American Express Cancels Your Card Right Before You Were Supposed To Get Your $500 Rebate

Andrea, an American Express member for over 20 years, is upset because AmEx canceled her cash-back card two weeks before her $500 rebate check was supposed to arrive, and declared the rebate forfeit.

Andrea writes:

I am sure I am not the first one. AMEX canceled my credit card on 01/31/2009. I have been a member since 1986 and always pay my full balance every month. They were supposed to mail me my yearly Costco cash rebate check of about $500 with my 02/14/2009 statement. Since they canceled my card 2 weeks ago they told me that the rebate is forfeited. They tell me Experian provided them with a bad credit report but my credit score is 720 and when I called Experian they told me that AMEX has been canceling many customer with excellent credit scores.

I wonder how much money AMEX has saved by canceling customers who were due rebates? This is outrageous.

That is outrageous. We suggest calling them up and having a chat with someone higher up. Perhaps also try calling Costco, which is generally pretty good about customer service, and would probably like to know that its partner isn’t.

(Photo: Tengaport)

Comments

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  1. BuddyHinton says:

    Commence the Consumerist Conflagration! ETA of resolution is 3 business days….

    • Jack T Ripper says:

      @BuddyHinton:

      Doubtful. Here’s a question… Does Andrea still have her Costco membership? If she canceled her Costco membership then they would have also notified American Express and cancled her Costco American Express card. There are pieces of this story that are not being told…

      • taking_this_easy says:

        @ocdetails: either

        1) she has a amex card that gives her costco access

        2) she has a costco card and amex membership…separate

        for (1), she might be screwed….

    • Anonymous says:

      Amex also denied my wife’s Costco rebate with the explanation she cancelled her account in December! I wrote Costco’s chairman and five of the top executives at Costco. You can find the list by googling “costco executives.” Within a week I received a call from Amex saying Costco had contacted them and they were giving my wife the rebate! American Express may be the least customer-friendly company in the world; fortunately, Costco is one of the best.

  2. davidc says:

    Definitely raise a fuss with Costco. If this was something systematic, then Costco will yank some chains and folks at Amex will be scrambling to reverse this.

    • ThinkerTDM says:

      @david.c: Yeah, right.

    • Ezra Ekman says:

      @david.c: Don’t take it to Costco because they’ll raise a fuss with Amex. Take it to Costco because THAT’S where the rebate check probably comes from. The fact that Amex closed your account doesn’t mean that you don’t still have an account with Costco, and it’s Costco who pays out most of those checks anyway. I don’t have a Costco/Amex card, but I do have an Executive Costco membership, and my rebate is straight from Costco. Of course, the fact that it’s an Amex vs. a regular membership may make all the difference, but I would check if I were you. Otherwise, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

      • Pithlit says:

        @Ezra Ekman: I don’t think that’s correct. I have both an Amex Costco card and an Executive membership. I get two separate rebate checks, one from Costco for my Executive membership, and one for being an Amex member. The Executive membership check is based on a percentage of what I purchase at Costco. The Amex rebate is based onon everything I put on my Amex, not just Costco purchases. Amex cuts that check, not Costco.

        • Ezra Ekman says:

          @Pithlit: Ah, gotcha. I wasn’t sure, either way. If that’s the case, he’s got no choice but to go back to Amex. I doubt that Costco is going to care much about it; it’s a dispute with Amex, not Costco.

    • Jack T Ripper says:

      @david.c: Do you seriously think Costco will care? American Express is the one funding the card and not Costco. Do you think there is a single soul in any Costco store that will have any authority to do anything about this? I can practically guarantee that nobody at Costco or American Express is going to be able to make the account change. She may have been an American Express customer for 20 years, but she hasn’t had her costco card that long. Something else has happened here that isn’t in the story.

  3. Kos says:

    Sounds perfect for small claims court.

    • Sam Oldenburg says:

      @Kos: Wouldn’t go very far, there’s probably something they are forced to agree to when you sign up that says “We reserve the right to cancel your account at any time for any reason”.

      Media attention is the way to go.

    • cmdrsass says:

      @Kos: Also, there’s probably something in there about arbitration.

  4. k6richar says:

    I would take this to the mass media news outlets. Nothing will get them to change their attitudes faster then everyone knowing this could happen to them.

  5. Bizdady says:

    oooh sneaky lil wabbits!!

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    Was it in the Terms of Agreement that payment of rebate check is forfeited if either Andrea or American Express
    cancels card? What if the reason American Express gave was false?

  7. plutonyum says:

    Costco isn’t known for screwing its customers and I’d be surprised if they stood for their key financial partner doing so.

