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American Express Consumer Reviews - Page 2

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Security Harassment
By -

I wanted an American express gold card because in my mind it was one of the best cards to have and their customer service was terrific. I have found through my own experience that this is not so. Let me tell you what they have done to me in the last 3 months. I booked a cruise for myself and my parents {different rooms} through AMEX travel on my gold rewards card and added 2 nights in 2 hotels in Florida and 2 travel insurance policies as well as 4 roundtrip airline tickets. The hotels and insurance and airfare and one of the cruise staterooms went through and one was declined.

I called them and they wanted to know why 2 rooms and that I had been putting large amounts on the card. I explained what I was doing and while I was on the phone I paid for all of the charges and had them rebook the other stateroom. When I flew to Florida and checked in to the hotel I was told that it had not been paid for so I again used my card and paid for the rooms. While I was on the cruise AMEX shut down my card for security reasons and I had to deal with all that mess through the cruise line proving to them who I was etc. So my card was released for use.

When I returned from the cruise and got home I find a letter telling me that I have to contact them immediately due to security concerns. It was dated 9/6 {I was on the cruise} so I contacted them by phone and went through all the security questions I was told that I should have contacted them earlier. I was told that I had to prove to them that I am me. They needed a copy of my driver's license, my social security card, a bill in my name at my address, {I guess their bill doesn't count} and that I needed to send in a check stub and have my signature notarized and fax it to them. I did all this.

When I confirmed that they had the fax I was told that it would take 3 days to clear this up. That was on 9/28. When I received my bill I disputed the dual charge from the hotel and AMEX verified that it had been previously paid and promptly credited it back to my account 3 times. I contacted them and told them that I only needed it credited back once. Then I paid my bill online and they tried to take it out of the wrong account, and charged me an nsf fee. I again contacted them and they agreed that they had messed up and refunded the nsf fee.

The payment then went through on the correct account. Then yesterday 10/5 I went to use the card and was once again embarrassed by it being declined. I called them and was told that the fax containing the notarized signature, driver's license, truck payment bill, high school diploma, draft card, and check stub was not good enough to prove who I am because pay checks did not have my employers address on the check stub. They said they needed a stub with the address on it, a phone number for the notary and a phone number for my employer {they already had this} so I hunted around and found an old stub with the address on it and faxed them the info they asked for.

Then this morning they call me on my cell phone and tell me that the stub is too old. They had confirmed that I gave them the correct phone number for my employer, but the bank is closed on Saturdays {no kidding} so they could not verify that the notary was real I guess. So now they want a 3 way conference call with my employer and I'm sure he's going to love that.

Since I have had this card I have spent about 14,000.00 on it and paid it in full and on time every month and now the former Gestapo agents that they have running their security department are trying very hard to make me miserable. They have cost me time from work, embarrassed me and generally treated me like scum. And I can not get contact info for a supervisor who might be able to resolve this due to "security concerns". The commercial that they run on TV is a lie, a joke, and false advertisement. They do not practice customer service. They practice customer harassment.

American Express Overzealous Security Makes Card Useless
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Today I tried to charge a ticket on a major internet airline reservations site, using my AmEx card. The site refused my card on the 1st try, though I have used my AmEx card on the same site for at least 10 years, and neither my situation nor any of my information related to AmEx has changed recently on that site. I am also a 30 year customer of AmEx. My situation is unusual in that I live outside the U. S., but maintain a permanent residence and phone number in the U. S. This is where my AmEx card is registered.

After the site rejected my AmEx card, I received an email message to phone AmEx security, which I did. They informed me that a "security concern" had arisen, and that they'd have to verify I really was who I said I was by calling my permanent residence in the U. S. Of course, I will not be there, because I don't live there. However, this is my mother's residence, and she can take a message. This won't help me get the time-sensitive ticket I was trying to get today, but eventually I will receive AmEx's message and get back to them in some way specified in the message, and eventually this will free my card for the purchase ... which I don't need any longer.

I asked AmEx what the "security concern" was, and the representative replied that they could not tell me that until they verified who I was. A parallel example: it very much harks back to the McCarthy Era, when you asked the FBI "Why am I being accused of being a communist?" and the FBI replied, "We can't tell you that until you prove you are not a communist."

