I am a 19 yo student with around $30,000 annual income. I have a relatively good credit score that fluctuates around 740. I have 3 cards I actively use and pay off as well as 2 small loans I made for credit diversity. Should I apply for the Amex Platinum Card (I currently have an Everyday Card with them and it says I’m pre-qualified for the Platinum)?
Hi @adelmed! Sounds like you’ve done a great job laying the groundwork for good credit.
The first question I’d ask is whether you’d use the Amex Platinum enough to justify its $550 annual fee. The Platinum card is a great card, but it is a premium card for frequent travelers. The bulk of its value comes in the form of rewards and perks for travelers — 5X points on flights and hotels, airport lounge access, elite status at hotels, various travel and shopping credits, etc. With your income, you’d be dropping the equivalent of a week’s pay on the annual fee. That’s a lot to pay unless you’re traveling enough to get at least that much value back in the form of perks.
Beyond that, the Platinum card is a charge card, not a credit card, and charge cards have less of an effect on your credit score than credit cards do. This is worth keeping in mind if your interest in Platinum is mostly for credit-building purposes. With a charge card, your entire balance is due in full every month. You can’t carry a balance from one month to the next, like with a credit card. As a result, the balance on your Platinum card isn’t considered in your credit utilization, which is a key component in your credit score. That’s not to say using a charge card doesn’t affect your score at all: Your payment history will still be reported.
Hi @adelmed! @paul laid out all the key questions for you and I would just add one more thing to consider. You mentioned that you have been pre-qualified for the Platinum; perhaps that is what made you start thinking about this question in the first place.
While it can feel like a positive sign of creditworthiness to be pre-qualified, we as consumers get pre-qualified for things all of the time that are not necessarily smart choices for us. We might be able to pre-qualify for a much bigger mortgage than would make sense for our budget or for far more credit cards than we could ever need. But being pre-qualified doesn’t mean it’s the right choice so sometimes it can make more sense just to ignore those offers.
Whether it’s the right choice in this situation has a lot to do with whether the rewards you would earn justify the fee, to echo Paul.
Ok, with it being a charge card, that puts me off. What would you recommend for a cheap travel rewards card to rack up points with everydag purchases and occasional big expenditures?
We have a great list here that is up to date and can help you find the best card for you, given how you spend and what rewards you want to earn:
I hope that helps!