How the Costco and American Express divorce left the kids out in the rain
BooksLifestyle January 19, 2020 Wilko van de Kamp
This post is an example of the content I share every Friday in my Living by Experience Magazine. If you’d like your free copy, just click here.
Have you ever gone to Costco and came home with something you were completely not planning on buying? Let me know in the comments below. I certainly have. Pretty much every time I go there. My biggest impulse buy was a piano. I’ve played the piano ever since I was a kid, but had never owned one. I love Costco. I love how, unlike many stores in the mall, they get away with virtually no visually appealing displays at all. If you think about it, Costco is just a giant outlet store. They throw a bunch of stuff up on their shelves and mass-sell whatever gimmick or gadget the next manufacturer had left. Because anything I bought at Costco, especially electronics, is always last year’s model.
If you’ve read my book The Freedom Project you’ll know I love my travel rewards cards. I use them in a certain way to pay for most of my airfare. I’m pretty extreme in being consistent (putting my OCD tendencies to good use, as I’d like to call it), and will go to a different retailer or supplier if my premium card of choice is not being accepted. I tell them politely they ruined my next vacation by not allowing me to earn my points, followed by an executive summary of my book, and me leaving the store. I also made sure my own companies accept pretty much any type of card as I’d like to give my clients the choice to use their preferred card, even when I started out very small. It’s only fair, and good customer service, in my opinion.
My favourite card to use, partially due to a customer service that’s second to none (and no, I’m not being paid to say that), is my American Express card. You can imagine my emotional distress when Costco Canada decided they would no longer accept my preferred card as of January 1, 2015. It’s like being a happy kid hearing your parents announce their divorce. And you have to pick the one parent you’ll love the most. It’s virtually impossible. But then again, the rewards I’ve reaped from my impulse buys in terms of free travel made it an easy choice in the end. It was a simple matter of sticking to my principle of leaving any store that shows customer-disrespect by not allowing me to pay using my card of choice. After careful consideration, I decided to cancel my membership with the outlet-wholesaler. Cool as they are, they gave me a full refund of my membership fee this year. At least they tried. Since I paid for my membership with my American Express card they were unable to refund the transaction. The, visibly annoyed, customer service rep, handed me some cash instead. Thank you.
Curious how I use my travel rewards card to obtain free airfare? Get your copy of my book The Freedom Project on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or simply at any finer book retailer near you.
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