American Express Helps You Even If You Screw Up The Paperwork

Joe wants to thank American Express for fixing an incorrect charge on his bill even though he completely forgot to send in the paperwork. Aw!

About two months ago, I went on a business trip with two colleagues that featured a layover in Memphis. We stopped and had breakfast at a restaurant at the airport. We made the error of not informing the waitress at the start of the meal it would be separate checks. She separated them after the fact, I charged mine to my American Express card. When I got back, I submitted my receipt for reimbursement, and kept a copy for myself.

Fast forward about two weeks. When my electronic statement was ready, I noticed that the charge from the restaurant was three times larger than it should’ve been. I guessed that someone fouled up and submitted the entire tab on my card. I filled out an online dispute, grabbed my copy of the receipt (from my expense report), and set it aside.

A week later, I received a letter from AmEx, informing me that a temporary credit had been placed on my account and asking for additional information. Unfortunately, life got the best of me, and I missed the deadline to submit my copy. I thought for sure I’d be on the hook for it (based on the way that most credit card companies approach customers).

Saturday, I received another letter from AmEx, which I assumed could easily be summed up as “No paperwork, no credit; too bad, so sad.”

Instead: “We have determined that the inquiry was correct, and the credit has become permanent.” They had reached out to the restaurant, confirmed the error, and I “won”!

While I don’t recommend doing what I did (in terms of forgetting the paperwork), I want to give AmEx a public round of applause. When I was growing up, my dad always told me that AmEx was infinitely better than the other credit card companies. This validates it.

Hooray! It’s nice to hear a happy story.

(Photo: kajatl )


Edit Your Comment

  1. wattznext says:

    Wow, nice to hear a good story once in a while. Now if only my credit was good enough for AMEX…

  2. Letsgohokies says:

    Amex does kick ass. I have had nothing but good experiences with my cards, as well as my wife’s. The free warranty extension is the reason I pay for every big purchase with my Amex.

  3. christoj879 says:

    @wattznext: I don’t know, I don’t think it would be hard to get once since it’s a charge card and not a credit card. I got one last year when I was 19 and was immediately approved for the business gold card. Awesome card (I do have a business and it does help for large purchases not having a pre-set limit), the benefits and service are amazing.

  4. Valhawk says:

    This is why the only credit card I have is Amex.

  5. FatLynn says:

    When my wallet was stolen, AmEx and Discover were really easy to deal with (citibank visa, notsomuch). However, of the two, AmEx really went above and beyond by overnighting me new cards.

  6. Puck says:

    I’ve got an AmEx corporate card and had a dispute last year when I was on a business trip where the waitress charged both meals to my card, and the meal of my co-worker’s to his. They took care of it with pretty much no trouble, all I had to do was fill out a brief online form and I was done (unless i’m forgetting something). I still think that their rewards program could be better (at $75 annually) but hey, my company reimburses that too, so who am I to complain?

  7. xamarshahx says:

    i wish everyone would take it, i use it in as many places as i can

  8. MissPeacock says:

    Although these Happy Endings stories never seem to get as many page views or comments as other stories, I enjoy them. Keep them coming!

  9. chiieddy says:

    If he had contacted the restaurant prior to AmEx, it might have been resolved even faster!

  10. Derv says:

    Amex rocks! I lost my card, and they overnighted me a new one even though I had only been a customer for 2 months…

  11. Amex can still f**k all the way off for closing both my longstanding accounts (which had $0 balance) on me without notice after I was late on my unrelated Macy’s card bill of $70.

    Don’t be fooled, they’re the same bunch of thieves and scoundrels as the rest. As for me, Amex will never see another red cent of my money.

  12. loganmo says:

    If you want Amex service, but with a credit card vice a charge card, just get Amex blue. You still get the great customer service.

  13. SacraBos says:

    Over the years, I’ve had issues occur on my AmEx (stolen card, fraudulent charges, disputed charges) and they have always been very helpful and easy to deal with.

  14. BillyShears says:

    Conventional wisdom says that you should avoid cards with annual fees, but all things considered AmEx makes the ~$50-$60 or so a year worth it.

    Their customer service reps, while sometimes WAY off-shore, are still pretty helpful.

  15. philipbarrett says:

    Amex kicks butt – got a full refund from American Airlines + a $100 “inconvenience” charge I added on just because I felt like it!

    Then after Delta left me stranded in Seoul Airport, I called the collect # in the US, Amex issued me a ticket on KAL & then offered to call my family & let them know I’d be delayed!

    I’m at the point that if a store doesn’t accept Amex I won’t shop there. Anytime I get the old “we take your complaint seriously” line I offer 2 choices, either we settle now or I hang up & dispute the charge with Amex. And you know how that’s going to work out.

  16. @christoj879:

    I don’t know, I don’t think it would be hard to get once since it’s a charge card and not a credit card.

    Several AMEX cards are real credit cards now – the Blue Cash, which I have and LOVE, allows you to carry a balance. It’s a “privilege” I don’t use, but it’s got an APR and minimum payments and doesn’t have a yearly fee like the Gold/Platinum/Centurion cards.

  17. @philipbarrett:

    I’m at the point that if a store doesn’t accept Amex I won’t shop there.

