Amex Financial Review

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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NYC_Dweller
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Amex Financial Review

Postby NYC_Dweller » Sun May 06, 2012 3:58 pm

Hello Amex Members,

It is believed that Amex is doing the dreaded financial review again. I doubt they stopped but they probably are doing it more often now. A friend and a business associate of mine got the dreaded call. This was all within a month apart. Both are heavy users and long time Platinum members.

- Friend - added 3 authorized users & got the call
- Business Associate - current balance 28k & got the call

I know that Amex was going on a financial review rampage during 2008-2010 due to the bank/economic turmoil. During this time frame it seemed like the targeted group was heavy business users (Platinum & Centurion Business). The trend was anyone who pushed more than 50k a month was halted for a FR.

During 2010-2011 it seemed like heavy personal users became the target. Once again this was Platinum and Centurion members.

Upon some research it is believed that all Amex members (charge & CC) who suddenly decide to add multiple authorized users may get flagged.

I never truly understood the business practice of giving your top card holders a hard time about using their cards. I do understand the need to question an influx of authorized users and/or increased spending habits. Regardless, I believe that a persons payment history should show a positive trend. Asking for bank statements and IRS documents or have your account/s closed is a bit overkill.

I have yet to experience a financial review even though my spending habits fluctuates drastically from month to month (Last month closed at $1,726.48, currently 3 days in billing cycle $11,183.44 - Amex Platinum).

Does anyone have any other inputs in regards to this?


Joncore
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Amex Financial Review

Postby Joncore » Sun May 06, 2012 6:01 pm

Hey all. I'm new here but after searching I didn't find answers to my particular situation. I'm going to throw some personal info out there, but its the internet, why not.

I'm in my early 30's, own my own business (for 6yrs), am a salaried employee in mid 6 figures and take distributions on top of that. Last time I checked, credit was 595 with one negative on there from a F-up a couple years ago. So I can't get approved for an Amex.

Mom put me on her Amex a little over a month ago. Business platinum member since 1986. She charges 2-3k a month.

I put most anything I could on the card in the first month and the bill was 21k which is part of my average spending pattern.

Now I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure I know what triggered the financial review. Mom's business has been on hold for a couple years as she recovered from a car accident and took a regular job. So in the FR, they asked for tax returns which showed zero income on the business.

What should we do? It's almost certain she would be closed. She can clearly pay her 2-3k a month she's been spending and I can cover my part. But they never asked for my financials.

What should we do here?

Thanks in advance for the help.

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Sun May 06, 2012 11:17 pm

Sorry for your mother's car accident. Hope she is doing fine.

From what I know the actual card holder is expected to have a higher spending pattern than an authorized user. The 19-20k difference and the drastic increase in spending is a significant enough to trigger a FR.

Being that your mother was the card holder your financials are not required since the card holder is ultimately responsible for the bill.

When was this FR taken place and how long were you an authorized user? Did they call you or like did you find out due to a declined transaction? I know the time frame they give you to submit the needed documents is 5-7 days.

Believe it or not the Amex reps will listen to your situation. Explain the details and in the best case scenario they will downgrade the card to a personal Platinum and require your mother's personal IRS documents and put spending limit on the card. Worse case scenario is card will be closed due to this shakedown. Regardless I'm sure this is a very unpleasant situation to be in.

Keep us posted and we'll try to help you out with any questions.

Welcome to the board.

Joncore
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Postby Joncore » Mon May 07, 2012 11:59 pm

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I've only been an AU for 1 month and racked up quite the bill in comparison to what she's used too. Not only did I give her a shock, but American Express as well apparently. Whats funny to me is, I switched off of debit cards to Amex because I kept getting shut down on my transactions.

BoA would literally put a hold on my card as many as 5 times a month. Can you imagine calling up and having to verify transactions with a person on the phone that many times?


I wasn't notified of the hold from Amex till I logged in, but I guess by that time my mother was already notified. She called in and talked to someone she said was quite rude and while she tried to explain the situation of the accident and not having business income for the last 1-2yrs, the person kept just saying, "We can close your account if we don't have the business returns in X days."

Like I said earlier, she's been fine using the card and paying her balance with her new 9-5 since the accident as she's been using it minimally but I really messed things up for her. I'm going to feel horrible if it's my fault that her platinum Amex is shut down after 25yrs... I really can't believe they would even consider that after so long!

AlwaysLearning
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Postby AlwaysLearning » Fri May 18, 2012 9:05 pm

This may be showing my inexperience but is it the adding of multiple authorized users or just adding them at all that you think would trigger it? I was thinking about adding someone to my Platinum but I hate paperwork.

Yaysnowday
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American Express Financial Review Results

Postby Yaysnowday » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:51 pm

Hello, recently I was hit with a FR from AMEX and I've browsed search engines with the string "American Express Financial Review" and several results showed up. Out of all the main links, the threads were closed except for this one, which is still opened so I will post my experience.

As stated above I was hit with a Financial Review. This happened because I used my Platinum card to pay someone that did not accept AMEX via Paypal, they saw this as a "cash transaction" which is a big nono. AMEX flagged my account and I was contacted via phone. They required 6 months of banking history / average balances and current balance. The AMEX rep was very friendly and explained exactly why this was happening which I completely understood. The rep proceeded to ask a few questions about my employment and salary, basically the same information you would have given them while applying for their cards anyway so it was no problem. He stated I had 8 days to comply or all my accounts would be placed up for termination. He emailed me the form, which I received in about 20 mins and I took it to a bank to have my bank officer fill out. The bank then faxed the form to AMEX with the number that was supplied on the form. The average balance was about $6k and current balance lingered around $9k. Less than a week later I received emails from AMEX stating they have cut my limit from no spending limit to X amount. It was way more than enough for what I needed it for and way above what I usually spend per month so overall I'm happy with the result.

