Help needed - Aspiring Amex customer struggling through application process. Best ways to proceed?

Before I write may tale of woe, the TLDR of it is does anyone have the number for the Amex QoS/retention team, without out going through their general 1300 call centre number? The rest of this post is about how insanely difficult it is to become an Amex customer.

My wife and I were previously using an CBA Diamond card, until we got a “your experience is changing” letter informing us that our point earning abilities would be crippled. As we use the points quite a bit for flight upgrades, we decided it was a good time to find a new credit card. Point Hacks was an invaluable resource in that hunt, and we ended up choosing the Amex Platinum Card (since we actually pay for many of the perks separately as it is) thanks point hacks!

We both have positive credit histories and earn well over the minimum income required, applied online and once we hit the conditional approval screen, were advised that the application process could take 5-10 business days to complete from that point (fair enough).

After 10 business days not hearing back from Amex my wife calls them, but is frustratingly told that they can’t find her application - or any record of her name in their system… Amex apologises, and advise my wife to re-apply (which she does, but this time she records her application number).

After 4 days of not getting any email confirmation (or any contact from Amex) about the new application she decides to double check everything is ok and follow up to make sure. After being told that her reference number can’t be found, and being transferred multiple times, cut off and transferred round the globe again, she finally gets someone who is able to find her number on “another system”.

Apparently the whole application was held up as they needed proof of my identity, but hadn’t actually sent us anything to ask for that. A frustrating discovery to say the least. Regardless, my passport details were provided over the phone and happily my wife was told that the application was approved and we would have the cards express posted out to us. Pretty frustrating, but things like this happen.

A week passes and nothing arrives, my wife calls Amex. Again. And again they apologise about the situation. Again they can’t find her application and again she is sent on a roundabout between the new accounts department and the customer service team - who each “understand her frustration” but are unable to solve the issue or work out what’s going on. We have counted the calls to Amex made and so far it’s up to 14!

Finally a team member is able to give her some further information about the other system that the application is sitting in to make it easier for them to find us (we have been told they are in the process of it being upgraded?) and that he will escalate the issue and flag it to be expedited. It’s now been another 2 business days and they don’t have any updates for us. The application is sitting with a specialist team and there is eta on when they will resolve.

Amex have continually promised to call her back countless times, yet never actually do. She has wasted countless hours of her own time to chase this up and we are now naturally exhausted and frustrated by this experience. We’re starting to wonder how good the Amex customer service could actually be once we are customers (if this is how horrible they are when someone is trying to pay them $1200 to open an account?!) we are especially worried about the service we’d receive if we wanted to do a chargeback or make a claim on travel or car insurance (some of the key perks we liked)? If this wasn’t so frustrating, it would be sort of funny to see how amazingly bad they can mismanage a potential new customer.

Anyway, in a last ditch attempt to see this through and become Amex customers, does anyone have a number other than their generic 1300 customer service line that we can use to talk to someone who might be able to help? Everytime we have asked them for their retention department, or to talk to the specialist team where the application is currently sitting we are told there isn’t a number to be shared.


Wow, not a good start for sure! I have nothing but positive experiences with Amex and can’t rate their service high enough. Have you tried calling the Sydney office? I think their number is: 1300 363 276 as long as you call between business hours. Try to speak to someone with authority and get their name, employee number or something else to identify them with.

Thanks Manny. Unfortunately that number is only for existing card holders. When we tried to call, we were sent to “new accounts”. \r\n\r\nHow recent is your experience with Amex? It seems the complaints in the link provided by jbman are all in the last few months. When you call the concierge, do you get someone in Australia, or is it an overseas call centre?

I would still try to call the number, the trick is to not enter a card number ones requested. Just keep holding and after a few repeats of the “please enter your card number” it will transfer you to a rep. You can then put your case forward and demand to speak to a supervisor. Alternatively, go give them some grief on social media, always works! \r\n\r\nDon’t give up and just look at this exercise as a way to get a healthy compensation at the end. I call Amex from time to time and have dealt with local and overseas customer support, both have never let me down.

