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Cancellation Of Account With No Reason
Posted by Irate in VT on 01/12/2009
CHARLOTTE, VERMONT -- It is no small wonder American Express Company is looking for bail-out $$... they treat their loyal and good-paying customers like criminals!

My husband went to pay something with our Amex card, and it was declined...strange the bill had just been paid in full! When we got home I called to make sure there wasn't some kind of fraudulent activity or whatever, and to my shock and dismay was told our account had been cancelled on January 10th....the day after they processed the full balance of our statement's payment! They said there were problems with my credit report from Experian, and that my OTHER credit card balances were too high...

I called back this morning and was told there were "negative impacts" on my credit report, high balances, delinquent accounts, and "too many credit inquiries"--3 in the last 30 days.

I called Experian. They were incredulous! Turns out 2 out of the 3 "inquiries" were THEIRS, and this is very routine for credit card companies. There are NO negatives in my report, ALL of my accounts are in "Good Standing" (no great surprise since I have never been late on a payment, and always pay more than the minimum balance). They could not fathom what bone American Express would have to pick with it.

So where does that leave someone other than in an embarrassing situation of having a card declined for NO GOOD REASON, and be unable to get a straight answer out of the customer service people... who told me I could "reapply after I fixed the (nonexistent) problems!! Yea right. To boot they now will not pay me the $250 cash back reward to use at Costco because my account is cancelled! Sounds a might fishy to me.....

Needless to say I will certainly NEVER use one of their cards again.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-12:
Amex is proactively reeling in credit. I remember the days when 'fiscallly perfect' was required just to get an Amex card and the card was a bit of a status symbol if you had one. Those days are returning. About time.
Posted by Newcomer on 2009-01-19:
AMEX just reduced me line of credit to the point where it's not even worth keeping the card...and without ANY reason either.
In your case I assume that you paid a annual fee to AMEX. If so, I would get Costco involved to get the credit from them for your purchases (i.e. 3% gas, 2% restaurants, etc). This is something AMEX passes on to Costco and the annual refund (due soon) comes from Costco. Second, I'd get back with AMEX and insist that they give you a refund for the "unused" portion of the annual fee you paid to them.
If you don't get any satisfaction from AMEX, threaten them with getting your state's agency involved that deals with consumer credit complaint issues.
Good luck!
Posted by goodfella on 2009-01-20:
Same exact thing happened to me today. Will be contacting Attorney General, FTC, and will be attempting a class action lawsuit. According to Costco rep, there have been many complaints just like this today alone.

Was expectin a $500 rebate come February.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-20:
From other complaints on this site, a good amount of the cancellations by Amex were opened at Costco prior to the Christmas holiday. Could there be a bit of collusion between Costco and Amex to boost Costco's sales late in the 3rd quarter?
Posted by irate in VT on 2009-01-29:
Update: I have sent tersely worded letters to Costco and the CEO of AMEX... seems I have gotten some response, but no apology: They put my rebate as a credit to the closed card. What remains to be seen is how this will play out since I can't use it with my card closed! It is not their normal way of handling the rebate, which is normally a check payable to Costco. So my assumption is it is an attempt to mollify me. However, if my credit report is dinged, mollification will not be a possibility. Legal action will insue. They have been informed as such. So far they have not even reported the account as closed to the agencies.
Ghost of Doc J, that may be a valid point; but my card was open for 3 years, and not from 3rd quarter, so maybe not.

goodfella: if they ding my credit report and cause me more damage, count me in on a class action lawsuit!!

I'll keep you all posted with any further progression in this ridiculous situation!

Posted by EmpressU on 2009-02-14:
Just another ripped off Costco/AMEX customer - Costco says they will not honor the rebate since the card was canceled by AMEX. Massive consumer fraud, I think.
Posted by kevinblack on 2009-03-15:
I have the exact same story. If anybody is getting some traction putting something together here please let me know.

Amex customer since 2000, last year I decided to get the Costco AMEX and was due 400$+ come February. Card canceled in January with no reason and no notice. These people are scumbags and I will never work with them again.
Posted by recordstudio on 2009-03-22:
Same story on my end as well. I actually called and a customer service rep said may check should arrive within 10 days. After 10 days I gave them another called and talked to Ms. Grant (who said she was the highest supervisor working at the time) and said I had to wait until June to receive a credit on my CANCELED account, then call back a request a check to be sent if my account stays in good standing (keeping in mind the account is paid off in full and I have never missed a payment) So after spending a half hour on the phone with Ms. Grant she gave me the phone number of her boss 1-866-391-1460 and said her name was Ms. Bozo. Ms. Bozo boss is Ms. Hartman (would not give me a phone number) and her boss is Doria Camaraza
Posted by recordstudio on 2009-03-22:
Here are some address I received today.

Doria Camaraza
777 American Express Way
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33337

And to file a judgment against AMEX
43 Butterfield Circle
El Paso, Tx. 79906-5202

Posted by Toni I. on 2009-03-23:
Same story here:

I am an American Express Costco TrueEarnings Card member and I am upset that I have not yet received my Costco rebate coupon, which was supposed to be mailed to me during the first week in February, which is now over six weeks ago!

I have made three separate calls to the American Express Customer Service Department asking them to send me the rebate coupon, but I have been getting the runaround.

