American Express - American Express canceled card with no notice

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 at 4:51pm CST by a949f0dd

Product: American Express Gold Card

Company: American Express

Location: US

Category: Business, Finances

I have had my gold card for 9 years. I have always paid my balances, even through a bad period, 6 years ago, when I let other cards balances be delinquent due to medical bills.

The one thing I always appreciated with AMEX was their awesome customer service. The about 3 years ago, I noticed they had begun outsourcing customer service and billing questions to a call center in India. There were more instances of what I would term poor communication: speaking with a rep in India, being assured that a payment would post... and then finding out it had not.

I never had a pre-set credit limit, and always paid off my card every month. However, about a year ago I had a family emergency and was unable to pay off the entire $2500.00 balance in one month. I called customer service, and they helped me set up a three-month pay off plan. I followed through, and did not miss a payment.

It wasn't until the last four months, that I ever again carried over a balance, but they never complained.

Then last week I paid off the entire balance to zero. I was thrilled that I was finally caught up.

Yesterday, a small charge with was denied. Curious, I called AMEX. The rep told me that my card had been canceled. I asked why in the world would they cancel my card when I had just paid them in full last week. I even talked to them on the phone last Friday to make sure my online payment went through.

The rep told me he didn't know, but that if I wanted my card "re-instated" I would have to pay $45.00.

I told him that was perfectly ridiculous and asked to speak to a supervisor. The rep cut me off.

I called back again, and then, after telling the same story to another rep, she said she would transfer me to a supervisor.

I waited for 30 minutes (timed it on my cell) until a person reading from a script (obviously not in the US), with a very heavy accent, told me that because I had something unfavorable in my credit report from the past,which was noted by a credit reporting agency, my card had been canceled.

She then offered to reinstate the card for a charge of $25.00.

When I asked to speak to her supervisor, I was told that he would not be able to do anything else for me. I told her to go ahead and transfer me anyway. She then cut me off.

At first I was mad. Then I felt hurt. I have used this card ethically for 9 years, and always paid my bills. My credit score is not perfect, it is 658.

But I have been striving to make it better every year.

My sense is that AMEX will be doing this to hundreds of us Americans over the coming months, and as they lay-off thousands of employees, those trying to communicate with them will be waiting for hours on the phone, and never be able to resolve problems.

I, like many Americans, needed my credit card for making reservations for business travel, shopping at Costco, and purchasing business supplies.

We are going to see greater repercussions; other businesses rely on us using our credit cards online, and during holidays. It will be interesting to see what happens to this "house of interconnected cards" as the months roll on.

We taxpayers may have bailed out the banks, but the banks are holding us up with threats of cancellations, higher fees, and trumped up charges.

Beware of American Express. With my husband's advice, I took the scissors to the gold card last night, and I look forward to a class action suit against them!


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85e26b0e, 2008-11-25, 04:08PM CST

I had the same problem this past week. AMEX contacted me stating my balance on my Gold card had to be paid by the end of the month, even though I had a sign and travel agreement. They suspended the sign and travel. I was told two different balances on my card. Customer service is a joke. AMEX is getting greedy given the bailout money. Good luck on your suit. I hope they loose billions.

74f6c4d2, 2008-12-07, 09:25AM CST

the same thing has just happened to me. I have not been late on any Amex charges, and pay every month online. I tried calling Amex and I too get INDIA! They were no help and told me to call Experian for a credit report. Sign me up for the class action

5f925599, 2009-01-03, 03:55AM CST

I also had the same thing happen. I was approved for a card used it once and paid off balance and then went to charge something to discover that it would nto go through. I called and learned that they cancelled the card. They indicated that my credit was not in good standards which is not the case becase I just purchased a house and no problem. I then asked if this was the case why approve me in the beginning and they said they have people outsourced and they automatically approve you for the card then the credit report is actually reviewed and then they decide. I think this is bogus.

7e9e72bf, 2009-01-28, 08:13PM CST

Oh my gosh...

i just had a same problem

I had my Blue Sky card since 2006

Never had late payment, actually i made early payment everytime in full.

My credit score got lower due to my irresponsible cousin (who i co-signed for his car-purchase) not paying on time.

So I saw that it has lowered my Blue Sky limit from $3000 to $600. That hurt, but still i was able to use it and I was looking forward to using my Rewards point for a vacation. (I had $100 for spending $7500, and I was almost reaching $200)

Then yesterday, I paid all my balance to purchase more on this wonderful Blue Sky card...and today at Costco they rejected me. I called the service center and I found out that they have canceled my card!!! And all my reward point was gone with my card.

I asked for supervisor, luckily I was able to speak with her right away, but she told me there is nothing she can do, so she connected me with Reward service representative. She couldn't help me either, so i asked for her supervisor, and she gave me this address in Florida to send letter about my situation and said they may approve of me using the reward point...still this really sucks..they never gave me notification...and I can't believe they can cut off a faithful customer like that...AE is a S H I T!!

