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drsmith
Posts: 384
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

USAA Amex

Does anyone have any experience with this card?

 

I'm curious about what sort of qualifications I'll need to meet to be approved for this card. I'm obviously a USAA member, through the Amex website I've been pre-approved for Zync, Gold, and Green cards and my current Fico score is a 711 from equifax.

 

The only issue I've found with my credit history is that it's less than 5 years old since I'm only 22. Is this a card I should be looking into or are there better options? I'm really not too intrigued with the idea of a charge card so if you have suggestions, I'd really prefer to stick to just actual credit cards.

Thanks for the help


Starting Score: 703
Current Score: EQ 743 2/9/12 TU 734 2/11/12
Goal Score: 750


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: USAA Amex

There is absolutely no relationship between whether you qualify for a card from American Express and this card.

 

This card is issued by USAA, who does all the determination as to whether you qualify. The card transactions are processed through the American Express card network, and it has the consumer protections of AmEx cards, but it doesn't make you a member of American Express. This confuses a lot of people, and the same is true for the Macy's AmEx, the BofA AmEx, the PenFed AmEx, and on and on. Also, the AmEx back-dating feature doesn't apply to non-AmEx AmEx cards.

 

That being said, it's a nice card. Usually USAA gives the MC first and then offers the AmEx, although I've heard of people applying for and getting both on the same day.

 

This is not a charge card. It is a revolving credit card that can be used at places that accept American Express. You can carry a balance on it, although this is an unwise thing to do in most cases with any CC's at all.

 

I have both the USAA MC World and the AmEx, and if anything, I'm considering closing the AmEx, as it's pretty redundant. The USAA MC World has great consumer protections, and since I've had both for more than a year, neither have anything particularly special in terms of rewards.

 

If you're going to get a USAA card, either would do, I suppose, although I can use the MC in more places.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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drsmith
Posts: 384
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

Re: USAA Amex

I'm really not that hung up on a USAA card, I'm just looking for a good second credit card. I've been getting all sorts of "pre-approved" offers and since I'm a USAA member I figured I'd start there. 

 

I'm really just looking for something to help build on my score and round out my credit profile. All I have on there right now are my student loans, and my one lame Capital one card I got when I was 19. In most of my credit reports, lack of open lines of credit are something that seem to be hurting my score. I'd like to fix that


Starting Score: 703
Current Score: EQ 743 2/9/12 TU 734 2/11/12
Goal Score: 750


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: USAA Amex

You're tailor-made for a Zync card. It was created for those in your stage of life, and in your situation. If you don't mind paying a fee for the first year, you can plan to apply for a revolving AmEx like the Blue after 6 months or so, and then eventually cancel the Zync before you get charged another fee. And although I'm allergic to fees, with the Zync you can choose which rewards categories you want and thus control the amount of your fee.

 

Citi Forward might be a good match, too, although I don't know if they'd approve you with only one open CC.

 

Are you 21 or older now? The new CC law requires you to show that you have adequate income OR get a co-signer if you're under 21.

 

But at any rate, being pre-approved on the AmEx website isn't a predictor for how you'd do with USAA. Do you have anything with them now, like auto insurance? You can go on your USAA website and click My Offers. You might even have an offer there waiting for you to accept.

 

USAA cards aren't flashy by any means, but you can't beat their service, and the more business you do with them over time, the more generous they'll be. Just a thought.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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drsmith
Posts: 384
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

Re: USAA Amex

 


haulingthescoreup wrote:

You're tailor-made for a Zync card. It was created for those in your stage of life, and in your situation. If you don't mind paying a fee for the first year, you can plan to apply for a revolving AmEx like the Blue after 6 months or so, and then eventually cancel the Zync before you get charged another fee. And although I'm allergic to fees, with the Zync you can choose which rewards categories you want and thus control the amount of your fee.

 

Citi Forward might be a good match, too, although I don't know if they'd approve you with only one open CC.

 

Are you 21 or older now? The new CC law requires you to show that you have adequate income OR get a co-signer if you're under 21.

 

But at any rate, being pre-approved on the AmEx website isn't a predictor for how you'd do with USAA. Do you have anything with them now, like auto insurance? You can go on your USAA website and click My Offers. You might even have an offer there waiting for you to accept.

 

USAA cards aren't flashy by any means, but you can't beat their service, and the more business you do with them over time, the more generous they'll be. Just a thought.


 

I'm 22 and three generations of my family have everything through USAA

 

Crazily enough, the Zync packet is sitting on top of a chase rewards letter on my coffee table. I was set on the Zync card up until today when I read a bunch of conflicting articles about how a charge card can affect your credit score. Some said that no defined credit limit may influence your score in unexpected way and that seems to be the opposite of what I'd want

 

But I'd love to know for sure since most of the explanations were a bit of confusing for a credit noob


Starting Score: 703
Current Score: EQ 743 2/9/12 TU 734 2/11/12
Goal Score: 750


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Peach8321
Posts: 274
Registered: ‎12-31-2008

Re: USAA Amex

I, like Hauling, have both the USAA CC (MC & AMEX) and, again like Hauling, I'm not sure that the Amex is that great to have.

 

That said, I do think the protection offered by the USAA MC (exactly the same) is a good idea to have and they are very generous with their credit limits.  I also find it really easy to pay off through their website and, having had it for a few years now, they offer me a "minimum payment due" of $0...so when I'm a day late or something paying (happened 2 times in 3 years, oops), I don't have any finance charges.  I can also easily track what I bought as it instantly goes up (unlike PenFed, which takes a day or two to show up).  They do a hard inq on your credit though, so be aware of that.  USAA also has a member shop area and if you use their CC, you get even more rewards.