The first time I called (which was on February 23rd), I was told that I had to wait at least a month from the date that the coupon was issued before I could request a replacement. The second time I called (which was on March 6th), I was told that a replacement coupon would immediately be sent out and I would receive it within a week. The third time I called (which was on March 20th), I was told that I would have to wait another two weeks (no earlier than April 6th) before I could request a replacement of the replacement coupon!

I have verified that American Express has my current mailing address and telephone numbers on file.

This is outrageous! If it weren't for that fact that I would lose the $69.00 coupon if I were to cancel my account right now, I would tell American Express to take their card and shove it!

I want American Express to IMMEDIATELY issue me my Costco rebate coupon. I do not wish to wait another two weeks before they will issue me a second replacement of the coupon which I should have received over six weeks ago!
Posted by SDwantstosueAmex on 2009-03-23:
I had a similar experience. Paid my balance in full in January. Feb 1st Amex billed me for my next year's membership and then canceled my account ( stated I maintained high balances on my other credit cards even when my balance with AMEX was $0 ). I got them to reverse the charge on the $100 membership fee but they refuse to give me my $111.07 Cash Rebate earned from the previous year's purchases. My anniversary date for membership was Feb 1st. They were able to process another year's membership fee but couldn't issue a Cash Rebate?
I contacted AMEX 4 times regarding this matter. Today I received a letter stating my dispute with AMEX would not be resolved and they send apologies for the inconvenience + they appreciate my understanding in the matter ( sent from H. Figueroa Customer Service Supervisor )
Anyone filing a class action lawsuit?
I'm ready to file in San Diego court as an individual claim but would love to be included in a class action suit or start one here.
Please contact me if you are already developing a case against them.
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Don't use auto pay with AE
Posted by Tinsoldier on 06/30/2009
NYC, NEW YORK -- American Express will cut off your auto pay bills with no warning! It screwed me up on several bills and then got behind without knowing it.

The representative stated that it was because of my 'average' monthly bills exceeded their limit. I asked what my limit was on this Platinum card and they wouldn't give me the info.

Then they sent me an invoice for $450 for the platinum card. I told them to bend over and relax because I was going to put the bill somewhere the sun don't shine. I will not charge on this card anymore and had my wife's store stop accepting these cards.
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Posted by ejack053824 on 2009-06-30:
Good show!!! I applaude you!
Posted by laklisa on 2009-06-30:
You should always check your bills each month to avoid situations like this. If you owe the bill then you should pay...Perhaps if first time late, they may remove late fee as courtesy (at least one). I suggest being polite and not "put the bill somewhere the sun don't shine"...I know for myself I will bend over backwards for the cusotmer if they show me some common courtesy.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-06-30:
best answer laklisa!
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Sub-Standard Service and Conduct
Posted by DonWest on 07/22/2008
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have been an American Express cardmember since 1976. For much of that time my experiences were positive. It was around the late 80's that suddenly more than a few merchants that excepted the card began to perform in a less than agreeable manner, and it didn't take long to figure why they were so sure they could get away with it. The Amex dispute program during this time period that Amex was falling behind in competition with MasterCard & Visa, seeing they're larger share of revenue coming from their merchant accounts began screwing cardmembers on these disputes. I actually once lost a dispute to a man who was in jail for fraud. Excepting the situation I became more careful where and how I used the card.

My true disgust with American Express came in 2005. At that point during my entire 29 years of membership, I have never defaulted on any agreement or payment to this company, and as a result I had always been treated with acceptable level of respect with exception of the bogus dispute department. My home was trashed by Hurricane Katrina, for a few weeks after the storm I was moving around between friends & hotels figuring out where I was going to live being that New Orleans was wiped out at the time. Because of these over-whelming issues I was experiencing I received compassion from the most unlikely places, my Citibank Mastercard, Chase Visa, and Discover card excused me from making monthly payments on any outstanding balances for 3 months. American Express despite the fact that my account was perfectly "Current" as it had been since the account was opened, placed a hold on any charges until I paid a balance of a statement that had not yet printed, or mailed.

When I contacted them and asked why they did this, they said it was because my spending habits had changed that month. Since then every 2 or three months they continued to placing holds on my charging without notice, I would find out by my card being declined.The amount they deemed acceptable for me to charge would also vary and did not seem to be based on anything tangible. I didn't want to close the account because that can adversely affect your credit, I changed from a Platinum to a standard Green card, at least that way I only have to pay them $35-50 annually, they certainly weren't worth $500 per year, they never were. I have stopped using the card. The TV advertisement American Express has stating that there card is superior to Visa because it has a pre-set limit, yes it does, and as long as you pay your bills a Mastercard & Visa will work every time, not so with Amex.
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Posted by calliope on 2008-07-22:
All credit card companies have algorithms that analyze the purchasing and payment histories on their accounts. These algorithms then place a hold on accounts where the purchasing and payment history has suddenly and drastically changed. This is because that is indicative of fraud.

It has nothing to do with whether or not the account is current. It is a protection, not only for them, but for you as well against fraudulent charges.