To verify who I was in my phone call to AmEx security today, they asked me my mother's maiden name, which I answered. So, this was enough for them to verify who I was in a direct call, and they asked for my account number over the line (how do I know THEY weren't at a bogus telephone number?), but it wasn't enough to verify who I was for a purchase, or to straighten out my "security concern".

I then asked why they had to call my permanent residence (where I am currently not), when they could simply ask the security questions they got answers to when I set up the AmEx account. The representative replied that "anyone could find out the answers to those questions". OK, anyone could maybe find out my mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of my SS number. But what about my first dog's name, my first girlfriend's name, or my favorite color? Why doesn't AmEx register meaningful security questions and answers to avoid all the BS about calling my residence?

The bottom line is that this is the third time I've had a similar problem in purchasing tickets over the internet with my AmEx card. Previous times, the problem was resolved with my calling AmEx, answering security questions, and verifying that it was in fact me trying to use the card. This appears to be no longer the way problems are resolved. AmEx is supposed to be a "travel company", and I have kept this card because I travel a lot and live abroad.

More and more, however, the AmEx card is becoming nothing but a problem. I can understand their concern about security, and I appreciate that they're trying to protect themselves and me from fraud. However, the tail (security department) seems to be wagging the dog (customer service) at AmEx, and they can't seem to find a means of ensuring security without making their card essentially useless. I mean, if you can't count on being able to use it, why have it?

Curiously, AmEx is putting on a good show about security, but some of their policies are full of holes. For example, when I set up my internet account with them, they specified that my password should contain the first 5 digits of my SS number. I don't know whether they still specify this, but how dumb is that? Nor have they ever insisted that I change my password on a regular basis, which is something my bank insists upon for online banking.

I am totally disgusted with AmEx, and probably will cancel my card after 30 years. It is ironic that they spend so much money advertising for new customers, and then manage to so royally piss off the ones they have. In dealing with them, I feel like a criminal rather than a customer. My advice to anyone thinking of getting an AmEx card: forget it. You can do much better elsewhere. Or at least, I hope you can.

American Express's Crappy Customer Service Hides Behind an Obsolete Reputation
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- This is more a review for the customer service of American Express in general. I've been an American Express blue cash card customer for about 4 years now since college. Recently I decided to upgrade to the Gold premier card for a few reasons: $0 introductory annual fee. Increased spending habits (particularly in travel). Need to purchase airline tickets for flights planned later this year; including one I need to purchase immediately for a flight next week (3x points would have been nice for this).

I had some special circumstances when I applied - I needed to expedite the delivery process in order to purchase the ticket for the upcoming flight because the normal 7-10 business day deliver would have been too late. I KNEW this was possible since a friend of mine just applied and received his in 2 business days. However, after speaking to at least 4 different people in the “Apply by Phone” department, everyone denied it was possible and instead gave me a canned lie that “the system will not be updated even if we do a rush delivery.” One representative, upon a request to be transferred to a supervisor, chose to hang up on me instead!

After finally getting in touch with the supervisor there, she suggested I apply online as my friend has done. I ended up doing this and upon speaking to ** through the online process, he assured me immediately that it was possible to expedite the delivery of the card. Why one department within Amex CANNOT expedite delivery and another can completely baffles me and seems to paint a picture of Amex as a ridiculous bureaucracy.

The only reasoning really I can grasp behind this is that Amex cares more about acquiring a new customer (my friend), rather than retaining good loyal customers who have excellent credit. I thought the problem was solved, but when I called back the next day to confirm that the card should be expedited (as ** instructed) it turns out I was processed for the wrong card! (Amex Gold, not Gold premier).

I'm not sure how exactly this could have happened, whether there was some bug with the website (which is poorly implemented to begin with as words flicker in and out) or some kind of miscommunication with whoever I talked to afterward, but before I applied online I carefully reviewed the card application, confirmed that I was applying for the one with $0 introductory annual fee and then $175 thereafter, while my friend who also applied for the same card sat right next to me as an eyewitness and guided me through exactly what he did!

Frustratingly, I then had to sit through 3 more hours of waiting and re-explaining my issue to about 5 more representatives, including a conversation with **, an unhelpful and very bored supervisor from customer service, who for some reason chose to adamantly argue an irrelevant point that Amex has no authority to control what will happen to my credit score if I have to cancel a card, even if I did not order it.