 

The Zync card is a good one as well, and will get you into the Amex family, if that's your goal.

 

I would recommend looking at where and how you spend ... for example, most of my spending is on Gas so I use a PenFed 5% back Visa card.  I also use my USAA AMEX (or MC would work too) to pay our USAA insurance bill - it's easy and I get the rewards from it.

 

If you spend at lot at Amazon, they have a nice card...same with Costco.

 

So yeah, that's my two cents...

 

Oh, and about the charge card vs a revolving card...there isn't really a clear answer, some say that the charge card reports your highest charge as the "limit" and others say there's a "limit" given to you but you can excede it.  My understanding is that you can't leave a balance on it (ie, you must always PIF) but my personal thought is that you should always PIF anyway!

 

Finally, chose one card and let it grow, don't go app happy, it will affect your scores and at 22 you are facing a lot of financal change now and you'll want high scores.

 

Good luck to you!

Current Scores: EQ: 740 (2/7/13)


Starting Score: 799
Current Score: 762
Goal Score: 800

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: USAA Amex

The only FICO score that tries to include AmEx charge cards in revolving util scoring is TU98. Unfortunately, that's the version that we have here, but most lenders who pull TU new the newer model (TU04.) The others ignore AmEx charge cards in figuring util, and you get full brownie points for having an open tradeline from a national bank.

 

It's not a huge deal. If it concerns you, all you have to do is pay your AmEx bill before the statement posts, so that it reports $0.

 

Otherwise, AmEx charge cards help your credit just as much as any other card, charge or revolving.

 

I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm guessing that you might have a hard time getting a revolving credit card from one of the major banks, because you only have the one CC. Big banks tend to be chicken and wait for other lenders to take chances on those who are new to credit.

 

This might well be a role that USAA could fill, by becoming the second lender to give you a card. Alternatively, the Zync would serve the same role.

 

Once you have this second card for more than six months (ideally, more like a year), you will have more of a track record for other lenders to examine.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Frequent Contributor
drsmith
Posts: 384
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

Re: USAA Amex

 


Peach8321 wrote:

I, like Hauling, have both the USAA CC (MC & AMEX) and, again like Hauling, I'm not sure that the Amex is that great to have.

 

That said, I do think the protection offered by the USAA MC (exactly the same) is a good idea to have and they are very generous with their credit limits.  I also find it really easy to pay off through their website and, having had it for a few years now, they offer me a "minimum payment due" of $0...so when I'm a day late or something paying (happened 2 times in 3 years, oops), I don't have any finance charges.  I can also easily track what I bought as it instantly goes up (unlike PenFed, which takes a day or two to show up).  They do a hard inq on your credit though, so be aware of that.  USAA also has a member shop area and if you use their CC, you get even more rewards.

 

The Zync card is a good one as well, and will get you into the Amex family, if that's your goal.

 

I would recommend looking at where and how you spend ... for example, most of my spending is on Gas so I use a PenFed 5% back Visa card.  I also use my USAA AMEX (or MC would work too) to pay our USAA insurance bill - it's easy and I get the rewards from it.

 

If you spend at lot at Amazon, they have a nice card...same with Costco.

 

So yeah, that's my two cents...

 

Oh, and about the charge card vs a revolving card...there isn't really a clear answer, some say that the charge card reports your highest charge as the "limit" and others say there's a "limit" given to you but you can excede it.  My understanding is that you can't leave a balance on it (ie, you must always PIF) but my personal thought is that you should always PIF anyway!

 

Finally, chose one card and let it grow, don't go app happy, it will affect your scores and at 22 you are facing a lot of financal change now and you'll want high scores.

 

Good luck to you!


 

I'm glad you said that because that is really my plan. My current card is the bare minimum for a card and I'd just like something with more to it. Like traveling insurance, purchase protection or rewards for example. This next card will only be the first credit card I've applied for since my first one and it's the only one I plan on adding for quite some time.

 

I'm still just hestitant about the charge card idea


Starting Score: 703
Current Score: EQ 743 2/9/12 TU 734 2/11/12
Goal Score: 750


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Senior Contributor
O6
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009

Re: USAA Amex

The good thing about USAA is they usually do not do hard pulls for CLIs.

 

The only difference that I have seen between the USAA MasterCard and AmEx is that, in general, AmEx is accepted by fewer merchants.  Still, if you get a USAA AmEx and later want to apply for a USAA MasterCard, you should be ok if you have used the first card responsibly.

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Frequent Contributor
drsmith
Posts: 384
Registered: ‎11-27-2010

Re: USAA Amex

[ Edited ]

 


O6 wrote:

The good thing about USAA is they usually do not do hard pulls for CLIs.

 

The only difference that I have seen between the USAA MasterCard and AmEx is that, in general, AmEx is accepted by fewer merchants.  Still, if you get a USAA AmEx and later want to apply for a USAA MasterCard, you should be ok if you have used the first card responsibly.


I think it may be difficult to get a USAA card and I don't want too many inquiries on my report. After looking around, I'm not quite I would qualify for there cards with a 709 and a short credit history

 


Starting Score: 703
Current Score: EQ 743 2/9/12 TU 734 2/11/12
Goal Score: 750


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