How I’ve Been An Amex Cardmember Since Before I Was Born

How I’ve Been An Amex Cardmember Since Before I Was Born

27

According to my American Express cards I’ve been a member since 1988, even though I wasn’t even alive then. In this post I wanted to explain how that’s possible.

How my Amex “member since” date is 1988

Typically when I post a picture of one of my American Express credit cards, multiple people share their confusion about how my “members since” date on American Express cards is 1988. I wasn’t even born then (just barely), so the confusion is understandable. No, I wasn’t applying for credit cards pre-conception.

Metal-Amex-Platinum-Card-3

It gets especially funny when I call up American Express, and they have to verify my date of birth, and then a moment later say “and I see you’ve been a valued member since 1988, thanks so much for your loyalty for all these years.”

The simple answer is that historically your American Express “member since” date has been the year that the first account was opened on which you’re a user, whether you’re the primary cardmember or an authorized user.

About 15 ago my dad added me as an authorized user on one of his Amex Platinum (after all, I wasn’t old enough to apply for cards myself at the time), and ever since, all my cards have been showing a “member since” date of 1988. This includes all the cards I apply for in my own name (which have been all cards since I turned 18).

How my Amex history helps my credit score

Aside from the general cool factor of having such an old “member since” date, this has no doubt helped my credit score over time, and particularly early on:

  • American Express used to consistently report the original age of accounts for cards on which you’re an authorized user to credit bureaus, which really helped my credit score early on, given how important your average age of accounts is
  • When I was young, I had multiple cards on my credit report that already dated back over a decade because of how American Express reported cards, so my average age of accounts was much higher than it would have been otherwise
  • To this day this positively impacts my average of accounts, because my credit score still shows a 32+ year old card on it

Unfortunately this trick doesn’t work anymore

Several years back American Express card authorized users stopped benefiting from the backdated account opening practice. In other words, if you’ve had a card for 20 years and add an authorized user, that authorized user won’t inherit your 20 year history.

I’m not sure if you still inherit the “member since” date in terms of what the physical card shows (I’m sure you guys can provide some data points), but if you do, it has limited practical implications.

Bottom line

I often get questions about how I’ve been an Amex cardmember since before I was born, so hopefully the above sheds some light on that. Long story short, authorized users on Amex cards used to inherit the full account history of the primary cardmember, which was super useful when it came to building the average age of accounts.

Unfortunately being an authorized user on an Amex card is no longer reported to credit bureaus in the same way.

Does anyone else have a “member since” date that goes back to before they were born?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Grace Guest

    Hi! I am a member since -70 and have never been added to someone card. Do you really think this gives me any benefit? ☺️

  2. Gbs Guest

    I used to be Member Since ‘58 even though I was born in 1974. My grandfather put me in his corporate card after a travel disruption saw me at the hotel unable to check in as I had no card at the time…
    The member since ‘58 carried on for quite a while afterwards including on other cards I opened. I don’t remember when it stopped, but now I’m a mere mortal with a member date that is actually from the first card I opened by myself.

  3. Steven Guest

    Not Amex, but anytime I call Allstate, they thank me for being a member since 1978. (I was born in 82). My Mom added me to her insurance when I started driving, and when I spun off to my own policy I maintained the account age.

  4. Peege Stevens Guest

    I have been card a member of American Express since 1959.am I the longest card holding member of a.e. ? 63 years peege stevens.

  5. New Money, No Class Guest

    I’m not sure why this is perceived as flexing….this is about one of the more embarrassing things to brag about. I feel a sense of shame everytime I use my AmEx Platinum that has a “member since” date of 15 years before I was born, and basically mortified when the person notices it and asks about it, regardless of the fact that I have my own account now. I was searching google to see if...

    I’m not sure why this is perceived as flexing….this is about one of the more embarrassing things to brag about. I feel a sense of shame everytime I use my AmEx Platinum that has a “member since” date of 15 years before I was born, and basically mortified when the person notices it and asks about it, regardless of the fact that I have my own account now. I was searching google to see if others had similar experiences and if they had been able to change it and if that had had any detrimental impact.

    But as I wrote this reply I realized that your assessment of it is probably spot-on, which tells me I am on a completely different wavelength than some of my privileged brethren. In which case I would just like to state for the record (as someone who got my first AmEx platinum card in the same way) there is nothing cool about this and the average person who takes your card to process it and sees the clear age discrepancy is probably not impressed.

  6. iamhere Gold

    Does this really require an article? Isn't this obvious? Seems nothing else to report.

  7. AD Member

    I got my first Amex in Jan '88 as a relatively new college grad... So It's amusing that I have the same member date as @lucky. Never thought to hit up my dad as additional user. Although I remember when my mom got me a checking account in HS and dad said I didn't need one, so that probably wouldn't have worked. Had I gotten that from him though, I probably would have gotten at...

    I got my first Amex in Jan '88 as a relatively new college grad... So It's amusing that I have the same member date as @lucky. Never thought to hit up my dad as additional user. Although I remember when my mom got me a checking account in HS and dad said I didn't need one, so that probably wouldn't have worked. Had I gotten that from him though, I probably would have gotten at date in the 1960s. Darn.

    Just looked in my wallet and my corporate card (which I've never used -- thanks COVID) has a date of '20. I received it about March 15th 2020.

  8. Johosofat Guest

    My dad added me to his Skymiles AMEX when I was 15 (in 2010). Since then all my AMEX say member since 2010, which is basically true. His cards say 1970-something. So YMMV I guess.