8a55df37, 2009-02-17, 02:42PM CST

So I see I'm not the only one. Had my Optima card for 10 YEARS! It started off as secure card which was returned to me and the limit doubled. Never over the limit, never late on payments, and always double minimum payment. My wife used it this morning no problem, I tried to at lunch - denied.

After calling and being told I was in collections (after receiving a payment for 85% of the balance???) I was told because of many factors but all I got was high average balance. My response was

"How many times did I go over?" - Their response - "None".

"How many missed payments?" - Their response - "None"

So my response to all that happened was this - I told 2 seperate people, one in collections, one in customer service - that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES is AE to contact me, my wife, my kids. I made it perfectly clear that if I were to get a phone call, email, or offer in the mail that they would hear from my lawyer. They have my info from being a customer. Now that I am no longer a customer, they don't need my info.

Maybe we need to let these customers know that if you're going to treat us like crap - while we give you money to bail you out - then we don't want them when the economy turns around.

I was able to salvage my reward points. I wasn't offered a reinstatement offer, only you can apply again in a year (which sent me into my forget I ever existed or I'll call my lawyer rant!).

I'll hold my litigation for "stalking" me when they send unwanted applications.

95a9c086, 2009-02-20, 11:45AM CST

I recently received a letter from amex saying that my card was cancelled. I was very concerned about this considering I haven't had a balance for months and when I did it was always paid off right away. Curious about this I checked my credit report directly after receiving the letter. I noticed I had a 709 credit score which is good enough to finance a house, however not good enough to have this credit card with a $1000.00 limit. (very ridiculous) They told me I have too much revolving debt even though I only have 1 credit card with a balance ($900). I feel it is unjust that it was cancelled and the only reason why is because in 2 months I'm owed 2 roundtrip comp. tickets and thats their way of getting out of it. Also I paid an annual fee and they won't refund me. I look forward to a class action suit against these frauds.

2a7dc613, 2009-02-20, 11:48AM CST

I recently received a letter from american express saying my delta skymiles platinum card was cancelled. I was very concerned about this considering I haven't had a balance for months and when I did it was always paid off right away. Curious about this I checked my credit report directly after receiving the letter. I noticed I had a 709 credit score which is good enough to finance a house, however not good enough to have a credit card with a $1000.00 limit. (very ridiculous) They told me I have too much revolving debt even though I only have 1 credit card with a balance ($900). I feel it is unjust that it was cancelled and the only reason why is because in 2 months I'm owed 2 roundtrip comp. tickets and thats their way of getting out of it. I also have another american express with the same limit and that one was not cancelled!! Also I paid an annual fee and they won't refund me. I look forward to a class action suit against these frauds.

I called american express back on 2/20 and now they told me they cancelled my card because I haven't had any activity since Oct. 2008. This is fraud

caa3ac7a, 2009-02-24, 08:11AM CST


I just got the same issue, a letter from Amex saying that they cancel it. I can not believe it! I have 703 FICO and I always pay all on time. What we can do to complain??? Are there any government agency that we can place a formal complain against them? If that's the way that they are going to help the economy, it is better to let them disappear. They receive money from the government but they cancel the cards to people that pay on time, are they cancel to the ones that have not paid?

7595ed7a, 2009-02-25, 08:58PM CST

I had a similar situation but more sinister. I charge about $120,000/year on my platinum card for business expenses. Our A/P department isn't very efficient in getting us reimbursed so my payments tend to be late. I have always paid down the balances including late charges. I made an electronic payment a week ago from the Amex website to bring the account current. This week, my card was suddenly declined. When I called Amex, they said my payment was returned for "insufficient funds". I called my bank and they said that just wasn't the case. There were more than enough funds available. When I called Amex back, they refused to hear me out, refused to admit that they may have made a mistake and refused to reinstate my card. When I threatened to cancel it, they couldn't wait to accomodate my request. I honestly believe that Amex has coordinated this entire episode in order to get me to cancel the card. Something is rotten in Denmark and I am going to get to the bottom of it.

a096efef, 2009-06-29, 09:40PM CDT

Just today (06/29/09), I received a letter from American Express stating that they have cancelled my account. The reasons stated were: I had too many inquiries, proportion of balances to credit limits, length of time accounts established and number of delinquency. What I don't understand is that the only thing that changed since I became their member(in 2008) is that I have paid off completely one of my two credit card which had revolving balance. I now have only one credit card which has a balance from my student years for paying my tuition. I always pay on time and I have never been late. I should be debt free in the next 10 months. My credit score is 716 (which is of course, not perfect but not terrible either) but they still cancelled my card. This hurts my feelings!

