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want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Frequent Contributor

want amex bce, should i get zync first?

I want an AmEx BCE, really have no desire to have an AmEx Zync. However I suspect I might be approved for Zync and not BCE yet. Can you PC Zync to BCE? How long would that take? Is AmEx PC hardor soft pull?
Message 1 of 20

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

ficojoe wrote:
I want an AmEx BCE, really have no desire to have an AmEx Zync. However I suspect I might be approved for Zync and not BCE yet. Can you PC Zync to BCE? How long would that take? Is AmEx PC hardor soft pull?

You can't PC a charge card to a revolver period.


Reason to get a Zync is to establish a relationship with Amex.  I didn't read your other thread fully, but without knowing what your score or your other tradelines are, Zync stacks up pretty well for folks sub-BCE.


Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 741, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (1/1/18)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 771, TU 4 750, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (01/01/19)

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Message 2 of 20
Frequent Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Can I apply for both at the same time? Is that 1 or 2 pulls?
Message 3 of 20
Frequent Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Apply for the Zync first. If approved, apply for the BCE. There's a good chance they'd approve you for the BCE if you get an approval for a charge card first. That's what happened with me.

Message 4 of 20
Regular Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Ugh here's the thing an excellent credit score (no history of baddies, bk you can forget it) plus history from other cards with decent limits can get you into Amex. The hype surround Zync is that once you're in Amex other cards are a SP. People have been denied for a BC with Zync and a year worth of history. The success stories are overblown. What they don't realize is that it isn't the Zync per se that's getting them the BC it's the credit history in general that's getting them into Amex. Most Zync cardholder apply a bunch of times to get into Amex and think it’s because of the Zync. If reapplying cost a HP you would hear less and less about how Zync gets you into Amex.


This goes into getting cards you don’t want in order to get one you do. My advice is if you have great-excellent credit, no baddies and more than a years’ worth of history GO FOR IT, skip the Zync if you don’t need it. I got an Amex card with 1.2 years of credit history, no baddies ever and less than 10% utilization.

Now if you want to go in low and get a weak charge card like the Zync (might as well get Amex Green) and built up credit and then apply every other month until you get in then fine. Zync doesn’t guarantee you anything. It only ensures you can apply over and over hoping Amex will take you in without getting a HP. You can easily wait a year or more with a Zync card.


Starting Score: EX: 736 FAKO | TU: 757 FICO | EQ 730 FICO
Current Score: EX: 736 FAKO | TU: 750 FICO | EQ 730 FICO
Goal Score:     EX: 750 FICO | TU: 750 FICO | EQ: 750 FICO
In my wallet:  $16,000  $8,000
Message 5 of 20
Regular Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Henry is absolutely correct. The Zync, by itself isn't that impressive in my opinion. Others think it's good if you can make use of the packs. I really can't utilize those because I don't spend enough to begin with. What makes the Zync good is people who have little history can get it, and hold on to it with a low AF of $25 and in the future can backdate the card if they end up getting a revolver or another charge card.


Just think of it as a 'place holder' for your future Amex cards. I don't think I'm going to qualify for a BCE for awhile, but I was approved for the Zync. I might be applying for the BCE some time down the line in 2013. 


If a BCE is what you want, you should try anyways. I heard people getting approved for a charge and a revolver at the same time for the cost of one HP, but it's heresay. I pulled the trigger on the BCE and was denied before I got the Zync. 

Capital One Journey (12/2010) | Chase Freedom (03/2012) | American Express Zync (03/2012)

Gardening since 03/2012
Experian score: 752 (6/2014)
Message 6 of 20
Valued Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

I agree with others, you do not need a charge card to get a credit card. I had twenty months of history when I applied for the Blue Cash Everyday and was approved for a huge limit. I had not had an inquiry in quite some time though, no negatives either.


If your credit profile is in good standing you should be able to get the Blue Cash Everyday. If you do get the Zync you would have to pay $25 a year unless you just close it one you get a credit card.

Message 7 of 20
Frequent Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

Honestly, it all depends on your credit history, FICO scores, etc... I took the Zync route and just recently was approved for BCE (two years later), but that's because my scores when I applied for Zync were only at the level for a Zync and not any of the other AMEX cards. Mind you, I did not submit any applications for any AMEX cards between my Zync and BCE applications. I simply waited, both times instant approvals. Smiley Happy

myFICO Starting Scores: TU 643 03.10.09 EX 676 01.09.09 EQ 638 05.24.09
Current Score: (WalMart FICO) TU 792 04.03.13 (Mortgage Lender - HP) EX 745 02.06.13 (Mortgage Lender - HP) EQ 771 02.06.13
Goal Score: 800+

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Message 8 of 20
Established Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?

