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Frequent Contributor
kkapdolee
Posts: 320
Registered: ‎09-17-2012
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FIA vs BOA vs AMEX

[ Edited ]

I recently opened the Fidelity Amex card. It looks like the card is issued by a company called FIA which I assumed was associated to Fidelity but turns out to be some subsidiary of BOA. I'm a little confused and would appreciate anyone who can clearly explain.

 

I thought there were two entities involved in each credit card.

 

The lender who are lending you the money (usually banks or CUs such as Chase, Citi, BOA, and PenFed)

Card issuers through whose network payments are processed (VISA, Mastercard)

In this case, Discover and Amex are both the lender and the card issuer for their own cards.

 

So what's with Fidelity Amex and other BOA cards. I've read threads here of people successfully calling FIA to recon a BOA card and vice versa.

 

1. Is it correct to think FIA and BOA are really the same company? Can I call BOA to request CLI for my Fidelity Amex? Is BOA lending me the money each month?

 

2. Can I access my Fidelity Amex card from BOA website? (FIA card services website sucks..)

 

3. I've read somewhere that it is similar to how Amex Centurion bank and Amex savings bank(?) are somehow different. What does that mean?

 

4. Since Amex is only the card issuer and not the lender, does none of the Amex perks or purchase protection, etc. apply to Fidelity Amex? Amex has as little do with the card as Visa has to do with Chase Freedom visa card?

 

5. Somewhat unrelated question. On Visa signature cards, who is the provider of all the perks like 24 hr concierge service, etc.? Visa or the lender?

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Valued Contributor
FinStar
Posts: 5,343
Registered: ‎10-21-2012
0

Re: FIA vs BOA vs AMEX


kkapdolee wrote:

I recently opened the Fidelity Amex card. It looks like the card is issued by a company called FIA which I assumed was associated to Fidelity but turns out to be some subsidiary of BOA. I'm a little confused and would appreciate anyone who can clearly explain.

 

I thought there were two entities involved in each credit card.

 

The lender who are lending you the money (usually banks or CUs such as Chase, Citi, BOA, and PenFed)

Card issuers through whose network payments are processed (VISA, Mastercard)

In this case, Discover and Amex are both the lender and the card issuer for their own cards.

 

So what's with Fidelity Amex and other BOA cards. I've read threads here of people successfully calling FIA to recon a BOA card and vice versa.

 

1. Is it correct to think FIA and BOA are really the same company? BOA is the parent entity which absorbed/acquired the MBNA/FIA (US) lending & CC portfolio.  FIA Card Services is the wholly-owned subsidirary of BOA.  Can I call BOA to request CLI for my Fidelity Amex?  You can.  Is BOA lending me the money each month?  BOA is the parent lending entity though its subsidiary.

 

2. Can I access my Fidelity Amex card from BOA website? No. (FIA card services website sucks..) 

 

3. I've read somewhere that it is similar to how Amex Centurion bank and Amex savings bank(?) are somehow different. What does that mean?  No, totally different structures.  Regulatory oversight detemines the appropriate bank charters.

 

4. Since Amex is only the card issuer and not the lender, does none of the Amex perks or purchase protection, etc. apply to Fidelity Amex? AMEX Centurion Bank is not the card issuer, FIA Card Services is.  AMEX is simply the payment network and the Fidelity brand/product is issued by FIA, not AMEX Centurion Bank.  Amex has as little do with the card as Visa has to do with Chase Freedom visa card?  Only from a payment network perspective.

 

5. Somewhat unrelated question. On Visa signature cards, who is the provider of all the perks like 24 hr concierge service, etc.? Visa or the lender? Both.  Each issuer has their own specific agreements with Visa for the Signature level of benefits and each can offer additional perks (inclduing their own in-house concierge staff) based on its loyalty/program base.


 

Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 6,889
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: FIA vs BOA vs AMEX

+1 to what finstar said. It can be a little confusing with FIA backed products sometimes. Some FIA products, such as Merrill+, can be accessed via Bank of America online and one can also call Bank of America if there's any issues.

However, fidelity Amex card however doesn't work that way. My guess is that this has to do with bank of America's contractual obligations with each of these companies and how their agreements are set up.

Its a little like certain JPmorgan backed products. They are the same company as chase, but some products are handled differently by different departments. The only less confusing and nice thing about that is that JPMorgan and chase backed products can both be accessed via one unified online interface.
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).
Epic Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 20,187
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
0

Re: FIA vs BOA vs AMEX

Yes, so far have found the online for fidelity Amex terrible!
Fico Scores: EQ- HATE U, TU 671 GE, EX 669 Chase(09-15-14)
You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
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Super Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 6,659
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
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Re: FIA vs BOA vs AMEX


Creditaddict wrote:
Yes, so far have found the online for fidelity Amex terrible!

Oh, it looks very old-fashioned and probably too many clicks to get to information (have to click to go to account details etc) but it seems to have the information I need.   Much better than Penfed and US Bank (I still only get the old interface for that) which don't show any pending charges or payments.

Most active cards: Amex BC ($50K), Cap One QS ($33K) Fidelity Amex ($20K)
Others: CSP, Freedom, Chase Amazon, Cap One QS, Penfed Plat Rewards (x2), Citi Double Cash, Citi Dividend, Citi AA Plat Select, Citi Forward, Amex BCE, Amalgamated Bank, Sallie Mae, Cash Plus
Scores May 14: EQ 848, EX 833, TU 848 (Sep)
Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 6,889
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
0

Re: FIA vs BOA vs AMEX

The US bank online interface is just atrocious.... Their app version seems to be pretty polished however.

Barclays online interface is also a little clunky / troublesome, but in a way it's still tolerable.
JPMorgan Palladium (100k), AmEx Platinum (NPSL), AmEx SPG (46k), AmEx BCP (42k), Chase Sapphire Preferred (47k), Citi Prestige (31k), Citi Thank You Preferred (27k), Citi Executive AAdvantage (25k), JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton (21k), Merrill+ (15k), US Bank Cash+ (22.5k), Wells Fargo (12k), Bloomingdale’s (12.4k), Chase Freedom (5k), Discover IT (5k).

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