I have one more than 30 days late payment of my tuition loan from Federal Credit Union in my credit report which was back in 2005 and this is the only negative thing in my report from experian. But American Express knew about this and about my balances on my two credit cards when they issued me their card with a limit of $2,000. Two months ago they reduced my limit to $1,000, I was surprised but I didn't give much thought to it. I had no balance and I had no intention of using this card either. I got Americn Express card only for emergency and I was hoping it will reduce my debt to credit ratio and improve my credit score. Now that they have cancelled my account my credit score will go down again! I am now back to where I was before I paid off one of my credit card with 1,300 balance.

I am very dissapointed with American Express!! This is just ridiculous! I feel like I have been punished instead of being rewarded for being resposible!

d3f9a638, 2009-07-14, 04:02PM CDT

I want to add onto the complaints. I received a letter saying they cancelled my jet blue card based on my credit history. I have always been over 700 but I switched banks and had to call to give them a new account in order to make automatic payments, so one or two payments were not made due to the closed account. I found them to be curt and unfriendly when I called offering no solution, certainly they wanted me to stay cancelled. I really do not think this is just even if it is legal, it affects people's credit history and as one man says goes against the whole premise of credit in the first place.

e4c2a413, 2009-10-08, 01:42PM CDT

I paid my bill on time everyone and I even have a merchant account with them that bills over $20k per month and they still cancelled my personal card. It makes no sense. Im really thinking about cancelling my merchant account I dont want to give them any more business!

b33a2d4c, 2009-11-03, 01:49PM CST

I just got off the phone with American Express. I wanted to add my husband to my card and they said it was canceled 8 months ago and I could apply for a new card. I had a Platinum card since 1995! I hadn't used it in the last year because I'm working in Europe for a few years and no place takes American Express except for some hotel chains. They lost a loyal 15 years customer for absolutely no reason. I hope they do go down.

5b6dff17, 2009-11-04, 06:06AM CST

Welcome to THE CLUB!

My AMEX was from my late husband. Opened in 1975 with an unlimited balance. After his death, they issued it to me in his name, with the same. As time has past, in the last five years, I have watched it go,from unlimited to 12k limits, to 5K limits, to 1100 limits to being closed. NEVER has a payment been late, NEVER has a payment been late, but because my income has been decreased, they have decided to close the account. (DO THEY HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I HAVE IN SAVINGS?-NO!)

I received no letter, no notice, just didn't use it that much, went to use it one day and it was declined. I was in shock. Came home and called. And got it was closed. They did not even offer to re-open it for me because of my household income!

I got the credit report line- which is crap since I know what mine is because I just bought a NEW CAR and had no problem.

Later the same day, I found out the same thing happend to my neighbor the month before- so it is obvious that THEY ARE LOOKING AT ZIP CODES TOO!

They have reported the closure to all three of the credit reporting agencies- I now have this on my credit report. I have done nothing.

f71ed6c9, 2009-12-07, 10:06AM CST

This is crazy!!!!

I have had my amex gold card for quite a few years..

My credit score is a 790!!!!

I have never paid Amex or anyone else late in my life!!!

a few months ago, a few of my unused cards were canceled by the banks they were issued by... No big deal, I didnt use them any way...

Then my one and only remaining credit card, which had a 50,000 limit, with as 15,000 balance recieved a letter saying that my int rate was going from 6.9 to 19.99%. I opted out, which basically cancels the card but keeps the rate at 6.9!

That left me with Amex.. Which I have always used and loved. Ive used it for business, and home alike.. Travel, concert tickets, etc.

My Amex accounts has mine, and my husbands cards, but I am the account owner...

I called on Thursday of last week b/c my husband had left his card in a resturant.

They canceled his card, and overnighted a new one... which per the tracking number I was given, should be here today.

I went to use my card today for gas in my car, and it was declined!!!!!!!!!!!! It was also the ONLY card I had on me, as I had just run out for that!!!!

So there I stood, on the phone with Amex, while some greesy guy held my car keys so I didnt drive away without paying!!!

I was told it was my credit score, which I replied was impossible, as I checked it two monthes ago.. Then quickly the rep said "no, actually its your debit to availible credit ratio"

Now, perhaps my 15+ years working in finance, banking and brokerage have yet to teach me enough.. But...

Banks are closing accounts because they need to reduce thier exposure to credit default, and need add'l capitial, thus driving any person carrying a balance' "Debit to credit utilization" up, which drives your credit score lower... Then as a result, all of your cards view you as less favorable then you were before, and drive your Int. rates up... If you opt out, they close your account.. Other companies then pull your credit report, and further the blow..

At the end of the day.. Here I am, standing there, hostage to a greese monkey, pleeding my case to some idiot in india.

I was finally set free thanks to a friend passing by with an extra 20 and some advice....

He said "Everyday you carry a balance with a credit card you are robbed of your hard earned dollars..

