Frequent Contributor
Posts: 345
Registered: ‎10-25-2011
Amex Financial Review – Lessons learned
[ Edited ]



As expected I just got hit with my fourth dreaded and invasive FR from Amex.  As expected?.. Well some may know that I recently got the Platinum card the other day and I was expecting such action since I had previously failed to comply with the previous three requests.


Let me give you some history - me and Amex have a love and hate relationshipSmiley Tongue They can’t stop instantly approving me for any of their cards but then immediately FR upon activation, and I cant stop applying to get the AAOA benefit following app sprees Smiley Wink  (Was a good standing member since 1992 - 2000) Usually each six months I app and it’s a regular six monthly relationship kind of of a high school relationship type lol


There is no real science behind getting FR’d the computer spits you out to the FR dept and your allocated an account manger who some people say can be rude. I have never spoken to one in length only my first ever FR in which I told them to close the account.  At one time people would  get FR’d for just shopping at Wallmart, but a class action lawsuit against profiling apparently put a stop to that.  Does profiling members still continue? I suspect in some way or form. For me i got FR'd randmoly is what the AM told me when I first got it.


Anyway, I thought I’d share some lessons learned as I have spent a great deal of time over the months researching this Amex phenomena.  Firstly, some years ago it was thought not complying and opening a new account 90 days after you closed would suffice. If that was true then it certainly isn’t true any longer – from my experience anyway and from a lot of other peoples experience.  If you close your account and re-open you get hit straight away, however maybe a longer time span of years would suffice, need more data to confirm that.


Secondly, Amex are only interested in your tax returns, so no sulking  when they tell you they’re aren’t interested in your paystubs or bank statements. They claim these aren’t verifiable or more difficult to verify.   Although there are times when they will accept these and from what I read there is a chance they will accept under certain circumstances, but they mostly only go by and request the 4506T form.  So clearly, they like to use old financial data to asses your current ability to pay. Obviously peoples income change but Amex are not interested in the ‘now’ they want verifiable financials and they choose tax information.   When I recently apped I understated my current income as I already knew they would FR and I guess I just wanted to play a bit more Smiley Very Happy However, at the time I was thinking I was going to send my 2012 tax return which would have higher than stated income (forgetting these aren’t even filed yet lol). Anyway, as soon as  I see the “charges suspend” message on my screen I immediately send over the tax form. I never received an email or phone call, I’m sure I will get a letter in a week or two but thought I would be proactive Smiley Happy Previously I never got a call or email either, a letter came two weeks later at which time I had already closed the account.   Of course 2012 taxes aren’t filled yet so I had to send 2011.


Now I have mentioned many times on here that I do not agree with their practices and that there practices are invasive and unnecessary for a credit card in my opinion. After all, there are many cc's out there that have either equal or better benefits without the hassle.  Years ago Amex was more prestigious but they lost most of that along time ago.  Chase and BoA etc all offer NPSL cards now, and with a credit line attached so least you know some what where you stand during a transaction and some offer way better benefits.  


So why did I give in? after all this time what Happychap did you fall?... Well  I gave in for one purpose and that was for educational purposes Smiley LOL and the fact I really want to use the bonus points.   I know my 2011 taxes have a lower income from even my understated income about 40K less. I earned a modest income in 2011  around 30k since I was still in grad school working two part time jobs.  So, I wanted to see what action they would take. My best guess is that I will get hit with a hard limit. Which is what I want. I don’t enjoy Amex charge cards because you never know if the transaction will get approved, with a hard limit least I will have some reassurance and still get the benefits the Plat charge card has to offer. I would be very surprised if they closed it down since my credit is excellent and I do have verifiable tax info albeit old and less.


My only concern is that they try and charge me the $450 annual fee while the FR is in process.  Clearly, I will fight such fee. However, people should be aware that there are lots of instances when long time customers have been FR and had their entire bonus points cancelled, then finding it either difficult or impossible to get back.  Lesson to learn here is to transfer them or use them if you get FR , as if they close your account you could lose them forever. 


I won’t be furnishing them with anything else if they ask, as I feel what they have is far more than enough. Geez they can even see my charitble donations now!!   Anything more than I may as well just apply for a re-finance on my house lol   I will keep you informed of my educational experience Smiley Wink