American Express Zync Appeals to Young Debit Card Users

Editor's Note:  This offer is no longer available. 

Product managers at American Express hope a new flavor of charge card can lure young consumers away from debit cards. The new Zync Card from AmEx bathes the familiar Centurion in blue and white hues, making a subtle distinction from classic green and gold cards. Like its cousins, the Zync requires cardmembers to pay their balances in full each month. However, cardmembers can earn double points in the American Express Membership Rewards program and other benefits by adding up to four special "packs" of perks:

  • "Go Pack" members enjoy double points on airfare, along with discounts on car rentals and other travel expenses.
  • "Social Pack" members earn double points when picking up restaurant tabs or buying event tickets from exclusive pre-sales.
  • "Connect Pack" members double their Membership Rewards points on all cell phone, cable, and Internet bills.
  • "Eco Pack" members earn extra rewards and carbon offsets for shopping at certified "green" merchants.

Adding all four Zync "packs" brings the card's annual fee to $85, while opening an account with just the Eco Pack will cost cardholders only $25. With a fee structure comparable to most debit and prepaid cards, Zync offers an attractive alternative to bank accounts that run the risk of expensive overdrafts.