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AMEX Rant

Old 03-19-2009, 10:13 AM
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My company has had an AMEX card for 45 years. Never late on a payment and currently have a no limit Platinum card. Received a call today from them today stating that they needed us to pay immediately the $1800 balance that was not yet even due - "even if we had to make partial payments" and that our account was frozen. Their explanation: that there is a problem on our credit report that makes us no longer credit worthy. We contacted the credit report agency and got a copy of our report which was fanstastic as we expected. WTF? Called AMEX back and were told they can't discuss the credit report itself but they would re-open the account with a $6000 limit.
What good is a no limit Platinum card with a $6000 limit? WTF is wrong with this company?
Old 03-19-2009, 10:30 AM
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This had been going on from some time now... I had the same rant no too long ago... being on this country for 8 years, and had my amex from day 1, I had a credit line of 75k or 85, something like that... all of the sudden they send a letter dropping my limit to 3800....

I think that CC are the next bailout-to-be... CC companies are afraid of you running to buy stuff and never pay them back.

With people being laid off, and the economy the way it is, is not a crazy idea to think that people will start paying every day stuff with CC because they have no money, because they have no job...

Worst than that will be when people loose their job, and they start paying the car loan, the plasma loan, the boat loan, with CC....

Meanwhile the stupid people like me that always paid on time, are getting credit lines reduced for no reason.
Amex reduce your credit line, and that reflects on your credit-to-debt ratio, ergo reducing you credit score.
So the next company look at your score now, and since your ratio went up and your credit score dropped, they think you are more risk, so they reduce your credit line with that particular CC... you see where I'm going....

So while they are screwing us now, most likely they will apply for a bail out on the near future, and the government will give them our money so they can keep screwing us some more.

Last week I paid off the only CC 0%APR that I had. I hope they burn in hell.

Thanks for letting me vent.
Old 03-19-2009, 10:34 AM
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They started this last year and most credit card issuers are doing the same. It is the fear of a business going BK, employees losing jobs and the general financial market. With the high unemployment rate it would be human nature to use the cards as long as possible and run up huge balances. Credit card collectors are scum and will do anything, never give them a check as they can get you account number.
Old 03-19-2009, 10:42 AM
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I can understand their motives in wanting to reduce their exposure but doing it in this way is like a scam. Why not just send out a letter announcing that because of current economic decisions they are imposing limits on all their cardholders? Why make us feel like deadbeats and make up a story about our credit report? And to ask for partial payment on only $1800? That's some crazy shiat right there....
Old 03-19-2009, 10:43 AM
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Had a similar experience with Citibank MasterCard a few years ago - they cut my credit limit from $10K to $1K (after 25 years) and wouldn't tell me any good reason other than "something showed up on credit report". Frustrating as all get out to be unable to find someone who could tell me what the problem might be. Got so PO'd I not only canceled the card but sold my stock in Citibank, also. Guess what - the stock was around $50 when i sold it, so I think I got the last laugh!

Check and double-check that credit report, try to make sure none of your other creditors see anything that you might be missing, then say sayonara to AMEX. I don't think they have the same status they enjoyed years ago, anyway. MC, Visa, Discover will be just as glad to have your account, and merchants are just as glad to take their cards.
Old 03-19-2009, 11:07 AM
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I have an Amex and just asked for a 33% raise in my limit. I haven't had any issues with them and have a bunch of open credit with them. I max out my card often with them, but make multiple payments a month and have never had any issues. I have a Citibank card with the same limit as my amex and hate them. I rarely use the card, they havent lowered my limit, but I will not close it beacuse I have been with them so long. These are both personal cards, not business.
Old 03-19-2009, 11:46 AM
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My AMEX card's limit hasnt been dropped... I wonder why some and not others?
Old 03-19-2009, 12:44 PM
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I don't get the whole AMEX thing anyway. AMEX is hit or miss as far as who takes them. I have one business card, a Mastercard, that they take everywhere.

I just opened another business last year and started receiving offers from every credit card company known to man, including AMEX. It sure doesn't make too much sense to me that they would cut your limit to the bone while at the same time trying to sign up new business with someone they've never dealt with.

I wish they'd stop wasting the paper with these offers.
Old 03-19-2009, 12:47 PM
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My personal citi card, which has a only a few hundred bucks on it from the current month just went up to a 14,700 limit from the previous 11k limit, and the next day I got a letter saying my line of credit through citi (unused) was being dropped from 10k to 8,700. Go figure.
Old 03-19-2009, 01:35 PM
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Seems like many people are being very tough on AMEX. Last winter I was on vacation in Seattle and some helpful restaurant service person was thoughtful enough to copy my card number and security code. About a month later I received a call from AMEX regarding unusual activity on my card. It seems like someone was repetitively using the card for internet purchases. This seemed pretty stupid to me, since it should be pretty easy to track the responsible party from the ship to address. We went through all of the current charges to identify the 'bad' card activity, which was immediately removed from my bill. AMEX then cancelled the card, and issued me a replacement which was delivered by overnight mail the next morning. I'm sorry about your credit limit reduction, but these folks are A++ in my book. And that was with a free 'Blue' card.
Old 03-19-2009, 01:39 PM
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They were talking about this on local radio a few weeks ago. What is going on is pretty complicated software is being used to decide the likelihood of you defaulting on payments. The decision is based more on what you buy, not how you pay your card bills.

