How to Avoid Financial Review from Amex?

How to Avoid Financial Review from Amex?

  • By Anthony Dominguez
  • Last Update: July 3, 2020

If you’ve signed up for one of the card offers from American Express, you may sometimes be required to undergo a financial review. This is done when Amex wants to ensure you can keep up regular payments on your account. Unfortunately, they freeze your account for the duration, so it’s best to avoid them completely. This article shares valuable information about how you can reduce your risk of being reviewed.

Understanding Amex Financial Reviews

The American Express Financial Review is a specific process that Amex applies to any of its account holders who they suspect may not be able to pay off their card payments. This allows the bank to minimize risks to itself from potential defaults.

They also don’t want to suffer the consequences of someone maxing out all of their credit cards and then disappearing. This is why account holders need to give their consent to a potential review or account closure when they first apply for a credit card.

Amex will freeze any accounts that you have with them until you can send them documents to prove that your income is the amount you have reported. They will notify you by writing a letter or making a phone call if they have chosen to begin a financial review.

The process will typically involve providing bank statements and tax returns. If you don’t give them any documents, they will simply close your account.

Once they are sure that you’re telling the truth and that your position is secure, they will unfreeze your accounts so that you can continue using your Amex cards as normal. The review will take 2-3 weeks and you will be speaking to a specialist dealing with your case. This is the only person you can speak to until you get an outcome.

There is no guarantee that you will pass a review if you are put through one, but there are ways you can reduce your likelihood of failing and avoid having them in the first place.

Once you know the signs of a possible financial review, some tips on how to reduce the risk of getting them, the ways to deal with them, and the possible outcomes, you will be in a great position to avoid receiving a request for one.

Signs for Financial Review

One of the most common complaints Amex customers have about a financial review is that they can be unpredictable and triggered by minor reasons. But some general activities can cause Amex to suspect you. If you are aware of them you can make sure you’re not engaging in them.

This is worth doing because when you do trigger a review, there are no ways you can get out of it. You have to complete the process for better or for worse. Here is a selection of the most common causes of an Amex financial review.

Overusing the Spending Power Button

The Amex website and mobile app have a Spending Power tool which allows you to check whether large charges to your credit card will be approved or not. All you need to do is enter the purchase amount and you’ll receive an instant decision from American Express.

However, the use of this tool has a daily limit on the number of times you can use it. This is because Amex wants to ensure that none of its cards are being used fraudulently. So if you like the tool and end up using it too many times in one day, you’ll automatically trigger a review.

Too Many Big Purchases at Once

You might see some expensive items you like and want to buy them. But if you make several large purchases over a few days which use up a significant chunk of your credit limit on a new card, then Amex won’t immediately suspect you.

But if that pattern of spending does not match the income you’ve declared, then that can be flagged up as a concern, which can then be the cause of a financial review.

High Credit Limits

If any of your Amex cards have a credit limit greater than $25000, or your overall credit limit from all of your cards combined is greater than $35000, this will trigger an automatic financial review.

Bounced Payments

American Express offers the ability to link your bank account so that you can use it to fund your credit card repayments. But if Amex attempt to take the payment and there is not enough money in your bank account, this will mean the payment gets refused.

And if any payments to Amex are refused, it will cause them to open a review into your account.

Rapid Income Changes

If the salary you declared when you applied for an Amex card and the salary you have one year later is far higher, then this may be a cause for concern. For example, if you applied with a salary of $50000, and a year later your salary is $100000, this is a substantial increase. In such circumstances, American Express will probably want proof of your income. This can be a tax return or pay stub.

Tips to Avoid Financial Review from Amex

Here are 6 key tips to focus on to increase your chances of avoiding an Amex financial review:

Be Careful When Sending Money to Others

If you’re sending money to someone you haven’t had any payment history with, or the sum of money is large, you could be flagged up for a review. This is because Amex will want to make sure that you’re the one in control of your account, especially if you’re sending a lot of money to someone you’ve never sent money to before.

It can also happen if you send several payments in quick succession. To avoid this, you can contact Amex to notify them that you are going to make an unusual payment.

Be Aware of your Normal Spending Habits

Amex requires you to supply your annual income upon applying for any card offers. They also apply credit limits to their credit cards. This helps them to make sure their customers are being honest about how much money they’re earning.

If you break away from your typical spending patterns by spending a lot more than you normally would in a week or month, then this could be seen as abnormal and a reason to investigate. So don’t make purchases that take you far out of your ordinary range, or you’ll quite easily be caught in an Amex financial review.