    • Doc Benway says:

      @plutonyum: Costco is known for screwing it’s customers. Where did you get that horribly misguided generalization. There are a lot of things I don’t love about Costco, I am a Member, but screwing their customers is not something I have ever experienced. But at least you got to post something on the Consumerist.

      • Sidecutter says:

        @Doc Benway: If you’re going to disagree with him and claim that CostCo, in fact, known for screwing their customers, perhaps you should be providing some backup for your claims.

        Unless you have a typo in there, of course.

        That said, Plut has a perfectly good point. Costco is known for taking care of the customer, and makes a big thing out of their connection with AmEx and the card they offer to CostCo members. They likely would not take well to having Amex abusing the customers that CostCo brought to them in good faith. And being the only credit card CostCo accepts, Amex has a lot to lose if they abuse the business relationship.

  8. LordofBacon says:

    Looks like they knew exactly when your rebate was due, and they canceled your card to save a couple bucks. Seems to me that their policy of short term gain is a penny wise and a pound foolish. If Amex disposes of enough of its good customer base, then how in the hell do they expect to make a decent profit?

  9. jake.valentine says:

    This is soooo dirty if they really are cancelling them before the rebate check needs to be sent……….just flat out dirty….

  10. legwork says:

    They must be in serious distress to be pulling these stunts. If this isn’t a fluke it’s as good as brand suicide. Time for a dead pool?

    //moves AMEX card to the last slot in wallet.

    • bohemian says:

      I would give them one more chance to fix this and if they don’t sue them.

      @legwork: Amex is already well on the way to brand suicide. After all the stories of people having their cards deactivated for shopping at a certain store or while on vacation with no warning who the heck would trust AMEX??

      • dialing_wand says:

        @bohemian: I am quite worried, I have an excellent credit score and have two AMEX (AMEX Bank of Canada) products, a charge card and a credit card.

        For a company that used to be know for customer service and going beyond for their clients, I’d say they already committed suicide. Now they’re just bleeding out slowly because they didn’t do it properly.

        If I can trust that when I hand over a card it’ll work, I don’t hand it over. They need to deal with this ASAP and be way more transparent about what’s going on.

        • jimconsumer says:

          @dialing_wand: Agreed. I charge tens of thousands of dollars per year to my AmEx. I used to rely on it as my only card. After these recent stories, I will no longer do so, and may simply transition all of my charging to other accounts. I no longer trust AmEx won’t leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere like they have with so many others, despite my 830+ credit score.

  11. priorORANGE says:

    American Express has become one of the worst card companies out there. After my most recent experience with them, I cancelled my card and the AMEX accounts used by my business. When the economy starts to move forward again, American Express is going to find that they have lost a lot of good customers.

  12. Reid Antonacchio says:

    They just cancled my Platinum Amex, even after paying my membership faithfully and charging $25000K plus a year with no late payments.

    • larrymac808 says:

      @Reid Antonacchio: Ummm, 25000K is 25 MILLION. You could probably start your own credit card company for that much.

    • ilves says:

      @Reid Antonacchio:

      Sadly the people who pay off their debt in full each time aren’t among the best customers a credit card company has. The best customers are those who don’t pay in full but pay on time because then the credit card companies make more money off the accrued interest.

      • milqtost says:

        @ilves: That’s generally true but remember credit card companies make a percentage of the transaction too. People that spend a ton every month on their card are still generating income for them. It’s the people that charge $100 a month AND pay it off every month that are the really “bad” customers.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        @ilves: Must be true. I have 3 credit cards, and NONE of them have cut back my line of credit or changed my interest rates. BoA even raised my line of credit about 5 months ago another $500. I just paid off my 2 smaller cards, so I’m hoping they don’t all of a sudden cut me back (or raise my interest rates) because I’m no longer paying them interest.

        • tbonekatz says:

          @verucalise: I haven’t used my Chase card in over a year. Recently, I started paying it down faster. They wanted to jack my interest rate to 19.99% to “maintain the profitability of my account.” I opted out.

      • MsAnthropy says:

        @ilves:

        a) Reid Antonacchio had an AmEx Platinum card cancelled. That’s a charge card, not a credit card. You HAVE to pay the balance in full every month, it’s not a revolving card.

        b) Even with the credit card products (such as the Costco True Earnings card referred to in this story), AmEx is a different beast than other card issuers. Sure, they have revolving products available, but if you actually use them as such, they get jumpy as hell. Carrying a balance with AmEx seems to be a surefire way to increase your chances of adverse action from them, from what I’ve heard/read.

  13. BillyShears says:

    AmEx’s cancellation policy stinks of blind faith in analytics research and general data mining.

    Which is why I generally don’t like analytics: It takes the individual out of the equation.

