They can't get 5 stars
They can't get 5 stars, because of my early experiences at initial "account opening" (opened an account, sent me a card, and made me jump through hoops in order to use it), and the initial fees. AND, when I asked for a credit line increase, on my AMEX... denied, because "not enough time having the card".
That being said, shortly afterwards, pre-approved for their Visa (still fees, but).....
I have worked for MAJOR Corporate companies, where I have had cards, one including an AMEX. Never before would I have thought that I could have an American Express Card, on my OWN, especially with "non-perfect credit".
No, it isn't "unlimited", WHICH IS GREAT FOR ME: makes me be financial responsible, AND helps my credit, AND... find it kind of cool, when I carry/use it, once in a while (I love Amtrak, and other things) to (especially if I am profiled, for wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a t or sweatshirt, and ask "do you accept American Express?"
I know that is "buji" but Me (limited budget, on my VA disability) and a good friend of mine (that has a MUCH LARGER budget) get a kick out of it.
To some of the negative experiences (other than what I already explained):
I have not had a problem with having payments posted, etc. Even when (once) I went over my limit, I was not charged an over the limit fee. Their interest rates are "reasonable"... all things considered (Generally I use Capital One (no interest on purchases until 2023, for me).
Have not had to deal with their outsourced "customer service" SINCE the beginning (I agree with, and have had some of the same experiences that others have posted). To me, that is a sign of good. If I have a need, to call you (the correct number is written on the back of your card), I am generally not in a "good mood", anyway. I say, "generally" because I sometimes call Customer Service, just to say "hi, if I can take time to call and complain, then I can take time to give a compliment.
Annual fees: I was fortunate to sign up (through Experian) with one that has no annual fee (Had a set-up fee, and the Visa....but)...
ALL in all, I would reccomend getting one of the UNSECURED cards, and do what I do: store it away, keep it for emergencies, charge some things (btw.. if you book a hotel on booking, you get a better discount), pay your bill, on time, and go from there. BTW.. only took a week for me to get my PIN. Didn't need it, but tested it... just in case.. "in a bind", MANY places will not accept American Express, but most ATM's will :-)... INTERNATIONALLY... $10/5% whichever is greater on cash advances...