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Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

Contributor

Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

It seems like AMEX is spending a lot of its money to cancel the Zync

 

1) First, they refund everyone's packs ($60 statement credit for me)

2) It appears that they are offering to product change Zync holders to Green or "above" charge cards. This should mean that all of those Membership Reward Express points will convert automatically to "full" Membership Rewards Points, which costs Amex money

 

Was the Zync card such a loser for Amex that they have to spend all of this money closing it?

Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

Sounds good to me! It's probably less expensive to keep existing members than woo new ones.

Meg.

FICO: 4/2016 - TU 841 | EQ 840 | EX 837

FNBO 23,600 | Amex SPG 13,900 | Amex BCP 13,400 | Barclays/Sallie Mae13,000 | Discover IT 12,500 | Lowes 10,000 | PLOC 9,300 | NASA FCU 8,700 | Citi Simplicity 6,200 | BOA Platinum+ 6,000 | Achieva CU 5,500 | Chase CSP 5,000 | Sam's Club 3,000 | Sears 900
Message 2 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

I would imagine they did a good analysis!  So there must be negatives about keeping the Zync.  At a guess, these include:

 

1) Costs in having a separate rewards program.   Obviously they already have several, but each one needs marketing material, software support etc.

2) Perhaps a feeling that there was too much cannibalization of the green:  that a lot of people who might have got the green anyway, were opting for the zync, reducing revenue from AF etc.  

 

But we don't know.

Message 3 of 16
Frequent Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express


bs6054 wrote:

2) Perhaps a feeling that there was too much cannibalization of the green:  that a lot of people who might have got the green anyway, were opting for the zync, reducing revenue from AF etc.  

 

But we don't know.


Excellent point!

Meg.

FICO: 4/2016 - TU 841 | EQ 840 | EX 837

FNBO 23,600 | Amex SPG 13,900 | Amex BCP 13,400 | Barclays/Sallie Mae13,000 | Discover IT 12,500 | Lowes 10,000 | PLOC 9,300 | NASA FCU 8,700 | Citi Simplicity 6,200 | BOA Platinum+ 6,000 | Achieva CU 5,500 | Chase CSP 5,000 | Sam's Club 3,000 | Sears 900
Message 4 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

PCing to a full MR card carries with it a higher AF, so I imagine that outweighs any additional cost in converting the MR points to full MR points.  Plus, Amex only realizes an additional cost when the person goes to redeem their points and only if the member chooses a more expensive redemption option. 


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Message 5 of 16
Frequent Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

The whole point of Zync was to attract younger markets, who are less impressed with the “status-symbol” of the American Express card, than their parents were. 

 

Younger consumers see no point in having an AmEx card, when there are so many other, more exciting credit cards available to them, which are in constant competition to offer more rewards, points and other incentives.

 

AmEx has also built a reputation for declining purchases and closing accounts without notice, causing great embarrassment and frustration for their so-called “privileged members”.

 

I suspect that AmEx is developing a new card offering that will hold greater appeal to the younger demographic – it would be foolish to ignore this big-spending group.  And once they are lost to the competition, it becomes extremely difficult and expensive to get them back.  

 

 

Message 6 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

AMEX doesn't have the prestige it once had. Their cards don't really compete. A lot more people would rather have VISA/MC.

 

I intend on keeping my Zync unless they force all teh Zync holder to PC to a higher card. $25 is not bad to get me that backdating. Plus the Unicorn card is a very good looking card.

 

Rewards/cashbackwise, there are many other cards that AMEX cannot compete with with no AF. The BOA 1-2-3 is a good example. Unless you pay $75 with the BCP to be better than the BOA 123

 

Penfed 5% gas is another one

 

The Chase/Discover 5% rotating is antoher good one.

 

The AMEX charge cards are hyped up too much. That's in my opinion Smiley Happy




Message 7 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

Working in finance, almost everyone I work with or do business with in some way, shape, or form uses AMEX as their primary payment method. I think that business people are where they thrive. It's their target market. Saying that, I think a lot of younger people in their target market (like myself) get exposure to AMEX after school. The Zync never caught on when I was in school, and didn't appeal to my colleagues once I graduated, who were using either a higher AF charge card or co-branded travel card. Simply put, I don't think AMEX was successful in targeting the younger market. Rather than continue to try for this market, they decided to move on. Again, just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.
Amex BCP $20k | PenFed Platinum Rewards VS $16.5k | Amex HHonors $10k
Message 8 of 16
Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express


ramblin_wreck08 wrote:
Working in finance, almost everyone I work with or do business with in some way, shape, or form uses AMEX as their primary payment method. I think that business people are where they thrive. It's their target market. Saying that, I think a lot of younger people in their target market (like myself) get exposure to AMEX after school. The Zync never caught on when I was in school, and didn't appeal to my colleagues once I graduated, who were using either a higher AF charge card or co-branded travel card. Simply put, I don't think AMEX was successful in targeting the younger market. Rather than continue to try for this market, they decided to move on. Again, just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.

Yeah, I am in finance as well. When colleagues and peers do have AMEX cards, they have the Gold or Platinum, or the SPG. Not many Delta cards and interestingly not many of the Blue Cash cards (I guess young New Yorkers spend less on groceries and gas). Other popular cards are Chase Freedom and Sapphire or any of the airline or travel cards from the various banks. I am the only person I knew that ever had a Zync, and as has been documented many times, very few store clerks / bartenders / etc saw the card, so it may not have been common.

 

A way for AMEX to really gain some share with the young demographic is to introduce a card that gives double points on dining/travel, rotating double points on other categories and special events/offers in various cities. Don't try to gimp the card with Membership Rewards Express either. Make it blue (or reintroduce the white color).

Message 9 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: Ending ZYNC seems very expensive for American Express

EDIT: Quoting Alcibiades... don't know what I erased to mess up the quoting! 

 

A way for AMEX to really gain some share with the young demographic is to introduce a card that gives double points on dining/travel, rotating double points on other categories and special events/offers in various cities. Don't try to gimp the card with Membership Rewards Express either. Make it blue (or reintroduce the white color).



Wasn't this the purpose of the packs? Absolutely agree that MRE reward value was mediocre at best. I thought the appeal to college age and even post grad mid twenty professionals like myself was there. Wanted 2x points on food? Restaurant pack. Like buying clothes? Style pack. Like places like whole foods? Eco Pack.

 

Sure, the base AF was the $25 figure we all throw around, but for me, with restaurant and style, it was a $70 AF, and more if you had any additional packs.

 

I really, really think it was a marketing failure. The only reason I ever found out about the Zync was I happened to see it when I was looking at a Green. Perhaps it was just the Amex attitude of assumed "Prestige"  that kept them from ad bombing TV, internet, and radio a la Discover It these days?

 

 

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Message 10 of 16