US American Express Card Holders

c_note

Full Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2002
Location
divide by zero
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Don't Leave Home; Your Credit Card is on Hold

If you have an American Express card, beware: your card could be put on hold at any moment, even if you think you've made all your payments on time. That means, you won't be able to charge anything on your Amex card.

That's exactly what happened to Cathy Jones, a businesswoman with three Amex charge cards. She got a call from Amex last week saying her cards were now on hold, while the company did a financial investigation to make sure she could pay her bills.

Jones was baffled. She's been an Amex cardholder since 1989 and can't remember being late on a payment. So, to get some answers, Jones and I got on the phone, and called the customer service number on the back of her card.

An Amex representative in New Delhi, India, said because of the bad economic times, American Express is now doing financial investigations of thousands of cardholders. The rep said Amex is insisting these customers fill out an IRS form 4506-T, authorizing the company to get their tax returns for the last three years. The rep told us if Jones didn't fill out the IRS form, they'd cancel her charge cards for good, within five days. And here's the part that concerned Cathy Jones: The rep said these "investigations" were being done, not in the US, but in India.

Jones didn't want someone overseas having access to her IRS tax returns, which contains a lot of confidential information, including her social security number. She told American Express she'd be happy to have her accountant provide notarized proof of her income and employment. But the Amex rep said they wouldn't accept that as proof of her ability to pay her bill.

There is a big risk in having your private information viewed by anyone abroad, according to Jay Foley, of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. He says most foreign countries don't have strong privacy laws, like in the US, that prevent someone from selling your private information, like your social security number.

So why is a major credit card company doing these financial investigations into customers who are apparently in good standing? Is it another sign of the times that credit lenders are running scared? Remember, American Express recently offered certain customers $300 to give up their cards.

I called American Express headquarters in New York, and spoke with Molly Faust in the public relations department. She spun the story very differently than the Amex rep I spoke with on the phone in India.

Yes, Faust said, Amex is requesting additional financial information from some customers. She said it's only in isolated cases, but wouldn't tell me how many Amex customers are getting hit with this request.

When I asked where these financial investigations were being conducted, she wouldn't tell me. When I asked if Amex reps in India could access customers confidential information, she also said she couldn't answer that question.

At least for Cathy Jones, this story has a good ending. Only after I questioned Amex's PR woman about Jones' case, the company did an about-face. They simply asked her a few questions over the phone, and removed the hold from her cards.

Without the help of a reporter, it seems doubtful that will happen for other Amex cardholders in the same situation.
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
AMEX sucks....

My friend's a school bus driver, and has been for many years. They canceled his AMEX card last summer. Why? Because he was laid off. :rolleyes: Of course he was laid off, for the summer! What idiots.

Keep in mind that he's had his AMEX card for many years, has never been late on a payment, and almost never carried a balance.
 

pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
AMEX lowered my credit limit by about 90% for no reason. The limit is still more than I would ever need but it is nice to have a big buffer for credit score purposes. Many credit card companies are doing this right now for fear that people will max out and file for bankruptcy.
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
AMEX lowered my credit limit by about 90% for no reason. The limit is still more than I would ever need but it is nice to have a big buffer for credit score purposes. Many credit card companies are doing this right now for fear that people will max out and file for bankruptcy.

Which doesn't make any sense, because not long ago they made it where it's near impossible to file bankruptcy on any and all credit card debt...
 

silcnlayc

Just one more spin pleez!
PABaccred
PABnonaccred
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Left Hungary
Never had one, never will...didn't like their terms and conditions in the first place. I will stick with good old MC and Visa...

.
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
I have had quite a few people tell me thats exactly what they are going to do. Max their cards out and go bankrupt. Sad but true.
 

sofia24

Dormant account
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Location
UK
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Don't Leave Home; Your Credit Card is on Hold

If you have an American Express card, beware: your card could be put on hold at any moment, even if you think you've made all your payments on time. That means, you won't be able to charge anything on your Amex card.

That's exactly what happened to Cathy Jones, a businesswoman with three Amex charge cards. She got a call from Amex last week saying her cards were now on hold, while the company did a financial investigation to make sure she could pay her bills.

Jones was baffled. She's been an Amex cardholder since 1989 and can't remember being late on a payment. So, to get some answers, Jones and I got on the phone, and called the customer service number on the back of her card.

An Amex representative in New Delhi, India, said because of the bad economic times, American Express is now doing financial investigations of thousands of cardholders. The rep said Amex is insisting these customers fill out an IRS form 4506-T, authorizing the company to get their tax returns for the last three years. The rep told us if Jones didn't fill out the IRS form, they'd cancel her charge cards for good, within five days. And here's the part that concerned Cathy Jones: The rep said these "investigations" were being done, not in the US, but in India.

Jones didn't want someone overseas having access to her IRS tax returns, which contains a lot of confidential information, including her social security number. She told American Express she'd be happy to have her accountant provide notarized proof of her income and employment. But the Amex rep said they wouldn't accept that as proof of her ability to pay her bill.

There is a big risk in having your private information viewed by anyone abroad, according to Jay Foley, of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. He says most foreign countries don't have strong privacy laws, like in the US, that prevent someone from selling your private information, like your social security number.

So why is a major credit card company doing these financial investigations into customers who are apparently in good standing? Is it another sign of the times that credit lenders are running scared? Remember, American Express recently offered certain customers $300 to give up their cards.

I called American Express headquarters in New York, and spoke with Molly Faust in the public relations department. She spun the story very differently than the Amex rep I spoke with on the phone in India.

Yes, Faust said, Amex is requesting additional financial information from some customers. She said it's only in isolated cases, but wouldn't tell me how many Amex customers are getting hit with this request.

When I asked where these financial investigations were being conducted, she wouldn't tell me. When I asked if Amex reps in India could access customers confidential information, she also said she couldn't answer that question.

At least for Cathy Jones, this story has a good ending. Only after I questioned Amex's PR woman about Jones' case, the company did an about-face. They simply asked her a few questions over the phone, and removed the hold from her cards.

Without the help of a reporter, it seems doubtful that will happen for other Amex cardholders in the same situation.


Hi

I was also facing the same problem. But now it has been resolved after making so many phone calls.
 
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