** cut me off while I was asking him a question and transferred me over to ** on New Accounts, who was even more confused than I was about what is Gold premier vs. Gold preferred vs. Gold – he then put me on hold for another 20 minutes, while I assumed he went to check his facts, maybe look back at his training manual if Amex even gives him one…I have no idea.

It came to the point that after talking to ** in New accounts, The only solution they could come up with was to cancel the Gold Card (that I didn't order in the first place) which would lower my credit score and reapply for the Gold Premier. I'm definitely going to cancel the Gold card, along with my blue cash that I've been using, and instead get the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because after dealing with Chase for several years on my banking side I know they are one to still care about customer service.

I understand many of the reps were genuinely trying to be helpful (only a few of them were very rude), but it's clear that Amex has some serious issues with inconsistent and inaccurate information permeating across different departments, poor training (the reps don't even know their own products they are selling!!), and moreover structural problems with management.

Everyone told me something different (yes, I would be able to order my plane ticket the next day through the Amex travel department if I apply today. no I cannot get my credit card expedited.) I'm sure people still love Amex for the membership benefits for which I was initially attracted to, but one thing that they should NOT be commended for is customer service. I'm appalled - they might have had a great reputation historically, but if they continue to treat customers this way it's almost sure to erode. It takes some real effort to drive customers away even before they even receive the product.

AMEX Knows How To Cover Their **
By -

SALT LAKE CITY, VIRGINIA -- In March of 2001 the Wyoming Highway Patrol seized about $10,000 worth of AMEX traveller's checks from me. Subsequently they turned the checks over to the US Secret Service. The US Secret Service held the checks for three years until 2004. I was never charged with any criminal offence regarding these checks.

Rather than returning the checks to me in 2004 the US Secret Service returned the checks to American Express. I have documentation (if you had a place to attach files I could display this) to support this allegation along with a letter from the Secret Service stating the checks sent to American Express belonged to me. In 2006 I hired a Wyoming attorney named ** of Cheyenne, Wyoming. He wrote letters to the legal department at AMEX demanding a refund for these checks being AMEX got my money and the checks back.

I also have documents to support this. He even demanded AMEX show a factual or legal basis for denying me my refund. Never did an attorney respond. He only received emails from someone called ** (legal analyst). I checked with the Utah Bar and there was never an attorney practicing in that state by the name of **. She said she was denying the claim unless I can produce a receipt or proof of purchase. Unfortunately being it was five years since I purchased the checks I did not have the receipts.

However requiring me to produce a proof of purchase before I could get a refund is such a farce. Number one AMEX has records. They know damn well who purchased those checks. For two the checks were held for three years with the US Secret Service. If those checks were not purchased by me clearly I would have had criminal charges filed against me. Three, I have documentation (if you only could allow me to paste documents here) where the US Secret Service clearly and unequivocally state that the checks in question belonged to me. I purchased them on either February 20 or February 21 at the AAA Office on Arkansas Avenue in Denver, Colorado.

In 2007 my attorney filed a complaint against AMEX with the Office of the Attorney General of Utah. The Utah Attorney Generals Office dismissed the complaint because I am not a Utah resident. I then upon my own filed a complaint in 2007 with the New York State Attorney General (where I am a resident). The complaint again was dismissed. In speaking with an attorney for the New York State Attorney Generals Office she said we can only resolve disputes if both parties are willing to do so voluntarily which is a joke. If the two parties can resolve the issue voluntarily why would one have to go to the attorney generals office.

Then in late 2008 I tried to file a complaint against AMEX with the Federal Trade Commission (The FTC).The FTC would not take the complaint because they say they only deal with class action suits. They referred me to the Office of Thrift Supervision. In 2008 I filed a complaint against AMEX with the OTS (Office of Thrift Supervision) and they said that AMEX is a bank and that I should go to the FDIC. I went to the FDIC and they said AMEX is not a bank and that I should go to the FTC.

In 2009 I tried to contact an attorney for AMEX to discuss the refund and I get stonewalled. I first tried phoning the 1-800-221-7282 and I got someone from the Philippines named ** and he refused to connect me to an attorney for AMEX. I also phoned a ** at AMEX in Salt Lake (1-801-945-5146) and he too refused to put me in contact with an in house attorney for AMEX.

