Amex Plat additional cardholder: Value in upgrading to own card????

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by Global Explat, Apr 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    When I arrived as an immigrant back in 2002, like all new US immigrants I had no US credit history, and consequently, despite having history of credit in other countries, I had a weaker US FICO score than most sixteen year old kids working a paper run.

    However, I did have an American Express account in my birth country, which I was able to leverage into a new US credit line when I got here. So, my Amex Plat account is my original US credit line. The cardinal rule of managing your credit seems to be to ensure you keep open your oldest line of credit. So, in my case, paying the $450 a year in Platinum card fees isn't even a decision.

    However, Mrs Global Explat has an additional card on this account, the fee for which is $175 pa.

    What I'd appreciate some views on is the relative value between paying the $175 as an additional cardholder (our current situation) and instead signing her up for her own $450 card (an additional $275 pa to us in fees). Is this even possible? WIll American Express let additional cardholders close down their existing cards and sign up for their own new accounts (and get the current 50k signup etc etc)???

    Appreciate any experience members have with this.
     
  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    She'd likely get the signup bonus, but other than another $200 airline fee rebate sh wouldn't gain benefits from Amex. She'd have credit in her name, for whatever that's worth, but you could do that *and* keep her as an additional cardmember for less out of pocket yearly.

    Not worth it except as a means to harvest the 50k signup bonus

    If you're just holding on to yours to maintain credit history, you could downgrade to a less expensive card if the benefits are not worth the cost.

    .
     
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  3. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Keeping your "oldest" card is not necessarily important. The key is how old your other cards are. To get away from the high fees you are currently paying, you should look at your next oldest card and make sure that you keep that - especially if it a no annual fee card. If you have had that one for over 5-7 years, I would say that you would be OK in canceling your current AMEX card. Another option is to call AMEX and see if you can downgrade the current card to a lower annual / no annual fee card.

    As for your wife, does she have any credit cards in her name (including department store credit cards)? If she does, I would tend to have her apply for one of the no annual fee cards and keep it for a long time.

    As you can tell from my answers, I am extremely adverse to paying high annual fees - unless, of course, there are no other options.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Not sure but if you downgrade your platinum card, new AMEX card should carry original date. My Centurion card is dated 1962, the date of my first Green card.
     
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  5. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    I think the $200 fee rebate, plus the $100 Global entry cost (the first year), plus the 50k bonus, plus the Gold status for her Starwood account would make a $275 increase worthwhile for us based purely on the economics... But would Amex view her as an existing customer so not eligible for a "new" account?
     
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  6. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    Thats a good point. I hadn't thought this through completely. My first US card was a Gold, which was upgraded- and the 2002 date was from that card.
     
  7. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    Thanks for this. Along with other cards, I now have a SPG Amex and a Hilton Amex also. If I were to choose to close the Amex Platinum for example, would the 2002 Amex date remain, provided I keep an Amex card open? ...(I'm noticing for the first time that the SPG card also states member since '02, even though I got it much later). I always assumed my now-high-700s credit score was very dependent on that Membership reward card......I haven't had much problem myself with new card approvals, but I've always assumed that would not be the case without the original Amex.....
     
  8. deant
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    Dates for your existing cards should not change. Your information just reinforces my opinion that getting rid of the high annual fee card would not significantly hurt your credit score.
     
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  9. wheat27
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    wheat27 Silver Member

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    In my experience, closing your first card from Amex should not change the dates for existing or future cards. I had my first Amex back from '05 -'07, closed it and opened another one about a year later. This card as well as the additional 3 cards I've had from Amex in that time period all list 2005 as my member since date.
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    The Global Entry she can get as an additional Plat cardmember already, and I believe the starwood as well (have not verified Starwood, but have already received the $100 refunds on Global entry for both me and my aditional cardmember wife.)

    You're looking at the $200 credit and the 50k bonus. It absolutely is profitable for 1 year, but after that it may be better to cancel or downgrade and bring her back to your Plat for less. There just are not many benefits that double with 2 accounts.
     
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  11. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    Thanks for this. I did not realize we could both get our Global Entry fee reimbursed. Will try to get her Starwood account upgraded also. Thanks.
     
  12. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    If you have not already, get the priority pass for each of you as well. You can register online, for her card you will need to call amex. Additional cards represent a very impressive benefit value.
     
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  13. Aktchi
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    Interesting. Have you been an Amex cardholder continuously since 1962, or just having had one at that time puts the Member Since date one on your current card?
     
  14. KyRoamer
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    Continuously since 1962.
     
  15. it would be considered a new account
     
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  16. Global Explat
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    Global Explat Silver Member

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    I contacted SPG- and they confirmed what you said here. I just needed to fax them an Amex Platinum account statement (with number blacked out) and they upgraded her SPG account to Gold also. Thanks again for the heads up!
     

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