It appears that AMEX has raised the AF for new applicants on the AMEX Green card, now called the Preferred Rewards Green Card to $95 per year.
They Preferred Rewards Gold Card is still $125 per year, but they have created the Premiere Preferred Rewards Gold Card at $175 per year. The Platinum is still $450 per year.
I'm not sure if this $95 AF will be imposed on current Green Cardholders in the future....but at $95 there's not much difference now in AF between it and the Gold card.
With the reports of individuals who were declined AMEX in the past few months now being approved for this "new" preferred rewards, higher AF card, is it possible that AMEX is taking advantage of the credit markets in a similar way as builder cards?
What I mean is this: many people wanting to move up to AMEX may be willing to pay the higher AF in order to get in. And since this is the PIF charge card, there isn't the long term debt being extended, and they will monitor spending and keep it to what the individuals can reasonably PIF (meaning the "hidden" credit line will remain low)???
Notice they did not raise the standard Gold AF....just the Green which is their entry level card. AMEX has brand recognition as a prime card....and issuing millions of cards at an additional $40 per year is a windfall of profits.
In addition to the post by member ECN who was recently declined for AMEX, I have now talked with 2 other individuals who had been declined in the past 4 months but now received mail solicitations to this new "Preferred Rewards" card and were APPROVED instantly! What has changed in the past 90 days? NOTHING! In fact 1 person I spoke to has more reported debt and inquiries now than when he app'ed and was declined 3 months ago.
I'm just speculating and theorizing out loud...but with the Green going up in AF and them sending out solicitations to recent declines....I just wonder
Shake that money tree, AmEx, and see if anything good falls out...
I wonder what they charge holders of corporate-issued green cards who want to have them report on their own CRA's and get rewards? Back when DH investigated doing this (not the least for the 20+ year history), it was only $30-40, but I suspect that this option has gone by the wayside.
I can *maybe* see paying an AF in the $60-90 range if I were getting quintuple points or some other amazing rewards package in an area where I ran through a lot of charges, but quite honestly, most other cards have matched or passed up American Express in the rewards department. IMO, they're down to their CS to keep them competitive. You're talking about an awful lot of points just to cancel out the AF. Only the ones after that particular level of points are really doing you any good.
And I do still like my (non-AF) Blue, especially now that they doubled the CL without a squawk. It might well wind up my main non-CU card. But not because of their rewards, that's for sure.
AMEX charges $75 to link a corporate card to an individual's Rewards account. Many corporations require employees to use a Corporate AMEX account, so use of a personal card is not possible. If you consider that points are worth about 1% that means if an employee spends more than about $7,500/yr on company expenses ($625/mo) it is well worth it. Many heavy users can easily rack up expense reports of $5-10k a month. Spending the $75 does NOT change how the card is reported, it still does not report to an individuals credit history.
Whether an AMEX card makes sense to any person is an individual decision based on travel and spending habits. The AF is peanuts when amortized over a year, so automatically saying NO to any card with an AF doesn't make sense to me. Everyone has to do the math. Often the AF is well worth the money.
For those that continue to think that American Express Corporation is a joke and they don't know what they are doing, it's stock price has risen apporoximately 300% from it's low back in early March.
concorduser, all I can say is, call and ask. A year or so ago, CS told my husband that he could, but Watchmann posted above that you can't. In my husband's case, he was issued the card for company travel expenses, but he was completely responsible for making payments on time, even if he had not yet been reimbursed for the expenses. Maybe this is different if the charges go to the company, and AmEx is paid by them, not by the individuals.
About all you can do is go to the source, aka customer service.
It all depends on what the employer has agreed with AMEX for the corporate plan, there are variations. If the employer pays AMEX directly after the employee does an expense report you probably won't be able to have the data report on your personal record as the employer is responsible for AMEX to make good on the charges. This is especially true if the employee CANNOT use the card for any personal use under the terms of his employment. Many companies now have integrated systems where the expense report is done online and the AMEX charges drop right into an expense report that the employee completes and then submits for approval and payment.
If you can use the card for your own use and you get reimbused for travel expenses and have to pay AMEX yourself you may be able to get it reported on your personal credit file. As suggested, call and ask what kind of agreement your company has made with AMEX. Personally, I don't think it is a good idea to mix company data with personal data. There are too many instances where a company messes up paying the bills on time and is late. To them it really is no big deal but if your name is tied to the credit function you get dinged with a late through no fault of your own. Better to keep business and personal data separate, even if you might lose on a trade line not being reported in your name.