Which AMEX could an immigrant qualify and get approved for?

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samudi
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Which AMEX could an immigrant qualify and get approved for?

Postby samudi » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I have a qustion you guys might be able to help with.

My GF is new to the country and would like to start building her credit. I know Capital One has Cash Rewards For New Comers, yet I don't really like their CS, and I know she always has the option of a Secured Card.

However I was thinking about the AMEX Clear, it seems like a card for starters with easy requirements. Do you think she'll be able to get that as her first card? Or do you have any other recommendations?


Celestine
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Postby Celestine » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:40 pm

samudi wrote:Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I have a qustion you guys might be able to help with.

My GF is new to the country and would like to start building her credit. I know Capital One has Cash Rewards For New Comers, yet I don't really like their CS, and I know she always has the option of a Secured Card.

However I was thinking about the AMEX Clear, it seems like a card for starters with easy requirements. Do you think she'll be able to get that as her first card? Or do you have any other recommendations?


My two cents... AMEX is not a good starting point to build credit/credit history. At AMEX, I think, you need good credit history to use their services.

She should try to apply to her bank's credit card first.

My first credit card was from my bank then I expanded to other lenders' credit/charge cards after getting decent credit history.
"Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you really want to test a man's character - give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:20 pm

An AMEX credit card is much harder to qualify for than their charge cards. However, if someone is completely new to credit, both are going to be off limits for at least a year.

Here are some suggestions:

1) if you have established credit in the US, perhaps you could add her as an authorized user on one or more of your cards to help give her a boost. You don't need to give her the physical card-just adding her will add that trade to her bureau.
2) if she had an AMEX in her home country, she should contact AMEX to see if they will transfer her AMEX from her home country to the US. They do honour these requests.
3) a secured card from one of the reputable banks (Wells Fargo, BofA, Citibank, US Bank, PNC) goes a long way.

Whatever she does, she needs to establish credit for at least a year before trying with the prime banks like AMEX. Even then, I would recommend a Zync or Green card first to get her foot in the door with them. After a year with the charge card (and two with a secured card-that would likely be unsecured at that point) then she can try for Clear, or Blue. Keep in mind, AMEX backdates any subsequent card to the original Member Since Year. So if she opens a charge card early 2013 and then goes for Clear/Blue in 2014, the Clear/Blue will report as being opened in 2013. Pease do not guide her to anything from First Premier, Credit One or Applied Bank.

samudi
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Postby samudi » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:18 pm

CC Seville, can you please explain why shouldn't she go with First Premier, Credit One or Applied Bank? And do you put orchard in this category as well?

Deighton
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Postby Deighton » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:49 am

Wow I have a first premier and credit one bank. SMH. I know they aren't too good. But willing to get an AMEX soon.

Grupet
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Postby Grupet » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:48 am

I came to this country (USA) in 2008 without any credit score what so ever. Couldn't get anything. Tried to get credit cards, store cards but nothing. So i started out with a secured credit card, which i had for 2 years. In 2010 I got a "you are pre approved for a Amex Gold Card" in the mail (haven't done any business with Amex before) so I applied and got approved. Last year (2011) I got an email form Amex that i was pre approved for a Amex Platinum Card, which i applied for and got approved. Now i get 4-6 credit card application every week in the mail.

I also have a Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card and a HSBC Platinum Credit Card.

Just my story...
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PlatinumAMEX94
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Postby PlatinumAMEX94 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:35 pm

Grupet wrote:I came to this country (USA) in 2008 without any credit score what so ever. Couldn't get anything. Tried to get credit cards, store cards but nothing. So i started out with a secured credit card, which i had for 2 years. In 2010 I got a "you are pre approved for a Amex Gold Card" in the mail (haven't done any business with Amex before) so I applied and got approved. Last year (2011) I got an email form Amex that i was pre approved for a Amex Platinum Card, which i applied for and got approved. Now i get 4-6 credit card application every week in the mail.
I also have a Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card and a HSBC Platinum Credit Card.

Just my story...


Grupet, what are some of your demographics? Do you own a company? Make millions? Were you responsible and paid your bills on time with your secured card? How old/young are you? Did you have credit in your home country? And what country is that? Thanks.

And that is an awesome story!

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CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:50 pm

samudi wrote:CC Seville, can you please explain why shouldn't she go with First Premier, Credit One or Applied Bank? And do you put orchard in this category as well?


The reason for this is that these banks are "bottom feeders" in that they charge exorbant fees and interest. First Premier generally charges a set up fee and then an annual fee and after the first year I believe a monthly fee. Credit One does not offer a grace period, so the minute the card is swiped (or one of their fees hits the account) that balance will begin being assessed interest. Very scandalous. They used to be called The Bank of Marin or something like that; recently changed their name to Credit One-both their name and logo are suspiciously close to that of Capital One's. I believe Credit One hopes that people will blindly sign up for their card because the applicants think it is Capital One. Applied Bank (used to be called Cross Country Bank) is another one. They generally do not have a grace period either. They advertise a "low fixed 9.9% APR" but again, without a grace period, the cardholder is charged interest from the minute a charge or fee posts to the account. I am not sure which of the three also charge a fee to make an online payment. These three cards are very tempting to people because they are desperate for a card. In my opinion, since they all have fees that you would have to pay, why not put your money instead into a CD with a reputable bank like BofA, Citibank, Wells Fargo, US Bank or PNC and get a secured card with them. Generally between as little as 9 months to 18 months, the card is unsecured and you have a prime account that will grow with you.

I do not count Orchard Bank (currently owned by HSBC) and Capital One as being in the same catagory as the "bottom feeders." Orchard and Capital One have very few fees, fair interest rates and annual fees. The thing to remember about Orchard and Capital One is that each has a sell-by date (similar to food that goes bad after a certain amount of time). You have to understand that for whatever reason, these two banks don't really graduate their cardholder's on their rebuilder or builder cards to prime cards. After about two years you will max out on the credit line that they will give you. But by then you should qualify for better cards anyway.

Deighton
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Postby Deighton » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:23 pm

Thanks CC. You always give me great advice. But if I wanted to apply for an Amex, whats a good one to start with. I got denied a Zync card. Is the clear card good for starters? I'm basically going to apply over the summer.

samudi
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Postby samudi » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:59 pm

Thank you CC, that's a really important thing to know. I will make sure she doesn't go with any of those.



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