It is rather obvious what AMEX is doing. They know how to cover their asses. They know the only way I would get justice from them is by suing them. And for me to hire an attorney it would cost me more than the $10,000 I am out. I am trying to get the money back. Does anyone here know of any way that I can bring AMEX to justice, have them refund me my $10,000? Without it costing me $10,000 to do so. Further there is now telling how many other times AMEX has done this.

They Didn't Raise My Rates but Reduced My Credit Limit With a Score of 719!!!
By -

They didn't raise my rates but reduced my credit limit with a score of 719!!! Get ready folks. It's already happening. Stand up, do something. I cannot believe American Express reduced my credit limit! They invoked the "Universal Default" clause and look for other things in my credit history that don't even apply to this account to make their judgments. This tactic will continue to choke the lifeblood cash flow out of this country. They don't even see what they are doing.

I found out about what they did last night when I tried to buy airline tickets to take my family on vacation. They made the change before they notified me of it the morning before I tried to buy the tickets. Can you believe it? Imagine my surprise. Shame on you people. Your tactics are despicable!

I have been a member since 1981 and always paid my bills. I find it sneaky and underhanded that they took this tactic. The process is to review your credit, look at one or two other elements on my credit that don't fit the "New Rules", and deduce that they should reduce my ability to buy and be offered credit. Way to go, what a great stimulate the economy tactic. Not only does it reduce my ability to buy, it actually hurts my credit rating more because they put my limit $400 above my current balance which makes it look like I am way to close to my limit. The account was $3,000 away from the limit.

I just made a payment on this account of $1,000 last week. I was even going to make another payment of $1500 on it last night. I opened this account when they sold me their bill of goods that I could use it as business account. I started a small business and it was going along great, Realizing Revenues. It was looking good. FAT CHANCE now.

After all the money they received from the federal government to bail them out, they probably paid the execs their big bonuses and turn around and stick it to the people like you and me. We, the consumers, are really the people who are responsible for bailing these banking institutions out. Where do they think the money comes from? Way to instill confidence with generous practices of credit.

I think it totally unreasonable and an invasion of my privacy that they can invoke a "Universal Default" clause and make judgments based on something else they think they found in my credit that has absolutely no bearing on what was happening with the payment history of this account.

My credit score is 719 with one of the all - powerful credit agencies and the other two have me listed with ratings just below that. THAT FALLS IN THE RATING OF EXCELLENT I BELIEVE. WHAT IDIOTS! Well, they have done it now. I WILL BE CLOSING MY ACCOUNTS AS SOON AS I CAN.

We need to stand up, this practice needs to made illegal. I am writing my congressman, and I am going to try to get through to the new president. In fact, I hope he reads this. This is exactly why he needs put constraints on these institutions and make them abide by clauses to open up credit so we can get things rolling again!

Congratulations AMX on driving a way a good customer long term customer. I hope you get what you deserve. I am sure it won't be long and the mighty American Express will go the way of Bear Sterns. Very, very disappointed. I am mad as Hell, and I am not going to take it any more.

Letter to CEO
By -

Let me start off by stating how displeased I am with American Express. I have been a loyal card member for several years now. I have always paid my bill on time and usually pay more than what is due. I went online today to pay my bill and noticed that both of my accounts have had a credit limit reduction. I called and spoke with Andre **; he explained that due to abnormally high credit card usage, American Express has decided to lower my credit limit. Mr. ** stated that beginning in April of this year my credit card use has doubled.

I explained to him that my father passed away and I used my Amex card for an emergency situation to pay for a flight to Thailand, my father's hospital expenses, and then pay for funeral services, and also had to use other cards to fly my father's remains back to the United States. This all occurred over a 2-month period because that it is not easy to ship human remains back into the country and having to wait for availability at Arlington National Cemetery.
I explained to Mr. ** that I had to use all cards to pay for this and hotel rooms in Arlington and that I intentionally spread the fees over several cards so no one card would be maxed out.

He then stated that he was "sorry" for my loss but the decision would not be reversed. Mr. ** stated that American Express could not afford in this economy to take a risk on someone defaulting, especially with someone who chooses not to use their credit wisely. I explained to him that I have been a member for years and have never once defaulted; I in fact usually pay more than the minimum due. I am never late on any payments for any card. He said the decision was actually based on my credit report. I told him he needs to look at my report beyond the number because it will fluctuate due to usage but my payments are never late!

