Amex Financial Review

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:45 pm

When I started out building my credit I decided to have a card with every major company....except for WF (I just dislike them...lol.) I'm 4/6th of the way there (Chase and U.S. Bank are next). And I agree it is easier to diversify because you never know what might happen.
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jriley
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Postby jriley » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:24 pm

You know, I 'm an aspiring minimalist. Not to stand on a soapbox here, but American society is fueled by debt, and I don't want to partake.

I know many say this, but I'm trying to follow up with action: I've vowed to not have debt, I won't shop at Walmart, Costco, Sam's, etc., and I don't plan to sign up for things like credit cards.

My bank's debit card has no FTFs and is a Visa, so no reason for me to go with other banks. I don't even pay for the Delta Reserve, so I have all of those benefits for free! Total banking fees are $25/year.
Looking to maximize credit, for myself and others.

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MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:24 pm

I admire your desire not to be in debt. It would have been better for them if a lot of people had carefully considered debt before plunging in.

Just so you know, debit cards do not have as strong of protection against fraud as credit cards. If your card or card info gets stolen, they are taking your money, not the credit card company's money, and you have to fight your bank to get it back.

Also just because you have a credit card does NOT mean you have to carry a balance. I've never paid a penny of interest on any of the cards in my signature, but a number of them have given me back hundreds of dollars this year in rewards.

Also, you can't get the best possible credit score without the use of credit cards and installment loans. As stated, you don't have to pay them interest on credit cards, and installment interest is usually pretty low IF you have good credit. Without good credit, you'll pay in other ways, such as insurance, anyway, and find getting a place to live, and jobs, harder (as if that needed to be any harder these days).

I also have a debit card in addition to my credit cards, and my banking fees are $0/year. That's a minor issue but you could even get that I'm sure. If you have a good relationship with your bank, the 25 bucks a year isn't a big deal.

Anyway, staying out of REVOLVING debt is a fantastic idea for your credit and financial health, but not having any credit cards isn't the greatest idea overall. It wasn't that long ago I thought like you do, but I found my score wouldn't go up beyond a certain point, and I've since learned that a debit card is a lot bigger vulnerability than a credit card, and that you can actually get credit cards to pay YOU if you do it right instead of the other way around. Just food for thought.

Vermonster
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Postby Vermonster » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:21 pm

Just food for thought. A friend of mine just had his debit card number stolen at a gas station. He though because he was using it as a credit card he would be protected. He is not being held liable for the charges until they can prove they were fraudulent. That is cash out of his pocket that he no longer has access to. Whether the bank is right or wrong makes no difference, he has no money now.

And jriley, I really don't think you'll be able to live your entire life without debt. Try buying a house without a mortgage, or starting a business without a SBL, or even buying a used car without a loan. I would love to live without debt but I know if my card dies tomorrow, it will make more sense to get an auto loan to buy a newer car than get a personal loan to repair my car. It's just something that can happen without any indication.
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SteveT
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Postby SteveT » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:50 pm

jriley wrote:You know, I 'm an aspiring minimalist. Not to stand on a soapbox here, but American society is fueled by debt, and I don't want to partake.

I know many say this, but I'm trying to follow up with action: I've vowed to not have debt, I won't shop at Walmart, Costco, Sam's, etc., and I don't plan to sign up for things like credit cards.

My bank's debit card has no FTFs and is a Visa, so no reason for me to go with other banks. I don't even pay for the Delta Reserve, so I have all of those benefits for free! Total banking fees are $25/year.


I completely understand your desire to stay debt free, especially in today's economy. The reality is that you need to have credit established and debit cards is not always an option for many reasons. Being debt free does not equal no credit.

jriley
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Postby jriley » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:34 pm

Well, I now have a Chase Sapphire and an American Express Zync, as well as a American Express Delta Reserve Card, although I'm only an authorized user.
Looking to maximize credit, for myself and others.

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trumpet-205
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Postby trumpet-205 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:00 pm

You really don't want to use debit card unless you have to. Biggest problem with debit card is lack of federal protection.

Like Vermonster says, you can't live your life without debt/credit history. Many people get student loan to fund college expenses, auto loan for cars, etc. You need credit to rent an apartment. Some job openings now even demand credit check.
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rlh6805
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Financial Review

Postby rlh6805 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:06 am

I have been an AMEX card holder for 10+ years. I currently have a Platinum card with a $35k spending limit. I have never been late on any payment, ever. I received a call yesterday telling me that my spending has been suspended until a Financial Review has been completed. They want to know what the average 6mo balances are for my bank checking and/or savings accounts.

I can either have my bank fill out a forum and fax it back or they will do a conference call with my bank. I was told that after the review they will decide of they need to limit my spending on the account (which I think is strange as I have always paid on time), or, cancel my card.

Questions:

1) Is this unusual for AMEX to do?
2) What exactly are they looking for? How high does my average balances need to be?

Thanks, Rob

jriley
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Postby jriley » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi Rob.

AmEx typically does this when they see balances that are not normal, based upon your reported income, a couple of billing periods in a row. It is not unusual for AmEx to do this, although they only do it to a small number of cardholders, and are looking for liquid balances that prove you can pay off your American Express balance.

Have you done anything that would tip them off to a problem? Examples include buying precious metals, large expenditures for a small period, etc.
Looking to maximize credit, for myself and others.

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DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:54 pm

I'd tell Amex to take a hike.



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