This week I received a useful email in what I call my Spam Hole inbox. It’s the second email account that I use for anything outside of personal correspondence. The message came from American Express. It stated that based on my past purchase history they knew that I had an upcoming trip planned. There was no need to call them to flag the account for travel because they had already noted it on file.
The message was timely, because in years past I have called credit issuers to alert them about personal travel. This time, through a simple scanning program that searches for keywords about travel they could tell what I was about to do. It was convenience to me and saved a phone call or visit to my online profile to look for the setting. It’s better for them because it reduces labor to answer calls and provides them with consistency for how they flag card member travels.
Is this an invasion of privacy? I more consider it a good use of technology. The card company already has my personal information when they reviewed it for credit. I think it’s great that they are proactively searching for ways to prevent fraud. Ultimately that means less hassle for me dealing with fraudulent purchases and better service from American Express.
These days when we receive electronic messages like this our first thought is to not trust the email. This communication from American Express was crafted in such a way that it reduced my concern for fraud. It was more informative and less action oriented. There was nothing in the email about clicking a link to change a password or to view important details in my account. There were no attachments. The email offered information about my account and also gave a couple of suggestions about communication paths they like to use with customers (app and mobile phone).
So Kudos this week to American Express for proactively flagging my account for travel purchases and crafting an email that didn’t give me concern that it contained malware. Sometimes the simple things mean the most.
Onward and upward!