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What's so great about American Express?

SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@dyn085 wrote:

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.


What are the best ways to seek value out of the MR program?

 

I've tried to figure them out, but haven't been able to. Every time I redeem them I seem to be getting from 1 cent to less than 1 cent in value.


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

Message 11 of 259
dyn085
Regular Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@SouthJamaica wrote:

@dyn085 wrote:

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.


What are the best ways to seek value out of the MR program?

 

I've tried to figure them out, but haven't been able to. Every time I redeem them I seem to be getting from 1 cent to less than 1 cent in value.


I don't actually work the MR system hard enough to know tbh. I know that people with flexible schedules can find stellar travel rewards for higher-tier flights and hotels that escalate the redemption value. I just use them for airline transfers; I recently transferred 35k MR points to Delta to hit the level of miles needed buy my sisters family round-trip tickets to visit me this year. 

Message 12 of 259
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Peter1142 wrote:

@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.


Amex has a suite of cards that earn Membership Rewards. Those points can be used for various offers (1 point for $30 off a $60 purchase at Amazon) or to transfer to partner cards like airline and hotel. Most of the time, they transfer at between 1-3%, but I've seen savvy users get as much as 7% back. @K-in-Boston  would be a person that can really maximize the rewards for travel and I'm sure he can come in here with some examples of possible value.




Message 13 of 259
pinkandgrey
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

In my experience, Amex has awesome customer service, great CLIs, lots of options, and the Plan It feature would be handy in an “emergency.”
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Message 14 of 259
redpat
Senior Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

OP, you need to do your own research on MR points.

I'm not going to go into great detail but my redemptions range from 1.60x - 10x per MR points. Also, I now get a ton of MR points using eBates and Rockmiles.

Travel rewards will always get you a bigger bang for your dollar vs. cash back on redemptions.

Also, the travel perks on Amex plat beat anyother premium card on the market. I have CSR and still doesn't beat plat.


Personal Cards: Amex Plat | Amex Delta Res | Amex Hilton | CSR | Citi AA Exec Business Cards: Ink+ | Amex BGR
Message 15 of 259
Peter1142
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@pinkandgrey wrote:
In my experience, Amex has awesome customer service, great CLIs, lots of options, and the Plan It feature would be handy in an “emergency.”

Amex did give me so much CL I would be embarassed asking for CLI. How high do they go?

 

The Plan It thing is pretty cool, I didn't know that existed. Thats definitely earned them some points in my book. I get irregular income sometimes so this is useful.

Message 16 of 259
BrutalBodyShots
Super Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?


@Peter1142 wrote:

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.


As someone that doesn't travel at all, I see almost no value in the Amex product line and personally don't think their cards are any good.  My only card with them is the BCE and it's next to useless.  I think one of the reasons that Amex cards are somewhat popular at least around this forum is that their growth potential is usually far greater than other cards.  One of the only reasons I still have the BCE card for example is because it has a $55k limit that continues to grow at a rate of $5k/6mo. 

 

I also don't think Amex cards carry any additional appeal over other cards today in terms of status like they did back in the 80's when you'd see commercials that made you feel that way at the time.  Today they're like any other creditor, IMO.

 

I disagree with your statement above though that they are the hardest cards to get.  I actually think if I had to pick one way to sway I'd put them toward the easier end of cards to get, but pretty much in the middle.  I was approved for $10k on the BCE when I only had 1 other CC at the time and it had a $3k limit.  I had 4 dirty accounts on my CR with lates as severe as 90-120 days on multiple accounts at the time I was approved.  I'm not sure what you mean about Amex cards not being good for building credit.

Message 17 of 259
dustinst22
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

To start off, best customer service by a long shot and it's not close.

 

I think MR points are very valuable.  My whole wallet is Amex and it gives me 2.5% CB for general spend (BBP), 5% for restaurants and grocery (Gold), and of course 5% for AMZ -- I think this is really solid.  This is utilizing the Charles Schwab Platinum which gives all kinds of perks.  Of course, if you aren't a traveler the fees are a bit high.  For my business, I'm getting 5% back on our google advertising (Biz Gold) which is awesome.  That alone gives me $4500 a year more than a 2% card would (unfortunately capped at 150 K spend for the 5% tier).

 

Interest rate?  I don't care if it's 90%, I never carry a balance and would never use credit cards if I had to as that is a massive waste of money.  Best rewards cards have the highest rates, so you shouldn't use them if you are carrying balances.  Personal finance always comes before credit.



Message 18 of 259
Tonya-E
Established Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

I get regular and thorough use out of the BCP card. The cash back can definitely outweigh the fees if you play the categories right. I think it's a great card for cash back rewards, especially when using for groceries and streaming services. That's really the only one I can attest to. I do not get much use out of the BCE. The MR can be used for purchases on Amazon, but Citi offers the same thing. Also if you use it enough within the month and get the 20% tier, it could likely add up. I have never used it enough to do that though. What I can say without doubt is that you don't have to worry about large purchases being scrutinized. I have gotten embarrassed by Chase with large purchase declines. But, I know it is for your protection from fraud so I couldn't give them a hard time. However, having to call in or use the email button to clear it and resubmit still sucks sometimes.

 

I would say perks for certain cards are what make people gravitate towards Amex.I will even say just the NAME is what attracts some (though that makes absolutely no sense to me if it's not saving you money). But, that is my 2 cents.

Wallet: Amex BCP-45k| Barclays Rewards MC-26.3k| Citi Thank You Preferred-27.5k| Citi Double Cash-14k| Target MC-11.5k| Walmart MC-7.5k| Chase Freedom Unlimited Signature-6k


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Message 19 of 259
KJinNC
Valued Contributor

Re: What's so great about American Express?

I have not had an Amex card for 20+ years, I'm currently building/rebuilding from 500s, now in low 600s, but the standard gold Amex charge card is one of my goal cards. The reason is because the rewards fit how I intend to use the card extremely well. Won't bore with the details but there are some particular features of the card that would be great for my situation.

 

Philosophically, I like charge cards more than credit cards, anyway.


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