Notify Issuer of a Large Upcoming Expense

Following on from the above point, if you do have to make an expensive purchase for some reason, then the best way you can avoid a financial review is to notify your credit card issuer about it.

In this case, that would be American Express. If you don’t tell them, then they may assume that somebody has stolen your bank account details and is using your money for fraudulent purposes.

Be Honest About your Income Numbers

The easiest way to keep on top of your finances and avoid any suspicion from Amex is to be completely upfront and clear about the amount of money you earn. This will give Amex the information they need to understand the amount of money you are spending on your credit card.

If you suddenly increase your income from one year to the next, as mentioned in the previous section, this can come across as very concerning.

Meeting Minimum Spend Too Quickly

When you open an account with American Express and receive one of their credit cards, they’ll naturally want you to use it rather than leaving it alone. Often, once you meet the requirements, you unlock rewards and bonuses. But Amex doesn’t want customers to sign up just for the bonuses alone, so they put a minimum spend in place.

However, there is no reason to meet this instantly, as the time limit for meeting it is three months. The way to do this is to spend enough money, but do it gradually across the three months.

Returned Payment

If you lack the money to pay off your statement, then a payment request from Amex could bounce. This means Amex has been unable to receive the payment they are due. This is one of the simplest reasons that people get reviewed, so to avoid it you need to make sure you have enough money to cover the costs.

How to Deal with Amex Financial Review

If you are in the unfortunate position of having to proceed with an Amex financial review, then there are a few ways you can get through the situation without suffering any more trouble than you need to. Here they are:

Be Courteous and Cooperative

The staff at American Express simply have a job to do and will be doing their best to resolve the situation. But they can only do this if you treat them well and help them to help you.

They also have to work in the interests of their finances, just as you do with yours. So although you may be tempted to become aggressive with them, that will not make the situation any better.

Don't Lie

This one is very simple but can be easily forgotten by many people. If you’re trying to get away with something, like not sharing the full details of your finances, then it may not be discovered at the time, but eventually, your lies will come back to hurt you.

That’s because lies always have to be remembered, but the truth has evidence to support it. If documents are requested, then Amex will know if you’ve been lying or not.

Provide Requested Documentation

You will need to give American Express the information that they request from you. If you don’t, then your account will be closed as you won’t pass. Documents usually mean your bank statements and tax returns.

Sometimes you will be asked to fill out a 4506-T form, which authorizes Amex to collect a transcript of your Federal Income Tax Return from the IRS.

Relax

As with any stressful and time-consuming circumstances, the best thing you can do to make everything flow smoothly is to stay calm. You can’t change what’s happening to you, but you can change how you react to it. And if you know all of the tips in this article, and follow them step-by-step, then the situation won’t seem so traumatic.

The Possible Results After Financial Review

There are three potential outcomes for you after your review has been completed. It’s not quite as simple as passing or failing, and this is primarily because there are two ways you can pass. But once you’ve completed it, regardless of whether you pass or fail, you’ll have all the information you need to move on.

FR Passed

If American Express decides that there is nothing suspicious or concerning, that the information you have provided is satisfactory, and that you are not behaving unusually, then you will pass.

This means your accounts will be restored to normal and you can carry on as if nothing happened. You won’t be immune from another one in the future, so you’ll still need to be vigilant and follow the tips in this article.

Review Passed

Sometimes, you will pass the review, but American Express will decide to reduce your credit card limit. This could mean they’re skeptical of your income, or they think that the concerns regarding your finances are only minor. You’ve been given a second chance at this stage, and your credit card limit may rise again in the future.

FR Failed

If you fail, then American Express will close all of your accounts and may even put you on a blacklist preventing you from using their services in the future. This usually happens if you don’t give them any of the required documents, or you ignore their advice. If you avoid these mistakes, it’s unlikely you will fail the review.

Conclusion

You now have a comprehensive list of tips and tactics that will ensure you can take steps to avoid a financial review from Amex in 2020. You will know in advance the signs of an approaching review, and how to deal with one if you haven’t been able to avoid it.

You’ll also know what the available outcomes are. All of these details combined will give you a solid advantage when banking with American Express.

What to do if you Get Rejected for a Chase Credit Card?

What to do if you get rejected for a Chase credit card in 2020?

  • By Anthony Dominguez
  • Last Update: July 3, 2020

Chase Bank offers a wide range of credit cards. Some come with zero fees, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, and others come with fees like the Chase Sapphire Preferred that charges $95 a year. All of them have appealing rewards.

But sometimes when you apply for a card with Chase, you’ll get rejected. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the process so that you know exactly what to do if this happens to you.

