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AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

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Jonesie
Established Member

AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

I have both Cap One cards and Amex cards, and while both serve their purpose, they are clearly not created equal.

 

My first card while rebooting my credit was a Cap One platinum. My second was a quicksilver. Nothing against these guys, but most of their eggs are obviously in the rebuilding basket. I upgraded the Platinum to a Savor One after about 18 months, and still have only a $700 CL. Same with my quicksilver.  Meanwhile, the Amex BCE started at $1k, and went to $3k a couple months later. All the cards I've opened since were between $1-3K starting limit.  The Macy's and Bloomies Amex cards I got in Sept are now at $6k. 

 

While I'd love to show some gratitude for Cap One letting me back in the door, at this point, their low limit cards are being dragged behind the boat and are bringing down my averages that will be what future cards establish my SCL with. 

 

Cap One has some higher end cards, but they don't seem interested in giving them to the guys who started out with the platinum card. Only the Amex members who wander in looking for a sign up bonus. 

Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES 13
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

Cap1 is for starter/rebuilding cards. Get the ball rolling and build a credit file per say. You cant compare apples to oranges with these 2. Once you've moved up the ladder. Its up to you to hold on to them. They're not holding you back. They're helping you grow. Once bigger things come along. Eventually some folks close the bucket cards down. Like myself. Some go for the upper tier cap1 cards. Like I did. They dont bring down avg's. They add to total accounts reporting.


Message 2 of 14
EAJuggalo
Established Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

CapOne want two kinds of customers, rebuilders they can make a lot of money on interest from and high end.  Not a whole lot of in between.  If you want a QS or Savor with a respectable credit line you have to app for a new one.  I've got a QS that hasn't seen a CLI since 2018.  I also don't use it much as I have many better cards.

EX700 TU 704 EQ 694 4/03/22
Cap1 QS-$4,500 Chase Freedom Flex- $800 Chase Freedom Unlimited- $1,000 Victoria's Secret- $1,200 Citi DC- $800 Amazon Store Card- $3,500 AMEX Hilton Honors-$1,000 Discover It-$1,000 Wal-Mart MC $290 Chase Sapphire Preferred-$5,000 NFCU Flagship $13,800 AMEX BCE-$1,000 AMEX Gold-$5,000 AMEX Delta Blue $1,000 Lowe's $5,000 Navy Platinum $17,000 AMEX BBP $2,000
Message 3 of 14
Horseshoez
Senior Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...


@Jonesie wrote:

I have both Cap One cards and Amex cards, and while both serve their purpose, they are clearly not created equal.

 

My first card while rebooting my credit was a Cap One platinum. My second was a quicksilver. Nothing against these guys, but most of their eggs are obviously in the rebuilding basket. I upgraded the Platinum to a Savor One after about 18 months, and still have only a $700 CL. Same with my quicksilver.  Meanwhile, the Amex BCE started at $1k, and went to $3k a couple months later. All the cards I've opened since were between $1-3K starting limit.  The Macy's and Bloomies Amex cards I got in Sept are now at $6k. 

 

While I'd love to show some gratitude for Cap One letting me back in the door, at this point, their low limit cards are being dragged behind the boat and are bringing down my averages that will be what future cards establish my SCL with. 

 

Cap One has some higher end cards, but they don't seem interested in giving them to the guys who started out with the platinum card. Only the Amex members who wander in looking for a sign up bonus. 


Interesting, I started out after my Chapter 13 with a CapOne secured Platinum ($1,000 limit); closed it after less than 7-weeks as the limit was a fraction of my monthly spend and they started holding all payments beyond the first of the month on me.  Six months later they sent me a Quicksilver card with a $3,000 limit which has grown to $6,300 in just two years.  They also sent me a SavorOne last year with a modest limit of $2,000, and because that limit seems to work pretty well for me, I haven't asked for a CLI.

 

On the AMEX side of things, I am persona non grata so for me at least, CapOne > AMEX.

