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Established Contributor
knoregs
Posts: 567
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?


n777ua wrote:
I've used POT many times

 

~kn


EQ: ??? (No Current)
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TU: 667 (Discover FICO) 6/12/14

Last App 12/17/13... In Garden 'till July/August '14
Regular Contributor
TM82
Posts: 198
Registered: ‎05-31-2011

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

Amex charge cards can fit the right individual under the right situation but under most situations I would argue that there are better options out there for most cardholders. Yes for absolute utilization purposes having a charge card that doesn't reflect in scoring could be useful but if you are diligent and know when to make a payment to show low to no utilization you can accomplish the same thing. For instance all my Chase cards have a due date of the 5th. I have an autopay for full balance going out on that date. Then on the 7th I make an additional payment for the remaining outstanding balance between my statement balance and what I spent during that month. By doing that I'm able to make payments but also control my utilization.

The benefits are nice but again for the right individual. Sure getting 2x MR on gas and groceries is nice but if you value MR at the standard 1 cent per dollar you would have to spend $17,500 to offset the AF or $8,750 in gas and groceries. At that point you might be better off with a combination of the BCP and the Penfed card for gas. If you don't drive then you lose a good category. I drive a hybrid myself so the gas category isn't that useful for me when I'm spending $40-50/month on gas.

Amex charge cards are useful but not as useful as everyone seems to think. They have their place in the marketplace along with every card. As someone said before there is no one card that is going to be good for everyone. Look at the Freedom, you would think a card with 5% at times would fit everyone right? People will complain about why do they have movie theaters and Starbucks and think they should include groceries or other categories. The credit card companies know what we want as consumers and do enough to give us almost everything we want but hold out as well. They know its a business so if its too beneficial for the customer where it starts to become unprofitable for them then they'll change the terms or discontinue the product period (Schwab 2%, Freedom 10/10, Chase AARP), etc.
My Cards
American Express Blue | American Express Premier Rewards Gold | Chase Amazon | Chase Freedom | Chase Sapphire Preferred | Chase United Explorer | Chase United MileagePlus Club | JPMorgan Palladium

Valued Contributor
indiolatino61
Posts: 1,439
Registered: ‎11-10-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?


enharu wrote:

Agent86 wrote:

The charge cards all have fees of at least $95, which is higher than the $75 for the Blue Cash Preferred; you only get 1 point per dollar on charge cards  (okay sometimes up to 3 on the gold preferred) vs. up to 6 cents per dollar on blue cash preferred, and the pay over time feature will apparently feeze your charging ability and possibly cause account closure, while blue cash cards are regular credit cards. I understand the platinum comes with fancy lifestyle perks like airport lounges, but in that case aren't you really just paying for a club membership rather than monetary incentives? I also understand that the psychological motivation of having to pay in full every month helps some manage their money and avoid a debt spiral, but you can still pay off your credit cards in full every month. What actual benefit do these charge cards offer?


The charge cards are NPSL, while the revolvers are not. This is useful for people who need to make big purchases and have the ability to repay them back in full.

Using the pay over time feature will not freeze charging ability or cause account closure. It's just rumors.

Treat it as a club membership or a card membership or whatever you want to. The perks benefit certain group of people and there's really no wrong in having it.

Different cards also have different benefits and serve different purposes.

 

There's no one card that is suitable for everyone. Just because a card might suit someone more, or just because one card may seem more prestigious, may not necessarily mean it's the right card for everyone else. If you don't see a point in getting a charge card, then chances are the card isn't really going to suit you well and you should therefore not get it.