How Do You Know If You're Rejected?

Whenever you are rejected for a credit card, American law requires any card issuer to provide what’s called an adverse action notice. This will contain their reasons for rejecting your application. The notice can be provided either by word or in writing, but you can ask for a copy in print.

Some examples include having a low credit score, earning too little money, or lacking a credit history. Their feedback should allow you to improve the next time you apply because the bank will tell you what they disliked. That’s something you can work on.

But beware, because every credit card application you make lowers your credit score slightly. The notice will also include some other information that’s worth being aware of. You’ll be given the name and contact details of the credit reporting agency that was used by Chase.

You’ll be eligible to claim a free credit report within 60 days from that same agency. You’ll have the right to challenge the information that Chase made their decision with. And if it was relevant to their decision, you’ll be told your credit score.

If you are given your credit score, special ‘reason codes’ will be provided which will tell you why that score was not higher. There are dozens of these, and each category is given a different weighting. This means how important it is in terms of your overall score. You can find all the details on them here.

How to Check Application Status?

When you apply for a credit card at Chase Bank, you can do so on the Internet, over the phone, or by mail. The method you use will affect the time it takes to process your application, and anything that is done by physical mail traditionally takes longer than by phone or online.

But if you’re concerned about your application, or you haven’t heard back from Chase in quite a while, you can also check up on your application using these three ways:

  1. You can call Chase on their telephone number, which in the U.S. is 1-800-432-3117. There is no toll to pay and it is available 24 hours a day.
  2. You can log onto their website and do one of two things. Send them an encrypted email, or start a live chat with any available Chase representative.
  3. Or you can send a letter to Chase to the following address: Card Services, P.O. Box 15298, Wilmington, DE 19850.

But before you contact them, there may be some common reasons why your credit card application didn’t get approved immediately. You may have applied for too many credit cards, which violates their 5/24 rule that I’ll tell you more about in the next section.

If you’ve got a high amount of credit with Chase, you could be nearing your overall credit limit. And applying for a small business credit card generally takes more time than a personal card. Or, it could be the simplest reason of all -- you might have made a small mistake on your application.

Chase Reconsideration Line

If you’re in the unfortunate position of having had your credit card application rejected, and you’ve received an adverse action notice as described above, you might want to ask Chase to think again rather than putting yourself through another application process.

Particularly if you’re concerned about your credit score. This is something you can attempt by calling the Chase reconsideration line. This is, in the U.S., 1-888-270-2127. It is open from 7 am to 10 pm EST Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 1 pm EST on Saturday, and from 9 am to 9 pm EST on Sunday. You should do so within 30 days of being rejected.

The reconsideration line given above is the one to call for all of the personal credit cards Chase offer, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Preferred. But if you want to contact the reconsideration line for a business card like the Ink Business Unlimited, the number is 1-800-453-9719 and the opening times are 1 pm to 10 pm EST Monday to Friday.

If you do choose to call the reconsideration line, there are a few things you should do to help your experience go as smoothly as possible:

  • Look for any errors on your application and mention them to the representative, so they can check if they’ve caused any misunderstandings.
  • Offer to reduce your credit limit on other credit cards to free up more credit for a new card. This can encourage Chase to see less risk for them if you get approved.
  • Mention why you’d like to have that specific card, such as any card offers and rewards.
  • Maintain a good attitude and don’t lose your temper. That way everything stays calm.

One thing you don’t want to mention is the sign-up bonus. A card issuer won’t want to provide a credit card to someone who only wants a free bonus.

Chase Rules and Messages

The Rules

Chase has four key rules that you should be aware of. These are the 5/24 rule, 2/30 rule, ‘One Sapphire’ rule, and the intro bonus rule. The 5/24 rule means that if you’ve had more than 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months, you will be rejected for any card in Chase’s personal range.

Business cards are exempt. The 2/30 rule means that you can only apply twice every 30 days or you’ll get rejected. And the ‘One Sapphire’ rule means that you can only have one Chase Sapphire card at any one time as of 2018

Lastly, the intro bonus rule specifies that you can only qualify once every 24 months for intro bonuses on cards from Chase, and once every 48 months for intro bonuses on Chase Sapphire cards.

The Messages

When you apply for a new card from Chase, you will receive some automated messages from Chase. Every applicant will usually receive a 30-day message, which tells you there should be a decision within 30 days. If you want to make sure everything is going well, you can call the automated status line on 1-800-432-3117.

This will provide extra information, so long as you wait at least a few days. Sometimes you might speak to a real person. If the automated call gives you another 30-day message, then you’ll have to keep checking.

