Monday, February 9, 2009

Update - Paying down the AMEX

Now it's common knowledge that American Express is hellbent on reducing credit lines regardless of credit worthiness. So in the last few months I decided to start paying down my balances at an accelerated rate.

You can guess what happened next...

Two more line reductions, another $7500 in available credit gone. In both cases, after making large payments, they reduced my lines to $275 above the balance. No call. No email. No letter yet. They are probably sitting at their headquarters laughing...just waiting for me to use the card so they can charge me an overlimit fee and raise my interest rate.

I called them and they gave me the same bullsh*t. ohhh...the last 6 months you haven't paid down you balance enough! COMPLETE LIE. ohhh... you have too many inquiries! Well that's because I had to open some new accounts after I shredded my AMEX!

So be warned...if you have a balance with AMEX at a low rate...DON'T PAY IT OFF. They will just suck away the available credit and then spit on you.

Leave home without it.

8 comments:

JR said...

I have heard from many others about AMEX doing this to their customers. After hearing this I choose not to pay down my AMEX balance, in favor of paying down my other credit card balance in order to preserve my available credit ratios and scores. My article about AMEX explains how they are ruining credit scores:

http://www.livemoneysmart.com/personal-finance/credit/american-express-lowers-your-credit-score

get even said...

Dont get mad--get even. Be an administrative burden. Never use their IVR--always talk to a rep. Do it over and over and over again. Lose your card often. Question charges--make them investigate. Look for their ads and click on them . This costs them real dollars.

Anonymous said...

I didn't pay down my accounts and they flat out canceled the cards. I still get offers in the mail from them all the time. I read a suggestion the other day that said to send the prepaid envelope back to them empty and let them pay the postage!

Eric said...

I have been an American Express card holder since the year 2000 and I have worked extremely hard to build the credit that I had. I currently have three credit card accounts with American Express.

On my BLUE credit card between 10/17/08 and 11/18/08 statements my credit line was reduced from $48,000 to $40,000 (17%, within $750 of my balance). During the same time period they imposed a $1,700 credit limit on my ONE credit card which always had been unlimited. I had charged and paid each month more than $2,000 consistently for years on that card and now I had to scramble to move automatic payments, I had several charges declined after the limit was set and was left with egg on my face.

After calling customer service several times they said this was due to a credit review and there was nothing that could be done about it. On 4/2/09 I was notified that my BLUE credit line was reduced from $40,000 to $9,600 (76%, within $200 of my balance). After calling customer service and speaking with a manager they said this was due to a high debt/credit ratio and there was nothing that could be done about it. I have never made a late payment and I typically pay much higher than the minimum payment.

At a minimum this is horrible customer service and at a maximum they have severely impacted my credit rating by increasing my debt/credit ratio. My debt/credit ratio has not changed dramatically in over a year and my credit score is over 700, what they are doing is completely arbitrary. I would not be surprised if they lower my limit again in the near future as they are now creating a self-fulfilled prophecy by manipulating my credit.

From the research I have done there are hundreds if not thousands of customers being affected in the same way and I am looking for a class action lawsuit to join if this can not be resolved immediately. I am so unhappy that I want to immediately cancel all of my credit accounts with American Express, the only reason I have not is it will hurt my credit scores even more. Please help!

Kerry said...

I would say tens of thousands of their account holders are in this situation. Google AM Ex credit reductions and see what comes up. I'm Starwood Preferred, went from $50,000 limit to $1,900 in two cuts. They don't care, and will make up reasons for it. The customer service reps admit that they don't know why your account has been targeted, and Experian confirmed thousands of people calling with my exact same circumstances.
Let me know if you ever find an attorney or a solution.

Anice Ladi said...

Hi, this is a response especially to Eric about this manipulation by American Express to charge you over the limit and late fees and what he can do.

You are right you are not alone. Obviously they are a gigantic Goliath, tricking many people into debt and fees higher that what you bargained for. I have heard of folks who did nothing wrong, kept a high credit score by paying the full amount of each credit card EARLY and as thanks had their American Express card TOTALLY cancelled.

Because they are big, we can't publicly blast the legal and inexpensive steps we are taking to fact find or fight this matter. If YOU would like real ideas for getting to the bottom of this Goliath go to facebook and find the group Take Down The Credit Card Companies. (Its just a name). You'll find a post, asking if you have had any problems with American Express payments, credit line reductions. Just respond so we can contact you. This is usurious and unfair.

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