How To Use Amex’s Online Live Chat Feature

My preference is always to communicate online as much as possible, rather than having to pick up the phone and make a call. I spend a lot of time in the air, and during that time I can typically use the internet, but I can’t make phone calls.

Furthermore, when it comes to customer service interactions, I far prefer having an “electronic trail.” By having something in writing you’re less likely to deal with a situation where a company doesn’t honor what you’re promised.

A couple of years ago American Express eliminated their secure message center, which was basically the equivalent of an email system through the American Express website. You could send American Express a question by secure message, and they’d typically respond within a day (Chase still offers this feature, for example).

Chase-Secure-Message-Center

While the secure message center has been eliminated for Amex, I think it’s worth pointing out that they still offers a live online chat feature, where you can chat with an Amex representative in real time.

Maybe this is obvious to many, but I’ve had two people contact me in the past few days who didn’t realize Amex had this feature, which is why I’m writing about it.

To access the Amex live chat feature, log into your Amex account, and click on the “Help” button at the top right.

Amex-Online-Chat-1

Then under the “Online” heading, click “Start Live Chat.”

Amex-Online-Chat-2

Once you click “Start Live Chat” you’ll be prompted to write a sentence about your question, and then a few seconds later you’ll be connected to an American Express representative.

Amex-Online-Chat-3

If you’re trying to ask anything other than a basic question, you’ll be prompted to answer a security question, so that they can verify your identity.

I find Amex’s online chat to be easy to use. It’s useful for canceling cards, and even for asking whether you’ve had a particular card in the past (since all sign-up bonuses are “once in a lifetime” now).

Bottom line

A lot of people don’t seem to know about Amex’s online chat feature. Or perhaps they remember hearing about the Amex secure message center closing a couple of years back, and get the two mixed up. When it comes to handling issues with my Amex account, I almost always prefer using the online chat feature rather than calling.

Do you typically handle your credit card service requests online or by phone?

Comments

  1. I also have Amex and I find it really convenient using a “live chat” feature. I’d say i’m a shy person so its much easier talking to someone online rather than picking up the phone! 😛 Online I feel is also better as you can monitor your accounts while chatting.

  2. I’ve found it to be completely useless. I’ve also found that the chat people cannot seem to write a sentence properly. I’ve given this feature several chances. I’ve also discovered that the chat people are not at all familiar with the AMEX products.

  3. Agree with Nick…I’ve used it on several occasions, only to get pre-defined messages/answers. The moment you want something specific, or ask for clarifications, they ask you to call the number on the back of your card.

    Quicker to call and get what you need and move on!

  4. Lucky, be careful.

    I like that with “chat”, one can screenshot the replies for a permanent record. But will it hold up?

    Yesterday, I asked the chat rep if I had previously had AMEX Delta Gold or Platinum cards. He said he had no record of it. I captured the screenshot. But a few moments later, he typed in: “But call this number to be sure — I don’t want you to be disappointed later.”

    Sure enough, when I called AMEX directly, they told me what years I canceled the two cards previously. I couldn’t recall it, so I went back into boxes of my tax records, and sure enough, I had had the cards. So the chat person probably just looked at what I currently had, not accessing the prior records.

    Whether the bonuses would have come through, I’m not sure. Depends on how thorough the AMEX computer is and what database it uses. But I decided not to apply for the cards. If I had, and if the bonuses did not register, would my screenshot be enough to get the bonuses? And at what cost in time and effort? We will never know… unless another reader shares that part of the story.

  5. I use the chat often but if I’m in a hurry it’s by far easier to call. I typically have to provide the same verification info multiple times on the chat.

  6. Many, many data points on this:
    AMEX will absolutely NOT honor any promises from CSRs, whether on chat or on the phone. They will simply say “the CSR was in error”. End of story, and you are SOL. 🙁

  7. Replacing SM with chat was bad enough, but they don’t have any way for you to print/save the chat log. When it’s over, you have no proof of what you or they said. I’ve also experienced really lengthy “hold times” for someone to come online. It’s terrible and borderline useless, but Amex seems to like it that way.

  8. I forget where I read this but it seems that while AmEx does store your chat history so that agents can access it later, it does not store that short initial sentence that you input to initiate the chat. Don’t input something there that you want to be able to reference later.

  9. As @Lisa already mentioned, the Amex chat function is missing a CRUCIAL feature – being able to print/email/save the chat log. Any company with customer service reps really needs to provide this. It serves for greater accountability and builds trust with the customer. For now, my solution is tedious — I grab screenshots of the log as it progresses. Sucks, but it’s the only way to have things in writing, which, at the end of the day, is what you need.

  10. You cannot chat on iPhone. Must be on regular PC and the full site. Tried it about 12 times amd the chat window only shows when I am on my regular full computer.

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