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09-14-2012 08:50 AM
When I headed off to college in 1988, one of the first things I got after Fall registration was an Amex green card. Back then, they gave them away to college freshman like candy. I didn't even realize it was a charge card, having no experience with credit. After a year, and a few late payments, I ended up closing it. Or they closed it. I can't really remember. Either way, when I received my Zync card last March, I expected a "member since" date of 1988. Instead, it said 2012. So I called and after a long discussion with several hold periods was told that the new policy was that they only backdated if the inactive card was less than 5 years old. Fine, I thought, not a huge deal. But then I continued to read on this forum about people getting backdated with gaps longer than 5 years. So I called back in July and was told that they couldn't do it automatically, but if I had an old credit report, billing statement or the card, they could. Shockingly, I hadn't retained any paperwork for a card that had been closed for 23 years. So I let it go. But then last week I saw another post where a forum member called in, without any proof, and got a card backdated to the 90s.
I want to be clear: Amex owes me nothing. They are free to change their policy as they see fit. That being said, it bothers me when I get treated differently than other people. So I rummaged through my old photos from college and found one of my friend and I holding up our brand new green cards. You couldn't see the numbers, but they were clearly green cards. So I called again. Had a long talk with a rep, offered to scan and email the pic, provided excruciating detail about what month I applied for the card, where, etc. He talked with his supervisor and still came back with "can't be done". So I just asked if I could speak with someone at the executive level. Not to try further, but to voice my displeasure at the arbitrary application of the policy. Placed on hold again. Finally, rep said he had spoken with a supervisor and they had agreed to escalate my request to the credit research office, which has access to much older records. He said that if they could find an old record, they'd change the date. If not, I could call back in 10 days and speak with a supervisor. Fair enough, I thought. At least something besides "it isn't policy".
So I logged in to my amex account this morning to pay my bill before the statement date. I hadn't had any coffee yet, so didn't even look at the top of the screen. As I was logging out, I glance up and see "Thank you for being a member since 1988". Woo!
The bulk of my accounts (I have 32 on my report at the moment) are student loans from 2000-2002 which report twice each (moved servicing companies), so this won't hugely impact my AAoA. If I did the math right, it will push me over 7 years on TU and get me closer to 8 on EX and EQ. Since I also have a Surpass, I'll get a slight bump from that one as well. I can't imagine Amex's own computers are fooled by the change in member since date, so don't expect any additional love from them. But I appreciated the effort of the rep and his supervisor and I continue to gain respect for the way Amex works to accomodate their customers' requests.
Now if I can just get the 3x cli next week, I'll be golden.
09-14-2012 08:54 AM
Congrats on the backdating success...
09-14-2012 08:59 AM - edited 09-14-2012 09:00 AM
Congrats! I've read so many different threads on this subject. It's always been weird to me that for one person it's nothing more then a call then for others, there is this vetting process. I really wonder if it's who you speak with vs anything else. For me... I called, said I had a card from 89 and the lady said ok... I'll take care of it. That was that. 3 hours later... backdated. I'm sorry you had to work for it but I'm glad that you got it and we have a CC that will do it for us! Again.. Congrats!
09-14-2012 09:37 AM
What a different experience you had then me. Prior to getting my card, I called AMEX to see if they could locate my old card from 1993 (college days also). Numerous calls on hold for hours and no go. I wanted the AMEX product regardless of backdating but it was something of a nice perk especially since I have no open credit cards with any kind of history.
Monday I applied for Zync and Delta AMEX cards. After my approvals I called them on Tuesday to check a couple things. After they answered my questions I noted to the CSR that the website says I was member since 2012. I told her about my old green card and was put on hold for a minute after she asked me about when I had it. I told her 1993-1994 was when I first got it. She came back and said done and they would resend me a card with 1993 date on it.
It was so painless. I almost thought she was just placating me. You know. Sure, I'll just change your date on card for your ego. I'm still holding my breath a bit till I actually see date the account reports as opened on my CR's.
09-14-2012 09:48 AM
My wife applied for Amex June and I was added as AU, a month later I applied for my own and without doing anything my account said 1999 !! I just called to get a new card with the right member date.
I also had the GREEN card CO about $700.
09-15-2012 06:30 PM
Saw this thread earlier this week and like all other great information it inspired me. Called yesterday and the CSR told me that she couldn't see anything but my current two cards in the system, but if I could find an old statement or the original number that might help???
Called earlier today through my Platinum phone number at about 6p and got a HORRIBLE CSR who told me that it was against policy, my acct was too old and a bunch of other stuff... Just got off the phone after calling through my SPG number and had to wait 6 minutes, but the CSR was ten times more pleasant and willing to try several other things and just gave me the impression that time or effort wasn't a problem.
I gave her my soc and the old card number. She told me that she would get "paper work" for the request and put me on hold for a few minutes. She came back and told me that the back dating should be in effect in about 9-12 business days. Volia!!!!!!! Looking forward to being a "Member Since 1998"
So loving AMEXXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
09-15-2012 10:30 PM
Congrats on your persistance and success! It will be an added boost to your AAoA if/when you add new Amex cards, too. I was really lucky in that they automatically backdated my member since date online (and on the CRAs), but my cards both show 2012, which I really don't care about. I'm thinking about adding a BCE in January for max backdating, to push my AAoA back up to 5 - 6 yrs.
For me, it's totally worth $25/yr for the backdating I get from my Zync. I amex!
09-16-2012 06:33 AM
Congrats! Sorry it was such an ordeal. Just got my Zync and Gold cards with the new Member Since '93.