    I mean, from a business standpoint I can see where their concerns lay, but they’re attacking the situation in a pretty jackass manner. If they want to cancel accounts, they should probably focus on those cardholders with bad credit scores and/or checkered payment histories and leave it there. Everything else is just stinking up a half-century old brand name that until this crisis was known for kind of going out of their way for customers.

  14. donjumpsuit says:

    I already dumped AMEX when CitiBank wrote me a note saying my 720 FICO score wasn’t enough to keep my 7.9% APR and next month they were bumping me up to 19.9%.

    • MsAnthropy says:

      @donjumpsuit:

      In your case, though, that’s not AmEx – that’s Citi on the AmEx network.

    • 3drage says:

      @donjumpsuit: I’m really ticked off at citi now, I’ve been a card holder with them since 1996, we have 0% Fed, I’ve had no problems making payments and they jacked my rates up as well. Is this their tanks for our taxpayer bail-out? I’ve had enough with these credit companies, in about 4 months I’ll have my balance paid off and then the card will be gone.

  15. joeblevins says:

    I have been seeing where a 720 isn’t considered a GREAT score anymore. Lenders are really trying to cherry pick thier borrowers, so maybe 750+ for a while.

  16. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Dear AMEX fans who still haven’t yet admitted that they’ve jumped the shark,

    I’ve been waiting for you over here in the “AMEX can suck a fat dick” club since late 2007 when they figuratively kicked me in the face for no reason.

    So after 5 more stories like this, then will you finally be ready to dump them before they dump you? It’s gonna hurt more, the longer you wait.

    Don’t trust Amex. Take your business somewhere that appreciates it!

    • plutonyum says:

      @West Coast Secessionist: Is there a card issuer that appreciates its customers?

      • cynical_bastard says:

        @plutonyum: I was about to say that!

      • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

        @plutonyum: Providian/WaMu/Chase appreciates me. So much that they are making my life easier to manage by becoming one company and forcing all of my cards to be issued by the same place. All smiles here. :X

      • Jim Topoleski says:

        @plutonyum: Discover has never dicked me over in the 10 years i have been a member. Some places dont take it (like Amex) but their rewards program is excellent. This month im getting 5% cash back on any warehouse purchases for Sams club and BJs.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @West Coast Secessionist: I have them and use them for the cashback. I pay my balance every month. I am kinda scared I am going to lose it now. And having to go to court to get my built up cashback doesn’t sound like a fun option.

    • OctaviaAmyntor says:

      @West Coast Secessionist:

      hear, hear! AmEx is really screwing the pooch with this onslaught. Their only benefit used to be the way they were perceived to go that extra mile, but they’re running with their tails tucked between their legs now. It’s much more fun to dump than to be dumped. Throw in a couple expletives on the way out for extra measure, too.

    • Yossarian says:

      @West Coast Secessionist: I just got a letter from them allowing me to extend the payment on all travel-related charges and all other charges of $100 or more, down from $200. I pay in full every month, but I’ll accept their offer and go ahead and stay in the “AMEX is fine for me” club.

    • econobiker says:

      @West Coast Secessionist: Yes, I hated it when my company changed from company issued Visa Cards to Amex Cards…

      (of course company issued cards are better than my prior employeer that had employees charge on personal cards and then submit for reimbursement later…)

  17. Jason R says:

    Except for a debit card, you HAVE to use AmEx at Costco — I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy about hearing this.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I used to be a Costco member but because I don’t have an Amex card I got tired of Costco trying to shove it down my throat by not accepting my Visa and Mastercards. With all the crazy things I have heard about AMEX lately there’s no way I would pay to be abused like other people do. Sam’s club loves my Visa and Mastercard and has the same products that Costco does.

  19. ARPRINCE says:

    She could be an AMEX member since 1986 but I would bet she has not been using a COSTCO branded Amex for that long. I have been a COSTCO member for over 10 years and during my early membership years with Costco, they only accepted DISCOVER card. Nevertheless, forfeiting the rebate was rude and unacceptable.

    • Cyberxion101 says:

      @ARPRINCE: “AMEX canceled my credit card on 01/31/2009. I have been a member since 1986 and always pay my full balance every month.”

      I don’t see any ambiguity in that statement.

    • bwcbwc says:

      @ARPRINCE: Are you sure you aren’t mixing up Sam’s club with Costco? Costco has been Amex and Sam’s has been Discover for at least 8 years.

      • nycs says:

        @bwcbwc:

        No, it was definitely Costco. It was the only time I ever used my Discover card. This was years ago though maybe even before Costco and PriceClub merged but I don’t remember when they made the switch to Amex.

