Opinions on AE Preferred Gold vs Discover Escape?

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Opinions on AE Preferred Gold vs Discover Escape?

Postby X86BSD » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:27 pm

Greetings everyone! I'm a new member and this will be my first post.
I wish I could cross post this to the Discover card section as well.

I'm currently debt free, rent, and have a single visa CC. It's nothing special. It was my first CC from my local bank with a $300 limit. I have always paid off my balances in full whenever I have charged anything to it each month. I've never been late. I am currently looking for a home and have been to my bank and been pre-approved for a loan. This was a couple of months ago. At that time my credit scores from the three reporting agencies were just over 710.
710-715. Since then I have paid off a $2,500 dollar bed I bought from Slumberland that they financed to me via Wells Fargo Financial. Never missed a payment or was late. I actually paid it off early I had until August before the 12/mo no finance charge was over. So I imagine this maybe raised my score even a smidge higher since the bank pulled my credit report scores. I mention this only for background so as to get the best advice from all of you. I try to be very responsible financially and never bite off more than I can chew. Having said that my question follows.

My current Visa card from my bank is very basic. No perks at all. No points, no rewards nothing. I have been kicking around the idea of getting a new card that works for me since I got one of those "you are pre-approved!" letters from AMEX qualifying for their Preferred gold card. I went to look at the benefits of that charge card. The things I liked were:

Car rental insurance when renting a car
No limits or expiration of points earned
Use the points to pay for airfare anytime and on any airline, no blackouts
Transfer the points to any frequent flier program I choose
24 road side assistance when traveling with a rental car
Baggage insurance for lost or stolen baggage, even if it is a low amount
I also really like the *option* to be able to pay larger charges such as vacations or large purchases over time. Lord knows my last vacation to Ireland in March it would have been nice to have been able to pay off the money I spent over time when I got home rather than use my debit card and come home to an empty account :)
And from what I have read AMEX has pretty good customer service however I am not a member yet so I take that with a grain of salt.

The things I like about the Discover Escape card over the AEPG are:

The unlimited double miles on all purchases
Four miles when I buy through their Discover shop
Primary car rental insurance as opposed to secondary
Higher lost or stolen baggage insurance allotment

The one thing that concerns me with Discover is the 2-cycle billing people have warned about

I will be getting married in December. We are flying into Halifax, NS to tie the knot :) And it has made me start thinking pretty hard about a card that will work FOR me as opposed to my no frills visa card. We plan to do more traveling once we are married. And I honestly cannot seem to decide between these two cards. So I wanted to solicit advice, albeit biased :) , from here and see what folks had to say. I value all of your opinions. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Experian: 844
Equifax: 758

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:10 pm

$2,500 for a mattress from Slumberland? At that price it better be comfortable ;)

The American Express Preferred Gold card is good if you travel extensively. That means if maybe for work you travel at least once per month. Other than that the benefits may not be worth the annual fee for most people. The Discover Escape sounds like a good card. I don't have one yet but am definitely considering it. The double miles is like getting 2% pretty much, right? But you mentioned you were going to Halifax and I think American Express will have better acceptance overseas than a Discover card would.

Oh yeah, and congrats on the engagement!
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.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Halifax

Comparison of AE preferred rewards and Discover Escape

Postby navyfrank67 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:31 pm

Discover Escape:

  • 25,000 Bonus Miles - 1,000 Miles each month you make a purchase the first 25 months.
  • Unlimited Double Miles on all purchases.
  • Book any travel, anytime with no blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem for travel credits to your account, gift cards from any of our 90 brand-name Partners or cash starting at just 1,000 Miles.

American Express

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $500 in 3 months - redeemable for a $100 gift card!
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for virtually every dollar you spend and redeem for your choice of travel, shopping, and entertainment rewards.
  • exclusive access to tickets for select concerts, shows, major sporting events, and more in cities nationwide.
  • No Pre-set Spending Limit.

To me it looks like the Escape card is the better bet. If you are like the general masses then you will make a purchase and then make payments over time.
In this way the Discover Escape card is better for you. The reason is with the AE Gold you have to pay off your balance every month in full.
This means if you make a purchase for $2000 you have you pay the $2000 off by the end of the monthly statement.
Over all the Escape card beats the AE hands down.

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