Amex could not care any less where you use their card, where their card is accepted.
Not that we could really ever find out, but I would bet against that, not that I let it change my behaviors in the slightest.
Amex at one point, and likely still, absolutely cares about it's prestiege... and it is very, very easy to build an accurate profile when looking at the individual transactions. So easy I'd be stunned and amazed if they haven't done something similar in the past decade.
I know if I were Amex or any other lender (Chase in particular) I'd absolutely look at such things and there may be simple correlations vis a vis people who drive a Mercedes are less likely to flake on a credit card payment than people who drive a BMW, and I'm pretty confident that'd be entirely legal to make a decision off of too... and AFAIK lenders can get to this level of detail with the information that is collected from the merchants.
So if they're likely looking at that level for various reasons, why would they not take the extra step to reinforce their core marketing scheme? There are some products (Centurion) which we absolutely know aren't available to most mortals, and likely there's some amount of flash in one's profile that has to exist regardless of how much you spend to be invited to apply. It would not surprise me in the slightest to find something similar even on the lower tier cards.
Edit: my assertion assumes Amex could figure out the infrastructure and development side, which is non-trivial, and I do have second-hand knowledge that they haven't always been good at that, but that they have enough resources and knowledge to eventually get to the right solutions... or at least have in the past.
I disagree, I would say that people who drive MB and BMW are trying to put on an appearance and will charge above their means if cash flow runs dry, I want the guy with a 10yr old ford pick up with a mil in tbam kink using my card
I did this identity verification, it was no big deal, and definately not an FR.
My bank is open 24/7 so I didn't really have to wait.
This was for my zync card in Feb 2012