Has Amex damaged their brand?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:04 pm

Visa Black is a joke. I saw a website trying to compare it to the Centurion and the Palladium, it's like trying to compare a Yugo to a Mercedes - they are totally different kinds of product. Centurion and Palladium ARE cards that require wealth (as in mllions in assets basically) while Visa Black is available to pretty much anyone with the credit who is foolish enough to want to waste 495 a year to carry a "black" card. Hell my Associated card is black in color too and no one says a word about that and it has no annual fee. Save yourself 500 bucks and paint the thing black with a magic marker if you really need the ego boost that badly. It's a total rip off. At least Amex Plat has the perks for the crowd who can use them - I see no value at all in the Visa Black card.


GoCreditGo!
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Postby GoCreditGo! » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:31 pm

I just took a look at that card. I have to agree completely. I wonder who has that card. Will Black Hard holders please stand up?

MemberSince99 wrote:Visa Black is a joke. I saw a website trying to compare it to the Centurion and the Palladium, it's like trying to compare a Yugo to a Mercedes - they are totally different kinds of product. Centurion and Palladium ARE cards that require wealth (as in mllions in assets basically) while Visa Black is available to pretty much anyone with the credit who is foolish enough to want to waste 495 a year to carry a "black" card. Hell my Associated card is black in color too and no one says a word about that and it has no annual fee. Save yourself 500 bucks and paint the thing black with a magic marker if you really need the ego boost that badly. It's a total rip off. At least Amex Plat has the perks for the crowd who can use them - I see no value at all in the Visa Black card.

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FastSRT8
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Postby FastSRT8 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:06 pm

LOL after a thread like this... who would want to raise their hands and proudly claim to own a Visa black card?
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Postby thom02099 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:10 pm

otter wrote:
Is Karl Malden rolling over in his grave?


In a word....NO. No damage, and Karl continues to rest peacefully!

To the vast majority of Americans who don't know a message board from a cutting board, AMEX is still King. It's still the card that the masses crave. That the terms for obtaining it have changed over the years just makes it that much more desirable to John Q Public in middle America.
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DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Amex is nothing special.

Here's a black Amex card with no AF:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/prepaid/campus-edition/home.html

Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:13 pm

DavidNY wrote:Amex is nothing special.

Here's a black Amex card with no AF:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/prepaid/campus-edition/home.html


Haha! Nice one.
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Z06Biker
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Postby Z06Biker » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:20 pm

CC Deville wrote:I think you answered yourself with the Visa Black card in that it is all about perception...I enjoy a silent laugh at the expense of anybody that fell victim to opening that silly card. It is all about marketing. Even though the Centurion is called Centurion, most people refer to it as a "black" Amex and cream their shorts over it. So, Barclay's Bank decided "hey, lets ride the coat tails of the Centurion and call ours 'The Black Card' so people will think it is exclusive." Yeah, that exclusive card with advertising banners all over CNN.....but it shows how uninformed American consumers are. Honda does it with Acura...put some lipstick on a Honda and charge more $$ for it and Americans eat it up (well, their SUVs anyway but that is a different topic).

My point is, most people are not really well versed in the credit card world and still view Amex as exclusive and even mysterious. Those of us in the know realize that some of the cache of Amex has been diminished, but Average Joe and Average Jane still get impressed by a "real" (Amex issued) credit card including the Zync which tells you how little they know about the different levels. I think if you whip out any of their charge cards people will be impressed by it.

Another example is luxury and "premium" cars (can you tell I'm a car guy?). Back in the 80's and even 90's Mercedes, BMW etc were reserved for people who were well to do or affluent. But, in the past 15 years or so auto leases have become very popular. Popular enough that now Average Joe can afford a $399 lease on a Baby Benz or 3 Series instead of financing a soulless, brainless appliance called Camry. So, one could argue that a C Class, 3 Series etc no longer has the same lure as they used to because now everybody can get one.


This is a great explanation. I may be particularly partial to it because it involves some wonderful car analogies. I'm also guessing that you, CC Deville (Caddy owner?), must either be a car nut or in the car business...

Anyway, back to the original topic, I don't think Amex has watered-down their brand at all. They're still the largest credit card issuer by spend-volume, presumably as a result of their targeting the more affluent segment of the credit-using population (or so they claim). Of course they have to offer lower-end products to the masses; Audi, Mercedes and BMW do it with the A3, CLA-class and 1-series, respectively. Tag Hauer, Rolex and Omega have sub-$5K watches. Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani and Louis Vuitton all have "affordable" as well as stratospherically-priced clothing lines. And if you're an audiophile, marques like Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Krell and McIntosh likewise offer products geared toward increasing their market share amonst the "common folk." It's business sense. Amex still has some of the top customer service; the best integration/interfacing with social media apps like Four Square, Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor; and have the coolest looking mascot by far!

Besides, when the Oracle of Omaha owns 12-13% of your company -- the largest stake of anything he owns -- you must be doing something right.
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Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:32 pm

Don't think I missed the point, and obviously this is off topic, but where do you get a sub-5K new Rolex? I was Rolex shopping a few weeks ago and the cheapest one I saw, a Submariner, no date, was 7K.
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DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:19 pm

If Discover can do 100% US-based CS with only a limited group of no-AF cards, why can't so-called "prestigious" Amex with worldwide acceptance and name recognition? Because they're cheap.

As for $5k Rolexes, I found a few used ones on eBay in that neighborhood.

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Postby whit » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:46 pm

Snowman wrote:Growing up, I always thought they were the cards of well off, affluent people. It was only when I started to coming to forums like these did I see that normal-everyday people who have good credit are getting approved. Times change I think, and in order to be more profitable they started letting more people in who have good credit and not just affluence either. But Karl Malden is rolling in his grave...lol.


great marketing.

amex will take anyone with $$, they're not like Hermes which once upon a time was foolish enough to turn away Oprah,

I have a...pet peeve I guess...you can say..about luxury brands making items more 'affordable' when really they're cutting the cost down a lot for themselves (therefore maximizing their own profits) by skimping on the product's quality and therefore are making huge $$ from those who don't know better and often can't afford it even at that price range..they just charge it.

I don't mind the idea of having things financed, or credit cards, mortgages, things of that nature.

If it is for something that is a necessity.

Often they're used to buy things that aren't needed..but just because its a lot "cheaper" or a "steal" for the brand behind it. It's like the LV stampede of canvas bags that would cost $600 lowest, when you can get leather bag elsewhere for about the same price or less..if you were to get a leather bag at LV? easily in the 2-4k.

But hey, its an LV and you only pay 600 for it..to look like a million bucks..like a million other folks

And they use their CC to pay for it.

I know a woman who does this, but you know what? She PAYS for her interest charge, along with the principal..she doesn't contest the charge, or she doesn't go on a crazy rampage (though her usage is pretty high..about 80% and her CL is around 30k)

and she pays it every month. it's her choice, her prerogative

Unfortunately, not everyone is like this. I wish..

Also you have to ask yourself, do you really need it??



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