Unfortunately, it came at a bad time for you. Although, I'm certain it would have been a much worse time had thousands of dollars been charged to the account in your name. Atop of finding living quarters you would have been filing police reports and dealing with long, drawn-out disputes. Of course, this wouldn't have made you happy either. Sometimes, credit companies can't win, even when they try.
Posted by wgaguy1984 on 2008-07-22:
I just love the fact that the impetus of this complaint goes back to the Reagan administration. Also, if you dealt with the dispute resolution people as much as your post indicates, I can understand why they'd be skeptical. I've had to dispute one charge in ten years, it shouldn't be that common.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-07-22:
One could expect the CC company to do this the FIRST time, but once communication was established with a 29 year flawless customer the issue of theft should have been eliminated and the account placed in normal mode. American Express clearly failed it's obligation during his time of need and was unexpectedly replaced by superior service from Visa and Mastercard. wgaguy, what does Reagan have to do with any of this? and if additional issues pop up, are you not allowed to complain about it or does Amex have a one complaint limit that I don't know about?
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Worse than tax collectors
Posted by Julieo_67 on 11/12/2012
There is no option for online feedback in open forum on Amex in Singapore. So, I decided to go global. Amex customer service called me to remind me of a payment I missed and told me my card will be unsuspended if it was done. I did the payment and called them and the agent on the phone told me it was available for use in 15 mins. When I tried to put through an online transaction, I was told the card could not process. Another call to Amex and was told my card is in credit management? I was informed that they will follow up after the weekend. I did missed a couple of calls on Monday but the callers did not leave a voicemail. As there was no follow up, I assumed card problem resolved. Today is Tuesday and card still unavailable for use.
My gripe is: customer service told me all was good upon payment and after payment, I get informed that card still unavailable for use. Just one missed payment and Amex cancels account? Then why the lies to tell me my account was good to go upon payment? Why was there no follow up?
I have not received such bad service from Amex. Many friends told me that Amex is horrible but I didn't believe. Now it makes sense.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-11-13:
I don't agree with your conclusion that AMEX is "worse than tax collectors" or that you have received bad service, based on your description of what happened so far.

You borrowed their money, and you agreed to pay it back under certain terms. If you fail to meet those terms, they have a right to pursue repayment. And since having a credit card is a privilege extended by the lender, I don't see a problem in suspending your card until they look your account over more carefully. Based on whatever their criteria is, they may decide not to reinstate the account. Hopefully that won't be the case.
Posted by At Your Service on 2012-11-13:
I have to agree with the previous comment. Suspending a credit card due to non-payment is not unusual.
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Amex Optima unjustified interest rate hike
Posted by Amexcustomer26 on 08/19/2009
After 26 years of being a faithful Amex customer I have made a decision to eliminate my revolving credit relationship with them on their Optima product. Like many who have posted complaints, I received a form letter in early August outlining an interest rate hike from 10.5% to about 15.5% effective Oct 1. I contacted them via phone first and got nowhere speaking to an unempowered customer service representative who was obviously reading a scripted response saying the decision was a "business decision". I later wrote an email and got basically the same response with a little more detail. They alluded to the fact that the new credit card legislation was increasing their cost of doing business and they were passing that along to their (good) customers. Because I asked about "opting out" of the rate increase, they replied that they were not required to allow this by law until notices sent after August 20 (how convenient that this notice was dated August 5). I have held accounts with Amex since 1983 and have never missed a single payment; my credit score was around 780 the last time I checked it, so I know it is not anything on my credit history that is driving this. Since I have the resources available to pay off my account and am already receiving more favorable offers from other banks; (even Bank of America and Citi are offering me better rates than Amex), I intend to end this relationship, and I am going to continue to look for other low interest card offers to replace this account.

I am going to stop awarding my business to a company who does not care about their relationship with a good customer, and I would urge others who have been treated similarly to do the same. The once prestigious Amex will ultimately degenerate into a company where all of the customers with good credit leave and they are left with only the deadbeats. We'll see how their business model survives (or not) once this all plays out in the competitive marketplace. Shorting Amex stock might be a good move now; this company is going downhill quickly.
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Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-08-19:
BOA and CITI aren't going to do you any favors either. Credit unions appear to be the best solution lately.
Posted by amexcustomer26 on 2009-08-19:
MSCANT....I agree with you, the point was to illustrate that even the other big banks (who are also gouging their customers) are more competitive than Amex. Amex is moving to the bottom of the competitive set very quickly.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-08-19:
very true amex...
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-08-19:
or just not using credit
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-08-19:
I agree Pepper...I don't buy anything on credit anymore. Every time I go shopping all stores are asking me to put my purchases on their credit card...it's ridiculous. If I can't pay cash, I don't need it.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-08-19:
I don't even own a credit card anymore and with the way they are treating their customers, I'm glad I don't. I only use my bank's debit card...I'll have my Mom's credit card paid of in just a few more months, she only had one.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-19:
Great answer, MsCant. Credit unions are the way to go. DB, I would only have my debit card too, but I don't trust rental car companies to have open ended access to the card. Same goes for other businesses. It's easier to dispute a charge on a credit card and there are no risk for overdraft fee's if company erroneously posts charges.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-08-19:
My Debit card can be used as Credit or debit...it's through our bank but has the MasterCard logo...so, I use it as a credit for certain things.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-08-19:
me too DB...depends on what I'm purchasing.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-19:
Right, but check the procedures for disputing a charge. They don't (or at least they didn't) work the same way for debit/check cards as they do for traditional credit cards.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-08-19:
I'll soon find out for the first time John...because I'm about to dispute a $115.00 charge for a purchase I bought that was defective, and the company I bought it from isn't responding to my Emails.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-08-19:
I like that I can get cash at most stores when I make a purchase, instead of going to the ATM.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-19:
Oh that totally sucks DB. Let us know how it turns out. I am really curious of it is a more customer friendly process. I am hopeful that it is! That would be a great thing for everyone.
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Unfair Decrease In Credit
Posted by Furious_consumer on 10/05/2008
As a valued card member of American Express, I am very upset with the way they are treating their current paying customers. I have paid my bill every month on time, every time, and "due to economic times", they have just decreased my line of credit down to the current balance of my account. This now shows I am maxed out on a credit card and my other creditors will soon follow suit. After spending an hour on the phone with them, and being transferred 4 different times, I was told it was due to my available credit with other credit cards and "economic times."

