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Established Contributor
FutureBillionaire
Posts: 650
Registered: ‎12-12-2012
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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.


This is 100% spot on.  I travel, but I get better rewards and decent benefits on no or lower annual fee cards.  I would keep the Amex if the annual fee was closer to the CSP.

 

Credit limits aren't an issue for me either.  This card is going to the shredder unless they wow me.

Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward,
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
Valued Contributor
navigatethis12
Posts: 1,954
Registered: ‎01-24-2012
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


Swapmeet wrote:

Just for the record, you are trying to compare a GE retail store card to an Amex revolver. GE is one company that is very generous with credit limits, loose on underwriting, and only uses soft pulls while they let you ask for a cli every day. I do not think that there are many card companies that operate that way. Let's not compare apples and oranges. I have not heard of another company that does that. Have you? 3x CLI at 61 days and another at 6 months is more than fair. You go to the extreme and use 1,000 credit limits as your example, but what if they started out at 5k? That is 15k at 61 days. And 25k 6 mos later, on your word alone. Seems pretty generous to me.


I was talking about a Dillards American Express card, which can be used anywhere, just like a card issued by Centurion Bank. I do not know of any lender that operates the way General Electric does, but I was pointing out that the 61 day increase is not standard with most lenders, since they let you request an increase at any time. It also seems people believe the three times increase is guaranteed to happen as soon as sixty-one days are up and it is not. I wasn't going to the extreme, I was stating what Dillards started the card at and what it increased to.

 


Alcibiades wrote:



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. 


You forgot the $495 fee for the Platinum and for every year you wish to upgrade the points you must pay the fee. I was unaware the points could be upgraded if a higher card was linked to it. So in that case I am wrong and the 2 points per dollar would be worth it.

 


ryanbush wrote:


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


Well I know that Lowes offers interest free periods for sometimes twelve or something months. Even if you can pay it off, leaving the balance when no interest is charged isn't bad and I reckon remodeling or repairing something can get expensive. The 10000 limit I was referring to was the Dillards American Express card, which does give a 10% or $10 off certificate everyime you spend 1500. Depending on how much I will buy, it can come out to higher than 1 or 2% cashback. The other General Electric card I have is Amazon. I really wasn't expecting a 10000 limit but I kept receiving letters saying they couldn't give an increase because of some policy so I rang customer service, threw a random number expecting a counter, and it was approved.

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

[ Edited ]

navigatethis12 wrote:


You forgot the $495 fee for the Platinum and for every year you wish to upgrade the points you must pay the fee. I was unaware the points could be upgraded if a higher card was linked to it. So in that case I am wrong and the 2 points per dollar would be worth it.


This is true, but you can upgrade points with just a Green as well. I have used the Platinum for lounge access twice so far.

 

I think the point about the charge cards is that the more spend you push through them, the better rewards you can attain - the thing is that it is not a true 1 to 1 ratio like with certain cash back cards, though. 49,999 MR rewards points may not get you much, but 50,000 may, and 100,000 can get you even more. For smaller spend amounts, though, other cards may be better - cash back is cash back, no matter how small or large.

Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


Alcibiades wrote:

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....Zync worked out pretty well for me. 


Right, this is why I thought the Zync was the best as an "entry" level Amex charge for low to moderate spenders.

 

1.  The Zync's initial sign up bonus was for 10K MRE points.

2.  Annual fee of $25 is a wash after a single small business Saturday.

3.  $25 Restaurant pack is paid for by restaurant gift cards and a $50 one after spending $150 at Morton's.

4.  $20 Home pack is immediately reimbursed with a $15 (or, $20 Lowe's GC)

5.  Eco conferred an extra point at certain establishments, e.g., costco in some places.

 

The packs are limited to $5K spend, which is a good amount for those who spend less.  For lower income cardmembers who want an Amex charge, can anyone really assert the $5K spending limit per pack as a limitation?  This card easily paid for itself 2X over.  And, if one can't spend $150 at Morton's over an entire year, then I'm not sure if a charge card is appropriate, or any kind of card, for that matter.

 

Of course, accrue the points at 2x or 3x spending and upgrade to an MR Amex (usually fee wavied first year) and transfer to the airline of one's choice.

 

This may not have been an ideal card for higher spenders who needed full MR status immediately, but I felt this was as good any for the initial $10k - $15k spending if one accrued points, take another charge for a sign up bonus later with annual fee waived, and transfer it all to airline partners.

 

Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
0

Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


navigatethis12 wrote:

You forgot the $495 fee for the Platinum and for every year you wish to upgrade the points you must pay the fee. I was unaware the points could be upgraded if a higher card was linked to it. So in that case I am wrong and the 2 points per dollar would be worth it.


 

This is usually not an issue.

 

Most will receive a 50K MR bonus (some even 100K) when opening up a Plat for the first time.  And, all points are instantly conferred MR First status.  After the first year, downgrade to a Green if there are still lots of MR points accrued.

 

 

Regular Contributor
ramblin_wreck08
Posts: 181
Registered: ‎08-09-2012
0

Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?

Whether or not the a charge card is worth the annual fee is solely up to the individual. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. I do agree with prior posters that the charge card products are somewhat of a niche product and are targeted at higher spend levels (the Zync being the exception, of course). Personally, I love my PRG. However, I would never recommend it to some of my friends because their spend is different than mine. Others I would encourage to apply.

Personally, I have recouped the AF of my PRG in the first 5 months. I am flying to Philly for a friend's wedding in August and will realize 1.68 cents/point when transferred to Delta miles. These redemption rates vary, but for me on this particular occasion, that is their value. On top of that I get free roadside assistance (I personally value it at $25/yr when comparing to my insurance company's rates). Plus purchase protection which I personally have more faith in than Visa/MC purchase protection. Plus I like the utilization benefits and the sense of "I can only charge this if I can pay it back in full." It helps me when my personal willpower is running close to empty. :smileytongue:

Could I have achieved more rewards elsewhere? Sure. Extrapolating my spend to a 12 month period, I calculated that I'm giving up around $50-$100 in rewards over the course of the year once I account for the annual fee. For me, I'm willing to pay that for the card for the purchase protection, utility benefits, and "must pay in full" nature of the card. I will still receive $200-$250 in rewards on top of the AF so I'm satisfied with that. For my personal spend and personal preferences, the card is justified. However, I can see how this would be a terrible card for some people. Whether or not the fee is justified is very much a YMMV question.



What's in my wallet:



Left to right:
NPSL ($10k approved)
$5k (EMV - Chip & PIN)
$7k (Visa Sig + EMV)
$7.5k (WEMC)

Transunion FICO: 709 (8/13/12) -> 740 (9/24/12)
Credit Karma: 772 (11/24/13)
Credit Sesame: 755 (11/5/13)
Valued Contributor
ryanbush
Posts: 1,292
Registered: ‎08-19-2012
0

Re: For what they offer, are the Amex charge card AF justified?


ryanbush wrote:


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


Well I know that Lowes offers interest free periods for sometimes twelve or something months. Even if you can pay it off, leaving the balance when no interest is charged isn't bad and I reckon remodeling or repairing something can get expensive. The 10000 limit I was referring to was the Dillards American Express card, which does give a 10% or $10 off certificate everyime you spend 1500. Depending on how much I will buy, it can come out to higher than 1 or 2% cashback. The other General Electric card I have is Amazon. I really wasn't expecting a 10000 limit but I kept receiving letters saying they couldn't give an increase because of some policy so I rang customer service, threw a random number expecting a counter, and it was approved.



You do have a good point, out of all the GE cards the Lowes card with the 0% for 6-12 months could come in handy for a lot of people!

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