Thursday, November 27, 2008

AMEX is biting the hand that feeds it

I have been a loyal American Express cardmember for 10 years. I started with a Delta Skymiles Silver and over the years upgraded to the Delta Reserve with an annual fee of $450 dollars.

When I started my business I opened two more accounts. They were there to help purchase equipment & fund projects. In return, we became loyal customers, always insisting on using AMEX for purchases despite the higher fees and slightly higher interest rates. In some instances, we refused to do business with vendors that did not accept American Express.

We built up a credit line of 100k. We collectively ran over $250k in charges through our cards. They gave us MQM's. We never missed a payment...ever.

It became one of those rare relationships in corporate America. Similar to the faithful and devoted customers of Apple. They actually built loyalty with us. They became our primary lender and our friend. They would even send us gifts at Christmas...We trusted them.

That's why it hurt so bad when they threw us under the bus. In the course of 14 days, without notice, they revoked 95% of our available credit, about $70k in total.

I called them assuming there must have been a mistake. I thought they might want to look at the facts. Things like:

-We've never missed a payment on any account...ever.
-Our FICO score was 735 and improving
-We paid down our balances by 50%
-Our credit utilization ratio was under 35%
-Our cash position was sufficient to support our debt load

The bottom line is they were not interested in facts. Hours on the phone with customer service and the executive office led to nowhere. We were not given the opportunity to appeal the decision or "opt out" of the changes in the terms of our agreement. The reason given for the reduced credit line changed depending on the day and who you talked to.

I mentioned to American Express that taking away all of our available credit would start the snowball effect, making us look like we're maxed out and killing our FICO score. With a lower score, we would then be put into a higher risk category, putting us in jeopardy of universal default with other lenders. They could care less.

After doing some research, I discovered that I was not alone. AMEX is hitting millions of credit worthy cardmembers with 700+ credit scores. They don't seem to care about the adverse effects their reductions are having. Small business that rely on OPEN are filing Chapter 11. Creditworthy borrowers are having their scores trashed.

They should be using a scalpel instead of an ax.

At the same time they are doing this, they are also asking for billions from the government under the TARP program. The treasury made a special exception and gave them bank status so they can have access to the funds. I wonder if the anyone in government knows what they are doing? Wasn't the $700,000,000,000 bailout designed to increase borrowing?

What AMEX is doing to creditworthy borrowers is borderline criminal. If it's not illegal yet, it should be. I smell one big class action lawsuit on the horizon.

I am not a credit law expert, but here's why I think they treading on very thin ice:

1. Credit Discrimination. They are using a new secretive proprietary risk model to determine credit risk, outside of FICO. It could be the zip code you live in, it could be a purchase you made, it could be your mortgage holder. The problem is the consumer has no access to this information to challenge its accuracy. What if there is a mistake? At least with the credit bureaus you can view and challenge items on your report.

2. They are changing the terms of your agreement and not giving you the opportunity to "opt out" of those changes.

3. They do not have an appeal process in place to challenge these reductions.

4. Their actions are directly pushing creditworthy over the edge, compounding the credit crisis.

If you have a good credit history and AMEX has reduced your line you are pretty much screwed for now. But there are a few simple things you can do to help the situation.

What you can do:

1. File a complaint with the OCC. American Express is an official bank now. Take advantage of that and file a complaint with the OCC, they are required to investigate. If enough people lodge complaints, somebody in government will notice. Credit discrimination is against the law.

2. Call or write the Inspector General of the Treasury. They are overseeing the TARP bailout. While American Express has their hand out for money, let the treasury know what they are doing.

Phone: (202) 622-1090
Fax: (202) 622-2151

Office of Inspector General
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Room 4436,
Washington, DC 20220

3. Call your congressman. Ask to speak to a legislative aid. Tell them what AMEX did to you. Every time a call is made to a member of congress the call is tracked in a computer system. When enough calls are received about a particular item, the congressman is notified, the more calls, the more action. This process is very effective. They are your elected officials. They will listen. Type in your zip code and find your rep at

If anyone is aware of a law firm that is preparing a class action lawsuit related to this matter, please email me. Otherwise, as soon as I find an attorney to take the case, I will post the information here.



Anonymous said...

