You may already own a Visa or MasterCard but chances are you are still interested in an American Express credit card. Known as AMEX, this is one of the most popular credit cards and is very different from other cards on the market today.
Neither MasterCard nor Visa issue credit themselves. They use banks to issue the cards for them, provide the actual credit and charge the interest rate. Those popular credit logos represent methods of payment only and the payment and other terms on these accounts can vary widely.
Own Payment System
American Express credit card has its own payment system and issues cards directly to consumers. AmEx (also used as AMEX) runs the credit show for their cards. When you see their logo you know what the payment system is and everything you need to know about that account.
AMEX is constantly expanding its reach and its network. While Visa and MasterCard are considered to be global credit cards with over twenty-five million locations where they can be used worldwide, American Express does not yet have that global reach.
Before applying for a Visa or Mastercard account you need to compare offers from dozens if not hundreds of banks to find the best terms and interest rate as well as the lowest fees charged. For the American Express credit card you need only go to their website to see exactly what they have to offer you – what the annual percentage rate (APR) is for accounts and what limit they are willing to give you.
In North America and Europe the AMEX logo carries a certain status for consumers. AMEX is known as an account that requires payment in full monthly and that doesn’t accept just anyone as a user. American
Express rewards program is very lucrative, the interest rates on the card are great, and it is recognized for having the best customer service in the credit industry.
The Monthly Full Payment Makes The Difference
It is the monthly full payment requirement that sets AMEX apart. For both the Gold and Platinum cards the monthly payment in full and account fee after the first year allow low interest to be charged. In response to public demand the Optima and Optima Platinum cards were introduced in 1994. This added a card where balances could be carried from month to month and was instantly successful.
The newest addition to the AMEX family of credit is the American
Express Blue Sky Card. This card comes with security features and include extensions of manufacturer warranties, reduction or payment of your account in the event of job loss or other life changing event, no annual fee and a 0% APR for the first year. That year may be extended for those with great credit.
American Express Credit Card is One of The Most Trusted
In the world of credit cards, AMEX is one of the most trusted providers. The ability to centralize their accounts with one set of requirements and standardized terms and interest rates avoids the charges of predatory lending practices often levied at Visa and Mastercard providers.
The solid business practices of American Express have often insulated it from market downturns but the collapse of the housing market has affect AMEX stock prices. Customers of American Express are often the more affluent homeowners and that group has been hard hit with job losses and loss of property values.
Even so, this company has been below the average percentage of defaults for the credit industry and has recently posted higher than expected profits.