  20. warf0x0r says:

    I used to read here that everyone loved their amex cards… are all those people gone? I was in the market, thanks to capital one thinking that doubling my interest rates will make them more money… guess what capital one 17.9% of 0 = 0, but in any case I used to think Amex was awesome, now I’m thinking no thanks I’ll find something else.

    • b.k. says:

      @warf0x0r: Capital One only doubled your rate? I paid off my balance and they tripled my rate. I don’t want to close the card because it’s my oldest card, but in the “Here’s how we’re screwing you today!” notice I got, they all but insisted I cancel my account.

      • silyolpooh says:

        @b.k.: I used to be a big AmEx fan, even after they left me high and dry in 2003 (I wanted to believe it was an isolated instance). After a series of from-nowhere bludgeoning to my AmEx business card two years ago, though, I ditched it and my personal AmEx.

        Capital One was happy to have me, and I’ve had a great relationship with them since. (…so far?)

    • Kitteridge says:

      @warf0x0r: I happen to love my AmEx cards (I have the regular green one and a Delta SkyMiles one). They’ve always been good to me, and just last month when I realized I’d neglected to pay anything in December on the green card, a quick call to Customer Service (and my reminding them that I have a great record with them) was enough to remove the $35 late payment fee.

      Still, this kind of s troubles me.

      • theczardictates says:

        @Kitteridge: I have a similar story. Last month I accidentally sent my $2000+ payment on my personal card to my zero-balance business account, and didn’t realize until the late payment fee showed up. A quick call to AmEx cust service and they moved the payment to the correct account. To my astonishment, they also removed the $35 late payment fee WITHOUT ME EVEN ASKING THEM TO and even though it was completely my mistake.

        I could tell half a dozen similar “above and beyond” stories about AmEx customer service over the years.

        So yeah, some of us do still love the AmEx customer service. I suspect we’ve been bullied out of saying so by the “corporations iz teh evil” crowd…

        • god_forbids says:

          @theczardictates: Ditto. I love my AMEX for its rewards and their great customer service. The couple times that I accidentally misapplied payments, they were quick to refund the late payment fee – saving me at least $70. They have been awesome about fighting for me on chargebacks and I have recovered over $1,000 from sucky merchants with their help.

          A buddy of mine thinks they are the devil (my mom, too) but I have never had an even remotely negative experience with them. The agents are actually smart and have been extremely helpful and – OMz – effective in dealing with the few small problems or questions I have had. They always take care of everything before you get off the phone!

          Until I have reason to believe otherwise they will stay first in my wallet especially when travelling overseas (cheap exchange rate FTW).

  21. razremytuxbuddy says:

    Wow. Having had an Amex card since 1986, I’ll be watching how this one turns out.

  22. pegr says:

    I’m still here. Amex has done right by me, but all these stories are starting to worry me. Come on, a 720 FICO isn’t terrible by any means…

  23. Corporate_guy says:

    If it was to be given in the form of a statement credit, I could see them trying to cancel the rebate. But the OP says it was supposed to be a check mailed with the statement. Even if the card was canceled shouldn’t the OP still get a final statement for the month?

    Did they still send the final statement, just with no check?

    And again, aren’t these Amex cards tied to the Costco membership? How can they just cancel them.

  24. Kris Bagchi says:

    this is disturbing. i’ve been having some serious issues with amex. i wanted to raise my credit limit on my blue cash card and was denied even though i pay off my balance in full every month (but they separately approved me for a platinum card). i’ve told them that i would use them more if they increased my limit but that didn’t help. my income is more than sufficient for the limit i was asking for, roughly 10% of annual.

    To the point of this article: i use them all the time and expect to get a sizeable rebate back at year end. if they cancel prior to that, i’m going to be seriously po’d and would consider taking further action.

  25. dialing_wand says:

    I just cashed out my AMEX rewards points for USD travellers cheques. Might as well get what I earned in cold hard cash… since I never know when they’re going to take it away from me.

  26. StreamOfConsciousness says:

    Not to come off as pretentious or anything but this is yet another reminder of why I don’t have a credit card. These fuckers are all snakes!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    AMEX can go suck a big one. They cancelled my account about a week after I paid my bill, and when I called to inquire about it, all they would tell me was “yes, we cancelled your account. You cannot reapply for another card for another 12 months”. FCK AMEX. Also, even though I didn’t cancel the card myself, I was told it may be reported negatively to the credit bureaus.

  28. Crazytree says:

    My wife got a letter from AMEX saying that they were denying a CL increase because my wife’s Experian report showed “derogatory information”. Total lie.

  29. jpdanzig says:

    This is disgraceful. I would complain to Costco AND alert my local “consumer watch” TV reporter.

    I don’t think Amex’s brand reputation will ever recover from these recent actions showing blatant poor faith, if not an outright breach of ethics.