Purchasing habits matter! What you buy, where you buy it, how you buy it (online, in store), what you do -- your job and its perceived security, where you live ... all of it is ingested and analysed by software that makes decisions about your credit line. If you use your cc mostly to buy groceries, it means one thing. If you use it to buy groceries and CDs from Amazon, tho you spend the same amount of money, it means something different, perhaps a higher credit limit.

The folks that seem to be doing the best are those that frequently use their cc to buy all kinds of stuff, and pay more than the min payment, or pay it off monthly. The flip side of that is it creates a database profile of YOU! -- based on all of that stuff you purchased. So, I am doing my part to fool the profile -- I'm buying as much online porn with a cc as I can.
Old 03-19-2009, 01:51 PM
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They must be getting whacked. I had no limit with balances for our company, and some months over $60k. As business slowed, so did our expenses and we avg around $20k per month. Recently the card was declined and we were told they are giving us a limit of average of 6 months. Only reason given was that they reviewed our account and "outside" credit report was a factor. My credit over 750, and actually better than it was when i got the card. wtf? Business is picking up and we are always at limit and have to pay it down throughout the month. I'm just going to start using Visa and give them the money they make on all my charges. 7 years, payments on time not good enough for AMEX... not to mention amount $ charged with their card...
Old 03-19-2009, 02:03 PM
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From what they were talking about on the radio, ALL of the major credit cards are now reviewing ALL accounts with that software. You can leave Amex, but it is not going to make any lasting difference.

You can run, but you cannot hide. Well, you can, but you need to be paying with cash/check.
Old 03-19-2009, 02:05 PM
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When I was in business amex was the highest with merchant fees of them all. Looked back at the years sales and they were 4% as to the others being 1.25-2.0%,I had to stop taking there card and a lot of other friends did the same.
Old 03-19-2009, 02:07 PM
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+1 on the blue card. I get around a grand a year cash back applied to my account. I called them about something and they said Amex would love me to try a Platinum card "free" for a year, but I get those fantastic sky miles and concierge service or some other crap.

Not sure what my limit exact limit is on the Blue, but I don't approach it and pay in full every month. I asked if they were going to cut my limit and was told I could raise it if I would like...on a Platinum card.

No thanks, I'll take the cash back instead. Works for me.
Old 03-19-2009, 02:13 PM
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AMEX just dropped my wife last week. Apparently they don't make any money from us so I guess they wised up and just dropped her. We spend a lot of money at Costco and for the last few years have always received a check for $300-$400 each year
Old 03-19-2009, 03:41 PM
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I have an AMEX Blue card...never been late and they lowered my credit limit substantially. Here's the funny thing....I made some large purchases recently and carried the balance over a couple of months before I paid the card off. I wasn't anywhere near the credit limit, but they said because the pattern I was using it indicated a risk they were not comfortable with necessitated the limit cut. WTF????
Paying off the balance indicates a credit risk? I used the card exclusively for customer entertainment, and never ran more than $1000 up on it during any month.
Since their action, this card is relegated to the back of my wallet, and the Discover card is now the card I use on a regular basis.
AMEX can go pound sand....
Old 03-19-2009, 04:08 PM
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I had a 38000 limit with them. Two months ago it got denied at the gas pump. Called them up and it was reduced to 7500. I charge at least 5k a month and sometimes 20K and pay it all off every month. No real explanation from them. Thanks alot.
Old 03-19-2009, 04:27 PM
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Amex is screwing with a lot of their smaller accounts in this fashion. To avoid messing with your credit rating I would suggest not closing the Amex account just yet. Do shop around for better deals and after the credit market turns around, decide if closing one of those accounts is in your best interest.

In the meantime, you have a "reserve account" in case one of those vendors messes up your account.

If you aren't a 'one-man band,' direct this issue towards the department that handles your creit card selection. usually Finance but might be Purchasing or Travel.

Good luck!

(Disclosure: I own stock in Amex and consider this poor service to be not in my long-term interest. I am hopeful this will be a short-term scenario. Thank you to those who stick with them.)
Old 03-19-2009, 04:27 PM
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Eyeball has it. Its called a "BEHAVIOR" score. CC companies each have thier own and don't have to tell anybody how they come up with it... It's all about risk aversion now.

FICO SCORE = Possibility of missing a PAYMENT.
BEHAVIOR SCORE = Probability of DEFAULT.

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