AMEX is losing customers for life. They took away my line when I needed it most. I will never use an American Express again.

Anonymous said...

I too am a small business owner who has been with American Express for years. I have for over 20 years, never made a late payment to anyone my whole life.

I just pulled my free yearly credit report and it looked great. American Express, without notice, lowered my credit line. They don't send you a letter until after they have done it.

As I have been reading quite a bit lately, that all credit card companys were going to be doing this even with people like us with outstanding credit, I decided to call every card I had. Several of my credit cards have had the lines of credit lowered, to the point where it will be hard for me to keep my business going, as I am just starting out.

When I question them why I was not contacted first, there answer is, we sent you a letter two days ago. It should be a crime to lower your limits, then send you a letter after the fact.

I know your blog is about American Express, but it is happening with ALL credit cards. Not only are they lowering credit lines, they are also increasing the interest rates.

This truly saddens me beyond belief. As for over twenty years of being proud of always paying my bills on time, and usually always paying above the minimum payments required, I now wonder if my business can survive.

Now, I would advice anyone that needs to make a purchase for their business or other items to call the number on the back of your card first, as you may be shocked or humiliated when you find out your purchase didn't go through as they lowered your line without notice.

They all claim this will not affect your credit rating. I don't see how they can say that. Especially if all your lines of credit are being lowered to almost appear being maxed out. I realize they have legal right to change terms. I just don't see how it can be legal to do this without sending you a letter first.

I fear for losing my business. How can I stay in business, if I can't purchase the products on the card. I always turned around when I sold items and paid right back on the cards. My products I sell are not cheap. They have taken away my buying power for no reason. My business is just starting to really take off also.

It used to be, if you had an American Express card, that was something to be really proud of as only those with the BEST of credit would have that card. I am now totally disgusted with how they are treating everyone.

I thank you for starting this blog. I just pray that after a lifetime of outstanding credit, I don't end up in bankruptcy court.

Anonymous said...

As a former insider with a major CC firm (no longer working in financial services), I can tell you that Amex has used a separate model (apart from FICO) for underwriting risk for at least the last decade. I believe they meet all the requirements of Federal law though because they tell you WHY they are not underwriting you if they choose not to. In the same way, you made it sound like there was a letter detailing why they cut your credit line. If they gave any reason at all, that would probably be enough. The truth is Amex doesn't have the reach to the normal lines of credit themselves like banks do. They had been securitizing short term debt for a decade, progressively adding how much they do. Now those securitized mkts are dead so they are in need of cash; hence the desire to become a bank. Please don't take this as a total defense of Amex. The firm's CEO has lost it and needs to be tossed in my opinion. Classless cuts that are not business related; foolish strategic decisions (e.g. cut a healthcare card product because it was only making 20% return (in its infancy) instead of the 35% he wanted, etc.), and now killing the relationships they worked on for over 10 years. Yep, they deserve the bad press they get. The workers inside though are very dedicated and are only doing what top mgt tells them; given they are laying off at least 10% of the force (more like 15-20 in the states) then that is a pretty big stick against the workers as well.

As far as if reducing credit lines will affect your Fico, while approaching a Fico while it is high is bad, having the credit line come down on you (that is, the credit line approaches you instead of vice versa) may not be the same ding that you think. A quick email to Fair Isaacs (fico owner) will clear that up. I suggest you try it.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked this morning when I received an email from AmExp advising me that my credit line had been reduced to the balance I owed. I use the card primarily for business travel and pay the bill before it even comes due when I get my weekly expense check. After reading this blog, I guess that I am not alone. I had the "green AmExp" card for years but got the Costco AmExp a few years ago to take advantage of the rebate. I will wait until I receive the snail mail copy of why they reduced my credit line and then I will contact Costco Headquarters in Kirkland, Wa and see what they have to say about their partner!

David said...

amex deserves to go under

Anonymous said...

Same here. We have an Amex card we pay off each month. We use it for utilities, rent, office supplies.... to the tune of 50k per month. We were cut off with no notice, right after we paid 60k (on time). Most of these bills were automated and caused massive problems with declines. We don't even need credit. We have cash on hand. We require credit lines to be reliable.

Anonymous said...