If you receive a two-week message, it usually means you’ll get approved. If you receive a 7 to 10 day message, it usually means you’ll be rejected, but not always. If you do get denied, you can at this point call the reconsideration line.

Conclusion

You now know everything you need to do if you fail to get approved for a credit card with Chase. You’ll know when you’ve been rejected, how to check the application status, how to call the reconsideration line if you have not been approved, what rules and messages to look out for, and the answers to some frequently asked questions.

FAQs

In the past, a surveillance security system typically consisted of several cameras connected—either hardwired or wireless— to a digital video recorder (DVR), which recorded the images and displayed them on a closed circuit television (CCTV) or monitor. Nowadays, it’s much easier to have a standalone security camera. Whether you have one camera or several, they work with your home’s internet network to send footage right to your computer or mobile device. Most consumer cameras store data internally, on a removable microSD card, or remotely on the cloud.

The camera’s viewing angle determines how much space the camera will cover. Wide-angle lenses reduce the number of cameras required to monitor your home. Some outdoor security cameras have a wide-angle lens that may show a 360-degree view, but the best security cameras have a view of at least 100 degrees or better.

There are two outdoor security camera designs – dome or bullet-shaped. The dome-shaped outdoor security camera is known to be less obvious to unwelcome visitors because they offer a 360 swivel that makes it difficult to determine their direction. On the other hand, bullet-shaped cameras are more common. They have a cylinder shape that clearly stands out to alert thieves that your home is under surveillance.

If you want to playback your home’s outdoor activity, you’ll need a camera with onboard video storage or cloud recording capabilities. Most cameras with recording capabilities have a built-in secure digital (SD) or microSD slot that allows for sufficient recording space. Once the memory card is full, you’ll need to delete footage or store it elsewhere. Some popular cameras automatically override expired videos, which may not be most ideal if you need to keep a video. On the contrary, some security camera providers offer cloud storage monthly plans to securely store videos on the cloud. You can easily access them anytime, anywhere by signing into your account on your mobile device or using a mobile app.

Amex Gold Card Retention Offers

Amex Gold Card Retention Offers

  • By Anthony Dominguez
  • Last Update: July 3, 2020

The Amex Gold Card is a premium credit card with amazing perks and benefits for everyday use. One of the biggest reasons people enjoy this card is that they offer 50,000 membership rewards points with just $4,000 minimum spend within the first three months.

Moreover, you receive card perks such as 4x membership reward (MR)  points on restaurants and supermarkets, 3x membership reward points on flights booked directly through Amex Travel Express, $120 dining credit per year, and a $100 airline fee credit per year.

The annual fee is on the lower end compared to other premium cards, at $255 annual fee. If you can hit the minimum spend on the welcome bonus combined with points and dining benefits, the value of your credit card will exceed what you’re paying. Not to mention, you can possibly have your first-year annual fee waived! 

With the recent COV-19 pandemic plaguing our world, businesses are closed and traveling isn’t safe. Rather than going through another year of paying a high annual fee to maintain this card, you may want to consider asking for a retention offer to receive additional membership rewards or statement credit toward your annual fee.

What is a Retention Offer?

A retention offer is when card issuers offer the cardholder extra incentives to encourage them to keep their card open instead of canceling or closing their account. These incentives often are membership rewards such as bonus points, cashback, or statement credits.

Credit Card companies just like any business have the goal to retain their customers by keeping them happy.  Typically, retention offers are given to cardholders looking to cancel their card or close their account.

Retention offers exist because credit card companies realize that keeping a customer by throwing in extra bonus points or waiving a fee is much easier than spending money on advertisement to acquire new customers.

Pro Tips to Get a Retention Offer

Here are a few pro tips we suggest to follow if you’re looking to get a card retention offer from American Express.

Call the number on the back of your card

I suggest calling their customer service line during business hours between 8 am and 6 pm. After business hours, American Express typically uses international reps who may not know all of the details. You also won’t be able to receive a retention offer from their online chat.

Get transferred to the Retention department 

Only the team working in the retention department can make the offer. When you first call you might start the conversation with something like this. “Hi, I’m thinking about canceling my card. The annual fee is higher than I’d like and I’m not sure if it’s worth it for me.” If they transfer you to the retention department, that’s perfect. If not, simply ask them to transfer you to their department.

According to Flyer Talk, the direct line to the retention department is 800-452-3945. And their hours of operation are 08:00 -- 23:00 Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

Good Reasons to Cancel 

When you’re on the phone with the retention department, you want to make it sound like you’re still unsure whether or not you should keep the card you already have. Here are a few good scripts you can follow to ensure the best chance for getting a retention offer. 

