American Express Complaint - Amex Optima unjustified interest rate hike
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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