A quick additional note to the above post. We provided financials to Amex. These are unaudited reports, but of quality. Amex used the reports to say that we were at risk. I am an accountant. Their "review" made no sense at all. We included the FASB required notations that were not even read by Amex. After wasting way to much time with Amex, they told us to re-submit next year.

The problem is not our credit worthiness. The problem is Amex. They are now an untrustworthy business partner.

Anonymous said...

And they want us to pay for a fee for a Gold card, Now my Gold card has a limit? That really sucks, Iam not renewing it, They can bite me, they lowered all my limits to balance owed which cost me 60 points on my FICO score.

Anonymous said...

Ultimate irony: AMEX is advertising for their business cards on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I just had the interest go up "due to the economy" and they lowered my credit limit to just a little more than I owe. My FICO was 804 the last time I checked, and I have never paid late. This is the first time for 10 years that I have even carried a balance and that's because I started a small business this past year and I am still catching up. I own two houses, and make a very handsome salary at my full time job, contributing max amount into my 401k (15.5 this year). This makes me very angry that the responsible middle class is again taking it in the shorts for the greedy and ignorant people who started this housing mess. I'm not hurting, and will pay off this card in very short order (this month) and will never carry a credit card again, especially AMEXP. They have lost my business, my children's future business, and many more it sounds like. They deserve to go under.

Anonymous said...

What is most shameful about AMEX's behavior, and is hurting them moving forward, is the curiously childish way they have tried to pin the reductions on my usage and payment patterns, as if the minimum payments I set up with them to have auto-deducted are somehow would be far better to simply admit they offered more credit than they are comfortable with and need to pare back. Instead, to call in and hear the staff's lame rhetoric is offensive. It comes off as a feeble attempt to blame the cardholder for Amex's own obvious predicament. It is obvious to all of us that shame accrues to AMEX, not to the cardholder. The staff try to maintain a semblance of respectability by finding fault with the client and this is disastrous for PR.

Anonymous said...

American Express is NOT the company it used to be. Not even close. I had an AMEX green card for 5 years and always paid in full the entire balance on time every month. I spent an average of $40k on the card each year. When I first got the card I used it to help start up my company and was happy and loyal to AMEX, always using it as my first choice for purchases and even filling out suggestion cards at retailers that did not take AMEX, suggesting that I would spend more if they took the card. I referred my friends to apply for the card because of the points, benefits, and good customer service.

However, that loyalty stopped last November when I tried to use the card and was denied. I called in to find out that they had cancelled my card without any notice (they told me that I would receive the cancellation letter within 5-7 days). I asked them why they did that as I was never late and they said that I had a recent derogatory on my credit report that caused this to happen. I acknowledged that my recent divorce had caused some lates but they didn't care.

What really made me angry was that they forfeited my earned 47,000 points. Imagine being cancelled without any notice, and not be allowed to spend your points. I had planned on buying Christmas gifts with those points. I had to call several times until I got someone who actually cared and let me spend them right on the spot (I just took gift cards).

They just don't care anymore, and there is no such thing as customer loyalty. There is no such thing as human understanding either. It's all about computer generated scores. I laugh when I see their ads depicting loyalty and "member since" bs. I will never use them again and if they treat enough of their profitable, good cardholders this way it will only be a matter of time before they fall.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me. Amex reduced my lines from 13,000 to 2200. My balance. Then BOA reduced my lines because Amex action made it look as if I borrowed the max on my credit cards. My FICO score has dropped and now no one will give me credit. How does this happen to a client with 750 score and NEVER a late payment?? I want to sue.

Anonymous said...

American Express has killed their own company. They have taken a company with a STELLAR reputation, built up over decades, and turned it into a horror house.

The credit limit reductions are only part of the story. They simply STOPPED OFFERING their business line of credit recently--the entire product. Of course, my company DEPENDED on this business line of credit and has for many years (we never paid late, always paid more than the minimum, the usual good credit story) . It was a large line, and we have a seasonal business so we depended on it for inventory acquisition, and would pay it mostly off at the end of the year. Just GONE--poof, with basically no warning, with a "dear john" letter from the company.

Have you TRIED to get credit in this climate?? Impossible. And THEY HAD THE NERVE TO TAKE TARP FUNDS!