1. OP posted somewhere else his FICO is roughly 650, so I think it is safe to assume he wouldn't qualify right now (if he had the profile you describe, I agree he should just apply directly). So the question is what should he do now to give himself the best chance of qualifying later.

2. I completely disagree about getting the green vs zync. The green has a higher AF, offers no point multipliers and has higher underwriting criteria than zync. The advantage people always mention is "full" MR vs MRE points. But the only people that matters to are those who can convert their MR points to one of the partner airlines' miles and then use those miles efficiently. Have you looked at the partner list lately? Most people who are debating zync vs green aren't flying those airlines and if they are, they aren't flying with the frequency to make their amex purchases a deciding factor in earning awards flights. If you are flying enough to make the full MR vs MRE thing matter, you are probably flying enough to justify the PRG. I've done the math repeatedly and cannot understand why earning 1 full mr point per purchase for average spenders is worth more than earning 2 mre points per purchase (assuming proper pack use) and trading those points for GCs at 100pts/dollar.

3. With his current scores, it is safe to assume it will take a while to qualify for BCE. Getting a zync now gives him a membership year of 2012. For someone with a relatively thin or recent file, that difference can be significant when he applies next year. I think most people in those circumstances would say an extra year of AAoA is worth $25.

4. You ignore the fact that charge cards can be especially useful to people with rebuilding cards. One of the most frustrating parts of rebuilding is having low card limits. This prevents you from using the card for the large purchases that earn the most points. So you buy the pack of gum for 2 points, but have to pay cash for the new refrigerator. Amex routinely authorizes charges on npsl cards much higher than the credit limit offered on rebuilder cards.

5. In the same vein, because a zync balance doesn't count towards utilization (which really matters when you are in rebuilding mode and have lower limits), it allows you to earn points in those few days before your credit card statement cuts (and most of us are hesitant to use our credit cards).

6. AMEX has said for years in their quarterly reports, etc. that they gain competitive advantage through their superior information gathering abilities as both an issuer and a network. This only makes sense if they use the information they gain from their customers to make better risk assessments. While I cannot prove that getting and using a zync responsibly will help you get a revolver later, you certainly can't prove it won't and my assumption is consistent with everything AMEX tells its investors it does. Again, it won't make any difference to the spotless applicant with a 760 score, but for someone rebuilding from 650, it might make the difference. Isn't that possibility worth $25? I got an Amex revolver with an ex fico of 674. Do I think I would have gotten it if I'd applied cold (instead of having a zync history)? No. I don't. 

7. As others have mentioned, having declines be a soft pull can be really useful, especially since most of us cannot predict our EX score with any accuracy.


If the OP can find no use for the zync, then I wouldn't apply just to "get in the door" with Amex. You should garden the cards you have, grow your score and then apply for bce when your scores crest 720. But if you can derive any benefit at all from a charge card, I think a zync is a great addition to a rebuilding profile and certainly won't hurt your chances for Amex revolvers later.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Message 9 of 20
Valued Contributor

Re: want amex bce, should i get zync first?



But the OP would be better off having zync even if he has to work to find a use for the card, it teaches good credit/financial skills, you have to pay in full and knowing that can be a reminder not to go crazy with credit, because the piper needs to be paid when the statement cuts.It can also help solve problems with bad checks because you will tend to have more money sitting in your checking/savings accounts because of things that got charged.  Backdating rocks.  I'm also pretty sure that other prime lenders take notice of the AMEX account in good standing and give your chances with them a boost at least on some internal scoring metrics. 



Cards: Chase Southwest 20k & CSR 10k & CSP 10k & Freedom 6.6k & Amtrak/Freedom 4.6k, FNBO DISC 25.1k Oregon Duck 5k, & AMEX BCP 32.5k & Hilton Surpass 7.5k & Delta Gold 6k & Zync NPSL, Fidelity AMEX 17k Commerce5.9k & Cash Forward 7.5k & Sams Club MC 12.5k, Paypal Extras MC 8.5k, CapOne Venture 15k, QS 2.5k, QS 750, Amazon 5.9k, Walmart 10k, Citi Simplicity 9k, Discover IT 16k and a nice stack of store cards.
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