Make The Most Of Your American Express Credit Card
Are AmEx cards more versatile than other major credit card brands?
American Express has an impressive portfolio of credit card products that cater to a large consumer base. American Express began its illustrious history by offering a unique “no credit limit” purchasing card which allowed their customers to charge as much as they wanted during a 30 day period as long as they paid the balance in full at the end of the term. This model virtually eliminated the main revenue stream associated with most credit card business models -- interest. This enabled American Express to establish a unique business model that generated revenue by charging fees, most notably an annual fee. While American Express has added a host of interest charging credit card products to its lineup, the annual fee still exists for many of its cards, leading many to wonder if there are benefits to owning an American Express credit card.
Leverage the annual fee against the interest rates of other cards. While many consumers have become accustomed to carrying no annual fee credit cards, most don’t realize that the absence of this fee is oftentimes translated into a higher interest rate. While this does not affect consumers that pay their balance in full every month, those that choose to carry a balance may end up paying more over time. The reason for this is because the annual fee is a static, one time per year fee that does not vary based on your use (or non-use) of your card or based on your spending /payment habits.
Compare the spending power of the American Express card against other card products. One thing to consider is that there are many more businesses that choose to accept a Visa or Mastercard branded credit card over an American Express credit card. It actually costs a business more to accept an AmEx card than the other popular cards out there. So you'll have to weigh the fact that carrying an American Express credit card may be a more cost effective card than other credit cards, but may be less accepted by merchants.
Compare other product offerings by various credit card issuers. American Express is a large financial company that is a one stop shop that can address many of your financial needs. It has a wide variety of financial products that are available to their customers including travelers checks, brokerage services, financial planning, etc, making this company a convenient source of financial services and products. While all of these services are made available by other financial institutions, AmEx makes it easy to take advantage of these products by linking your credit card account to the services you want, and may also offer these services at a discount.
The American Express of today is not the American Express of your parents. With a portfolio of credit card products that can cater to just about any credit card customer and a wide range of financial products aimed at helping you secure your financial future, you could make a pretty smart decision by opting for an American Express card.