Amex I love you

May 14th, 2024

Amex I love you

I just got a new credit card. R and I had been after a card that gave us airmiles, as with his conferences he is stacking up quite a lot of them. If we can get £12000 purchases on it, our new BA Amex lets us get a “Companion voucher” which basically means two tickets for the price of one. We’ve both been wanting to go to Japan for a long time, and as we (well I) won’t fly economy on long haul, this is obviously a considerable saving. With all our purchases (Amazon, ASDA etc) going through the new card it will sadly not take us that long to ramp it up.

The new card has an unexpected and very pleasant bonus. Up until now I have been using an Amazon Mastercard for all my purchases. This uses an MFA system involving inputting a code sent by text message to my phone, and of late has developed a new feature where you also have to type in your email address. Luckily both Amazon and PayPal don’t require this, so most of my purchases don’t use it, but ASDA does. I find this very annoying because a) I don’t always have my phone to hand when I am ordering something b) when you are sitting with your injured foot propped up above head level it is very awkward to start typing c) why can’t the system recognize that in my case I am nearly always (always in the case of ASDA) coming from the same IP address, and after the first few transactions whitelist that address? In my case I don’t shop on my mobile phone, only on a desktop PC in a house which has people in it 99% of the time and locks itself after 5 minutes anyway. But the Mastercard MFA is not flexible enough to allow this, and additionally doesn’t let you opt out of it, even if you are prepared to take the risk on transactions made without it.

But the new Amex sends the authorization codes by email as well as text. Plus, now that I have made three purchases from ASDA from this address, it gave me the option to whitelist the site from my PC. This is not insecure for the type of transaction we are talking about (it is groceries not diamonds), and is very very convenient.

So frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”