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!
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 through. :( WOW... not 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!
I have applied for AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card in July 2012 through AMEX website. At that time AMEX was offering a promotion, first year annual fee waived ($75)and $150 dollar points if you spent more than $1,000 in the first 3 months. This promotion was a strong contributor to my decision to apply for the new card. How surprised I was to find out after few months that apparently I did not check some box during the application process and for that reason I will not receive my bonus and I will be charged annual fee. After multiple phone calls with customer service I was simply told that I not eligible.
I wrote this to make as many people as possible aware how terrible practice AMEX is using to lure new customers, I feel very disappointed right now and I am seriously considering closing all my AMEX cards. FYI - I have tried to post my comment on AMEX website but surprisingly the review site is under maintenance and will not be available until "early 2013". How convenient... Please stay away from this company as they do not value their customers at all.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Like many others, I too have been exposed to this American Express "rip-off." It all started when I was making reservations on Jet Blue Airlines. At the end of my conversation they offered me "free" 10,000 air-mileage anywhere Jet Blue flies if I applied for the card. So I did, and within minutes "SHAZAMMMMM" I was approved for $5,000 credit limit.
While I was on my trip (Vegas), I used all but about $700.00 of the $5,000, well I guess AX didn't like that and they cancelled my card, because, their words... They receive "monthly" updates from "Experian credit reporting agency" and that my credit score profile had fallen below their acceptable limit. Never mind the fact that I was paying my monthly payment (actually over-paying with no late payments).
Now I am paying on a cancelled credit card and AX entry into Experian has given me my first and only "negative" entry on my credit profile. If you been ripped off, and from the entries I have read, there are a lot of us out there... Let not get mad... when we can get even!!! Let's use our "social-networking channels" and get the word out about AX and their questionable business practices YOU'RE APPROVED.... SORRY, YOU'RE CANCELLED! The fact that this company got a government bail-out of almost 3.4 billion dollars is insulting. Someone with some "clout" should investigate this company. See you on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
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.
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: http://financialservices.house.gov/contact.html
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)...
QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM THE TRANSCRIPT (http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/
"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 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
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 got a card through COSTCO. MY wife also. She had no problem. After about 2 weeks my card was declined at a store. In talking with AMEX, they first asked for a landline under my name. I only use cell phones for both business and personal. The also asked for a W-2, but I am self employed consultant for the last 20 years. Then they asked for a SS Card, which I have not needed to produce for anyone in the last 50 years (I am 54). Then they asked for my tax return, I said all 40 pages of it, no just the first page so they can see the w-2.
First of all Tax returns are file electronically over 50% of the time and (because I also have been doing tax returns for 30 years) w-2's are no longer attached to the front page. I reminded them that I do not have a w-2 because I was self employed, so then we went around again requesting the same info. Finally this person passed me to another person. Of course the W-2 and SS # is brought up. I am self employed, I do not have any to give. So finally we settled on a 1099. Then she wanted a utility bill. All my utility bills are sent to me via the internet. I do not utility bills to provide. They did not want a web page. Finally they asked for a Notarized signature.
OK. I have done this before and no problem and asked for the form to be used. They cannot provide me with the form. The Bank will have the proper form. Went to the Bank (Bank of America) and went to the senior banker there. She also said she need a form and she always was provided the form to be used. There is no standard form. OK call AMEX and ask for the form. Service Rep says what are you talking about. I said look at the customer notes. She said there are no notes and that this is the first phone call ever (actually I had been on the line for 3 hours with them already). So now AMEX is sending from dept to dept looking for this form.
One person even said they fixed the problem with my account and I did not have to furnish the docs requested. Frankly I did not believe them, so eventually (1 hour later) they got to a person who could provide this top secret form. Even the banker was getting disgusted because I put her on the phone with them and she did not know what they wanted. So finally got the form and the requested items changed. Got a supervisor and they requested items changed again. I asked about the form that they would not send and she said that they rarely send that form. From my banker's reaction, rolled eyes, we both knew the BS that was going on.
I wanted to send the items to FEDEX instead of FAX. The said FAX is the only way and they had no physical address (which of course is another lie). I said the problem with FAX is the sending machines are unreliable especially with dark copies. They wanted driver's license and with all the anti tampering stuff on the driver's license, it is very dark when you copy. This in fact happen to my son recently. I was told that this never happens (Another lie, actually this happens all the time and FAX is one of the oldest and most unreliable technologies an organization can use. They also insisted that I gave them the wrong phone number on my app.
I have only one phone number. NO No No, they have another (from where and what it is they refused to disclose) and that is why I am being requested this info. I asked them to look at the app for the phone number as that is the only one that I have. Later I determined the phone number is from a previous residence. I never gave them that number and not used that number for years. When I noted that they had the wrong number the rep was very rude, I could hear her change it on the computer. When I asked that we go over all the data on the computer, she refused and the phone line was dropped all of a sudden.
I also caught them in other lies in over 4 hours of conversation. They refuse to provide any follow-up documentation. One time we reviewed their notes about the phone conversations. Not once did they have any documentation about what they said or did. They choose to have selectively document things. In trying to work with management, I requested a meeting with a manager to work out these problems.
They refused, saying our customer reps could handle it. These are the people who cannot give the same answer twice in a row. I have faxed the info in and but they refuse to acknowledge. They received the fax even though my fax log shows it was accepted. Costco should really review their relationship with AMEX. This company is terrible to deal with.