I in fact have a blue card with Amex that has a zero balance and IF I "chose not to use my credit wisely" this card would be maxed out. Mr. ** stated that he had the authority to reverse the decision but even with the facts presented, he stated he would not because Amex could not risk default. I attempted to explain again that my credit usage was not abnormally high before my father's death and not high after his funeral in June. I in fact used it on Saturday for a high purchase ($950) to purchase a laptop for work but other than that hardly at all. I actually pay a fee for this card and can easily transfer this balance to another card(s).

American Express is not the most user friendly card to have. Many merchants will not accept it; trust me I know firsthand because I had to call 5 funeral homes before I found one that would take the card. Given the fact that I do pay a fee for this card and I do pay all my bills on time every month, I am asking that the decision to reduce my line of credit be reversed on both my Amex cards.

Mr. ** stated that Amex could not risk me losing my job due to the economy. I stated that that has nothing to do with my history with Amex and that I am in the medical field as a Nurse Practitioner, and am at no risk of ever losing my job! He then stated that I could get sick and not be able to work. I then explained that that is why I have insurance. To me, it seems that Mr. ** is grasping for a reason. It has been hard enough dealing with the government, the Veterans Administration, and the various agencies concerning the passing of my father. I never thought American Express would turn their back on me.

I always thought that American Express would always be there for me in emergency situations and was a company that had compassion and understanding for individual card members. This is obviously not the case. I am not asking for more than I had, just to be reinstated to my original credit limits. All I am asking is that Amex be as loyal to me as I am to them.

Credit Card Dispute
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- Didn't get what I paid for and because vendor refuses to refund, they tell me that it can't be refunded. After dealing with this for 3 months, I've talked with the supervisors and they are far more incompetent than the customer service. CANCEL AMEX! Why does this company still exist if the cost of business is more and yet less service. Bye, taking my business to better companies.

Great Everything
StarStarStarStarStarBy -
Rating: 5/51

I have never had a bad experience with Amex. When I challenged Ticketron, they were there for me. I love the rewards. I sound like I work for Amex, but I don't. I'm a teacher. I'm just bummed because I heard that Costco is dumping them. They get slammed left and right, but I'm a believer!

Wanted to Give Points to NonProfits of My Choice as I Have Done in the Past, Now You Can Only Give to Five Charities.
StarStarStarStarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 4/51

WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS -- It says on the site you can give to non-profits of your choice. As I see it you have five choices which is far from the multiple nonprofits of the past. When I chatted with Amex she suggested I give gift cards. Of course they are Amex cards which are 2x the amt. What has happened? Are only the big nonprofits the ones to gain in rewards charity giving? Very disappointing!

Improper lowering of line of credit
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

EVERYWHERE, ALABAMA -- I am requesting your assistance with a matter that has apparently developed from new credit regulations resulting from the 2008/2009 credit crisis. American Express has unnecessarily and inappropriately lowered my line of credit (LOC). This has caused a lowering of my debt to credit ratio and decreased my credit score as a result. If this is not illegal, it should be.

Unless a person has exhibited a problem with their ability to pay the bill. ie, not paying bill or habitually paying bill late then they should NOT be able to lower your LOC based on some "hunch" that you are no longer able to maintain this LOC. American Express hides behind so called changes in laws and regulations as a result of the 2008/2009 credit meltdown and refuses to reinstate former LOC.

I'm sure it was not the intention of these laws to damage a persons credit, especially someone like myself who has a credit file since the mid 70's with no late payments to American express and only two late payments ever and those were due to the bank dropping the ball with electronic payments and not making the payment, not because I couldn't or didn't make the payment.

As soon as I discovered this issue, I immediately corrected it. I have also tried to get that removed from my credit file without success. What can you do to get laws passed that make this practice illegal AND penalize the company and pay the consumer punitive damages?

I want to see some fast action on this! If this has happened to you, won't you join with me and other consumers with this problem and complain long and loud to the legislatures in your area and get these laws repelled and replaced with strong consumer advocacy laws and regulations.

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American Express Rating:
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1.4 out of 5, based on 30 ratings and
58 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
American Express
World Financial Center, 200 Vesey St.
New York, NY 10285
212-640-2000 (ph)
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