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Valued Contributor
Dustink
Posts: 2,980
Registered: ‎10-02-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?

I think the AMEX Plat is justifiable for benefits and the PRG is justifiable for rewards. All others, not so much.

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cashnocredit
Posts: 1,012
Registered: ‎07-18-2009
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?

I agree with the OP and several other posters. The principal value of Amex charge is the ability to charge larger amounts than on other cards.I've made purchases that exceeded my other card CLs combined without any negative impact on credit scores. While I don't do that often it's nice to be able to. Outside of United, it's lounge access is decent and the ability to control/monitor/seperate spending reports on AUs is unique. At least amongst non-biz cards.

I have reestablished credit over the last couple years
so my moniker is, well, rather out of date.

WM Discover $1800, WF Plat 12k, Chase Freedom Siggy15k, Amex Plat (60k H/B), Citi AA EWMC 25k
Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


Denny33142 wrote:

I don't think many jobs that require you to travel would pay you 30K per year, I think we can all agree that most people in this income range will not be doing a great deal of traveling.

 

I am just trying to figure out why people in this income range have a charge card or want one so badly, and what they think the benifits of such a card will actually give them.

 

Also talking about APR is a moot point since you cannot normally carry a balance on a charge card.


People in this income range shouldnt bother with the CSP or any other card wIth an AF, yet they still do anyways.

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Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
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Alcibiades
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎05-17-2011
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?

[ Edited ]

The math for the Amex charge cards is pretty simple: As long as you earn 100x the annual fee every year in MR points, you come out ahead on the annual fee. Plus, the various cards get you a number of benefits - the ability to charge a very high amount in a month, extended warranty, card specific benefits (like lounge access from Platinum), etc

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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


CreditScholar wrote:

Denny33142 wrote:

I don't think many jobs that require you to travel would pay you 30K per year, I think we can all agree that most people in this income range will not be doing a great deal of traveling.

 

I am just trying to figure out why people in this income range have a charge card or want one so badly, and what they think the benifits of such a card will actually give them.

 

Also talking about APR is a moot point since you cannot normally carry a balance on a charge card.


People in this income range shouldnt bother with the CSP or any other card wIth an AF, yet they still do anyways.


Bingo.

And I wish more people would understand that. As a low profile spender, I'd never fathom having a card whose AF outweighed whatever benefit I could derive from that card. I wouldn't even have a card that I needed to spend on just to pay the AF either.

 

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EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

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Alcibiades
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎05-17-2011
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


navigatethis12 wrote:

It doesn't apply to me, but I believe you were right in the first post about people getting for the "prestige" of having an American Express card. Even the $25 for the Zync is outrageous to me for such a worthless card.

 


I got the Zync in May 2011 - since then, I have earned 112,000 MR points, include 10,000 in a sgnup bonus and about 22,000 in Pack "Double Points" with the Restaurant, Go and Connect Packs. I paid $25 for the annual fee and $65 for the packs I think, so $90 annually. So for a total of $180 in fees, I got 112,000 MR points. I recently got a Amex Platinum, which converted the MR points to MR First. Afterwards, I transferred about 40,000 to Avios during a transfer bonus and now have over 50,000 points in my Avios account - enough for a flight from JFK to Berlin. I also plan to top off my Delta Skymiles Account to over 100,000 (I have about 60,000 from flying) and sign up for a Delta Amex card to get another 20,000-30,000 points - closing in on a business class award to Japan or Korea. I can also use points for gift cards at Brooks Brothers, Saks, Bergdorf, etc. For maximum Avios flexibility, I plan on applying to the British Airways Chase card - that should get me another 100,000 avios, which puts me on the way towards a business class ticket to Hong Kong.  Zync worked out pretty well for me. 

Established Contributor
Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?

Honestly, with the elimination of the zync, Amex charge products have returned to being a niche product. There are hundreds of unique scenarios where such a product makes sense, but most people will get more from other products. Need to make large purchases at Costco that exceed your current Amex revolver limits? Keep zync or maybe get a green. Travel enough to run 30k in travel/restaurant expenses? the annual bonus makes the prg worthwhile. Like to travel in style, do it often enough to offset the fees but not enough to get status with bis miles? Maybe platinum. High income, but damaged credit? Maybe a green while you rebuild. But in general, the popularity of these products on this board is well out of proportion to the benefits most members of this board will receive from the actual products. Also, much of the collective desire is left over from zync fever, which was a whole different scenario.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Valued Contributor
ryanbush
Posts: 1,295
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


navigatethis12 wrote:

chnceit wrote:


GE is one lender that is currently generous with CLI's, but does not offer low APR which AMEX does. 

