Anyone who lives in America and has access to television could not miss knowing about the American Express credit card. I mean nearly every channel has an American express credit card ad, nearly every hour on the hour. And what made the American express credit card advertisements that much more memorable were the tagline, “Don’t leave home without it”. I must confess that it was this tagline that made me go in for my very first American express credit card. After seeing one more of those seemingly never ending commercials, I promptly went online, logged on to the American express credit card website and submitted my application.

Black cards are a status symbol that are typically invite-only and reserved for big spenders who can afford to pay initiation fees and annual fees totaling thousands of dollars. But the invitation-only requirement has changed slightly for the oldest “black card” — the Centurion® Card from American Express.


Imagine my joy when a few days later, I received a package containing… you guessed it! My very own American express credit card. I felt so privileged. And my American Express credit card also came with a slew of offers and attractive (or so it seemed then) packages. For one thing, the American express credit card promised me the widest possible coverage and acceptance at millions of establishments all over the world. For another it came with an incredible balance transfer facility which meant that I could transfer the debt from some of the other, not so popular credit cards to it. Since I had applied for it, my wife and my college going son also got add on, supplementary cards at no extra charge. Finally, it came with gift vouchers and coupons to some of the finest establishments in my city. It is a gross simplification to say that I was overjoyed. But little did I know that my joy was to be short lived!

For one thing, my wife and especially my kid made the most of the sudden bonus of having an American express credit card. Since I was the main card holder, I was often stumped by inexplicable bills at various malls and pizza parlors. While my wife was responsible for the former, my son had been treating his friends to ‘free’ meals at the pizza parlors, thanks to the new freedom the American express credit card gave him, although it was just an add-on card. The next thing was that had transferred all my balances to the new American express credit card without realizing that the preferential rate of interest was valid for just six months. Pretty soon, my new American express credit card too was maxed out and the debts had only gotten bigger and more unmanageable.

Within a year, I had enough of the American express credit card and was ready to give it up. But the advertisements on the television continued and am sure, kept inducing even more people to sign up for the American express credit card. But I feel it is high time they changed the tagline. From “Don’t leave home without it”, I suggest they make it, “Don’t leave home”. Period!