  • “Hi, I just saw the annual fee posted, and I’m not sure if the card benefits can justify the cost of the fee. Do you have any retention benefits or is there any way to waive the annual fee for the first year, so I can keep the card? 
  • “Currently, I have other premium cards from different card issuers such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. (List any premium charge card) I’m not sure if the benefits on this card are worth it for me.”
  • “I have the Amex Platinum Card and I don’t know if it’ll be worth paying two high annual fees to keep this card open.” (only use this reason if you have the Amex Platinum Card) 

It’s okay to ask them for a better deal if they don’t suggest retention offer themselves. The worst thing they could say is no. 

Call a Few Times 

Not all customer service reps will be fully transparent with you. Sometimes you’ll get a more favorable response from other reps. If you don’t get reviewed approved, simply hang up before they proceed to canceling your account. 

Call again another time of day or a few days later. Repeat the steps above and try calling them three to five times. Don’t call them every few minutes as they probably can track it. 

Different Types of Retention Offers

Retention offers can really sweeten the pot for those who receive lucrative offers. Here are a few common retention offers we’ve seen out there based on the Reddit churning communities and Flyer Talk forum. 

Bonus Points

Similar to the welcome offer, American express may offer you bonus points for a minimum spend. Here are a few examples we’ve seen that have been reported by Amex Gold Card users. 

  • 30,000 Membership Reward points for $4,000 spend within the next three months 
  • 20,000 Membership Reward points for $3,000 spend within the next three months 
  • 15,000 Membership Reward points for $2,000 in spend within the next three months 
  • 10,000 Membership Reward points for $1,500 in spend within the next three months 

Statement Credit

Statement credit is when card issuers offer money credited to your account which reduces the amount of money you owe this year. In the case of the Amex Gold Card, we’ve seen them cover up to 80% of your annual fee. Here are a few examples of the Amex statement credits we’ve seen from reported users.

  • $200 statement credit with $6,000 spend in 3 months
  • $150 statement credit with $3,000 spend in 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after $2,000 spend in 3 months
  • $100 statement credit with no spend requirement.
  • $75 statement credit after $1500 spend in 3 months

We Pick Up the Tip

One of the superior features about the Amex Gold Card compared to other premium cards is their perks of dining out at restaurants. With this offer, American Express will offer you 20% cashback on restaurants up to $225 or $150. The name of this offer is quite fitting since the average tip is about 20% at restaurants.

In terms of value, you’re getting quite a large cashback percentage, however, since it’s only limited to dining, most cardholders value bonus points instead.

Amex Gold Retention Offers - Insights & Patterns

There isn’t a one size fit all when it comes to a retention offer. Generally, if you’ve already received a retention offer from American Express last year, you won’t receive one again this year. However, you may get a retention offer every other year.

After scanning across multiple forums of cardholders sharing their personal experiences about Retention Offers, we wanted to share our insights to help you increase your chances to get a high offer. There doesn’t seem to be an exact science or algorithm to be reviewed approved, however, there are a few indicators we believe to improve your shot.

Increase Spending in 4x MR Categories are Correlated to Higher Offers

It only makes sense that American Express would favor those who spend more money using their Amex Gold credit card. Any business would reward their top paying customers. This makes sense because American Express charges retailers around 3% of each sale, so heavy spenders are very attractive to them.

In the data points, we’ve seen that people who spent $20-$25k spend on their card per year were more likely to see the higher offers of $30,000 points for $4,000 in spend in 3 months. 

Skewed Reporting

Although we’ve looked through many customer experiences, it’s likely those who have received no offers or lower offers wouldn’t want to report their Retention offers.

Previous Retention Won't Disqualify You

According to the AskSebby Community, there were 221 Amex Gold Cardholders who shared their personal experiences; only 9 reported to have a previous retention offer from American Express. Out of the 9 individuals that did have a previous retention offer, 4 of them got another offer.

Obviously, this is an incredibly small sample size, but it still goes to show that it never hurts to ask! Looking at the offers made, it seems that around 88% of surveyors reported being reviewed approved for an offer.

Age of Card Does Matter

We also noticed in these data points that the age of credit card can affect your chances of getting a higher retention offer. Those who only had this credit card for 1 month typically received lower offers such as 15,000 points for $2k spend in 3 months.

While those with an age of 1 year or over were more likely to see higher offers such as 30,000 points for $4,000 spend within 3 months. It’s better to have longer card retention to show American Express, you’re a loyal customer. When asking for an offer, you can even tell them you’ve been a long-time customer and would hate to leave.

