The AmEx Bear got me

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MB131174
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The AmEx Bear got me

Postby MB131174 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:44 pm

Last month I was going to make a purchase that could not be done with a credit card. The amount was just under $1,000 and I was really wishing I could've used my Delta card to get the miles as I have a trip coming up to Europe this fall. So instead of just using money already in the bank, I swiped my Delta card thru my Square reader. Granted, I took a 2.75% hit on the money, but hey, it was an easy 1,000 miles added to my account. Lo and behold the AmEx Bear didn't like that. They actually suspended all 3 personal and 1 business cards and put me into FR. I basically told the lady on the phone to go F herself, paid off all my balances that day and closed all my accounts with AmEx as soon as the payments posted.

Some may ask why I didn't just go through the FR if I had nothing to worry about? The fact that they were worried of a cash flow problem due to 1 transaction, despite me having every statement paid in full before the due date since I've had an AmEx card, to me said "there are better companies to deal with who don't give you grief over one charge."

Now I feel like MemberSince99.
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DogDadNY518
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Re: The AmEx Bear got me

Postby DogDadNY518 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:04 pm

This is what worries me about AmEx.

I am in the middle of rebuilding and feel like I am getting in a good place. I just applied for the PRG and was approved. I travel extensively for work, and I can either run my flights and lodging through the office to have them book and pay, which is nice to not front the cash and wait for reimbursement, but is incredibly inconvenient - or I can pay myself, make my own bookings and, as long as the prices that I am booking for myself are not out of line with regular prices, and submit for reimbursement.

I was excited I was approved on Friday for the PRG, and am excited about the rewards that I will be building up basically on the company's dime with all the flying I do, and restaurants and dining out I do. I am waiting for the card to arrive in the mail.

But my credit score is hovering around 640. Up from mid-500s just a year or so ago. I just cleaned off the last of the old collections. None of my current accounts have any late payments. My only thing is I am running around 40% - 50% utilization on my 4 other credit cards (with other banks). I am slowly paying them down and no longer adding to them. My income is slightly above average.

I am so afraid Ill be out on a business trip and something will come up - a last minute need to book a car, or new flight - or just out at dinner and, for whatever reason, I get declined.

Anyone have any advice on how to avoid the random declines to a new AmEx member?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: The AmEx Bear got me

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:26 pm

MB131174 wrote:Last month I was going to make a purchase that could not be done with a credit card. The amount was just under $1,000 and I was really wishing I could've used my Delta card to get the miles as I have a trip coming up to Europe this fall. So instead of just using money already in the bank, I swiped my Delta card thru my Square reader. Granted, I took a 2.75% hit on the money, but hey, it was an easy 1,000 miles added to my account. Lo and behold the AmEx Bear didn't like that. They actually suspended all 3 personal and 1 business cards and put me into FR. I basically told the lady on the phone to go F herself, paid off all my balances that day and closed all my accounts with AmEx as soon as the payments posted.

Some may ask why I didn't just go through the FR if I had nothing to worry about? The fact that they were worried of a cash flow problem due to 1 transaction, despite me having every statement paid in full before the due date since I've had an AmEx card, to me said "there are better companies to deal with who don't give you grief over one charge."

Now I feel like MemberSince99.

I'm sad to hear that. I can't say I'm shocked, though. From what I've read, a transaction like that will set off alarms with most issuers, not just Amex. The big one is probably that they view it as you trying to discreetly take a cash advance.

If you're still going to fly Delta, though, you can buy miles directly from the airline for 3.5 cpp. You buy them in increments of 2,000 for $70. I'm not aware of any current promotions on mile purchases.
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yfan
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Re: The AmEx Bear got me

Postby yfan » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:24 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'm sad to hear that. I can't say I'm shocked, though. From what I've read, a transaction like that will set off alarms with most issuers, not just Amex. The big one is probably that they view it as you trying to discreetly take a cash advance.

Which is exactly what happened here. OP needed to pay something in cash, and swiped Amex to get the cash in their own account. That they did it "just to earn points" and didn't really need the money is not really relevant.

Most issuers will act the exact same way if they catch someone doing this, and Amex has one of the better detection systems.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: The AmEx Bear got me

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:34 am

DogDadNY518 wrote:I am so afraid Ill be out on a business trip and something will come up - a last minute need to book a car, or new flight - or just out at dinner and, for whatever reason, I get declined.

Anyone have any advice on how to avoid the random declines to a new AmEx member?

Amex is quick to suspend (or shut down) accounts when the concern is MS, discreet cash advances, etc...stuff they don't want their customers doing.

I've read a few cases where Amex will suspend someone's accounts for opening a large number of accounts in a short period of time (like triple what I do).

People who use their cards as Amex intends and don't open a huge amount of new accounts generally have a smooth experience.

Also, MB, when did you get new Amex cards? american-express/11565-closed-my-amex-cards.html
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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