AMEX for Beginners?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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cloudywolf
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AMEX for Beginners?

Postby cloudywolf » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:43 pm

Hey guys, first time poster here, so sorry if my concerns are in the wrong forum, etc etc.

Anywho, I just wanted to get some guidance and strategy plans for building good credit and setting up a credit card. I am 22 years old and I am looking to build credit. I want to start with AMEX because my dad has been with them for over two decades and he loves the benefits and service that he gets from the company.

Last year I used my dad's AMEX Blue account to set up my own. I received an AMEX Blue Cash card. My concern, however, is whether or not I can still build credit like this and am I eligible for other AMEX cards as well?

I also got offers to open up a Zync and Blue Cash Everyday (even though I already have a Blue).

As you can probably tell, I am really new to credit cards and such and I dont want to maximize my benefits when using one. I am very manageable with money and have always paid off my monthly bills on time. So it terms of strategy, would it be a good idea to just stick with what I got now, or apply for another AMEX independent of my dad's and go from there? Ideally I'd like to just have one credit card. I don't see the point of having more than one, unless I'm traveling abroad a lot. And like I said before, I like AMEX and I want to stick with them, so eventually I'd like to have access to their more lucrative benefits reserved for the top-tier cardholders.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance!


CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:08 pm

Welcome to the forum. The first thing I would do is request a copy of your credit report and FICO score to see where you are in terms of your credit. This should really be done annually to ensure that there is nothing incorrect on your bureau.

However, if you do not want to go this route, AMEX has a pre-approval function on their website:

https://www304.americanexpress.com/secure/my-special-offers?btct=SJHP_hero_ultimateapply

You will need to enter the information requested. This will result in a soft-inquiry which means that nobody will see the inquiry on your Experian other than you. After the results are in, AMEX may or may not offer you various cards that you may qualify for. Again, this is a pre-approval function and is not a gaurantee for credit.

Because you are newer to credit you may want to look into the AMEX Zync card. It does have a $25 annual fee; however, it gets your foot in the door with Amex. After a year or two of building your own credit, you may apply for an AMEX credit card such as Blue Cash etc. Because you became a Member in 2011 (hypothetically if you apply and are approved for a Zync this year) your new AMEX card will be backdated. What this means is that your new account will report as opened in 2011 even if you opened it in 2013. AMEX is the only company that does this.

Do you have any student loans? A car loan? Or is your father's Amex the only item on your credit report?

As much as I admire your stance on only having one credit card, I would advise having a Visa or MasterCard as back-up in the event you cannot use your AMEX. A debit card could suffice if you have enough funds in checking to cover anything in an emergency.

cloudywolf
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Postby cloudywolf » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:03 pm

Thanks for the reply! I also have a credit card with Express that I have been using for a few years. Again, I have paid everything off on time every time. I barely use the card though.

I also have a debit card with BOA that I use a lot. I have no loans of any kind, and the other credit card I own is the AMEX Blue I got approved with my dad's record.

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:08 pm

cloudywolf wrote:Thanks for the reply! I also have a credit card with Express that I have been using for a few years. Again, I have paid everything off on time every time. I barely use the card though.

I also have a debit card with BOA that I use a lot. I have no loans of any kind, and the other credit card I own is the AMEX Blue I got approved with my dad's record.


Well the WFNNB/Express card is a good thing. When was your father's Amex opened? Meaning, is it a few years old? Even though you are an A/U it will boost your score if the account has an older open date.

This is sort of a tough call, but I would guess that Amex might not want to give you a revolver (credit card) straight away. I stand by my original guidence to apply for Zync and use it for a year, then apply for Blue Cash Everyday once you have some experience with Amex. Of course, if you use the pre-approval feature from Amex's website and it encourages you to apply for Blue then by all means go for it! :cool:

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Postby Money card » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:22 pm

CC Deville wrote:Well the WFNNB/Express card is a good thing. When was your father's Amex opened?


over 2 decades ago.

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Postby CC Deville » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:58 am

Money card wrote:over 2 decades ago.



Do you know the OP personally?

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Postby Money card » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:11 am

look at the 4th line down. no I don't know the OP personally.

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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:33 pm

Welcome to the forum. The first thing I would do is request a copy of your credit report and FICO score to see where you are in terms of your credit. This should really be done annually to ensure that there is nothing incorrect on your bureau.


Not entirely correct. You can obtain a free copy of your credit REPORT annually from each of the three bureaus, but the score is not free. The score is $10-20 depending on which bureau you want a score from. I believe the website for the federally mandated free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com.

You can also find several credit monitoring services that will give you a free copy of the report and score as part of their introductory offer, but after 30 days there is generally a monthly fee for the service.
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.
Ronald Reagan

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:09 pm

look at the 4th line down. no I don't know the OP personally.

Touche....

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Postby CC Deville » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:11 pm

Pete838 wrote:Not entirely correct. You can obtain a free copy of your credit REPORT annually from each of the three bureaus, but the score is not free. The score is $10-20 depending on which bureau you want a score from. I believe the website for the federally mandated free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com.

You can also find several credit monitoring services that will give you a free copy of the report and score as part of their introductory offer, but after 30 days there is generally a monthly fee for the service.


I did not imply that the FICO was free.....I suggested that he request a credit report annually. Good info about the free annual credit report though.



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