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What's with the AMEX Obsession?

navigatethis12
Valued Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@cashnocredit wrote:

@Revelate wrote:



I'm not certain it ever meant that in the wild, think it was more of an endorsement of "Amex means I spend excellently!"


Bingo!

Amex cards get over twice the spend each month of Visa or MC cards. That's the kind of "prestige" merchants care about.


This is just the rubbish American Express will tell potential merchants to get them to sign up for accepting American Express cards. I barely spend on American Express cards, but spend a lot on Visa and Mastercard is second.

 

The whole "prestige" thing in my opinion is silly. Why should I care what people in line think when I take out a card? American Express doesn't give the most cashback on anything so it never sees the light of day. I'm not going to use it just so people think, "Whoa, he must be rich is he can spend a few thousand and have to pay it off at the end of the month." One can just as easily default on a charge card as they can a credit card. As evidenced here, people with not so perfect history have American Express, so how can a company that approves someone with derogatory information be considered prestigious?

 

People here would let American Express get away with murder. If any other lender decreases limits, asks for financials (not even tax returns), pull all three credit bureaus, declines an application, or anything else, they are called names and hated. When American Express does it, it's perfectly fine and understandable. People are even afraid to make multipe payments or get another card because American Express may shut down the accounts.

Message 21 of 62
fittiger
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@cashnocredit wrote:



I'm not certain it ever meant that in the wild, think it was more of an endorsement of "Amex means I spend excellently!"


Bingo!

Amex cards get over twice the spend each month of Visa or MC cards. That's the kind of "prestige" merchants care about. But it has almost nothing to do with credit scores which s the focus in credit related forums. It is true many and possibly most consumers think "high credit score" equals high spending but the two are very different. 5 years ago I could phone my banker and verbally have them wire 6 figures to anyone. OTOH, I had no credit cards and simple things like renting a car or even a hotel room required back flips. Credit, and especially credit files, have zero to do with your bank account balances or investments.

 

So if a Plat Amex helps promote the idea I'm likely to spend money with a merchant then it's the sort of prestige that I value.


I guess I don't understand this comment really.  Maybe you are correct and AMEX gets over twice the spend of Visa/MC, but I find it hard to believe.  Is this per card or the AMEX network gets double the spending that VISA/MC does?

 

I'm also not sure I understand your comment about how the prestige of a merchant believing you'll spend money b/c of a Pat AMEX.  Do you spend more because of that card?  Do you get some sort of benefits from the merchant thinking you will?

 

Like you even said, credit and bank account balances/investments don't go hand in hand.

Message 22 of 62
Revelate
Moderator Emeritus

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@navigatethis12 wrote:

@cashnocredit wrote:

@Revelate wrote:



I'm not certain it ever meant that in the wild, think it was more of an endorsement of "Amex means I spend excellently!"


Bingo!

Amex cards get over twice the spend each month of Visa or MC cards. That's the kind of "prestige" merchants care about.


This is just the rubbish American Express will tell potential merchants to get them to sign up for accepting American Express cards. I barely spend on American Express cards, but spend a lot on Visa and Mastercard is second.

 

The whole "prestige" thing in my opinion is silly. Why should I care what people in line think when I take out a card? American Express doesn't give the most cashback on anything so it never sees the light of day. I'm not going to use it just so people think, "Whoa, he must be rich is he can spend a few thousand and have to pay it off at the end of the month." One can just as easily default on a charge card as they can a credit card. As evidenced here, people with not so perfect history have American Express, so how can a company that approves someone with derogatory information be considered prestigious?


Perception rarely equals reality.  Not sure I can really state it any better than that, and it's not intrinsic to Amex.

 

 It does exist, it's experience supported by virtually everyone who has used one.  I agree with you fully that it's not rational, but humans aren't rational creatures.

 

It's no different than my being flattered by the cute 20-something sales reps talking to me yesterday, when rationally I know it's nothing intrinsic about me, it's just that I have carte blanche on an expected additional 1.8m capex budget and they want a slice on a couple margin points.