 

Also AMEX is considered as conservative and GE not so.....


I was just stating that some lenders give high limits in a short period of time. Interest rate means nothing to me as I never have and never will carry a balance when the interest rate is not zero.

 

 


ryanbush wrote:



GE cards grow super fast and they give people limits much higher than what they have had in the past, but they're APR is normally pretty high so it's really hard to use those limits 



I don't see how a high interest rate makes a card difficult to use. If you need to carry a balance you would obviously do it on another card. I have no idea what the interest rate is on the General Electric cards I have.


Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see why people would need 10k limits at walmart or lowes and are going to spend that much and PIF.  if you have that kind of coin to drop and PIF you just use one of you're other rewards cards or AMEX Charge cards and actually get some rewards out of it.  the only reason some one would need a credit card that doesn't offer rewards is to boost your score or to carry a balance

Chase Sapphire Perferred | Chase Freedom | AMEX Platinum | AMEX Delta Platinum | AMEX SPG | Capital One Venture | Capital One Quicksliver | Discover IT | ABFCU Visa | Citi AA WEMC
Valued Contributor
ryanbush
Posts: 1,295
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


Denny33142 wrote:

I don't think many jobs that require you to travel would pay you 30K per year, I think we can all agree that most people in this income range will not be doing a great deal of traveling.

 

I am just trying to figure out why people in this income range have a charge card or want one so badly, and what they think the benifits of such a card will actually give them.

 

Also talking about APR is a moot point since you cannot normally carry a balance on a charge card.


I think most people want they to get their foot in the door with AMEX so they can get a revolver

Chase Sapphire Perferred | Chase Freedom | AMEX Platinum | AMEX Delta Platinum | AMEX SPG | Capital One Venture | Capital One Quicksliver | Discover IT | ABFCU Visa | Citi AA WEMC
Valued Contributor
thom02099
Posts: 1,323
Registered: ‎08-30-2011
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

Honestly, with the elimination of the zync, Amex charge products have returned to being a niche product. There are hundreds of unique scenarios where such a product makes sense, but most people will get more from other products. Need to make large purchases at Costco that exceed your current Amex revolver limits? Keep zync or maybe get a green. Travel enough to run 30k in travel/restaurant expenses? the annual bonus makes the prg worthwhile. Like to travel in style, do it often enough to offset the fees but not enough to get status with bis miles? Maybe platinum. High income, but damaged credit? Maybe a green while you rebuild. But in general, the popularity of these products on this board is well out of proportion to the benefits most members of this board will receive from the actual products. Also, much of the collective desire is left over from zync fever, which was a whole different scenario.


+1

AMEX charge cards have always been that niche market.  Look at some of the threads here in the past, asking about other charge cards that are apptles-to-apples comparable.  There's just not any that the masses can aspire to. 

 

As others have pointed out, the AMEX charge cards are not really targeted toward those making an income of ~$30K.  They were originally and still are marketing to a somewhat higher income level, where a charge card meets their needs.   A goodly number of folks here on this board have stated that they use their AMEX charge card like a debit card, knowing that the full bill has to be paid at the end of the month.  And AMEX does allow a pay over time feature on certain cards if you sign up for that feature. 

 

I think the "myth" or legend of AMEX charge cards (Centurion  card exempted) exists primarily on message boards/forums such as this.  The members/readers aspire to them because others have them and share success stories about their charge cards.  I believe that the vast majority of consumers, in that salary range of ~$30K and who NEVER ever go to a message forum, do not aspire to an AMEX charge card products.  I believe that people in that income level will likely be more interested in the revolvers from AMEX than the charge cards. 

 

Each person chooses their card selection presumably for a purpose.  If they pay an AF and can justify it to themselves, I see no reason to challenge their logic in so doing. 

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