Sell me on AMEX

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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Location: Hawaii

Postby jlam572 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:32 pm

For me I started with amex green to keep me honest. At the time, right after college I was having a real credit crisis because I had like 65k in student loans and about 14k in credit card revolving debt. The green card was a way for me to be forced to pay in full every month so I never went beyond my means. After I got a real job, I paid off my revolvers in 3 months, and I upgraded to gold, and eventually to platinum.

Now I charge around 70k a year on the card, I fly around 40 times a year for work so I really took advantage of my lounge access (both before and after work). I use the concierge roughly 20 times a year. Reserving a large room in a restaurant/club/etc is easier through my concierge. They also can help with gift ideas for the girlfriend.

I love amex, but a lot of people don't see the point. Personally, I like to be able to call a number on my card, speak to someone in America, be treated with respect, and have them in my corner as far as buyer protection. Some of the perks are being lost this year, but ill stay the course for a little while and see what they are going to do to keep us around. I frequent SFO and LAS yearly, so the centurion lounges will be nice.
American Express Platinum
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Hawaiian Airlines BOH MC
Capital One Visa Platinum
Citi Diamond Preferred MC

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Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:01 am
Location: TX

Postby Xorand » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:32 am

I picked up a Blue Preferred last year on recommendation of my son-in-law. I haven't had an AmEx other than company-provided green cards in the past.

My wife and I travel the country full-time in a travel trailer. Our largest expense is diesel fuel. We use the BCP for groceries and fuel primarily. Last year, we racked up close to $1,000 in cash back.

I just recently picked up a gold Delta Skymiles, as well, since we fly cross-country about three times a year to visit our grandchildren and typically end up on Delta. I got it more for the convenience factor. We can now each check a bag for free on flights (a $100 savings on a round trip) and board early (making it easier to find a place for carry-ons).
AmEx - Platinum (NPSL) , Blue Cash Preferred ($19,000), Gold Delta Skymiles ($8,500)
Chase - Sapphire Preferred ($14,000), Disney ($11,500), ($9,000), Freedom ($8,000)
CapOne - QuickSilver ($7,250) / Platinum Rewards ($7,250)

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Location: Excelsior

Postby MemberSince 79 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:01 pm

They have customer service next to none, and they stand behind the customer first. Also, they have history going back over 100 years that makes me proud to be a member and stockholder ( skip the 80s).

Finally, using my AmEx card says I pay my bills..... in full.
Gold American Express, since 1979,
back when it meant something.
And a few other cash back cards as well.

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Location: los angeles

Postby linuxmachine » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:55 pm

While some amex cards give back some pretty decent cash back and points returns, I believe it's all about the perks, and there are some very nice ones.

For one, purchase protection for 90 days is pretty awesome, as well as free extended warranty for one year. If you are gold level or higher, you get access to events/entertainment that are not available to public. If you are plat level or higher, ah, there is what I believe to be the best perk in FHR. Free nights, $100 credits, 4pm checkouts, upgrades, and the list goes on. Just a single stay booked through FHR could easily wipe out the annual fee. There are many more benefits to be listed, but I thought I'd mention some of the lesser mentioned ones.

To make the most of these, you typically have to be a spender because you need to spend to receive these benefits, and I think this is a pretty good program if you live that kind of lifestyle. Trying to squeeze out 2~3% (overall) on a yearly 10k credit spent puts a couple bens back in your wallet, and this is great. However, paying $450 for a special service on 100K spend will likely return back to you more than 3% AND a better experience. There's more flexibility to offer more value at the luxury/premium end than economy, and that's where elite status really shines.

I see Amex more as an excellent personal service/network that has a decent rewards program than a rewards program that has some extra side services. I view Chase as a very strong rewards program with decent services, and only because they are provided via Signature/WorldMC. Strip those away and Chase is just a very, very good rewards program. (Technically, both are banks/financial institutions...but you know what I mean...)

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Postby freyj6 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:51 pm

I see Amex more as an excellent personal service/network that has a decent rewards program than a rewards program that has some extra side services. I view Chase as a very strong rewards program with decent services, and only because they are provided via Signature/WorldMC.

Good description. I think I'll stick to Chase and others for now (keeping one AMEX card for backdating and Costco purchases) and if I end up flying a ton and spending a ton in the future, I'll give AMEX another look.
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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Location: Texas

Postby Robrus1 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:26 pm

My strategy and why I like AmEx:
Platinum: For travel benefits, not for spending. Airline credit, global entry, etc. Occasionally make purchases when out of the country.
BCP: Gas and groceries only. Nets me about $75 a month.
CSP: Most purchases when out of the country, Large purchases and most utilities, dining.
SPG: Shopping, everything else.

This strategy works well for me. I have 4 weekend stays planned at the moment, all paid with points, includes free club level room upgrade when available, and includes free drinks and snacks, which is nice.

CSP makes me happy because I can transfer the UR points at a favorable rate to my Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Account, which I try to fly most of the time, otherwise it's usually American. Also better acceptance overseas. When I go overseas I take my Platinum and my CSP and that's it.

Everyone's spending amounts and categories differ so like others have said you should do your homework and find what benefits you the most. Customer service I've experienced has been good from both AmEx and Chase, so they get all of my business these days. Discover denied me a CLI recently stating I don't use the card enough, so they're back in the sockdrawer for a while.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

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