I explained to the account representatives that I am not suffering financial difficulty and could not understand that just 4 months ago they increased my line by 25% only to lower it currently without any reason. Apparently since of my lines of credit, I only have 54.49% available to me, I am considered a high risk.

They stated numerous times that they could see I have paid nothing late on my credit nor had I paid them late, but explained to me that their company policy is anything below 30% availability is high risk. Is this the way they are treating all of their customers?
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-05:
All the credit companies, not just credit cards, have been re-assessing their customers. Given your access to other available credit and the current economic situation I feel that you were given the correct answer. Think of it this way: If you were experiencing an abundance of defaults, bad loans or non-payments resulting in a loss of revenue wouldn't you do the same?
Posted by MyDogsMom on 2008-10-05:
Yes....almost everyone. According to Suze Orman, most Americans should expect decreases in their available credit due to the economic downturn. I don't expect to be in that mix but will be prepared just in case. I have high available limits, am never late on payments and pay all my cards in full every month. I have a high FICO score on top of that.

Don't take your reduction personally. Hopefully you can work with the new limits.

Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-05:
I could understand if I had gone outside of my spending pattern, began spending excessively on all my cards, or just made minimum due payments, but I didn't. How is it fair to assume that I am in a credit crisis without asking for documentation or current proof of income?
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-05:
I also have a high FICO score. I work in the credit industry and have NEVER maxed out my credit cards, been late with any payment, nor am I sitting upside down in my equity on my home. If any of this had occurred, I could understand. I make the same amount of income and am at the same job I have been at for more than 10 years. I am not worried about American Express, I am worried about the aftermath with my other creditors when they see that my LOC with AMEX is maxed out. That makes me a higher risk. I guess the only answer is to pay them off and never do business with them again.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-05:
Now more than ever, I am thankful I have learned to live within my means and do not use credit cards, and only carry one in the event of an emergency.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-10-05:
I don't use a CC on a regular basis, only for travel, on line purchases or something I purchase locally I think there's a possibility I might want to return. Furious, you aren’t the first member who has advised us of the changes. Some members, who paid their bill in a timely manner, discovered there was a change in their credit limit when they got to the checkout only to find their card was declined. I think those complaints started a year or so ago. Who knows what next week will bring.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-10-05:
Justcuz, make sure you keep at least 100 dollars charged at all times. Zero balance low activity accounts are being canceled in large numbers also.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-10-05:
It is a very unfair situation. American Express lowers your credit limit. This makes you debt ratio worse. That lowers your credit score. The lower credit score triggers your other creditors to raise your interest rate. The raised interest rate might threaten your ability to pay. Your inability to pay lowers your credit score further. Hence, the SNOWBALL EFFECT.

It really isn't fair the way the creditors have the ability to lower your credit score even if you have done nothing detrimental. But that's the way it is.

