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False alarm: Rumors of Amex closing all Zync card accounts not true

Jan. 29, 2020
4 min read
False alarm: Rumors of Amex closing all Zync card accounts not true
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Recently, rumors circulated that American Express was officially closing all Amex Zync Card accounts at the end of March 2020 based on an email a group of cardholders received. I reached out to Amex to confirm, and a representative clarified that Amex had no plans to unilaterally close all existing Zync accounts. The emails that were cited in recent reports were actually part of a regular review process. Amex only sent out a small batch of emails to affected cardholders.

So if you did not get an email warning about your account closing, you have nothing to worry about. Those who did receive an email have until March 29, 2020 to use their card. Afterwards, their accounts will be closed. These cardmembers will not be auto-transferred to another card product. If you are an affected cardmember who still has rewards in your account (and no other linked Membership Rewards card), you will be able to redeem them online though March 20, 2020. Amex is also giving a 30-day grace period after accounts are closed where you can redeem your points via phone by calling 800-297-3276.

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While the card has been discontinued since 2012, some still have Zync accounts. I was a freshman in high school when the American Express Zync Cards first made waves in the credit card market. By the time I was old enough to apply for and appreciate rewards credit cards, the Zync had long been closed for applications. But from the sound of it, the Zync was a very interesting product. It came with a distinct blue and white design and an interesting set of card details.

For those of you (like me) who aren't familiar with the original card details, Amex allowed cardholders to choose from one of 10 "Packs," each offering its own set of benefits targeted towards a specific type of consumer. Annual fees tied to the card ranged from $0 to $25 based on the benefits pack chosen.

There was a Give Back option that awarded 1,000 Membership Rewards points for each logged hour of volunteer service and 1x on all charity donations made with the Amex. There were two travel-centric options: Family Travel gave you access to a specialist to help book vacation with savings and travel benefits, and Go gave you 2x on airfare, lost wallet protection and travel discounts. Other packs included a Restaurant, Style, Connect (for phone, cable and internet benefits), Eco, Music, Personal Finance and even a Food & Wine option.

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Related reading: Choosing the best American Express card for you

Compared to the top credit cards of today, none of the Zync card options stand up to the competition. But it is certainly an interesting product to look back at, especially as we head into a new decade.

Bottom line

It's not uncommon for credit card issuers to review accounts, and there are a multitude of reasons why they may choose to close certain cardholder accounts. The most common reason is inactivity (which I am assuming is the reason for the vast majority of this batch of account closings), but payment history, your credit score or a breach of your cardmember agreement can also lead to your account being shut down by an issuer.

This is why it's important for you to use your credit cards at least once every few months, even if it's just for one purchase that you immediately pay off. That way your account is staying active, and you're less likely to have your account closed during a review process such as this.

Featured image by Getty Images

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more