Closed my AmEx cards

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popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:59 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'm still very confused. What exactly was the order of events with Amex?

Is it normal for them to keep a customer's accounts active when they request information, then disallow or limit usage while they review the information? Is that what happened?

Is it clear what caused the FR and AA to begin? Was there anything specific involving activity with Amex? Or some Amex computer presumably did a soft pull and didn't like the total CL/Income ratio or the new accounts?


Here's what happened.

Last Friday morning, I got an email saying that I had gotten a new CL on my Delta Gold Skymiles card. To my horror, they had slashed the limit down to $1k. I think about an hour later, they sent me another email saying they had slashed my Amex ED down to the same amount too and I had called Amex customer service before to see how I could get my CL reinstated. I think they went after ED after I had called. They left my other cards with them alone, which had 0 balances.

The next night, I got that email from Amex to send in proof of income and assets to see if they can restore my Amex CLs. I complied and I called Amex again the next morning and they transferred me over to an account manager and that's when I got the news that I'd have to send them tax returns. Immediately after that call, ALL of my accounts were suspended and then I called back to have them closed.

Also even though I had my EX frozen, Wells Fargo pulled EX for a CLI I had tried there.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)


amex007
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Postby amex007 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:26 pm

popamode72 wrote:Here's what happened.

Last Friday morning, I got an email saying that I had gotten a new CL on my Delta Gold Skymiles card. To my horror, they had slashed the limit down to $1k. I think about an hour later, they sent me another email saying they had slashed my Amex ED down to the same amount too and I had called Amex customer service before to see how I could get my CL reinstated. I think they went after ED after I had called. They left my other cards with them alone, which had 0 balances.

The next night, I got that email from Amex to send in proof of income and assets to see if they can restore my Amex CLs. I complied and I called Amex again the next morning and they transferred me over to an account manager and that's when I got the news that I'd have to send them tax returns. Immediately after that call, ALL of my accounts were suspended and then I called back to have them closed.

Also even though I had my EX frozen, Wells Fargo pulled EX for a CLI I had tried there.


damn thats rough. i've heard of amex doing FR but usually its because of suspicious activity or spending pattern etc.
But why didnt you just send/fax them your tax return and have it cleared up (even though it's a pain i know)? Seems like all your amex acct closures would hurt your score also.
I guess thats their standard procedure when they do a FR.
Amex Gold NPSL | Amex ED 28500 | Barclaycard Arrival 17500 | Hyatt visa signature 5000
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:46 pm

I agree that it seems a bit odd for Amex to act the way they did. Whatever actions they were going to take, and whatever information they were going to request about your finances, they should have done all at once so you could respond efficiently.

Maybe they did two soft pulls - one that had enough activity (inquiries and new accounts) to make them uneasy (hence the CLDs and income/asset verification request), and one a day or two later that had more activity that made them decide to do a full FR?

What did the asset and income records you sent them consist of, if not a 4506-T or an actual return? Presumably a W-2 and a bank statement?

I'm not sure how reasonable it is for a credit card issuer to want checking/savings/brokerage records or to see a tax return. On one hand, you have really high CLs for your length of history. You have had credit for two months more than I have, and even after account closures have almost 4x the amount of credit I do. I can see how that would make an issuer uneasy, when I get comments on credit letters about having a few too many inquiries.

On the other hand, if I recall correctly, you never had very high credit limits on any of your Amex cards, so they didn't really have much at risk.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

popamode72
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Postby popamode72 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:11 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I agree that it seems a bit odd for Amex to act the way they did. Whatever actions they were going to take, and whatever information they were going to request about your finances, they should have done all at once so you could respond efficiently.

Maybe they did two soft pulls - one that had enough activity (inquiries and new accounts) to make them uneasy (hence the CLDs and income/asset verification request), and one a day or two later that had more activity that made them decide to do a full FR?

What did the asset and income records you sent them consist of, if not a 4506-T or an actual return? Presumably a W-2 and a bank statement?

I'm not sure how reasonable it is for a credit card issuer to want checking/savings/brokerage records or to see a tax return. On one hand, you have really high CLs for your length of history. You have had credit for two months more than I have, and even after account closures have almost 4x the amount of credit I do. I can see how that would make an issuer uneasy, when I get comments on credit letters about having a few too many inquiries.

