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Why does the AmEx Green Card have a $95 annual fee? Card for Suckers?

Why does the AmEx Green Card have a $95 annual fee? Card for Suckers?

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Old Oct 16, 17, 6:23 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
Those are false equivalencies. Every one of the things you mention you are paying extra for a service or saving time. It costs you time to clip coupons. You’re paying someone to make your coffee for you. You’re getting additional television stations and content when paying for cable.

A appropriate comparison would be Starbucks starts offering free coffee with the hope of upselling you at the register. You decide to leave money on the counter regardless.
It costs time to apply for cards as well, and much more time to learn about how to extract maximum value. That is why I spend far more time on FT than is probably wise.

Have to agree, calling someone a sucker is a bit too pejorative and not really the FT spirit.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 9:38 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by thefunch View Post
How does one truthfully fill out the application for a business card and get a useful CL (remember: no business = no business revenue) and comply with the cardmember agreement that explicitly states that the card is only to be used for the company's expenses, when one does not actually have a business?

Not trying to be snarky, but I keep seeing this "advice" every now and then, and it just seems like an easy way to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.
First of all, the credit on a business card is given to you as an individual, not to the business. That's why they demand the SSN, but the EIN is only optional. So there's no CL issue due to the business not really existing.

As to how to fill out the application:

  • Your name as the business name
  • Your address as the business address
  • Your phone as the business phone
  • Years in business = 0
  • Income from business to date = 0
  • Number of employees = minimum (1 since they count you yourself)
  • Sole proprietorship

If you think about it, those are the exact same answers someone would give if they were starting a side consultancy or if they were starting a side reselling business, and they didn't need (or want) an official business name.

If there's no difference discernible between me the individual and me the company (because there's not a different name, address, phone, etc for the two), how can a credit card company (except by "guessing") tell the difference between true business purchases and those that aren't?

The bank (in this case, Amex) doesn't have time for this. They don't care, and in fact they love for you to have a business card because all sorts of "consumer" protections don't apply to business cards.

So it's sort of a trade: Amex loves the fact that we want a card not protected by consumer credit laws, and we love the fact that we can apply for business cards without "really" having a business (to get benefits and/or rewards which are exclusive to those business cards and/or to having applied for only business cards).
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Old Oct 16, 17, 10:40 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
It costs time to apply for cards as well, and much more time to learn about how to extract maximum value. That is why I spend far more time on FT than is probably wise.

Have to agree, calling someone a sucker is a bit too pejorative and not really the FT spirit.
No, the FT spirit is complaining that someone asked a question thatís answered on page 237 of a 400 page long megathread
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Old Oct 16, 17, 10:49 am
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27
So, if I were to downgrade from Platinum Personal to avoid the new $550 AF, would it be advised to request the Everyday Card vs. this Green Card (assuming both help maintain the MR account)?

Does it matter when downgrading that the Everyday is a credit vs. Green which is a charge card (i.e. is there a hp involved)?
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Old Oct 16, 17, 11:03 am
  #65  
mia
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You cannot up/downgrade between charge and credit cards. A telephone agent may offer to do this, but it would actually be an application for a credit card and a closure of the charge card. There may, or not, be a hard inquiry, but there is no reliable way to know in advance, and the credit card will certainly be reported as a new account.

People who post on Flyertalk tend to travel. If you ever use a domestic USA based airline Premier Rewards Gold costs the same as Green (195-100=$95.00). If you don't travel, or if you don't use the eligible carriers, Green might be a sensible choice, but there are many variables. For example, if you hold a Green card you are likely to receive upgrade offers for Gold or Platinum.

Last edited by mia; Oct 16, 17 at 11:10 am
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Old Oct 16, 17, 11:13 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
You cannot up/downgrade between charge and credit cards. A telephone agent may offer to do this, but it would actually be an application for a credit card and a closure of the charge card. There may, or not, be a hard inquiry, but there is no reliable way to know in advance, and the credit card will certainly be reported as a new account.

People who post on Flyertalk tend to travel. If you ever use a domestic USA based airline Premier Rewards Gold costs the same as Green (195-100=$95.00). If you don't travel, or if you don't use the eligible carriers, Green might be a sensible choice, but there are many variables.
Thanks.

