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AMEX charge cards versus credit cards

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aschmid

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In the light of AMEX having released the new Platinum Credit Card - which has been discussed in another thread - I am considering changing from my Gold Charge Card.

I am a bit unclear though to a basics as to what's the difference is between the a charge card and a credit card despite the different benefits the cards offer.

I know the standard answer is that you pay off a charge card every month and you don't have to do that with a credit card. As I pay of my card anyway every month this point is kind of irrelevant for me.

Does anybody know if there is any significant difference between a charge card and a credit card that might not be so obvious that would warrant to keep a charge card rather than switch to a credit card?

It also seems that AMEX around the world offers mostly charge cards, whereby AMEX Australia seems to have the largest portfolio of credit cards.
 

oz_mark

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There are differences in the benefits attached to the cards. For example, the gold charge card offers several insurance and protection features not offered on the credit card (Buyer's Advantage, Overseas Travel Insurance,Travel Inconvenience Cover, Purchase Protection, Refund Protection, Transport Accident Cover, Global Assist, Express Cash, Worldwide Customer Care)

Amex have a page where you can select various cards to compare features:
http://www.americanexpress.com/australia/personal/cards/benefits/compare.shtml
 

swissbignose

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gaia said:
Also credit card has a limit whilst charge card does not.
From what I understand, AMEX do occasionally impose a limit, at least for businesses. I don't know whether this is a mechanism to avoid fraud.
 

straitman

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swissbignose said:
gaia said:
Also credit card has a limit whilst charge card does not.
From what I understand, AMEX do occasionally impose a limit, at least for businesses. I don't know whether this is a mechanism to avoid fraud.
Correct as I've seen it applied a few times. 8) 8) 8)
 

oz_mark

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straitman said:
swissbignose said:
gaia said:
Also credit card has a limit whilst charge card does not.
From what I understand, AMEX do occasionally impose a limit, at least for businesses. I don't know whether this is a mechanism to avoid fraud.
Correct as I've seen it applied a few times. 8) 8) 8)
American Express somehow form an opinion, I guess based on card usage, about your ability to repay the card.

I know my Diners Club has a limit on it, apparently due to it not being activated correctly and their inability to contact me!!! (I am not sure they tried too hard)
 

morbo

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Jun 3, 2005
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I think its based on your monthly spend / exposure rate. The higher monthly spend you have, the greater 'limit' you'll have.
If you do need to make a big purchase, i've been told by amex to give them a call first so they know to approve it. Depending upon how big it is, amex may ask for proof of having the ability to pay for it.

But then again, a cc is the same. You can only apply for a credit limit after six months (?) and it depends on your previous activity. If you been hitting close to your limit for the past few months, it is more than likely that they increase your limit.

One thing weird about the platinum is that although you pay more, you dont have a year end breakdown or have extended warranty like the gold charge. Hmm...
 

clifford

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[quote="oz_markI know my Diners Club has a limit on it, apparently due to it not being activated correctly and their inability to contact me!!! (I am not sure they tried too hard)[/quote]

Yes, the phone lines fom Bombay are a bit iffy (and I'm not joking).

:}
 

aschmid

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May 13, 2005
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It seems from the replies that there is not really any difference between a charge card and a credit card. The most important things is the benefits on the card you need to look out for.

I like the Platinum because it's an all in one package. It's $395 but I hope they don't bother me anymoer after that. With the Gold Charge Card they seemed to charge you here and there. I pay $130 for the main card, $69 for the supp card and $59 for the rewards program. That's already $258 nicely hidden in various charges and I don't think I found them all!

Example of another nicely hidden one is the complimentary credit card supp card fee. I called them sometimes to check on the complimentary credit card they offer for charge card holders. Yes it's free! And what about a supplementary credit card for my wife. No sir we charge you for that - that I already pay $69 for supp charge card doesn't interest them at all.

I guess I give the Platinum credit card a try as I can't really see any major difference to the charge card, of course some benefits might be different. However hopefully the $395 is all I need to pay and there are no hidden charges as we go along.
 
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