A Second Call Doesn't Equate to Higher Offers

We’ve seen across multiple data points that second calls don’t usually result in a higher offer made by American Express. This is probably because the offers made are tracked each time. 

There aren’t any definitive guarantees you can make from the data points presented by cardholders. However, it’s safe to say, owning your card longer and having a higher spend will positively affect the offers you receive.

We don’t see any instances where a person is penalized for having a high spend on their credit card. But there are outliers where people who haven’t spent much still received generous offers. 

Should you Keep the Amex Gold Card?

Now it’s time to weigh your options. You have to crunch in the numbers to see whether or not the rewards exceed the value of the annual fee. If it doesn’t you should not keep your card open anymore. Also, consider the alternative credit cards you might be able to acquire that would be a better fit for you. 

Does Rewards Outweigh Annual Fee?

To cover the annual fee of $250, you need 35,000 Membership Points to equal $250 in value. In my opinion, if you’re able to cash in on the 50,000 points given during the welcome bonus, you’ve already exceeded the cost of annual fees to keep your credit card open for another year. Just for context, if you didn’t hit the sign-up bonus here is what’ll need to spend to exceed the 35,000 points.

  • $4,000 spend on Restaurants (4x points)
  • $4,000 spend on Supermarkets (4x points)
  • $1000 spend on Flights booked through Amex Travel (3x points)
  • $1000 spend on other purchases (1x points)

The total spend is $10,000 within 12 months and equates to 36,000 membership points. Use a points calculator to gauge whether this card would be right for you. If you have passed Year 1 of owning the card, you have to ensure your future spend is worth the membership benefits. It’s important to remember that these purchases are ones that you’re already planning to make.

In other words, you aren’t spending thousands of dollars extra to just hit the required welcome bonus. Otherwise, that wouldn’t be worth your money. If you can’t exceed this spend, then we recommend getting a lower annual fee card by downgrading or a simple cash back credit card where you can earn a desirable cashback rate without the annual fees!

Your Priorities

At the end of the day, deciding whether or not to keep a card depends on your priorities. If you’re someone who prefers travel benefits, you may want to deploy your resources using a card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve which gives 3x points on travel.

This credit card is geared towards restaurant and supermarket shoppers since you get 4x points on up to $25,000 per year spend.

However, in my opinion this card is quite easy to maintain. Without taking points into consideration, you can easily rack up $120 in dining credit, $100 in airline fee credits (spend on checked bags, in-flight refreshments, etc) and a $100 hotel credit when you book through American Express Travel. In total that’s $320 in value.

Amex Gold Card Alternatives

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is easily the most talked about in the credit card churning community. With this card, you have a hefty annual fee at $550, but the perks are very worth it.

Within the first three months of opening your account, you get 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months.

For context, this is worth $750 towards airfare, hotels, cruises, car rents when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card comes with 3x points on travel and dining worldwide which is slightly less compared to the Amex Gold.

However, you get $300 annual travel credit and 50% more in travel redemption. There’s no doubt that Chase Sapphire Reserve is more suitable to traveling while Amex Gold favors rewards on dining.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you’re into spending in the categories of dining, grocery shopping, and entertainment, then this is an excellent alternative to the Amex Gold Card.

The Capital One Savor offers 4% cashback on dining and select entertainment and 2% back on grocery stores.

To make things better, this card has an annual fee of $95. In terms of cashback for dining and entertainment, this card is one of the best in the market.

For its welcome bonus, you receive a $300 cash bonus with a minimum of $3000 spent in the first 3 months. If you can spend $10,000 on this card per year, at 1% cashback, you’ll easily cover your annual fees.

Discover It Cash Back

If you’re the person who enjoys cashback over earning points, then the Discover It Cash Back card might be one of the best options for you. This card has a $0 annual fee, meaning that there isn’t much of a risk or downside.

Cardholders can enjoy 5% cashback on purchases on select categories such as restaurants, grocery stores, online shopping, gas stations, and ride-shares with a quarterly maximum of $1,500.

After hitting $1,500 in cashback, you’ll still earn unlimited 1% cashback afterward. And at the end of your first year, Discover matches the cashback you’ve earned, so you get to double your earnings!

You may even find a welcome bonus such as earning a $150 bonus after spending only $500 on purchases in the first three months.

Let’s say you spend a modest $5,000 per month using this card with a 5% cashback in the required select categories. You’ll earn a total of $6,500 at the end of your first year which includes the 5% cashback, Discover it match feature and the $500 welcome bonus!