    Shame on them!

  30. Saboth says:

    Glad I never fooled with American Express, and now, never will.

  31. Raekwon says:

    This is the exact reason why I got my Citi rebate check immediately. Wasn’t sure if they would try and remove the program or “expire” my points due to their current struggles.

    • MsAnthropy says:

      @Raekwon:

      With some AmEx cards (like the Costco one in the story, and the Blue Cash that I have), you get the rebate annually, you can’t just cash it in when you want to. Leaves you pretty much at their mercy, which (given their recent behaviour) sucks.

  32. mantari says:

    Story after story about AmEx comes rolling in. You guys can read between the lines, right? This company looks desperate. I haven’t seen a credit card company so desperate as AmEx. Holding one of their cards seems to be becoming more and more of a liability.

    I dunno. Perhaps that’s the way they want us to see it?

  33. MsAnthropy says:

    I have to admit this has been worrying me. I’m well on course for a $700+ rebate on my Blue Cash this year. So far AmEx has been leaving me alone. I can’t help wondering if this is so they can earn as many transaction fees from me as possible before turning around and screwing me for some made-up reason at the last possible minute.

  34. Joe Lachiana says:

    This is crazy! I rely on these asses for my business accounts and I’m at a loss to what I should expect from these fools. How can someone run or start a business with these creeps canceling cards at random?

    Some stimulus!

  35. atomoverride says:

    just leave a ballance on the card, so they cant close it. or charge it all the way up and stop paying them,.

    • MsAnthropy says:

      @atomoverride:

      Errr, that won’t stop them. They’ve been cancelling plenty of cards with balances on them. Which then destroys the person’s credit (so AmEx can turn around and say “see, your credit is bad!”) because they have a closed card with a balance on it.

    • OctaviaAmyntor says:

      @atomoverride: that’s some bad info right there – they didn’t hesitate to close my account to future purchases while i still had a balance of $20k that i was set to pay off. charging it all the way up will just leave a bigger sum for their collection dogs to hound you for when the time comes.

  36. Squeezer99 says:

    3 words, small claims court

  37. Jack T Ripper says:

    Creditworthiness is made up of more than a FICO score. I have personally seen credit reports in the 700s with bankruptcies on them. And 720 isn’t superior by any means. 720 is basically the new 650 in the credit card world.. The national average is just under 700 according to [www.nationalscoreindex.com] So a 720, depending on where you are, just puts you in slightly abovethe average. American express is trying to reclaim the reputation of being an elite card and you don’t do that by having average people in the ranks.

    I also don’t think we are getting the full story. Have any other cards ben closed or balances changed or anything else that could change in the credit history of this individual changed? It is possible that nothing she has done changed, but credit isn’t always based on your individual credit either. Someone she co-signed for could have defaulted. Someone she is a co-account holder with could have done something wrong. Maybe she just opened a line of credit that is determined to be risky. Or perhaps she closed an account which changed her debt to credit ratio but didn’t impact her credit score. So many things impact why banks do what they do that you can’t just say “my credit score is above 700, therefore nothing adverse should ever happen to me.” Unless your credit is 850 you can’t say you have perfect credit anymore. 720 is where you should be if you expect to get approved for anything. 800+ is where you should be if you want to be safe from things like this happening. Speaking as someone who has worked very closely with credit bureaus and lenders (AMEX specifically) I can tell you that 720 is not perfect and does not give you any kind of immunity.

    • watson2001 says:

      One problem with Nationalscoreindex is that is uses Experian Data, who recently dropped the use of FICO scores (for customers) and now uses its own scores which coorelate to their own standard. Hence, a FICO score of 720 means something completely different than the score that Experian gives you.

      That being said, the reason why AMEX is dropping people is that they are afraid of people who use their credit cards freqently as a means for a float. Using counter-logic here, the AMEX is afraid that people who charge alot of money of their cards (for business purchases) will eventually fall out of their payment cycle.

      If is true that AMEX likes getting the merchant fees from such business people, but AMEX is afraid that the people who run their own businesses are going to have a harder time collecting from their customers. If these people have a difficult time collecting from their clients, then AMEX will have a bunch of accounts in default (per their logic).

      This logic is kind of stupid, but that is probably what they are probably thinking that many private business people will go belly up soon or delay their payments.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      @ocdetails: I think the biggest problem is that they aren’t providing these “validating” reasons when closing an account holder down. To shut down a good customer of 20 years with a decent credit score is a shameful practice. Immunity by credit score has nothing to do with it, but an explanation does help. For them to close down the card 2 weeks before a $500 rebate check would have been sent is dispicable, they could have closed her down and still provided what she rightfully earned being a good cardholder. Its a questionable and deceitful practice.

