Reader Pierre is a small business owner who has an American Express Business Account that used to have a $25,000 limit, but has now been cut to $1,800. He says his company’s bill is usually around $12,000 a month, and it is always paid in full — on time. While Pierre is clearly upset with American Express, the Wall Street Journal says that all banks are cutting access to credit.
I just received a shocking call from American Express.
My small business has had an American Express Business Account for the past two years. Our credit limit was around $25,000 and our average bill was approximately $12,000/month.
We have NEVER had a single late payment and, according to Amex’s customer service reps, our spotless payment history is considered “perfect.” In fact, most of the time, we pay our full bill prior to the date it is due.
So imagine our surprise when Amex called us today to inform us that our new credit limit on the account was $1,800. When pressed for details, the Amex rep made some vague references to a credit report.
However, our credit report is spotless. The only possible factor could be the fact that, since we are a private company, we do not share our financial information with Dun & Bradstreet.
Our company has bank lines worth several millions of dollars. We have been a loyal Amex customer. In an era where defaults are soaring through the roof, we have consistently paid our bill in full and prior to its due date. Doesn’t that count for anything anymore?
Maybe not. The Wall Street Journal says:
Credit-card issuers have been decreasing credit limits in the wake of the subprime meltdown. Folks with good credit scores and solid credit histories are now getting caught in the fray.
“Most banks are cutting their credit limits,” says Carol Kaplan, spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association. “They’re doing it to everyone.”