This is my first post and if it's in the wrong place I sincerely apologize.
About 2 years ago I began a debt settlement program that ultimately led to completed settlements for a personal loan and 2 Chase credit cards. My final creditor in the program was American Express. After learning of the Amex Optima program through this forum I decided to terminate the debt settlment program and pay Amex the full charge off amount of $6,100. I paid this on September 22 and was told I qualified for the Optima with a $1,600 CL. The usual details about guaranteed approval if no bankruptcy, no CLI, ability to repay and waiting 12 months before applying for another AMEX card were all given. Last week I received a letter from American Express dated 9/28 reiterating the same. I've been waiting, checking my mailbox obsessively and calling AMEX regularly... nothing to report.
Because I'm obsessive about this process and I still have the AMEX app loaded on my phone from years ago when I had the Amex Hilton Honors card I just now logged back in, checked "offers" and saw the Personal Platinum card staring me in the face. Thinking that can't be right I went to the AMEX website via laptop and checked for pre-qualified offers and it showed pre-quals for the Green, Gold and Platinum charge cards.
I'd be happy with either of these cards but am a little paranoid about actually submitting an app for one with the Optima process still hanging out there and unresolved. Also, I don't want a hard pull if it the offer is a mistake. Everything I've read and every AMEX rep I've spoken with has stated the Optima application will be mailed when everything is processed. However, one of the AMEX reps stated the Optima card is mailed out automatically if I qualify ... there is no application. The last thing I wish to create is a trail of applications that sort of get in each others way and wind up cancelling each other out. If anyone has any input or personal experience in this I'm all ears. Are there any reasons I should / should not pull the trigger on the application?
My credit profile now is reasonable. After paying the chargeoff, my Vantage 3.0 reported by EQ is 727. TU is 672 because they report a bogus medical collection that will be handled next month either by dispute or simply paying it off.
One step at a time. Reading your post your itching to get back where you were before. Its going to take some time. Take the Optima and hold off on apping till the time is right. Congrats on getting the second chance and getting the past behind you. You can get your free EX FICO score monthly at Discover Scorecard to get an idea where you sit. Sure you know CK and Vantage aren't the real deal when it comes to scores. Or do a single 3B pull here on MyFICO and see all 28 scores.
I would hold off and resist the temptation to apply for new cards with AMEX. Wait until you get the Optima card, use it and PIF for 6-12 months and give it a shot then to see if they will take you in for one of their charge cards.
That being said, you can still apply now and see how it goes but given you just finished a settlement, probably this will not go green.
Once you accept Optima card you can not apply for any other Amex products for 12 months. They will reject any application you submit for next 12 months once you receive your Optima card. That is one of the conditions when you get Optima. But well worth it getting an Optima card.
If you've paid your debt to Amex in full you don't need to apply for the optima, you can apply for a regular card. The optima is usually geared towards those that settled and need to rebuild a history with Amex. As for whether you'll take an HP from Amex if you try, you won't know until you try. Typically, they'll deny you without a pull if you're on their blacklist. Personally, I would pull the trigger because it's just an HP. People overstate their value here. At the least, it will cement where you stand with Amex and get rid of any anxiety related to the unknown.
Well, FireMedic1 was absolutely right... I was "itching" to return to where I was so I went back to the American Express website and hit up the pre-qualified offers again. The Platinum was still there with the 100,000 Membership Rewards point offer. As I sat there trying to convince myself to go ahead and just do the app already the page needed to be refreshed. Lo and behold, after the refresh the Membership Rewards offer increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points. At this point, I figured I'd just wait a bit longer and see if I could get the 150,000 point offer but that never happened (and I'm embarassed to admit I waited a long time too). To make the story short and sweet... I submitted the app and seconds later the Platinum was approved.
30 months ago I truly felt my credit was doomed to be dead and buried forever with nary a chance to have a decent card again much less one that actually offers significant rewards. That feeling was degrading but also motivating so it took a minute just looking at the approval page making sure I read it correctly. Even then, I didn't believe what I read so I read it again. It said "approved" then too! It pays to keep working on doing the small things consistently for a long period of time. Things like never being late, keeping credit utilization ratios low and gardening just like everyone on this forum says. I really want to say thank-you to everyone on the forum for all the advice, your stories of success and encouragement.
@kboxerMy hats off for you for doing a 180 and cleaning up the past. Credit to @Brian_Earl_Spilner also on great advice on AMEX. If you think I dont sit here typing seeing all these cards I want but cant have them because of my BK. UGH! Almost the same situation. I didnt do too bad for what I have to work with. I did it all from learning here. It took time and patience. We all want it yesterday or right now! But with credit slow and steady wins the race. You'll get there eventually. We all do. Just play the numbers game and time will get you where you want. Best of luck!
Welcome to the forums too!
@Brian_Earl_Spilner this might not be entirely correct
I have an Optima Card and the stipulation in writing and on phone was that my past due had to be paid in full
could not settle AND receive the Optima card.
you may be right....
will app before the 12 month window since I paid in full and see what happens
wonder if one starts with a lower SL w/Optima