  9. ChrisC Guest

    @Ben - somehow I think these are all expired cards.

    @Canphoenix - am sure Lucky will refund your subscription fees. No one forces you to read an article.I just skip over anything there the title and blurb don’t appeal to me.

  10. Mario Guest

    I think this is a great post! Super informative thank you.

  11. Canphoenix Guest

    What an unnecessary flex post. Tough week for content?

  12. SDRon New Member

    Hi Youngsters. My AmEx card is dated 1967 as I applied when I was a US Navy Ensign stationed on Guam. On my 50th anniversary AmEx sent me a blue Tiffany box with crystal champagne glasses. Certainly a nice geature well appreciated, but maybe a Black card would have been nice. BTW, my Pan Am Lifetime Clipper Club membership is dated 1976 and still honored by the great Delta Airlines! Received my second COVID-19 vaccination...

    Hi Youngsters. My AmEx card is dated 1967 as I applied when I was a US Navy Ensign stationed on Guam. On my 50th anniversary AmEx sent me a blue Tiffany box with crystal champagne glasses. Certainly a nice geature well appreciated, but maybe a Black card would have been nice. BTW, my Pan Am Lifetime Clipper Club membership is dated 1976 and still honored by the great Delta Airlines! Received my second COVID-19 vaccination today so still going strong. Looking back I have lots of airline stories to tell, but sadly they wouldn't be appreciated today as happily they all involved alcohol. My advice to you all, enjoy life, don't get old and don't get sick.

  13. ALC888 Guest

    I'm in the same boat. My cards say 1970, about 8 years too early. Have had my own card since the 90s though. Last year, I even got a special note and gift for my "50th" anniversary. Ha.

  14. Melody B Guest

    It definitely doesn't work anymore. I had been wondering why my new Gold Card said I have been a member since '21 when my husband and I have had Amex since '19...

  15. mojo New Member

    On my own, self-earned credit since 1987. Opened an original Green in 1990, back when you had to sign up separately for an MR account, when you had to accumulate $5k in spend before you could even access/spend those points, when there were no 'bonus' category multipliers.

    All you coat-tail riders need to know how easy you got it these days.

  16. Motion to Dismiss Member

    @Kevin, Ah that’s good to know! I didn’t request an overnight but my card did arrive the day after I was approved.

  17. Brad Guest

    Born in ‘83 and member since ‘70... thanks Dad! Also got a nice gift from Amex to celebrate my 50yr anniversary as an Amex card holder

  18. Kevin New Member

    @Motion to Dismiss, you can call and request the date to reflect your member since date. Was your Platinum card overnighted? That has happened to me if you request expected cards it would have the year you applied but later changed if you request a new card since it didn't have time to process the year.

    I do miss the backdating that was a huge advantage for history.

    Now I just keep my...

    @Motion to Dismiss, you can call and request the date to reflect your member since date. Was your Platinum card overnighted? That has happened to me if you request expected cards it would have the year you applied but later changed if you request a new card since it didn't have time to process the year.

    I do miss the backdating that was a huge advantage for history.

    Now I just keep my 2012 Platinum which was originally a Gold, Premier Gold, Green, back to Platinum lol

  19. MJS Guest

    As someone else said, they'll change it for you no problem. I wanted my father's member since date as I was an authorized user on his, and they made the change and sent me a new card.

  20. Motion to Dismiss Member

    What's odd is I've been an Amex cardmember since 2012 but got a Plat for the first time in January and the card says member since 21. Yet on the app and when I call they say 2012.

  21. Steve Member

    Authorized users "members since" show the date they were added at least as far back as 2018 when I put him on my Amex Platinum.

  22. Stefan Guest

    Amex can modify your 'member since' date to whatever you tell them to. I complained that I had an overseas account since 1999 and the agent modified it without asking for any proof.

  23. John G Guest

    The problem with that is you’ll always look like your on parents account. When you finally get the Centurion card, people will simply think it’s your Dads. There goes all the brag swag.

    Also back in the day this was advantageous with the back dating but the bloggers ruined that for sure.

    Really right now- there’s no advantage to a member of date before your DOB. Just looks fake to be honest.

  24. Ben Guest

    Hi Ben - I think you might want to take down the last photo that showing your security code numbers on the front card. Just be safe! :)

  25. Jarle Guest

    My Amex platinum shows 1977. I was born in 1987...

  26. G Guest

    @Ben - in one of the photos, the security codes of your cards are visible. I suggest taking it off / editing the photo.

  27. Brian Radigan New Member

    I have a similar situation with Chase, have an account since 1987 and I was born in 1993. I tried to do the same thing with Amex a couple years ago and was added as an authorized user. To my horror, it showed up as a brand new account that was 1 month old. Whoops!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Grace Guest

Hi! I am a member since -70 and have never been added to someone card. Do you really think this gives me any benefit? ☺️

0
Gbs Guest

I used to be Member Since ‘58 even though I was born in 1974. My grandfather put me in his corporate card after a travel disruption saw me at the hotel unable to check in as I had no card at the time… The member since ‘58 carried on for quite a while afterwards including on other cards I opened. I don’t remember when it stopped, but now I’m a mere mortal with a member date that is actually from the first card I opened by myself.

0
Steven Guest

Not Amex, but anytime I call Allstate, they thank me for being a member since 1978. (I was born in 82). My Mom added me to her insurance when I started driving, and when I spun off to my own policy I maintained the account age.

0
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