My company has stopped taking American Express cards. We have collectively (my family and business) stopped using their green and gold cards.

They have taken this 20 year relationship and thrown it away--and, after doing a bit of research online, they have clearly done this to MILLIONS.

I HOPE the result of their actions is that they go bankrupt...I hope the customers turn away from them in DROVES when the economy turns around. We already have, and we will NEVER come back.

FitzhatesAMEX said...

Thank you for making this blog. I don't have to explain my situation because it is EXACTLY the same as everyone else's (not as bad actually). But my usage was at around 26% and now it is at 99% or so. They actually dropped my credit limit to UNDER what I owe. AMEX was nice enough to tell me I won't be getting an over the limit fee...I mean, how do you write this and not think you are full of it. My question is...I paid off several thousand on both of my cards and they reduced me do I just pay it off and leave it at zero? I don't want to close them because regardless of their actions I am still establishing a credit history. But as for excuses it really is pathetic. It like Jon Lovitt's chronic liar character. It's whatever they can say to sound right at that moment. The wad that I ended up talking to last said well we look at your last 6 month history (which was flawless) and you weren't paying enough. I said, well I always paid the minimum, usually over and before that I had just made payments of $8k, $5k, and $3k respectively. He said well we only look at your last 6 months history. Then I went on to ask why I need these cards, I will just cancel and go to someone else who cares. And he said "But sir, what about all the years AMEX has been there for you" to which I replied, "Sorry, jus t like you I can only remember the last 6 months and the last 6 months AMEX has sucked!" What a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

I am a Managing Partner of a $7 millon business with 51 employees. Two years ago, AMEX approached us to upgrade from a Small Business account to a Corporate card- at that time we have 18 employees and sales of less than 2 million (which was represented to be the threshold for the Corporate card) We charge about $450,000 per year and we have NEVER had a late payment. Yesterday, I received a letter stating that the prorgam "was designed for companies having a minimum of $10MM per year and minimum 100 employees". Further, they requested a bunch of finacial information to be sent within 2 weeks so their "credit analysts" could review to see if we were in the best program. I called AMEX and told them what our sales were and how many employees we had. The response was that we no longer "qualify" for the program and that our cards will be cancelled by March 9th if we don't consider an alternative program (Small Business) where I would have to sign personally as guarantor.

All this comes one week after a very complimentary letter from AMEX thanking us for our stellar payment history and reducing the annual card member fees to $35 per person!

I will be filing a complaint with the appropriate authorities and will be getting my state Senator's office involved.

Anonymous said...

Just made my complaint to the Comptroller of the Currency. Thanks for the Link. I've pasted some text from the letters that I have sent Amex regarding this. I'd be happy if others can use the language.

If Class Action attorneys are investigating this, I would and I'm sure others on this thread would be pleased to be example plaintiffs.

My situation was particularly difficult, they cut my credit limit to below my statement balance while I was travelling on business in Chad staying at a hotel that only accepts American Express, and trust me, you don't do a runner on a hotel bill in Chad.


I understand from my card member agreement that you have the right to decrease my credit limit at any time, however, I believe that your reduction of my credit line to an amount below my closing statement balance of only 7 days prior constituted a unfair or deceptive act within the meaning of the Federal Trade Commission Act. American express should have reasonably expected that I would maintain a balance up to or at the level of my statement balance during the period allowed for payment of that statement. Had I done so I would have incurred over-the-limit fees and a potential default under my account agreement leading to a higher interest rate. Had this occurred it would have generated fee and additional interest income for American Express as a result of an unfair or deceptive act. Further, it was not reasonable to notify me of this action after it had occurred.

Anonymous said...

I've spoken with Chris Sharpley at TARP. Contact him at: 202.622.8670

Anonymous said...

I know this is cold comfort, but the issue isn't you it's AmEx. Their business model has been broken (like many other financial firms) and it is catching up with them. The insult is that they send letters to customers implying that the decision is somehow related to a change in the customers credit risk as opposed to the truth which is AmEx doesn't have an effective tool for making good lending decisions.

Anonymous said...

