American Express verse Visa and Master Card
Info: 1. As of 2009, 48.9 million Americans have an American Express Card. Visa has 270 million members, Visa debit has 382 million members, and Master Card credit has 203 million members, and Master Card debit has 125 million members.
2. American Express tries to persuade people that a charge card is superior to a credit card. The AMX charge card’s account is settled up every month claiming “you never have to pay any finance charges.” Finance charges will apply until you have your balance paid off. The AMX Annual percentage rate is the Prime rate plus 11.99% in 2010.
3. The American Express card is marketed as a luxury good card. Originally, only 253,000 people had an AMX card. As of 2006, there were 173 million credit card holders in the United States and expected to grow to 181 million by 2010 with a total of 1.5 billion cards. Total charges are $1,950 billion. (Reference Link)
4. Debit and Prepaid cards have large transaction amounts: Visa $1.18 trillion and Mastercard, $450 billion as of 2009.
5. American Express holds the number one position for market share for general purpose cards. (Reference Link)
6. Many online Merchants don’t like American Express because of the fixed transaction costs. However, consumers owning an AMX card are claimed to spend 30 to 40% more on purchases per transaction. AMX is a closed loop system. (Reference Link)
7. American Express Platinum card entitles the owner to 1. $10,000 purchases protection per occurrence and $50,000 total per cardholder per year 2. A travel counselor and concierge service 3. Itemized record of activity at the end of each year 4. Priority treatment at hotels and restaurants and access to amenities; access to collection of fashion, jewelry, watches, sports cars, and luxury goods. 5. Complimentary nonresident membership in 26 exclusive private centurion clubs. 6. Access airport lounges (American Airlines Admirals Club, Continental Airlines Presidents club, Delta Crown Room Club, and Nortwest Airlines WorldClubs) 7. Roadside assistance 8. Global assist hotline 9. 90 day, return protection up to $300 per item for a max of $1000. 10. Rental car loss or damage. 11. No pre-set spending limits 12. Membership in the incircle points program to be spent on future gifts or purchases. (You must be a member of the Membership Rewards First program. You must have an income greater than $100,000 and a high credit score. The Platinum card has a annual fee of $450) (Reference Link)