Become one with the American Express One Card
By Ben Woolsey
American Express continues its product innovations with a completely new type of credit card, called One from American Express, launched earlier this month. The American Express One Card is revolutionary in that it allows credit card members to earn cash back rewards that are deposited in an interest bearing savings account. Cash back and earning something for credit card purchases have become staples of credit card reward programs. But, actually being able to build up savings and earning interest on those funds is something new.
The savings are generated by a special program called the Savings Accelerator Plan, which automatically calculates and transfers 1 percent of eligible purchases into an FDIC-insured high-yield savings account in the card member's name. And when American Express states high yield, they mean high yield (currently 3.5 percent, effective 10/17/05).
As a product launch incentive, American Express is offering new credit card members $25 to start their new savings account at American Express Federal Savings Bank. The first card purchase automatically activates the card member's new savings account, so everything is handled effortlessly.
Another unique feature of this innovative card is "Interest Protection." This American Express service allows card members to permanently avoid paying interest on new purchases made with the One Card, even if they have an outstanding balance. Other types of credit cards generally will charge interest on new purchases if there is an existing balance on the credit card.
Card members can enjoy other standard features common to other credit cards offered by American Express, such as no preset spending limits. This dynamic credit line provides customized and flexible spending limits that adapt to the individual's needs and purchase patterns, not the rigid constraints of a preassigned amount. Additional features include online and offline shopping protections provided by AmEx's Buyer's Assurance, Online Fraud Protection Guarantee, Return Protection Plan and Purchase Protection Plan.
When traveling with the One Card, American Express makes it easy with Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Emergency Card Replacement, Global Assist Hotline and Travel Accident Insurance.
With the American Express One Card, people can have the prestige and utility associated with carrying a credit card from America's premier financial services brand. And, they can start saving real money and earning interest on those funds to boot. It may seem counterintuitive to spend to save, but since much personal spending is not optional (gasoline, groceries, restaurants, dry cleaning, pharmacy items, etc.), people can harness this spending get earn something back. So, maybe now is the time to start a new interest bearing savings account and earn while you spend. The sooner you start, the sooner you can begin seeing the money multiply.
To comment on this story, write Editors@CreditCards.com.
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Published: December 3, 2005
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