number but asked for it when I called in for update.

Now they asked me to fax the receipt and identification information along with the proof of residence to the resolution department and boom they denied after the fax was received. When I asked to talk to the resolution department the answer I got was "they will not talk to you." What kind company doesn't want to talk to their customer. Maybe it was a gift card so they did not feel liable but the cardholder car rental insurance department is worse than that. It feels like they are all about business and no customer care.

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I placed an order online for some items and used my $3000 American Express gift card. The order didn't go through because the shoes I wanted were sold out. Nordstrom wrote an immediate email to me telling me the shoes I wanted were sold out. However when I went to use the gift card for another purchase 3 days later the website is saying "0" balance. American Express is "holding" the money for the order. When you call the number on the gift card you reach someone in India. My calls to representatives for the Platinum and Gold cards (both of which we have) were not helpful. They tell you, "You can only call India." NO one from American Express in the US backs these cards. If you want to lose money- buy a gift card. Don't do it! They do not refund money.

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I got an American Express gift card for $100 as a holiday gift. I tried to use it to make a purchase online (a donation), and the first purchase on PayPal went off just fine. However, there was a $1 service charge put in which I then had to look up online what that meant (it would be helpful if there was an explanation of that on the Amex website). According to what I found online it appeared the charge would eventually clear. So then I tried to use the rest of the balance on another website (another donation) and it was denied. However, the amount I tried to charge was on the card, so my balance was now 0$ but none of the money went where it was supposed to, now it was just in holding. It took about a week and a half for it to clear. Then I tried the purchase again with no luck. I even tried doing one less dollar to account for the 1$ service fee. No luck.

I waited another week and a half and went back to the PayPal site I used the first time. Again I tried and it didn't work. Finally after I waited for the charge to clear yet again, I was able to get rid of the remaining $49 (with $1 still on the card which was in holding and there's no way to use it now). Such a frustrating experience and I would never want one of these gift cards again, nor would I purchase one for another person.

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I had 6.34 dollars on the card. I went to put it towards a payment and they wouldn't let the payment go through. Then they charged me a dollar every time I tried to have the payment go through. I will never get another American Express Gift Card. I want them to return the money they took from the card.

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I purchased 8 American Express Gift Cards at CVS. After giving these out as gifts I was notified by a recipient that the card was declined. I checked all 8 of the cards on Amex Gift Card website and only 3 of the 8 were showing activated. I immediately contacted Amex Gift Card customer service. Was told I could not return the non-activated cards to CVS and that I would have to fax a copy of front/back of each card -- my receipt, copy of my driver license and a detail of what had occurred. Was told by a supervisor that after this info was reviewed that the cards would then be activated within 24 hours. After 48 hours and the cards still not showing activated. I called again and was told that my copy of DL was not readable. No one had bothered to call me and tell me this. I had to call them.

So I enlarged my DL (they couldn't even explain why they needed this other than it was a policy) and re-faxed it. Well 5 days later and cards still not working. So I called again! I'm now told that they are reissuing the cards and will be mailed by USPS within 10 days and they cannot provide any type of tracking #. Their customer service is horrible. They are not in the US (in India) so you have to speak with a foreigner with a horrible accent. I can only hope to actually receive new cards in the mail.

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I received a $250 Amex Gift Card from my work. I let it sit for about 5 months in the packaging along with the gift receipt. When the holidays came up I decided it was time to use it. I go to use it at a local store and it shows the balance is only $52. I immediately call Amex Gift Card customer service and am connected to someone in another country whom I can barely understand. It's obvious the customer service representatives (I have spoken to several during my still ongoing ordeal), read from some sort of script and are only allowed to say about 10 different responses. Completely useless. Anyhow, during my conversation it was revealed my card was used by a known fraudulent merchant that they have had issues with in the past.

It took some digging for me to finally get "Victor" to admit that. He at first told me the merchant's name, and then the address. He told me the address was in the US and when I tried to look up the merchant and address, they did not exist. I knew it was not a valid address immediately. He was unable to even give me a city or state. He then admitted it was a known fraudulent merchant whom they have had issues with in the past. In my opinion this should have been sufficient evidence to refund the gift card, but it was not. I had to fax in my ID, front and back of gift card itself, front and back of packaging, and the gift receipt. In about 10 days they mail me a response, which basically says the receipt would not suffice because it is not the original purchase receipt. Why would they require the original receipt when it is a GIFT CARD, which is usually given as a GIFT and I had the GIFT receipt. I don't think people usually buy GIFT cards for themselves?

I had to call for the third time and the customer representative kept having to put me on hold so he could go talk to "the people that handle the issue". I was not allowed to talk directly to these people which was absolutely ridiculous. I had to stay on hold while he played messenger. Unacceptable. Basically I was given the same response. Without the original purchase receipt they could not do anything, regardless if they knew there had been fraudulent activity/security breach. So in a nutshell, American Express will do nothing even if they acknowledge there is fraud. They put sole responsibility on the consumer.

GIFT CARDS tend to be given as GIFTS, so it is highly unlikely that the recipient would have access to an original purchase receipt, AND a GIFT receipt will not suffice. Completely illogical. Furthermore, how many gift givers really keep the receipts for months on end? American Express is one of the richest companies in the world and somehow still manages to be the worst company I have ever dealt with. Ultimately they still got paid and have proven they don't care if the consumer takes the hit.

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Never buy these cards. Like others have said they start charging maintenance fees and will eat your entire balance over time. Because you know, they have to send magic elves to come polish the cards for you at night.

