Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

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wiivile
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Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby wiivile » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:51 am

If I wanted to downgrade my Platinum to a card with no annual fee (presumably after earning and spending the 100,000 MR signup bonus), I assume it would have to be a charge card, not a credit card. Is there an AMEX charge card without an annual fee?
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Vermonster
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby Vermonster » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:12 am

I believe the best you can get is a Senior Green Charge card. It has a $55 AF and gains no rewards and has no benefits.
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wiivile
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby wiivile » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:27 am

Vermonster wrote:I believe the best you can get is a Senior Green Charge card. It has a $55 AF and gains no rewards and has no benefits.


Why would a card with no rewards or benefits have an annual fee? What would be the reason to get a card like that?

So basically, if I wanted to earn and spend my 100,000 Platinum bonus, I would have to cancel the card (rather than downgrading) after a year in order to avoid an annual fee?
    Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature: 11/2013, $15,000 CL
    Chase Freedom Visa: 11/2009, $4,700 CL
    U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 11/2013, $11,200 CL

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Vattené
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby Vattené » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:06 am

wiivile wrote:Why would a card with no rewards or benefits have an annual fee? What would be the reason to get a card like that?

It has an annual fee because it is a charge card, and American Express can't earn any interest revenue off of it. As for the reason to get it - I don't know. I wouldn't ever get it, but I suppose some people that used to have MR-earning cards deem it worthwhile to downgrade and keep the same account. There exist people that have charge cards but never use or pay attention to the benefits just because it is "the best lender to have."

According to Amex you can participate in the MR program for an additional $40 annual fee. That puts it at $95, which is what the regular Green Card is, so I don't know if it would still be considered a "senior" green card at that point.

wiivile wrote:So basically, if I wanted to earn and spend my 100,000 Platinum bonus, I would have to cancel the card (rather than downgrading) after a year in order to avoid an annual fee?

You could apply for the EveryDay card, which earns MR and has no annual fee. Cardmembers are allowed to have multiple cards earning points in one MR "account." You wouldn't be able to product change your Platinum, though, because that would be going from charge card to traditional credit card. You would have to apply for a new account to get the EveryDay and cancel the Platinum to get out of the annual fee. That approach would at least keep you active in the MR program (and keep you earning points, too). I can't speak to how they handle people closing accounts before using MR, though. They may force you to take a credit at whatever redemption rate they offer, so it may be best to get your use out of the points before closing the account.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
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

wiivile
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby wiivile » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:17 am

Vattené wrote:
wiivile wrote:Why would a card with no rewards or benefits have an annual fee? What would be the reason to get a card like that?

It has an annual fee because it is a charge card, and American Express can't earn any interest revenue off of it. As for the reason to get it - I don't know. I wouldn't ever get it, but I suppose some people that used to have MR-earning cards deem it worthwhile to downgrade and keep the same account. There exist people that have charge cards but never use or pay attention to the benefits just because it is "the best lender to have."

According to Amex you can participate in the MR program for an additional $40 annual fee. That puts it at $95, which is what the regular Green Card is, so I don't know if it would still be considered a "senior" green card at that point.

wiivile wrote:So basically, if I wanted to earn and spend my 100,000 Platinum bonus, I would have to cancel the card (rather than downgrading) after a year in order to avoid an annual fee?

You could apply for the EveryDay card, which earns MR and has no annual fee. Cardmembers are allowed to have multiple cards earning points in one MR "account." You wouldn't be able to product change your Platinum, though, because that would be going from charge card to traditional credit card. You would have to apply for a new account to get the EveryDay and cancel the Platinum to get out of the annual fee.


Thanks, so even though I would have to take another hard pull by applying for (rather than downgrading to) the Everyday card, I would not have to spend my MR points within the year that I have the Platinum, because I can transfer my 100,000 Platinum points to the Everyday and maintain the ability to transfer points to airlines? (Is the no-annual-fee Everyday card able to transfer to airlines? I don't know of any other "no AF" card that has the ability to transfer to airlines).

Also, does it matter how soon I cancel the Platinum after earning the 100,000 bonus? They won't pro-rate the $450 fee will they?
    Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature: 11/2013, $15,000 CL
    Chase Freedom Visa: 11/2009, $4,700 CL
    U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 11/2013, $11,200 CL

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Vattené
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby Vattené » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:31 pm

Correct. The EveryDay earns MR just like the Platinum or any other charge card does, and MR on one card are the same as MR on any other card. It's not like Chase where both the Freedom and CSP earn UR, but you have to have the CSP in order to transfer those UR to partners.

I've only had one card from Amex, so I've no direct experience. You can see on your statements or when you log in online a Membership Rewards Account Number, so it is separate from the card. As far as I know there is nothing you'd need to transfer - you could have several MR-earning cards which would all build up points to the one account automatically. If for any reason that wouldn't happen, you should be able to reach customer service and have it fixed pretty easily.

If I were doing this, I'd apply for the ED first and start using it to make sure the points issue transitions smoothly. Then close out the Platinum. Again no personal experience, but I've heard they will pro-rate the annual fee when you cancel (you've already paid upfront for a year of benefits and are cancelling partially through that time frame). I don't think they'll directly lower the fee in an attempt to get you to stay as a cardmember, but I have heard they will offer MR points. If you're calling in about cancelling a recently-opened Platinum right after getting an introductory bonus that's far better they what they offer to the public, I wouldn't expect much leeway.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
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

pac4toon
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby pac4toon » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:54 pm

I don't think AMEX has a charge card with no AF.
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kdm31091
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby kdm31091 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:01 am

There's no charge card without AF, but as mentioned the Everyday revolver has 0 AF and earns MR points.

Is there a reason it has to be a charge card?

Vermonster
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby Vermonster » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:42 am

Think about it this way. You open a Platinum, use it for a year, then want to close it to avoid an AF. You really have 2 options.

1. Close the Plat and open an ED/EDP. You have to take a HP for the new card, along with a score drop for new accounts. You also lose the Plat account, meaning it stops aging, and if you want it again you have to re-app, again for a HP and score hit. Good luck getting a signup bonus if you re-app within the next 1-2 years.

2. Drop the Plat down to a card that has a significantly lower AF. A Green at $95 will get you 1pp$ so you can slowly build MRs. The advantage here is no change to your credit whatsoever. You can jump back to a Plat at any time, and only pay the AF.


I think this begs the question, why get a platinum in the first place if you are just going to complain about the AF?
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wiivile
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Re: Does AMEX have a charge card with no annual fee?

Postby wiivile » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:17 am

Vermonster wrote:Think about it this way. You open a Platinum, use it for a year, then want to close it to avoid an AF. You really have 2 options.

1. Close the Plat and open an ED/EDP. You have to take a HP for the new card, along with a score drop for new accounts. You also lose the Plat account, meaning it stops aging, and if you want it again you have to re-app, again for a HP and score hit. Good luck getting a signup bonus if you re-app within the next 1-2 years.

2. Drop the Plat down to a card that has a significantly lower AF. A Green at $95 will get you 1pp$ so you can slowly build MRs. The advantage here is no change to your credit whatsoever. You can jump back to a Plat at any time, and only pay the AF.


I think this begs the question, why get a platinum in the first place if you are just going to complain about the AF?


Because 100,000 is a LOT of points? Not to mention Global Entry fee reimbursement and airline fee reimbursement. Well worth the first year fee and credit score hit. Also, if opening a ED/EDP and Platinum at the same time, can't they do a single hard pull for credit review purposes?
    Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature: 11/2013, $15,000 CL
    Chase Freedom Visa: 11/2009, $4,700 CL
    U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 11/2013, $11,200 CL



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