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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 387
Registered: ‎08-25-2011
0

AMEX FR

Does AMEX do a FR on everyone who carries their card? 

If so, how often should I expect this to happen?

 

I have the Gold card (which I will be closing once my Business Gold arrives). I also have the BCE for personal use.

 

I decided to get the GOLD for Business as there is not much use for my Gold personal. I am going to transfer the points once the business card arrives (at the recommendation of AMEX).

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,126
Registered: ‎08-29-2007
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Re: AMEX FR

Everyone does not get FR'ed.  I am not sure what exactly triggers it, but I am sure others can elaborate more on what does. 


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Regular Contributor
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎06-17-2011
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Re: AMEX FR

Not sure of the exact percentage of cardholders, but it is not everyone and is only a minority. I had a FR, which i believe was triggered by a marked change in my spending habits one month. I have been a cardholder since 1982, had one of the first Centurion cards in Florida (which I subsequently changed back to Platinum) and over the last 10 years averaged 30-35K spending on my Personal Platinum. The month prior to getting a FR, I have a couple of "large" purchases and totalled close to 100K that month. That is what triggered the FR IMHO.

Changing your financial profile on the website has lead to a FR in several cases that I am aware of, so I never change my financial profile on the website.

There is no problem with a FR if you have been honest about your income. When I had my FR, I offered bank statements however, I was told by the FR Rep that they no longer will accept bank statements and W2s, that they insist on either a tax transcript or copy of the return (don't know if that is true or was just in my case. The rep suggested to me that that was the case.) In my case they asked for a tax transcript 4506-T. The only info on a 4506-T is the gross and net income reported on the return, so they don't see any of the itemized details. They will suspend ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH AMEX until the FR is completed (both personal and business), which I have a big issue with. Once they received the tax transcript, they unsuspended the accounts that day. I guess the only time you really have to worry is if your reported income to AMEX is significantly different that your tax return. So if you haven't lied about your financial status, then there is nothing to worry about with a FR (except the draconian practice of suspending your accounts until its complete.. So if it happens while your traveling you are screwed and why I NEVER use MAEX as my only CC and always have an alternate means of covering any planned spending.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,326
Registered: ‎09-22-2009
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Re: AMEX FR

[ Edited ]

flyingmd wrote:

Not sure of the exact percentage of cardholders, but it is not everyone and is only a minority. I had a FR, which i believe was triggered by a marked change in my spending habits one month. I have been a cardholder since 1982, had one of the first Centurion cards in Florida (which I subsequently changed back to Platinum) and over the last 10 years averaged 30-35K spending on my Personal Platinum. The month prior to getting a FR, I have a couple of "large" purchases and totalled close to 100K that month. That is what triggered the FR IMHO.

Changing your financial profile on the website has lead to a FR in several cases that I am aware of, so I never change my financial profile on the website.

There is no problem with a FR if you have been honest about your income. When I had my FR, I offered bank statements however, I was told by the FR Rep that they no longer will accept bank statements and W2s, that they insist on either a tax transcript or copy of the return (don't know if that is true or was just in my case. The rep suggested to me that that was the case.) In my case they asked for a tax transcript 4506-T. The only info on a 4506-T is the gross and net income reported on the return, so they don't see any of the itemized details. They will suspend ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH AMEX until the FR is completed (both personal and business), which I have a big issue with. Once they received the tax transcript, they unsuspended the accounts that day. I guess the only time you really have to worry is if your reported income to AMEX is significantly different that your tax return. So if you haven't lied about your financial status, then there is nothing to worry about with a FR (except the draconian practice of suspending your accounts until its complete.. So if it happens while your traveling you are screwed and why I NEVER use MAEX as my only CC and always have an alternate means of covering any planned spending.


Unfortunately, AMEX F'R's are a lot more intrusive than you indicate.  In a previous thread, a poster going through F/R indicated that AMEX pulled Option "C" on the 4506-T request (which they fill out for you), which showed the full return including the following information. OP, there are many threads on the subject of AMEX F/R.

