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Credit cards

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Valued Member

Credit cards

Is American Express a good bank to get a card from?
My credit score 7/17/2019
EQ: 687 || TU: 708 || Ex: 667
||Capital one: 500 || Credit One: closed || Target: 300
Store Credit Card: 1800 || Citi DC: 700 || Discover It: 2000




LAST_HP_DATE
Gardening until: 2023
Message 1 of 25
24 REPLIES 24
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Super Contributor

Re: Credit cards

Depends what you want in a card.

 

Pros:

Good travel rewards and perks, especially on annual fee cards.

*New accounts often come with a big bonus.

Great customer service on Platinum.

Some cards have a long intro 0% APR period on purchases.

With good income, history, and spend a credit limit can grow very quickly. Spending power can sometimes even temporarily exceed a credit limit (for an established customer with a very healthy profile). *Charge card spending power can also grow quickly.*

Customers are generally happy with a smooth process of making benefit claims (like extended warranties offered by some Amex cards) and disputing transactions.

 

Cons:

The travel rewards cards often have quirks that can make them harder to get value from if you like simplicity.

The travel rewards programs can be very lucrative but can also lack flexibility.

Cash back cards are generally underwhelming.

Lower acceptance than Visa or MC.

Balance transfer opportunities are limited.

*Most no-AF cards, and even a few of the Annual Fee cards, charge a 2.7% Foreign Transaction Fee.

 

Neutral:

Customer service on most cards may not be as good as what a credit union offers.

Credit standards are neither very relaxed nor terribly strict for most cards. That said, Amex can hold decades-long grudges against customers who default on one of their cards.

Benefit terms are not as good as they once were, but are still pretty attractive compared to most competitors.

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 2 of 25
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Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Credit cards

They do make ones siggy look prettySmiley Wink
Message 3 of 25
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Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Credit cards

Personally I would say a definite yes. They have great customer service and a good lineup of cards for almost anyone. Plus, the cards can grow pretty quickly if you use them well. 

Discover It: 19.7k
Amex ED: 18k
Citi DC: 7.7k
Best Buy Visa: 3k
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Once you go Berner, you never go back.
Message 4 of 25
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Moderator

Re: Credit cards


@wasCB14 wrote:

Depends what you want in a card.

 

Pros:

Good travel rewards and perks, especially on annual fee cards.

Great customer service on Platinum.

Some cards have a long intro 0% APR period on purchases.

With good income, history, and spend a credit limit can grow very quickly. Spending power can sometimes even temporarily exceed a credit limit (for an established customer with a very healthy profile). *Charge card spending power can also grow quickly.*

Customers are generally happy with a smooth process of making benefit claims (like extended warranties offered by some Amex cards) and disputing transactions.

 

Cons:

The travel rewards cards often have quirks that can make them harder to get value from if you like simplicity.

The travel rewards programs can be very lucrative but can also lack flexibility.

Cash back cards are generally underwhelming.

Lower acceptance than Visa or MC.

Balance transfer opportunities are limited.

 

Neutral:

Customer service on most cards may not be as good as what a credit union offers.

Credit standards are neither very relaxed nor terribly strict for most cards. That said, Amex can hold decades-long grudges against customers who default on one of their cards.

Benefit terms are not as good as they once were, but are still pretty attractive compared to most competitors.

A moderate number of Amex cards charge a foreign transaction fee.


That is a very fair assessment of American Express.  You should totally save that as a macro for future use!

 

As for the question, I would certainly say that I have been an extremely happy Amex cardholder since 2002.  Their welcome offers for many cards are industry-leading.  Acceptance (in the US at least) is becoming less of an issue as it gets bundled with new merchant accounts via OptBlue and businesses aren't obligated to deal directly with Amex for rate negotiation.  If a card fits your spending and the type of rewards you'd like, Amex will usually have a very competitive card if not one of the best credit cards of that type.  (General cash back cards not being a great example of this, of course, as there are lots of 2% cards out there now.)

Message 5 of 25
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Valued Contributor

Re: Credit cards

I like my BCE, had it for 7 years. Pretty much everything is covered in "the list". They seem to keep up with the times with offerings (Pay It, access to things via website, etc.) Takes a couple more clicks to get to past statements, and a whole lot of searching to find the Year End Summary (under My Trends link??, even though Y.E.S.s are backward looking).

 

Amex offers are great, especially the ones that are not merchant specific ($20 off insurance bill, $10 off cell phone bill up to $20).

They still hold a small amount of prestige (not like they used to), unless you go for a, eh, um, uhhh Credit One Amex lol.

 

I don't live life without mine.

Scores, HPs/24 mos. (updated 11/20/20):
    Experian FICO Score 8 = 828, 1/24
    Experian FICO Score 9 = 813, 1/24
   TransUnion = 815, 1/24
    Equifax = 818, 0/24

Total 2019 rewards, incl. offers/deals = $1,709.07
Avg. rewards rate, incl. offers/deals = 3.92%

Total CL: $247,000

Cards (hover over for CL | interest rate | Date Opened):
Message 6 of 25
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Regular Contributor

Re: Credit cards


@wasCB14 wrote:

Depends what you want in a card.

 

Pros:

Good travel rewards and perks, especially on annual fee cards.

Great customer service on Platinum.

Some cards have a long intro 0% APR period on purchases.

