American Express Blue Cards

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American Express Canceled My Card Without Notice
Posted by on
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a customer with AMEX for the past three years. I have always paid on time and never went over the credit limit. I have several other major credit cards and always pay them on time and in full every month.

I used my AMEX for monthly, automated payments and was surprised when a payment came back declined. The payment was declined on January 16,2009. I checked my mail that day and happened to find a letter from AMEX stating (which by the way was dated on January 13,2009) :

Dear (Name):
We are writing to inform you that, after a recent review, your American Express account listed above has been canceled.

The short length of time you have been on file with a consumer reporting agency, in relation to your overall credit profile.

Too many creditors have recently reviewed your credit report.

You have been past due on an American Express account in the last 12 months.

Your account was reviewed using a consumer credit scoring system that evaluated the information in your file at the consumer reporting agency named below. The information provided by the consumer reporting agency included the following factors from your credit report that affected our decision:

Too many accounts with balances
Too many inquiries last 12 months
Too many accounts recently opened
Length of time accounts have been established

Our cancellation of your account under these circumstances may result in negative reporting of this account to the consumer reporting agencies. Additionally, if you do not pay your account in a timely manner, your account may be referred to a collection agency.

Now you can imagine how upset I was. I called AMEX immediately and after spending about four hours on the phone with them, NO ONE could tell me why my account was cancelled. One reason they stated was that I had a past due amount which was never paid with AMEX, which clearly I didn't. I therefore panicked and thought I had been a victim of identity theft and asked to see if there were any other accounts open in my name. The representative established that there weren't and he also confirmed that I had no past due balance on my AMEX account...EVER. He also stated that my credit was excellent and that he would try reinstating my account, which of course was denied.

I quickly went and pulled up my Experian credit report, because the representative said that AMEX had obtained all this information through them. My credit was fine...I have a 728 credit score, no balances unpaid, no delinquencies, no NOTHING. AMEX also stated that they closed my account because I had opened too many recent accounts....which is funny because my AMEX Blue card was the last credit card I ever opened...which was approx three years ago.

This entire experience was completely unbelievable. First, they cancelled my credit card without notice, which resulted in unpaid accounts with other services I used auto pay for with my AMEX. Second, they LIED about the reasons they closed my account. Every time the representative came up with a new reason as to why they closed my account, and I gave him an explanation as to why that could not be possible, he himself had run out of things to say. Third, this may now possible affect my credit score?? WHY??? Fourth, they led me to believe that I had been a victim of identity theft and had me frantically ordering copies of my credit report all morning, which turned out that all was well...

Experian said I am a low risk factor for many lending institutions. My credit score is high, I have no delinquencies or unpaid accounts. I have not opened any recent accounts and I have not had any recent checks to my credit report. WHAT SYSTEM IS AMEX USING TO REVIEW PEOPLE'S CREDIT???

I advise anyone who has an AMEX card to close the account. They obviously don't care that you've paid it in full every month and on time, they don't care about your credit score or credit report...THEY DON'T CARE

I have received much better service my Bank of America Visa's than I ever had with this poor excuse for a company.

Get out.
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Anonymous on 01/20/2009:
These Amex posts are coming faster and faster. My instincts say Amex is in dire financial straits and is reeling in credit in anticipation of 'something big and bad' coming at them.

All other posts considered: "Abandon ship!" Dump your Amex account immediately, before Amex does it to you. If you cannot pay the balance, close the account to ALL future charges. Cut up the card. And don't forget to pay off what you owe as soon as possible!
goodfella on 01/20/2009:
This just happened to me today as well. Same exact issue you describe, not to mention that I submitted a payment to American Express the morning of finding out it was canceled that they have refused to refund.

In addition, the rebate check due to us in February (approximately $500) will not be sent, since we are no longer active card holders.

I've already contacted Costco and filed a complaint. Will be contacting my Attorney General and the FTC. Will also be attempting to start a class action lawsuit.
Jacksgirl on 01/26/2009:
It happened to me last week. I called Amex today and canceled all my accounts rather than submit to their "financial review." We're also offloading our Amex stock. Take that, Amex.
just_a_guy on 01/27/2009:
I'll post more details some other time, but basically my story is the same.
1. AmEx reduced credit from 25k to 12.1k in October 2008--no problem, I didn't want that much of a limit anyway.
2. I paid the entire balance off (over $11k) less a couple hundred for outstanding transactions on 1/15/09.
3. AmEx canceled my card on 1/18/09 with essentially the same reasons all of these others have posted even though no late payments for AmEx or any other accounts and having held the card since 1999.
4. Wasted 30 minutes arguing with AmEx about their "policy" and finally gave up since they clearly weren't going to do anything about it. Even though all I ever did with them (and other creditors) is pay my bill on time.