Dump all the greedy shysters. Find a credit union. Get a credit card from them. They are more reasonable than the rest of the jerk weeds.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-05:
I have heard that DC, thanks. While it hasn't happened yet, I wouldn't be surprised..I've considered using this card to auto pay my phone bill each month, to show regular activity.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-10-05:
Chuck, they're not 'jerk weeds,' IMHO. Had not credit card companies, mortgage companies, etc., made easy money so accessible for so long, we wouldn't be in this economic mess. Now that they've tightened up, everyone is in a panic. If the poster has so much available credit with others, let him use those cards instead.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-10-05:
Chuck, have you heard that Fair Isaac (FICO) scores are going to be determined by the new FICO 2008 scoring system? Some of the things that could hurt you before are now OK and may even help you and things which were good before may hurt you now.
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-05:
Ponie, I appreciate what you are saying however, I feel you have missed my point. I am a good paying consumer that is suffering the consequences of those individuals that are either unable or unwilling to pay their debts on time.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-10-05:
Ponie, when they arbitrarily lower someones credit score through no fault of the client they ARE jerk weeds!
Posted by Ponie on 2008-10-05:
furious, I agree with your last comment. However, because conditions are what they are right now, across-the-board limitations have been put in place with no regard to history of the accounts. I think the main problem is that in the past good credit checks were not done and we're all paying for it now. It hasn't hit me yet since I have only four cards I use. Two occasionally just to keep them active and two quite regularly. Maybe switch your loyalty to one of your other cards.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-10-05:
furious, credit card companies are simply reducing 'exposure' by reducing available credit to all of its cardholders, reducing their potential losses as the economy takes a dive. In this downturn, even top ranked customers can fall victim to the economy, so they are simply reducing this possibility in every way possible and it is not anything that should be taken personally.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-10-05:
I don't have a clue as to what my credit score is, nor do I know the interest rates on my two credit cards. It's my understanding your credit score is of importance if you choose/need to borrow money or establish credit. Thank heavens I don't need to do that. I would hate to charge airline tickets to my CC and arrive at my destination only to check into a hotel and discover my card was declined. I don't know what someone would do in that case if the hotel wouldn't take a personal check.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-10-05:
DC, I have heard they were supposed to change the system. But nothing has actually happened yet so far as I know. Even so, the algorithm they use will probably remain proprietary so we still have to guess what impacts what and how much. It's a dirty business that is stacked against the consumer.
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-05:
Did I fail to mention that I was shopping at Costco when I discovered the credit decrease? Imagine the humiliation I suffered due to the lack of communication with American Express. I used my debit card, but only after being made to feel like a complete idiot. I used my Costco cards for the rebates at the end of the year. I will now shop at Sams Club.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-10-05:
Here is a link that gives some insight to the new FICO 08
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-10-05:
Thanks, DC. I read it. It does state that the debt ratio is still used as before. Which is the key element in this review. The consumer will still suffer at the hand of a card issuer that lowers your credit limit and thereby lowering your credit score. That did not change.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-10-05:
Yeah furious, that is a really bad way to find that out.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-10-05:
Nope, you didn't mention that earlier Furious but other members have had that experience. Embarrassing to say the least. In the so called old days a card was declined because someone hadn't made a payment in x number of months. Now it's a toss up. Surprise every day of the week.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-06:
My friend, who makes 35K a year was allowed to run herself 65K into credit debt. I think this policy is being put in place to stop this kind of spending. Frankly, because she got to file bankruptcy and have a clean slate at everyone else's expense, I'm glad they are "redoing" people's limits. Ask yourself, do you really need to be spending that kind of money in this economy, and maybe you won't be so mad. :) As for me, they can reduce my credit card limits as much as they want. I've started paying cash or not buying at all, and my nine year old Toyota looks better every day.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-06:
Let me add, it would such to be embarassed as you were at Costco, and I am sorry this happened to you. They could have sent you a letter or something to tell you this!
Posted by ariznewsgirl on 2008-10-13:
If anyone is in AZ I would love to talk to you. We are working on a news story on this after several calls from people saying this was happening with no notification outside of a form email.

Posted by killerb on 2008-10-13:
american express. and all other card companys do the same thing . and you wouldnt have been in default two from 1 late payment what a way to make yourself sound not at fault but the thing is if you were to read your cardmember agreement you would learn that you have to be late 3 times in 12 months to be at default 2 which is 26.99 currently so its your own fault. maybe you shouldnt let other people pay your bills and maybe you should take accountilbity for you mistakes. its not american express fault that you cant pay your bills on time
Posted by mattyk on 2008-10-17:
I'm from AZ and it just happened to my Costco AMEX. I got the email on my cell phone as I was driving home. I too have never been late and have always completely paid off my balance. I've only really been using this card for the rebates on fuel, and have only made purchases that I had cash in my checking account to cover immediately. Fortunately, the limit they dropped it too is more than enough to cover fuel and groceries for myself for an entire month, so this won't have that great of an effect on my day to day life. It might however present a problem if I were wanting to travel and make all my flight, hotel, and car reservations all on this card. But with the economy the way it is, who needs to travel? This actually isn't nearly as big of an inconvenience as the scaling back in hours and wage freeze that my employer has implemented. Good thing my grandma who survived the Great Depression is still around to lend me some guidance.
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-18:
killerb, maybe you should go back to school and learn how to read before you comment. I was NEVER late. I STILL make 6 figures. It is what they are doing because of other people who DON'T pay their bills.
Posted by furious_consumer on 2008-10-19:

This website explains it all. I live in Phoenix Arizona and my original mortgage company Washington Mutual sold my mortgage to First Horizon who is primarily a sub-prime lender. Although my loan is a 30 year fix, and even in economic crisis, I sill owe less than what my home is worth, there are many in my neighborhood that are becoming bank owned.

More consumers will see a lot more credit decreases for reasons such as these. Please don't take them personally. You can thank all of our US citizens who have lived beyond their means the last few years and thought they could get something for nothing in life. Ie interest only arms. People making 50k a year have no business buying half million dollar homes. Maybe now as Americans, we will spend more responsibly.
Posted by kirama on 2008-10-29:
My credit limit was lowered by American Express, I got a letter stating it was because of 1. late payments. 2. too much debt to credit 3. recent mortgage. 4. too many inquiries They cited Experian as their source so I ran my credit report. I have NO late payments EVER, one credit inquiry in 12 months. My mortgage is 6 years old, and I am using appx. 15% of my available credit. I emailed American Express, I will pursue this with them until they give me a satisfactory explanation, this is just BS
Posted by kareno on 2008-11-19:
Sears did the same thing to me. I cancelled mycard with them even after they said they would raise my limit. Get rid of them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-24:
Ha! I like that name -- Jerk Weeds.

