9 Reasons To Own An AMEX Card
Whenever you’re signing up for a credit card in Singapore, apart from the bank you’re choosing to sign up with, there are three options for payment gateways for you to consider.
The big question is: AMEX, VISA or MASTERCARD?
You might not even blink twice when signing up for cards with different payment systems when it comes to Visa and Mastercard, but throw American Express (AMEX) into the mix and you will see that there are actually big differences between the three.
Here’s the first main difference: Visa and MasterCard don’t issue their own credit cards. Visa and Mastercard cards tie up with banks and do not have to deal with the end clients directly. Whenever you purchase something with your credit card, Visa and Mastercard simply help to process this transaction between the bank and store owner.
They then take a cut off this transaction, which is how they make money.
American Express, on the other hand, actually issues the credit cards and finances such payments as well as makes the transfer. This is why they typically have slightly higher fees and a more hands on approach with their customers.
The History Of AMEX
American Express started almost two hundred years ago. In 1850s, it was first an express mail business before evolving to offer financial services within the same decade.
In the financial sphere, started off with travellers cheques, then it moved into investment banking. It was only in 1984 that they first started offering charge card services. Back then, it competed with the likes of Diner’s Club, Visa and Mastercard.
Today, AMEX continues to dominate a fair share of the market and is one of the world’s most valuable companies, estimated to be worth US$18.358 billion.
Why do people use AMEX if it costs more?
The answer is simple. Since it is an independent entity, American Express can determine its own interest rates, fees and payment schedules. This means that its fees are not subjected to the various banks different fee structures.
This is a model that many of its users prefer. Its popularity has grown so much that its credit cards accounted for 22.9% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US in 2016.
In fact, the company had 109.9 million cards in force by the end of 2016, including 47.5 million cards in the United States alone, each with an average annual spending of US$17,216.
So if you’re considering getting an AMEX card, here are 9 good reasons to own an AMEX card:
1. It is a premium card
Most American Express cardholders belong to the affluent consumer segment, which makes the card quite exclusive. You have to reach a certain pay grade to qualify to become an AMEX cardholder. According to AMEX, their cardholders average 60% higher incomes than non-Amex customers, and are more likely to charge everyday purchases than pay cash. Being part of this exclusive income segment gives its cardholders that premium over holding other cards.
2. Elite status for other membership programmes
The brand also revealed that American Express customers tend to spend more (compared to other cardholders). Based on this spending pattern, the company’s reward programmes are tailored based on spending threshold incentives. For example, in the US, holders of AMEX’s Delta-branded cards can be eligible for elite status with the airline if they simply charge US$25,000 to their cards in a year. Since this is a pretty low target to hit, it is a given that most AMEX cardholders will qualify for it.
Looking for a credit card that earns you miles? Learn more about the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card.
3. Its point system is flexible
AMEX cardholders also receive concierge services, fine dining deals, and exclusive tickets to concerts and sporting events. The points earn rate is generous, with cards earning 1 point per S$1 spent. You can also use these points to pay for your purchases in the future.
4. You will experience the best customer service for the industry
Amex was ranked highest in customer satisfaction six years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates Survey for interaction and rewards. While it is accepted in fewer establishments, Amex gets high marks for communicating with customers about services and changes.
5. Be part of AMEX Exclusive Events and Experiences
Want to gain access to by-invitation only events? Then holding an American Express card is a sure way for you to get into events like those. It also gives you access to luxury yachts and premium country clubs. If you have always wanted to be part of the members-only Tower Club Singapore located on the penthouse floors of Republic Plaza, then an AMEX card is your golden ticket.
6. AMEX rewards its cardholders like no other
Sure, you can redeem your points for countless luggages, Tupperware and other household items with other cards… but when AMEX says rewards, they really mean rewards. You can get up to 30% off charter fees with Lloyd Marine for your next yacht party. Preferential rates can get you a yacht from as low as S$2,000.
7. AMEX is widely accepted throughout Singapore
American Express, contrary to popular belief, is actually a rather widely accepted card, especially in Singapore. Utilise your AMEX for everyday expenses at places like Harvey Norman, SPC petrol outlets, Ajisen Ramen, Missha, Naiise, Reebonz and more.
Do you shop frequently at CapitaLand malls? Then consider the American Express CapitaCard.
8. AMEX also has great online perks
Do you enjoy shopping online? American Express can also be a great partner for your online shopping needs. For instance, the American Express True Cashback Card allows you to earn 1.5% Cashback on any spend, anytime with no maximum cap. Buying stuff from the US and shipping to Singapore via comGateway? Get an exclusive 20% off your shipping with an AMEX card.
9. Gain access to a luxurious travel experience
Free travel insurance, free lounge access, travel credits, car rental savings, free hotel upgrades and the list goes on and on. Plus, you’re automatically eligible for complimentary Starwood Gold Elite Status where you’ll get late checkout, upgrades and bonus points when staying at any Starwood hotels.
Disclaimer: All credit card information is accurate at time of writing and should only be used as a reference. For the latest promotions, benefits, and terms and conditions, please refer to the respective credit card companies’ websites.