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What's so great about American Express?

Peter1142
Established Contributor

What's so great about American Express?

Going through my credit cards, I signed up for a Delta Skymiles card due to a 60,000 bonus miles offer, and now I have 70,000 Miles which is pretty sweet. But, why should I keep using this card? Versus:

 

Capital One Venture Card - 2% Cash Back for any travel purchase vs 1% Delta Miles (2% only on Delta purchases). 20.15% APR vs 25%.

 

Citi Double Cash - 2% Cash Back for anything vs. 1% Delta Miles. No annual fee vs. $100/year. 15.24% APR vs. 25%.

Wait why don't I use this card instead of the Venture that has been my spending card for the past few years? This seems the best deal out there.

 

Discover IT - No annual fee vs $100/year. 1% Cash back with 5% cash back in rotating categories. 15.24% APR vs 25%.

 

Amex has some of the stingiest rewards of any higher-end card, the highest interest rate of any higher end credit card (even worse than Capital One!), which is bad if you ocassionally need to carry a balance for a month or two, AND the highest annual fees. All of these other cards have frequent balance transfer offers too, if you ever need to finance a costly purchase. For something niche like Delta Miles I would expect much better like 5% or something. Why do people like Amex so much? Is it just a status thing?

Message 1 of 259
258 REPLIES 258
Stralem
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

It depends on the individual. As you’ve laid out, American Express (rather the particular product you have from them) isn’t doing it for you. For other people and their needs, Amex works for them. It’s that simple.

I Have Way Too Many of These.

American Express - No CLI or Appreciation Gift in 7 Years

Citibank - Handing Out Credit Limits Like Candy

Chase - Surprisingly, Still Tolerating My Credit-Chasing Ways

Bank of America - My Newest Bae.

Everyone Else.
Message 2 of 259
SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Peter1142 wrote:

Going through my credit cards, I signed up for a Delta Skymiles card due to a 60,000 bonus miles offer, and now I have 70,000 Miles which is pretty sweet. But, why should I keep using this card? Versus:

 

Capital One Venture Card - 2% Cash Back for any travel purchase vs 1% Delta Miles (2% only on Delta purchases). 20.15% APR vs 25%.

 

Citi Double Cash - 2% Cash Back for anything vs. 1% Delta Miles. No annual fee vs. $100/year. 15.24% APR vs. 25%.

Wait why don't I use this card instead of the Venture that has been my spending card for the past few years? This seems the best deal out there.

 

Discover IT - No annual fee vs $100/year. 1% Cash back with 5% cash back in rotating categories. 15.24% APR vs 25%.

 

Amex has some of the stingiest rewards of any higher-end card, the highest interest rate of any higher end credit card (even worse than Capital One!), which is bad if you ocassionally need to carry a balance for a month or two, AND the highest annual fees. All of these other cards have frequent balance transfer offers too, if you ever need to finance a costly purchase. For something niche like Delta Miles I would expect much better like 5% or something. Why do people like Amex so much? Is it just a status thing?


I don't think it's prestigious any more. It's just like any other lender.

 

I wasn't aware that people like it so much, but (a) it's relatively solid and reliable (b) it has a wide variety of offerings (c) it lets you product change easily after 13 months within families of cards (d) it lets you move limits around among cards (e) it usually soft pulls rather than hard pulls when you apply for a new card if you're already a card member (f) it offers soft pull credit limit increase applications, and is relatively generous in granting them (g) the rewards are varied, and some people find them great and some not so great, it depends a lot on your spending habits... i know someone who finds the delta card to be the cats meow for his travel needs... some people love the MR's, I personally haven't found them especially useful  (h) some of the cards have awesome perks for frequent travelers... if I was a frequent business traveler I would consider the Amex business platinum to be mandatory... but not being a frequent business traveler I found it was a luxury that didn't really justify the annual fee.


Total revolving limits 663000 (585000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 716 TU 742 EX 713

Message 3 of 259
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

The Delta cards are good for checked bags and airline status. In order to maximize rewards with amex, you need the MR earning cards as well. Same with the Chase trifecta. With enough elbow grease, the system will blow 2% out of the water.




