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I currently have the AMEX preferred rewards gold card. The account age on this is about 20 years as I originally had the green card and then various gold cards. The $125 annual fee isn't worth it anymore and I want to switch to a fee-free card to maintain my account start date.

My plan is to spend down my 100K+ Membership Rewards points in the next few months before my annual fee comes due and then downgrade to a fee free card. Most likely AMEX Clear since most of my spending is on a Schwab 2% card and I won't hit the limits of Blue Cash.

I called AMEX and they said that switching to a different fee-free card would keep my original account start date.

I have looked at past FWF threads* and have seen references to this. However, there was not a whole lot of info on people's specific experience if they have done this and I would also like to know if the above plan is sound or if there is a better option.

Specifically, have looked at posts in the following threads:
why is American Express with an annual fee worth it?
Can You Negotiate The Amex Platinum Card Annual Fee?
What Credit Card Should I Get ? FAQ

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You can't convert a charge card to a revolving card.
Just app for the no fee card you want. It will be back dated to match your charge card. You will end up with two 20 y/o cards instead of one. Your score is more likely to go up than down. The only hit you will get is for the inquiry.

I have tried and have been told that you cannot convert a charge card to a revolving card as well. The advice above is what you should go with...AMEX back dates any cards that you have with them to the date of your first card.

They converted a Gold Card to a Blue Cash for me back in 2003. They initially said I couldn’t do it, but after going up the chain a bit and a bunch of back and forth, they relented. MCI used to pay my annual fee for about 20 years, until they got absorbed, so then I switched.

However, I told them I only wanted to do it if I could keep my Member Since 1983 date (which was a bluff, as I didn't want to pay the annual fee anymore), and they said no problem. However, because it's not on the card, I didn't notice until much later that they had my account as Member Since 2003.

When I called, they said they no longer had any record of my other card, which sounded ridiculous, but I couldn't get anywhere with them, until months later when I found one of my old expired Gold Cards in a drawer that had Member Since 1983 on it.

They had me fax a copy of it to their backoffice and they finally updated my account to Member Since 1983.

My advice is to check your Member Since date on the new account immediately.

HBax said: They converted a Gold Card to a Blue Cash for me back in 2003.Let's be clear: AMEX didn't convert your charge card to a revolving credit card.

They opened a new Blue Cash card for you and close the old Gold Card. I wouldn't be surprised if you took a hit on your credit for it.

sechs said: HBax said: They converted a Gold Card to a Blue Cash for me back in 2003.Let's be clear: AMEX didn't convert your charge card to a revolving credit card.

They opened a new Blue Cash card for you and close the old Gold Card. I wouldn't be surprised if you took a hit on your credit for it.

If they backdate the new card to the open date for the old one, wouldn't this be relatively neutral (assuming credit limits were similar)?

BostonOne said: sechs said: HBax said: They converted a Gold Card to a Blue Cash for me back in 2003.Let's be clear: AMEX didn't convert your charge card to a revolving credit card.

They opened a new Blue Cash card for you and close the old Gold Card. I wouldn't be surprised if you took a hit on your credit for it.

If they backdate the new card to the open date for the old one, wouldn't this be relatively neutral (assuming credit limits were similar)?


Yes but at a small cost: An EX inq.

BostonOne said: If they backdate the new card to the open date for the old one, wouldn't this be relatively neutral (assuming credit limits were similar)?AMEX doesn't backdate cards.

All of your AMEX cards should, in theory, have the "member since" date of your first card with them, charge or revolving. They're even nice enough to report to the CRAs the open date of all of their card as the same year as you first opened a card with them.

I'm assuming conversions from charge-charge and credit-credit products are still available?

How do they handle the conversion? Will the card changeover after the next statement cuts, immediate manual statement generation, or otherwise?

sechs said: HBax said: They converted a Gold Card to a Blue Cash for me back in 2003.Let's be clear: AMEX didn't convert your charge card to a revolving credit card. They opened a new Blue Cash card for you and close the old Gold Card.
Perhaps, but that's not what they SAID they did, and it took a lot of cajoling, which wouldn't have been required if they simply closed one and opened another. They also mentioned something about making an exception because I had been with them over 20 years.

I wouldn't be surprised if you took a hit on your credit for it.
I dunno. I already owned my home and was in no particular need of credit at the time, so I wasn't routinely checking my credit file back then.

As a postscript, I transferred my 100K+ Membership Rewards points to Delta with a 25% bonus, closed the AMEX gold and opened an AMEX Gold Delta card with annual fee waived for the first year and 20K Skymiles with first purchase. They confirmed that they will keep my original 'member since' date and report that to the CRA for the new card.

In a year when the Delta Gold fee comes due, I will either do the same routine with a fee free card or a fee card that has a decent sign up bonus and first year fee waived.

What's the purpose of keeping the 'original member since' date?
Do you get a halo sticker on your credit card?

fattysaver said: What's the purpose of keeping the 'original member since' date?
Do you get a halo sticker on your credit card?


o_O; are you really serious or just joking around?

If you're serious go read http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/634740 specifically "3E. Cultivate a long credit history and an old average account age." and "4D. DO NOT CLOSE ANY CC UNLESS YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC REASON." (which this changing from 83 to 03 would basically mimic)



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