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Home arrow Real Estate News arrow General News arrow Real estate sees credit card as possible mode of payment
Real estate sees credit card as possible mode of payment Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

The Atelier, developed by The Moinian Group is the first project in the country to allow purchasers to put their down payments on a credit card. But American Express told Realty Times last week that "plastic" down payments may become a lot more commonplace for high-end condo buyers. The company confirms that it is in active discussions with realty developers in several other cities to offer similar Amex down payment programs.

The Atelier’s program works like this: Say you want to buy a $1.2 million unit with views of the Hudson River. You secure 90 percent financing and charge the 10 percent balance -- $120,000 -- to your American Express card. .

The whole idea is to create an amenity where none existed before. Developers of luxury condo projects build all sort of physical, tangible amenities into their units, she added, but for many well-heeled buyers the idea of earning enough airline miles to fly almost anywhere on the globe "is a very attractive intangible amenity.

The Amex condo program flows from the company’s ongoing charge-your-rent program at dozens of luxury rental apartment projects around the country. That program is active in 34 states and more than 100 cities. Card members have embraced the benefits of monthly rental payments on the card. Down payments on the card bring the convenience and rewards to an entirely new level.

Developers offering charge-card down payments assume the role of merchant in the transaction, and pay a fee to American Express. The card company would not divulge the merchant percentage being charged to the Moinian Group at the Atelier.

American Express also permits qualified investors in "exclusive resorts" programs to charge those fees to their American Express cards.

Amex charge cards typically come with no set limit to what a customer can charge during any given transaction. The company only gets in touch with a cardholder when the amount being charged appears to be grossly out of line with what the cardholder would normally purchase.


Edwina Baniqued


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