So my wife cancelled the card cos they charged her the annual fee.
Previously if this happened, I would be the next person who applied for the card so we can continue to utilize the promotions.
Now, I'm unemployed so I can't apply...
Or can I?
So I thought about all those old retired folks with money...
Does that mean they cannot apply for credit card?
Sounds strange right? How can someone who is retired who maybe has a lot of money and yet they cannot apply for credit cards?
Cannot be right?
So I tried my luck and called Amex pretending to be a rich retired guy.
"I used to have an Amex card when I was employed, but I cancelled it and now I'm like semi retired. Is there anyway I can apply for a credit card based on my investments or AUM?"
Well, the usual customer service can't help here. They redirected me to the "new cards department" and the folks there helped me out. They aren't as friendly as the Customer service folks, cos I think they just do processing and don't really take calls.
Here's what they told me.
Well. I could get a credit card IF I showed passive income of at least $30,000.
Dividend, Interest, coupon, rental, whatever.
Alternatively, I could get a banker's guarantee for minimum $10,000.
Either would work.
So I asked them, what about AUM? (Assets under management)
Is it only income? What IF I had $1.5 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares?
They don't give dividend, does that work?
$1.5 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares and I don't get a credit card.
But $250k worth of high yield bonds at 12% coupon rate, I can get a credit card???
Doesn't make sense, but I'm not there to argue with them so I left it at that.
They asked me which card I was interested in so that they could send me the requirements.
I told them the Amex Platinum card and they added, "Oh that card has an annual fee of $3xx which cannot be waived."
And I was like, wait a minute, I thought the first year is free. They told me that wasn't the case for some time already... Yea right...
Anyway I ended by saying,
"Ok nevermind just send me the forms and I'll take a look at them, I just wanted to find out the process in case I needed a card, the other cards aren't worth anyway even though there is a wavier of first year annual fee. So let me think about it for now. Thanks."
Well... now we know...
Maybe I should buy some Ezra bonds which have a YTM of over 1500%.
$5 for $100 face value coupon is 4.875%.
$30,000 would buy me $600,000 face value and annual coupon would be $29,250
I wonder if they would give me my credit card.
Then again I might lose my $30,000.
So it's probably better to go with banker's guarantee.
Edit : I met an Amex card promoter at Suntec City on 12 Aug 2017. Couple of days after this post. He tried to sell me some Amex cards. I told him I wasn't interested, then I turned back and asked him. "Hey, you know the Amex Platinum? Can the first year be waived?" His response is "No". Apparently Amex needs to pay the restaurants around $700,000 per year to maintain the 1 for 1 promos which we have been enjoying. And it has not been profitable for them. So he said the annual fee cannot be waived and that even for himself, he cannot even waive it for himself.
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