      • watson2001 says:

        I agree what AMEX did was unfair, and perhaps illegal. Their contracts of adhesion are bs.

        I would report them to the FTC and I would threaten them with legal action in small claims court.

  38. redphage says:

    Your rebate comes from the Costco Executive membership and not your Amex card — unless Costco canceled your club membership at the same time as the card, you should still be eligible for the rebate as they are mutually exclusive things.

    I would definitely talk to your local member service manager and then go up from there. Costco takes Member Service very seriously.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      @redphage: I agree. How does AMEX have the right to forfeit your rebate while you still retain a membership?

    • Chuck Barris says ROLL TIDE! says:

      @redphage: Not exactly true. The rebate for a Costco Executive Membership is separate from the AMEX rebate. The Costco rebate is based on what you purchase from Costco, excluding gas, and regardless of how you pay for your purchases, but you are required to have a Costco executive membership to get the rebate. The Costco AMEX rebate comes directly from AMEX, and is for qualifying purchases from anywhere, including gas and all Costco purchases. You do not have to have an executive membership with Costco to receive this rebate, only a Costco AMEX card.

  39. knightracer says:

    My credit score is 805, but Citi still raised my APR from 7.99 percent to 19.99. It irks me because the card is my oldest and the primary one I use (it has cashback). I don’t carry a balance, and the limit is over $25K. So the reward for using the card for 10+ years is to raise my APR.

  40. Anonymous says:

    This is part of the new and wonderful world of Amex. They have ruined my utilization and fico by chasing my balance. They’re treating their long time good paying customers like dirt. If you think you’re safe because they haven’t done it to you – think again.

  41. u1itn0w2day says:

    Did you shop at any of the places on the AMEX blacklist supposedly composed of places where more risky users frequent ?

  42. Justinh01 says:

    I was actually surprised to see Amex cut the limit on my Blue Card. They sent me a form letter with a few generic reasons for cutting my credit. On it, I didn’t see:

    -A credit line of far less than 10% of my annual income – boy, is that unreasonable! How will I ever pay?
    -A credit score of 725 — a clear bankruptcy risk
    -Consistent payment each and every month – so unpredictable!

    Really now, is cutting my limit from $6k to $4k, despite the fact I can’t remember the last time I charged on the card going to save Amex? Once that card is paid, I am all done with them.

  43. SDreamer says:

    That scary. My parents use AMEX all the time for cashback mainly, and I use it as well. So many stories about spontaneous cancelations is really something. Some investigation should be done to AMEX perhaps?

  44. InThrees says:

    Think it through, people.

    All of these stories have been about the ‘good customers being canceled, limit-lowered, etc.’

    That’s the wrong focus. How financially fucked is American Express? They are non-stop intentionally hemorrhaging great people. 720 beacon? Seriously? Bad credit report? What did she do, use her AmEx to buy a sham-wow or snuggy?

    OH NO RESERVE A ROOM AT THE DEBTOR’S PRISON!!!1111

    AmEx’s asset/extended ratio must be really bad. Really really bad. Next come the layoffs.

    • mantari says:

      @InThrees: It sounds like AmEx itself is overextended and has to cut lines of credit to customers, even good ones at this point, to save themselves.

  45. kwsventures says:

    If Andrea has a legal case against AMEX, she should proceed with it. Otherwise — and I bet the small print on the original AMEX card contract allows the company to cancel the card prior to any rebate — she should just shut up and accept what happened. Did she read her AMEX contract? Uh, I doubt it.

  46. CoarseLive says:

    This is so shocking. Seriously. When I got married 10 years ago, I identified two things with married life. 1) Shopping for home appliances and tools at Sears. 2) Paying for them with an American Express.

    The American Express brand has, in my opinion, deteriorated very quickly with me. I got their card about 5 years ago when they started advertising a 5% cashback card that had more conditions than a trade treaty. I cancelled the card after the first month. Now, they hit me up twice a month with a mailer through CostCo.

    It’s gotten very annoying.

  47. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    That was a bitch move, AMEX!

  48. frodolives35 says:

    I am a little confused. I thought I had great credit at 812. I allways pay my bills ontime. Had a paid off home for many years untill about 3 years ago we borrowed 30k to remodel. The laon officer said she rarely saw scores over 800. Is that not great anymore. I have little debt to income ratio. On a diff. note I had an amex blue for awhile but when things went south with all the big financial companies I decided to start using my mastercard issued by my bank.It is a small regional bank that has a very healthy outlook. They did not partake in all of the irresopnsible behaviour that alot of banks are regretting now. It has a fair interest rate not many rewards but when I call I get americans in mississippi who are very helpful and do a great job. A few extra bucks in a rebate check is not the bottom line for me I need a company I trust. On a third note I found out today that Newegg cust serv rocks thanks for fixing the problem fast and I will be ordering from you again.