I work in one of the call centers where American Express has slashed millions of people's lines of credit. Everyday hundreds of people call me and tell me that their line of credit has been greatly reduced. I've heard just about every story anyone can imagine; from people telline me they're having dinner with their parents, to people finding out by trying to make a payment.
From one of the people on the inside I can say that I totally agree with all of you. Sadly, there's nothing that can be done about it right now save for calling people in your government and making them aware of this. The people you talk to when you call American Express and are transfered to the adverse action department have no way of reinstating your cards, or of increasing your line of credit. We're not able to from our computers. American Express is looking for any reason at all to reduce anyone's lines of credit. I've spoken with elderly people who have had perfect accounts with American Express for 40+ years. These people had no reason at all to have their lines of credit reduced!
My computer reports to me that American Expresss claims we're getting this bad credit information from the credit union Experian. Yet, many of the people I've spoken to have their own credit reports from Experian, and Experian is not reporting the same information that Amex is saying they're reporting. There has to be something wrong with that. Do with it what you will, I can't keep doing this job for much longer. I hate what Amex is doing as well, because it's not helping the economy, it's not helping themselves, but most importantly, they're not helping the people they went into business to serve.
I hope in some way this is able to help some of you.

Anonymous said...

Amex (along with the other CC Companies) is simply manipulating the interest rate market & create a favorable picture for themselves in order to receive bail out funds!

They reduce your credit line, in order to increase your debt ratios... which in turn leads to a cascade effect through the rest of your accounts.... the reason they give for cutting limits is "high ratios of debt"! Sounds like a self fulfilling prophecy!

Amex have cut limits based on "risk" factors.... in my own case my business card had a limit of $11,000 with a balance of $3746.... always paid on time etc. They just cut my limit to $3900 so my card is now "maxxed out" ... so of course NOW I am categorized as "high risk"! As a result my interest rates have gone up with my other providers & my credit lines reduced. A cycle is created purely by predatory practices by companies such as Amex.

It is pretty offensive that a huge stimulus package was approved by the Government & the companies that have received bailout funds are targeting customers with credit slash & burn policies.... sounds to me like they are creating a situation were they can go to the Government with their hands out for more cash by showing a book full of "high risk" debt! They may be complying with the letter of the law but they are skating very close to fraudulent behavior by artificially manipulating the debt risk position for the purposes of getting their share of the bail out program! In short what they have done is totally UNETHICAL!

It is amazing that since the bail out was announced, how many financial organizations have taken a position of cutting credit to consumers & small businesses, in order to secure Federal Funds.

The market will turn around in time as it always does.... but the actions of these companies that have targeted us unreasonably will be remembered.

I would like to see Amex go under for attacking their customer base!

As a result of this I called my Amex financial adviser at Ameriprise & informed him that due to a new risk assessment by my wife & I we do not feel that his company is sound enough or ethical enough for us to transact business with. We have pulled our investment accounts from them & will be going with Fidelity for the near future.

It was interesting to note that he did tell me that Ameriprise have lost a substantial amount of business due to the actions of their card division.

It is also interesting to note that base interest rates are at a very low level but credit card companies are pushing rates north of 25% & up.

Is there no one with a degree of common sense at companies such as Amex? If you cut credit limits & lower credit scores you raise interest rates on those accounts.... if they believed that someone they applied this logic to was"high risk" to begin with they are certainly going to become "higher risk" now as it is only going to put them in a tougher position to service their commitments! This mentality is driving the economy into the ground!

Small businesses such my own have been weathering the bad economy... its not been easy but we have been doing fine.... income has been steady but we have also been subjected to some of our clients going under... as a result we have been using our credit limits as a fall back position to even out cash flow bumps & so far it has worked fine. Now Amex has targeted us it has made our cash flow position much more difficult & this is putting the business at risk.

Anonymous said...

