Converting Old Amex Blue for Students to Blue Cash Preferred

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OhioNative
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Converting Old Amex Blue for Students to Blue Cash Preferred

Postby OhioNative » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:26 pm

Hi. This is my first actual post to these forums even though I have read them for quite some time. I hope this question is posted in the right place.

I have an old Amex Blue for Students card that is 10 years old. I wanted to convert it to the Blue Cash Preferred card keeping the same account number, history, etc. I was told today by two separate reps that the Blue for Students card could only be converted to the Amex Everyday. I would have to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred card if I was interested in it.

The reason stated was that these cards have different rewards structures and a card cannot be converted to a card with a different rewards structure. One rep even told me this was due to federal regulations. I just wanted to double check with the collective wisdom of this board as to how accurate this seemed. I appreciate any help and guidance you all may provide.


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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:03 pm

What is the rewards structure for the Blue for Students? Does it earn MR points? If so, that would explain why it can only be PC'd to an EveryDay (the only credit card {non-charge card} that earns MR) and not a BCP, which earns cash back.

I don't know what federal regulations have to do with it, but I do know that Amex offers a lot of different products and has a lot of rules about what is eligible for PC into what. I'm not familiar with the Blue for Students, but I wouldn't be surprised if the information you got is correct.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 805 (2/17) | TU - 787 (2/17)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

OhioNative
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Postby OhioNative » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:59 pm

Thanks for the reply. It just seemed like a suspicious answer to me, but if it sounds okay here, then so be it. It does raise a few more questions for me though

(1) if I applied for the BCP and got a new card then closed my old Blue for Students, I've heard AMEX backdates your Member Since Date. Would this apply to my credit report as well if I subsequently closed my old card?

(2) What would happen to my membership rewards I currently have on the Blue for Students since I would close the account, but would still be an AMEX member?

I want a card that I don't have to play games with as far as rewards go, and I am averse to the idea of having multiple credit cards. And insights would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Vattené
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Postby Vattené » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:00 pm

Without knowing anything about this old Amex Blue for Students card, it doesn't sound suspicious to me. There are several rules about what products can be converted into what other products, so if you have heard the same thing from two different CSRs I think it is trustworthy. One rule, for example, is you cannot PC between charge card and credit card products (e.g. no Platinum to EveryDay Preferred). I've heard cobranded cards can't be PC'd to non-cobranded cards (so no Hilton HHonors to Blue Cash Everyday). The rewards structure also plays into conversion (I believe you can't even go from the cash accruing Blue Cash Preferred to the MR accruing EveryDay Preferred). You're pretty stuck with what they tell you is an option for converting that old account.

Backdating is a nice little perk unique to Amex. The year you've established your "Member Since Date" becomes the year in which they show any future account opening. Regardless of previous accounts, this will apply to any future accounts. Say you opened this old Blue for Students account in December of 2005. Any new account you open with them is reported as opened in month X of year 2005. So, if you decide converting to the ED isn't worthwhile and you go for a new BCP, the account will be reported as opening January of 2005. This is reported in your credit profile; no activity will show before 2015, but it will give you an AAoA boost.

As far as the rewards you've accumulated on this old account, I can't be much help. Hopefully someone else can jump in that's had experience in these situations. I would call customer service and see if you can get anything out of them, however.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 805 (2/17) | TU - 787 (2/17)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

OhioNative
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Thanks

Postby OhioNative » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:50 pm

Thanks for that reply. I applied for the BCP and will close my Blue for Students once I figure out the best thing to do with the ~68,000 MR points (I've never 'spent' MR points before).

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:01 am

OhioNative wrote:I've heard AMEX backdates your Member Since Date. Would this apply to my credit report as well if I subsequently closed my old card?

They don't really backdate your MSD. Your MSD is your MSD. Your cards are backdated and report as opened in the year of your MSD. That's why many find backdating beneficial.

OhioNative wrote:What would happen to my membership rewards I currently have on the Blue for Students since I would close the account, but would still be an AMEX member?

To retain MR points you have to have an open MR card. Simply holding AmEx membership won't retain your points if you close an MR card.

OhioNative wrote:I want a card that I don't have to play games with as far as rewards go, and I am averse to the idea of having multiple credit cards. And insights would be appreciated.


Sounds to me like you should be looking at the flat 2%, 1%+1% (Citi DoubleCash) or 1.5% cards then.

To maximize point/miles values you need to be willing to play the game. If you want simple rewards then you probably don't want cards with different rewards for different spend categories. The BCP makes sense if you have the right level of grocery spend and can leverage the 3% categories. Otherwise it's just 1%.

Keep in mind that for scoring purposes at least 2-3 cards are generally recommended.

OhioNative wrote:I applied for the BCP and will close my Blue for Students once I figure out the best thing to do with the ~68,000 MR points (I've never 'spent' MR points before).

Best point value is generally attained by transferring to travel partners but you have to be careful to maximize point value. You probably should have done a bit more research before apping for the BCP.



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