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Why do so many people have American Express cards?

Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

"Why do so many people have American Express cards?"

 

:shrugs shoulders:  Because its the only CC accepted by Costco!  I don't see it as a travel card any more than my other cards.  I got mine as an alternative to the other 2 brands to maximize my ability to purchase, knowing that at least one of my cards will be accepted.

 

Let me also turn that question around -- why do so many more people have Visa or M/C?


Starting Score: 732 October 2007; Current Score: EQ 836; TU 806, November 2017; Oldest Reporting EQ Account: 15.8 years; EQ AAoA: 8.0 years; Typical credit utilization 1.8% typical single card utilization 10.6%
Message 21 of 63
Valued Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

Charge cards are the primary cards with AFs. Some of their revolvers have AFs but I think the benefits of those specific revolvers are obvious. As for charge cards, MR used to be fairly unique and powerful which is less true today and more true than yesterday (purposefully cryptic and accurate if you think about). Amex charge cards are fairly unique and extremely useful in their ability to grow their allowed NPSL. Now this might be more useful for businesses than individuals, but it is part of appeal. We are paying a partner via credit card and they don't accept AMEX. It is a pain using out visa/mc as we have to switch out cards to keep below limits or pay multiple times a month. There is no visa/mc issuer giving out 100k+ CLs easily and without serious approval process probably involving a cavity search as well.

I find amex's various warranties/guarantees to be significantly better. When I just had platinum, they refunded lost purchase in $800 range without any hassle aside from sending them receipt. With my chase palladium, they made me jump through hoops to get lost purchase in $500 dollar range refunded. Chase wanted police report and other stuff. I finally just gave up. I think difference between Amex and others is that Amex self services their warranties/guarantees so they can control customer service/procedures. Others use third party who get paid but then have incentive to minimize claims while keeping client (card issuer) somewhat happy.

Finally, Amex charge cards aren't as expensive as they might seem. The platinum had $100 refund in global entry and $200 airline credit that offsets most of the af
               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Message 22 of 63
Established Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

People talk about the credit thatyou get for global entry and airline fees.  If you're savvy enough to use cards for miles and points to help defray the costs of travel, how is a consumer not savvy enough to find ways to avoid airline fees.I travel all the time and I don't pay a cent in baggage fees.  The companies create a charge and then make the consumer feel good by telling them they can pay or do something special to get out of it.  That's ridiculous.  You've essentially paid for the baggage fees up front through Amex.  $400, or whatever the amount is, still left your pocket.  The value is oversstated for these products.  I'm sure the execs at Amex are laughing all of the way of the bank.

 

Regarding the warranty, how long does it last?  I broke the screen on my laptop that I purchased on Black Friday last year in August or so of this year.  Would Amex have covered that?

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
Message 23 of 63
Valued Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

The airline fee refund on Amex plat is actually useful. Basically any incidentals charged by airline are covered up to 200 such as baggage fees, food on plane, gift cards, club entry fees, etc. Really read through my list and guess why it would be useful. As for global re entry $100 charge refund, that is useful if you do international travel and would use that service.

As for protections, they extend manufacturer warranty for up to 1 year. I doubt manufacturer covers accidental damage so that wouldn't be covered. However amex's protection program basically covers purchases for 90 days from things like theft, lost, accidental damage etc. So if you had cracked screen within 90 days you would have been covered. Also, they have some kind of merchant refund protection where if merchant won't return item and your disputing charge isn't valid, you can just return item to Amex for refund. Forget how long that last and what amount.
               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Message 24 of 63
Established Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?


Roarmeister wrote:

Let me also turn that question around -- why do so many more people have Visa or M/C?


Not sure if this is trolling, but I personally have my Visa for universal acceptance. Evey business where I live takes Visa. I have my MC for the interest rate.

 photo NUS000000180_160X101_STRAIGHT.gif photo DISCOVER_IT_LG.gif photo card_1.png photo night-launch.png photo NUS000000012_160X101_STRAIGHT.gif photo bankamericard-better-balance-rewards-credit-card-small.png
$15000 ........... $12500 ............ $11750 ............ $10000 ........... $9400 ............ $5000 ............. $5000
In the Garden until at least November 2015
Message 25 of 63
Super Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?


FutureBillionaire wrote:

People talk about the credit thatyou get for global entry and airline fees.  If you're savvy enough to use cards for miles and points to help defray the costs of travel, how is a consumer not savvy enough to find ways to avoid airline fees.I travel all the time and I don't pay a cent in baggage fees. Yes, its called flying business / first class, or just not checking in any luggage. International flights however do waive baggage fees for economy class as well. Some people go too far in trying to scrimp on those baggage fees which is why you sometimes see obnoxious people trying to squeeze in oversized luggage in overhead compartments. Would you have preferred if airlines do an across-the-board raise in fees for everyone? The companies create a charge and then make the consumer feel good by telling them they can pay or do something special to get out of it.  That's ridiculous. A lot of things are ridiculous. Just look at your cellphone bill for instance. Compared to what cell phone companies are charging, the airlines industry doesn't seem that bad.  You've essentially paid for the baggage fees up front through Amex.  $400, or whatever the amount is, still left your pocket. If you are getting the card solely because you want baggage fees waived, then you are obviously getting the wrong card for wrong reasons..... The value is oversstated for these products.  I'm sure the execs at Amex are laughing all of the way of the bank. They are, and so is any executive in a TBTF bank. And this is relevant because.....?