It happened to me too. Thirteen years loyal. Never missed a payment. Never maxed out my Blue Card. Cancelled my Platinum card today.

Just because AMEX is looking for a bailout doesn't mean they have to screw us in the meantime. Ef-TARDS!

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-24:
Oh, and I checked all three credit reports tonight... SPOTLESS.

Posted by panman on 2008-11-29:
MrsWilkie has the right idea,Cancel them,i am looking through my credit aggreement to see if they can at will reduce your credit limit without informing you before hand.It really looks like there were trying to set some people up.it seems more honest to me to inform a good customer that they will be reducing there credit limit to a certain amount by such a date and give good customers a chance to take action that will reduce there exposure in regards to what it will do to there other credit scores etc.It is time for the consumers of America to use there enormous power to get rid of bad companies and there is no way any company should get taxpayer funds to cover for there poor management.Save more,spend less,all stockholders must rise up and take their companies back from greedy self serving executives who are paid more than they are worth.Poor results have to equal poor pay.
Posted by marinesfamily5 on 2009-06-22:
their CS is HORRID! Seriously I have been given bad info by reps several times.
I had issue with not receiving the 3% on gas but rather getting only 1%, called and again got nowhere with the reps.
Then they cancelled my card! Time came around for new card to be sent due to expiration and I got nothing, called and was told another would be sent.. (I had moved so it was assumed it was a error.)
2 weeks go by still no card so I called them, yeah they had closed my account!
I was told I would receive my earnings check. Just got off the phone AGAIN WAS MISINFORMED (lied to) apparently when they close your account your rewards are forfeited.

AMEX is crappy and I will never have a card with them again, in fact my mom called and closed out her card today too.
Posted by veryupset on 2012-06-21:
I have now fallen victim to the same treatment. I have been paying more than the minimum due, on time and current. I always pay my bills., I just received a call stating that "due to economic times" and a review of my other accounts (which had the credit limits reduced as well, for the same reason. Thank you American Express for taking such great care of your good customers who have a long standing history with you. I can see how important my business is to you. Thank you for tanking my credit rating! Thank you for giving me no available credit. I am done with American Express!
Posted by Mr Kone on 2012-11-30:
I'm a Costco member and have Costco American Express Credit Card and AMEX Clear for about six years. I have been very happy those six years and even encouraged my wife and my brother to apply AMEX cards until November 16, 2012 which I received two notice emails regarding an action AMEX took to reduce my credit line from $18,100 to $8700 and Costco AMEX from $12,100 to $2,300. I was very surprised this action due to my history with AMEX. I did call and talked to one of their customer-service rep who told me that this action was taken due to your credit report in October. She has, in fact, told me that I had 759 and couldn't understand why they have reduced your credit line. I requested my three-credit report and score right away and couldn't find anything that is negative in my report. I requested my three-credit report and score right away and couldn't find anything that is negative in my report. I have again contacted the consumer protection agency and continued my complain and have faxed all document that was supporting my claim
Posted by Concerned American on 2013-06-26:
Costco American reduced my credit line from $14,000 to $1,000 based on my purchases. I paid for a life time National Eagle Scout Membership, My NRA membership, and purchased ammunitions. Within a week later they reduced my limit. I called and complained but they said that they have the right to reduce my credit limit at anytime for any reason. I canceled the card. If the credit card companies look at every purchase, imagine what our government is doing.
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American Express Fraud Protection
Posted by Wlgilbert on 02/12/2008
American Express professes to offer a Fraud Protection guarantee, but this guarantee appears to be meaningless. I recently had three fraudulent charges against my American Express card over a period of 4-5 weeks. As a result I had my card suspended and I did not accept the offer from American Express to issue a new card. In each case I called the phone number provided by American Express for reporting fraudulent charges and I gave their customer service people the information they requested. I was told in each case that they could not put me directly in touch with someone from their fraud prevention department because they were unavailable. I was also told each time that a case would be opened to resolve the issue, and that it would take 6-8 weeks to be completed. After receiving no response for some time, I called again and this time I was able to speak with someone from the fraud prevention group. I was told at this time that there was no pending case related to my charge card (apparently the customer service people didn't take the time to follow through on my previous calls).

However, they assured me that a case would be opened, and again told me that it would take 6-8 weeks to resolve. Afterwards I researched these fraudulent charges on the internet and was surprised to learn that several other American Express card holders had also incurred fraudulent charges from these same companies, that they had reported these fraudulent charges to American Express, that the companies had been identified as bogus (apparently set up by cyber-mules for the express purpose of collecting fraudulent charges), and that in some cases the charges had already been reversed by American Express. If the fraud protection group was already aware of these bogus companies at the time of my phone calls, why wasn't I informed of this? Why would it take an additional 6-8 weeks to investigate a report of fraud against companies that were already under investigation?