Last step for me will be to complain to Costco about AmEx since I wouldn't have even bothered getting the card in the first place if it wasn't the only CC they accepted.
bb160 on 02/24/2009:
I wandered onto this site after I received a letter from American Express in which they canceled my card in my opinion for no reason. They said " too many creditors reviewed my credit report", but if they did they would see a good credit rating. I have been a cardholder for 11 years and always paid off my balances and never paid late! I have carried a zero balance for a while and this is the thanks I get for not abusing the system! I am also a small business owner and am strongly considering closing my merchant account with American Express.
Unreliable Service on 02/24/2009:
I received my billing statement with a note saying my account was closed at my request- which is completely false. Then they state that my rebate check is enclosed on the third page. I check and there is nothing there. I don't know if I should even bother calling. What I would like is information on a class action lawsuit.
Worst AMEX! on 11/09/2013:
I hate AMEX customer service. Now, you get connected to some Spanish sounding voice, just because they have to hire them so they don't get hit with the EOE lawsuit. NOT only did they not do what I requested them to do, they yelled at the customer, I HATE THEIR company and I will NEVER recommend them to anyone ever again. NEVER AGAIN. Plus, they pretend to offer you bonuses for small business Saturday, when in reality, they are raping transaction fees off of small businesses!!! What a bunch of crooks!!!
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Here's A Way To File A Complaint Against American Express
Posted by on
Join in sharing with with the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit your experience with American Express interest rate increases with less than 45 day notice and no opt out provision.

You can lodge your complaints to: House Financial Services Committee, Democratic Staff, 2129 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (Phone 202 225–4247)... contact web page:

Since Amex has gone to the Federal government and changed their structure to a commercial bank in order to participate in the federal bailout, then they should be held accountable for their own sworn testimony just a few months ago...

Amex has done exactly what they said they don't do in their sworn testimony - they have implemented rate increases ...

( a ) not because of a specific account performance issue,
( b ) with less than 45-days notice,
( c ) without the ability to opt-out,
( d ) claimed that their cost of funds is a rationale in raising rates

Here is the sworn testimony from Larry Sharnak. Executive Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Cards, American Express Company Before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Hearing on H. R. 5244, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (4/17/2008)...


"There are a number of practices we simply do not do:
- We do not increase an individual customers interest rate -- or APR -- for any reason other than the customer's performance on that particular account. If you are an American Express Cardmember, your interest rate will be increased to a penalty rate only if you violate the terms and conditions on that specific American Express account."

"Recently, many have raised concerns that credit card customers have not seen the benefits of recent rate reductions by the Federal Reserve. This is not the case for American Express Cardmembers. As the Prime Rate falls, which normally follows any drop in the federal funds rate, the interest rates applied to American Express variable rate credit card accounts are reduced by an equivalent amount. Since the Federal Reserve began reducing interest rates in September 2007:

- American Express has reduced interest rates on all variable rate credit cards;
- American Express has made these reductions automatically, and;
- American Express has passed along all reductions in the Prime Rate directly to consumers.

It is important to note that while these rate reductions have been directly passed on to consumers, American Express' own cost of funds has not come down at an equivalent rate. As you know, the capital markets are experiencing considerable uncertainty, which has had an impact on the cost of commercial borrowing. Even for well-capitalized, Arated companies, like American Express, interest rate spreads are extremely high. This means that the rate reductions American Express has passed along to consumers have exceeded the reduction in our own cost of funds.

As I mentioned earlier, American Express will not increase an individual Cardmember's interest rate based on their performance with other lenders, or based on a change in our cost of funds. Moreover, we will not raise a Cardmember's interest rate because of their performance on another American Express account. The overwhelming majority of American Express consumer lending accounts, 94 percent, end the year with the same or a lower interest rate than they had at the beginning of the year."

...and about 45-day notice and opting out...

