AmEx Zync upgrade not possible - Other options?

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skier87
 
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AmEx Zync upgrade not possible - Other options?

Postby skier87 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:58 pm

After having my Zync card for almost a year and using it for as much as I could to accumulate MRE points, I have learned that the Zync card it not upgradeable. This is apparently applicable even if they waived the annual fee for the new card in order to comply with the 'no upgrade to higher annual fee card' regulation. The card cannot be upgraded even after having it 13 months. I actually asked AmEx this question while doing my research prior to applying, and was told I could upgrade, and at anytime actually.

Anyway, I am now stuck and looking for advice. I want to transfer MRE points to OnePass miles before the 9/30/11 deadline, but cannot upgrade to a full MR card in order to do this. I know I can cold apply for a MR charge, but would rather not have the additional inquiry on my credit report.

Some other info just in case it helps: The Zync card was my first credit card. I never applied for another card, and was approved for this one the first time I applied. I used a debit card for a long time as I never wanted or needed a credit card. I got the Zync solely for rewards, namely miles. Earlier this month, I applied for and obtained a Continental OnePass card through Chase. I did this for two reasons: 1) The program allowing AmEx MR points to be transferred to OnePass will end soon; 2) I wanted a more universally-accepted card, including for international travel.

So, here is my plan of action, with questions for the community included:

1. Apply for a Green or Gold card.
- Let's say I obtain a Green card. I am quite sure it will show up as a new hard inquiry on my credit report. If I then close the Zync, how will that closure show up if I keep the Green card? I am thinking it will negatively impact my credit, but am hoping there is a chance it will not because of the way AmEx reports.
- Again, let's say I obtain a Green card. However, this time assume I transfer my MR points to miles, and then just close the Green card, but keep the Zync. Will this impact my credit report any differently than the scenario described above?

2. Keep pushing as high as I can go to get an upgrade to an AmEx MR charge.
- Any recommended people, departments, executive offices, etc to contact?
- Anyone else had success with this?

Thanks in advance for your input. I tried to include as many details as I could, but feel free to let me know if you have any questions.


ivotedale
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Postby ivotedale » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:58 pm

Congrats on getting the Zync as your first card- most people here find that a tough goal to reach w/ no credit history.

Otherwise, they told you could upgrade before you applied...but then a year later, told you they can't? What were the reasons that you can't upgrade? That sound like a bait and switch deal or similar- too bad you can't get the name of the associate(s) who helped you in regards to that question, ha.

I'm considering the Zync myself...but if for whatever reason I'll need to upgrade down the road and I can't; that'll be bad news. Best of luck resolving the issue otherwise.
Currently: American Express Blue Sky, American Express Zync, Chase Freedom Visa, Capital One Newcomers--->converted to Capital One Quicksilver Mastercard NO AF

skier87
 
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Postby skier87 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:24 pm

ivotedale wrote:Congrats on getting the Zync as your first card- most people here find that a tough goal to reach w/ no credit history.

Otherwise, they told you could upgrade before you applied...but then a year later, told you they can't? What were the reasons that you can't upgrade? That sound like a bait and switch deal or similar- too bad you can't get the name of the associate(s) who helped you in regards to that question, ha.

I'm considering the Zync myself...but if for whatever reason I'll need to upgrade down the road and I can't; that'll be bad news. Best of luck resolving the issue otherwise.


Thanks.

Yes it is definitely wrong, but I sense there isn't much I can do at this point. The sales representatives just want to get new accounts and seem to disregard the rules even when asked about them. Then, Customer Service is not willing to budge based only on what I was told by a sales rep.

Well, at first when I called to upgrade I was told that the Zync card cannot be upgraded because of a federal regulation which says AmEx cannot upgrade a customer to a higher-annual-fee card until they have had it for at least 13 months. My suggestion was to waive the annual fee for the new card, and therefore staying within the guidelines. I was told that a supervisor would work on my case, and he would call me back. After two weeks with no reply, I called for an update. They claimed he tried to reach me (at what I confirmed to be the right number) twice with no reply. Anyway, I will call him back the next business day (tomorrow). In the meantime I spoke to another supervisor who said who told me something new... that the Zync card cannot be upgraded no matter how long I have it.

