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TheRealJosh94
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎12-30-2012
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is American Express worth it?

So about a month ago, I think, I've noticed an American Express card on my waiting list. However, researching their charge cards, and non-charge cards I figured out that my thin file <1 year of credit history that I won't get approved for their regular credit cards. So it brings me down to their charge cards with fee, and it looks like a great card for me, but what makes AMEX so great? I was looking into either their green card, gold card, and PR gold card. What would would suit best for me that I'm a college student working full time at BB, so I might want to buy a tv soon :smileyhappy: What are the pro's and con's to them? 

 

Thanks in advance! 

 

 

 

Current:

AAoa 4 months 

Credit history 8 months 

6 inquires on EQ. 

4 inquires on TU.

(PIF always) 

Current line: Capital One Journey's, $500 CL, Discover IT card, $2100 CL , American Express Gold Card, NPSL, My BestBuy Citi Card, $3000
Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: is American Express worth it?

[ Edited ]
The pros are the benefits, including extended warranty etc. but nowadays many other cards, ie discover have these features too.
MR points are very good for travel too, if you travel

For your case, if you don't spend that much, the card may not suit you as well because of the AF. It's really up to you. There's hardly any black and white answer.

It really depends on how much you spend, what you spend on, and what you are expecting your card to do for you.
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).
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myjourney
Posts: 26,659
Registered: ‎02-07-2013
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Re: is American Express worth it?

That's a lot of INQ's for such a short history IMO right now I would look at all the other student cards out there. Amex due to AF may not be right for you at present 

"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education"
Last 5 apps 6/13


Valued Contributor
red259
Posts: 2,170
Registered: ‎06-05-2013
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Re: is American Express worth it?

I don't have an amex yet but it is on my list and something I really want, especially their revolvers. So far I see a couple of benefits to amex, one is that they backdate additional cards you get with them later on which helps with AAoA, second its easier to apply for CLI increases on their revolvers (see the sticky above re: amex CLI), three my understanding is they have great customer service (again I am not a member so can not vouch for this but it is what I heard) and finally after you are a member you can apply for other cards with them and they will do a SP first (most the time) and only if you get approved will they do the HP.  I have no idea on the criteria for their charge cards other than the fact they are easier to get than the revolvers. I think many people get the charge card to establish a relationship with Amex so they have a much better chance at a revolver with a decent CL later on. Someone who has one would be able to tell you about the benefits and rewards, but these are just the reasons I would like one.


Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 730 6/27/14
Goal Score: 800 In garden until 1/2015
Super Contributor
enharu
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎02-27-2013
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Re: is American Express worth it?

Red, few things to remember though.

AAoA is just a very small factor of your scores. The backdating feature is nice, but isn't going to help increase one's score by 50-100 points. Utilization and payment history are the biggest thing to focus on.

The 3x CLI is nice, but by no means guaranteed. Your approval odds is dependent upon your CR and whatever CL your income can support. For someone who has extremely high income and spotless CR, this feature will be a very nice benefit. Otherwise, still nice, but not so much.

And it's always never a good idea to keep applying just because its a SP if denied. There's an increased chance of AA, especially when Amex feels that this is being abused. It also makes them think that individual is being desperate for credit if he's putting in apps every 30 days just because he can.
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).
Established Contributor
cashnocredit
Posts: 1,031
Registered: ‎07-18-2009
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Re: is American Express worth it?

There is one aspect of Amex cards that I've found invaluable. The ability to charge far more than i could with regular CCs. I have a fairly short file since I didn't use credit at all for about a decade. Within three years I was able to leverage secured cards into unsecured and add an Amex charge card. Since I pif the value of CCs is purely a function of the CLs that cap individual spends. The Amex has enabled me to make charges exceeding 60k which is well above all my CLs combined. It's an advantage that I would be hard pressed to get on another card and is the singular most valuable feature of Amex cards. At least for my situation.

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
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HiLine
Posts: 3,176
Registered: ‎10-19-2012
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Re: is American Express worth it?


TheRealJosh94 wrote:

However, researching their charge cards, and non-charge cards I figured out that my thin file <1 year of credit history that I won't get approved for their regular credit cards. 


May I ask where you read that? I know many counter-examples, just wondering how you got that information.

Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,219
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: is American Express worth it?


TheRealJosh94 wrote:

What are the pro's and con's to them? 


Pros 

 

1.  Backdating - Most unique benefit which has value over a lifetime.

2.  Only true NPSL with extremely high purchasing power and convenience.

3.  Most pro consumer during merchant disputes.

 

Cons

 

1.  Expensive.

2.  Spend-centric geared to favor a certain demographic.

3.  More scrutiny than any other lender, by far.

 

In my view, Amex is extremely valuable for those who are:  (1) starting out with time to build a long relationship; (2) those who need large purchases with static lines can't accomodate quickly enough; (3) those who travel; (4) those with small businesses.

 

All things being equal, it takes time to build a good relationship with Amex.  In my experience, they value the "membership since" more so than any other issuer; the longer you are with them, the better your experience.  For very senior cardmembers, I've seen exceptions made that no other issuer will under similar circumstances.

The latter is far and away the single best benefit.  

 

If they like and value your relationship, there is no better issuer to have when you're in a bind, especially when abroad.

 

Super Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 8,153
Registered: ‎04-22-2013
0

Re: is American Express worth it?

And for a smaller subset, another more-or-less unique benefit is Global Transfer, the ability to get an Amex card in a new country of residence based on your existing Amex relationship.  As credit records don't usually transfer from country to country, this is really valuable for those that need it.

Valued Contributor
p-
Posts: 2,655
Registered: ‎06-05-2008
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Re: is American Express worth it?


TheRealJosh94 wrote: Is Amex wirth it?

It's worth 25 a year for a NPSL line and a shiny white card with some sweet backdating.  Otherwise, I'm not so sure.

12-15-14: FICO EXP: 813 - EQU:802 - TRAN: 756 - AVG: 790 +240 points from JUN 2008 - MY CREDIT JOURNAL


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