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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by ALS, Apr 14, 2000.
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Now that's funny - I received their green card in December, and got the gold card pre-approval a few days ago. I was wondering why they didn't just offer me an upgrade. I guess you can have more than one of their cards?
StevenZ, want to take this one?
There are two likely reasons for this:
Most likely, your name was pulled from a CRA as meeting certain basic screening criteria as determined by Amex. Your 'pre-approved' offer is probably caveated with language that your application would be subject to further review of your credit history, etc. 'Pre-approved' really doesn't mean that, it means you were 'pre-selected' to recieve the offer. Read the offer carefully to see what they mean by 'pre-approved'. They are required by federal law to provide an explanation of this is there is any possibility what-so-ever that you can be turned down.
The second, but less likely reason, has to do with the fundamental differences between the Optima product and their standard card products. The Optima product comes with a revolving credit line that can be used like a MasterCard or Visa. You can pay your full-balance, or anything over the minimum payment and the remaining balance will revolve and be subject to finance charges. The standard card product is more like a 'charge card' where one is expect to pay the entire balance on the card each month. The best example I can think of is a telephone credit card.
You might have been turned down for Optima because you had several open revolving trade lines with sufficient open credit lines for you level of income. You credit may be good enough that you qualify for the Gold Card where you would be required to pay the bill in full each month. Some CRAs (Experian in particular) also show your balanace on a month to month basis, so if you have monthly balances showing, but no current balance in the main body of the report, that would indicate that you typically pay off your credit cards in full each month and Amex wants a piece of that action, but is unwilling to extend revolving credit at this time because you have several lines already established. They have fairly conservative underwriting standards.
The offer was pre-approved, my sister got the same thing and she got her card, I didn't see anything on there suggesting a further review of my credit.
"...but is unwilling to extend revolving credit at this time because you have several lines already established." - I figured that was the reason, but it still seems wierd, I mean, they could make money off of me by giving me a "credit card" with interest. But, I'm not complaining. I have 3 Gold cards now and even though they are not as "elite" as they once were it stills feels good!!! AND, I can't get into any more debt with this card because it has to be paid off every month and my credit is too important to me to get into trouble with this.
If it seems appealing to you, go ahead and fill out the 'acceptance certificate' and send it in. I'd be a little cautious though if you are planning on trying to get a mortgage within the next year ot two as credit inquiries will knock a couple of points off our your credit score and other creditors get a little nervous if they see alot of inquiries.
In general, I find American Express' Customer Service to be superior in all respects. The handful of disputes I've had (not their fault, the merchant's fault) have been resolved very quickly. Bills are mailed out promptly and payments are processed promptly as well. They typically have a 25 day period from the closing in which to pay your bill, but in actuality as long as the payment is processed by your next closing date, there is no problem. (Make those big purchases right after your closing date and you get two months to pay.) You can also check you bill on-line and on the phone.
I am not Steven Z, but Amex is notorious for issuing multiple cards. I consider them the best current creditor. I have given CreditWorks a line of credit and an American Express Corporate Optima card. We have a combined line of $32,000.
I wish I had known that before I ripped up the offer! Thought maybe they had me mixed up with someone else...
Strange, I seem to recall not that far back you feeling disatisfaction with Amex's plan to raise their annual fee substantially on their Corporate card and you might drop it in favor of the Gold version.
Actually, a number of persons I know really don't care much for paying a hefty yearly fee for a charge card. Why just last week a friend of mine received a pre-approved offers for both the Gold Amex and a Diner's, he came to the conclusion that while both offer comparable benefits the latter's fee is less than half so went with the Diner's.
The credit industry is an ever changing one. Amex did raise their Corporate Gold membership, but they actually allowed me to change my account from an Executive Gold to a regular Corporate Gold, that kept the annual fee at $55. I love American Express.
In total I have lines over $100,000 with them.
I have both the Amex Gold, and the New Blue card, not only can you check your statement online, but you can pay your bill online and they don't charge you for it. I am impressed with Amex's customer service, the few times I've had to either call or email them they were polite,and offered real help.