This is to complain about the way I and my brother have been treated by American Express's Blue Card Division. Our card number is **. 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. 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?
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 (i.e. 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, because 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...
Let's 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 granddaughter 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 you're 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 message, 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.
It's 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.
LA GRANGE, ILLINOIS -- As a proud small business owner, responsible employer and responsible every loan and credit payer I was terrified to find out on February 12th of 2009, that two of my existing American Express Cards were drastically cut on credit limit in over $19,000 combining both accounts.
So far, I was left with only $125 available credit on one of my accounts, which had a credit limit of $10,000 with the balance of approximately $2,400 (which is not even 30% of my credit limit). This unfortunately looks as I have maxed out my credit card, while another account was cut form $25,000 to $14,780, which leaves me with more than 40% used credit.
In these tough economic times for those who try to be loyal consumers and make everything work, juggling our own businesses and secondary jobs to make the living, create jobs, pay bills and our mortgages it's a “killer situation”.
Thus far, I have never been late on any of those accounts, in addition always paid more than a minimum for all my creditors, and never used my credit excessively and irresponsibly.
I do ask all possible authorities to review this case, as I have discovered that I am truly not the only one in similar situation. It is going affect my credit score dreadfully, if I will not be able to pay my American Express Credit card balance in full by February 28th of 2009 (before the billing cycle ends), which will make me eligible for my business expansion and car purchase, which was absolutely on my way. By saying that it is truly not helping us, as consumers, as well as whole country economy at all.
After briefly talking to customer service representative at American Express, he explained that one of the reasons my credit card limits were drastically decreased was that I had balances on almost all my credit cards, which is not true, because not all the time every card is being paid off just before the billing cycle ends as I do make payments probably on daily basis.
Another reason I was explained was that there were two many new accounts within the last 12 months, which is completely understandable as I have applied for 3 business credit card accounts in the past 12 months, to start building credit history for my business (and the very beginning of the business you always rely on your personal credit), which was opened just 12 months ago, and under my company name I have bought small business, existing tanning salon (which has been in the business from 1999) in South West suburbs of Illinois.
This horribly excessive and extreme “right” of American Express, for whom I have been loyal client for over 3 years, and to be honest I was ALWAYS absolutely satisfied with their customer service, because I have always thought that they are most responsible creditors in my experience, has “kicked” me more than harsh. In the addition, as much I as I would not like to mention, I am still receiving preapproved applications and regular applications for American Express Business Credit cards. How in the world I would trust them again and do the business with them?
This horribly unfair and humiliating and mortifying policy. We already have enough NON-PAYING consumers who might be irresponsible or sometimes people who are really deeply in trouble in regards to our economic situation. So why there should be a policy that allows to “kill” every other financial credibility and partial stability?
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 daughter's 529 account and use that mostly for the rewards.
I had a balance 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 please cancel me and they did and I was so in shock that they would be that pathetic on keeping customers 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 get away 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.
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 (**) 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.
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 done and 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 "always wanted you to clearly understand both the benefits and the responsibilities of card membership with American Express". Who wrote this? My 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 + 23.99%........ At 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.
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. Let's 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!
VOORHEES, NEW JERSEY -- I have been an American Express card holder since the year 2000 and I have worked extremely hard to build the credit that I had. I currently have three credit card accounts with American Express. On my BLUE credit card between 10/17/08 and 11/18/08 statements my credit line was reduced from $48,000 to $40,000 (17%, within $750 of my balance). During the same time period they imposed a $1,700 credit limit on my ONE credit card which always had been unlimited.
I had charged and paid each month more than $2,000 consistently for years on that card and now I had to scramble to move automatic payments, I had several charges declined after the limit was set and was left with egg on my face.
After calling customer service several times they said this was due to a credit review and there was nothing that could be done about it. On 4/2/09 I was notified that my BLUE credit line was reduced from $40,000 to $9,600 (76%, within $200 of my balance). After calling customer service and speaking with a manager they said this was due to a high debt/credit ratio and there was nothing that could be done about it. I have never made a late payment and I typically pay much higher than the minimum payment.
At a minimum this is horrible customer service and at a maximum they have severely impacted my credit rating by increasing my debt/credit ratio. My debt/credit ratio has not changed dramatically in over a year and my credit score is over 700, what they are doing is completely arbitrary. I would not be surprised if they lower my limit again in the near future as they are now creating a self-fulfilled prophecy by manipulating my credit.
From the research I have done there are hundreds if not thousands of customers being affected in the same way and I am looking for a class action lawsuit to join if this can not be resolved immediately. I am so unhappy that I want to immediately cancel all of my credit accounts with American Express, the only reason I have not is it will hurt my credit scores even more. Please help!
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I have been an American Express customer for 4 years now and I have never been late or not paid my bill. I have a limit rather I had a limit of $5000 and I have been leaning on it the last 6 months for gas and other things since my work hasn't given out raises in three years due to the recession. I have a credit score of 736 and have no delinquent or derogatory items on it. I have a total of $6700 in revolving credit and I am paying it down as fast as I can.
I just made a $1000 payment to my blue card last month and they reduced my limit to $3900 which leaves me with an available balance of $130. This is the third time they have reduced my limit from the $5000 I opened it with and I have had to threaten to close my account to get them to put it back to what it was when I opened it.
I was told by their customer service that after reviewing my credit I have too much debit and they reduced my limit because of that fact. I have never made any payments late on any of my car loans, personal loans, or credit cards and don't have anything negative on my credit.
I am completely disgusted with American Express for this and I am going to open a new account with another credit card company and transfer my balance and close my account even if it adversely affects my credit. I am tired of American Express punishing their good customers for no reason at all except they decided that I am over my extended which I am not.
I just am paying it down slowly so I always have cash on hand for emergencies. I see this as a trend for all of their customers over the last 5 months. I hope they lose a lot of customers because of this practice and I hope that our government doesn't give them a dime of bailout money. I am just disgusted by them and I will be closing my account ASAP.
They charge merchants the highest fees out of all credit card companies for transactions and treat their customers like crap. I am done with them and I hope that everyone else who has an account with them does the same as it will happen to you too. Good luck to all of you and I hope that you don' have the same experience with American Express that I have been having. They are just terrible. Shame on you American Express.
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!