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NeedinHelp42
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎05-22-2008
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AMEX and usage

I have an AMEX usage question.

 

I'm currently in the process of rebuilding credit and have taken significant steps over the last 6 months-seen credit score go from 527 to 608 in that time.  I've got some student loans in rehab and a couple things I'm waiting on to age.  One thing I've always managed to keep my head above water on is an AMEX Blue I got in college.

 

At present I've got about $200 left on the card that I plan to pay off this month.  Then I'd like to start showing my worthiness to AMEX by pumping money through the card on normal monthly expenses a couple times a month and paying it off a few days later.  I have read on more than one occasion that AMEX tracks where you spend money as closely as what you spend, and I'm wondering where I should be looking to swipe the card and where I shouldn't.  In other words, is buying something like groceries, standard Babies R Us runs, or going out to eat a positive or a negative in their eyes?  What have people had success with? 

 

Thanks


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: AMEX and usage

[ Edited ]

Congrats on getting on top of things!

 

Supposedly AmEx doesn't track usage and punish "undesirable" patterns any more, after a pretty good public exposure. At any rate, I haven't seen anything recent, as in over the last year, that indicates that they're still doing so.

 

I suppose the most traditional (= safe) usage would be for their original purposes: travel, hotels and airlines, restaurants, and so forth. I've used it for groceries, although I prefer to use my PenFed for the 2%. I've handed it over at the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru for my $5.72 chicken nuggets. I'm past my Babies R Us stage, thank the Lord, but I've used it at WalMart, and the ceiling has not caved in. In fact, I have never had any negative feedback or even throat-clearing by American Express, although I'm well aware that this isn't true for everyone.

 

Just in my personal experience, AmEx likes you to use your card a lot and pay it off that month, period.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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TimothyBryce
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎05-20-2010
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Re: AMEX and usage

I wouldn't worry about where you spend for the most part.  Only thing I'd steer completely far away from is any PayPal transactions.  Seems like Amex has targeted that as a large source of fraud and hidden cash advances.

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score_building
Posts: 3,530
Registered: ‎01-10-2008
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Re: AMEX and usage


TimothyBryce wrote:

I wouldn't worry about where you spend for the most part.  Only thing I'd steer completely far away from is any PayPal transactions.  Seems like Amex has targeted that as a large source of fraud and hidden cash advances.


What indication do you have that Amex has a problem with paypal users in general, or is this a private theory?

The vast majority of paypalers use it for the added security and convenience it offers, not for fraudulent transactions.

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TimothyBryce
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎05-20-2010
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Re: AMEX and usage

From what I've read, there are issues with Amex and people who make numerous Paypal transactions.  I'm not going to dispute the fact that it is a convenient way to transfer money, since its basically giving any person with a computer their own card swiper.  The problem in Amex's eyes is that any transaction via PayPal goes through as a purchase.  

 

For example if you were to call me and say that you needed cash quickly and that you were going to PayPal me 1000 dollars from your card and then wanted me to hand that money to you.  That registers as a purchase on your Amex card which you get reward points for.  But in actuality it is a hidden cash advance.

 

Bottom line is you do what you want to do, but in this climate doing anything that can be questioned may result in an account closure. 

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: AMEX and usage

My only experience with AmEx and PayPal is that I apparently bought a number of MP3 players off of e-Bay and had them shipped to Vietnam, using my Gold card. (I have no recollection of this, of course.) PayPal was somehow involved in the "payment" process. I had a few three-way phone convos with AmEx and PayPal, and PayPal was supposed to stop accepting my CC number, but I (or rather, my card) kept supplying the musical needs of Southeast Asia, and finally AmEx and I gave up, closed the card, and opened another with a new number. (Kept the history, only one card reported, etc etc.) This occurred very soon after DD#2 used my card to reserve a block of hotel rooms over the phone at a Days Inn for her college mock trial team. I assume that's when I got into the music business. At any rate, it was at no cost to me, other than a few enjoyable phone calls and waiting for the replacement CC to be overnighted.

 

I was pretty underwhelmed by PP's approach to fraud control. I don't know if this sort of thing is part of any problem that CCC's might have with PP.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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smallfry
Posts: 4,831
Registered: ‎04-20-2007
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Re: AMEX and usage

AMEX has tightened up the Paypal noose even more lately from what I read Hauling. I would not use the card that way especially if you have other cards available.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: AMEX and usage

[ Edited ]

lol, it wasn't me who used it; it was someone who got the number and expiration date, probably at the Days Inn reservation center.

 

That card was replaced with another Gold, which I then closed before I had to pay for it. Now I have a lowly Blue, which works as well.

 

Just an example of how I found PayPal to be not terribly concerned with consumer credit protections!

 

 

eta: just re-read your post --if you meant not using an AmEx to reserve hotel rooms, I have to say that I was so impressed at their helpfulness that now I do use an AmEx card to hold rooms. When we were on the phone with PayPal, I felt like a spectator at Wimbledon, listening to the AmEx CSR's chew out their PayPal counterparts. :smileyvery-happy:

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Member
TimothyBryce
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎05-20-2010
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Re: AMEX and usage

Thats the strength of Amex, fighting disputes for the card holder.

 

 


haulingthescoreup wrote:

lol, it wasn't me who used it; it was someone who got the number and expiration date, probably at the Days Inn reservation center.

 

When we were on the phone with PayPal, I felt like a spectator at Wimbledon, listening to the AmEx CSR's chew out their PayPal counterparts. :smileyvery-happy:


 

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credit4me
Posts: 348
Registered: ‎06-27-2007
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Re: AMEX and usage

LO



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