frinkinhard wrote:I would get rid of my card. AMEX was created on the basis of exclusivity.
It's funny that it's pretty much an emotional thing.
I can think of two examples where this has happened and then the hypothetical Amex example.
Diners Club and Amex are marketed as premium cards. You're paying a decent AF just to get in the door. They're also see as their own entities.
Before DC did this I felt that Diners Club was it's own entity. Yes, it was, then, owned by Citi Bank but it was separate from the rest and there was a certain exclusivity to it. When they went to being on the MC network a few things happened:
- it was no longer a charge card but a credit card
- it now had a big MC logo on the front
- it felt like a Citi Bank MasterCard with a Diners Club design on the front.
Yes, a lot of stuff was retained like the primary insurance for car rentals and the club points but it really felt like you were just dealing with a Citi Bank MC now. You could argue that putting it on the MC network increased it's usability.
Discover did it, in a slightly different way. As with DC and Amex, you're dealing with the Discover entity (not a random bank with a Visa or MC logo on their card). They bought the network and then put the DC logo on the back. This, in my opinion, retained the uniqueness of Discover and increased it's network at the same time. I think that the fact that they actually bought the USA DC network vs using the MC network as DC did, also helps in not caring so much about it sort of being co-branded. You're still dealing with Discover.
Amex has it's own uniqueness with their charge cards and, back in the 1990s, they started allowing banks to issue accounts that were on their network. At the time I thought it diluted their name and I still do. I have an Amex from my bank. I don't deal with Amex at all on it. It's just the network. I deal with my bank. With that being said it works and I like it and it has no AF but it's not really an Amex card in a traditional sense. For example, Amex has programs and features that they have for cards issued by them and those don't apply to my bank's Amex. I think that Amex also has diluted their brand with the 60+ card offerings.
That being said and getting more on target: If Amex were to co-brand with Visa, I'd dump them for the same reasons I dumped DC. It'd just seem dumb to me. If they were to buy Visa like Discover bought DC (USA) then that'd be a different thing. To simply say, "We're now working on Visa's network," it's like admitting defeat. It's like saying, "We're not going to get any better or build out our own network so, have some of this."