Message 4 of 259
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Stralem wrote:

It depends on the individual. As you’ve laid out, American Express (rather the particular product you have from them) isn’t doing it for you. For other people and their needs, Amex works for them. It’s that simple.


Yes (+ a lot of people can't/don't do the calculations and assume some card, e.g. Amex is best for no good reason!)

 

On OP's Venture vs Citi DC, yes, some of us (including me!) have been pointing out the that venture made little sense after the first year (for the SUB) with a number of free 2% cards out there.  (Personally, I now think the Paypal Mastercard is the best, 2% straight away, no min redemption, no FTF, no fee)

But Venture did add transferable miles, so that might change the value prop slightly.  But for most, no point in paying the AF for Venture

Message 5 of 259
Peter1142
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Stralem wrote:

It depends on the individual. As you’ve laid out, American Express (rather the particular product you have from them) isn’t doing it for you. For other people and their needs, Amex works for them. It’s that simple.


It's not that simple, I am asking why. Why does it work for them and meet their needs versus other options? I genuinely want to know, why do people like AMEX?

 

I forgot to add they are the hardest cards to get, too! It's not like they are easy to obtain and good for building credit, either.

Message 6 of 259
Peter1142
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

The Delta cards are good for checked bags and airline status. In order to maximize rewards with amex, you need the MR earning cards as well. Same with the Chase trifecta. With enough elbow grease, the system will blow 2% out of the water.


Sorry what are the MR earning cards? I am not familiar with this.

Message 7 of 259
Green456
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Peter1142 wrote:

Going through my credit cards, I signed up for a Delta Skymiles card due to a 60,000 bonus miles offer, and now I have 70,000 Miles which is pretty sweet. But, why should I keep using this card? Versus:

 

Capital One Venture Card - 2% Cash Back for any travel purchase vs 1% Delta Miles (2% only on Delta purchases). 20.15% APR vs 25%.

 

Citi Double Cash - 2% Cash Back for anything vs. 1% Delta Miles. No annual fee vs. $100/year. 15.24% APR vs. 25%.

Wait why don't I use this card instead of the Venture that has been my spending card for the past few years? This seems the best deal out there.

 

Discover IT - No annual fee vs $100/year. 1% Cash back with 5% cash back in rotating categories. 15.24% APR vs 25%.

 

Amex has some of the stingiest rewards of any higher-end card, the highest interest rate of any higher end credit card (even worse than Capital One!), which is bad if you ocassionally need to carry a balance for a month or two, AND the highest annual fees. All of these other cards have frequent balance transfer offers too, if you ever need to finance a costly purchase. For something niche like Delta Miles I would expect much better like 5% or something. Why do people like Amex so much? Is it just a status thing?


Dont forget BoA Cashback 3.3% on all travel and no annual fee.

Message 8 of 259
dyn085
Regular Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

You're comparing an airline card to general spend cards. That's part of the problem. I have the Delta Platinum because of how much I travel but that's for travel perks and the companion pass.

 

Amex has lots of perks on all of their individual cards that are tailored to the desired/expected spend on them. Besides that they have the 3x CLI and SP increases/approvals which are both very valuable to people that have lots of cards but don't want lots of HP's. People that spend the time to seek value out of the MR program easily eclipse most all other rewards programs other than Chases UR program. All of the Amex cards are super-easy to get and don't have any 5/24 sort of limitations.

 

If you stop looking at it with such a narrow focus you'll get a better idea; it seems that the only people that attach 'status' to Amex cards are those that haven't taken the time to understand their offerings.

Message 9 of 259
Debit
Regular Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

It depends on the card. The BCP is the best for people buying from supermarkets. The new Gold is also great for "milenial" spending. Customer support and benefit claims(such as extended warranty) are said to be very easy to process as well although i have no experience on the matter to confirm.

 

Also i want to point out if you are trying to reap benefits from reward cards APRs should irrelevant to you at any point.(unless of course a big unexpected and unavoidable expense occurs)

Message 10 of 259
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