Interest rate increases triggered by the customer's performance on the account in question should not be subject to a 45-day advance notice and an opt-out requirement. However, in circumstances where the rate increase results from reasons not related to the specific account in question, we believe it is appropriate to have advance notice and an opt-out.

As we discuss later in our testimony, advance notice and an opt-out should also apply to any terms change that an issuer may make to the account agreement, in lieu of a complete prohibition on "any time for any reason" terms changes as currently contemplated in the

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TGT101 on 12/03/2008:
opting out is the same as canceling the card. You would still be responsible for the whole balance. You can 'opt out' whenever you want.
greedbynoothername on 12/04/2008:
Not sure I understand your statement that "opting out" is the same as canceling the card. For cards other than American Express, if you "opt out" they honor your existing interest rate on the outstanding balance. In the case of American Express, they will not be honoring the existing interest rate after an account is closed. They are upping the interest on pre-existing amounts, even if you close your account. SO for American Express, "opting out" is not the same as canceling the card because you can't opt out of the interest rate increase, whether you keep or cancel the card.
TGT101 on 12/04/2008:
Read the fine print most the time it says that in opting out of any change you hereby cancel your card with .
greedbynoothername on 12/05/2008:
I read the fine print. You can cancel you card or "opt out" but they are still raising your interest rates at AM Ex (unlike other cards who don't raise your interest rate on outstanding balances when you opt out). I'm in the rather good credit category so mine was at 7.99% for a blue card before the November notification. On December 1, they raised my interest rate to 10.99%. I, like other commentors, have never had a late payment in my life with a credit score over 750. I carry a balance on this card because I put my college fees on it and am paying off over time so the inability to freeze the interest rate impacts me. This is just a really greedy company.
Credit-Card-Dude on 01/30/2009:
FYI, for unknown reasons, the House has taken down the individual testimonies of the witnesses, so the link to Sharnak's testimony no longer works. However, the transcript of the hearing is available at The quoted section of Sharnak's testimony is on the 70th page of the .pdf.
Ray Sieger on 11/13/2013:
Around the end of Oct 2013, I got a letter from American Express saying that they were lowering my credit line on my card from $21,000.00 to $1,000.00. I have been with them since 1996 and I have never had a late payment. I have paid them untold thousands of dollars. I owed nothing on the card. I had been paying it off every month. I called them and talked to someone in the Philippines who just read from a piece of paper and told me my debt ratio on my credit was high and I had inquiries. I tried to explain that we had bought a large house a few months ago and bought furniture, etc, so of course my credit showed it but we have never had a late payment on anything. This person just kept reading from a piece of paper and wasn’t listening to me. I called back the next day thinking that I could talk to someone that would make some sense but the next person just kept reading from the same paper so I got frustrated and just told them to cancel the card and I cut it up. I was still annoyed with this a few days later since this wasn’t the way to treat a valued customer with a perfect record, so I called again and asked to speak to a supervisor. I told her, why don’t you just put a hold on the card instead of penalizing me. I don’t really need to use it. She ignored me and said that she will put in a request to re-instate the card but I would get a letter and need to submit more information in order to get my credit line back. I asked her if re-instating the card would put another inquiry on my credit and she said no. A few days later I got a letter from AMEX and they wanted proof of income that included W2 form, personal tax returns, bank statements (checking, savings, certificates of deposit, personal financial statement, brokerage accounts, etc. That is unbelievable and also a bit of an invasion of our privacy. I was actually going to give in to this and start gathering the information and then I got another letter stating that they checked my credit and I couldn’t get the card back. It looked like a letter a person would get when they applied for a card for the first time. This also now put another inquiry on my credit report which the lady said they wouldn’t do. The irony here is that they based a lot of this on my debt ratio and buy destroying 2 of my credit lines, they actually made it worse. I say 2 credit lines because they did the same thing on my wife’s AMEX card. Also, looks like they put another inquiry on my credit. They were no other card companies that did this. Only American Express. My credit score was on its way back up since we bought the house. My score was back into the 700 range. I have been monitoring it. Now it is going back down because of this incident. They need to make up the damage they have done to our credit. Give us back our credit lines and if they don’t want us to use the card, then that would be fine. Don’t damage people with a perfect payment record. We are not the bad guys. I have supported them for 18 years and this is the reward.
Metoo on 12/03/2013:
I had the same experience. Paid on time, and Am/Ex cut my limit from $20K to $200.00 above my balance. I don't use the card much
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Not Again - Unreliable Company
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I got approved for Blue cash reward with 10k credit line a week ago, not to mention I have been valid customer since 2003 owned few AMEX cards including AMEX GOLD CARD, those are closed due to bad some experience with AMEX - anyway this morning 8/2/2012 tried to order a PC (around $1500, just ordered another a day ago had no problem) from DELL and got declined, so called AMEX, the rep, she told me that she will unlocked the card for me and let the transaction go through, after all the security questions I passed and 5 - 10 minutes hold then she came back said although I had cleared all the questions now account has been suspended and under financial review.