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I was gifted two $500 American Express Gift Cards for a house warming present to help with some home improvement. I opened one of the cards and used it. No problem to purchase some painting supplies from Lowes for $115. The card didn't get used for a while and sat in my room with the other gift card still in the package. 2 months later, I tried to used the gift card today and found that it had a balance of $0. Looked into it and saw there was a transaction from "BARNES BROTHERS PRODUCT 28 FAIRMONT S CAMBRIDGE 840 - Partial Purchase", which I did not make.

I called the 800 number and it turns out that they have had issues with this specific account. To get the money back on that card I need to send them the original gift card receipt (who keeps these), an ID, the scanned gift card, and a letter stating why I'm sending this information to some fax number. I am going to try this but definitely not holding my breath. Luckily my family kept the original receipts. The card was purchased from Walgreens BTW. So I figured maybe the info got stolen when I used it from Lowes, who knows...

Then I opened the other card, brand new from the sealed envelope, trying to make the purchase and come to find out it has $5 left on it!!! Brand new right out of the box. Three transactions totaling $455 were made with it online, before I even opened it up. I called the 800 number again and was told by the foreigners that there was nothing I could do... Not giving up I spoke with their supervisor with the same response... Not giving up again I spoke with their supervisor who informed me to fax the same info for the other card and they will get back to me within 10 business days. I'm perturbed to say the least that AMEX has such a janky gift card program, but reluctantly I am going to fax them all the info they want and hope for the best. But honestly I probably lost $900. NEVER BUY AMEX GIFT CARDS!!!

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Got a gift card for a client, it was hacked and AMEX knows it was fraud. They told me they were aware of a security breach, but still needed me to send 5 documents. One of the 5 were a copy of the receipt, which I told them I did not have. So they said they would be fine with a credit card receipt from my credit provider. 15 days later I am told they need the copy of the receipt from the original purchase. Told them I did not have it and they are telling me tough **. I don't understand how you can make your clients take a financial hit when you could not put the right security measures in place.

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I am a new Sprint customer. I made the switch from AT&T on September 26, 2015 based on the promotion. The promotion was "payoff" of any termination fee to be incurred. During October, I relocated BUT I made the change in Sprint system. However, American Express maintained the old address (which have new people in the home) but I notified them on November 11 of the address change. The card was to be received between the dates of November 10-13. Anyhow, I spoke with a supervisor at American Express on November 11 who promised to REISSUE the card and send it via UPS. I called AE on November 24 for a status.

Their inexperienced, ignorant "I'm going to get paid whether you get your card or not" Customer Service Representative confirmed that it was mailed out on November 17. I would have to wait for UPS to deliver it. No tracking information available. I called again on November 28 and another AE Supervisor informed me that the card was not reissued. It now leaves Sprint, their customer, in an awkward position. As far as I am concerned, AE are not fulfilling their contractual obligation to Sprint, leaving Sprint not fulfilling their obligation to me, their customer. American Express fails to be the quality business that is so represented by their many marketing tools.

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I rec'd 2 gift cards from my employer and when I tried to use them in Curacao they were not accepted. Since I had to activate them I was concerned about them and sure enough when I checked the balance not even 30 days later there had been 2 debts already taken one for $1 and then for $399.00. I was horrified so I called American Express and was told the payments were pending for 8 days. I explained these were not my purchases and please stop this transaction from taking place. I was told I would have to handle this from the vendor which was non profit organization I had never heard of. Foundation for the Global.

I called multiple times and only received a voice mail. I emailed them from their information from the website. NO response. I called American Express back for help and explained this was not going anywhere. NO help. They continued to tell me they could not do anything about it. This is truly FRAUD. American Express should be responsible and do something about this. I will spread this news to everyone to be cautious about purchasing American Express Gift Cards. I know I will never as I would not like this to happen to anyone else!

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I've always liked the idea of a gift card over cash and so I tried to order a generous gift card for a star employee for her wedding, paying a little extra for next-day delivery in time for the wedding and honeymoon. After I ordered it (and charged it to my business platinum card) I read some pretty bad reviews here and was concerned that my employee might 1) lose it and not be able to replace it; or 2) be charged some kind of monthly fee. I had also not realized that the card cannot be used outside of the US and because this was a wedding gift where it might logically be used on the honeymoon (outside of US), I had second thoughts.

When I called to cancel it, the person on the other end of the phone tried very strenuously to talk me out of it. She told me it had already gone out. When I insisted she said I could void it, but that the couple would still get the card in the mail. I ultimately decided to go ahead and let the order stand, so that it would be received before the honeymoon trip, and I would explain and apologize about restrictions. But it would still be a nice and timely gift.

Two days went by. Then I received a message about a fraud alert. When I returned the call, I got voicemail. I called again later (not sure if I would have ever received a call back), I was told that AmEx suspected fraud. So I answered all the questions and they told me it had been reinstated and that the gift card would go out in two days. Not only was that too late, but of course I felt angry because I'd been told it had gone out. I completely understand about the prevalence of fraud, but the experience should have been handled better. I wasn't treated with respect, and I honestly think the customer service outsourcing has gone a bit too far. The people I spoke to sounded like robots and the entire stupid experience undermined my confidence in the American Express brand. If this is how they treat cardholders looking to spend thousands of dollars, then I can take my business elsewhere.

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These cards are a rip off. I was given two cards - $700 total. They sat in my cabinet for 9 months. When I went to use them, they were with a balance of zero. Amex allowed a third party to register them. Who knew you had to do this? Their response was better luck next time.

American Express Gift Cards Company Profile

Company Name:
American Express
Website:
https://www.americanexpress.com/