Good evening everyone! First of all, I'm beyond glad I found this forum! I'm a 25 year old, second-year teacher. I just recently got engaged, with the wedding next year, and I live with my fiancé in New Jersey. Life is WELL in every aspect (thank God!), and I just have a basic question... I have a 751 FICO score, have NEVER had a late payment (or minimum) and ALWAYS pay bills in full and IMMEDIATELY. I just recently applied for and got my first American Express ZYNC card! Beyond excited! All of the credit cards I've been using for years, I've TREATED as a charge card -- I pay off each balance in FULL always (and usually EARLY!), so I figured why not apply and see if I can finally get one! Researching all of the AmEx offerings, for my current life situation, the ZYNC card seemed to fit me for an entry-level charge card. Is activated and READY TO GO.
I figured I could also apply for another charge card as my lifestyle changes and so forth... SO my question! I've been reading a lot of articles about using a charge/credit card for DAILY living. Charging everything you buy for the most part, and then just paying the bill in full each month. This, of course, seems like a PERFECT lifestyle change for me in terms of spending. However, I'm a bit apprehensive since I've NEVER spent this way! But it REALLY intrigues me with my ZYNC card and rewards points now in the picture. I figure if I use my card EVERY DAY, pay off the bill -- I can rack up some pretty good rewards over the course of the year, right? My setup: I currently have two checking accounts: *Capital One for strictly bills and expenses, which I pay on the 15th of every month *Ally interest checking, which I've been using for daily expenses (This system has been workin GREAT for me -- it's such a relief knowing I don't need to keep an eye on "pending transactions" during bill pay times, so spending on personal things, such as food, isn't based on waiting for payments to clear)
I currently also have two credit cards; -Capital One NEA Rewards (educator-specific rewards card) -Capital One World card Does anyone currently utilize their AmEx card as their DAILY, go-to for EVERYTHING, and just pay off the monthly bill? How has it been working out for you? Do I now then get RID of one of my checking accounts since everything will be done on my AmEx card, and I'll be paying one bill? Also, I'd still pay off my bills and expenses via debit! Just on the fence, and looking for some insight! ANY and ALL feedback is GREATLY appreciated! (FYI, I didn't apply for the Green card because I'm not a big traveler!) -Andrew
Hey Ggs1892!!! Welcome to the Forums!
Sounds like you've really got it together!
I personally use my Amex Charge for everything. I pay my cable, cell, internet... etc... then pay one bill at the end of the month. I use the card also for my everyday purchases... gum, gas, soda- whatever. I try not to use my debit card because it is directly tied to my personal cash. Amex offers me not the just the option now to pay only one bill at the end of the month with all my monthly necessities being charged to it but also a layer of security from identity theft because now my personal cash accounts aren't being used as often except for maybe at ATMs when I need cash. The kicker is I get rewarded for buying and using services that would have just paid every month anyway. It's worked out great for me. Hope this helps!!
Welcome to the forums, short response to a rather detailed post, but generally speaking if you have a rewards card of any type, financially speaking it's best to just run everything through there if that's your only option. It may be semi-trivial but in the long run it adds up to some non-zero amount.
You've been treating your credit cards basically like charge cards anyway, as long as you don't get carried away and start spending more than you can actually afford, why not simply run your life through the one card, Amex Zync in this case?
The only issue you might run into is if you run up against a spending limit on the Amex, but for most people this isn't a problem assuming they're living within their means and listed their correct income on the application. I wouldn't go closing your checking accounts just yet, see what your needs are post making a transition to a more single-source for payments. I don't see any reason to not put utility bills there too personally but that's me, it's what I do with the only reward card I have: I put everything I can on it unless I run up to the limit and can't get a payment cleared quickly enough, and just carry another card around for backup purposes.
IT ABSOLUTELY DOES! I just wanted to hear some general feedback of DAILY AmEx'ers! As I posted, this is somewhat of a "lifestyle change" for me, since I'm used to using my DEBIT card for EVERYTHING! But the protection and rewards from AmEx have made me re-think my ways, and I think I'll be using AmEx ZYNC for EVERY DAY purchases! I've been paying my CC in full every month anyway, so now an actual CHARGE CARD won't be any different!
I also just added the "Restaurant Pack" which will give me 2x rewards points for eating out! And again, I'm not trying to FLY anywhere with this card. If I was a big-time traveler, I would've opted for the Gold immediately! But I'm just looking to accrue some good points over the course of a year or so! Maybe I'll also app. for the Green card in a year or two!
How quickly does AmEx take to post transactions? Is it immediate? Or does it take some time?
Thanks for the post, Revelate!
I think I'm NOT going to use my AmEx for my utilities just for the sole reason of my current checking account setup -- 3/4 of my paycheck going to one checking (for bills/expenses), and the other amount going into my ALLY account. I guess I'm just a bit anxious of doing my bills through AmEx as well? Maybe it's because it's only ONE paycheck per month? The possible confusion it might caught? I don't know why, and it's completely irrational! But I think I may just leave it?
As a side note, what WOULD be a good checking account to open, SHOULD I get rid of my current accounts? Since I'm now using AmEx for daily expenses...
I currently also have an ING savings account (2 years now), which has been FANTASTIC in terms of interest -- upwards of $15-20/month! Should I look into an Electric Orange?
Thanks so much for all of the love guys! I appreciate it!
Just a thought.. but you might want to look into the "connect pack" also. You get 2X rewards for billing on cable, internet and cell. Also, I don't know how much you'd be running through your card every month but if you have an + interest type account, having all your money in the bank every month helps with the interest residual income as well.