AMEX Secured Optima...Let's De

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Killer, Sep 30, 2000.

  1. Killer

    Killer Guest

    The AMEX Secured Optima (ASO) is back now in case you haven't heard. I am going to apply for the card although nearly everyone says not to. Here are my reasons:

    REWARDS..ASO holders have access to AMEX rewards like Unsecured Optima holders. We all know that AMEX rewards are the best. Search this and other boards and you will see. Listen to Dogman and others. There is no better company for rewards than AMEX. No other secured card offers that.

    APR... The APR on this card is high but it's lower than any other secured card I have read about. After using it for a while I can attempt to get a lower APR. We all know that AMEX reps have that authority unlike most other secured cards. I will try my best to get a lower APR after maybe 6 months.

    IMPROVE CR...I know that the ASO does not report. But this is how I will use it to improve my credit rating. Since this card will not be reported and since the APR is lower than other secured cards, I will use it the most. If I carry a balance, the APR is lower (saves a little money). If I carry a balance, it won't effect my income/debt ratio because it's not reported. I will use my subprime/secured cards less frequently and always pay off the balance. This will keep my income/debt ratio attractive. If I have a large expense I must charge I will use ASO. (I have a large bonus check coming from my employer so I will be able to start my ASO card with a high limit.)

    AMEX Green.....In about 1 and 1/2 years my CR will be clean accept one account. I will then apply for AMEX Green and explain that one bad account. With over a year with the ASO card in excellent condition and good reason why the one bad account exists, I should get the AMEX Green. Then my mortgage loan will soon follow.

    Anyone want to comment?
  2. Saar

    Saar Banned

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    It was also suggested that after contacting the CRA's (who later turn to the creditor), it is possible to have it listed in your credit report. This tradeline won't be updated monthly as the others, but it's better than nothing.

    The entire issue of "self reporting" to the bureaus currently seems more of an idea than a practice, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We just need more people to try it out and share their experience. This forum exists for no other reason.

  3. Jo

    Jo Guest

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    GO FOR IT! I had the ASO and they used that to give me the Gold Card. I should mention that my credit was pretty decent (just new) before that time, but b4 the ASO, AmEx wouldn't even talk 2 me...Even though they don't report the ASO, when you get the Green card, your credit will improve phoenomenally. Seriously...that opens the doors to a TON of opportunities...until that time when you get the Green card though, you should get an FCNB Visa/MC. Then you're totally covered. Also, the ASO looks identical to the regular Optima (slightly darker shade of blue, though...), so not only are you paying with a card with such a good rep, no one will know it's secured other than you or CS...
  4. Cadillac408

    Cadillac408 Well-Known Member we go again! :-

    I am so sick of hearing about this card for some reason? UUGGHHHH!!!!

    Hey, if you want an Am/Ex card THAT bad, then go for it! Like you stated, the card does have benifits.

    Besides, who wants to go to customer luches and pull out the Providian Visa Gold? Not me! American Express makes a statement when you pull it out of your wallet (well the Gold and Platinum definately do!). I wonder how Am/Ex got to were they are today? Must of been all those comercials cause I'm definately not leaving home with out mine!

    Since I also have the ASO, I have been leaning heavily towards closing the account and getting my whopping $200 back (since I have the Am/Ex Gold courtesy of my boyfriend). But now I'm thinking about hanging on to the card just to see what would happen after 12 months. Makes me nervous because I have read posts on this site from people who have had this card for 1 1/2 to THREE years with no end result. That's a LOT of time in credit years and I personally would be HOT if I invested all that time to establish a perfect pay history with Am/Ex and in return they dog me out.

    Killer also stated that this card is back? I've combed their web site and have found NADA on this card. I know the link (which I posted on another message board) is still good, but just not up on their web site. I think they took it off of their web site for whatever reason but if you still knew the link, downloaded the application and sent it in w/ your money, they wouldn't reject your application. I could be wrong here's the link:

    Try it and see what happens.
  5. sha

    sha Guest

    RE: we go again

    true , I had the Card for almost 4 years , nothing as of an unsecured card. i have great credit 2 . high balances maybe but still almost 4 years should do it ! at least the 200 deposit is now almost 220 lol . thanks to their interest .
  6. molly

    molly Well-Known Member

    RE: we go again

    I wonder....if you deposited more money in your savings account associated with the card would it make a difference? Do they factor things like that in when they consider the status? I want to get one, I'm just waiting until the 15th when I have the money. Have you asked for them to unsecure your card and if so how many times have you asked? I found the link through Just curious :)
  7. LadyCarr