WHAT >????? I told her I need it immediately and I was in rush need for my personal business which she was promised that transaction will go though : ( WOW... not a again >> seriously AMEX ?? I have 200K in one of my bank account and a stable job. I use credit cards about 300K in 8 - 10 years period and assume they charge 5% fee to all the merchandise, how much money they lose if lose my account?? last, I made the wrong choice to go back to AMEX. AMEX is a such unreliable company, now I will just stick with Citibank, chase and Bank of America, I will never go back to AMEX again ! I will not recommend to anyone including my family , fiends , coworkers etc !
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trmn8r on 08/02/2012:
Sounds to me like this is a brand new card you were using, and you ordered expensive items two days in a row. I can see how this may trigger a warning of some sort.

Remember that you are using AMEX's money, until they are paid back. They don't know how much is in your bank account unless it is on deposit with them.

I believe the merchant fees are around 2 to 3%. It is true they may lost your business, but imagine how many millions they lost each year to fraud. Personally, I like it when my CC bank's fraud alert is triggered, which has only happened two times in 25 years - it shows me they are being careful. Each to their own I guess.
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Bogus Bonus
Posted on
Rating: 2/51
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Many Credit Card companies issue rewards. Instead of points or miles or widgets some CC companies offer rebates or cash rewards. These programs have rules; some are like a game show. If you do X or buy Y you go to the "Bonus Board" for more rewards.

AmEX Blue Cash offers you a reward level (1% or. 5%) on your initial purchases (depending on the category of the purchase). After you achieve a certain threshold of spending in a given fiscal year ($6,500) you get a HIGHER reward level up to 5%, again depending on the category of the purchase. SIMPLE.

Everyone achieves the threshold at a different time. Most likely it will occur mid-purchasing cycle.

It is clear that I surpassed the required spend on or about Feb 1st 2012, right in the middle of a billing cycle. AmEx was inconsistent in applying the higher bonus on the charges later in that month. Some yes, some no; EVEN charges recorded on the same day were handled inconsistently.

IMPACT: In each of 4 categories (Gas, Drugstore, Grocery and Other) I had qualifying charges that did NOT receive the "promised" bonus. In dollars, it was only about an $8 error.

ISSUE: Customer Service understood my concern and initiated an INQUIRY. After about a month I received a "boilerplate" response about the monthly rewards and how they were issued one statement cycle in arrears. They spent almost $8 on postage alone for a worthless report.

When I expressed my frustration about the lack of substance I was escalated to a Supervisor. The Supervisor called me 2 days later and said:
1) she was disappointed in the poor report
2) the case had been "closed"
3) I would be issued a $10 credit.

CLASS ACTION: What about ALL the other AmEx users who are being "shorted" $8 ??? I would want a piece of that action!

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KevinTX on 05/16/2012:
Nice review. Well-written. Glad you got results and I agree with your conclusion. Unfortunately companies DO get away with stuff like this. I see it all the time (not against me of course). A well-educated consumer is the only one to come out ahead... you already know the flip-side to this... not everyone is as 'edumacated' and thus, companies profit from ignorance... pretty smart if you ask me :) (downright nasty, but smart).
trmn8r on 05/16/2012:
The way I read this, you *got* in on the action. Therefore you may not be eligible for anything further.

Is it the case that in subsequent months you received the full bonus points you were entitled to?

