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Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

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Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX


@VPExecutive wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

@VPExecutive wrote:

The answer is simple. You hop on chat, you tell them you want to close the card, they confirm, and then it's done. 

 

People think way too much into closing cards just because they have an annual fee. You're not going to get adverse-action taken against you for closing the card within the first year... Especially one like the Delta Gold that provides one perk... Free checked bags. 

 

Nobody has a "relationship" with a bank like American Express unless you're Warren Buffet... In which case, he owns a ton of AMEX shares. 

 

 


Actually, Amex is known for adverse action if you close the card before the AF hits. They'll claw back the bonus and ban you from ever getting another sign up bonus. It's pretty clear in the terms and conditions.


Sure, if you're abusive with it... And even that's a stretch. 

 

I've never had a sign up bonus clawed back and I've opened 15 AMEX cards over the last three years. None of the cards lasted longer than a year either. 


And for every person that has your experience, there's 25 here stating the opposite. There are plenty of threads here where MR or skymiles balance have gone negative because they've already cashed the SUB and Amex has wanted to be reimbursed. Your experience isn't the be all, end all. Everyone is posting based on what is normally reported by people that have experienced it. Your experience would be an outlier.







Message 21 of 32
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Super Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX


@VPExecutive wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

@VPExecutive wrote:

 

 


 


Sure, if you're abusive with it... And even that's a stretch. 

 

I've never had a sign up bonus clawed back and I've opened 15 AMEX cards over the last three years. None of the cards lasted longer than a year either. 


Could you list out the 15 AMEX cards, approximate month each was opened, approximate SUB, and approximately when each was closed?

Are there any other card apps in that time frame? Any other cards you have, if all these AMEX were closed?

 

As BES points out, your situation is an outlier. It is certainly possible for you to achieve this many SUB without consequences, but the language in the AMEX agreements does include their ability to claw back bonuses. And the price they charge for the claw back is what they would sell them for, not what a redemption rate might be through transfer or Delta usage.

 

Everyone has a slightly different experience, but AMEX is changing their game in the last year or so regarding bonuses.

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 22 of 32
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX


@NRB525 wrote:

@VPExecutive wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

@VPExecutive wrote:

 

 


 


Sure, if you're abusive with it... And even that's a stretch. 

 

I've never had a sign up bonus clawed back and I've opened 15 AMEX cards over the last three years. None of the cards lasted longer than a year either. 


Could you list out the 15 AMEX cards, approximate month each was opened, approximate SUB, and approximately when each was closed?

Are there any other card apps in that time frame? Any other cards you have, if all these AMEX were closed?

 

As BES points out, your situation is an outlier. It is certainly possible for you to achieve this many SUB without consequences, but the language in the AMEX agreements does include their ability to claw back bonuses. And the price they charge for the claw back is what they would sell them for, not what a redemption rate might be through transfer or Delta usage.

 

Everyone has a slightly different experience, but AMEX is changing their game in the last year or so regarding bonuses.


Not going to make that much of an effort to prove a point. All were new cards and open for less than a year. Not all of them had a sign up bonus, however. I remember the OBC didn't have a sign up bonus, nor did the Ameriprise Platinum I was approved for. 

Message 23 of 32
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Regular Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

I’m not sure how to quote for a reply on mobile, so I apologize for what will appear to be random responses.

My current Amex card list:
Gold
Platinum
Hilton x2 (different categories)
SPG (now Bonvoy-the ~$100 version that is no longer offered)
Delta x2

I travel quite a bit so I do get value from the Platinum, but many of the benefits are duplicated in one of the Hilton cards so I’m not sure I will keep both long term. I’m currently netting value over and above the AF for both. But that’s not really relevant to this thread.

The only card in the lineup that currently serves no purpose and has no value is the Delta gold

While I have had a few credit unicorn moments, I’m not willing to risk the vast majority of my loyalty rewards (for everything) because I decided to close my one AMEX card 17 days too early and I ended up on a churner watch list. I also don’t want to hold on to a useless (to me at this moment) care if I don’t need to.


Message 24 of 32
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Super Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

Well, with that list of cards, there are only a few which might still be open for new apps. Depending which level of Hilton, have you not had the Aspire? Upgrade bonuses to Aspire, and to Bonvoy $450 have been commonly the same as new apps. I got both upgrade bonuses in late 2018, no new account needed, same points as the new app..
So my suggestion is still downgrade to Delta Blue for a year, enjoy these cards, see if you get an upgrade bonus offer, then close the Delta Blue in Sept 2020 and app another SUB if a card still piques your interest.
High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 25 of 32
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Regular Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

you don't need proper etiquette..it's a business not your friend..you over making a simple thing over complicated. they dont care...if you have had it a year you are fine, the rest doesn't matter.

Message 26 of 32
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Super Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX


@navyitaly wrote:

you don't need proper etiquette..it's a business not your friend..you over making a simple thing over complicated. they dont care...if you have had it a year you are fine, the rest doesn't matter.


This. Don't overthink it OP. Yes, Amex has cracked down on churning behavior and yes, you do need to be careful to an extent, but closing one card is not going to ruin your "relationship" if there is such a thing (and ultimately we are just numbers to the banks).

Message 27 of 32
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Senior Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

Agreed. Churning aside, and keeping in mind those guidelines. If a card isn't right for you then close it, they have plenty of others to choose from. And I don't think Amex really cares which one it is. Within 30 days after they bill the AF just cancel it.

 

Though I'm sure they'd prefer you to carry the higher AF cards, as it benefits them. 






Message 28 of 32
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Regular Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

Thank you all. I think I will close the Delta Gold when the AF posts.

I’m looking to replace it with a no AF MR Revolver (the ED -especially with the 0%/$0 BT fee intro is a very appealing option right now).

If I end up on a naughty list, I shall report back.

Thank you again!
Message 29 of 32
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Valued Contributor

Re: Proper Etiquette for Closing an AMEX

I think there are a few steps you need to have a clean break with Amex. 

 

1. Make sure to arrange the meeting in a public place. Make sure it's something like a chill bar where the music is a little louder and your conversation is more private. Coffee shops tend to be too crowded and everyone can hear what you say. 

 

2. Don't get too settled in. Order a drink, but pay with cash. You don't want to have to settle up a tab and drag things out. 

 

3. When AMEX arrives, be cordial, but not too close. You need to avoid mixed signals that may confuse AMEX. 

 

4. Once settled, be very clear with AMEX that while the time together has been nice, and you've gained a lot from the experience, it just doesn't seem to be helping you get to the "next level" and a future is hard to see here. 

 

5. AMEX may try to plead with you and offer you things that you may think will satisfy your desires. But you need to stay objective: are those short-term benefits going to really bring your fulfillment in the long run? Will you be back in this spot a year from now having the same conversation? 

 

6. Hold strong and make an exit. You can't look back, you can't hesitate. It needs to be a clean break. Take the last sip of the drink, provide any parting words that add some definitiveness to your decision, and walk out. You've done it. Sure, they may email you saying they want you back, but you need to just take a little time for yourself to reflect. 

 

I hope this helps. 

Bourbon and bow ties.
Current Cards:



2020 Goals:
$100K total CL (through organic/soft pull growth; COMPLETE!)
750+ across bureaus
No real goal cards for now
Garden Forever.
Message 30 of 32
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