Chapter 13:

  • Burned: AMEX, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and South County Bank (now Bank of Southern California)
  • Filed: 26-Feb-2015
  • MoC: 01-Mar-2015
  • 1st Payment (posted): 23-Mar-2015
  • Last Payment (posted): 07-Feb-2020
  • Discharged: 04-Mar-2020
  • Closed: 23-Jun-2020

 

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

In the proverbial sock drawer:
Message 4 of 14
K-in-Boston
Credit Mentor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

FWIW I had an Amex Blue that I purposely lowered to $500 for years (I recently moved $2500 back to it as an experiment for product change possibilities that didn't pan out) and have a $4000 Kohl's card (which is actually $1000 higher than their maximum limit).  Those cards did not affect my starting limits on dozens of cards.  There's no correlation between low starting limits and having a couple of lower limit cards; starting lines are based on your overall credit profile, income, and a lender's risk tolerance.

Message 5 of 14
C6
Regular Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

I would suggest if one is rebuilding to avoid Cap One and most major banks for that matter. Get a couple of credit cards with local credit unions and build them. Interest rates are usually favorable and even if secured they will usually unsecure. If you go with Cap One you will almost always be bucketed. If you wait until your credit is good you will receive much better offers. I started with the Venture card with a 10k limit, and have since upgraded to Venture X, with a 25k limit. Amex is a different animal. They might give a higher limit or a fancier card but they will watch you like a hawk. If you do anything that they don't like be prepared for a lockdown. There are many Platinum card customers that can't spend more that a thousand a month which has earned it the label of the Platinum prepaid card. I would also avoid all store cards as they offer little in benefits. Your Macys and Bloomingdales cards may have 6k limits but at what cost, 31.25% interest? That is seriously sub prime.

Message 6 of 14
CH-7-Mission-Accomplished
Valued Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...


@C6 wrote:

I would suggest if one is rebuilding to avoid Cap One and most major banks for that matter. Get a couple of credit cards with local credit unions and build them. Interest rates are usually favorable and even if secured they will usually unsecure. If you go with Cap One you will almost always be bucketed. If you wait until your credit is good you will receive much better offers. I started with the Venture card with a 10k limit, and have since upgraded to Venture X, with a 25k limit. Amex is a different animal. They might give a higher limit or a fancier card but they will watch you like a hawk. If you do anything that they don't like be prepared for a lockdown. There are many Platinum card customers that can't spend more that a thousand a month which has earned it the label of the Platinum prepaid card. I would also avoid all store cards as they offer little in benefits. Your Macys and Bloomingdales cards may have 6k limits but at what cost, 31.25% interest? That is seriously sub prime.


^This 

I opened by first C1 card 12 months post-filing BK7 and got a $10K Venture card.  I was blown away.  That card eventually grew to $50K limit through card combos (no longer offered) and sat there until about a year ago when, due to low useage, they chopped the limit to $20K.   But I did get a new Venture X that now stands at $40K limit (opened for $20K).

I also 100% agree about not needing any store cards.  I do have one -- Amazon through Synchrony -- but I use them every single day for my business, personal & grocery shopping and I get 5% cash back.  

I never got any Comenity cards and resisted the shopping card trick.  I did get a few high limit Synch cards 12 months post-filing -- Lowes, Care Credit and Wal-Mart -- but I closed those after about two years.   They helped with utilization at the time.

100% agree with the starting with credit union secured cards.   I did that, opened three secured cards right away.   I never opened a sub prime card and thus neve got shafted by the predators.

I currently have 15 open revolving accounts with total limits of $405K with BK7 still on EQ & EX.   TU deleted the BK 14 months out with EE.   TU FICO 8 & FICO 9's are 850.   EQ and EX FICO 8's & 9's range from 780 to 840.

Always 1% utilization, one card only reporting a small balance - like $5.

Message 7 of 14
EAJuggalo
Established Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...


@C6 wrote:

I would suggest if one is rebuilding to avoid Cap One and most major banks for that matter. Get a couple of credit cards with local credit unions and build them.


Completely disagree.  Many rebuilders can't get a card from a local credit union but most will qualify for a Cap1 Secured.  A few months with teh secured and a small limit unsecured Platinum is available.  What rebuilders need to realize is that those are starter cards with a purpose, once they serve their purpose and you have better cards, you have to let them go or know that they aren't going to match what you have.  CapOne has been for at least the last 7 years, probably longer, the top of the choices for rebuilders.  They are not Credit One or Merrick or any of the others that will hand out a $300 card to just about anyone with $225 pre charged on it in fees.

