Need a Beginners AMEX card. I have "Bottom Feeder" cards.

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:41 pm

The first time I applied for AMEX I was denied. Twice in two years, both after receiving advertisements in the mail saying I was pre-selected. One was Green, one was Gold charge. My credit was in recovery mode at the time; I had a couple of good cards (BoA, Chase) with moderate (5k, 2k) limits, but they were fairly new. Several years before I had a cell phone and Providian charged off, but they were on the cusp of aging off my CR.

The first AMEX I was approved for was a Zync. I received a packet for it in the mail right as they started offering the card, and I was enamored with it and accepted it for no reason other than that, and getting my foot in the door with AMEX. I found the "Express" reward structure to be next to worthless, and closed it after 13 months because of that. It may be a coincidence that I bought a house just before getting the Zync.

My second AMEX was a Delta Gold, which I got because I fly on Delta a good bit, and like the perks and reward structure. I opened that account about 8 months after the Zync with an initial CL of 2K and it has since been increased to 5k.

My third AMEX is a Platinum, and upon approval I closed the Zync. Again, the rewards structure is much better (MR points much more flexible), and the perks with the card are fantastic. I also applied for and was approved for the flexible payment for Platinum, so I can finance larger purchase if I want, but I haven't yet used that feature. The Platinum is advertised as "no preset limit," and so far I haven't been declined for a purchase. My highest monthly bill has only been about $5k, though. Customer service at the Platinum level is beyond excellent, and recently I even called the Platinum line to resolve an issue with my wife's Delta AMEX account.
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


FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:06 pm

I have the Gold card. I was sent an offer for the green and the gold. I chose to go for the Gold and was approved. I recently received a notice saying that I could finance purchases with the Gold card, but I'm not very interested in that. I honestly only have the card for the perks and the prestige. I will see this year if the annual fee is actually worth it to me.

Several of you have mentioned USAA. I looked into them at one point, but didn't see great rewards. I'm really only interested in rewards because I pay the new balance on my card every month. I saw someone mention NAVY FCU as well. How does Navy FCU compare to PenFED?
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:51 pm

FutureBillionaire wrote:I have the Gold card. I was sent an offer for the green and the gold. I chose to go for the Gold and was approved. I recently received a notice saying that I could finance purchases with the Gold card, but I'm not very interested in that. I honestly only have the card for the perks and the prestige. I will see this year if the annual fee is actually worth it to me.

Several of you have mentioned USAA. I looked into them at one point, but didn't see great rewards. I'm really only interested in rewards because I pay the new balance on my card every month. I saw someone mention NAVY FCU as well. How does Navy FCU compare to PenFED?


Navy FCU is regarded as having better customer service and much better credit card rewards/rates. PenFed's credit cards are pretty much a fail. Their Platinum Cash Back Visa used to be one of the most recommended reward cards out there but they have been slowly chipping away at the rewards. I believe starting next month new applicants will only be getting decent cash back on gas with that card and they are trying to get existing cardmembers to change to a new point card. I like PenFed's loan rates but I would never consider a card from them.

cyanchan15
 
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Location: Berkeley, CA

Postby cyanchan15 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:22 pm

Got the same situation here

roland
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Postby roland » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:41 pm

OK, it doesn't seem that anyone's addressed this, so just real quick -- SCRA does not work the way you think it works. If it did, it'd essentially be a get-out-of-jail-free card for servicemembers to spend and not pay their bills. Uncle Sugar loves you, but he doesn't love you that much.

Salient points, in brief:

  • Interest on consumer debt accounts incurred before entering active duty, and only for the period of active duty, capped at 6% interest.
  • This only applies if entry onto active duty materially effects your ability to pay the debt -- as in, you make less once you're on active duty then you did before. (Though to be fair, this specific point is generally not verified.)
  • Any consumer debt incurred after date of entry on active duty is at whatever rate you agreed to -- whether that's 9% or 29.99%.
  • You are still obligated to pay your debts, both under civil law through the contract you have with the respective companies, and under UCMJ.
I point this out, because the impression you seem to have on how SCRA impacts your obligations will put you on the fast-track to financial, and potentially legal, trouble. I know you don't know me from any other random-nonymous Internet user, but I assure you that I speak with authority on this topic.

JCarter
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Postby JCarter » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:39 am

Deighton wrote:I pay my cards on time. I'm in the military. I fall under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, which credit companies can't report anything negative to the credit bureau's. Basically if i don't make a payment, its not at my fault because I'm on military orders. But they won't update my balance also. Even if its paid off, unless I request it. So I'm looking into the AMEX world, where can I start at. My score is about 620. Please help me. I need to bee in a tier 1 category. Thanks


Deighton,

The SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) specifically 50 USC § 524; do protect you from having wages garnished or liens placed during the duration of your contract, only if you are unable to respond to the court due to mobilization, duty or training. I see service members frequently hit with garnishments due to unpaid loans, or their car seized because they made a stupid title loan. But that is not why you are being denied, nor does it grant you qualified immunity from being sued, it just stays proceedings until you are able to appear, respond and have the court empower jurisdiction over you.

You are being denied because you have a 620 credit score, and probably quite a few hard pulls recently. My personal suggestion to you, is to wait 12 months. Take some financial literacy and readiness courses offered to you by your finance office/S-1 shop.
Also read DOD Instruction 1342.77 and feel free to ask your JAG office to give you some pointers.

I also recommend you look heavily into Navy FCU, as a member myself I have been very pleased during both active and reserve service; as well as upon ETSing out completely. They are a great credit union with good cards, and financial advisors which will help you get your credit on the right track.

I also suggest the USAA secured mastercard/amex, take $250 now, and put it on there and make smart financial decisions. As you can afford to, per pay period add more to it because it will increase your credit limit and help to build good, solid functional credit history for you with a larger credit limit.

Stray away from your use of applications as they generate hard inquiries, after 2 years they will go away, but during the mean time they weaken your credit score.

Good luck and Semper Fi.



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