Look, I like American Express. One of the first cards I ever applied for when I turned 18 was the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card, and I still hold on to it. AMEX issues some fantastic Travel Rewards Credit Cards, Hotel Rewards Credit Cards, and generally any Point Rewards Credit Cards. However, American Express’ customer service is rapidly declining.

Recently I’ve experienced terrible customer service from American Express. I’m not talking about service at the Centurion Lounges – that has always been fantastic and I love the Centurion Lounges. I’m talking about the rapid decline in customer service provided by American Express when calling them and speaking on the phone. It used to be incredible.

There has been an unfortunate change over the past year or so, whereby the front-line agents don’t have so much power anymore and they have to transfer you to a manager to help with more complex requests that they used to be able to do. This is where the problem lies – while the front-line agents are usually super nice, American Express managers and supervisors have gotten to be some of the rudest people ever. I’ve called probably 7 times this past month and had to talk to a manager to get things sorted out and every single time the managers and supervisors have been super rude and unhelpful.

For example, I recently applied for the SPG Business Credit Card and while I entered in my SPG number on the application, somehow AMEX created a brand-new SPG account for me and linked it to the new credit card. Obviously I wanted to have this fixed and before, I was able to get this done in less than two minutes… now I had to speak to three managers before someone knew what I was talking about and all of them weren’t competent at all – they were rude and kept transferring me between different departments. I was on hold for over 30 minutes and it took an hour.. just to change my SPG number.

This is the current sad state of American Express. I’m really disappointed by the rapid decline in 1) card products they offer and 2) the customer service over the phone. As of this moment, the only place where AMEX shines are the Centurion Lounges. They are fantastic and the staff there are wonderful – the best one is the Seattle Centurion Lounge – while it may not be huge and offer a full-sized kitchen with many hot food options, the staff are truly where the lounge shines – they’re amazing.