 

 




        
Message 23 of 62
fittiger
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@jsickz32 wrote:
I like my Amex. Dont care about the AFs to be honest.
Amex is not for you then fine but theres no need to start a thread about how you cant understand why people would want an amex....

I dont get why people would WANT to get married but you dont see me starting threads about it lol

I started this thread more because I was curious why so many people valued them so highly but feared adverse action at the same time; CLD's, FR's, "Am I spending wrong", etc.  If you love your amex great, provide details why, that is part of what this post is about.  

 

My opinion on their charge card AF's is just one of my questions about their business.  It doesn't mean anyone is wrong or dumb for paying it, to each their own.

 

This forum is about credit, credit cards and credit card companies.  I think this post is somewhat relevant.  If you don't, then don't feel the need to comment or participate.

Message 24 of 62
cashnocredit
Valued Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@navigatethis12 wrote:

@cashnocredit wrote:

@Revelate wrote:



I'm not certain it ever meant that in the wild, think it was more of an endorsement of "Amex means I spend excellently!"


Bingo!

Amex cards get over twice the spend each month of Visa or MC cards. That's the kind of "prestige" merchants care about.


This is just the rubbish American Express will tell potential merchants to get them to sign up for accepting American Express cards. I barely spend on American Express cards, but spend a lot on Visa and Mastercard is second.

 

The whole "prestige" thing in my opinion is silly. Why should I care what people in line think when I take out a card? American Express doesn't give the most cashback on anything so it never sees the light of day. I'm not going to use it just so people think, "Whoa, he must be rich is he can spend a few thousand and have to pay it off at the end of the month." One can just as easily default on a charge card as they can a credit card. As evidenced here, people with not so perfect history have American Express, so how can a company that approves someone with derogatory information be considered prestigious?

 

People here would let American Express get away with murder. If any other lender decreases limits, asks for financials (not even tax returns), pull all three credit bureaus, declines an application, or anything else, they are called names and hated. When American Express does it, it's perfectly fine and understandable. People are even afraid to make multipe payments or get another card because American Express may shut down the accounts.


Well it isn't "rubbish" that Amex cards get much more spending than others. You and me are just stastical points but the overall data is well established. It's fact, not marketing hype alone, as you can see if you peruse public filings of these companies. This does allow Amex to charge merchants a higher transaction fee. Without the higher spending they wouldn't be able to do so. Walmart(Discover) and CostCo(Amex) are prime examples. I have both and shop at both. I went to the CostCo web site and was presented with a $500k piece of jewelry. It'll be a cold day in Hell before you see that at Walmart or see me buying that jewelry. It's all marketing imagery but has a basis in reality.

 

As for so called "prestige," I'm with you. It's bs but bs Amex loves.  I could care less though. But I do love Amex for the three reasons I posted earlier in this thread. Not one of them involves "prestige."


I have reestablished credit over the last couple years
so my moniker is, well, rather out of date.

WM Discover $1800, WF Plat 12k, Chase Freedom Siggy18k, Amex Plat (60k H/B), Citi AA EWMC 25k
Message 25 of 62
jsickz32
Valued Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?

People who worry about those things do because they have a reason too. They know they apped to much or have a big balance that they know they cant PIF by the end of the month.

Theres diff kind of people who carry Amex cards. For you to just tittle this "whats the obsession with Amex?" You are pretty much calling all of us crazy just because you dont get why we have our cards.
Amex BCE (2500) / Amex SPG (4000) / Amex GoldPR / Merrill+ Visa siggy (5000) / BofA Amex (6000) / Bofa cash rewards (5000) / BofA Privileges Cash Rewards (5000) / Citi Forward (4400) / Citi DP (2000) / Chase Freedom (4000) / Chase CSP (5000) / Chase Hyatt (5000) / Discover IT (1700) / FNBO AMEX (3600) / NFCU cashRewards Visa signature (15000) / NFCU Flagship Visa signature (12500) / NFCU Navcheck (5000) / Nordstrom (500) / MetroCU Visa Elite (5000) / Walmart (4500) / Kays Jewerels (6600) / Kohls (300) / Macys Platinum (2500) / DCU platinum Visa (17500) / Citizens bank cash back (1100) / Bill Me Later (1631) / PayPal Smart connect (2200) / BestBuy store card (2000)
Message 26 of 62
longtimelurker
Epic Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?