Let me add a rant…I have an Amex card, have had various cards for over 205 yrs but with all the changes to points earn rates lately I would like to change to a different type of Amex card. BUT Amex discriminate against existing card holders with all these incentive offers to sign up to various new cards. Existing cardholders excluded. \r\nI’m over them. I’m ready to cancel the Amex and sit out for 18mths and start fresh. \r\n\r\nA great pity there is not more competition in Australia from non bank card issuers and even banks. \r\n\r\nWe need a Chase style card in Australia.

This seems to be a common issue at the moment with service from AMEX


Hey Jesse,

If it helps, the number on the back of my Platinum card is 1800 673 760.

I’ve found the Sydney based Platinum team (when you get them during business hours and it doesn’t bounce offshore) to be very helpful. Everyone else used to be consistently helpful but as others have alluded to it seems to have become very hit-and-miss of late.

Something else I’ve found when juggling a few cards, is that the New Accounts team (not sure where they’re based, I think offshore) are consistently unhelpful - very process driven and the second something falls outside the standard process (which it sounds like yours has because it’s got stuck somewhere) they can’t do anything. I’ve also found that waiting for someone from an offshore team to call back or do something in the background seems to never happen (whereas the local Platinum team are brilliant, and I’ve had call me back even if it’s a “we’re still poking this processing team, so no news but I’m keeping an eye everyday”).

If you can get someone local who can help you out I think you’ll be on the right track - all I can suggest is calling the Platinum number (or the other Sydney based number that Manny posted) and try to find someone local. Rest assured though that it gets better once you don’t have to deal with the new accounts team.

(Someone really needs to tell Amex that first impressions last, and “computer says no” is not what a new customer wants to hear!)


Hi Jesse:

I struggled with Amex initially. 2 rejections with no explanations (despite me being a doctor with permanent high income full time job in a government hospital).

After I finally got my Amex card, I experienced similar frustrations being circled around with a simple issue that they couldn’t resolve after multiple phone calls. Each time I was promised that the agent “would take the matter personally and will call back ASAP” and never did.

My advise would be to persevere. Keep on making phone calls. Amex CSR can vary a lot. All you need is to get the right agent who knows what s/he is doing, the issue can be resolved in minutes. Each time tell them your frustration and you demand to speak to a supervisor or you are going to FOS. Record the name of the agent that promise to call you back. Generally I find that if you get an Aussie agent it’s usually better than someone overseas. (Also try different times of the day).

I used to curse my life for sh*t happening. Now I see it as an opportunity. Every time they screw up something, ask for compensation. In your case, maybe ask for another 20k points for the time wasted, or reduced annual fee…etc.

Good luck. Once you jump on Amex wagon you’d be surprised how quickly you accumulate the points. I only had my card since Oct last year and I’ve already earned more points than what I earned in 4 years with Westpac Altitude Black. (and many of them are from compensations cuz they keep on screwing up ;))

Hey Jesse,

Sounds frustrating! I spoke to our representative at Amex and they would like to help you get this resolved personally. Please can you email us details for your application and/or a few of your personal details (name, email and confirm permission to share with Amex) at Thanks!

Keith @ Point Hacks

Thanks everyone for your responses, we now finally have our cards.  I can only imagine your contact at Amex had something to do with it, Keith–thanks.

We were compensated for the wasted time and frustration which should help put things on the right foot.

A note for Amex, if they ever read this forum:

  • If you promise to call someone back at a particular date and time, do it.  We were promised this so many times and we never were.  It doesn't matter if you have nothing new to report (the excuse we were often given), stick to your promises.
  • There needs to be some sort of review team that are empowered to jump in a dislodge stuck applications like ours.
  • Have someone take ownership over applications  I've had other call centre experiences where I have felt that someone has made it there personal mission to help me (such as iinet).  In comparison, we felt that it was our job to take notes of your system so we could inform the next call centre operator.
Our compensation was quite good (half the first year's sign up waved), and we appreciate it, but it really doesn't undo how terrible the experience has been so far.  That said, this community has been very helpful, so thanks everyone!  Now it's time to go register for all the perks :)