Amex Credit Card Perks
This past weekend I took one of my oldest friends to Seattle for his 40th birthday. He wanted to check out the city, we both had never been, and catch a Mariners game to cross their baseball stadium off our list. Another first from this trip was that I finally had a reason to fly Alaska Airlines. I’ll talk about my thoughts on the airline in more detail on this week’s podcast. We ended up having a pretty great time and knocked a lot of the touristy things in Seattle in just one day on the ground. It was the trip home that got a little bumpy though, that is until Amex credit card perks saved the day.
Seattle Airport Is A Zoo
Having never flown to, or through Seattle before I didn’t know much what to expect. We landed in the evening and things were fairly busy but nothing much out of the ordinary. That is, except for the atrociously slow tram between terminals. Because of that I didn’t think much of the outgoing flight and planned to get to the airport around 90 minutes before departure.
Well, come Sunday morning I was bit surprised how chaotic everything was. There was a line snaking around the entire terminal for the security entrance nearest our gates. So much so that they were paying a guy to hold a sign on a stick above his head to show people where the end of the line was. The only thing that compares is the chaos that is Orlando’s TSA area, which to be fair has improved the last few years. It was snaking all over the place, inside and outside of the roped lanes, that it was hard to see where you were even supposed to go.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem for me since I have Clear, but I was traveling with a buddy that goes somewhere with me once or twice a year and that is about it. He doesn’t even have a credit card. The horror, I know! Because of that I was left with a few untenable choices. I could have him get in the normal line and meet him at the gate after I used Clear, or I could wait in the regular line with him. Neither of those felt like a good plan to me so that is when I took a peek behind door number 3.
Amex Business Platinum Clear Credit To The Rescue
As we have discussed several times now, I have quite a few American Express Business Platinum cards this year. That means I have quite a few Clear credits to go along with those cards since you get a $189 credit for each card you have. I used a few of them for my wife and parents in order to triple dip the Uber credit promotion a little while back. Even after all of that there were still cards to spare with the credit attached. That meant I could buy a membership for my buddy and we could skip all this craziness, the perfect solution. The problem was … I didn’t have any of those cards with me.
Tracking Down My Amex Card
So I had the perfect recipe to correct our problem but I didn’t have the ingredients I needed. My first thought was to call my wife and have her read off one of the card’s numbers to me. When she picked up she informed me she wasn’t at home and she didn’t have an Amex Platinum card on her either. She could be home in 30-40 minutes which wasn’t ideal, but would work.
I decided to reach out to some friends and see if they had any credits to spare in the mean time. They had used all of theirs or didn’t have the card on them either. Strike two!
That is when I remembered that I had my wife text me a picture of a Platinum card months ago when a new one came in the mail. I think I needed to make a purchase with it while I was on the road and needed a photo of the card info to pull it off. I couldn’t remember which Platinum card it was though and if I had used that credit already or not. It was option at that point so I started scrolling through our old text messages. After going back several months I finally saw it, a set of pictures from early June!
Would This Card Work Though?
Now that I had the card number and all the info needed I needed to check and see if the Clear credit had ever been used. Surprisingly, the Clear credit is one of the few Amex credit card perks you don’t need to activate first. I opened up my American Express account and scrubbed the card’s charges from June until now looking for any Clear charges. I was in luck! There were no charges to be found, this card would do the trick.
Getting The Clear Green Light
I filled out my buddy’s online application and put the charge on the card and on our way to the Clear check in area we went. He got through the sign up process at the Clear kiosks in about 3 to 4 minutes and away we went.
Amex Credit Card Perks: Final Thoughts
All in all, the entire series of events took about 20 minutes. That saved us a good hour or so of waiting in the TSA line. It would have never happened without my Amex Business Platinum’s card perks though. There is no way my buddy would have been willing to pay $185 to get through that line quicker, unless it meant for sure we would miss our flight. Even then he wouldn’t be super happy about it.
That is the struggle we face when traveling with people that don’t do what we do. We always have a decision to make, do we suffer along side them or do we leave them in the dust? The answer could be to carry a few extra perk earning cards with you when traveling with them, just in case you need to use a tool in your tool belt. I know things would have been a lot easier had I planned ahead for this potential issue and brought my Business Platinum card with me.
Have you ever been in a similar situation with a non points and miles travel partner? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments below.