So Think about it this way.. Using cards your guranteed to be a victim of robbery.. Walking down the street with a wad of cash, you have a 1:1,000,000 chance of being robbed."

I think its going to be a cash only life for me!

0566d962, 2010-08-16, 09:47AM CDT

I don't know when you posted this, but the same thing just happened to me today and I am stunned! I just about paid off my credit card & I got an e-mail from American Express telling me that my credit card has been canceled. I was so confused and wanted to gather more information before I call them. If you have any more information that I could use against them please let me know. Thank you in advance.

536601f9, 2011-08-05, 12:55AM CDT

There is some consolation in this sad and confusing story and that is, that I realize i am no longer ALONE in facing this horrific consequence of cancellation for no reason at all. I have NEVER BEEN LATE with a payment to AE.

It seems like people on this blog are from all walks of life and with so many different circumstances that it can honestly be surmised, that AE is arbitrarily and randomly drawing names of the hat and canceling customer for no reason. I can tell from reading these blogs, that the obvious customer of AE who gets suddenly canceled with no forewarning - is first questioning themselves and what they may've done wrong. DON'T DO THAT!!! We should all find an attorney to fight this because (1) we are forfeiting our EARNED frequent miles due to this unethical practice AND (2) most of us just recently paid the steep, annual renewal fee which apparently, is non-refundable.

These random and questionable practices have caused many national banks to have to settle large, class action lawsuits. Why should AE be held any less accountable for robbing their customers?

I have been an AE cardholder for about 5-8 yrs now (Gold Card). Each month, I pay the balance off in full and on-time. Furthermore, I've even had to seek out large, cash advances and have paid those back on time, also. Never have I had a problem with AE and I have always found the service reps on the phone to be professional and curteous.

Up until THIS MORNING I was still an active, in good standings customer with AE. As a matter of fact, I had to call them to put in for a new mailing address change in that I prefer to receive my monthly bills at work from now on. No problem. I got a professional and curteous rep who asked if I needed additional service once he took this new information from me and then thanked me for my loyal service to AE! This was at 4:30PM today. Then - an hour later, I used my AE card at a store for a minor charge - no problem; the card went through successfully. Imagine, then - my horror and confusion when I arrive home to find an email which appears to have been sent to me from AE at around the same time that I was using my card at the store. This email stated, "We don't want you to have any surprises when you next use your card! We've decided to cancel your service for our own internal decisions." HUH????? Who starts off a cancelation letter stating that they don't want me to have any "surprises" when I go to use my card???

I immediately became suspicious that this was just cleverly disguised spam but - no - when I got AE on the phone late this evening (it sounded like someone in New Dehli) I was told to call customer service tomorrow because - in fact - my card WAS canceled today!

Please, let's all collectively try and do something about this. My daughter used to work as a paralegal for a law firm here in Los Angeles that LOVED to sink their teeth into cases like this one. They were always settling (quietly, and out of court) class action cases brought up against verizon, US Bank, AT&T, et... My daughter would tell me some of the details pertinent to these lawsuits which you wouldn't believe. Some memberships were actually being canceled due to ethnicity!

We need to all stick together on this one and bring about an effective change in this system once and for all. It's a shame that this is happen to such a rock solid and reputable company as AE. I imagine VISA and MC won't be following too far behind in this policy unless we become pro-active very soon.

Sean M., 2013-04-06, 10:39PM CDT

Same thing happened to me this week. I have been a gold card member for years. I spent $55,000 in 2012 and paid my bill in full on time every single month. I received a call from an AMEX rep last month telling me that I was pre approved to upgrade to platinum. After hearing all the perks, I agreed and they overnighted me my new Platinum card. I used it for 3 weeks and then I was declined at Walgreens for a $2 charge. Low and behold, my card had be cancelled. I called and they told me, check your email there should me something in your inbox about your cancellation. They said I can appeal the cancellation, which I did. Still waiting to hear from them. They also sent me a letter stating they made the decision based on Experian and it listed my score. I pulled my Experian credit report myself and my actual score is 40 points higher than what their letter stated. We shall see if they fix this and reinstate my card. anyone have this happen? email me at [email protected]

199765fa, 2014-12-10, 12:18PM CST

In December 2008, my business was ruined by American Express who had extended us unlimited credit, only to withdraw the credit without any reason or warning. I lost everything?my retirement, life savings, my credit rating and my home. Claiming ?unjust enrichment? AmEx then suited me for the unpaid balance.

I have been in court for 5 years trying to represent myself. Finally I have a prominent law firm interested in the case and even a class action suit. I need the stories of others that have been damaged personally or in their business. It can be in the form of a letter, but to be considered as evidence in the case, I need your story notarized as an Affidavit. (click on the link below to see my affidavit.)

Also, should you have any contacts, I need the media?s coverage.

John Cockerham

[email protected]


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