Re: Fraud Alerts? Declines? Just curious...
01-10-2013 11:27 AM
By design, no-one knows what kicks off an FR! But they are rare, most users will never have one. On the internet there are a large number of reported trigger factors, but it's impossible to know which are really true.
But sort of reverse engineering, Amex wants to do a FR when they have a reason to suspect that you may not be so able to meet your financial committments, so most people suspect that a large change in spending patterns is key. So far revolvers (rather than charge) going from paying in full once a month, to carrying an increasing balance, (or paying many times from different bank accounts), unusually large charges, suspect charges (e.g. large drug store charges where maybe you are buying gift cards for rewards), adverse actions from other lenders etc. These all sound reasonable grounds for concern. Others have also suggested adding a large number of authorized users can trigger an FR.
But again, most people never have one. And if you are asked, you can always say no and close your card. Remember, myFICO isn't representative of the wider world, there are huge numbers of Amex card holders out there who correctly don't worry about FR (and those with Barclays who don't login each day expecting to their card has been closed) etc!