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Hello

I have just be offered an american express gold card. I am debating whether to just get the green card. I have been to their website and can't really figure out the meaningful difference between green and gold. nor could I find the cost difference. Does anybody have the answer to these questions.

thank you
warpoet
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I have the AMEX Platinum Cash back card. It is a rewards card with no annual fee.
Why would I pay an annual fee for any credit card when I can have a rewards card for free?
I do not carry a balance and what rate they charge doesn't interest me very much. Maybe one or the other has a lower interest rate. I couldn't care less.
Best wishes, Chris
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I have just be offered an american express gold card. I am debating whether to just get the green card.

Q is do you need a card now?
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Well actually yes. All I have is a capital one visa with a $300 limit. I would like to have one visa card and one AE card. I am just wondering about the differences btw the green and the gold

warpoet
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I'd suggest talking Capital One into raising the limit from $300 to $2000 or so. That's less likely to generate a hard query against your credit history (which must be the reason for the $300 limit in the first place.) If they agree, you can also talk to AE; if they demurr, you'd want to postpone talking to AE.
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Yes my credit rating was not that great 3 years ago. But my score has improved. I have since bought a house with my wife and graduated from law school and inherited a small sum of $. (which I assume has put me in a better catagory so to speak) Awhile back I asked capital one to raise my spending limit and they balked. So I would prefer, out of personal reasons, not to stay with capital one eventhough they would probably raise my limit if I asked them to now. I am merely trying to figure out the difference btw the green and the gold AE cards, other than 1 cost more in yearly fees? Or has someone had bad or good experiences w/ AE?

warpoet
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All my experiences with AmEx card division have been very pleasant. The dark green card has no fees, good cash back.

Disclosure: I have an AmEx card. My very first card (of any type) was AmEx. Just weeks into first job, while my net worth was still negative, I called 1-800-TheCard and got one in minutes. I'm biased.
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The American Express Green card is technically a charge card, not a credit card. Typically there is no preset spending limit, but you're required to pay the full balance each month. A good idea to be financially responsible as long as you can control your spending to what you would have spent anyway (what you need to spend, hopefully). Note that this does not mean you can charge an aircraft. They reserve the right to reject purchases based on your account history, etc... so somewhere in the system you do have some kind of limit, but it's not explicit. Annual fee of $65 (boo). The preferred rewards version is $110.

American Express Gold is a standard credit card, pretty much the same. Annual fees of $110 for the standard, Preferred is $130, and Plus is $150 (but 5 free additional cards, but less reward points after the first year).

There are certainly some differences within the exact benefits/rewards programs of each, but probably not much that will make a difference.

Personally, I cannot understand why anyone would pay an annual fee to a credit card unless they have a very specific need. If you want an AmEx, ask about the fee-less AmEx Blue (with rewards program, but no double rewards for 'everyday spending) or AmEx Blue Cash. I'm not going to pay some company to spend my own money, rather they pay me to use their card. NEVER pay an annual fee to a card unless you have a darn good reason.
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There are actually several different types of AmEx cards:

The green v. gold refers to their charge cards. Even within the charge cards, there are still multiple versions - green, green w/rewards, gold, gold for business, etc. These cards have the benefit of "no pre-set spending limit" but the balance you charge must be paid in full at the end of the month. I'm usually not a fan of these cards because AmEx usually charges an annual fee, and with "credit" cards available w/o a fee, don't see much reason to. BUT... some people really like the Membership Rewards Points.

See, AmEx also offers "credit" cards. My first AmEx was an Optima card, but I've also had the Platinum Cash Rebate and Blue Cash card(s). These either have no annual fee, or are providing rewards that offset the annual fee. With these cards, you have a grace period on new purchases where you don't pay interest, but can carry a balance if you wish to (unlike the charge card) and if you do carry a balance you'll pay interest.

Once you have one Amex, they'll likely offer you additional card(s). I've received multiple offers for their $399 Platinum card. I actually resisted from their "charge" cards until I received a 'Preferred Rewards Gold' version with no annual fee because it is attached to my Amex One financial account.

- Lan
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I just realized I missed something...

MBNA issues some American Express cards as well. I don't have any experience with the Amex-flavored MBNA-issued card though...

- Lan
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Oops, you're right, both green and gold are charge cards.
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MBNA is involved with AMEX??!? In what way? Please shed some light on this as I have 3 amex accounts! (2 golds, one optima).

hwkncat
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MBNA started offering AmEx's recently after a court ruling ruled it was illegal for Visa and MC to prevent banks from doing so, as they had been.

http://home3.americanexpress.com/corp//pc/2004/mbna_cards.asp
https://wwwa.applyonlinenow.com/USapp/Ctl/redirect?CV_sourceCode=GCB0&CV_MC=A000001TJS
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So does that mean the MBNA Amexs will be revolving? That's horrible, I'm cancelling the Amex accounts (charge accts) ASAP (once paid of course!)

