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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by PsychDoc, Jun 11, 2001.
Click here for today's CNNfn's story.
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WOULD THAT RUIN AMEX OR HELP DISCOVERCARD GET A CLUE???
Thank you for the story that i find quite interesting.I wonder how it would be like if they do indeed merge?If discover does merge it will come with a hefty price.I wonder if they will rename their company when,and if it were to happen,and change their cards?to everyone that has ethier a AMEX,or discover card what do you think of this possibility?
good or bad?
I just got a Discover Plat and I'm looking to get an Amex at the end of the year. I think that would be COOL to "not" have to apply for Amex.
I have cards from both companies (Discover Platinum, AMEX Optima Platinum, and AMEX Blue) so it will be interesting to see how this affects me. Will all the AMEX cards be converted to Discover cards or will they stay the same?
I think that Discover's business practices have changed for the worse over the past few years. I see many complaints and hear about many dissatisfied customers. AmEx, on the other hand has a nearly impeccable reputation. People are dumping Discover because of the way they have been treated; people are standing in line to get AmEx.
I just can't see it.
Even if this did occur I seriously doubt that the cards would be "merged", for lack of a better word. Their terms, requirements, and customer base are too dissimilar to make such an action feasible, IMHO.
Okay, thinking about it I guess there are some products offered by AmEx that would be similar enough to make such an action possible. In the post above I was thinking only of the traditional AmEx Charge Cards.
Discover does not have the platform to service AMEX cards--they have virtually no international terminals and offer only cash bacj cards--whereas AMEX offers many many different cards. Thus, I think that Discover cards would be converted to AMEX cash rebate cards.
Does that mean my Discover Platinum will be converted to the AMEX Platinum Cash Rebate card? It would be pretty cool if that happened because I can get up to 2% cash back rather than up to 1%.
Both companies' credit card divisions have very strong branding. When Visa or Mastercard issuers merge the name on the card isn't a big deal, so changing it to build one stronger identity makes sense. People don't care if they have a Wachovia or an MBNA or a whatever, they have a Visa or a Mastercard. Who but a very few thousand people (to which many of us belong) know the difference between issuers? Who but Cap1 even advertises off the Internet? Who but Nextcard and Juniper advertise that much outside of credit-related sites on the Internet? Visa/MC issuers can merge all day and it's just business as usual.
Discover and American Express have to have stronger brands because they are their own networks. A merchant gets set up to take Visa and Mastercard so that they can accept thousands of cards. But Discover/Novus had to go out and convince them to set themselves up to take Novus network cards when there was only one of them. It was a beautiful thing to see them suceed in starting a whole new payment card network from scratch. American Express did the same thing earlier, starting with the B2B market and working back towards consumers as opposed to Novus starting with consumers.
I don't think a combined company would have a reason to ditch either brand. They are so different and so successful individually that there's no reason not to keep a Discover bank and an American Express finance company in operation. I think that if any change is visible it would be in the processing networks. You might see all AmEx merchants immediately able to take Discover/Novus cards whether or not they could before. The opposite direction would be tougher -- many merchants that don't take AmEx knowingly chose not to because the fees are so much higher. But they might only set up new merchants with both services, and their combined portfolio would be quite a powerful bargaining tool, even more than AmEx has now.
Try to remember that the world does not begin and end with credit cards. Both companies do a lot more than that. I see the synergy. Discover has more deposit accounts and CDs, AmEx has more leases and loans. Discover is mostly B2C, AmEx is mostly B2B. Both know how to market themselves. Combined they would stand up next to MBNA and other players in the industry. They'd have tens of millions of cards and they get an extra 1% or so of every purchase that MBNA, Cap1, etc. give to Visa/MC. There is a frightening wave of consolidation in the banking industry and I think I see why they want to join up. I'd be very excited if I was a part of either company.
Why does everyone here always kiss the ass of AMEX?
In my experiences (7+ years) they have had the worst customer service out of all of my banking relationships (Chase, Citi, MBNA).
They screwed up so badly on an optima account that i had with them several years ago that i cancelled the account in disgust. They never assigned payment to my account although my bank had shown the check as being cashed for more than 5 days.
On my Corporate Green Card, I was once assigned a $10 AMEX fee out of nowhere when i had a zero balance. I called to inquire and instead of crediting me for their mistake, it took them 3 MONTHS to do an "internal investigation" before they fixed their error. I was forced to pay the fee until the investigation was over as to not blemish my account.
More recently I signed up again because of one of their BT offers. Big mistake.
1) They never sent the BT because they had miskeyed my account #, 2) They never notified me of the error, the only reason I found out was because after 10 days i got sick of waiting and finally called to find out what the problem was. 3) They sent me a correspondance regarding the new account opening with my company's name on it. ( I have a corporate Green Card with them). 4) When I called to ask why my corporate account information was being mixed up with my personal account information they played dumb and had no idea why that would happen. 5) A few days later a letter arrived that because of my inquiry they were thanking me for taking advantage of their OPT OUT option...wtf?
More times than not when I've called they seem rude and ignorant about anything other than relaying your current balance and payment due date. Several times, csrs have transfered me to another department when they know its already closed and all i would get is a voice recording, while other csr's would be able to get me the same information that i was looking for without shuffling me off like that.
Other times when you call to actually speak to a csr, their automated system asks you your Account #, SS#, & Zip#, and then when you are transferred to a human they ask you again to reverify the same exact information again to them. What's wrong with this?
Everybody here sings the virtues of AMEX, of starting a "relationship" with them. Are you guys on crack? Even if you have prime credit, they have the worst non promotional rates out of all the major card issuers, why do you guys care so much about AMEX?
Their people on average are undertrained, their systems seem lacking, & their consumer rates are way above par. Unless you are a corporate customer looking to take advantage of their rewards program I see little that their organization has to offer the average consumer that the other majors dont do already more efficiently and cheaply.
I doubt their stategy would be to "merge" cards. A new card may be made available to consumers under marketing alliances. Amex has different agreements and distribution contracts with banks and financial institutions all around the world - these banks issue the cards -like Visa and MC example here - and are responsible for card processing and customer service, and it doesn't mean that they merge cards, the Amex-bank cards are an option for excellent customers and their cards are issued to clients that meet their standards and requirements.Like I said, I doubt their stategy would be to "merge" cards, it's just another step in American Express' strategy to form partnerships with financial institutions as has been happening already for a long time.
Just because you have had a bad experience with AMEX does not make them inherently bad. It seems that many others have had wonderful experience. I feel that their card products offer much better features and rewards than any other card out there. Also, I think some of their rates are the lowest--I have an Optima Platinum and Blue with fixed 9.9%---who on the market offers such a deal? MBNA, Citibank, Discover, First USA???? NO!!!!!!
Capital One Platinum has a 9.9% fixed APR
Bank One Platinum MC (FirstUSA) 9.9% fixed.
I'd go with my Blue (9.9%) over Cap1 Platinum anyday (better service and benefits). Besides I don't know anyone who actually got the Cap1 Platinum card after applying for it. At least with Blue you either get the card or are denied, no bait and switch here. I'm so glad I dumped Cap1 a few months ago. I get much better customer service from MBNA and AMEX.