American Express Charge Card: Which Should I Apply For?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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whitneyb
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American Express Charge Card: Which Should I Apply For?

Postby whitneyb » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:05 pm

Hi there. I am hoping you all can help me out. I am a recent college graduate, just got a really stable, good job and I would like to apply for one of the American Express charge cards.

My reasons for this being I travel quite a bit for work, and I am also a recent victim of debit card fraud (my info was stolen from when I had swiped at a local walmart, the money has since been refunded to my acct) and I'd like to have a bit safer card for my miscellaneous day to day purchases and bill payments that is not directly tied to my personal bank accounts.

I am solely interested in charge card, not credit card. I do not want something that will carry a balance but I am not sure which of the ones I would potentially qualify for. I am looking at either Amex Zync, Green or Gold.

Just some info about my credit:

  • I am 23 yrs old, I make 40k/yr salary.
  • I have two credit cards - I pay well above the minimum payments on each, never missed payment in times of holding:
    (1) Capital One Platinum - I got it when I was 18 w/ a $500 limit, has since been extended to 2250 limit, has a bit of a balance but it is going to start being paid on very heavily starting next month after card below is paid off.
    (2) Chase - had a chase card that I had opened up when I was 19 to help cover some school expenses. I have paid the balance on this card regularly although I closed it a couple of years ago, it has ~$200 balance left and I am considering on paying off the rest of it today to close the account completely.
  • Newegg - I have a small new egg account that I recently opened to facilitate a computer purchase. Authorized for $600, but the balance is already down to less than 200 after a couple of months of payment
  • I have around ~50k in student loans. I have already started paying on these.
  • I also have a car loan, it has around ~8k left. I was able to get it financed in my name with my dad's cosign when I was 18 and got this as a high school graduation present. $600/mo payments, have not missed one since purchasing car in Jan 08
Can you all please advise on which charge card from American Express I would have a shot at and would fit my needs in terms of what I am looking for?


CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:38 pm

It sounds like you just want a charge card to keep yourself in line and pay in full. You don't really specify what kind of rewards you want.

In terms of travel, Green and Gold have full Membership Rewards. These points can be redeemed for travel discounts etc. Zync has a lower level called Membership Rewards Express and are not as good. Other than that, the Green and Gold don't really offer more perks to justify the added annual fees.

So if you are interested in the MR points, than a Gold is the best way to go as it adds a few extra perks over Green. If you just want a charge card to keep your nose clean and you don't care about the rewards, than the Zync is the way to go: low $25 annual fee and looks better than Green or Gold.

My suggestion is to get a credit card with rewards; either cash back (like Chase Freedom, BofA BankAmericard Cash Rewards or Citibank Dividend) or a an airline miles card (from the airline you use most or Capital One Venture with no restrictions on airline). If you are disciplined, you will still pay off the balance in full like the Debit or charge card, but your rewards are much, much better. That is pretty much what I do; I use by Dividend, Freedom and Discover Card cards like a debit card, I pay in full each month and I get a lot of free cash back.

Plus, with the debt that you are currently carrying, the added credit line (unless you get a World or Signature from BofA) will help your debt to credit ratio.

whitneyb
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Location: texas

Postby whitneyb » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:53 pm

Thanks!

I was looking at the gold, actually. I do have to make frequent purchases for work that include gas, airfare (I also travel at least once a month regardless of work), etc. and I was curious what the ultimate difference would be between gold vs gold platinum.

I know they are advertising the gold plat pretty heavily, but I am not sure if it's a possibility that you would qualify for one and not the other.

With that said, would the gold plat be worth the extra $50 annual?

also..does it hurt to apply for something like the chase freedom if you already have a CL with chase? granted I am going to pay that last ~200 off very soon, but that makes me a bit nervous...

JohnB222
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Postby JohnB222 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:50 pm

I understand you want to pay off your balance in full every month, however keep in mind you don't "have" to have a charge card in order to do this...I have nothing but credit cards but have never once carried a balance ever. The reason why credit cards are better than charge cards are they tend to have significantly better rewards, which are important to me. Bottom line is I'm not saying stay away from charge cards by any means, but don't necessary get in the mindset that you HAVE to have one.
[font=Arial][CENTER]Amex Blue Cash Everyday - 22k CL | Chase Hyatt - 15k CL

PenFed Platinum Rewards - 12k CL | Chase Sapphire Preferred - 8k CL | Chase Freedom - 5k CL[/CENTER][/font]

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:14 pm

whitneyb wrote:Thanks!

With that said, would the gold plat be worth the extra $50 annual?

also..does it hurt to apply for something like the chase freedom if you already have a CL with chase? granted I am going to pay that last ~200 off very soon, but that makes me a bit nervous...


Gold Platinum? Do you mean the Premier Rewards Gold? That card offers three times the points on airfare, and two times the points on gas and groceries, so if you plan on using the card to do a lot of those types of purchases it could be worth the extra annual fee. I believe the fee is waived the first year so you can test drive it.

You say you travel for work a lot. Doesn't your company offer a corporate card? Or do they just reimburse you?

As far as opening another account with Chase: you should be fine. I have two Chase cards. Most banks will allow two or more cards. Just keep in mind that due to the CARD ACT they have to take into account your income. So if you only qualify lets say for a $10,000 limit and you already have that on one card, they may have to take credit away from that account to open the second account (so $5K on each card).

whitneyb
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Postby whitneyb » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Thanks.

I've actually applied and was accepted for the Amex Gold. All of my travel expenses (airfare included majority of the time) are originally expensed by me, and then reimbursed by my company so I thought that this would be a good option for charging in the future.

However, I'm not crazy about opening a lot of things at once, but what you are saying about an additional credit card is intriguing.

I did some checking with my mom, who helped me get my chase account set up years ago by cosigning. It was originally a Washington Mutual but it switched over, and in that switch a couple of years ago the account was closed. I am planning on paying off the balance completely next week.

With that said, since it is a closed account - I would assume that it doesn't report a CL on my credit reports? Would also applying for a credit card in addition and help out my credit score? I have always heard about the outstanding balances vs. credit limit that impacts your score.

Just curious because all of my outstanding debt aside from 1 card will be paid off by the end of the month. And I'm wondering if depending on the card that I use, I can utilize rewards (re: put travel related expenses on Amex Gold, but gas on a Chase Freedom or something of that nature that provides better cash back rewards).

makwa3
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Postby makwa3 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:41 am

You will not regret getting the Gold AMEX. Did you go with the Premier Gold or just the standard Gold? Either way, you should rack up some good MR points that you can convert 1 for 1 to frequent flier miles and get one of these monthly trips airfare for free in the future.

As far as the utilization, it all depends on what you want back. If you want MR with getting 2x/$ then go with your AMEX. If you want 5% cash back then go with the Freedom (keeping in mind that it depends on which rotation months have gas as the 5% back which I believe usually always includes the summer months when gas is more expensive). You just need to think about what you want to get back and how you might be able to get that at the quickest rate.
Credit Cards:
Visa - barclaycardUS White, Nordstrom, 1st Financial Bank
AMEX - PR Gold Card, Delta Reserve Business, Blue Sky, Gold Delta



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