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Actual Benefits of AMEX Charge Ove V/MC Credit Cards?


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The BCP is definitely on my radar for Amazon Prime & 6% groceries sinec it would also get me the AMEX-exclusive benefits (like advanced tickets if my daughter wants to go to a big concert, etc). Barring the possibility of a can't miss sign-up offer it's probably next on my list of new cards.

 

Anyone know how the free year of Amazon Prime coordinates with an existing Prime membership?

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Do you travel? Business or personal.

Rarely. And when I do, I road trip. I deal in used/vintage/antique goods, so every trip I take is full of too many scouting locations along the way to fly. And I'm much more comfortable in a Motel 6 than a Ritz Carlton. The only exceptions are when I go to casinos (and then everything's comped anyway) and an exceedingly rare vacation I'll be taking late winter/early spring 2015. But I already signed up for an airline and a hotel card whose sign-up bonuses will cover those expenses. So, I'm all good.

 

Meanwhile my largest expenses outside of antique & thrift stores, auctions and estate sales (which I've never seen a bonus rewards category for) are gas, groceries & office/shipping supplies (from Amazon) all of which get me 5% back from Sallie Mae. 2% Double Cash takes care of most everything else.

It sounds like an Amex charge card is definitely not for you.

 

If the grocery cap is too small on the Sallie Mae, you should consider adding the Amex BCP as well.

 

I agree.

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I've always been a bit skeptical of Amex's NPSL but have come around after realizing that CLs on CCs do not actually mean you can put that much on their cards after going though an eye opening experience with Citi.

 

Back in early 2010 I needed to charter an air ambulance, basically a small jet with the ability to transport a bedridden patient too sick to move any other way. My mom had just been released from rehab after a major stroke. She was almost 90, had congestive heart failure, and I needed to have her moved to my home where I had the facilities for skilled nursing. This was a coast to coast flight. I quickly found a charter company but the cost was over 30k and, of course, they needed a credit card. Wiring would have taken another days and I only had hours). I arranged to pay 20k with a card and send them a check for the difference.

 

At the time I had 2 CCs, both secured. I used the Citi card because it only had 1k or so on it and had a 25k limit. Supposedly

 

A few minutes later the air ambulance company called back and said the card was declined and did I have another? I didn't.

 

I called Citi and got an overseas CSR and asked why the charge had been declined since it was within my CL. She looked and found no reason but could see the decline. I told her I was trying to charter a jet and I didn't understand what the problem was.

 

She instantly escalated and I was talking to some center in the US. They also couldn't see why the card was being declined but could see other attempts to run it for 19k and 18k - lol.

 

At that point Citi had me do a three-way with the charter but they were using another service to run the card and weren't able to take a manual verification by the Citi CSRs. The Citi CSR's then said to please wait while they pursued an "idea of what the problem might be." After 5 minutes or so CSR said to have the Charter try once more and it went through. I will say that Citi did really work hard to figure out what the problem was and get it solved even though the specifics were fuzzy and probably internal banking risk policy related.

 

This took over half an hour but during that time the CSR related a story about a Hollywood guy that had a very large (500k or so) CL and had tried to buy a custom car with it. They eventually got the charge approved through the normal mechanisms.

 

So just because a card has a CL don't count on being able to charge that much if the charge is anomalous.

 

With the benefit of hindsight I sure wish I had my Amex back then. OTOH, without those recently acquired secured cards to kick start my credit (I had been cash and debit card peep for a decade and had zip history outside of several older baddies) I wouldn't have been able to get my mom home that day.

 

Amex? I don't leave home without it. Their NPSL is outstanding.

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Anyone know how the free year of Amazon Prime coordinates with an existing Prime membership?

' Yes, current Amazon Prime members are eligible for this offer. If you are a current Amazon Prime member, your complimentary one year of Amazon Prime will begin on your current Amazon Prime membership renewal date and you will maintain the same level of membership. If you are an Amazon Student, Amazon Mom, or Prime Fresh member, see relevant questions below for more information.'

From Amex FAQ

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