Re spend on Amex vs MC/Visa:

 

This article, http://seekingalpha.com/article/1351731-american-express-gains-on-consumer-spending-and-internationa...

claims that

 

American Express is usually associated with affluent customers. The average AmEx household earns about $97,000 per year.  The annual average spend per AmEx card is around $15,000 while the figure for  Visa and Mastercard is around $2,000.

 


So that is more than 7x!

 

Of course, there are far fewer Amex.  2011 data from: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276...

 

  • American Express credit: 50.6 million -- up from 48.9 million at yearend 2010 (Source: AmericanExpress.com)
  • MasterCard credit: 176 million -- up from 143 million at yearend 2010 (Source: MasterCard) 
  • MasterCard debit: 129 million -- up from 119 million at yearend 2010 (Source: MasterCard)
  • Visa credit: 261 million as of Sept. 30, 2011 -- down from 269 million, as of Sept. 30, 2010 (Source: Visa)
  • Visa debit: 392 million as of Sept. 30, 2011 -- down from 399 million, as of Sept. 30, 2010 (Source: Visa)
 

 

 

Message 27 of 62
LisaJ
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?

Meh.  I don't see any credit card as a stautus symbol, but then again, I don't judge other people by what they have, either. It's more a measurement for me that my credit is better.

 

Really, for me it's all about the back dating and knowing they have forgiven me for the chargeoff (about $2700).  My ex husband was an AU on my account, and ran up the card right before we separated, and I refused to pay on principle (not to mention I couldn't afford it!)  I paid the price (if not the bill) and was happy to qualify to be back int he family.

 

WOW! EQ when I joined myFICO: 657. Ups and downs and a few bumps and bruises, but finally back over 700. Whew!

Message 28 of 62
jsickz32
Valued Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?

@Lisa

+1!
When my friends see my PRG the first thing they tell me is "you must have really good credit"

Ficonauts know that you dont need that of good credit to get a PRG but most people dont know that.
Amex BCE (2500) / Amex SPG (4000) / Amex GoldPR / Merrill+ Visa siggy (5000) / BofA Amex (6000) / Bofa cash rewards (5000) / BofA Privileges Cash Rewards (5000) / Citi Forward (4400) / Citi DP (2000) / Chase Freedom (4000) / Chase CSP (5000) / Chase Hyatt (5000) / Discover IT (1700) / FNBO AMEX (3600) / NFCU cashRewards Visa signature (15000) / NFCU Flagship Visa signature (12500) / NFCU Navcheck (5000) / Nordstrom (500) / MetroCU Visa Elite (5000) / Walmart (4500) / Kays Jewerels (6600) / Kohls (300) / Macys Platinum (2500) / DCU platinum Visa (17500) / Citizens bank cash back (1100) / Bill Me Later (1631) / PayPal Smart connect (2200) / BestBuy store card (2000)
Message 29 of 62
cashnocredit
Valued Contributor

Re: What's with the AMEX Obsession?


@LisaJ wrote:

Meh.  I don't see any credit card as a stautus symbol, but then again, I don't judge other people by what they have, either. It's more a measurement for me that my credit is better.

 

Really, for me it's all about the back dating and knowing they have forgiven me for the chargeoff (about $2700).  My ex husband was an AU on my account, and ran up the card right before we separated, and I refused to pay on principle (not to mention I couldn't afford it!)  I paid the price (if not the bill) and was happy to qualify to be back int he family.

 


I'd add backdating to my Amex list too if only Amex would. I had an Amex green in 1975 but dropped them in the early 80's.  Big mistake.  They have no record of me and my old Amex card # was issued to someone else long ago. I do love the spend ability on Amex.


I have reestablished credit over the last couple years
so my moniker is, well, rather out of date.

WM Discover $1800, WF Plat 12k, Chase Freedom Siggy18k, Amex Plat (60k H/B), Citi AA EWMC 25k
Message 30 of 62
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