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American Express Customer Service

This Is Broken

I lost my Amex Blue card at JFK airport a few months ago, and when I called to report it I was told a replacement would be issued in "about 20 days". The following conversation ensued:

Me: 20 days? My other Amex cards arrive in 24 hours when replaced. (The American Express tag line is "the only card you'll ever need".)

Amex: The Blue card has a special chip inside that takes longer to produce.

Me: What purpose does the chip serve?

Amex: It provides you with greater security for online transactions, sir.

Me: But when I order online, I type my credit card number into a form, so how does a chip, which the computer never comes in contact with..

Amex: It's for online security. Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir?

Me: Yes. You can help me understand how a chip embedded in a credit card, a card that is not inserted into anything, makes any difference?

Amex: Sir, I've already explained that the chip is for enhanced security purposes when making purchases online. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Me: Is there any way to get a replacement card sooner?

Amex: We can send you a temporary card tomorrow morning.

Me: What is temporary about it?

Amex: It doesn't have the chip.

Me: Can I use it to make purchases on the Internet?

Amex: That's up to you sir.

Intrigued, I called the application line for Amex Blue. The very nice woman asked me if i had any questions about the card before applying..

Me: What's the chip for?

Amex: It's for enhanced security online.

Me: How so?

Amex: (giggling) They don't tell us that.