As a lot of hilarious things are, the No Limit Credit Card was designed – allegedly – by Jerry Seinfeld. In an episode of his Netflix 2018 show Comedians in cars having coffee, Seinfeld told guest John Mulaney how things turned out.
“I was waiting for [the crew] to move cameras, and the guy on the team walks up to me, he says, “Do you have the black card? And I say ‘No, what’s the Black Card?’ He said, ‘There are only three in the world. The Sultan of Brunei has one, the President of American Express has one, and I thought you would have the third. The next morning, I called the president of American Express. I say, “Is there a black card? He said, ‘It’s just a rumor. There is no such thing. He said, ‘But you know what? It’s not a bad idea. And so they developed it, and they gave me the first one. “
Whether this story is apocryphal or not, the American Express Centurion Card, also known as Black Card, now exists. But it’s only available by invitation and comes with an annual fee of $ 5,000 and an initiation fee of $ 10,000. Cardholder benefits include Elite status upgrades on flights, hotels and events around the world. And there’s also the 50% discount on membership rewards in the form of statement credit when you use points to book part of a flight, access to the Centurion lounges (which includes chef-prepared meals, cocktails, children’s play areas, showers, and spa services). Reimbursement of gym memberships and streaming services. A dedicated guide through customs on international trips. Free upgrades and insurance coverage on car rentals. A personal concierge to help you with just about everything from errands to sorting out travel issues. The list goes on.
But you don’t have to be a sultan, CEO, or celebrity to get a limitless credit card – and you can get one without paying a $ 15,000 upfront fee. I applied for another card with similar benefits, the American Express Platinum Card®, five years ago, after a heartbreaking flight from Seattle to Indianapolis with a restless seven-month-old baby. The card has a high annual fee of $ 695, but I decided after some research that the significant benefits of travel would outweigh the costs. I opened an account before my flight home, upgraded to first class with my 100,000 point welcome bonus and have never looked back.
Looks interesting? Here’s all you need to know.
What is an unlimited credit card?
First of all, the “no limit” part is misleading. It is true that a card without a predefined spending limit does not have a fixed limit like a traditional card. Check power tool expenses. Since the start of the pandemic, I have only used my Platinum card for small expenses like groceries and Hulu, so I never checked my purchasing power. After entering a few numbers, I found my “unofficial” limit: $ 85,000., but the is a monthly limit based on your and how often you pay your monthly bill on time. While writing this article, I tested my limits using the American Express from my online account
There’s a good reason American Express gives its NPSL cardholders so much leeway: Qualifying for an account requiresand above-average income. According to Tommy Lee, a senior scientist at FICO, there are two types of NPSL accounts, open and revolving. An open card, also known as a charge card, “usually doesn’t have a preset spending limit and requires you to pay off the balance in full each month,” Lee said. A revolving account acts more like a traditional card, allowing you to carry a balance month-to-month and pay over time.
Then there is Actually a limit?
Officially, yes, NPSL cards have limits. But they are generally not disclosed. In theory, your card may be declined if you spend thousands on a single purchase, but maybe not. While a typical credit card limit peaks at around $ 25,000, NPSL card limits are much higher. But there’s no charge for going over a credit limit because you probably won’t even know what it is.
NPSL cards and credit score
When I opened my Platinum card, I assumed the new account was the reason my TransUnion, Experiential and Equifax credit scores each gained 10 to 20 points. But, according to Lee, it may have just been a coincidence. “Because a charge card does not have a credit limit, it is typically bypassed in revolving usage rate calculations in FICO scores,” he said.
It’s true. I checked my credit reports on Annualcreditreport.com (where you can access your reports once a year for free) and couldn’t find any Amex accounts with a credit limit. A credit score check confirmed that my current Amex balance was not factored into my credit score.
How to Protect Your Credit Score When Using an NPSL Card
Even if your NPSL card balance is not included in your, it can still have an impact. “The amount of debt owed is factored into the FICO score and payment card balances can be factored into those calculations,” Lee said. “In addition, payment history and account usage time are also taken into account, so it is extremely important to pay your payment card balances as agreed.”
While your balance isn’t technically factored into usage calculations, FICO could lower your score if you make an expensive purchase (like a Tesla). But where is the line? Here are some ways to protect your credit score when using an NPSL card (or any other credit card).
Pay your balance every month
While we understand the general guidelines, we do not know all the specific details about. That said, a credit card shouldn’t be used like a bottomless bank account. Spend only what you can afford and pay off the balance at the end of each month. This will help you stay on budget and avoid going into debt with .
Check your purchasing power
Stick to the example above, if youwith an NPSL card and have enough money to pay off the balance, go ahead: accumulate these ! But before you make a large purchase, check to see if your card issuer offers an online tool like the Platinum Card to check your spending limit, or call customer service and ask them to verbally approve a large purchase. Reaching out ahead of time could protect your score from a .