Are charge cards worth the annual fees?

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Are charge cards worth the annual fees?

Postby codydh » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:18 pm

Hello! I've been considering getting a charge card (namely an American Express) to help me be a bit more mindful about my spending. I'm pretty good at paying off my credit cards but I do tend to use them more than I should. I currently have a Chase Freedom and an AmEx Blue Sky, but I've been wondering if a charge card would keep me more in my limits while still giving me rewards (which my debit card does not).

Does anyone have any suggestions in terms of the Zync, Green and Gold cards? I am having trouble figuring out if the rewards and benefits are worth the yearly fee, given that I probably spend on average $500/month on a card.

Thanks for any input!

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Postby FastSRT8 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:17 pm

This is a question only you can answer. IF you travel and make use of the benefits then it is a good thing. IF you don't use any of the benefits then the card is a waste.
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Postby Ratfacedudeguy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:27 am

Well let's take a look at the simple mathematics of the situation. If you're spending $500 a month on your debit card that amounts to about $6000 a year. If you were to get a Green card and replace all your debit card spending with that, then you'd net 6000 membership rewards points per year, or $60 worth of travel rewards. Since the Green card has a $95 annual fee, then purely from a rewards standpoint, no you would not benefit from this type of card. However, as FastSTR8 said above, if you plan on making use of the other included benefits such as extended warranty, purchase protection, and roadside assistance, these unquantifiable benefits may offset the remainder of the annual fee that's unaccounted for, again strictly based on how/if you plan on utilizing them.
Amex Green - NPSL - 05/12
Amex Zync - NPSL - 06/12
Discover it - $7750 - 11/12
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $5000 - 11/12
SECU Platinum Visa - $5000 - 08/08
Bank of America Cash Rewards Platinum Plus Visa - $3000 - 06/08
Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard - $3000 - 05/12
GECRB Old Navy Visa - $2500 - 11/12
Chase Amazon Visa - $2000 - 11/12
Chase Freedom Visa - $2000 - 07/12
Citi Thank You Visa - $1000 - 06/12
Amex Blue Cash Everyday - $1000 - 01/13

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Postby agp » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:13 am

Doesn't matter how much you spend. There are credit cards with no/lower fees that offer more benefits than Amex charge cards.

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:44 am

I would say for your level of spending and since you didn't mention travel that yes, the Zync card would suit your needs. It's better than a debit card in terms of protecting you from fraud, Amex is great about disputes for the customer, and with the rewards if you get the right packs, you should come out ahead of the annual fee as well which is only 25 dollars a year. Frankly even if you didn't come out ahead money wise (which you should) it would be worth it just for the extra fraud protection over your debit card as well as the disputes.

Your debit card will not report on your credit but the charge card will but it will not affect your utilization.

So I would say you are a prime candidate for the Zync and it will get your foot in the door if you should want one of their revolvers later, and you will be backdated as well.

In your case, I would say that's the way to go, just my opinion based on what you wrote. Good luck with what you decide to do.

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Postby codydh » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks for all of the input!

I actually do fly pretty frequently (at least once a month), but mainly short flights (between 300 and 800 miles total), so that's why it doesn't seem a frequent flier card makes sense for me, but one of these may. I guess the draw of the Green over the Zync is that I could transfer purchase points into miles, but even that may not be advantageous.

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