I guess I have a laid back approach to this, even though the CC bank may be getting one over on me. I would be using my CC regardless of bonuses, so if they give me something I'm really happy. It does sound like they did not credit you the full points to which you were entitled.
User on 08/20/2012:
Amex will not issue a rewards credit unless you have an even multiple of $25.00. You will always be chasing that amount and never get you $. I just canceled my Blue Cash card. The cash rewards balance was $97.50. Amex would only send me a check for $75.00!! I told the girl to buy herself lunch with the remaining balance.
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American Express is the worst Credit Card Company in business
Posted by on
I have had an American Express Blue card for close to 10 years. I have other credit cards as well from Chase, Citi, HSBC, BofA. I don't use my AmEx all that much lately as I have a BofA card linked to my daughters 529 account and use that mostly for the rewards.

I had a balence of $28.00 on my AmEx and I was away and it was due just after Thanksgiving. I have never been late before on this card, I have a 750 credit score always try to be on time. I realized I misplaced the bill before the holiday and my trip and so I was a few days late and thought I'd call and see if they would waive the $15 late fee charge since it was a first time late charge in 10 years and that I just paid the bill on line. All other credit companies have helped me take a charge off in the past be it for overlimit charge or something like that, I thought AmEx would for sure do it, BUT NO... I even told them I would cancel my card if they wouldn't take the charge off as I was put so aback that they would put making a dollar over good customer service and they said they still couldn't do it. So I told them to place cancel me and they did and I was so in shock that they would be that pathetic on keeping customer's happy. It's not like this happened 3 months ago and I'm asking them to do it again. MY balance was a little $28.00 not like it was $5,000 or something and I'm trying to getaway with something.

In all, I will NEVER work with American Express again and I hope everyone sees them for the bloodsuckers they are. I would work with any other credit card company over AmEx as all other companies have proven to me to put the customer first and not bottom line.

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tnchuck100 on 12/05/2010:
Welcome to the American Express of today. They care not about you or your past good record. That $15 fee is far more important to them.

It is their right to refuse any form of consideration. As it is your right to tell them to stuff it.

Good move. Many are doing likewise.
Anonymous on 12/05/2010:
Holding an AMEX that you do not use doesn't really generate a lot of revenue for them, even if your account is 10 years old. It sounds like you do this with a lot of your cards and it really isn't the best practice to depend on these types of favors in this economy. Businesses aren't doing as well as they have in the past either.
goodbyeamex on 12/29/2010:
This is yet another great example of how unlike most other credit cards American Express has lost their human face. They have become so huge I guess they forgot they ever had one.
no1panthersfan on 02/26/2011:
I'm wondering if something is being left out or exaggerated. If you were truly a ten year member, and this was honestly the first late payment you've EVER made and they refused to credit/waive the late fee, something else was going on. Did they say they COULDN'T do it or WOULDN'T do it? Did they tell you why? Did you ask for a supervisor before you threatened to cancel your card? I know there are bad customer service reps at every company, but you cancelled your card over a $15 late fee after talking to one person?
Cardman on 05/10/2012:
I had a PERFECT Amex record for 12 years and they essentially did the same to me, except the late fee was $25 and the supervisor was rude about it. I was polite and the supervisor must have entered something in the computer because two other agents said the computer wouldn't let them do anything. Bye bye AMEX.
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Terrible customer service and a terrible company
Posted by on
I have been very careful with credit cards my whole life. As a result, I have an excellent credit score (776), but I don't have a huge credit history. Nevertheless, like most people, I am inundated with offers for new credit cards, but as I said, I am careful. I have had a corporate AMEX card for 5 years and I've paid it in full each month. I've also had a VISA platinum for 10+ years. So, when I finally decided to get a cash rewards card, I decided to go with AMEX Blue Cash, thinking that in addition to my credit score, they would see my good history with them and offer me good terms. However, the card they sent me has a credit line of $2,000 and an APR of 22%; I could get better terms by walking into Macy's and applying for a card.
I've called and emailed with AMEX for 3 weeks asking for someone (anyone!) to contact me and explain why they decided to give me such a raw deal. After 2 weeks, the accounts supervisor (Jerene Nelson) finally called and left her number on my voice mail, however, when I phoned the number I reached a sex chat line! It took another week for her to finally call me back and she was incredibly rude. I just don't get this company. I am a very, very careful credit user. I understand they are reigning in credit and hedging their risk, but to offer such poor customer service just baffles me.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what I can do about it. They've already pulled my credit report, so if I go and apply for a different card so soon, that will affect my credit score. This is a real shortcoming of our system. We apply for a credit card without knowing what terms we are agreeing to. We can cancel the card but that hurts our credit score.