For those of you that are hit with a Financial Review, don't panic (like I did, and I'm sure if you're reading this, you were in the same situation I was in a few weeks ago). Just submit the form(s) AMEX asks for, be polite and your review will go through smoothly. After all, you are borrowing their money.

Take care everyone and good luck.

So remember, if you're getting FRed, submit the forms in a timely fashion. You will get a limit cut, but at the end of the day you're still alive.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:32 am

Hey Yay,

I've never had to go through a FR but I'm curious about something you say in your post. You say AMEX wants to see a high bank balance. In my case I keep my balance as low as possible and manage cash in a money market account at a brokerage. When they asked for balance history did you have the ability to include more than just a checking account?

I guess I'm not too worried about it. I have adequate W-2 income as well as substantial marketable investments I could show them. But I try to keep as little in bank accounts as possible. I often go below $1000 nearly every month. Based on your experience, do you think that could be a problem?

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:58 am

DoingHomework wrote:Hey Yay,

I've never had to go through a FR but I'm curious about something you say in your post. You say AMEX wants to see a high bank balance. In my case I keep my balance as low as possible and manage cash in a money market account at a brokerage. When they asked for balance history did you have the ability to include more than just a checking account?

I guess I'm not too worried about it. I have adequate W-2 income as well as substantial marketable investments I could show them. But I try to keep as little in bank accounts as possible. I often go below $1000 nearly every month. Based on your experience, do you think that could be a problem?


i'm sure you will be able to submit any assets you wish in addition to what they request. however, i think amex will rather see a higher bank balance of 100.-

NYC_Dweller
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Postby NYC_Dweller » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:59 am

Yaysnowday wrote:Hello, recently I was hit with a FR from AMEX and I've browsed search engines with the string "American Express Financial Review" and several results showed up. Out of all the main links, the threads were closed except for this one, which is still opened so I will post my experience.

As stated above I was hit with a Financial Review. This happened because I used my Platinum card to pay someone that did not accept AMEX via Paypal, they saw this as a "cash transaction" which is a big nono. AMEX flagged my account and I was contacted via phone. They required 6 months of banking history / average balances and current balance. The AMEX rep was very friendly and explained exactly why this was happening which I completely understood. The rep proceeded to ask a few questions about my employment and salary, basically the same information you would have given them while applying for their cards anyway so it was no problem. He stated I had 8 days to comply or all my accounts would be placed up for termination. He emailed me the form, which I received in about 20 mins and I took it to a bank to have my bank officer fill out. The bank then faxed the form to AMEX with the number that was supplied on the form. The average balance was about $6k and current balance lingered around $9k. Less than a week later I received emails from AMEX stating they have cut my limit from no spending limit to X amount. It was way more than enough for what I needed it for and way above what I usually spend per month so overall I'm happy with the result.

For those of you that are hit with a Financial Review, don't panic (like I did, and I'm sure if you're reading this, you were in the same situation I was in a few weeks ago). Just submit the form(s) AMEX asks for, be polite and your review will go through smoothly. After all, you are borrowing their money.

Take care everyone and good luck.

So remember, if you're getting FRed, submit the forms in a timely fashion. You will get a limit cut, but at the end of the day you're still alive.


how and what were your spending patterns/habits prior to the review?

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:36 pm

Yaysnowday wrote:Hello, recently I was hit with a FR from AMEX and I've browsed search engines with the string "American Express Financial Review" and several results showed up. Out of all the main links, the threads were closed except for this one, which is still opened so I will post my experience.

As stated above I was hit with a Financial Review. This happened because I used my Platinum card to pay someone that did not accept AMEX via Paypal, they saw this as a "cash transaction" which is a big nono. AMEX flagged my account and I was contacted via phone. They required 6 months of banking history / average balances and current balance. The AMEX rep was very friendly and explained exactly why this was happening which I completely understood. The rep proceeded to ask a few questions about my employment and salary, basically the same information you would have given them while applying for their cards anyway so it was no problem. He stated I had 8 days to comply or all my accounts would be placed up for termination. He emailed me the form, which I received in about 20 mins and I took it to a bank to have my bank officer fill out. The bank then faxed the form to AMEX with the number that was supplied on the form. The average balance was about $6k and current balance lingered around $9k. Less than a week later I received emails from AMEX stating they have cut my limit from no spending limit to X amount. It was way more than enough for what I needed it for and way above what I usually spend per month so overall I'm happy with the result.

For those of you that are hit with a Financial Review, don't panic (like I did, and I'm sure if you're reading this, you were in the same situation I was in a few weeks ago). Just submit the form(s) AMEX asks for, be polite and your review will go through smoothly. After all, you are borrowing their money.

Take care everyone and good luck.

So remember, if you're getting FRed, submit the forms in a timely fashion. You will get a limit cut, but at the end of the day you're still alive.



The whole process seems a bit much. Why don't they just give you a hard limit like everyone else does and leave it at that? If they don't like when you do something, they shouldn't let you do it in the first place. These guys seem to pretty much do everything their own way. Sometimes it's good and other times it seems bizarre.



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