Amex will stop to require signature next April

American Express today announced it is eliminating the requirement for merchants to collect Card Members’ signatures for all purchase transactions at the point of sale beginning in April 2018. The move, which applies globally to all American Express-accepting merchants, will help provide a more consistent and simplified checkout experience for merchants and Card Members in regions around the world, speed up the process of paying in store and help reduce merchants’ operating expenses associated with retaining signatures.

The elimination of American Express’ signature requirements will apply to purchase transactions of all amounts at the point of sale. American Express is the first payment network to announce this change globally, expanding previous policy changes it has made in various regions. For example, American Express has already eliminated signature requirements for transactions at the checkout that are under $50 in the U.S., under $100 CAD in Canada, and under £30 in the U.K. In regions outside the U.S. where signatures are already less common, this change can help provide a more consistent checkout experience for Card Members traveling from countries where signatures are more common. Once this change takes effect in April 2018, merchants will still have the option to collect Card Members’ signatures at the point of sale if they choose to do so, and must continue to collect signatures if they are required to do so by applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.

Mastercard and Discover made similar announcements, all with the same April 2018 timeline for implementation.

Credit card 101: all about Chase 5/24 rule

Since May 2015, Chase applied so-called ‘5/24 rule’ to its credit card application: if you have 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months, you will get rejected directly, no matter how good your credit score is.

  • Details about 5/24 rule.

In the 5/24 policy, the new accounts include ALL the credit cards appeared on your credit report in the past 24 months, which means that credit cards or charge card issued by other banks are included.
Fortunately, the new account that didn’t be added to your credit report does not count. At the situation, Chase can’t see the unreported new card even if it pulls your credit report. For example, American express new accounts are usually reported to credit bureaus after 2 statements. So if you keep more than 5 new cards while those extra cards haven’t been reported, you should hurry up and apply. But this doesn’t work for the new cards approved by Chase itself. Remember, the closed cards that opened within 24 months are also counted.
A ridiculous thing is that Authorized user counts toward the 5 new accounts limit. Sometimes adding an authorized user does not need SSN, but the credit bureau is still able to locate you based on the name, birthday and other information, and add the information of an authorized user to your credit report. So if someone has added you as an authorized user, remember to check your credit report before applying for a new card of Chase. If you get a rejection, when calling reconsider line, you can ask the Customer Service Representative to drop the accounts which you only are an authorized user when counting the number.

  • How to bypass the 5/24 rule?

There are three methods now can bypass 5/24 rule:
In branch pre-approved offer can bypass the 5/24 rule. Note that online pre-approvals don’t work.
Online bank “Your offers” can bypass the 5/24 rule.
A mail offer with an RSVP code can bypass the 5/24 rule.
Chase did NOT apply the 5/24 rule to all of its credit cards. Following are the cards affected by 5/24 rule

  • Cards affected by 5/24 rule.

•Chase Slate
•Chase Freedom
•Chase Freedom Unlimited
•Chase Sapphire Preferred
•Chase Sapphire Reserve
•Chase Marriott
•Chase UA Explorer
•Chase UA Club
•Chase Southwest Plus
•Chase Southwest Premier

American Express CEO Will Be Replaced

American Express’ CEO Kenneth Chenault will be replaced by Stephen Squeri who has been vice chairman since 2015 on February 1st, 2018. Squeri’s previous positions at American Express have been as follows:

  • July 2015-current: Vice chairman and led the Business-to-Business group
  • November 2011 to July 2015: President of Global Corporate Services at American Express
  • October 2009 – November 2011:  Group President of Global Services
  • October 2009 – November 2011  Chief Information Officer and
  • May 2005 to October 2009: Executive Vice President

Chenault stepping down shouldn’t come as a surprise due to American Express falling share price since the loss of the Costco portfolio.

American Express Makes Changes To Centurion Lounge Access (No day pass)

American Express is making changes to its Centurion Lounge access policy. Starting Monday, October 2, access to the Centurion Lounges will be an exclusive benefit for our premium customers – Platinum Card and Centurion Members. Other American Express Card Members will no longer be able to purchase day passes for the lounges.

The guest policy for Platinum Card and Centurion Members remains the same. Platinum Card Members can enter any Centurion Lounge with up to two guests, and Centurion Members may enter with up to two guests or immediate family at no additional charge. Platinum and Centurion Card Members can continue to purchase day passes for any additional guests.

Amex Delta Reserve Card signup bonus has been increased

American Express increased Amex Delta Reserve Card signup bonus- 40,000 Delta miles and 10,000 MQM (Medallion Qualification Miles) after spending $3,000 within 3 months.

Key feature of the card:

  • Spend $30,000 or more in a calendar year you receive 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 MQM; Spend $60,000 or more you’ll earn an additional 15,000 bonus miles and an additional 15,000 MQM.
  • Get 2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases.
  • $25,000 spend across all American Express Delta cards currently results in a MQD waiver through Diamond Medallion.
  • Delta Sky Club access, but can’t bring guest for free.
  • Companion Certificate (domestic first class or main cabin round trip companion)
  • $450 annual fee.

In our opinion, unless you need MQM to get or keep your Medallion elite status, this card doesn’t worth to apply. You could apply Delta Gold Card and Delta Platinum Card to get signup bonus and benefits such like free first checked bag, priority boarding and so on.

If you’re interesting in  lounge access, you could apple Amex Platinum Card

American Express Delta cardholders can borrow miles for six months

American Express has launched a new program for Delta cardholders called Fly Now, Earn Later. This allows American Express Delta cardholders to borrow miles and then earn them back over a period of six months. The amount of miles you can borrow is tied to your spending patterns. If at the end of the six month period you have any remaining miles still owing you pay 2.5¢ per mile.


Get free $10 Kohl’s Case with Discover Card

Discover cardholder can get $10 off $30 any Kohl’s purchase. The minimum spend requirement isn’t actually enforced since the $10 code is applied like Kohl’s cash. It’s therefore possible to get up to $10 of stuff for free. Get the offer with following steps:

  • Log into Discover
  • Click Redeem Rewards
  • Go to the Discover Deals tab
  • Search for Kohl’s
  • Pick “Kohl’s” (not “Kohl’s online”)
  • You’ll see your unique Kohl’s code for $10 off

Updated news on merge of Marriott and SPG. Will the SPG card discontinue?

Leeny Oberg, Marriott’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, gave an update at the Goldman Sachs Lodging, Gaming, Restaurant and Leisure conference yesterday, noting what challenges lay ahead for the two brands. Ultimately, Oberg said that they expect to bring the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs together by the end of 2018, however, she noted that it’s an ambitious timeline and the company’s “not promising” that it’ll be completed by then.

So far, neither Marriott nor Starwood has made any official statement on the future of Amex SPG card. We might take a look at the trade between Amex and Citibank again. Before Amex officially discontinued the card and Citi took over, the Amex Costco card actually stopped accepting new applications a few weeks before that. Will this happen again on SPG card?