EX700 TU 704 EQ 694 4/03/22
Cap1 QS-$4,500 Chase Freedom Flex- $800 Chase Freedom Unlimited- $1,000 Victoria's Secret- $1,200 Citi DC- $800 Amazon Store Card- $3,500 AMEX Hilton Honors-$1,000 Discover It-$1,000 Wal-Mart MC $290 Chase Sapphire Preferred-$5,000 NFCU Flagship $13,800 AMEX BCE-$1,000 AMEX Gold-$5,000 AMEX Delta Blue $1,000 Lowe's $5,000 Navy Platinum $17,000 AMEX BBP $2,000
Message 8 of 14
Roisin
New Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...

Several years ago, with NO credit, I started building with a $500 Cap1 Platinum secured card. I was grateful to have it, and today it's my oldest card. I got my second card, a prime card from another bank, just one month later. About two years after that (and the addition of two more non-Cap1 CCs), Cap1 gave me a $10,000 Venture card, which at the time was the highest SL and CL that I had from any card. So at that point, you could say that I had C1's lowest- and highest-tier cards, with nothing from them in between. BTW, it wasn't until another 6-7 months after getting the Venture card that Cap1 finally unsecured the Platinum from years earlier. <eye roll>

 

At this point, I've no expectation that the Platinum will grow. And, since I opened a prime card from another bank with a decent SL/CL just one month after that first Platinum card, I suppose, it wouldn't hurt creditwise to cut the Platinum loose, and let the second card become my oldest card. Still, that first C1 Platinum card is a humble reminder of where I started, and I don't really preceive any harm in keeping it. So for now at least, while I continue to build, the piddly Platinum stays.

 

Given my own Cap1 experience, and agreeing with the general consensus that an Amex card will grow when used often, judiciously, and paid on time, this is my long-winded way of saying, yes, Cap1 and Amex are different. And, that's okay.

 

I think of it this way: Better to have a mix of workhorses and performance horses in the barn, rather than all of the same. A workhorse or pony can't do olympic dressage or eventing, while a fancy warmblood isn't suitable for hauling carts and carriages, or packing kids on trails. Each one has it's specialty. When used for the right job at the proper time and place, each is no less valuable than the other. Just a different animal.

Message 9 of 14
Aim_High
Super Contributor

Re: AMEX vs Cap One: The 680 FICO 'Mason-Dixon' line...


@K-in-Boston wrote:

There's no correlation between low starting limits and having a couple of lower limit cards; starting lines are based on your overall credit profile, income, and a lender's risk tolerance.


 

@Jonesie wrote:

While I'd love to show some gratitude for Cap One letting me back in the door, at this point, their low limit cards are being dragged behind the boat and are bringing down my averages that will be what future cards establish my SCL with. 

I agree with @K-in-Boston that average credit limits are not an actual metric per-se.  To raise my overall limits, I've tended to close lower limit cards while also trying to raise my upper limits.  What is more important than your lowest limit card is the income and overall profile including the highest credit limits you hold.  That said, IMO having a bunch of toy starter limits can burden a builder/rebuilder profile and I suggest closing those cards once they serve their purpose.  That's especially important if they have fees, the CL is minimal compared to others, and aggregate utilization will not be impacted.

 

While other lenders cater to both prime and subprime profiles, Capital One seems to have some of the most noticeable differences in their clients.  The bucket experience is real for many of our members, yet the prime card approvals are also real and valid.  My Capital One Quicksilver started as a $1K Platinum, but it apparently was not bucketed.  I was able to product-change it to a Quicksilver and grow it 30x to a $30K limit eventually.  So YMMV.   Closing a bucketed card that won't grow and later reapplying for other desirable cards as your profile strengthens seems to be the best guidance.  The problem isn't "Capital One stinks."  The problem was the consumer profile that existed at the card opening shadows it more than with some other cards.  Accept that and don't expect a bucketed card to perform like an unbucketed card.   I just wrote about this on another thread  and my own experiences with Capital One if anyone cares to read.


Business Cards


Length of Credit > 40 years; Total Credit Limits >$900K
Top Lender TCL - Chase 156.4 - BofA 99.7 - AMEX 95.0 - CITI 94.5 - NFCU 80.0 - SYCH - 65.0
AoOA > 30 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Feb 2024)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 10 of 14
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