Cancelling the Amex Gold

Remember to use up all of your Membership Rewards before canceling the Amex Gold. The other option is to downgrade or transfer the points to other Amex cards such as the Amex Green, Amex Platinum, Amex Everyday or the Amex Blue Business Plus.

Conclusion

Retention offers is an excellent way to squeeze out more benefits from the Amex Gold than originally given. For most people, it’s like getting a mini-welcome bonus again! American Express has a history of being quite generous with their retention offers, so there’s a good chance you can gain additional benefits.

If you don’t get offers, don’t worry. There’s always a chance to try again down the road, downgrade your card or simply replace the Amex Gold with another alternative. Don’t let another year go by without getting any retention offers!

FAQs

If you didn’t get a retention offer, there’s really only two possible choices for you. One is to pay the annual fee to keep the card. The other option is to cancel the card and use up the bonuses before closing your account.

If you decide to keep your card, don’t give up on your chances of getting a retention offer. Credit card companies may just want to see you spend more money on their card year after year.

Yes, you can. In this case, downgrading would allow you to get the Amex Green Card. This card still gives you quite favorable rewards with a slightly cheaper annual fee. This card gives you 3x membership reward points on restaurants, transit, and travel.

It also has a sweet sign-up bonus giving you a whopping 45,000 membership rewards points once you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account. The annual fee is $150. Using the AMEX calculator, we can see that 50,000 points is worth about $350 in regular spending money, but $500 of travel if booked through American Express Travel.

If you can hit the minimum spend, you’re easily making back way more than the annual fee just from the first three months of using the card! We think it’s worth the downgrade if you choose to do so. 

Generally, Amex does not waive their annual fees. However, it never hurts to ask! Just like card retention offers, based on the amount you spend on your Amex card, the length of time you’ve been a cardmember, and other factors, they might be generous to waive it off. Or you could receive a statement credit to give you partial credit towards fees.  In the end, most customer reps want to help you keep the card you already have.

Amex Pay Over Time – How it Works in 2020

American Express has two types of cards to offer – credit cards and charge cards. You may have used their credit cards that come with a credit limit. You have to pay interest if you don’t repay the balance in full every month. Charge cards are different, and the American Express Pay Over Time is one of their charge cards.

 

This is a program Amex customers with charge cards can use. The program offers you the benefits to confidently make purchases, knowing you can pay back the amount over time like with credit cards. In short, the program lets your charge card function as a credit card where the balance amount is carried to the next month.

In other words, it’s more a program that lets you extend your payment by a few months and not a few years. It is better to use the program to cover short term time situations where you won’t be able to fully pay off your bill.

What is American Express Pay Over Time and How Does it Work?

American Express Pay Over Time is one of Amex’s charge cards which gives you a chance to earn rewards. Charge cardholders can use the card to make purchases over some time. They have to make a payment towards the pending balance amount at the end of the period. This is usually on a monthly basis.

However, unlike credit cards, not everyone can get the benefits of a Pay Over Timecard. It’s Amex who first makes a 10,000 bonus offer to their targeted customers for enrollment. These points are worth a considerable amount of money, about $200, tempting anyone to enroll for the card!

This targeted bonus amount offer may vary and is released from time to time. You, however, don’t have to use it just because you want the bonus. While the bonus may seem lucrative, remember that you have to pay the balance in full at the end of every month. The points accrued through the cards are not worth the interest amount you have to pay to get them!

You get a confirmation email once you are approved or otherwise endorsed. This email tells you your Pay Over time limit and interest rate. The interest rate is relatively high and can range anywhere between 14-25%. This means that if you have to carry a balance on a card, it’s better to look for a 0% APR credit card. These cards don’t charge interest, which saves you lots of money.

Rewards Card and Credit Cards

But you may get some special promotional APR rates which give you a reason to use the Pay Over Time system. It, however, is safe if you know you can make a payment towards the entire balance amount by month-end. Remember, you have to pay interest only if you carry a balance to the month.

American Express charges a variable interest for any unpaid balances. However, the good news or benefit is that there are no late fees apply if you pay the minimal amount. Besides, the system has its perks. It gives you a lot of flexibility in paying your eligible charges over time.

You can make payments either in full, only the minimum amount due or any amount in between the minimal and full amounts. It’s recommended to make a full payment because interest accrues only if there is a balance at the end of the month.

You can find out if you are a target customer for the promotion by:

  • Checking for American Express emails. The subject will usually be something like ‘Congratulations (xxx0 You’ve been selected to enroll in a Flexible Payment Option’ or “Congratulations Card Member. You’ve been selected to enroll in a Flexible Payment Option on your Card’.
  • Checking your physical mail for American Express mailers.
  • You know you are not targeted when you receive a message stating that no cards are presently eligible for enrollment.