I have had several Amex cards/accounts, both personal and business for decades. Late last year they started playing that "squeeze" game on my credit which has been well reported in this blog. I knew it was a losing proposition to try to fight them as they can legally lower or cancel your credit line. What it's unacceptable is the deceptive and manipulative way they are doing it -- which might also be illegal. Today they sent me yet another letter telling me the limit on my Amex Platinum (which I have had for more than 30 years) is being lowered to the balance amount (which is a very small fraction of the average balances I have carried through my decades as a loyal client). What got me this time was the detail they provided for that decision which stated that it was particular to my case. Among the reasons they cited was a "negative public record". This alarmed me and immediately got the latest credit reports from all 3 agencies, including two which Amex said they had recently consulted. One of them didn't reflect that alleged consultation, and neither one of them had any "negative records" on me...none. I called Amex and started off by saying I wasn't calling to ask for anything because I didn't want anything but just to clarify where they were getting their credit reports. The first agent adamantly held the party line that "I must be looking at a different report" or that (get this!) that I may have "gotten it from an unsecured line or server"...Please! I escalated it to a second agent who incessantly repeated this time that "sometimes they do get wrong information" and spite of my efforts for him to admit, or not, that in this case "the information they received was wrong" he would stick to his line that "sometimes we get the wrong information". My FICO scored, by the way, was also an "excellent" 805.

My point is:

(1) Can American Express openly lie to, and slander their customers on a letter? Can they lie about consulting a report? Can they lie saying the report contains certain derogatory information?

I had not made an issue in other cases when the letter seemed to have been generic and said something to the effect that "our decision may have been based on either one or more of the following facts" which is very different to say that it was based on particular information about the customer.

Is there some legal action that can be taken?

Anonymous said...

Has anybody found out yet if there could possibly be means to go up against AMEX and others? There must be a loop hole. The card companies are destroying us...the backbone of America...small business!!! Yet the CEO's continue to get their bonuses and government continues to aid them with monies!

Anonymous said...

This is Predatory Lending!
Offering a Service, then Changing the service such that is has a negative impact on all your credit card.

Best things to do is to continuously contact your state representative and letting them know that this is an issue that matters.

Make sure that you do what David mentioned in his post:

What you can do:

1. File a complaint with the OCC. American Express is an official bank now. Take advantage of that and file a complaint with the OCC, they are required to investigate. If enough people lodge complaints, somebody in government will notice. Credit discrimination is against the law.

2. Call or write the Inspector General of the Treasury. They are overseeing the TARP bailout. While American Express has their hand out for money, let the treasury know what they are doing.

Phone: (202) 622-1090
Fax: (202) 622-2151

Office of Inspector General
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Room 4436,
Washington, DC 20220

3. Call your congressman. Ask to speak to a legislative aid. Tell them what AMEX did to you. Every time a call is made to a member of congress the call is tracked in a computer system. When enough calls are received about a particular item, the congressman is notified, the more calls, the more action. This process is very effective. They are your elected officials. They will listen. Type in your zip code and find your rep at

Anonymous said...

I work for one of their call centers as well. We are considered the RLA (responsible Lending Actions), tell customers we're "The Credit Department." It is required for some odd reason. In the RLA, the only authority we have is to cancel accounts, and take payments. There is a special number we can view from our CSP program that shouldn't be shared with the customer. Im not sure sure what it is called, but its just a percentage based on "your overall level of debt" and how much of a risk the cardmember is to the company. If you had called AMEX for information,and you got some bullcrap line, blame it on American express. They train for a week (not even hands on) then throw us on the floor to answer to angry customers. The phrase you'll hear most often is "Your line of credit has been reduced due to your overall debt level." So basically calling RLA (credit department) will tell you nothing you dont already know. Im on the virge of getting fired for being honest with card members and agreeing that their situation is a bunch of bullcrap. Hope this shed maybe a tid bit more light on the situation

Anonymous said...

it appears after reading the varity posts that amex is doing the same thing to every customer, regardless of their credit score, debt ratio, payment history etc. It seems that Amexs' plan is to live off of the high interest rates they are charging their revolving credit customers, and to stop lending(allowing) new credit purchases.I have heard different views of how to fight back from stop using the card, just don't pay , send a letter to your senator etc... I have even heard of a guy that called and said he would not pay his bill until they lowered his interest rate ( not sure what happened with that one) I heard one thing that sounded good ... one guy had his own business and said he stopped accepting the american express card .. he still takes other cards just not amex.. my guess is that if enough people/companies stopped accepting amex ... we might get their attention .. any thoughts ??

