Tag Archives: Amex

You Can Now (Sort Of) Get a Free Checked Bag on AC and WJ

Both Air Canada and Westjet charge $30 for your first checked bag and $50 for a second one. And just a reminder that Westjet, when this legal rip off fee was first dreamed up and rolled out, stated they wouldn’t be doing that. Well, a few months later – they did…

If you need to check a suitcase, or (like me) bring your golf clubs along) you don’t have a choice. But if you make two flights a year, both airlines now have credit card affiliations that can get you a free checked bag.

Westjet has always had it with the Royal Bank World Elite Mastercard. With Air Canada, it’s on the TD Aeroplan and the CIBC Aerogold card. And now with a number of Amex cards, starting next month! The annual fee for any of these cards is around $100 to $120 a year. However, as you can see online, some will waive the first years’ fee under certain conditions. At two flights a year, you’ll break-even – with three or more flights, you’re ahead, financially. If you do fly enough, check the TD, CIBC, Royal or Amex to see if you have the free bag, or what it’ll cost you to change cards to get something you shouldn’t have to pay for in the first place.

So you’ll excuse me if I’m not a fan of any Westjet or Air Canada government support. They charge a billion plus in legal rip-off fees, are filling the middle seat and still want support. In the U.S. Southwest Airlines still guarantees no middle seat booking and has never charged luggage fees AND they’re profitable!! But that’s another conversation…

There Are Businesses That Don’t Love You

Valentine’s Day is the day of love. To us who are single, it’s known as February 14th…

But there are businesses that don’t love you back. Here are a few examples from the last week:

American Express charges around $600 annual fees for their Platinum card. The people that could afford that would certainly be millionaires. But, according to Smart Money magazine, the percentage of American millionaires with that card is 6.2%. But their percentage who have a Sears card is 43%. Yes – you become a millionaire by not wasting $600 at a time.

The Federal Government apparently doesn’t love us. The online filing start for 2017 returns was to be this past Monday. It’s now moved to February 26th. No idea why – it’s the latest I can remember and doesn’t make sense to me.

It turns out Rogers doesn’t love their clients. Another week, another CBC Go Public story. I’ve linked it here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rogers-employees-pressure-to-sell-1.4481128

No matter why you call Rogers, apparently there is huge pressure on staff to sell you something – anything! According to the investigative report, here is a sample interview question if you want to work there: If an elderly lady calls to cancel her TV sports channels because her husband just died, how do you convince her to keep them AND add more channels? Selling modems to people who don’t have computers, pushing their new credit card, adding second lines to home phones, and the list goes on. If you’re a client, you need to go through your bill with a fine tooth comb. If you can’t figure it out – get someone else to look at it to find any charges you shouldn’t have!

Apparently 18-23 year olds don’t love saving or investing: This is pretty shocking: According to a survey by Microinvesting, over 45% of 18-23 year olds spend more money on coffee than savings. Oh, and over a third of 24-35 year olds have the same coffee priority!

Lastly, I’ll give you a money-saving tip for this Valentine’s day. Take your partner to the card store. Both of you find the perfect Valentine’s card, give it to each other, read it, then put it back on the rack and leave the store. There…romantic or what? You’re welcome…

Three short stories…

Hurray for American Express

I remember last year having to contact their Call Centre. To start, there was a language barrier, to put it mildly, since their Call Centre is in India. And I started getting the rush treatment disputing a charge. You have to know that most of these staff are timed on a per-call basis. So their motivation is to end the call quickly – not necessarily to resolve it. Well, Amex has taken their staff off these timed calls. So far, the results are amazing for Amex. Their customer satisfaction levels are up, as is their charge volume per client.
Why can’t everyone realize that?

Which economic indicator do you trust?

There are two confusing economic stories from this past week:

Cosmetic surgeries were up 9% last year.
On the other hand, 60% of shoppers say they are buying more no-name store brands, instead of national brands.

Sony certainly has a big problem:

Sony Play Station’s main computer was hacked last month and banking and credit card information on 70 million customers was stolen. That’s a lot of people and it’s not an isolated story as more and more of our information is on-line. It’s another reason to be really thorough in looking through the charges on your credit card statement. Plus, you only have 60 days to dispute something. A day after that and you’re fully liable.