Eligible Purchases

Most purchases made are eligible. It’s usually charges of $100 or more that are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance every month. You can make a payment towards the balance by the end of the month. There are some accounts where the eligible charges are equal to, or more than $200, $500 or $1000. There however are some terms and conditions set by American Express about eligibility to follow.

The payment of $100 or more should be approved by Amex. Some charges are considered ineligible for Pay Over Time. They include express cash and cash advances, casino and other gambling transactions, Travelers Cheques and other cash equivalents and any pending American Express fees, except for foreign transaction fees.

It’s not possible to charge a purchase to your Pay Over Time balance if it makes your balance exceed your Pay Over Time limit. You can check your account dashboard to know your limit.

Different types of Pay Over Time

Rewards Card and Credit Cards

There are a total of three different Pay Over Time programs to choose from. They are:

Pay Over Time Direct

According to this option, all eligible charges of $100 or more is automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance. You can choose how you plan to make a payment towards balance over time. You have the choice of paying the minimum amount that’s due, the full monthly balance or any amount in between.

Pay Over Time Select

As the name suggests, Pay Over Time Select lets you manually choose and add the eligible charges of $100 or more to your Pay Over Time balance. You then just have to pay the minimum amount due. Of course, if possible, you may pay the entire amount due too or any amount in between.

Pay Over Time Travel

Amex’s Pay Over Time Travel lets you pay all eligible travel-related expenses to be paid over time. These eligible charges can be of any amount, as long as it’s designated by American Express as travel related.

This includes payments made for airline tickets, hotel stays, cruises, car rentals, and foreign country charges. The charges are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance.

Eligible Cards

You may be eligible for the Pay Over Time system and its benefits if you have the following cards:

· Platinum Card from American Express

· American Express Gold Card

· Business Platinum Card from American Express

· Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

· Premier Rewards Gold Card

· Business Gold Rewards Card

Other charge cards are ineligible. You can log into the Amex site or mobile app for more information about eligible cards, benefits, and your limits and balances.

It is interesting to know that it is not your credit-score that determines if you will be sent an invitation. The cards are generally considered to be eligible only after they have been open for three billing cycles.

In other words, it is how you spend, and how long you have maintained your Amex account that is considered. As long as you have not had a massive drain your credit-score, you need not worry about your credit score much. Besides, the benefit of paying overtime isn’t automatic for everyone who has an eligible card. Amex is the final authority on determining your eligibility.

FAQs

Rewards Card and Credit Cards

What is your American Express Pay Over Time Limit?

You have to check your monthly billing statement to learn about your available limit. Amex can, however, get generous at times when it comes to your limit. There have been cases where cardholders have had limits of up to $35,000. Just remember that this limit applies to all charge cards and not only to individual cards.

Amex, however, has the authority to increase or reduce your limit once they get accustomed to how you spend. They, however, will inform you if any changes are made. Besides, any charges that lead to your total balance amount exceeding your Pay Over Time limit has to be paid in full.

Can you Pay Over Time with Amex Gold?

No, it’s not possible to Pay Over Time with this card. This is because the card has the embedded benefit to Pay Over Time.

How to Sign Up for Pay over Time?

No one can just opt to sign up for Pay over Time. You have to be first invited for it by American Express, and even be approved or otherwise endorsed for it.

The rule that Amex generally follows is to select people who have been using their charge cards for a fixed period. It’s usually a few months, about 6 months. This is when they extend an invitation or may even approve of you when you make an application.

There are some rare cases where you may be able to enroll in American Express Pay Over Time much quicker than 6 months. If you are lucky, you may not even have spent much on your AmexCard for eligibility. This is a situation where YMMV, which is the acronym for Your Mileage May Vary, is applicable.

This varies based on each cardholder’s terms and conditions, absence of clear-cut approval requirements or if the offer is available for a short time to selected people. The best way to find out if you are an eligible candidate is by visiting the Amex website. There have been cases where Amex has automatically endorsed and enrolled some people into the program. So keep checking because you never know when you may be one of the lucky few!

Conclusion

The Pay Over Time program is indeed a great way to earn rewards. So keep watching your email because you never know when you may get invited to join the program. The program lets you make purchases that you can pay over a fixed period.

There is no need to worry about paying interest as long as you pay the entire amount at the end of the month. In fact, American Express Pay Over Time is a great credit option if you are financially stretched one month, and need emergency funds. This is better than taking the risk of falling into credit card debt because it’s cheaper.