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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.
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
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.
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 welcome 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!
Alternately, the Capital One Quicksilver also earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything. This card also has a $100 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 Card 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.
However, none of those cards have a welcome 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.
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 welcome 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
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.
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 welcome bonuses on other American Express Platinum cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum, or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.
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 welcome bonus!
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 welcome 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 welcome 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 welcome bonus on other AMEX Platinum cards. Or if you want the option to invest your Membership Rewards points at 1.25 cents per point.