New to credit cards, a few questions.

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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laxexquis
 
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New to credit cards, a few questions.

Postby laxexquis » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:44 pm

Hello,

I have never had a credit card before. I have had a mortgage (which I paid off in a year) and I pay all my bills on time, never had a problem so I have pretty good credit.

I currently just have an HSBC Premier Debit Card Mastercard.

I know very little much about credit cards. So first, out of the big three (AMEX, Visa, and MC) what are the differences? Which one should I go for?

To start off with as my first credit card, I want a very simple card, one that I can charge on and then pay off before they charge me interest. Frankly to me all the rewards cards, hotel cards get annoying after a while.

Also, how long exactly do the companies give you to pay before they charge you interest?

What is the difference between say a Visa distributed by Citi to a regular Visa (with no bank)?

I guess you can say my ultimate goal is the black card, so for future reference, what are the differences between the Plat. and Black card (Other then then $250,000 spending requirement and the annual fee)?

Please excuse any of my really "newb" questions.

Thank you for your time.

John


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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:35 am

Hey John,

Well actually Visa, Mastercard and American Express are just networks that payments are processed through. Amex does issue most of their own cards, but Visa and Mastercard don't issue a single credit card believe it or not. Those are issued through the banks that use their payment networks. What you really want to decide is which bank (and their card) is best to work with since the payment network doesn't really matter.

The grace period on credit cards is usually 20 to 25 days, the time you can go w/o paying interest. But some are shady now and have chopped that down to 10 or 0. However whatever the case that time doesnt start until after a billing cycle closes.

Amex Platinum vs. Centurion - to be honest there's not a huge difference other than the big difference in annual fee. The benefits on the Centurion aren't worth it unless you travel all the time.

:D
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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:42 pm

You paid off your mortgage in a year? Congratulations!

It sounds like an American Express charge card would be good for you. There's no reason for you to carry a balance from what it sounds like and their cards will give you the best benefits. But a charge card and a credit card are different, you can read the difference below:

Charge Card vs. Credit Card
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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laxexquis
 
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Location: USA

Postby laxexquis » Mon May 11, 2009 4:23 pm

Mogul of Pineapples wrote:You paid off your mortgage in a year? Congratulations!

It sounds like an American Express charge card would be good for you. There's no reason for you to carry a balance from what it sounds like and their cards will give you the best benefits. But a charge card and a credit card are different, you can read the difference below:

Charge Card vs. Credit Card


Ok, thank you that helped a lot!

A few more questions:

The Black, Platinum, Gold and Green card are all charge cards, right?

Will I experience any differences when using a charge card?

Compared to Mastercard and Visa, is AMEX less accepted throughout stores?

Thanks,
John

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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Wed May 27, 2009 1:32 am

Yep the Green, Gold, Platinum and Black are all charge cards. BUT Amex also issues credit cards they call Platinum too but they're not the same as their Platinum charge cards. Amex is less accepted but now it seems like they are accepted almost everywhere you could need them. Only place I encounter that doesn't accept is a mom n pop drycleaners I go to. Everyone else takes it.

The thing you have to remember about charge cards is they usually don't report your credit limits (if there's a preset limit) to the credit bureaus on your report. Usually it will just show the card you have (i.e. Gold charge card) and how much you spend on it each much.
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