Critical Information About Using American Express Services

American Express LogoAmerican Express Currency Exchange New Zealand, otherwise known as Amex, was founded in 1850. It is one of the largest financial services companies in the world. With headquarters in New York City, it has a number of stores located globally and has a head office in Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Value for businesses
  • 4 methods of payment to suit your circumstances
  • Membership Rewards® Points
  • Online Rate Alerts
  • Deal in 132 currencies

What will this review cover?

We’ve put this together so you can find out if using American Express is right for you or your business. This review will cover:

  • How does American Express work?
  • How to make an international transfer
  • Membership rewards
  • How safe is American Express?
  • Fees and Charges
  • How long does the transfer take?
  • Pros and Cons of American Express

How does American Express work?

American Express (Amex) provides an array of services to their customers. These include international transfers, currency exchange, credit cards, and travel cards. American Express market themselves more towards businesses than individuals but are available for both.

How to make an international transfer

Making an international transfer through AMEX Currency Exchange New Zealand is easy and can be done either online or in-store. However, Amex have made (and continue to do so) a big move towards digital, and encourage people on the website to convert their currency through their online platform. To tempt you further, they have created a handy Online Rate Alerts, which will alert you when your pre-set exchange rate target is reached.

To buy currency online, all you need to do is:

  1. Either sign up or log in to your online currency conversion account and arrange a live quote
  2. Provide the beneficiary’s details – you can choose to store their details for future payments if you wish
  3. Approve the transaction through Amex’s dual verification processThere are other companies you can use for international transfers as well. Our comparison table shows you through the rates and fees of a number of different banks and providers. Click here.

Amex also has various methods of sending your international transfer, which is important for businesses that need that flexibility. These methods of payments are as follows:

  • Outgoing International Payments: This is a payment your business makes based on the live exchange rate Amex offers you at the time of payment.
  • Forward Exchange Contract: A Forward Exchange Contract is a contract to exchange one currency for another at a specified rate, for a specified amount, for delivery on a specified date at some time in the future (up to 12 months).
  • Cross Currency Transactions: Suitable for businesses that need to send money in multiple currencies. You are able to lock in exchange rates before you make the payment. You can also make a payment in over 100 currencies.
  • American Express Access LineTM: Providing businesses with greater access, as you can pay suppliers that do not accept cards – you just have to preregister them online.
  • TIP: Check out their Online Rate Alerts, which will tell you when your pre-set exchange rate is reached!
  • TIP: Look out for minimum transfer amounts on the above methods

Membership rewards

One of the handiest things about American Express is the rewards you get in return for using them. For international transfers, Amex offers various different rewards for the different methods of payment you choose:

Outgoing International Payments

  • If you have an American Express Card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, your business can earn points on eligible money transfers.
  • Corporate Card Members now benefit from American Express AccessLine™ to facilitate international wire transfers, earning 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 equivalent spent
  • A Membership Rewards® program-enrolled American Express® Card is required to take advantage of this offer Points can be redeemed for travel, shopping and entertainment rewards

Forward Exchange Contract

  • If you have an American Express Card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, your business can earn points on eligible money transfers. Points can be redeemed for travel, shopping and entertainment rewards.

Cross Currency Transactions

  • Receive one Membership Rewards point for every $25 NZD in foreign currency payments you send internationally. You can receive up to a maximum of 10,000 points per transaction
  • A Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express Card is required to take advantage of this offer. Points can be redeemed for travel, shopping, dining, and entertainment rewards.

American Express Access LineTM

  • You will earn one point for every dollar you spend on AccessLine payments if your eligible Card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards program.

How safe is American Express Currency Exchange New Zealand?

Amex payments system incorporates high-end encryption, both for stored data (such as account information) and for payments created and transmitted in real-time.

The system runs in a data centre that features advanced online and offline security and monitoring against Internet attacks. FX International Payments implements all our standards relating to information integrity, transaction security and information security.

Fees and Charges

American Express advertise that their exchange rates are competitive. However, be aware that while they are competitive with the banks, you will be able to find more favourable exchange rates out there. Nonetheless, you can set up an account with American Express at no cost and no monthly fees.

Amex is generally quite inconspicuous about their fees stating that it largely depends on how much, the method and where you are sending it to.

For Outgoing International Transfers:

  • To send in a foreign currency: Up to $33
  • To send in NZD: Up to $55
  • Amendment or cancellation fee: Up to $33
  • Trade Services fee: Up to 2.4%

For Forward Exchange Contracts:

  • When you enter into a Forward Exchange Contract the amount that you pay Amex is determined by the exchange rate that you agree upon at the point of the transaction.
  • This exchange rate includes a margin which covers an allowance for Amex’s costs and a profit margin for providing you with this product.

How long does the transfer take?

The whole process should be completed within 2-4 days. This time is all dependent on the currencies involved, the payment method you choose, as well as bank holiday and weekends.

To find out more about how long international transfers can take, you can read our article here.

Pros and Cons of American Express

 

PROS CONS
Offer a range of payment methods to suit different businesses Website is generally quite difficult to find information on fees involved.
Excellent rewards program Up to $55 fee sending money internationally Online Rate Alerts and ability to lock in exchange rates Minimum transfers apply on some payment methods 132 currencies

Case Study

Ben runs a juice bar in Auckland and has been gaining momentum since he opened two years ago. Over the two years, Ben has discovered the good and the bad of running your own business.

His products are vital to his business as is the security of his finances. Ben was instantly attracted to the offers from American Express. Not only do they have top security on all transfers made, they had a payment method that allowed Ben to pay in multiple currencies for his products. This suited Ben as his fruit and veg came from all over the world and he regularly needed to pay suppliers in multiple currencies. What’s more, Ben knew he was earning reward points that allowed him to enjoy more leisure activities outside of business hours.

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