If earning miles is important to you, I would definitely stay away from the Zync card, or any Membership Rewards Express card. Go for a full Membership Rewards card. If you want to transfer to United/Continental, skip AmEx altogether and go for a OnePass or MileagePlus card.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:02 pm

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. I know how frustrating these things can be. My suggestion for anyone who wants to make the most of cc rewards with as little aggravation as possible is to opt for the best cashback card(s) you can find. I frankly don't understand the attraction of cards that award points that must be converted/transferred/redeemed, whatever; it seems to me like you never know exactly what you are getting. Add to this the fact that some frequent flier points expire, blackout dates and all the other airline bs. The Amex marketing campaign in which they call their points "social currency" is completely ridiculous. I'll take real currency over "social" currency any day.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

Meltdownblitz
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Postby Meltdownblitz » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:33 am

Thats not good to hear considering I have a Zync charge. I love the card, but thats not good that we aren't able to upgrade after 13 months, I say the rep could have had the wrong information, try calling back and ask someone else and keep us informed with what happens, thanks.

sticf
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Postby sticf » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 am

First I agree with jeffysdad about cash back cards being easier to manage rewards.

I have to admit that I am a bit of a novice when it comes to the Amex rewards programs (outside of my Blue Cash), but I did see this on their website:
"Note: The Membership Rewards program has three levels. The Card you enroll determines your level. If you enroll multiple Cards in different levels, accounts will be upgraded to the highest level."*

I am going to assume (I am not reading through all of the rewards programs) that the lower cards gain points a slower rates than the upper cards. However, with the Zync card you have ability to change packs, which in turn changes point earning power. They may not allow Zync points to convert up because they are afraid that people would "game the system" and receive rewards faster than expected.

*This is from a page where I can enroll my Corp Amex to the program. I am not sure if that means they will upgrade existing points to the next level (i.e. Express to Rewards).

skier87
 
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Postby skier87 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:44 pm

Thanks all, I really appreciate the input. I have made it my goal to shoot for airline miles because, as I understand it, they translate to the best conversion to dollars. I am also traveling a significant amount for work, so they can add up, especially when combining with my personal expenditures.

I will be sure to keep you all updated on how I make out. In the meantime, if anyone else has any comments, suggestions, or advice, feel free to chime in.

@sticf You make an interesting point... I currently have a Corporate AmEx (though I am using it less and less so I can gain points with my personal card), but without the Membership Rewards option. I wonder if I can leverage that somehow to make the transfer of personal Membership Rewards Express points to OnePass.

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:11 pm

Because AMEX backdates, this is not a problem. Just apply for the card you want and it will report as opened on your original member since year. It only costs an inquiry.

Money card
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Postby Money card » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:11 pm

First I would like to say thank you for giving the zync a 1 year tryout. Now you know the chase continental 1 pass priority is a different company right? so of course you can't transfer points to that card. But if you are traveling on business or thinking about taking a vacation you should be able to use the points on continental before 9/30/11.

Do you make purchases at Neiman Marcus or Costco? do you travel a lot? I have a capitol1 gold card I bet you can get a lot of things you want such as transferring miles to any airplane, trains etc and there is no annual fee.

so are you keeping your zync? are you going to apply for a green card?

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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:06 pm

Simple. If you have a 13 month relationship with AMEX and good credit/income just apply for a new card with MR. Your MR points will transfer.

I recently reached my 13 month threshold with Zync a few months ago, and after being told I could upgrade it after 13 months, and waiting for the 13 months to lapse I was also told the Zync was not upgradeable. I applied over the phone for a Platinum and was approved. If the Plat is too much $ go for the Green or Rewards Gold.

If you're really wanting those OnePass miles, get a Platinum and ask for offer code 3882 or 5748. That should be good for 100K MR points once you spend $1k. Make sure you transfer them to Onepass in time!
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
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