  49. Keter says:

    Somewhat OT, but I can top that. I was laid off by a major corporation one week before I was to be paid a $13K performance bonus. Most of the people they laid off were also top performers who were scheduled to get bonuses.

    Amex is systematically turning their brand into poison. Surely they must know this is what they are doing, so there must be something even worse hovering over the horizon that is forcing them to cut exposure to the bone. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that someone high up in the corporation has done something breathtakingly illegal and this is an attempt to muddy the waters.

  50. Anonymous says:

    She is not alone. Last November, AMEX sent my wife some imprinted checks and urged her to use them for whatever. One day I was at a lawyer and I had no other checks with me. She wrote a check to the lawyer for $200. Two days later, the lawyer’s office called me and said the check had bounced! I had to replace it with cash and pay $20 for a bad check fee in addition. I called AMEX and I was told, “Yes, we cancelled it.” She had no specific reason. She said that was done by another department at AMEX. About a week later, we were at Costco and making a small purchase with the card. It was declined, even though my wife supposedly had another $2000 on her available credit! She has a FICO score over 700. I called AMEX again and we told only that “Yes, we decided to lower her credit.” No reason again! We cancelled her card at that time, in December. I received a small rebate on my AMEX account yesterday. My wife’s statement said her rebate was on the last page. It wasn’t. I called AMEX and they said “since she canceled in December, she is not eligible for the rebate.” This morning I mailed six copies of an identical letter to six top executives at Costco. I’m also considering small claims court for breach of contract. AMEX should not get away with this arrogance. I suggest everyone who has been snubbed by AMEX write the top six or seven executives at Costco. I’ve never been disappointed with their attempts to provide excellent customer service.

  51. PLATTWORX says:

    You did the right thing to report this here. Now, write Costco corporate saying the same thing and then your state’s consumer protection department. Cancelling a card like this just before a promised reward with no real reason would be frowned upon by most lawyers and may be fraud.

  52. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    One middle finger for AmEx, who I hear about *constantly* from the foreclosure-counseling clients at work — they’re getting downright ridiculous with the Random Banhammer, and it’s really hurting some people.

    And another middle finger for credit scores; it wasn’t such a bad idea but it’s really become nothing more than an anti-consumer weapon. Better control and transparency of those scores is urgently needed!!

  53. mamacat49 says:

    I cancelled my American Express years ago over a charge I disputed that they wouldn’t take off. Six months later, they finally saw I was right and of course wanted me back. No thanks. And just yesterday I saw them trolling for accounts at Costco.

  54. MPB_WY says:

    Sue the bastards in small claims court in the county you live in.

  55. boomerang86 says:

    I was considering calling AmEx to have them lower by available credit on Blue Cash to help them out; it’s currently $20.5K, about four times what I actually expect to use.

    Perhaps they’ll beat me to the punch and cancel me too since they cut my cash back rebate in July (last year it was almost $700), but then again I use that account for EVERYTHING I can and pay it off every month.

    If they close my accounts, big deal. I’ll just move all my purchase activity back to my credit union issued Visa Platinum points rewards card, which was what I was doing already before I got the Blue Cash card.

  56. kwsventures says:

    I am very tired of all the crybabies that claim to be mature adults, but fail to read the contract prior to accepting a credit card. I doubt anyone put a gun to your head and forced you to take a credit card. No. You took it and you probably never read the contract saying what exactly the company can do. By accepting the card, you accept the rules. The same goes for mortgage and auto contracts.

  57. sleze69 says:

    Please, PLEASE post a follow-up when this gets resolved. You would think that Amex would want to have the type of customers that frequent this website. I personally have had an overall good experience with Amex but reading these articles are making me eye a USAA card more and more.

  58. coold8 says:

    You know what this looks like to me? It looks like AMEX is going back to a primarily charge card business, and only giving to the cards to the upper-middle, upper class again. My family has not had a single problem with the charge cards besides just rechecking our income that shut one of our 4 cards down for 3 days.

  59. Anonymous says:

    My wife has an Amex Blue that she carried a balance on…her FICO is over 800…when we bought our house and got the mortgage her rate went up to 26.something% and they cut her limit to just over the balance. They are trying to cover their asses in the wrong way. Dicks.

  60. CigarMan22 says:

    My wife and I got scared about amex and our rewards points so we cashed them all in last week just in case they were going to try to pull something like this crap.. Sorry OP, that sucks big time..