    I carry a Citi Mastercard for non-AMEX purchases, but try to put everything on my Blue Cash. That’s the one disadvantage to AMEX – you almost have to have a Visa/MC also to guarantee you’re able to purchase everywhere.

    Anytime I get the old “we take your complaint seriously” line I offer 2 choices, either we settle now or I hang up & dispute the charge with Amex. And you know how that’s going to work out.

    This is funny, since most business owners I know say that AMEX’s dispute resolution is the most fair they deal with. Amazing – loved by businesses AND consumers?!?

  18. sleze69 says:

    Whenever I see a review of credit cards that lists Amex second to anyone I am always shocked. Amex has FANTASTIC customer service (as in…kiss your ass service).

    That is why membership has its privledges…

  19. steveliv says:

    i have had my amex blue for almost 4 years now, and i’ve never carried a balance, always paid monthly statements in full, and my apr is 7.99%. Amex Blue is the only card i know who actually lowers your interest rate without even having to ask. Also, having no annual fee and an okay rewards program is a plus too. Amex is accepted most everywhere nowadays so that is good too.

  20. coren says:

    @West Coast Secessionist: I bet they won’t! It’s probably because you don’t have a card with them, eh?

  21. @coren:

    They could get at least one season out of that.

    Hehe, I thought the same thing.

  22. ohiomensch says:

    @West Coast Secessionist:

    I have to say I am with you on the Amex issue. I have been going round and round with them for 3 months because of their online payment system.

    I schedule the payment, which shows as pending, till the day of the payment when it disappears as if it was never there. I go in two days later, schedule payment, and it works, but then it shows two payments pending. I call them, they can do nothing to stop the second payment. They tell me to put a stop payment on it at the bank. I do that, but then its late, so I get charged late fees, the first month they reversed them, But it happened teh second month, and basically said, prove you scheduled the payment. So this has happened 3 months in a row, I schedule payment, they don’t make it, blame me, charge me, raise my interest rates to 26%, lower my available credit to $300 below what my current balance is, tell me if I pay it down they wont charge me an overlimit fee THIS MONTH. They are rat bastards just like the rest of the credit industry.

  23. Whoops, where in the world did that text come from?

  24. Jesse says:

    I always thought about getting an AMEX card since they tend to be a better company to deal with than Citibank. Would you all recommend one of the standard charge cards (Gold, etc) or the Blue line?

    I would use this for primary spending and pay the thing off every month like the Citi card I have now.


  25. TwoScoopsRice says:

    FWIW, the Costco Amex card is free of annual fee, but you have to belong to Costco. It’s a cashback card with 3% for gas and some stuff, and at least 1 % for everything else. Certain other annual-fee cards enable you to have the “Mileage Rewards” membership other posters are mentioning. Blue’s rewards don’t seem as generous as the Costco card, but in our experience approval was while-you-wait and there was no fee.

    While they’re not accepted everywhere, I’ve never had the overseas usage problems with my Amexes that I’ve had with my Chase Visa card.

    As for customer service, Amex has gone above and beyond for me several times over the years with both my personal card and my business card; usually it’s dealing with merchant issues. But I’ll always pay the fee for a business card because of the time years ago I was a theft victim and I was leaving Country A for Country B the next morning and needed a replacement card and a new plane ticket (it was a while ago and a place where you would have wanted a paper ticket). An Amex worker kept the office open and had embossed a card for me and filed all the claim reports by the time I got there.

    I tend to check stuff online but pay by phone, which generates a confirmatory e-mail.

  26. bucky_katt says:

    I use my AmEx to pay for all my e-bay purchases through Paypal. The two times I’ve had to dispute something (i.e. have received “fake” merchandise), AmEx has credited me back the disputed funds long before the Paypal dispute resolution process kicked into high gear.

  27. god_forbids says:

    AmEx’s awesomeness in this regard has granted me victory in a half-dozen chagebacks and other disputes – twice without any paperwork from me. They really seem like they are fighting for you (and I deserve it too, cruddy annual fee).

  28. Toggan says:


    Amex customer service is mostly based in Phoenix, Greensboro, Ft Lauderdale, or Salt Lake City.

    Although they have centers in Manila and New Delhi, I think they are phasing those out or moving them to more analytical, off the phone positions. Due to customer complaints I imagine.

  29. friedduck says:

    I haven’t used AMEX since they completely stuffed me on a disputed charge. SIX MONTHS of inactivity and frustrating calls later I ate the charge and cancelled my account.

    They were the second-worst customer service experience of my life. (Dear Best Buy will always be my number one.)

    No company is immune from mistakes–take good notes and be persistent

  30. nutrigm says:


  31. Anonymous says:

    Boycott Amex! Some of the stories above or nice, but in the end Amex could care less about it’s clients regardless of how much they use their Amex or if they always pay on time. They’ve been cutting credit lines with abandon and really hosing small businesses and individuals nationwide lately. You definitely can’t trust them or depend on them to be there when you need them. I highly recommend boycotting them. One day, when you need them, you’ll find they just randomely chopped down your credit line with no real justification. Then you’ll know American Express’s true colors. Stop using amex, send them a message.