With good income, history, and spend a credit limit can grow very quickly. Spending power can sometimes even temporarily exceed a credit limit (for an established customer with a very healthy profile). *Charge card spending power can also grow quickly.*

Customers are generally happy with a smooth process of making benefit claims (like extended warranties offered by some Amex cards) and disputing transactions.

 

Cons:

The travel rewards cards often have quirks that can make them harder to get value from if you like simplicity.

The travel rewards programs can be very lucrative but can also lack flexibility.

Cash back cards are generally underwhelming.

Lower acceptance than Visa or MC.

Balance transfer opportunities are limited.

 

Neutral:

Customer service on most cards may not be as good as what a credit union offers.

Credit standards are neither very relaxed nor terribly strict for most cards. That said, Amex can hold decades-long grudges against customers who default on one of their cards.

Benefit terms are not as good as they once were, but are still pretty attractive compared to most competitors.

A moderate number of Amex cards charge a foreign transaction fee.


My one additon would be that all Amex cards without FTF have an AF except the base level Hilton Honors.   The importance of this depends on where your foreign transactions occur (Amex acceptance isn't always awesome overseas so less of an issue maybe as you can't charge a fee on a transaction you can't make, but even benign and legitimate online transactions can be processed overseas and result in FTF).  

Message 7 of 25
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Super Contributor

Re: Credit cards

True. And even a few Amex cards with an AF charge a FTF.

Amex may not be unique in this, but offhand I can't think of any other issuers that do this outside of bottom feeders.
Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, CFF+CF, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCE, EDP
SUB: JetBlue, Amex Platinum
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 8 of 25
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: Credit cards


@wasCB14 wrote:

Depends what you want in a card.

 

Pros:

Good travel rewards and perks, especially on annual fee cards.

Great customer service on Platinum.

Some cards have a long intro 0% APR period on purchases.

With good income, history, and spend a credit limit can grow very quickly. Spending power can sometimes even temporarily exceed a credit limit (for an established customer with a very healthy profile). *Charge card spending power can also grow quickly.*

Customers are generally happy with a smooth process of making benefit claims (like extended warranties offered by some Amex cards) and disputing transactions.

 

Cons:

The travel rewards cards often have quirks that can make them harder to get value from if you like simplicity.

The travel rewards programs can be very lucrative but can also lack flexibility.

Cash back cards are generally underwhelming.

Lower acceptance than Visa or MC.

Balance transfer opportunities are limited.

 

Neutral:

Customer service on most cards may not be as good as what a credit union offers.

Credit standards are neither very relaxed nor terribly strict for most cards. That said, Amex can hold decades-long grudges against customers who default on one of their cards.

Benefit terms are not as good as they once were, but are still pretty attractive compared to most competitors.

A moderate number of Amex cards charge a foreign transaction fee.


Nailed it ! 




Discover 22K ---------------------------- Credit Union MC 12K
Cap1 QS 10K ---------------------------- Barclay 3.4K
AMEX Blue Cash AU 15.5K ------ Barclay Apple AU 10K
AMEX BCP 22K
2 Installment loans:
Auto 15K / 39K ---------- Auto 28K / 39K
Vantage 3.0: TU:738 EQ: 737 03-17-2020
Ch. 7 DC 12/2014
Message 9 of 25
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Established Contributor

Re: Credit cards

My take on the AMEX line:

 

Pros:

-Good earning rates on their cards. Blue Cashback is 6% for groceries (though limited to 6k).

-Can earn membership rewards on Rakuten.

-Transfer bonuses on membership rewards points to airlines.

-High end perks on the Platinum and Gold cards.

 

Cons:

-Annual Fees are the highest across the product line. 

-Cards do not stack together well.

          -Platinum is $550 for x5 Airfare, Gold is $250 for x4 dine/grocery,  Green is $150 for x3 travel, ED Preferred is $95 for x1.5 everyday  spend after 30 monthly uses.  That is $1045 annual fee to have the best of all categories.

-Transfer partners aren't as good as Chase and Citi.

 

If you paired Green/ED Preferred with the idea that you would only use the green for travel and big dinners out while ED gets the bills and lunch spending it could work. The AF between both is $245. Compare this to a CSR with a CFU. $550 annual fee on the CSR but a $300 dollar credit and a broad definition of restaurants. Unlimited priority pass with the CSR and x10 lyft rides. CFU is 1.5 back regardless of swipes.

Official travel point totals as of 10/21/20 (Goal Free Travel)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 138,068
World of Hyatt 81,381
Southwest Rapid Rewards 61,000
AMEX Membership Rewards 54,694
AA Advantage 15,144
United MileagePlus 13,316
British Airways Avios 11,332
NASA Platinum Rewards 1883
Marriott Bonvoy 1,350
Expedia Points 740
Hilton Honors 481
Delta Sky Miles 123
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100
Jet Blue TrueBlue 66
Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)

Official cashback as of 9/19/20 (Goal Fund Roth IRA)
Acorns 1039.37
Retail Me Not 208.59
Top Cashback 39.08
DOSH App 39.08
PEI App 35.05
Raise Cash 27.49
Club Overstock 23.87
Mr. Rebates 14.65
Discover 4.03
NFCU Rewards 2.96


Other Point Category
Freebird 3,500
Samsung Rewards 2,857
Open Table 1,800
Message 10 of 25
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