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American Express AMEX platinum card Financial Review - problem if undeclared income

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  • American Express AMEX platinum card Financial Review - problem if undeclared income

    The AMEX platinum is a decent card if you travel a lot; benefits include free access to upscale airport lounges, travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, airfare reimbursement up to $200. per year for your favorite airline, free hotel upgrades (including free gold level membership in the Starwood Preferred Gold (SPG) program, which itself allows free upgrades), automatic premium level membership in rental car programs and other perks that more or less mirror those from any high level visa or master card, such as free rental insurance and roadside assistance coverage. AMEX platinum also has a free "concierge" service that will help you arrange goods and services all over the world.

    One downside to AMEX, especially for the self employed or those with under the table income, is the AMEX financial review. On most new accounts and every now and then for some cardholders, AMEX will freeze all accounts until you verify income, and most of the time - nothing short of signing a Form 4506t which allows AMEX direct access from the IRS to your filed tax returns will satisfy them. For those whose entire incomes are not on their tax returns, this may create a problem.

    Mostly, the AMEX platinum is a prestige card, where the only higher prestige is a "black" or Centurion card. The AMEX platinum has a $450. annual fee (Centurion has a $7500.! initiation fee plus $2500. per year), so unless you spend a lot and do a lot of traveling, this card is pointless aside from the prestige.

    One small advantage to "no spending limit" credit cards like this AMEX is that no matter how much you charge up, it will not count against your available credit to debt ratio which is part of your credit score. For example if you have a Visa card with a $50K limit and you have used up more than 30% of it and have not paid it off, this will lower your credit score, but you could in theory carry a million dollar balance for a full billing cycle on an AMEX card and it will not lower your credit score one bit.
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