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Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments

Regular Contributor

Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments

I have been concerned with the very opaque standards around return payments with American Express for years insofar as it seems to be a hit or miss whether or not certain members will be penalized for a week, month, year or longer: My problem is with the designation between the full failure of payment after the second retry, which is a complete and true return payment and the initial balance being unavailable for contingencies that are corrected before the first retry (Amex will usually give two automatic retry's under the same transaction and paying in full with a second transaction will only complicate things which was my first true and full return payment mistake due to my ignorance at the time concerning the account being unable to pull regardless of being paid to zero successfully).

Many members have spoken about their data points: low spend, minimum payments, late payments, BK, low income or no income, and yet they have no trouble upon cli request after a month with a return payment. If you have had a full failure to cover the payment by second retry that is fine, that isn't my source of confusion. I have had Amex in my payment history have payments that were successful after first retry be without any indication they were successful and the reps claim there is nothing showing it in the computer but  they see in the history it was... why is this a separate system? Why is a return payment that is corrected before being fully realize being counted for 9 months? I was told by reps month after month this would be escalated and corrected and that I shouldn't be getting denials for that singular reason. Instead I have had stranger account activity and more restrictions. I know these are bad even if they are corrected but my problem is the double standards and the recognition of incorrect data in the computer. 
Does anyone else see return payment for payments that were corrected and successful after first or second retry? I've been told so many times by reps these shouldn't be labeled as such... 


Is it a necessary step to call in and verify the payment with a rep in order to have it corrected when it happens and will just allowing the week + cause this outcome otherwise ?

Message 1 of 5
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments


Sorry about the round-and-round you're going through but I'm having a difficult time following what is happening to you or what you're asking the forum? It may be the long sentences so lets be concise and specific. 

So is it one returned payment, two or three returned payments?


Are you saying, you made a payment, which didn't go through on the first try, and AmX tried to process it again, and the second time, it went through? If this is the case, it still counts as a returned payment if AmX has to submit it to your bank for payment more than once. Now, if they can't get the funds, then it's NSF (non-sufficient funds). 

There is nothing opague about AmX or any other FIs policies around returned checks. Every bank has isuues with returned payments. Some banks may give a long-term customer with no history of returned checks a second chance; however, returned checks are simply a no-no. 

If I'm reading your post correctly, it appears you have had multiple instances of returned check and IMO, you've been very lucky that AmX hasn't taken AA and closed your card.


Please note that a returned payment, even when corrected immediately, is worse than a late payment, no payment, etc. And if that happens on several occasions, this tells a FI that you are having financial difficulty in paying your debt. Returned payments are a huge RED flag. So, in essence, no, AmX will not give CLIs to a risky customer. 

So, the goal should be no more returned payments and no more poking the bear by asking for CLIs. This is only bringing more attention to your problem account. 




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Message 2 of 5
Frequent Contributor

Re: Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments

++ this ^. Imo, you are way out there where you don't want to be with the Amex computers. 

Message 3 of 5
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments

Okay, I found the original statement from 2019 on which I first ever had trouble with Amex and it's strange system of little flexibility: I had a return payment for 549 and seeing this I panicked and immediately paid my full balance of 900, taking their claim to not make another payment as suggestion rather than imperative. This led me to believe I was in good graces in my inexperience and my mind was occupied with the flood of inquiries a yo-yo financing subprime underwater nightmare that I was just hit with the day prior, and I was not in the habit of checking my accounts every single day. When I looked a week or two later I saw that I had three return payments (three return payments are the criterion for a failed singular transaction upon two retry payments) on my statement and was very upset becauee my balance was already zero and they still kept trying to pull the money I felt I had already paid. The system should be, in my opinion, bypassed if the full balance owed has been paid and cleared. I didn't think to transfer more money into the account for payment because I had used it all on a vehicle down payment and thought I had paid my dues. This lead to an understandable, but frustrating blacklisting for an entire year. It took me a very long time to realize why I couldn't cli or get new accounts.



Every return payment thereafter has been in the category of successfully paid in full by the first retry. Only the very first one above ever was in the category explained as causing blacklisting, and the others all should have, as described everywhere on the Internet, been almost as if they didn't happen. I hadn't called my bank and would just wait out the week however, and so I am wondering if that is why I am being treated as if the payment never came via my statements.


When I was FR by an agent with abilities usual csr don't have he told me all of this would be fixed in six to eight weeks and that this was just an error. I'm very frustrated and it has caused me to become very irritated because all of my issues have been computer based and they aren't shared with those who have much worse data points. I've never been late, no derogatory history, PIF, and high spend, sometimes several times my spend limit... others have reported full payment returns by using non existent accounts and they get a month maybe, but I've been blacklisted for almost a year again. 

Message 4 of 5
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Amex and cli/application status concerning the obscure classification of return payments

Just so I understand this - you have multiple instances where AMEX 1st attempt to process the fund collection failed but a subsequent attempt was successful, so there was no official returned payment?


If so did this happen because there was some kind of miscommunication between AMEX and your bank, you made deposits to cover the payment that weren't fully credited yet when AMEX submitted their 1st payment request ,  or ??


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