Review of the New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

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Just when you thought you’d run out of AMEX cards to apply for with their 1-bonus-per-lifetime rule

Two new American Express cards are now available from Charles Schwab, but to apply you need to have an eligible Charles Schwab brokerage account.

The Schwab Investor Credit Card From American Express is a cash-back card which has a sign-up bonus of $100 after completing minimum spending.

And the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab earns AMEX Membership Rewards points, with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after meeting minimum spending.

Review Of The New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

Charles Schwab and AMEX Have Teamed up to Offer 2 New Cards – but You Must Have a Charles Schwab Investment Account to Apply

Emily and I don’t receive a commission for these offer but we’ll always let you know about interesting deals!  I’ll share the details and help you decide if you should consider these cards!

What’s the Deal?

To apply for either of these cards, you must have a Schwab One Account or Schwab General Brokerage Account.

If you’ve opened a Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Account to avoid international ATM fees in the past, you may already have an eligible brokerage account (even if you don’t use it!).

You can open a brokerage account online.  But keep in mind, it requires a hard credit pull, so it might not be worth it for many folks.

1.  Schwab Investor Credit Card From American Express

Link:   Schwab Investor Credit Card From American Express

With the Schwab Investor AMEX, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of $100 (as a statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

And you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.  Your cash back is automatically deposited into your eligible Charles Schwab brokerage account.

Review Of The New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

Earn a $100 Sign-Up Bonus and Unlimited 1.5% Back With the Schwab Investor AMEX

There’s no annual fee.

This could be a good card for folks looking for simplicity, because there are no bonus categories to worry about and the card earns 1.5% cash back everywhere.

It’s automatically deposited into your eligible Schwab brokerage account.

But there are other cards I’d recommend instead of this one!

There Are Better Cash Back Cards

The $100 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the 1st 3 months of opening the Schwab Investor AMEX isn’t very exciting.  There are other no-annual-fee cash back cards with better bonuses and lower spending requirements.

For example, the new Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 (1.5% cash back) on all purchases, and has a sign-up bonus of $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Plus, if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer offered) card, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to terrific hotel and airline partners like Hyatt and United Airlines!

Review Of The New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

If You Have Certain Other Cards, You Can Transfer Points Earned From the Chase Freedom & Freedom Unlimited to Partners Like Hyatt, and Stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney Like I Did!

Alternately, the Capital One Quicksilver also earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything.  This card also has a $100 sign-up bonus, but you’ll only have to spend $500 on purchases in the 1st 3 months to earn it.  Keep in mind, some folks avoid applying for Capital One cards because they pull your credit report from all 3 credit bureaus (so 1 application = 3 hard pulls).

And there are other fee-free cards which earn more on purchases!  For example, the Citi Double Cash earns 1% back when you make a purchase, and another 1% back when you pay it off.

The Discover it Miles earns 1.5 miles per $1 you spend (1.5% back) – and your miles are doubled at the end of your 1st 12 billing cycles.  So it’s effectively a 3% back card for the 1st year.

And the Fidelity Rewards Visa earns unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases – as long as you deposit your earnings into a Fidelity investment account.

However, none of those cards have a sign-up bonus.

Plus, folks who spend a lot on certain expenses might do better with the bonus cash back categories on cards like the Chase Freedom, Discover it, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

I wouldn’t rush to get this card, especially if you don’t already have a Charles Schwab account.  But if you do, it might be worth considering to earn cash back in non-bonus categories.

2.   American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Link:   American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

You’ll earn 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening an American Express Platinum Card for Schwab account.

That’s the same sign-up bonus as the regular Platinum Card from American Express.  Like that card, you’ll also get:

  • $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc)
  • Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass Select, Airspace, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms & limitations apply

The $450 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year.  But you can off-set much of the fee with the yearly $200 airline incidental credit, airport lounge access, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.

And if you’re a big Charles Schwab investor, you’ll earn an additional $100 statement credit after account approval if your qualifying Schwab holdings are $250,000 or more.  Or a $200 credit if you’ve invested over $1,000,000.  And you’ll earn the credit each year afterwards if you meet the same thresholds.

