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October 2020
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American Express ExpressPay key fob

American Express introduced ExpressPay in 2003 as a key fob which was trialed initially in the Phoenix area.  They begn to expand it and CVS was the first merchant I noticed with the ExpressPay logo on their payment terminals.  I locaed the ExpressPay web site and immediately applied for one because 1) it looked extremely cool, 2) I love new technology, 3) it was from American Express. 

I received a letter from American Express a few months back that indicated they were discontinuing the ExpressPay key fob as of 31-July-2008.  I immediately wondered why they would make one form-factor RFID device stop working while still supporting it embedded in other products such as the American Express Blue Cash card.  Some of you may remember the original Blue from American Express which was a Smart Card, something that does not exist today in the US market.  The Smart Card has been removed and now Blue is just another card which happens to have ExpressPay RFID embedded.  I phoned the ExpressPay customer service line to enquire as to why they were discontinuing the, in my opinion, most convenient form-factor device.  They took my complaint and asid that somebody would get back with me in the next few days.  Even though it was American Express I half expected to hear nothing.  No more than two days later I have a very friendly call from a nice person working in the Salt Lake City office.  He listened to my concerns and explanation then answered my questions and took the time to make sure that I understood.  Apparently the original platform for ExpressPay on wich the key fob was developed had never been integrated with the rest of the American Express processing platform therefore the decision was made to discontinue that device.  Also apparently some people had problems with the key fob coming off the key chains.

My friend Mike and I have been discussing the benefits of points, miles or cash back from credit card products.  He finally figured out that the best option is just to take the cash so he encouraged me to get rid of my Delta SkyMIles card from American Express and get a Blue Cash because at least I could still use ExpresPay and it does have up to 5% cash back rewards program.  I phoned American Express customer service and asked if I could simply convert my existing Delta SkyMiles credit card to a Blue Cash, “no problem” was the response and less than three minutes later I hung up and my account conversion was complete!

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