On the other hand, if I recall correctly, you never had very high credit limits on any of your Amex cards, so they didn't really have much at risk.


Amex at one point did give me my highest limits. My total exposure from them ended up being around $9k because I had that spread out to BCE, ED, Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass and the highest limit I ever had with them was 4.2k. I think I reached my peak when I tried a CLI on Delta a few months ago and got declined entirely unlike the first time I did so. I think they were helpful in helping me get higher limits with Chase and ilk. Even with all of that considered, I was well under their threshold where they could start FRing me like that.

What they had initially had me sent them was something where I could verify my income and assets and I could send bank statements and other things to prove my income and I complied with that. I sent in other documentation about the income I get from various sources and that sort of thing. Capital One did the same thing with me when I requested a CLI with them and they took no issue with how I was able to verify my income.

You've got an excellent point there about the overall credit I have. Closing the Amex cards really didn't hurt me too much in terms of affecting my total credit at all. I think I'll be able to make up for it when it comes time to request some CLIs on some of my existing cards thanks to the CSP, which I'm still thinking about moving out the rest of the Ritz Carlton card to so I can just have 3 Chase cards, one with a $11k limit that I'm using quite a lot for most of my spending now.

That's why I really want to focus much more on staying away from new applications and cards, etc. With not posting over at MyFico as much anymore and getting away from that site, I think that goal will be a lot easier for me to meet and manage and hopefully I can avoid more AA in the future. It's been a great learning experience ever since I started to build my credit. Lots of trial and error and mistakes made along the way, but the lessons learned are just as important to me and I definitely need to follow through for the next several months on that.
Macy's TLs (21k), Lowes (17k), CSP (10k), Sam's Club (10k), Nordstrom (5k), AARP (4.2k), Freedom (3k), Discover (1.5k), Quicksilver (2k), BoA (3k), Barclaycard Arrival (2.5k), Amazon Store (6k), Paypal (4.9k), Sam's Club MC (3.6k), Walmart MC (1.2k)

amex007
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Postby amex007 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:11 pm

popamode72 wrote:That's why I really want to focus much more on staying away from new applications and cards, etc. With not posting over at MyFico as much anymore and getting away from that site, I think that goal will be a lot easier for me to meet and manage and hopefully I can avoid more AA in the future. It's been a great learning experience ever since I started to build my credit. Lots of trial and error and mistakes made along the way, but the lessons learned are just as important to me and I definitely need to follow through for the next several months on that.


Just curious, what is MyFico and how does staying away from that site make it easier for you to stay away from cc applications and new cards?
I understand how it can be tempting to apply for new cards with great signup bonuses but it is good advice to yourself to limit it to a minimum, as too many HPs within 2 yrs doesn't look good. Good luck with that. I myself don't plan on getting another new card for awhile, just going to concentrate on my MR balance and Hyatt pts.
Amex Gold NPSL | Amex ED 28500 | Barclaycard Arrival 17500 | Hyatt visa signature 5000
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CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:57 pm

amex007 wrote:Just curious, what is MyFico and how does staying away from that site make it easier for you to stay away from cc applications and new cards?
I understand how it can be tempting to apply for new cards with great signup bonuses but it is good advice to yourself to limit it to a minimum, as too many HPs within 2 yrs doesn't look good. Good luck with that. I myself don't plan on getting another new card for awhile, just going to concentrate on my MR balance and Hyatt pts.


MyFico is run by the real FICO. They have several forums to discuss credit cards, credit card approvals, mortgages and car loans (they of course want you to sign up for your credit scores and credit monitoring but it isn't necessary to read the forums). I would say the majority of the people that actively post there are new to credit or are rebuilding. When one is new to credit or rebuilding it can be very exciting to get approved for credit cards and or credit line increases. The posters at MyFico are also notorious for their "Flavour Of The Month" cards...in 2013/2014 people realized that this tiny credit union in Oregon (OCCU) was offering credit cards to people that weren't even members of the credit union (oops) and were offering huge credit lines to people that otherwise shouldn't have been approved for that amount (oops). It caused mass hysteria and eventually OCCU caught on and closed the loops and even many people's cards. Since then I can recall Diners, NASA FCU, Capital One Venture and today it seems to be the BBVA Compass Bank NBA Amex card that is getting everyone excited.

