Thursday, September 24, 2009

American express credit card offer

I got an interesting letter in the mail this week. It was a credit card from American Express. It had a $3000 credit limit on it.

It seems to be linked to Costco. It's strange because I didn't apply for any credit card when I joined. They must have some agreement with Amex I guess. I noticed when I joined as part of the sign up they ask your approximate annual income. I guess Amex takes that stated income as close enough to truth when determining how much credit to offer.

I didn't have to accept the card since I didn't ask for it. So I had to make a decision. I thought about it for a bit and I threw out the card instead of activating it.

I already have a Visa and Mastercard. Although the credit limits are low relative to income and financial situation I imagine they'll increase on their own over time. If I wanted more I could just ask and they might increase it. But I don't want more right now. I have no balance and all the available credit card capacity I need at this time.

American Express is not what it used to be. I remember in the 70s when it was a charge card; a concept I still cannot fully grasp. Anyway back then it was prestigious to have the green American Express card. It was hard to get.

But then things changed with Amex. The charge card gave way to the common vulgar credit card. High income, sterling credit, rare default, classy clientele were largely displaced with pedestrian credit card people, the subprime sheeple.

Amex today with its credit cards is just another loser American wall street firm like MBNA. In fact they are today a "bank" who received TARP handouts from the US taxpayer to cover their losses on bad loans. I don't respect them any more. Speaking of being asked to cover for irresponsible loans they made in the past, the interest rate on the Amex card was a hefty 20%. Interesting since they borrow from the government at 0%.

So thanks but no thanks American express.

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