Why was American Express still accepting charges from these companies long after they had been identified as bogus companies? The internet research disclosed that there are several of these bogus companies in California, with overlapping ownerships, all listed as owned by people with Russian names. I can only conclude that the American Express fraud protection and detection is not particularly effective, that American Express is not very forthcoming with its customers, and that the American Express customer service group exists primarily to deflect customer complaints, not to resolve problems.
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Screw American Express Every Way You Can
Posted by CorporateSlayer on 09/14/2010
I am 49 years old. I have had American Express accounts and accepted them in my businesses since I was 20 years old. I have been an entrepreneur my whole life. Often I also held a six figure job as well. Two years ago, many banks panicked and started slashing credit lines. This really hurt my business a lot. I wound up with a lot of debt and customers that had no way to pay me because their credit cards were cut off, and their clients credit was cut off.

The government pretends like the Banks didn't screw businesses over, but in fact they did. The banks screwed small business to the hilt, and they screwed the consumers to the maximum as well. This left American Express one of the few accounts open that I could use. Charging on average about $2,000 per month in all business expenses, and paying in full each month. In early June 2010. I got a call from American Express demanding I pay my bill immediately. The statement had not even gone out from them yet and was not due for 20 days but they demanded I pay right there on the spot. I refused as that defeats the whole purpose of using the card.

So, American Express turned my charging privileges off. Why would they do that, when I had never been late, and the payment was not even due?? This in turn cause me to have to pay things in cash which caused problems for my business. I then had to put other people off or try to collect debts early from my clients. Some of them got angry and canceled their contracts with me! After paying my statement balance American Express removed the hold and some automatic transactions when through. They then called me demanding payment again before the statement went out again. I explained that I would make a payment by the due date as I always did. I made a payment and 2 days later was hit by a car which made my life a painful hell. At the same time, American Express illegally processed an ACH bank draft to my personal checking account which I did not authorize, resulting in a credit balance to my account. This in turn over drafted my personal checking account, because it only had a few hundred dollars in it. That ruined a 15 year pristine history with my bank. It also resulted in hundreds of dollars in bank fees and cost me about 150 hour of hell writing letters, sitting on the phone, in bank offices, etc... all the while in terrible pain from my injuries.

When I called American Express they said they would fix this problem and pay my bank fees. They didn't... after my second call a week later they left me a voice message saying they were just going to keep the money! So I had to file complaints with the Federal Reserve to get my bank to reverse the illegal ACH draft from American Express. It took 31 days for them to do that. So American Express had the use of someone's money for over 31 days... more than a full billing cycle - and they did not pay anyone for the use of that money. On the other hand, I had to pay very very very severely for American Express to use that money.

Finally when the illegal transaction gets reversed, American Express does still not honor it's word. It does not reimburse me for the fees or the hell I went through. Just as a statement arrives showing the 31 days with a credit balance, American Express goons start calling me and threatening me that my account is past due. How could it possibly be past due when they had the use of someone's money for 31 days and my statement showed a credit balance? But they didn't stop there... Even though I immediately sent them 1/3 of a payment BEFORE the next statement came, they had already turned me over to a collection agency!!! When the statement did arrive it did not show my credit from the previous month applied to the balance, it did not show the payment that I had made, instead it showed a jacked up balance with highly inflated fees attached.

Now, I already had a dispute running about American Express with the Attorney General's office. They wrote a letter filled with Lies to the Attorney General and made it seem like they were the good guys. At the very same time they wrote this pile of dung to the Attorney General - they then turn my account over to a collection agency! They did this while the current statement was still in the mail!! It had not even arrived to me yet, and they had already turned it over to collections.

American Express is an evil company headed by the very swine of this world. The kind of people that need a noose around their neck. As Humans we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Express are the demons from hell that want to squeeze the life out of you, crush your liberties and destroy your happiness. Wicked slime that should be spit roasted in an open flame.
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Posted by leet60 on 2010-09-14:
I'm not much of a credit card person, as i believe cash is a much more viable option. I do think AMEX, if the story holds, did you a disservice. On the obverse, running a business with the use of credit as operating funds is a bad idea.
Posted by JanLuc on 2010-09-15:
I had a horrible experience with their personal card. They asked for my TAX INFO!!!!!!!!?????????? I refused to sent them my personal info and they canceled all my accounts and screwed my credit score. Why they asked me for a tax info? I hve no idea, i spent only 50% within the limits and enjoyed 758 score which dropped to 673 after 2 months with AMEX CROOKS
Posted by AmexCCP on 2011-03-08:
I'm appalled at this accusation. I deal with similar situations everyday, and that's not how AMEX does business. Someone, including those commenting, must be leaving out key details. I'm not the bad guy here, I only wish to help. However to respond in reference to the Tax info situation with JanLuc, there are multiple reasons tax info is requested. However if you didn't request a credit increase, or new card, then tax info probably was needed due to Anti-money laundering legislation that is..... wait a minute..... the GOVERNMENT's requirement. You want a fix, contact me.
Posted by Credit unions give 5.75% interest, try them on 2011-06-15:
Dear AmexCCP, if it is a GOVERNMENT requirement, then why don't your people state that? The people reporting that they had to report their tax info never said your company stated this was the reason why. My CREDIT UNION, which has a 5.75% interest rate, NEVER asked me for tax info. Citibank pulled this kind of bs on me, raising my interest to double digits when I was an excellent customer for years. I paid off my balance and DROPPED THEM, and went to my credit union which is SO MUCH BETTER!

