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Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

Established Member

Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

So I started a little side business that I'm doing on the weekends. Looking to keep my business expenses separate I apped and was approved for the Business Green. Wasn't looking for a big bonus but just wanted to keep my side business expenses separate. I've always read to only put business spend on business cards.

Well, I get a call from Amex corporate office the other day from someone in the "Top Client group". Nice guy but started asking me about my side business and my main job (attorney). Asked when I was going to open up my own firm etc. then started telling me that I should get the Business gold card instead and that he can give me 75k point bonus.

I told him the reason I apped the green was because I didn't think I would meet that minimum spend with business expenses. He said "no. You can put personal spend on the card." He calls me back later and tells me the same thing. I call Amex Open customer service and they tell me that personal spend on the cards is fine. I also hop on chat and they tell me the same thing. I even verified that the guy who called me is a legitimate Amex employee.

Has anyone else experienced this? I told them in the membership agreement for the Green Business it says Business Expenses only and they all basically told me to disregard that and that I can use my business cards for whatever I want.

Can anyone explain this to me? This is contrary to everything I've ever read.
Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES
Moderator

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

@andrewm33

 

I removed your duplicate post in the credit card forums.  Please do not cross post in different forums as it can be confusing for those trying to answer your question and it's also against forum rules.  If you are unsure of what forum a post belongs in, post where you think is most appropriate and a Moderator will move it eventually if it's misplaced.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation

Message 2 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

Andrew, 

 

Here is the language in my business cardmember agreement:

 

"Each Cardmember acknowledges and agrees that cards are intended to be used for the Company's commercial or business purposes" 

 

The agreement does say strictly business purposes but I would have you consider this, you as the business owner can determine what is the business "purpose"..

Where is the line in the sand between business and personal spend? Who is the final judge of how your $109 charge at Macys is business, or personal? 

 

Really its the IRS, and only if you claim the 20 pairs of colorful men's socks are a legitamate business expense...now IF you don't claim the expense, then its Amex that would decide...

 

So another question; What does Amex care?

They are not going to scrutinize your purchases that closely. They got the swipe, charged you an AF for the card, and Macys paid a processing fee, they win on both sides of that equation, what if for them to question or scrutinize? 

 

Now, on the flip side, one of the biggest benefits of a business card, is the seperation. Especially from Amex, they have very good reports and tools. So it might be silly to negate the benefit of the finiancial seperation provided by keeping ALL business charges on this card, making it easy to redline the expenses, and easily justify the benefits of deducting the AF and charges to the card.

 

However, those sign up bonuses are great, I have chased a few myself and used some personal spend to get me over the top. BUT, I keep very good records and handle things on the up-and-up come April. 

 

After a lengthy response, I'll provide a simpler one; I think its fine for you to swipe [a reasonable amount of] personal charges on the card, because in the end Amex truly doesn't care. They have to put that in the Agreement, most likely for legal reasons centered around CARD and Dodd/Frank legislation. 

 

My only caution is, know that the business cards do not offer the same level of protections as personal cards. 

 

Lastly, what i am interested in is personnel from Amex calling cardmembers, that seems odd to me. I have never had Amex contact me directly about upgrading, or changing my card(s).... 

Amex Biz Plat | Amex Biz Gold | Amex Biz Plus | Amex BCP | Amex PRG | Chase Sapphire Reserve | Chase Freedom Unl | BoA 123 Sig | Delta Biz Gold | Discover IT | Macy's Amex | PayPal Extras MC | and a couple store cards | Starting Score 618 EX (2/2014) - Today All 3 above 815 | MyFico Rocks |
Message 3 of 10
Established Member

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

It was really weird. The phone call was from someone on the "Top Client Team" with Amex Open. I google searched it and found one hit from a website a couple years ago. The post said that the "Top client Team's" goals was to "drive spend onto business cards and that they could give special offers and give out extra points.

I flat out asked the guy why he was calling me since I was a sole proprietor with a little side business that wasn't even close to my main source of income. He kindof dodged my question and kept telling me that the business gold would be perfect for me and that when I opened up my own law firm he had a card in mind for me for that as well.

I spoke to him on his direct line several times and he said he would be my "contact with American Express" and would be checking in with me from time to time.
Message 4 of 10
Established Member

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

And I verified with the main customer service twice that he was an actual employee in their Arizona office
Message 5 of 10
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards


andrewm33 wrote:
It was really weird. The phone call was from someone on the "Top Client Team" with Amex Open. I google searched it and found one hit from a website a couple years ago. The post said that the "Top client Team's" goals was to "drive spend onto business cards and that they could give special offers and give out extra points.

I flat out asked the guy why he was calling me since I was a sole proprietor with a little side business that wasn't even close to my main source of income. He kindof dodged my question and kept telling me that the business gold would be perfect for me and that when I opened up my own law firm he had a card in mind for me for that as well.

I spoke to him on his direct line several times and he said he would be my "contact with American Express" and would be checking in with me from time to time.

That is strange. Well in theory its kind of cool that Amex is looking to drum up business that way. 

 

Maybe put him in touch with me!! I'm about extra points, ha!! I put thousands of $ through my business cards each year, mostly on behalf of my clients, but Amex doesnt need to know that ;-) 

 

They may have seen "attorney" and thought "big bags of cash", who knows. 

 

Regardless, I think if you took the offer, and were able to weave your spending into the card, and get you closer to the bonus, I think that would be cool. The nice thing about MR points, unless you specify otherwise, they all go into one account...

Amex Biz Plat | Amex Biz Gold | Amex Biz Plus | Amex BCP | Amex PRG | Chase Sapphire Reserve | Chase Freedom Unl | BoA 123 Sig | Delta Biz Gold | Discover IT | Macy's Amex | PayPal Extras MC | and a couple store cards | Starting Score 618 EX (2/2014) - Today All 3 above 815 | MyFico Rocks |
Message 6 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

This has come up before, as you see the language does not say business expenses only, it says you will use it for business expenses. As long as you put some business expenses on it, you are following the rules.
Message 7 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

I would not sweat it. Because we live in Smalltown USA   almost half of our office supplies come from Walmart or Amazon.  We pay these with a Chase Biz card.   No one ever asked us why  so much walmart on our biz card. 

Message 8 of 10
Epic Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards

The only thing Amex HEAVILY Frowns on is using a personal AMEX card to pay a business you are a part of.

We owned a catering company and naturally, the catering company did some jobs for us in our personal life... Amex did not see why that might happen and warned us to use a different card if it ever did again and no other issues.

Message 9 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: Weird Amex phone call and personal spend on business cards


Creditaddict wrote:

The only thing Amex HEAVILY Frowns on is using a personal AMEX card to pay a business you are a part of.

We owned a catering company and naturally, the catering company did some jobs for us in our personal life... Amex did not see why that might happen and warned us to use a different card if it ever did again and no other issues.


∧∧∧

 

What Creditaddict said. Don't pay yourself. Amex (and Chase) see that as Manufactored Spending and will flag it instantly. But based on the topic of this thread so far, I dont think that was implied or assumed. 

Amex Biz Plat | Amex Biz Gold | Amex Biz Plus | Amex BCP | Amex PRG | Chase Sapphire Reserve | Chase Freedom Unl | BoA 123 Sig | Delta Biz Gold | Discover IT | Macy's Amex | PayPal Extras MC | and a couple store cards | Starting Score 618 EX (2/2014) - Today All 3 above 815 | MyFico Rocks |
Message 10 of 10