As previously discussed, American Express’ refresh of their flagship Platinum Card included transitioning to a metal card, in order to bring it on par with the rival Chase Sapphire Reserve card. (As well as the Ritz Carlton, Amazon Prime, and Sapphire Preferred cards) Requesting the Metal Amex Platinum card is fairly straightforward. First, go to your Amex account. Then click on Account Services from the top banner. From here, choose Card Management from the left menu. Choose Order Replacement Card from that page. Choose Request Metal Card or Replace Damaged Card and then choose your address and shipping method.
That’s easy enough, if you live in the US. I am currently in Argentina, though. I recently managed to get a replacement Chase Sapphire Reserve shipped to my residence within three business days. “It shouldn’t be that hard to get a metal Amex shipped here, right?” I thought. Famous last words.
If you wanted to ship the card to an address other than your default home address, you had to contact American Express. I chose to call them, hoping that it would be more straightforward than the unending back and forth of Secure Messages.
Once I called, I was sent to their standard Platinum customer service representatives. After explaining what I wanted to do, the CSR said “Of course we can send your card to Alabama.” I said, “No, Argentina.” She said, “Oh, Arkansas?” “No, Argentina, in South America.” “Oh, well then I have to send you to our security department, please hold.”
Ten minutes of subpar Muzak later, and I was talking to a new guy from the security department apparently. I had to give him all of my details over again. I had to answer a battery of questions about myself based on handy publicly available information. Then came the first challenge. “Of these financial institutions, which one have you opened a credit card account with in the past 12 months?” “All of them?…” He wasn’t sure how to deal with that answer, so we tried another question. I guess I answered that one sufficiently to go on to the next step.
He requested my address, the name of the building, and what my suite number was. At first I thought this was just to address the envelope for the third time, but he told me that he was going to verify my information and put me on hold. He came back a few minutes later and told me to check my door for the number. I told him that I was certain that the number I gave him was correct. He insisted I go and check. I went and checked for effect, and lo and behold, I was correct.
After hearing this he told me that my residence insisted that that was not the right number. “How did you check that?” I asked. “I called your place of residence and asked the person who answered.” Amex actually called the front desk of where I am living. In Argentina. And asked what room number I am in. For security reasons. I’m not sure which freaks me out more. The fact that Amex takes this one form of security so seriously, that even after asking me security questions, card verification, and two-factor email based authorization they still need to call my residence and ask if I’m lying, or the fact that the front desk answered a call from someone claiming to be from a credit card company, and actually told them what suite I was in. Both are utterly ridiculous.
After insisting that I was wrong, he put me on hold again and tried to call the desk once more. They didn’t answer. I got put on hold again and waited for ten minutes. Then randomly, the call disconnected.
That was almost two hours of effort down the drain. I didn’t bother calling back and starting the process over again. I’ll just order it like normal when I go back to the US. I did go down to the desk and ask after the call dropped. Apparently I was in the system as living across the hall for over three months. I have no idea how that could have happened.
If you live in the US, getting the new metal Amex Platinum card is easy. If you are outside the US, good luck and be clear that you aren’t in Alabama.