Review Of The New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

Access Airport Lounges Like the Centurion Lounge in Seattle With the Charles Schwab Platinum AMEX Card

Here’s what else makes this card different.  You can redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for deposits into your eligible Schwab brokerage accounts at a rate of 1.25 cents each.

That’s a better deal than redeeming American Express Membership Rewards points toward paid travel, statement credits, or gift cards.

But you’ll still usually get the most value from your AMEX Membership Rewards points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners like British Airways, Delta, or Singapore Airlines.

This card might be a good option for folks who’ve already earned the sign-up bonuses on other American Express Platinum cards, like The Platinum Card from American Express, American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum, or The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.

Remember, American Express now restricts folks to 1 sign-up bonus per person, per lifetime on all its personal and small business cards.

If you don’t already have a Charles Schwab investment account, and are considering an American Express Platinum card, it’s easier to apply for 1 of the other versions of the card first.  Unless you’re holding out for a higher sign-up bonus!

Bottom Line

You can now apply for the new Schwab Investor Credit Card From American Express and American Express Platinum Card for Schwab cards.

To apply, you must have an eligible Schwab investment account.  You can apply online, but the extra work (and hard credit pull required) might be a turn-off for many folks.

The Schwab Investor Credit Card From American Express has a sign-up bonus of $100 after meeting minimum spending requirements.  It earns unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases.  That said, there are better no-annual-fee cash back cards available.

And the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab has the same sign-up bonus as the regular American Express Platinum card.  You’ll earn 40,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting minimum spending.

This could be a good choice if you bank with Charles Schwab and have already earned the sign-up bonus on other AMEX Platinum cards.  Or if you want the option to invest your Membership Rewards points at 1.25 cents per point.

Emily and I don’t earn a commission for the offers but we’ll always tell you about the best offers.  Personally, I’m not terribly excited by either of these cards.  But let me know if they make sense for you.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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8 responses to “Review of the New Charles Schwab AMEX Cards

  1. Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
    40,000 Points

    Is this similar to Mercedes Platinum – where i believe it was considered “having the card” if you had any platinum & received a bonus already?

  2. I know there are cards with 2% cashback but those don’t have the best customer service when you need purchase protection or extended warranty. Would you buy a TV with DoubleCash or Amex Schwab? You’re only letting go of $5 but getting superior service.

    I believe the 1.5% investor card is the best because of the added service and because you receive what you spend on that month instead of waiting until your cashback reaches $25 or another threshold.

    BTW Instant Approval for Investor Card.

  3. @mh – It’s considered a different card product:

    http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/05/11/whats-considered-a-different-card-product/

    @William – Thanks for sharing, you definitely have some good points. I like the purchase protection and extended warranty, too. And congrats on your approval!

  4. I love Charles Schwab customer service and their other products, but these cards are a joke. I think they are hurting their brand by offering such nonsense.

  5. Naveen Narula

    Not sure why you are not excited about the Schwab Platinum card – I am a long term Amex Platinum card holder and immediately cancelled that card and applied for and was instantly approved for the Schwab Amex Platinum. To me it was a no brainer: all the benefits that Amex Platinum had + 1.25 cent/pt cash redemption (plus at some day perhaps a Schwab credit. And 40,000 points (can be converted instantly for $500 cash) plus one extra set of $200 airline credits and and additional TSA credit (I got TSA on my Amex Plat last year, will use Schwab Plat Amex to get one for my wife this year.

  6. Gunter Leibkuchler

    Went thru hell converting from Amex Platinum to Amex Platinum for Charles Schwab. I think this conversion was not thought out properly and the agents were not trained properly. Don’t want to bother anybody with all the problems I had. Here is an example: went to Amex web site and clicked on Benefits. Told me there were 33 benefits for my Amex Platinum for Charles Schwab. Clicked on “Cruise benefits” The fine print said that this benefit was only for Amex Platinum and Centurion cards. Not for cobranded cards. So why is this benefit listed on their web page?? Spoke to FIVE different agents, none seem to know anything. The last agent said he would open a case and someone would contact me. Have not heard anything yet.

  7. How do you convert the 40K points to $500 cash?

  8. When I log into my Schwab account, it offers the card with the 40,000 miles… but says it has a $450 annual fee!!! Seriously???