Anonymous said...

i just got the same letter "difficult decision" letter and won't add much to what has been said...20 year member , never a late payment..etc, limit lowered to $2000 below current balance, the $200.00 cash advance limit is an insult.. i thought someone may enjoy my response to the "you're credit limit may have changed, but your value to us has not" the margin, i wrote "gentleman, unfortunately your value to me has changed to worthless as i terminate my membership."...i enclosed my card , cut in half of course...peace

Mark C Munro said...

Anything new? This is July 31, 2009.
Please respond.

Anonymous said...

You know, I feel a lot better now knowing that I am not the only one that this has happened to. I am, no, I WAS a 10+ year goldcard and Blue Amex cardholder. I literally just came back from a trip and went immediately to my computer. Why? Because I am so shocked over the day I just had … I was in another state when I was informed of my limit decrease.

I found out when I had tried to make a purchase and my card was declined. I called AMEX customer service. They informed me that I couldn’t make any more purchases because I was now over my credit limit. How could that be? Well, “we just decreased your limit today.” What??!! How could your company just do that? Without any warning whatsoever. I quickly told the rep that THIS WAS THE ONLY CARD I HAD ON ME!!!!!

How am I going to pay for the rental car I’m in when I go to return it? Or the gas that I need to drive back to California? They had no answer for me. They also sounded like they could care less. After 10+ years with this company, over 700 FICO, and never making a late payment in my life … THIS is how you guys are going to treat me??!! You’re literally going to LEAVE ME STRANDED in another freak’n state??? I’ll never forget this moment for as long as I live.

Who can forget crying and begging over the phone to a customer service representative to at least let me pay for the gas I need to get back home. I feel betrayed in so many ways. I was so livid, I couldn’t keep myself from canceling both my cards right there and then. I felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend or something. It was that painful!! I had to call my husband to come and bail me out of this disaster.

I am now home (several hours later than planned obviously), safe, and in complete dismay. If I hear of any lawsuit regarding these decreases, I will definitely be involved. My treatment was inhumane, unjust, and unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

The f*ckers just did it to me too!
I figured their internal formula, determining whether to lower your limit or not, revolves around how much you are paying to them monthly vs. your outstanding balance owed.

Now, on to my situation: I have business AMEX card, I am a CC merchant and I own two businesses that currently accept AMEX acct holders.I even owe a Northwest WorldPerks VISA card that I was seriously considering about switching over to Delta AMEX Skymiles car (no longer will be the case!).

AMEX just seriously pissed me off by reducing my personal line of credit. Not only did they tell me that my credit basically sucks after their most recent review, they made me check my credit score again only to discover that my Credit Score just went up for the last 3 months to 780. So, they flat out lied to me for the reason of my Credit Limit lowering. They screwed with my debt to balance ratio and now I will f*ck right back with them. I am going scrotched earth on those motherfuckers. I am no longer going to accept AMEX anywhere! I will tell everyone I meet or know to no longer use or accept AMEX. Someone above has stated it correctly: They make it sound that they are doing it because it is your fault, when in reality, it is their stupid business decisions that caused this action.

Here is my theory on all of this: someone in that organization is sabotaging the company from the inside. Maybe they work for VISA/MC...or perhaps it's the DISCOVERY?!

Anonymous said...

25 Year "Member" Green, Gold & Blue
Never late. They hosed me too.
Now we're paying for their bailout.
Class Action ! Lets bury them.

Anonymous said...

We have (make that HAD) a personal AMEX (since 1974), a business AMEX (for 8years) and were accepting AMEX via our merchant status (for the past 4 years). On 8/18, we received a letter from AMEX dated 8/11 advising us they were exercising their right under their merchant agreement to begin 'holding' funds due to us in 'reserve' under some b.s. they called a 'business decision'. Lo and behold they also cancelled both our personal and business cards this week which have NEVER had a late payment, NEVER been over the credit limit, and RARELY have a carryover balance. We have excellent credit. We were told we were 'costing' them money because we pay in full. Needless to say, we have cancelled our merchant status with AMEX (but will accept cards that 'seem' to appreciate our business) and are thoroughly disgusted with what used to be a small business, customer friendly company. The are now lower than the stuff slugs excreet. AND...took our 124,918 award points advising because the card was closed, the points were no longer valid. HEY YOU AHs -- YOU closed the card without warning for no sensible ethical decision. Well, know what ? What goes around, comes around and I hope you get yours SOON.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm glad I'm not alone. I started a site. I am going to dedicate myself to getting the word out on this now worthless company.