Given my interaction with AMEX, I would *NOT* recommend this company. I am planning to cancel both this and my corporate card, just as soon as I can *reach* any one at AMEX - I've been trying but somehow they always manage to have a problem with their phones. Really an awful, awful company! Do yourself a favor and select any other credit card.
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AmEx canceled my credit card for No reason and hurt my credit.
Posted by on
January 4, 2010

American Express
Vice President for Public Relations and Consumer Affairs
200 Vesey Street
N. Y., N. Y. 10285
fax: (212) 640-9238

Dear Sir:

This letter is to complain about the way I and my brother
have been treated by American Express’s Blue Card Division.
Our card number is xxxxxxxxxx. I am a graduating senior at the University of Chicago, and I already have a family income of about $100,000. Our Blue Card has a very modest credit limit of $1,600. As the attached payment history shows, we have a perfect payment history, having paid substantially more than the minimum amount each month for two years.

In December, 2009, we paid American Express $1,591.99 on our account. On December 30, 2010, Blue Card Division’s Customer Service Department responded by cancelling our account. When we called to find out why, we were told that there were two reasons. (1) In October, we had a minimum payment due of $30, and we paid $65, but we drew our credit down by more than $65 by using our card. (2) Supposedly we have increased our debt level by taking out other credit cards.

The first answer is loony. There cannot be a secret rule
that one cannot use one’s Blue Card more than the amount of one’s
monthly payment. If there were such a rule, the Blue Card would not be a credit card. It would be some sort of dysfunctional debit card.

With regard to the second answer, I pointed out to Customer Service that I have neither applied for, nor received, any additional credit of any kind during the past 12 months. I have had other credit cards for years, and they too are in perfectly good standing. I asked Customer Service what negative information they have to the contrary, and they refused to tell me! I then asked them what information I might send them to correct the false information that they seem to have but will not share with me, and they said that there is nothing I can do.

When I was told that there is nothing I can do, I asked for your fax number. The Customer Service agent refused to tell me what it is. My brother had to call back and threaten the supervisor to obtain this fax number.

I conclude from this experience that Customer Service canceled our account because we broke some secret rule, and they will not tell us what it is. I guess that the secret rule is that we are not supposed to pay off the balance on our account, because that will reduce the amount of interest you can charge us. (The cancellation occurred immediately after we made our largest payment this year.) I also conclude that Customer Service is either loony or was lying to us. Probably both. So we canceled authorization for our third payment in December that seems to have set off these events. And we of course will continue to make (now minimum) monthly payments until our balance is paid in full.

Lastly, I conclude from this experience that I cannot count on American Express to follow its own rules. I cannot even depend on American Express not to lie to me. No one needs this. We did nothing to deserve this. Are you really so desperate that you have to treat good customers this way?

Yours very truly,

Katharine H. Stone

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Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
When people start bragging about how much money they have, I lose all interest and sympathy.
Ben There on 02/07/2010:
You should not put your credit card number, phone and fax number, full name and address on the internet!!!
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
Merely stating an income is not bragging and anyway in these times a $100K a year income is really nothing to brag about.

