Am I being paranoid?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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DoingHomework
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Am I being paranoid?

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:23 pm

I got a personal (gold) amex for the first time in November to replace my UA mileage plus visa for the most part. I charge about $65k a year I would say and true to form, charges about $7500 in December on the shiny new card, which I received the bill for today and paid online. About $5000 of this was in 2 large charges for travel over the holidays and for a tuition payment to a college.

But I am reading all these horror stories online (including here) about AMEX suddenly declining charegs for no reason and so forth. It has gotten me worried enough that, when making a big purchase last night of about $1500 I whipped out the visa instead just incase since I was confident I would not have an issue with it. Of course in doing so I missed out on the AMEX points and any future higher limits based on spending.

Often when I read the horror stories closely I see things about having a late payment or spending an unusually large amount in a month, getting laid off, etc. But in many situations there seems to be no explanation.

So, does this "no preset limit" thing have any meaning? If I get busy and go a couple of months without spending much on my card is it going to come back and bite me when I try to use it for a major purchase? I have good credit and I am not new to credit. But I am neww the AMEX and I am just trying to figure out if most of these people were denied for good reasons they are not mentioning or if I shoul dbe skeptical of the card for a while.

Any thoughts?


Extreme z28
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Postby Extreme z28 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:09 am

I've heard the horror stories too but personally I have never had a problem with AmEx. I'm a Platinum Card member and they have always been great. I have had bad experiences with most of my other cards with the exception of AmEx and Discover both have worked great. I just put over $20K in charges with a $15K charge at one time and didn't have an issue. I am personally giving them the benefit of the doubt till they give me a reason for not trusting or using their cards anymore.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:27 am

Thanks. I would not have been surprised to have my big purchases initially declined as a new account but everything has been fine. I'm just treading lightly for a while based on the horror stories. I also have a "business" and was thinking about adding a merchant acct to accept amex (I already do V and MC). Others I know in the same business say that Amex cardholders are used to being declined because it happens so much more often with them. I guess that confirms some of the horror stories I guess.

So, do you think the platinum card is worth it? I am thinking of upgrading in a year or so but have heard mixed reviews. Supposedly the points program is actually not as good as the new gold program and since they got rid of the companion ticket deal people don't see the value any more. The lounge access would be nice but I typically fly United so it would not apply to me as much as I would like. Some of the FHR specials in Vegas and elsewhere might make it worthwhile for me though..

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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:27 am

it's never the big purchases that I have ever had problems with but the tiny little ones! paid for half my car with my Amex and no problem, then when I got flagged for a $6 Paypal charge LOL!!! :D

I think it makes a big difference to if it's a physical swipe vs online purchase. If you're gonna make a big purchase call them up and they can put a note on your account. I did that with the car just to be safe.
OBAMA
Stop talking crap about him!

Extreme z28
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Postby Extreme z28 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:04 pm

I personally love my Platinum. It all depends on how much use you will give it and if you will use the perks. I use their Concierge all the time (getting reservations, gifts, ideas, planning out events, etc.) and the upgrades on hotel rooms are cool, for me this by itself makes it worth the fee. Also if you spend enough on the card the rewards program works out cause you are actually using it. In the end you have to ask yourself "Am I going to use this enough to make the annual fee worth it?" For me it is, but for others it might and probably isn't worth it.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:00 am

I hear about that problem more often with Chase, not American Express. I've made some sizable purchases on my AmEx card and never had a problem. You should be okay.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
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AlFromLA
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Postby AlFromLA » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:21 pm

I had problem with Amex when I was trying to buy my EX. an engagement ring...anyway that is not the reason she became my EX...LOL



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