Point being, if one hangs out in those forums too much the excitement can become addictive and one may apply for credit that one does not need because one feels compelled to apply based on the overall euphoria there. It can be a real addition for some of those folks.

Overall though, once the approvals come and the dust settles you are left with brand new accounts, severely damaged account age and, in some cases, adverse action from existing creditors that did not like the recent new accounts.

billywilliams
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Re: Closed my AmEx cards

Postby billywilliams » Sun May 03, 2015 7:03 pm

I'm considering dropping amex altogether also. First, its quite frequent that I need a backup card to carry due to non acceptance at certain places. Thats not a big issue since some places I go to frequently accept them. The big issue I have is its hard to tell when amex decides they want to flag your account or decline certain charges without warning. I know that can happen with anybody but it seems to be prevalent with amex the most. Ive had the charge declined while on vacation at a hotel all while I had a zero balance. Amex decided they wanted financial info which would take a week or more to resolve before I could charge again on their card. The crazy thing is the card worked fine a week before that for 100 charge. I paid the card off the day before I left for vacation. That was a pain in the butt to say the least. I had a mastercard backup that got the job done but I was asking myself, why do I even bother carrying a card that is so touchy and unreliable at the drop of a hat. When they declined it I had a good credit report and wasnt going on spending sprees etc.

The reliability of using an amex is low from my experience. That may be the main reason I drop them.

amex007
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Re:

Postby amex007 » Mon May 04, 2015 10:17 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I would like to know what the original CLs on the BCEs were, and how much one was reduced. How often were the BCEs used?

I rarely use my BCE. If Amex gave me a CLD on it if I opened a lot of new credit, I'm not really sure how annoyed I'd be. I'd definitely be annoyed if I got a CLD on either Chase card or a fixed limit on my PRG, since I do use those a lot.

But since BCE is a separate card altogether from a charge card, should paying an AF on a charge card be enough to shield a customer from a CLD on a no-AF card (as long as the customer remains relatively credit-worthy)? I'm not sure how to feel about that.


amex has been good to me but i'm just curious about this CLD issue on a relatively unused card. I can understand a creditor adjusting a CL based on a lot of new credit accounts but what about the other way around.
I only got my ED card so that there is a CL since my Gold doesnt report one so my util was always high. Did the 3x CLI to get it to 28500 but now i just leave it in SD with a $100 monthly recurring payment. I like the high CL but would hate to see it decreased due to little activity haha.
Amex Gold NPSL | Amex ED 28500 | Barclaycard Arrival 17500 | Hyatt visa signature 5000
sockdrawer-- GM 4000 | Unionplus 2200
EX 795 EQ 786 TU 790

amex007
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Re:

Postby amex007 » Mon May 04, 2015 10:28 am

Battery111 wrote:
popamode72 wrote:I had no idea even just having over 6000 UR points with Chase could be worth plenty in itself. I was looking at the travel portion of the website and the number of points I have right now already equals around $87 if I were to use them on a flight. I'm really impressed with the redemption value and much more so with what Amex has to offer in that regard.

I can't imagine how much 55-60k UR points would be worth if I were to redeem them for travel and I'm about halfway done with meeting the bonus right now on the card so I think about next month or May I'll have it completely met at the rate I'm going. I did a rough estimate and it comes out to around $783 worth.

Chase Freedom is also looking more and more attractive to me now too to the point where Discover It might be back in the SD for a long time. I recently applied for it and unlike in the past where I've gotten denied for it, it's in verification right now.


I suppose this is true for the occasional novice traveller simply redeeming points for cash value towards travel. But if you transfer the points out to partners, then you can get significantly more value since mile redemption costs aren't linked to ticket cost.


+2
Amex Gold NPSL | Amex ED 28500 | Barclaycard Arrival 17500 | Hyatt visa signature 5000
sockdrawer-- GM 4000 | Unionplus 2200
EX 795 EQ 786 TU 790

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Closed my AmEx cards

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon May 04, 2015 7:45 pm

My experience with Amex when calling to check for a bonus - and then applying for over the phone for EDP - was very pleasant. I've not had any complicated problems with them (yet...like fraud/billing errors/AA). As I use Amex cards more, that may possibly change, of course.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when



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