How in the world did Amex agree to it? Does someone have a news story about this?

hwkncat
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So does that mean the MBNA Amexs will be revolving? That's horrible, I'm cancelling the Amex accounts (charge accts) ASAP (once paid of course!)


Dumb question - what difference does it make of the MBNA Amex card is revolving, and why is that so horrible? Just because a card is a revolving card that will let you pay less than the full amount and accrue interest instead of a charge card that requires you to pay it in full does not make it bad. You can still choose to pay it in full when the bill comes in, and there is no interest, so it's just like a charge card.

Did I miss something that makes this so awful?
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I'm confused as well. I have no idea how this possibly effects you. First off, charge cards are not inherently superior to credit cards. Secondly, who cares what other products are doing? You can use your products are you see fit. I'm totally lost too.
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*Did I miss something that makes this so awful?*

No, I suppose you didn't. I'm not a fan of MBNA and am surprised that Amex (whom I have always felt good about) would be associated with them.

Nevermind, just thinking out loud :-(

hwkncat
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MBNA is involved with AMEX??!? In what way? Please shed some light on this as I have 3 amex accounts! (2 golds, one optima).

MBNA is an AmEx issuer, much like they issue Visa and MCs. BUT.. more than likely your AmEx is truly issued by AmEx because MBNA only started issuing AmEx cards last year, and they do not issue the gold nor Optima.

https://wwwa.applyonlinenow.com/USapp/Ctl/redirect?CV_sourceCode=GCB0&CV_MC=A000001TJS

- Lan
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Will Amex be a revolving card? It depends upon the card issued. AmEx continues to issue both charge and credit cards.

MBNA and AmEx aren't merging. It's simply a partnership. Amex wants to get more cards out in force, MBNA has an existing relationship with 1,000s of "Affinity" groups and an existing marketing system, so it's a win-win for both parties. MBNA earns a piece of the action when someone uses a MBNA AmEx, AmEx earns a piece of the action as well... As long as the consumer sees a benefit in using the MBNA-issued AmEx, then what is the harm in it?

- Lan
..not overly concerned about MBNA-AmEx cards...
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*Did I miss something that makes this so awful?*

No, I suppose you didn't. I'm not a fan of MBNA and am surprised that Amex (whom I have always felt good about) would be associated with them.

Nevermind, just thinking out loud :-(

hwkncat


I agree with you hwkncat. I also absolutely hate MBNA. I had an MBNA credit card all throughout college. I was always responsible with the way I used it, and they treated me like absolute s***. They kept changing the terms on me even though I always paid my card on time and always paid more than 5x the minimum. Of course, whenever I got something from them in the mail that sounded a little bit sketchy, I would call Customer Service to see what was going on and they always talked to me in a rude and condescending manner. I guess I gave off the clueless college student vibe.

After I got my first job, I "consolidated" my loans through my credit union. I put "consolidated" in quotes because I really only had one card - the MBNA. Then I cancelled the card, which a lot of people here would disagree with because it was my oldest card. I had $6500 on it (most of the debt was acquired senior year and the six month period between graduation and my first real job), and now less than two years later, I owe only about $1500.

I have since been using AMEX. I have Blue Cash and Blue for Students. I'm only keeping the student card open because it's my oldest card. AMEX Customer Service is first rate. I've never had a problem with them, and their reps have the best phone numbers. I have also never had to wait more than 2 minutes to get a real live person.

I too am confused why AMEX would ever bother with a partnership with MBNA.

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I have also never had to wait more than 2 minutes to get a real live person.

True. MBNA kept me on hold for over 15 minutes the other day. I finally gave up and hung up.

Not that AmEx is infallible. I think in the last six years I've been a "member" they did fail to deliver once in their credit card division. And when I called back to get it corrected, they apologized profusely and actually did fix the problem.

AmEx is just looking at the success of Visa, MC, and Discover, and wants a bigger piece of the pie. More cards in force means a greater chance of purchases, and more purchases means greater transaction fees.

- Lan
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MBNA is involved with AMEX??!? In what way?

Just like the previous posters pointed out, MBNA has been issuing Amex's for the past few months (perhaps a little longer) just like any other bank would issue a MC or a Visa.

However, MBNA is being bought out by Bank of America, a pioneer with Visa, so I would imagine their emphasis on Amex-branded cards will diminish.

In addition to MBNA, I read somewhere that Citibank and USAA are a couple of Amex's only major affiliates thus far. From what I read, USAA plans to start issuing Amex's sometime in 2006, I don't know about Citibank.

-z
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Adriana,

I also abhor MBNA and when I saw this first mentioned, I was wondering if either AMEX had bought MBNA, or the other way around, and then wondered if my AMEX cards would convert to MBNA clones.

I agree, the customer service is tops. I have never had any problem with them, whereas MBNA is not known for their considerate and polite customer service.

hwkncat
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