 

 


+1 Great points!

 photo Logo-CreditCardCollection_zps46f2f9f7.jpgWmart (TU): 809, Disc it (TU): 809, CKarma (TU): 772, AmEx (EX): 755, CSesame (EX): 727, Quizz (EQ): 783, myFICO (EQ): 770.
Oldest: AmEx: 26Y-5M, AAoA: 7Y-6M, Utl: 2.73%, 12/24 Inq: 6/16, Income: $104k, Garden: 06/16/2014. Updated 07/23/2014.
Regular Contributor
ramblin_wreck08
Posts: 181
Registered: ‎08-09-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

The benefits outweigh the fee for some people. I have had the PRG for 9 months. In 3 months I will be paying the $175 AF to keep it. For me, it just works.

In 9 months I had enough points to add 19k miles to my Skymiles account to book a free flight to a friend's wedding (without signup bonus). And I'm only on pace to spend $17k on the card this year (so $12.75k on card = 19k points, or an average of 1.5 points/$). The categories match my spend. I redeemed at 2 cents/point, making the card 6% on airfare, 4% on gas/groceries, and 2% on everything else for the first 9 months. Additionally, roadside assistance allows me to drop the $25/yr roadside assistance on my auto insurance. I saved $20 when I booked a rental car for 2 days with Hertz (over and above the Hertz gold rate) just for being an AMEX customer. The fee is essentially down to $130, and who knows? Maybe I'll find another benefit over the next 3 months to knock it down even more.

Now for the non-monetary benefits. It gave me piece of mind that amex would have my back when my bag was misplaced by the staff on a cruise (I wound up getting it back though). That alone was worth it because I was able to enjoy the whole cruise. I was also able to start my fiancé's credit file by adding her as an AU, giving her backdating privileges that will help us out down the road when we want to buy a house. An additional benefit is that I can place a spending limit on her card so she can ease into the credit world and not make the mistake of racking up debt. And then there's the utilization benefit. I never have to worry about early payments for utilization purposes. Just the other day I used a credit card for a large purchase (my favorite tire shop doesn't accept AMEX). Despite my $7k limit, I was forced to pay early to keep my utilization in the 1% - 9% range. It's nice not having to worry about that with my AMEX. Plus, technically, I'm saving money by gaining interest on the float. If you want to look into that, call it another $5-$10 a year saved by AMEX.

Would I rather not pay the $175 AF? Of course. But for me the rewards and benefits easily outweigh the AF. It has essentially been a 2% back card after factoring in the cost of the AF. Add in the perks and customer service and it's a no-brained for me.




What's in my wallet:



Left to right:
NPSL ($10k approved)
$5k (EMV - Chip & PIN)
$7k (Visa Sig + EMV)
$7.5k (WEMC)

Transunion FICO: 709 (8/13/12) -> 740 (9/24/12)
Credit Karma: 772 (11/24/13)
Credit Sesame: 755 (11/5/13)
Blogger
HiLine
Posts: 2,836
Registered: ‎10-19-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

[ Edited ]

Don't Amex PRG holders get treated with a higher level of customer service than Amex CC holders?

Regular Contributor
ramblin_wreck08
Posts: 181
Registered: ‎08-09-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

I don't have a revolver so I can't comment on that, but I do get significantly better customer service with the PRG than I did with the Zync. Given the added benefits/perks that come with the Gold, PRG, or especially Platinum over the revolvers, I would assume that these cards receive better customer service as well. Just a guess. I'm sure others can chime in with more information.



What's in my wallet:



Left to right:
NPSL ($10k approved)
$5k (EMV - Chip & PIN)
$7k (Visa Sig + EMV)
$7.5k (WEMC)

Transunion FICO: 709 (8/13/12) -> 740 (9/24/12)
Credit Karma: 772 (11/24/13)
Credit Sesame: 755 (11/5/13)
Senior Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 5,376
Registered: ‎04-22-2013

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?


TM82 wrote:
Amex charge cards can fit the right individual under the right situation but under most situations I would argue that there are better options out there for most cardholders. Yes for absolute utilization purposes having a charge card that doesn't reflect in scoring could be useful but if you are diligent and know when to make a payment to show low to no utilization you can accomplish the same thing. For instance all my Chase cards have a due date of the 5th. I have an autopay for full balance going out on that date. Then on the 7th I make an additional payment for the remaining outstanding balance between my statement balance and what I spent during that month. By doing that I'm able to make payments but also control my utilization.



