American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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lith_eelaqa
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Switching from Amex Credit Card to Charge Card

Postby lith_eelaqa » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:20 am

Hey guys, this is my first official post, I've been lurking around for a couple of months and finally decided to join in on the fun.

I have a couple of questions. First some background. I live in Canada, and got approved for my first Amex card a couple months ago ('Gold' Air miles card, formerly known as the blue card). The main reason I wanted an Amex was because I am looking at moving to California once I finish my undergrad studies here in Canada, and understand that one is able to change the card to a different country if necessary. Two things will always remain the same with Amex, the establish date, and the internal credit history. Now for the questions

1) I have spoken with many customer service reps and was told that moving from a credit card to a charge card would entail a full 'hard' inquiry on one's credit profile. I have also seen online, (credibility of source is questionable) that it is possible to switch between the two, (without the inquiry) it's just a matter of having the right credit history. So, my question is, is it AT ALL possible to switch between a credit card to a charge card without having to do a full credit inquiry.

2) If one has a standard green charge card and is in excellent standing with american express, is it possible to upgrade to the gold charge card without meeting the minimum $30,000 / year income that is required here in Canada?

As you can see, I would like to get the American Express Gold card and want to know the best possible way of doing so without hurting my credit, as I am still a student.

Thanks for the help! :cool:


CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:45 am

So do you simply live in Canada or are you a Canadian citizen looking to move to the USA?

Here is a link to Amex's website regarding moving internationally:

https://www.americanexpress.com/global-card-transfers/

"To be eligible for a Card transfer, your Consumer Card must be issued by American Express. You must be the Basic Cardholder, and have held the Card for at least 12 months. Your Card Account must be open and in good standing at the time of the transfer request, or if the Card was previously cancelled by you, it must have been cancelled within the last 3 months. (Corporate Cards, International Dollar Cards, Global Network Cards and Small Business Cards are not eligible for Card transfers in the U.S.) "

It sounds like they would transfer the card to the equivalent in the country that you are relocating to. So maybe a Delta Gold Skymiles, Blue Sky or simply a Blue. I don't know that they would necessarily change the credit card (revolver) to a charge card. I am pretty sure that Amex backdates in Canada but I cannot confirm this. But the most important thing is that you would have an older trade line reporting on your credit report in the US. Once you become established here you could always apply for the Amex that you really want; and it will be backdated on your credit report to your original Member Since date. So lets say you opened your Canadian Amex in 2001, you move to the USA and have the card converted to an American Amex that would report as opened 2001. Lets say in two years once your score has improved and you have American credit history, you could apply for the Amex Gold and it would be backdated and hence report to the bureaus as opened in 2001. Follow me?

As far as your second question, an annual income will be required for any card application here in the US, but very few banks have an income requirement to qualify for a card unlike in other countries. With our recent bank regulations called CARD Act, the banks/credit unions must ask for income. They take this amount and review your other obligations and enter the numbers into a formula. They must ensure that you are able to repay any amounts they may loan you. It is not a big deal really unless you are over extended.

If I may make another suggestion: Open a Nordstrom credit card. If you get down to Michigan you can apply in person or I believe you can apply online. Nordstrom is one of the few US companies that allows Canadians to apply for credit. You must pay in US funds so my suggestion would be just to make a few small purchases, get some cash at a US ATM and pay it at the store to keep it active. Then, once you move to the US you only change your address and BHAM! you have another US tradeline under your belt.

Best of luck.

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:31 pm

Okay, just read your post again...I wrote a novel before and really didn't answer your questions....

Product changing from a revolving credit card to a charge card is, as far as I know, not possible. You can always apply for the charge card and that card would have the same opening year as your credit card, but yes, it would result in an inquiry and two trade lines on your credit report.

If you look around at the different credit forums, many people have been able to change one Amex credit card for another (and others cannot be product changed at all) and it is possible to upgrade to a different level of charge card (Green to Gold, Gold to Platinum). But I have never heard of anybody being able to change their credit card to a charge. Again, I feel that this is not a problem because of American Express' backdating. The only downside is the hard inquiry (which honestly, if you aren't apping for a ton of credit, isn't a big deal and will be gone within 2 years).

I am not sure if things are different in Canada. This forum is primarily for US credit cards. I would assume it is even more strict in Canada than here in the US.

ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:08 pm

Yep, i have a clear card that was ok to switch to the Delta Reserve but i kept the clear card and applied for the Delta card. I called to switch the Reserve card to the platinum (Same membership fees) but was told nope, i will have to apply for that and close the delta card.

lith_eelaqa
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Postby lith_eelaqa » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:26 am

You guys are amazing! That was a ton of info. For the record, I am a Canadian Citizen, and yes, I plan on moving to California as soon as I'm done my undergrad.

Interestingly, one rep from the Amex customer service center here said that I could essentially keep my Canadian Amex credit card and 'transfer' my info to a new American Amex charge card. Again, not sure how true that info is, but it is definitely possible to switch between a Canadian Amex to an American Amex

Thanks for the tip on the Nordstrom credit card. If anyone also knows about an American credit card that I can apply to (preferably online) while I have my Canadian info, I would greatly appreciate it!

Once again, great info! Thank you!

4Runner
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Postby 4Runner » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:42 pm

I would suggest to try to get the best AMEX card you can have in Canada (gold, platinum, etc) and when you come to US, just ask to get it transfer here, that way you don't need to apply for it here, you will be backdated and will have a premium card from the beginning.

lith_eelaqa
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Postby lith_eelaqa » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:25 pm

Great advice. Thanks again.

As a side note, on the Canadian Amex site it has a place where you can "apply or upgrade now" icon, and when I log in it says that my current card is a credit card, and to fill out an application form. I'll give it a couple months, and apply for the card this way. I'll let you all know what the outcome of that is, of course

4Runner
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Postby 4Runner » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:44 am

Good Luck!!!



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