You just reminded me, I do already have the PRG attached to the same MR account but was debating to keep or cancel that one as well.

Looks like the best play is to keep the PRG ($195 AF, but there's $100 travel credit and probably get back $95 in offers throughout the year), cancel the Platinum and forget downgrading.

Any other possibilities?
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Old Oct 16, 17, 11:24 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by lodit View Post
...I do already have the PRG attached to the same MR account ...
I would keep whichever card has the longer history and close the other unless there is a terrific retention bonus.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 11:42 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I would keep whichever card has the longer history and close the other unless there is a terrific retention bonus.
I opened both at the same time.

The PRG AF is a little easier to stomach and justify (only have to make up $95), if only because I don't use UBER and I don't fly as much these days to take advantage of the Platinum perks.

I'll at least have the metal card as a souvenir for when I get nostalgic.

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Old Oct 17, 17, 3:28 pm
  #69  
 
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Amex green was my gateway Amex. Like others here, I applied for it when my monthly credit limit was extremely low but needed flexibility to spend more some months than CCs would allow. I loved the classic look of the green. It felt old school and premium.

But it didn't just feel premium. It was premium. Everything from the quality of the customer service professional on the other end of the phone, to the extra car rental insurance, to the quality of the membership rewards redemptions was significantly better than anything I had at the time. I remember the first time they made a charge disappear. I had ordered some goofy kitsch from the web (years before Amazon sold goofy kitsch) that arrived broken. No hassle. No forms. No forcing me to dispute with the merchant. They just took my word for it and poof it was gone. A year or two later, I got tagged with a EUR 2K fine from Hertz for scratching a rental car in Spain. Also gone. Fraudulent charges? Gone. Never more than a 10 minute phone call. Year after year AMEX proved to be an invaluable partner in my wallet.

I eventually upgraded to the gold -- lured by 3x on this and 2x on that. My first purchase was my wife's engagement ring so I could hit the spend bonus. It never matched the class of the green IMHO, but I was ready to reach new mileage and points heights.

And then I finally upgraded to the plat -- lured by perks galore, another bonus, no FX fees, and less reliance on MR. What's interesting is that the feeling of Amex being premium has stayed with me for 15+ years. Even after having tried the top offerings from the likes of Chase and Citi, Amex continues to stand out in my mind by offering something a little extra.

Maybe that little extra isn't worth $95 (or ~$65 when I first signed up), but I'm glad I paid it, and Amex is definitely glad to have had me as a satisfied sucker for all of these years.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 6:37 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
First of all, the credit on a business card is given to you as an individual, not to the business. That's why they demand the SSN, but the EIN is only optional. So there's no CL issue due to the business not really existing.

As to how to fill out the application:

  • Your name as the business name
  • Your address as the business address
  • Your phone as the business phone
  • Years in business = 0
  • Income from business to date = 0
  • Number of employees = minimum (1 since they count you yourself)
  • Sole proprietorship

If you think about it, those are the exact same answers someone would give if they were starting a side consultancy or if they were starting a side reselling business, and they didn't need (or want) an official business name.

If there's no difference discernible between me the individual and me the company (because there's not a different name, address, phone, etc for the two), how can a credit card company (except by "guessing") tell the difference between true business purchases and those that aren't?

The bank (in this case, Amex) doesn't have time for this. They don't care, and in fact they love for you to have a business card because all sorts of "consumer" protections don't apply to business cards.

So it's sort of a trade: Amex loves the fact that we want a card not protected by consumer credit laws, and we love the fact that we can apply for business cards without "really" having a business (to get benefits and/or rewards which are exclusive to those business cards and/or to having applied for only business cards).
(Mods -- last post from me on this since it's OT, but did want to clear up some misunderstandings.)

My point about the application was missed. I know you can submit an app as a sole prop under your own SSN (w/o requesting an EIN) and list $0 revenue, claiming you are starting out with a "side business" or "consultancy." What I was getting at was that I'd expect a big difference between applying for a personal Green card with (for example) $70k personal income vs. a business Green card with $0 revenue -- other posters seem to think AmEx is liberal about small biz CLs, I'll take their word for it. Trading a theoretical $20k personal CL for a $5k business CL just to hide the trade line doesn't seem to be worth the trouble, not to mention the loss of certain consumer protections.

