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  • FIRST POST
    • Jlawson118
    • By Jlawson118 9th Oct 17, 2:08 PM
    • 844Posts
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    Jlawson118
    Is AMEX worth the yearly fees?
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:08 PM
    Is AMEX worth the yearly fees? 9th Oct 17 at 2:08 PM
    I know many people, particularly with the Gold Card that is free for the first year, sign up for the membership points and then downgrade again.

    I've had just a basic Membership Rewards Card since around February when I started a new job. I lost the job but kept the card open and it's safe to say I'm in a much better place financially to what I was even back then.

    If all goes to plan, I'll hopefully be travelling a good few times next year and I've been looking at the Gold card. I'm tempted by the 20,000 points incentive if I spend £2000 within three months, which I will probably do easily with Christmas coming up. The benefits seem good, but worth £140 after next year? I don't really think so, but I could be wrong.

    I would be tempted to claim the incentive, and within six months downgrade to the Green Card for £60 for the year. But again, is the £60 really worth it?

    With this in mind, with the two being charge cards, AMEX state that there's no limits, just pay in full each month. In which I do with all of my credit cards all of the time anyway so this isn't a problem. But I'm wondering if there are any kind of limits? Currently I have £2000 limit with them, although I'll be buying a new car in a few months, and it'll be new, if the dealership where I end up choosing accept AMEX, I'd want to use it and claim a good few thousand points, but I'll be getting a new one ordered, and paying in full, so we all know that doesn't come cheap
    Last edited by Jlawson118; 09-10-2017 at 2:11 PM.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 9th Oct 17, 2:11 PM
    • 14,403 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:11 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:11 PM
    Only you can answer that question.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 9th Oct 17, 2:22 PM
    • 7,312 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:22 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:22 PM
    Which of the benefits of the card would you use?

    How much would those benefits cost otherwise?

    Are the points worth having for your lifestyle?

    I never thought I'd get any value out of paying £450 for an AMEX Platinum but a change in health and life plans has made it an absolute bargain. Or at least the help yourself Bollinger in the American Airlines lounge in Chicago did!
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 9th Oct 17, 2:33 PM
    • 2,783 Posts
    • 1,850 Thanks
    jpsartre
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:33 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 2:33 PM
    It'll be worth it to some people, not worth it others. Depends entirely on how you much you'll spend on the card and how much you value the points and other perks.
    • bengalknights
    • By bengalknights 9th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    • 4,182 Posts
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    bengalknights
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 3:44 PM
    Its really down to how you use it, travellers tend to prefer platinum card because of the extra perks

    Spenders gold because of the MR points
    • hotwheels
    • By hotwheels 31st Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    • 213 Posts
    • 1,885 Thanks
    hotwheels
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    cancel the card just before and take out a new one in 6 months time and get the 22,000 points again (when referred) in the mean time, if it's been 3 months since applying for your gold card open a BA amex card for more points (again get someone to refer you and you get even more points-i can refer you) and start earning points on that too. you can also get a2-4-1 voucher, which entitles you to take a mate on BA for the cost of the taxes, and you can pay with your points you've earned!
    Your gold points can also go towards the BA pot to maximise the balance so you can travel in business or first.
    • chattychappy
    • By chattychappy 31st Oct 17, 9:03 AM
    • 6,445 Posts
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    chattychappy
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 17, 9:03 AM
    • #7
    • 31st Oct 17, 9:03 AM
    I've dipped in and out of Amex over the years. You mention travelling alot - the one thing you don't want to be doing is putting foreign spend onto it because of the 2.99% loading. I suppose if you are reclaiming from your company and don't care about them paying more than they need to, then it could be worth it.

    If you fly long haul alot, then plan ahead. Try to travel on the same airlines/group (Star Alliance, SkyTeam, OneWorld) and join a programme to collect your points - ideally one that Amex (or another card) allows you to transfer miles into. Bear in mind that miles you get from spend are relatively small compared those you get from flying - unless you are shorthaul, or always flying in the most discounted economy.

    The Amex Platinum worked well for me for a while because the insurance covered other cardholders (not just my family) and I got lounge access. For a while I never spent on it - just those benefits alone justified the fees. But after a while I cancelled it because 1) I was flying more in business class and got gold membership of airline programmes - so got lounge access anyway (even in Economy) and usually better lounges than the Priority Pass lounges via Amex, and 2) Pre-existing medical conditions began to exclude my co-travellers. I preferred to buy travel insurance directly and one that suited our needs.

    It can take hours if not days to work out which way of doing things when flying frequently. If you travel infrequently and are "poor", then it makes sense always to fly with the cheapest airline on the cheapest ticket. If you are "rich", it is also simple. You fly direct routes in a premium cabin. But if you're in the middle - eg frequent economy traveller - then it really is worth juggling the numbers to eek out the best value.

    https://www.flyertalk.com/ is a useful reference for frequent flying.

    In summary, I would only pay an Amex fee if the direct benefits work out for you - principally lounge access and insurance.

    On the question of credit limits, they do have a limit and can restrict the card any time they like. From their online system you can check your "purchasing power" by typing in a figure and it will tell you whether they would likely authorise such an amount. They don't actually tell you what the limit is. If you try this feature more than a couple of times they block it for a while.
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 31st Oct 17, 10:31 AM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 1,863 Thanks
    Candyapple
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 17, 10:31 AM
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 17, 10:31 AM
    With this in mind, with the two being charge cards, AMEX state that there's no limits, just pay in full each month. In which I do with all of my credit cards all of the time anyway so this isn't a problem. But I'm wondering if there are any kind of limits? Currently I have £2000 limit with them, although I'll be buying a new car in a few months, and it'll be new, if the dealership where I end up choosing accept AMEX, I'd want to use it and claim a good few thousand points, but I'll be getting a new one ordered, and paying in full, so we all know that doesn't come cheap
    Originally posted by Jlawson118
    How much are you planning to spend on your new car? However much it costs, do you have this amount in savings? Because if you plan to use the Amex Gold to pay for it, you'll need to clear the entire balance at the end of the month.

    I don't think there are many dealerships who accept Amex because of their high merchant fees.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
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