    LadyCarr Guest

    RE: we go again

    Fortunately I had success with getting my account unsecured (another account). I got my secured card in 07/99 and in 07/00 I asked if they account could be unsecured and I was told that I could wait until the end of August to see if they would automatically unsecure it or I could apply for the regular Optima and if I was approved I could close out the secured. I told them that I had already applied for 2 accts and both were declined. The rep then asked me if one of the cards I had applied for was the Optima Platinum, and I told her no. Then I was informed that they had the authority to over-ride the decision on the OP cards. So I got all of her information so that I could call her back directly, once I was turned down again. So 2 days later I found out that I had been declined again, so I called they rep back and told her what was up. (I was thinking that she was the one that could over-ride the decision. She wasn't the one.) She took my information and told me that she would give it to the department that handled that and I could call and check back in about 3 days.
    3 days later, I was told that I had been approved for the OP card.(I was thinking OOOH, a big limit---NOT, the same as my secured card--1,000) Anyway, she told me that my secured account would be closed in 60 days and I would get any money I had left over after the balance was paid. Right now my secured acct. is still open and I have my Platinum.
    I was also told that when you have the secured card and apply for the regular card, Amex don't take your secured card into consideration, that's why you have to call and have the decision over-rode.
    Also, If you got the secured card and still have derogatory credit, I think your chances are slim to none of getting an unsecured acct. I didn't have any bad credit, just lots of it.
    In my opinion, the secured card is worth it if you are establishing or if your bad credit is almost gone.
    I also think that it would be better to invest more than 200 into the card. Amex would probably assume that you can only afford that amount and you are not ready for an unsecured card.
  8. Killer

    Killer Guest

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    You all mentioned another good reason to get the ASO card...PRESTIGE !!! Recently the big bosses on my job invited me to lunch. They all paid with prestigous cards. I started to pay in cash but my bill at this expensive restaurant was more cash than I had. So I pulled out my Orchard. Would you believe one of those dummy of a boss ask "what kind of card is that...I have never heard it". I plan to promote soon so I will need AMEX for the

    You all have made me more excited about my ASO! I am applying next week when I get that fat check bonus check. I think I will start with $1000 and later send in more.

    To MP$40: The application is not available on their web site;however, if you apply they will process. I printed one before they took it off their web site.

    To LadyCarr: I talked with an AMEX rep and she said getting an unsecured card with derogs on your history is possible. You have to be able to explain. You don't have to have perfect credit. Dogman is our shining example. He had a bankruptcy in 1996 and got a AMEX Green in 2000!

    To Saar:...Hmmmmm...I never thought about requesting the CRA to add the account. Interesting!

    To Jo: Its good to know that my ASO will look no different from the unsecured card. I have sub prime card cards from DMB, Orchard, and Providian. I don't still need a card from FCNB do I?

    To Sha: I agree! After 4 years you should have been converted to unsecure. Can you reasonably explain any remaing bad marks? Did you earn any bad marks during the 4 years? Maybe if you apply you will get a chance to talk with rep and they can give you some insight/advice. I would be interesting in knowing how you turned out.

    To Molly: I am thinking like you. I think having the ASO with high limit helps. As Lady has stated, when apply for unsecured card they dont consider ASO. However, if you get a rep to re-look at the situation then they will pay attention to the ASO. Here's where having a high limit and excellent status will help.

    Thanks again everyone for sharing your knowledge and experience.
  9. LadyCarr

    LadyCarr Guest

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    I am aware that you don't have to have perfect credit for Amex, but they are the "BIG DOGS", and I'm quite sure if someone has recent bad credit they won't accept it. I am aware of Dogman's success with Amex, that's what prompted me to shoot for the unsecured card. However, if I'm not mistaken, Dogman had excellent credit before is illness, and he had establised some very good accts. before negotiating with Amex.
    I wish you all the luck.
    Nothing in the Credit Business surprises me anymore. :)
  10. Jo

    Jo Guest

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    Killer- no you don't need another card! I just assumed you were starting from scratch! Sorry about that! Although, what you *may* consider doing is calling your subprime cards and telling them that you've obtained an AmEx card and will only be keeping one Visa/MC. Tell them that you're only keeping the card with the best terms and closing the rest. They'll probably send you to account retention and you can probably negotiate much better terms with them. As Dog & I have learned, AmEx is *GREAT* leverage. Don't worrry about it not being on your report- the subprime slimes won't pull one. Good Luck and keep us posted!
  11. BarryN - C

    BarryN - C Guest

    One Point to add...


    In your orignal post you stated you will have a 1 and half years of good history. As a caveat to my talks with AMEX reps... they both made it clear that they want 2 years of good trade lines. Epecially if you have or had bad credit. That is why they told me to reapply in Nov when I am one month into 2 years of good history.

    Other than that, if it's still available, go for it.


  12. dogman

    dogman Well-Known Member

    RE: AMEX Secured Optima...Let'

    Hi Lady Carr - you are exactly correct - never had even 1 30 late pay B4 the Chap 13 -
    never one late pay since.

    When the Acct Mgr approved me - she told me I could have either revolving or the no-limit charge.

    Flexibility was the most important thing to me. When I need to charge something unexpected, or large, its on the AMEX.
    I no longer care is my mc/visas have less limits.
    AMEX covers it.

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