American Express has introduced a new charge card with a low annual fee of $25 aimed at the college crowd. Called Zync, American Express says it’s a blank canvas (and indeed, the card is a striking white). Cardholders can opt for the basic card for the annual fee of $25, or for more cash, can add various “Packs” offering additional benefits. For $20 more per year, for example, you can get the “Go Pack” that offers double points on airfare plus car rental discounts and a complimentary annual membership in the Credit Card Registry, another pack offers double points at select restaurants and other packs feature double points at green merchants, telecommunications spending or at select retailers. You can choose to add as many packs as you wish. Some of the packs have a 5,000-point earning limit per year so be sure to look at the fine print before applying for the card.
Cardmembers will earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Express bonus points after your first purchase but this offer is not available for existing consumer AMEX charge or co-brand cardmembers. Note that the card offers Membership Rewards “Express” bonus points–these points are not the same as typical Membership Rewards points and cannot be transferred to airline or hotel loyalty programs. If you would like to learn more about the card and the available packs, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?2523.
Bottom line: FlyerTalk road warriors are less than enthusiastic about this card. “If one of the packs was an option to use regular Membership Rewards instead of MR Express, then I think it would be a very compelling product. But there isn’t enough differentiating it from Blue to make it worth the annual fee,” commented FlyerTalk member oopsz.