People, support your LOCAL credit unions instead of these giant banks out to shaft us!
Posted by Almost Homeless thanks to AmEx on 2013-03-09:
American Express just levied my account from a debt from my marriage 3 years ago. I'm self employed and live alone and they took every cent I have. When I called and asked if I could have the money to cover my rent check and something to live on, because I don't know when my next client will come, they said, "you should have thought of that before you stopped paying your bills." When I racked up the debt I was making over $100k/year then the recession hit and I lost my job. I now make less than $20,000 a year. I pulled all my 401k out to live on and that's what they took - $10,000 - all the money I had in the world. I have $4 in my wallet and half a tank of gas and they told me, "too bad, you should pay your bills." American Express cares more about profits and rich shareholders than real people. I will NEVER ever give them another cent.
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American Express Gift Cards Online
Posted by LP455 on 12/15/2009
Seemed like a great idea at the time. I ordered $200 in photo gift cards 6 days ago. Still have not received any notification of when these cards will be sent. When you call American Express, they immediately transfer your call to Mumbai in India where the agents have no information about the status. This is particularly annoying because I called back 4 times, told the American agent that I did not wish to be transferred to India and instead she transferred me to an agent in the Phillippines!! So I still don't know if I will receive my gift cards in time for Christmas and no one at American Express has a clue. I will never order a gift card from them again and will seriously curtail the use of my card in the future. I'm a cash girl from now on. This company blows!
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-15:
You ordered 2 weeks before Christmas and now you are blaming them for being slow? What does your confirmation email show? Can't you go online and check the status of your order?

You also know they probably are not going to ship the cards loaded right? You will get the cards and then about 3-5 days later the money will be on them. I think it is standard practice for companies not to send loaded cards through the mail. Prevents them from being used if they are stolen.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-12-15:

so THAT'S why there's an activation process.

To make sure, if the card is stolen... they don't get the money - they just get a piece of plastic.

Now that I understand that... that's a pretty awesome idea.
Very secure.

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-15:
most prepaid cards you have to activate them......unless you bought them from lets say, kmart where they load them right there at the registers......I would never trust a company to ship me something before a deadline unless they gave me some sort of guarentee.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-16:
pepper yep you got it.

Tenn, unless the OP paid for express shipping, they can blame no one but themselves for the gift cards being late, if they are. This is a BUSY time of year for UPS, USPS, FedEx etc. They do their best. But come on. You are going to wait 2 weeks before Christmas to order something and they probably paid the cheapest shipping they could.
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They cancel the card and eating up my rewards for no reason
Posted by AmericanExIsCheater on 10/28/2009
I opened Amex Costco Credit Card when I became a member of Costco. My credit score was 740+ and they readily approve the card with a $3000+ credit limit. My average balances were around 400-450 and paid in full all on time for each billing statement for 6 months. One day I swiped my card at a restaurant and card was declined. I paid with another card and called American Express on reaching home and they told your card was cancelled 5 days back. On asking the reason they stated, change in your credit score since you applied for a card and too many credit enquiries in last 2 years as per the report by Experian. Next day I subscribed for Experian Credit report and my score was 730+, there was no missed payment on any cards and there were usual 3 enquiries, one by Amex when they opened my credit card and two other by rental screening companies as we moved to another state and changed our apartment after 6 months lease was over in one of the apartment. I called Amex that though I don't need you credit as my total credit line is above 8k on 3 different cards but still want to know what is the specific reason and I use this Card at many occasions including purchase at Costco. They told we can not do anything and you can send a fax of your credit report. Done, did that, no response from them. I received my final statement after 2 weeks and they gave me travel rewards for one hotel booking and there were three flight tickets booked for $1850 for my family and no rewards for those, when I called them, they told as your card is cancelled we are not giving those rewards, wt* my card was in good standing at the time of booking and I paid all the balances on time, this is your own decision to cancel and then you want to eat my cash reward also. I could have used my other cards and received 2% reward. When I searched on internet about this practice by Amex, I came to know it's common for them to eat the rewards. I really feel they are the biggest cheater in the Credit Card Industry and I am open if any one wants to initiate a formal complaint about them. I don't know what to do, it's not a question of $ 50 or so cash back, it's a question if honesty and malpractice cheating with the customers. Now if I don’t pay my balance they can charge my interest or can report to credit bureau, I wish if customer also have something like to do a complaint to a credit bureau and to any other court for companies like these. I am never going to go for this company and wish they vanish from the business soon.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-28:
If they want to cancel your credit line they can. They are not obligated to give credit to anyone.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-28:
I agree with JTF, but I would add that in cases like this, I think they should be required to automatically send you gift cards in the amount of the points you had when they closed the account.
Posted by AmericanExIsCheater on 2009-10-29:
I have no complaints on their decision to cancel the credit card but the timing of cancellation when I was due for travel rewards, way it was handled without notification call or email or letter, the reason they gave, but fine let’s ignore that and that is also acceptable. But why to deny the rewards, I have $22xx in my last statement, that I will pay and I am expected to pay, but why can't they pay the rewards earned. Only the big amount reward they are not paying, while 3 % on $110.xx for gas rewards they are paying, so that goes against the assumption that for a cancelled card, they won't honor the rewards. It’s up to them whatever they want to do?
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