Anonymous said...

your right they use whats called a cdss it has to be les then .1 i used to work for them in the rla departmnet

Anonymous said...

Last Friday, I had a $50,000 credit line with Amex. On Saturday, I received a call from an Amex rep (which appeared as an unknown caller on my caller ID). He informed me that an attempt was made to fraudulently charge $4000 worth of video equipment to my account and which was declined by Amex. He told me not to use my card until they sent a new card out with a new number. On Sunday, I received an email from Amex stating that my credit line had been reduced from $50,000 to $11,000 which was about $400 more than my balance due. I called Amex because I figured that this had something to do with the attempted fraudulent use of my card but they said no, they had lowered my credit line on Saturday morning after a review and before the attempt to use my card fraudulently later in the day on Saturday. Now how could that be? Why would Amex be calling me about this $4000 fraudulent charge when my line had just been reduced and my available credit was only $400?
For years, I have used my Amex card for everything. It was used for business expenses and for any personal expenses that were charged. I was planning on charging a cruise next week. I don't know what Amex is trying to do. My credit and payment history are excellent. If anyone knows of a class action suit please contact me at I would advise anyone against using an American Express Card.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this Blog. Geeze.. AMEX also lowered my credit line to exactly what I owe! Despite my excellent payment record and credit. I even got a extremely rude and nasty Customer Service rep telling me that small business like mine are not supposed to rely on credit! OMG... I must live on another planet! Yes, Chase soon followed.. down from $4K to $500.00!! How are we as consumers supposed to help kick start this ecomomy when we ( who have excellent credit ratings and never been late with a payment ) are being targeted also. This is what I get for having excellent credit? Now It looks like I am maxed out with several of my credit cards! If anyone hears about a class action lawsuit, please post here.

Anonymous said...

Here is the reformed CARD ACT that is signed. It is an act that protects consumers with credit cards. It is worth taking a look at and looking at your rights. Read over these rights cause there is alot that these credit card companies are not allowed to do anymore. Here is the link.

to read more in the search box type CARD ACT and there is a lot of knowledge to back consumers when approaching your credit card company.

Anonymous said...

I have had my Costco AMEX Costco and Clear AMEX for several years and everything had been great for the past years. Suddenly American Express sent me an email early in the morning which indicating my Costco AMEX credit line has been reduced from $11,700 to $2,300 which left me $148 available credit and my Clear American Express from $18,100 to $8,700 which left me $200 credit line. No explanation was written in this email. I have to call their customer department to seek answers and was not given the answers I was seeking, except blaming 2008 credit meltdown. I have between 729 to 749 credit score from all 3 major credit reporting and I always paid my payment on time and have been a responsible card user. This will cause a great damage against my credit score. When a consumer used a maximum of his credit line shows that lack of responsibility and puts you the high risk category. My credit history is spotless. It took me over 20 years to come where I'm today. If I had a bad credit, American Express wouldn't give me that credit line.

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Anonymous said...

New twist, raising interest rate so all cards have the same rates. Using fraudulant claims using non-existant info from Experian Credit Report.


I have been in court against Amex for 5 years! ...on exactly this. I am now interested in a class action. Please contact me at 954-963-4025 or for the details. Thanks. -- John Cockerham

Unknown said...

I had an American Express card since 1994. Over that time, I had built an impeccable credit score all the way up to 804. My Optima card at its peak had a credit limit of $45,000 and an interest rate at 9%. About ten years ago I went through a divorce and my credit, although a bit shaken, never had more than 30 days late on a payment and started to decline a bit. American Express was the only card that had. It had a balance of around $30,000 at the time when AMEX decided to arbitrarily drop my credit limit down to what I owed and trashed my credit overnight. It gave the appearance that I had maxed out all of my credit. I then received a letter from them that stated I would be receiving an interest rate increase to 15.99% because of my reduced FICO score. Talk about a scam!

5 days ago I paid off the AMEX card and closed the account after having been a loyal customer for over 23 years. I have paid over $40,000 in interest on this card over the lifetime of having it and for that I was treated like a common fool. American Express will NEVER get another dime from me.

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