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New Member...Chase or Amex?

New Contributor

New Member...Chase or Amex?

New member who's been rebuilding my credit. Found this forum a few days ago, and it's been invaluable! Never honestly had a "good" credit card, as I've never really had good credit. Currenlty have a Citi Double Cash, and that was a surprise when I was approved. But now looking to do traveling and get points. Most of my current spend is on Gas, restarurants, groceries, some travel. Been reading a LOT about the various Amex and Chase cards, and maximizing points.  

Still undecided if I should go Chase...Sapphire Preffered + a Freedom Card, or go for the PRG and an Everyday card to maximize points. 


I have read some on Chase possibly removing the point transfer from lower tier cards to the Sapphire. Which has me thinking Amex might be the better base to build around with a few cards?

Message 2 of 15
New Contributor

Apply now....or Wait?

Like many, I used to abuse credit, and my score was in the tank. I'd guess under 600 a few years ago with a few late payments, utilization in the 80% range. In the past year, I've got the spending under control, and have focused more on raising it. Goal is to get some value for my spending! Want to travel, and ideally looking at cards in that area...Ideally Chase Sapphire Preffered and a Freedom card, or an Amex PRG and maybe an Everyday.


My file:


Citi double cash. Got it 2/2018    $1k Limit. And pay it off every month. 

Capital one Quicksilver. $4500 limit. $2.5k balance.

Capital once.   $500 limit. $50 balance.

Chase Auto loan obtained in 2016. Got it to help improve my credit. $10k intial loan, made every payment since, and currently has $5200 outstanding. 


2 derogatories for two late payments in 2014 (Amex everyday card).

1 Inquiry for the Citi card. 

No collections ever.

Average age of accounts is 6.8 yrs.


The Citi site gives my Fico as 674. Chase and CaptialOne list it as 724, but I know that's a bogus model. 


Question is.....I really want to get going earning points. I'm tempted to apply now for PRG or the Sapphire Preffered now, but thinking I'll get denied and ding my credit. I just paid down the cap one card to $1k balance. But doubt that will update for a month plus. Should I wait?


Amex's pre-approval site only lists Everyday card, and the Blue Cash.  My Chase site has me Pre-approved for the Preffered and both freedom cards.



Message 1 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

Is there one airline or hotel chain you mostly use?

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 3 of 15
Super Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

Something I would keep in mind is the area you live in do they accept amex everywhere . I know some places where amex isn't accepted nearly as much as visa just something to keep in mind

EX Fico 804 11/16/16 Fako 800 11/16/16
EQ SW bank enhanced 11/16/16 839 CK fako 822 11/16/16
TU Fico discover 10/19/16 814 Fako 819 Creditkarma 11/16/16
Message 4 of 15

Re: Apply now....or Wait?

If you have a pre-approval, go for it once you decide between Chase and Amex. 

Got some pruning to do... No more new cards!
Message 5 of 15
New Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

Guess I need to brush up on the forum rules. Thanks for clarifying. The other post was more asking whether or not a 675, avg age of 6.8 yrs, and two derogatories 3 years ago was good enough to apply for a PRG or Sapphire Preffered, or if I should wait until I break the 700 mark. Hate to ding my score with an inquiry if applying now is a bit premature. I'm at a 40% utilization now, but will get it down to 10% in a month or two. 


Pre-approved for the Chase cards (if that means anything), but only thing Amex pre-approved me for was the everyday and blue cash on their website, not the PRG.


I'm out in CA. So a decent amount of places take American Express.  I generally frequent Fairmonts, W, Marriot, Intercontinental and Hyatts. Airlines...Southwest, Alaska, United. But I fly out of SFO, so I have options to use many different airlines. But I do plan to do a lot more international travel in the next year.


Is it generally easier to accrue points with Chase compared to American Express? 

Message 6 of 15
Established Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

I would go with amex over chase. 

Amex does everything off soft pulls while chase requires hard pulls. Either way, I'd wait until my utilization was down before applying. If you're preapproved for the bce and ed, the prg shouldn't be a problem getting. 

2019 Spend Summary
$944,008 Amex BRG
$91,953 Amex SC
$58,351 Discover It
$50,046 BofA CR
$36,146 Amex PRG
$6,774 Cap1 QS
$963 Amex CM

$1,188,241 Yearly Spend
Message 7 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

I know you said you are looking for travel cards, but It might be worth giving that Blue Cash card a look. You said one of your big spend categories is groceries, and at 3% back on groceries (6% for BCP), it's giving a pretty solid return. You will also get 2% on gas.


Granted, it is a cash back card, but with the BCP I'm usually able to save up enough each year to cover at least a couple of nights at a hotel. I just think of it this way. Instead of using my in pocket cash to pay for groceries a couple of weeks out of the year, I use statement credits. Then I can use that in pocket cash for whatever I like (hotel, meals, car rental, etc).

Message 8 of 15
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

It's like choosing between coke and Pepsi. You won't know which you like better until you've tried them both. I liked Chase better, but neither appeal to my spend anymore. I also like Pepsi better, but I'm a Dr. Pepper drinker at heart. Guess that's in line with preferring cashback over points.

Message 9 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: New Member...Chase or Amex?

Amex does everything off soft pulls while chase requires hard pulls."


what? no hard pulls on apps?

Have the Following:

CashBack Cards Goals: Citi Rewards+

Status: Doing my Homework before I App

Note to Self: Focus on the Abundance of Love and you shall have more!

Message 10 of 15
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