 

 

With only a 1040 transcript they can get:

 

Concept & 1040 Line #

 

1) Names & SSNs of your entire family and your ex-spouse:  6a, 6b, 6c, 31a
2) Marital status:  Right at the top of the form.
3) Alimony & child support: 11
4) HSA contributions: 25
5) Blind: 39a
6) Immigration status: 39b (also they can tell by your SSN)
7) Bank account number: 74b, 74c, 74d
8) Children adopted: 71b
9) Qualified health insurance plan:
10) Combat zone pay: 64b
11) Child care expenses: 48
12) First time home buyer: 67
13) Continuing education: 49 & 66 & 34
14) Retirement funds: 50
15) Unemployed you / spouse at any period during the year: 19
16) Rental income: 17
17) Social security benefits: 20a
18) What fuel does your car consume: 70
19) Energy-related home improvements:52
20) Own or rent your home: 52 & 67

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TU Fico 8 - 848
EX Fico 8 - 836
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 262
Registered: ‎03-07-2009
0

Re: AMEX FR


Unfortunately, AMEX F'R's are a lotmore intrusive than you indicate.  In a previous thread, a poster going through F/R indicated that AMEX pulled Option "C" on the 4506-T request (which they fill out for you), which showed the full return including the following information. OP, there are many threads on the subject of AMEX F/R.

 

 

With only a 1040 transcript they can get:

 

Concept & 1040 Line #

 

1) Names & SSNs of your entire family and your ex-spouse:  6a, 6b, 6c, 31a
2) Marital status:  Right at the top of the form.
3) Alimony & child support: 11
4) HSA contributions: 25
5) Blind: 39a
6) Immigration status: 39b (also they can tell by your SSN)
7) Bank account number: 74b, 74c, 74d
8) Children adopted: 71b
9) Qualified health insurance plan:
10) Combat zone pay: 64b
11) Child care expenses: 48
12) First time home buyer: 67
13) Continuing education: 49 & 66 & 34
14) Retirement funds: 50
15) Unemployed you / spouse at any period during the year: 19
16) Rental income: 17
17) Social security benefits: 20a
18) What fuel does your car consume: 70
19) Energy-related home improvements:52
20) Own or rent your home: 52 & 67


I think that is awful. I don't mind the part about reported gross and net income, but that is far too much for them to have access to just to validate whether or not you're worthy of holding one of their cards. I'm still of the opinion that you should be able to give W-2's or pay statements as enough proof, but when they really start getting into your business like that, it really makes one reconsider even keeping the card. It used to be something that was coveted to me. The more horror stories that I hear about AMEX's practices, the more I want to move my credit rebuilding journey in another direction far away from their products. I get that maybe "Some" have made it bad for "All", but sheesh! That's just a lot.


Starting Score: 686 TU / 683 EQ 01/17/2013
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,971
Registered: ‎02-06-2011
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Re: AMEX FR

[ Edited ]
Sweets8E wrote: I think that is awful. I don't mind the part about reported gross and net income, but that is far too much for them to have access to just to validate whether or not you're worthy of holding one of their cards. I'm still of the opinion that you should be able to give W-2's or pay statements as enough proof, but when they really start getting into your business like that, it really makes one reconsider even keeping the card. It used to be something that was coveted to me. The more horror stories that I hear about AMEX's practices, the more I want to move my credit rebuilding journey in another direction far away from their products. I get that maybe "Some" have made it bad for "All", but sheesh! That's just a lot.

I agree with Sweets8E, I have two AmEx CC's, the Blue Cash and the PR Gold, and hope I never have to go thru this, I was honest about my income on both apps, but still, I do not want to ever have to give out this much info for just a CC.


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Established Contributor
Posts: 909
Registered: ‎08-30-2007
0

Re: AMEX FR


android01 wrote:

flyingmd wrote:

Not sure of the exact percentage of cardholders, but it is not everyone and is only a minority. I had a FR, which i believe was triggered by a marked change in my spending habits one month. I have been a cardholder since 1982, had one of the first Centurion cards in Florida (which I subsequently changed back to Platinum) and over the last 10 years averaged 30-35K spending on my Personal Platinum. The month prior to getting a FR, I have a couple of "large" purchases and totalled close to 100K that month. That is what triggered the FR IMHO.

Changing your financial profile on the website has lead to a FR in several cases that I am aware of, so I never change my financial profile on the website.

There is no problem with a FR if you have been honest about your income. When I had my FR, I offered bank statements however, I was told by the FR Rep that they no longer will accept bank statements and W2s, that they insist on either a tax transcript or copy of the return (don't know if that is true or was just in my case. The rep suggested to me that that was the case.) In my case they asked for a tax transcript 4506-T. The only info on a 4506-T is the gross and net income reported on the return, so they don't see any of the itemized details. They will suspend ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH AMEX until the FR is completed (both personal and business), which I have a big issue with. Once they received the tax transcript, they unsuspended the accounts that day. I guess the only time you really have to worry is if your reported income to AMEX is significantly different that your tax return. So if you haven't lied about your financial status, then there is nothing to worry about with a FR (except the draconian practice of suspending your accounts until its complete.. So if it happens while your traveling you are screwed and why I NEVER use MAEX as my only CC and always have an alternate means of covering any planned spending.


