CarfulBuilder14 wrote:The Zync also had (and still has) a cult following, although I think that's more out of novelty than any great value it offered.
Vermonster wrote:Zync was great for people with no chance of getting any other card. It started an account with amex so you could backdate later. Absolutely no value now.
Can anyone explain just what all the appeal from the Zync was? I've heard quite a bit about it for a product that was discontinued before I even started paying attention to credit cards, but didn't know anything about it so I just thought I'd look into it a little. Am I correct it summarizing it as a charge card one tier below Green (lower AF but also lower rewards) with slightly looser underwriting criteria?
I wouldn't think Amex would really need a way to let people in the "club" that couldn't otherwise get a Green card (any charge card, for that matter, or the credit card that's rumored to be easiest to get - I think the Delta). Despite all the "exclusivity" marketing, it really isn't that hard to get in with Amex credit-wise. Loosen the criteria too much and you're getting into secured territory.
Is it just MF-types excited about "getting in" with Amex to start "building a relationship" when they should be focusing on bigger priorities?
The Zync predates me, too, although I have the same understanding about the card. I'm not totally sure what earned it the "unicorn" nickname when so many cards get discontinued, but I guess it's because it was closed to new applicants while the other Amex charge cards hung around and remained popular cards.
Amex credit standards are definitely looser than they once were. I find it hilarious, though, that most of the complaints about the looser standards and diminished prestige are from people who wouldn't qualify under the looser standards - either due to having only a few months of history or having burned Amex in the past. It's pretty bizarre that some people want their cards to be exclusive, yet overlook the reality that they wouldn't qualify.
And Amex does have the prepaid Serve. I know some people like (or at least used to like) Serve for MS purposes.
Technically, a prepaid card is not the same as a secured card. I think it's fair to say, though, that Serve is intended
to serve a similar purpose for subprime customers. So in that sense, Amex is already in the subprime market.
And I think the whole "build a relationship" idea is just an excuse for people to apply for cards they don't need and couldn't otherwise justify. Maybe opening a low-level US Bank card and later PCing it to a Cash+ is (or once was) an exception to this rule, but I doubt it.
And "getting in" with Amex in particular to backdate might not have helped much. When approvals were done by humans, a human would be able to see the limited payment history. When approvals are (now, mostly) done by computer, a computer algorithm would have to be pretty primitive to take Amex's reported (backdated) account open date at face value and not look at the length of payment history.