About business vs. personal purchases, I agree that the bank/issuer generally wouldn't know. But I wouldn't want to be in the position of trying to prove that I'm not in violation of the cardmember agreement if I were FR'd, and risk losing all of my accounts. Seems unlikely, but I guess some FTers have more risk tolerance than others
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Old Oct 17, 17, 8:06 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by AlwaysTheTourist View Post
Even after having tried the top offerings from the likes of Chase and Citi, Amex continues to stand out in my mind by offering something a little extra.
Dude, you said it yourself........the feeling of the premium of Amex is all in your mind!
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Old Oct 18, 17, 1:02 pm
  #72  
 
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My personal take on this card (which, I suppose, correlates to the fact that Warren Buffet holds it) is that a "good fit" could be described as someone who is so wealthy that they have no need for any special perks or status by virtue of their lifestyle -- however the person still values rewards in the form of usable points.

I'm talking about someone who could be charging in the millions of dollars, or more, where the extra 2x, 3x, 5x would simply be a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.

They don't have the time or need to fool around with travel credits, Uber credits, free status at hotel chains, etc. They don't need lounges because they're included in their ticket class (or perhaps they've moved on from flying commercial airlines altogether). They don't need any special insurance or protections because it wouldn't be worth their time dealing with it and the money is not an issue (exactly as it wouldn't be worth their time to check if this charge gets 2x or this one 5x). No need for special welcome offers as by the end of the first month they'll have hundreds of thousands of points anyway - if not more.

They just want a simple card with good service, no spending limit, and a "fair enough" return on their spend. The "added value" of Centurion, Platinum, etc. is simply an unnecessary complication.

But that's just my theory on the matter...
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Old Oct 19, 17, 10:01 am
  #73  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by moe8555 View Post
My personal take on this card (which, I suppose, correlates to the fact that Warren Buffet holds it) is that a "good fit" could be described as someone who is so wealthy that they have no need for any special perks or status by virtue of their lifestyle -- however the person still values rewards in the form of usable points.

I'm talking about someone who could be charging in the millions of dollars, or more, where the extra 2x, 3x, 5x would simply be a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.

They don't have the time or need to fool around with travel credits, Uber credits, free status at hotel chains, etc. They don't need lounges because they're included in their ticket class (or perhaps they've moved on from flying commercial airlines altogether). They don't need any special insurance or protections because it wouldn't be worth their time dealing with it and the money is not an issue (exactly as it wouldn't be worth their time to check if this charge gets 2x or this one 5x). No need for special welcome offers as by the end of the first month they'll have hundreds of thousands of points anyway - if not more.

They just want a simple card with good service, no spending limit, and a "fair enough" return on their spend. The "added value" of Centurion, Platinum, etc. is simply an unnecessary complication.

But that's just my theory on the matter...
This is actually a very good point. I have relatives who spend between $300k to $600k per month on strictly luxury leisure products (including travel) and they have zero interest in a rewards card or any perks. This is why the Centurion card is actually for suckers. If you need a little black piece of metal to broadcast how rich you are, you ain't rich.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 9:17 am
  #74  
mia
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The refresh of Premier Rewards Gold , creates space to update Green to go head-to-head with Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier in the $95 class.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 2:11 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by Los_Pepes View Post
This is actually a very good point. I have relatives who spend between $300k to $600k per month on strictly luxury leisure products (including travel) and they have zero interest in a rewards card or any perks. This is why the Centurion card is actually for suckers. If you need a little black piece of metal to broadcast how rich you are, you ain't rich.
Agree with both of you.
My GF has a client that puts a million dollars a month on his Amex card. She just did a job for him that required her to purchase 15k from an outside source that took Amex. She called him and asked him if he wanted to put the charge on his card instead of her Amex for the points. The laugh on the other end said it all. He said go ahead use your card as he could not even spend the MR points he had.
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