Unfortunately, AMEX F'R's are a lot more intrusive than you indicate.  In a previous thread, a poster going through F/R indicated that AMEX pulled Option "C" on the 4506-T request (which they fill out for you), which showed the full return including the following information. OP, there are many threads on the subject of AMEX F/R.

 

 

With only a 1040 transcript they can get:

 

Concept & 1040 Line #

 

1) Names & SSNs of your entire family and your ex-spouse:  6a, 6b, 6c, 31a
2) Marital status:  Right at the top of the form.
3) Alimony & child support: 11
4) HSA contributions: 25
5) Blind: 39a
6) Immigration status: 39b (also they can tell by your SSN)
7) Bank account number: 74b, 74c, 74d
8) Children adopted: 71b
9) Qualified health insurance plan:
10) Combat zone pay: 64b
11) Child care expenses: 48
12) First time home buyer: 67
13) Continuing education: 49 & 66 & 34
14) Retirement funds: 50
15) Unemployed you / spouse at any period during the year: 19
16) Rental income: 17
17) Social security benefits: 20a
18) What fuel does your car consume: 70
19) Energy-related home improvements:52
20) Own or rent your home: 52 & 67


Why I will NEVER have an American Express.  If they want to verify my employment and/or my income, so be it.  The rest is overkill on their part IMHO.


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Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 32,865
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
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Re: AMEX FR

IMO, if you apply for and receive their CC, then expect it and don't be surprised or upset if it comes. IMO, it's no big deal. I see it no differently than a lender asking for tax info, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. They want to protect their money. In the case of Amex, it is unsecured $$$ and there's nothing stopping someone from walking away with a huge balance, other than conscience maybe.

 

I got FR'd after 9 months of being issued the Green. It was a pain to not have the ability to use the card for 1-2 weeks, but it was triggered after using it at a law firm. Maybe they thought I was in legal trouble? I dunno.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 262
Registered: ‎03-07-2009
0

Re: AMEX FR


llecs wrote:

IMO, if you apply for and receive their CC, then expect it and don't be surprised or upset if it comes. IMO, it's no big deal. I see it no differently than a lender asking for tax info, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. They want to protect their money. In the case of Amex, it is unsecured $$$ and there's nothing stopping someone from walking away with a huge balance, other than conscience maybe.

 

I got FR'd after 9 months of being issued the Green. It was a pain to not have the ability to use the card for 1-2 weeks, but it was triggered after using it at a law firm. Maybe they thought I was in legal trouble? I dunno.


Oh I expect it now, I'm just saying it's extra (overkill, too much, excessive). 3-5 most recent paystubs and even job verification is enough...My tax info is just overboard.


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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 387
Registered: ‎08-25-2011
0

Re: AMEX FR

Thank you all for such detailed information.

I too was honest about my income.  No worries there. My income does change year to year because I am self employed, but there has not been any grave change.

 

 

It does sound like one thing that may trigger FR is pattern of spending. My CU monitors patterns. They don't ask for FR because it is a debit card, but they certainly have suspended use at inconvenient times. Their system is apparently set up with potential fraud indicators. They almost left me stranded once when I went to Vegas. I took vacation for 12 days. I used my debit card in Vegas for a week, no problems. After a week,  I rented a car and drove to California to take my daughter to Disney for the day. About 10 minutes away from the park I stopped and fueled up so I didn't have to stop after a long day. My card was suspended. I called my bank right away and they told me they suspended my card to due potential fraudulent activity (charging in NV in the am and 4 hours later attempting to make a charge in CA). I went on a rant that I was on vacation and it had to be reinstated immediately.  Since I was only gone for the day, I only brought my debit card. MISTAKE! I should have had back up. If I called them later there was  risk I would have been stranded in CA with no access to money since my bank would have been closed (time zone difference, I live on the East Coast). Lesson learned. I call my bank now whenever I go away.

 

 

My sis-in-law also received a call of alleged fraud. Bank noticed an "unusual" charge on her card that was not consistent with her use. In this case, the card actually was stolen. At least her bank had the common sense to call her first before any suspension took place.

 

As far as AMEX goes, I guess time will only tell.

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