Thanks for all the replies.
The explanation about the credit limit makes sense, though coming from Discover it still seems a bit strange.
I went ahead and got the AMEX because I wanted to have a card that would be accepted at places where my Discover would not be, and also for some of the member benefits (I'm already enrolled in the Premium Car Rental insurance). Now, though I find myself trying to decide how to maximize my rewards by best splitting my purchases between the cards.
Here's my understanding of AMEX vs. Discover IT so far. Does this seem about right?
- If I understand correctly, 1 point (AMEX) is basically equal to $0.01 (1 percent cash back from Discover) so for baseline purchases there would be no difference.
- AMEX offers 3 points per dollar for travel purchases, so it would be the superior option over Discover in this category, right?
- AMEX gives 2 points for gas stations and groceries, so barring a 5 percent rotating category from Discover, AMEX is better for this.
- I need to run $1000 through the AMEX to get the 90 day 50,000 point ($500) sign-up bonus.
- I need to run $30,000/yr through the AMEX to get the yearly 15,000 ($150) point bonus
So, my thought is that unless I can get something through a rotating category on my Discover IT or through ShopDiscover, the AMEX spending bonuses mean its better to use the AMEX. Is that about right?
I'll still use the Discover as necessary for large purchases I want to pay out over time. In fact, I prefer to always pay my card in full at the end of the month, but I had an emergency come up that made that impossible, so it was fortunate I had the Discover card to deal with it.
I'm planning to cash in my points/cash back as gift cards/Amazon discounts either way.
(I know it's silly, but part of me feels a bit guilty that I'm soon to be using my Discover card a lot less. They have been extremely generous with the card I opened in March, giving me a CL much, much higher than the average I've seen on this site and then upping it substantially after the first 90 days.)