My annual fee renewal just came up for my American Express Cathay Pacific Elite card, a whopping $1,800. Whoa! I wasn’t charged any fees since I had this card for about 3 years ago, but I wasn’t in Hong Kong the second half of last year, so I obviously didn’t have enough spending as previous years.
I called the American Express customer service line and asked them to waive my annual fee, and they didn’t. I don’t have silver status on CX neither. Amex is being very stingy in my opinion. In the past I’ve qualified with over $150,000 in spending…guess they’ll lose out now.
Honestly who would pay for this card? It’s pretty crappy since Asia Miles aren’t very good value and there’s no real tangible credit card benefits otherwise. I’d much rather use a US based card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee and has better insurance coverage and mileage accrual. For example, this card only offers 1 mile per $8 HKD versus US cards offering 1 mile per 1 USD (~7.8 HKD which equates to about a 2% greater reward redemption!)
One such example is the British Airways Avios card.
Even American Express’ own Platinum credit card only has a $1,600 annual fee. This card is way better, giving you the airport lounge benefits, buy 1 get 1 movie tickets on Fridays, discounts on Maxim restaurants, and golf discounts to name a few. My suggestion is don’t pay this ridiculous fee for the Cathay Pacific Elite card. Cancel and sign up for the Platinum American Express card if you still want a Amex, otherwise just use another card that doesn’t charge a fee.
For the time being I’m not going to hold any HK based American Express card, and I think they really need to rethink their customer retention.