American Express is in yet another transformation. This company can't seem to make up their mind as who they want to serve. I say the customer should make up their mind for them by dumping them forever. There problem solved.
Anonymous on 02/07/2010:
Best answer Stew!
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OK, I messed up..........and Amex are going to cripple me for it
Posted by on
FT. LAUDERDALE -- I've had my Amex Blue for 7 years now, never been late with a payment, always paid more than the minimum but, like all of us, I am only human. A couple of months ago I switched my checking account from Wachovia to a local bank that pays a decent interest rate on all balances. Diligently I went through all my other financial accounts adding the new checking account as the one to make payments from and, for most, deleting the details of the now closed Wachovia account. Amex was one where I either couldn't remove the old account or just simply forgot. Last month I accessed my Amex account online to make my payment and that's when I messed up, I scheduled the payment against the closed checking account. A few days later I received a call from Amex to tell me my payment had been returned, I realized immediately what I had doneand explained this to the very pleasant lady from Amex. She asked if I wanted to make a payment over the telephone so I did - it was still before the payment due date so at least I wouldn't get charged for being late, I knew I would have to pay for the returned payment, but that was my mistake so "fair enough".
Yesterday I received a letter from Amex which started by saying how Amex "alweays wanted you to clearly understand both the benefits and the responsibilities of Cardmembership with American Express" who wrote this? mother? Anyway, to get to the point of the letter, my 'punishment', Amex are going to make me pay for my mistakes. Because of this one single mistake in 7 years the APR on my 'Blue' credit card is being increased from the current 'Nominal' rate of 10.24% to "the Prime Rate + the current Prime Rate that means 27.24% an increase of 17%...... that's almost 3 times what it was. Only alternative is to opt out, effectively closing the account (I wonder what effect that will have on my credit rating).
The last line from Amex is the killer "We hope you will continue your relationship with us so that we can provide you with the rich benefits and superior service that come with membership". Can't help but wonder what those benefits are, and consider that the only think 'superior' about Amex is their attitude towards their customers.
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Anonymous on 10/15/2009:
Opt out...go elsewhere.
MaggieMcT on 10/15/2009:
When your payment wasn't even late? That's outrageous, dump them.
JR in Orlando on 10/15/2009:
You bounced a check on them. If they had not called you, you would have been late. You know or should have know that credit card companies are doing everything they can to raise rates on customers, thanks to the government regulations going into effect soon, yet you apparently have no follow up procedure to make sure your payment arrived. Credit card companies are like spouses, the fact you only cheated once, does not mean that they want to stay married to you.

Opt out may be the option to choose, depending on the amount on your card. If it is not much, pay it off and just keep the card.
saj80 on 10/15/2009:
Don't take this letter personally; while it was addressed to you, thousands of other AmEx customers have received them, too. I am almost 100% positive that the timing of the letter and the payment mishap were coincidental.
bcd on 10/15/2009:
Since the good payment was not late, you should have been penalized for only the return payment. The rate increase shows how greedy Amex is.
InShock on 10/15/2009:
JR, you don't by any chance work for Amex? Like I said in the title of my post "I messed up", made a mistake. Your comment "Credit card companies are like spouses, the fact you only cheated once, does not mean that they want to stay married to you." makes me glad I didn't marry you, how does making one mistake amount to cheating.

"yet you apparently have no follow up procedure to make sure your payment arrived." I did have a folow up procedure, I enrolled in Amex's own follow up procedure, giving them my cell number so they could call should anything happen that needed immediate attention! Opting out is the option I will take, although at 27%+ APR it is going to take a long long time to clear the balance (like a lot of people I don't have a stash of cash to fallback on).
InShock on 10/15/2009:
OK, it's been a long hard day, before anyone points it out to me I realize that if I Opt out then the APR will remain the same as it is now.
druu on 11/30/2009:
Pretty harsh if you ask me. Everyone makes a mistake and yours seems pretty innocent.