  61. Anonymous says:

    amex has denied me a card even though my score is above 762 . thats ok, but costco has to provide me with another way too take advantage of the discounts they offer. If they fail to do so I think they open the door for legal action as coconspirtors in a false advertising and discrimaniton case.Iintend to move foward with this claim. A member since 1982 .just another small business owner.that will not accept amex cards because all the things that they do.I wonder how much money they got from the tax payers?

  62. Anonymous says:

    American Express is still the top performing credit card issuer and they do back their clients to the very best of their ability. Just like you are in a tough spot with this weak economic time so are they. You are not behind the scenes seeing how charge offs are affecting the company.

    If you owned a business and you extended lines of credit to clients and during times like now their credit drops or they miss payments would you not do whats best for you and the client? You may think that they are being harsh to you however, when you unfortunately loose your job without notice, later down the road you will thank Amex for not letting you charge 20,000 that is taking you years and years to pay back if you even can.

    Half the consumers that post blogs do not tell you the whole story or don’t want to admit that there is a credit issue. They are upset and want to lash out. Her account wouldnt have been cancelled for no reason. Simple as that.

    Now line of credit reductions are a different story, they may lower lines of credit before you do become a risk……

  63. Anonymous says:

    Regarding American Express withholding the Costco rebate: I commented earlier they did this to my wife because she cancelled her card in December–after charging $2500 during the year at Costco with the card. I sent the same letter to six Costco executives, starting with Richard Chavez. You can find the names on the web through Google. A week later, I received a call from a flunkie in the Amex executive offices who said that Costco had contacted him. He said Amex will credit the rebate to my wife’s Amex account. Costco has always been excellent and responsive with customer service and anyone who has been subjected to Amex’s unconscionable arrogance should contact them!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Amex is screwed up! I am having the same issues. I have a
    Costco Executive Card and Amex Costco Card and Pithlit is correct with the rebates. As of my January 12, 2009 statement I am suppose to get $1,463.61 cash rebates then all of a sudden “due to review of my account” Amex canceled my card and due to that also forfieted my cash rebate. I have called them repeatedly and they have not budged about my rebate. I have paid my balance in full every month.

  65. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I received a notice in the mail that AMEX had cancelled our credit card. We originally were issued a card with a credit limit of $25,000.00. Three months ago AMEX sent a letter saying they were reducing our credit limit to $5,000.00 because after careful review they felt we were a risk. My wife each have a credit score over 765 and pay our AMEX card in full each and every month. Typically our payments are made 10-12 days prior to the due date. It is of my opinion that this is not how you treat customers that have a great track record and pay their bill in full each month. I called Customer service and spoke to a rep by the name of Matt. I asked him hat the issue was and his response was we made our decision, so deal with it. Matt don’t ever cross my path. Mr. Kenneth I. Chenault (CEO) your policy is garbage. In 2007 your compensation was $26,249,876.00. Who the F_ _K do you think you are? You can take your card and SHOVE IT UP YOUR BLACK ASS. The great Donald Trump just filed chapter 11. Did you revoke his AMEX card too? I think not you punk. Do I sound hostile? You bet I am and when more Americans realize that they are being punk’d by these corporate giants, beware.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I received an American Express Business Blue card in October with a $28000 Credit Limit. I used it to start my new business. One of my charges which was approved and I have receipts and approval codes was the sign for my business for $4300 which was made in September. In November American Express lowered my credit limit to what my balance was at the time stating that I wasn’t paying them enough. My payments were always more than the minimum and on time. In Feb. they called the sign company and told them that none of their clients charges were paid to them all the way back to last June and they were to call their clients to have them recharge. They had already lowered our limit to the balance and would not redo the previous approved charge and also stating that they had no copy of the original approved charge nor a record of the phone call to the merchant. Everyone knows that American Express records their calls. They have put me in a credit situation where now the merchant wants their money. I was told by an attorney that the charge was an agreement with American Express and the merchant and that the merchant had to honor us with a payment arrangement that I would have been paying to American Express. Does anyone know what can be done here?

  67. Anonymous says:

    Amex just sent me a notice that they cancelled my card. I had them for 11 years, never late, never overlimit. I have a balance of $400 out of $2800 credit limit. When I called I was told nothing could be done because my credit score was too low (690- I have my mortgage company in Federal court for TILA violations, and the credit reporting agencies list it as disputed), I asked them to report it as cancelled by consumer and I’d pay off the total balance in 30 days. They said no can do, it will remain as cancelled by creditor. So that will cost me 100 points on my score by being “closed by creditor”.
    Thanks to the bank bailout, even more people will lose thier homes and credit. American Express Card, you just lost a good-paying customer forever. Good luck finding better, maybe the Federal Corporations will get credit from you. They will need it, since they won’t have the cash money to live on once they lose thier cushy jobs.