As you all know, I’m pretty dorky, I’m way into money, and I’m totally detail oriented. This means that I am the go-to expert for all my friends and family on credit card rewards programs in Canada.
The CapitalOne World Aspire Mastercard has the best reward rate in Canada for most economy seats (about 2.5% in the first year and 1.9% every subsequent year).
I say most economy seats because every once in awhile you can get a good deal on Aeroplan economy seats. For business class rewards points, the CIBC Aerogold card is the clear winner.
Since we switched, we’ve been generally happy with the card. Well, other than the fact it is a Mastercard and it’s cheap looking (what can I say, we’re sort of snobby).
Then we came to Argentina. And I will no longer be recommending CapitalOne.
Delayed Baggage Insurance
Our first bad experience was when the hubs’ luggage was lost by Continental. The World Aspire card includes a pretty-shitty $100 per day delayed baggage insurance for up to three days.
The big Canadian banks delayed baggage insurance ranges from $300 to $1000 right away when your bags are 4 to 6 hours late.
First call, to CapitalOne, and the hubs was given a number to call to speak with the insurer.
Second call, wrong number – redirected back to CapitalOne.
Third call, to CapitalOne, where he got another number to try.
Fourth call, wrong number.
Fifth call, back to CapitalOne, where he got yet another number.
Sixth call, correct number. Apparent one-person (very unprofessional) insurance affiliate run by an extremely rude woman who told him to make the claim when he got home. Click.
Not the gold-standard in customer service. Especially not when you are tired, cranky, and in a foreign country calling from Skype (bless Skype) on a free wifi connection in a bus terminal.
For the most part, I think that credit cards’ fraud prevention systems are awesome. These same systems saved me from a fraudulent $2,500 charge earlier this year. But there has to be a line.
Seventh call, to let CapitalOne know we were going to be in Argentina for three months.
Eighth call, to warn CapitalOne that a large transaction was going through (Antarctica tickets). They put a note on our file and promptly hung up. Click.
The next day, our card was restricted….
Because of the Antarctica tickets.
A human left a message on my parent’s answering machine for us to call CapitalOne back. So, a human clearly had looked at the potentially fraudulent transaction. However, said human clearly didn’t look at the notes to file.
Ninth call, to un-restrict card. We learned on this call that no one actually looks at notes to file. Click.
We noticed yesterday (12 days later) that our Argentina tickets hadn’t been posted to our account.
Tenth call, making sure Antarctica tickets are going through so we’ll have a spot on the boat on Saturday. The customer service man told me the transaction had been removed from our account because the vendor hadn’t sent the requisite invoice. Click.
This caused me to, in a panic, call my travel agent to ensure that we were still going to be able to get on the boat on Saturday. This caused a lot of panic on her end, as well. This is all worked out now, but it has been 22 hours of stress.
Today, our credit card was restricted again.
Eleventh call, to un-restrict card … again. Would you like to know why it was restricted for the second time? Because I called them yesterday from Skype and Skype routed our call through Illinois not Argentina. Do you know how many times they verified my identity yesterday? 3. Do you know how many times today? 6.
Today’s call was 35 minutes long. I spoke to three different people. (And yes, I verified my identity 6 times). The last of whom, Cindy, a supervisor in the fraud department, was particularly rude. And I get it. When I’m on the phone with you for the eleventh time in twenty-one days, I’m probably straining just to be civil. But you being nasty to me? Well that’s going to make me tell the internet about my trouble.
And it will probably make me start using my TD First Class visa.