Have you tried to talk to a manager? Credit card companies are trying to cut their customer base down, but they still need good customers. If you are a valued client, have great scores, and only have one mistake on your record as long as you've been a member, then I can't see why a one-time courtesy of getting this reversed could not be extended to you. If you already tried this, then I guess either opt-out or pay your balance in full from now on.
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I smell class action suit coming - Who's in
Posted by on
Looks like I am one in a long list of folks who got their credit limit instantly reduced for no logical reason, causing embarrassment. Balance around 12,200 with credit limit of 15,000. I was using it exclusively (ie my other credit cards have zero balance) because it had intro offer of 0% APR for 14 months AND I got Points towards travel. Last payment was 2200 a couple weeks ago, never been late have extremely low debt ratio and excellent credit. Never had this happen before. My wife happens to mention the Amex card got declined. I was like no way. Told her to call. They told her we were over our limit. I said that's a lie, cus I knew my limit and my balance. So, was busy Sat/Sun and called Monday. sure enough. the "nice lady" said they reduced my limit to 12200, effectively shutting off the card. They did it because they found something negative in my credit history and because my balances relative to credit limit were high. I mentioned that I have 2 cards with Bank of America with combined credit limit of about 37,000 and zero balance. hmmm, that doesn't sound to high to me...Lets see my only other debt is mortgage totaling 212k on a house worth 380k. NO OTHER DEBT. I told them to close the account immediately, and if they reported me to credit bureau as Over Limit I will sue them. She said they wouldn't but I will still double check. I also was an AMEX stockholder. There stock has been good to me but since I now hate them, I sold that stock (near their recent high, goody for me). I had my grand daughter do the honors and cut up the cards. AMEX is now on the short list of companies I will NEVER do business with again under any circumstances and I will be happy to tell all my friends and family about. If your wondering, the other one is ALLSTATE, but it a similar screw the customer story. Oh, by the way, the nice AMEX lady said they called 4 times. I asked if they left a msg, she said it was automated and came back as either busy or no answer. but, she said they sent an email also. Which, when I looked as we were talking she was right. Unfortunately, I got none of this information BEFORE my family was impacted. I can only speculate as to why they did it. My guess is I was I had accumulated 58000 points (about $600 worth) AND was borrowing 12k at 0% APR. Essentially, I was beating them at their own game and with the economy turning, they couldn't bear it anymore. Its Ironic how fast this happened. I only got the card less than a year ago (and that little whatever it is on my credit rept didn't bother them, and my debt situation was identical and didn't bother them). What they did shows an utter lack of respect for their customers and put us in a very embarrassing situation. PLEASE TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS THEY ARE UNETHICAL SCUMBAGS. IF THEY OWN A BUSINESS TELL THEM NOT TO ACCEPT AMEX. IF THEY LIKE TO INVEST TELL THEM NOT TO OWN AXP.
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Out Of The Blue
Posted by on
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I recently paid of my American Express Blue card in full. ($2500) I had spent some time paying off other debts first but this was the last to go. I was feeling good about finally being debt free and having a decent line of credit to start using on a regular basis. I was also looking forward to suing those rewards point that I acquired. (6300) So I go to use my card knowing that I have a nice cushion of 2600 and it is declined. Figuring it must be a mistake I check by phone and everything was cool. On-line my account is paid. So I try to use it once more. NO DICE! So I called the customer service line and found that my account had been canceled. I asked if it was some kind of mistake and they told me they sent me a letter informing my why. Since I didn't get the letter they told me over the phone that they checked my credit and saw that I had too much debt for the about of credit available.

Well I guess that is what happens when you only have a few credit cards and then get financed to BUY a new car! I get approved for a car loan, pay off all my credit cards, and they think it is in their best interest to close my account! I would think that faithful making on time payments for all my accounts for two years would show some kind of responsibility. I guess they don't want money. I can't believe that they would do such a thing. I would have at least wanted some notice. They have my number they could have called, or I guess they didn't give a crap. Credit card companies only call when they want to hassle some who is down like a big financial bully. Well I am done with them I just wish I had spent my 6300 rewards point before they stole them from me!

I think we all know the big corporations like this have gotten way out of control. Lets hope the snazzy congress of ours can finally come up with some legislation that will put the power back in the hands of the consumers!
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NofriendofAX on 04/27/2009:
Welcome to the wonderful world of American Express. Now that you've freed up some of your debt. I would suggest you wait about one month, and obtain a copy of your credit report showing you have reduced you debt.

American express has reduced my credit limit three times over the past year. It's been about three months since the last reduction. So, I'm feeling confident that they will once again reduce it in my next billing statement.

After reading so many comments on this site about American Express, I decided to cash in my rewards. I've taken the American Express card out of my wallet, and will never ever ever ever use it again!

I think American Express should take a long hard look at what they're doing to people. I don't hear people on this site saying they haven't paid American Express. The people who are complaining are the individuals who actually pay their bills, and care about their credit score.

Shame on American Express.
MattG. on 05/09/2009:
The same thing just happened to me. My credit record is flawless, I have had credit for the past two years, never missed a payment (always paid on time), and today was notified that my American Express card was canceled.

I called to ask why? My debt was too high.

I just recently bought a car, and instead of paying it off in full (which I could do), I decided to build my credit by making payments for at least two years.

American express saw this and decided I was too much of a risk. So instead of calling me and renegotiating, instead of lowering my credit line, they just canceled me. They did not even give me notice beforehand.

Now I have a Costco card, but no American Express. The whole point I signed up with Costco was to get that American Express.

When I called to get my card reinstated, I told them my situation and they said sorry that is just how it is.
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