Yes.  One of the "right individual under the right situation" is probably the employee who has to pay for travel on his or her personal card, and then gets reimbursed.  Since you cannot always control when your employer will pay, not having this count against your utilization can be helpful.   But of course, utilization is regarded on this forum as much more important than it is, if you are not apping it really doesn't matter.  And charging on a different card may well give better benefits.

 

So I agree with many here that there are cases where the charge cards are useful/very good/essential, and probably many more people have them than really benefit from them.  But the same is true for almost any of the hot cards here!

Most active cards: Amex BC ($50K), Cap One QS ($33K) Fidelity Amex ($20K)
Others: CSP, Freedom, Chase Amazon, Cap One QS, Penfed Plat Rewards (x2), Citi TY Preferred, Citi Dividend, Citi AA Plat Select, Citi Forward, Amex BCE, Amalgamated Bank, Sallie Mae, Cash Plus
Scores May 14: EQ 848, EX 833, TU 841 (Jul)
Valued Contributor
takeshi74
Posts: 2,314
Registered: ‎06-05-2013

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

[ Edited ]

longtimelurker wrote:

But of course, utilization is regarded on this forum as much more important than it is, if you are not apping it really doesn't matter.

Not true.  I've had credit limits dropped due to high utilization  Card company was soft pulling as many do

Member
annalog
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?

[ Edited ]

Good question.  I've had my Amex Green charge card since 1988.

It's like cash.  You pay what you charge every month without carrying debt.  It works for me.

It also, unlike other credit cards, makes you THINK before making a purchase.

Can I really afford this?  Do I really need this??  Can I pay it off in 30 days???

 

I think the best benefit to the card is it makes people THINK before making a purchase.

 

These cards are relics from the 70's & 80's, when credit cards were not abundant and not often used.

They were issued to only the best credit holders.

Yes, I remember when there were no authorization terminals, and the waitress had to look up your account number in a book of stolen cards to see if your card was on the list before imprinting your card with a charge slip.

 

However, history repeats itself.  And I believe it won't be long before interest rates start to rise and credit gets very tight again - for years.

That's when these cards are the most attractive.   Not when credit is easy and cheap, but rather when credit is hard to obtain and expensive.

These relic charge cards will once again become popular.  And Amex is betting on it.

 

 

 

 

EX=800, EQ=814, TU=946
Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: what is the point of Amex charge cards, when there's blue cash credit?


annalog wrote:

Good question.  I've had my Amex Green charge card since 1988.

It's like cash.  You pay what you charge every month without carrying debt.  It works for me.

It also, unlike other credit cards, makes you THINK before making a purchase.

Can I really afford this?  Do I really need this??  Can I pay it off in 30 days???

 

I think the best benefit to the card is it makes people THINK before making a purchase.

 

These cards are relics from the 70's & 80's, when credit cards were not abundant and not often used.

They were issued to only the best credit holders.

Yes, I remember when there were no authorization terminals, and the waitress had to look up your account number in a book of stolen cards to see if your card was on the list before imprinting your card with a charge slip.

 

However, history repeats itself.  And I believe it won't be long before interest rates start to rise and credit gets very tight again - for years.

That's when these cards are the most attractive.   Not when credit is easy and cheap, but rather when credit is hard to obtain and expensive.

These relic charge cards will once again become popular.  And Amex is betting on it.

 

 

 

 


People really don't need to have a charge card (and be forced to PIF monthly), they just need to exercise some self-discipline. A charge card may help, but in many ways it's like a crutch. If people had more self-control over their spending, they should be able to use a revolver and always PIF anyways.

 

You shouldn't need a charge card to ask yourself "do I really need this?" That question is always a good idea regardless of whether you're paying by charge card, credit card, or cash.

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