- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4047
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
I can see how backdating - especially for previously blacklisted customers - makes Amex more attractive to consumers looking to improve their FICO score when climbing out of a financial mess. It does a lot to make 'returned prodigals' loyal to Amex when they have their money in order later in life. I can see how it is a general lifetime benefit for all customers – if I fall on hard times later in life I might use it, too. But I still think it tarnishes the elite image they try to have.
If someone shows me his Amex card and it says he has been a member since 1980, I have to question whether he has actually had good enough credit to have an Amex card open for 34 years, or whether he went through multiple bankruptcies and just got the card six months ago. If Amex wants a reputation for being selective, I shouldn't have to question that. I should know, for a fact, that there's no way to 'fake' the age of an account, so someone with a 34-year old Amex card must have a spectacular credit history.
I only go back 3 months with Amex, but if I had gotten my first Amex in 1980 and kept one open (and given Amex a whole lot in annual membership and swipe fees along the way!) I would be pretty annoyed that they kept letting the former deadbeat ‘prodigal sons’ back in, treating them as equals. I’m certainly not against Amex welcoming previously blacklisted customers back, I’m against this attitude that Amex is a warm and caring family. Does Amex blacklist a customer out of love or because they are unprofitable?
It’s not genuine forgiveness and unconditional love from Amex – it’s a financial decision that they will probably make money from you in the future, despite the past. High swipe and annual fees help a lot in that regard.
Imagine going into an AA-type meeting and saying you stopped drinking for a month or two in 1980, then drank from 1981 to June 2014. They would say you’ve been sober for 2 months, not 34 years. Or a couple could marry in 1980, divorce in 1982 and not interact for decades. If they remarry in 2013, it can be a great thing! But they haven’t been married for 34 years.
For people who actually have been sober or married 34 years, it would sound ridiculous.
Again, I absolutely understand the appeal for consumers and I like using the cards - but Amex also wants to remain an elite and luxury brand - and I think that status can't exist alongside 'questionable backdating'.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt, Arrival
May close or PC: Prestige, BrooksBros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech