I don't understand what has happened to my AMEX Blue card that I've had for 4 years. For 4 years I have never missed a payment, never made a late payment, and have always paid the balance in full. When I first got the card, my CL was $8000. About 6 months ago I get a letter in the mail telling me my CL has been lowered to $1000. No explanation at all. Also, my EQ credit score is 768 and I haven't had anything negative on my CR for 3 years. Does anyone have any idea of why Amex migh have done this to me?
Thanks for any advice,
Welcome to my world, James! I have a AMEX SPG and I had a $1,000 line initially and they lowered it to $600 during the credit crunch saying I had high utilization on my reports. My partner who also has immaculate credit had a blue with a $5,000 CL and it got slashed to $1,000 last month. He has two credit cards, the AMEX Blue and a Citi Diamond Preferred. My util was like 9 or 10% at the time, I can't remember; it's in a posting here somewhere...His util is about 2%. We both pay in full. I called and asked for a $400 increase a few weeks back after almost 2 years they said no that I'm too high of a risk according to their internal risk score. I've never missed a payment on any card in my life and my current utilization as of this posting is now 3% and it was I believe 9% at the time of the CLI and no balance on either AMEX.
They aggravate me sometimes.
That's quite a slash! Did you ever call to find out how to get it back?
Even though there aren't negatives on your reports, did you maybe have high balances reporting on your other cards when this happened six months ago?
I'm not sure this is worth getting all worked up about. First of all, Am Ex is a business, but a very successful business (compared to WAMU and Circuit City for example.) Merchants raise and lower prices on goods and commodities all the time without advance warning because they have internal issues with the availability of capital, exposure, competing risks and competition which all ties into the market one way or another. Why do stocks go up when we hear that there are more jobs lost and why does the Dow drop when consumer confidence is at an all time high? All the analysts can do is guess. So I don't think a CLD is punative or personal. It's a business decision and it may be made by an algorhythm and not a person even. Perhaps their access to cash or their reserve requirement went up? Maybe AmEx is planning an acquisition and needs to restrict demands on their assets in the process so rather than a $10K CL for some client they reduce it to $2K?
If I get a CLI is it because I "deserve" one or I've "earned it" or is that, too an impersonal exercise in market economics? Neither is anyone necessarily being "punished" when they receive a CLD ." Try not to let it get personal (in my opinion.)
Well, if they were CLD'ing across the board, that would be one thing. But they aren't. And reducing available credit from $6K to $1K is quite a drop.
Unless one subscribes to the chimpanzees-with-a-dart-board possibility (which would explain some things), there is generally something that has happened either in one's history with AmEx or on one's credit reports, or both, behind a drastic CLD like this.
* goes to see if CL on my Blue is still intact *
I got approve for a blue amex with a utilization of 21%. I wonder if they ever decide to cld for my utilization if I could mention that they approve me with a high utilization.
These recent reports about AMEX doing this and that have me worried. Like you, I have a very good credit score and pay my balance in full every month. I have recently applied for and received other good cards that I want to include in my history. My worry is that Amex might do this to my Blue Cash limit to for no reason. They keep watching us (evident on my credit report through numerous soft pulls) and that makes me increasingly uncomfortable. I really like the card and the idea that Amex delivers great customer service (I've never had the need to test it as I've never disputed a charge or had a problem happen). I am just worried that they "punish" their good customers for no apparent reason. In this case, I'll be ready and use my other cards more. I hate to say it, but currently of all my credit cards, I trust Amex the least. They're definitely a horse of a different color. If they value me as a good customer, then I'll be happy. If not, well, then I don't care as I have grown other great accounts.
Please do us a favor, though, and check if you had any changes to your credit when the slash occured! Were you charging a lot to your other cards or the Amex card, even though you paid it all off? Did you give them ANY reason to do that? Other than that, this reaction might just show that they themselves are in a crunch and need to free up credit limit within their operations. That would then be a bad sign about the company proper. American Express wants to maintain this air of exclusiveness, but I think that is not really what they are.
It is very possible if not likely that all major banks and CC companies will follow AmEx's lead with monthly soft pulls. Those of us who first got credit forty years or more ago have seen the landscape change dramatically since then. I would not be surprized to see CL adjustments either up or down on a monthly basis with all major lenders sometime in the next 3-5 years. There is a powerful dynamic here. As I see it, monthly credit pulls (or even twice a month credit pulls) are the wave of the future and an attractive way for managers to minimize risk.
As I see it, monthly credit pulls (or even twice a month credit pulls) are the wave of the future and an attractive way for managers to minimize risk.
We're talking weekly here. Yes, weekly! Amex does it weekly! I cannot completely agree with you that this will effectively minimize risks. For risk, you have to see long-term strategies. If you have a very good reliable customer who pays in full every month and then happens to make a large purchase one month with the intention of paying it off, and then you see that person as a risk through a random pull, this is also a good way to get rid of a loyal customer.
Aside from Amex, I have four major credit cards. None of them, I say none, engages in such hyper-nervous risk assessment on a weekly or even monthly basis. This is credit paranoia in paranoid times.
You're right in saying not to take it personal. These companies are huge beasts, and these decisions are automated and unpersonal ones. I'd recommend that the OP holds on to their Amex, charges a little on it every month and finds another main cards that gives good benefits. Then, after some time has passed, reapply for CLI.I'd never give up my Amex card either as it is a good tradeline on my reports, and an older one to boot. However, if Amex minimizes their risk by targetting me, a loyal customer, I will minimize my risk of being disappointed by them by not using their product much. That's the customer's power. And Amex (and others) should know that we're not a bunch of defenseless people. That's why I really like this board!
I agree, hold on to this card... Many of us that got slashed over 2 years ago, started seeing love again in the last 6 months of CLI be granted by request and opening new accounts.