 

Regarding the warranty, how long does it last?  I broke the screen on my laptop that I purchased on Black Friday last year in August or so of this year.  Would Amex have covered that? if you broke it intentionally or by accident, then it is not covered. However if it died on its own, then it is covered. Accidentals are only covered for first 90 days of purchase. Other issuers have this coverage too. Amex just have an easier claims process.


 

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).
Message 26 of 63
Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

The backdating is an awesome feature!

CARDS.jpg

Message 27 of 63
Established Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?


enharu wrote:

FutureBillionaire wrote:

People talk about the credit thatyou get for global entry and airline fees.  If you're savvy enough to use cards for miles and points to help defray the costs of travel, how is a consumer not savvy enough to find ways to avoid airline fees.I travel all the time and I don't pay a cent in baggage fees. Yes, its called flying business / first class, or just not checking in any luggage. International flights however do waive baggage fees for economy class as well. Some people go too far in trying to scrimp on those baggage fees which is why you sometimes see obnoxious people trying to squeeze in oversized luggage in overhead compartments. Would you have preferred if airlines do an across-the-board raise in fees for everyone? The companies create a charge and then make the consumer feel good by telling them they can pay or do something special to get out of it.  That's ridiculous. A lot of things are ridiculous. Just look at your cellphone bill for instance. Compared to what cell phone companies are charging, the airlines industry doesn't seem that bad.  You've essentially paid for the baggage fees up front through Amex.  $400, or whatever the amount is, still left your pocket. If you are getting the card solely because you want baggage fees waived, then you are obviously getting the wrong card for wrong reasons..... The value is oversstated for these products.  I'm sure the execs at Amex are laughing all of the way of the bank. They are, and so is any executive in a TBTF bank. And this is relevant because.....?

 

Regarding the warranty, how long does it last?  I broke the screen on my laptop that I purchased on Black Friday last year in August or so of this year.  Would Amex have covered that? if you broke it intentionally or by accident, then it is not covered. However if it died on its own, then it is covered. Accidentals are only covered for first 90 days of purchase. Other issuers have this coverage too. Amex just have an easier claims process.


 


There are carriers that don't charge fees for checking a bag.  Some carriers let you check two bags. 
Your counterargument about the cell phone industry doesn't seem to answer the question: why does it make sense to pay up front for fees that you A. Don' have to pay if you pick the right carrier or have the right status or B.  Probably aren't necessary for travel any way.  Essentially, you're saying that every company and industry does it this way, so it's ok. I reject that notion.
Regarding the $400, you're still paying up front for things that you don't NEED.  Sure, you might want a drink or an inflight movie. You get these things free or cheaper through other avenues.  The comment about laughing all the way to the bank is relevant because banks can charge exorbitant and ridiculous fees and consusmers will argue about the right and necessity to pay them.  Again, their marketing department is outstanding.
I understand that Amex has an easier claims process.  How frequently do people use claims? I've never broken a cell phone, though I've cracked a screen. I've owned several computers and just recently cracked a screen.  I've bought one electronic device that failed on me in the past 5-6 years; maybe longer.  Insurance is one of the biggest ripoffs in this great nation of ours. You're paying for ACCESS to something that you may not even need. 
I haven't even discussed the lack of rewards that the card earns. 
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
Message 28 of 63
Super Contributor

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?


FutureBillionaire wrote:

myjourney wrote:

Amex has some great features 

Warranty

Backdating 

3X CLI

Fraud Protection which I think is unmatched 

The other day I made 2 online purchases out of my spending pattern.

They jumped into action sent me an email and 3 calls to verify I made the purchases.

While 3 calls maybe a lot I'll take that for my financial security


Discover and Bank of America routinely call me about purchases outside of my spending pattern.  Discover will text me and let me reply back.  I don't even have to talk on the phone.  Plus, I don't pay any fee to Discover.

Other cards offer warranties.  But, how often do you use the warranty?  Are you getting value or are they selling you features that you most often won't use?

 

Backdating is the only perk that is substantial that you can't get with another company.  But, it is only helpful when applying for credit cards.  It's not going to be helpful for mortgage purchases.

 


Before jumping to conclusions the Amex in question does not have an AF associated with it and I still get the same great service. As for the warranty I'm not paying anything for it another bonus so weather I use it or not is completely irreverent its there if needed. It's all in the consumers eyes as to which card you prefer to use for your warranty I have Discover as well but prefer my bigger purchases to be covered by Amex

 

Just and FYI

Discover is well known to side with the merchant and deny claims whereas Amex not only puts the consumer first but will also take the merchandise itself should the merchant refuse your return

As to the text alert comment Amex will also text you I just hadn't used the feature but it was added the day on the incident so IMHO Discover is lagging sadly behind Amex in all phases including CLI's 

 

Just out of curiosity what was meant by "its not going to be helpful during mortgage purchases"

Because history is history and the first card is still the oldest card so I'm not sure of your analogy Smiley Surprised

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 29 of 63
Moderator Emerita

Re: Why do so many people have American Express cards?

Sure love a lively debate!

Obviously, there are personal reasons why anyone applies for an Amex, CSP or Discover. Whether it's aesthetics (its metal), it's a perceived 'I've made it card' (Amex) or it's the new 'It' card (Discover) -the decision is the applicants.

If a better warranty protection, backdating or 3xcli are important- then IMO , Amex offers a better overall value. Are there cc's with better rewards or sign up bonuses- yes. However, I would assume that if we are comparing rewards/sign up bonuses then that may and often does change each time a card is nerfed.

I app for cc's that I have uses for and use them accordingly. Most have AFs and in doing so, I have made a decision that particular AF justifies my usage.

Amex may not be for everyone - just like most here you select a cc for what it can do for you in your overall portfolio.
Message 30 of 63