How Does Amex NPSL Work?

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CalAlumnus13
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How Does Amex NPSL Work?

Postby CalAlumnus13 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:58 pm

I know the basics: NPSL doesn't mean unlimited spending, and Amex can deny a charge if it exceeds what they think I'm able to pay, based on what they know about my income, credit, and past spending.

My question is this: Could my PRG have a relatively low "credit limit" beyond which I could not make any purchases, even one that's relatively small ($50-$100) and consistent with my past purchases?

Basically, I'm worried about using the PRG for dining, and getting a meal declined unexpectedly in front of friends or family. Could this realistically happen, assuming I haven't already spent x times as much as I normally do in a month?

(I'm aware of the Check Spending Ability tool, but that seems to relate more to a single large purchase than to an overall limit.)
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Dr.Mark
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Postby Dr.Mark » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:11 pm

If you'll ever get to that point, they will notify you first. You'll then be told that not a single transaction will go through anymore until you pay off your outstanding balance. To make it simple: if you don't actually hear from them, you'll be fine for small/medium purchases. You might need to give them a call first in case of big purchases.
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jlam572
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Postby jlam572 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:48 pm

When I first got an amex charge card, it was NPSL but had to call them to charge a $1500 purchase after only a few days of owning the card. A few years later of solid payments, and now I can charge a lot more stuff. Max Ive spent in one purchase is only 8k though.
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thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:03 am

CalAlumnus13 wrote:I know the basics: NPSL doesn't mean unlimited spending, and Amex can deny a charge if it exceeds what they think I'm able to pay, based on what they know about my income, credit, and past spending.

My question is this: [color="red"]Could my PRG have a relatively low "credit limit" beyond which I could not make any purchases, even one that's relatively small ($50-$100) and consistent with my past purchases?
[/color]
Basically, I'm worried about using the PRG for dining, and getting a meal declined unexpectedly in front of friends or family. Could this realistically happen, assuming I haven't already spent x times as much as I normally do in a month?

(I'm aware of the Check Spending Ability tool, but that seems to relate more to a single large purchase than to an overall limit.)


"Could" it have a low limit? Yes. But does it have a low limit? Depends.

How long you've had the card, how much you've used the card, what sort of spend pattern, and what sort of payment pattern, could all be facets that AMEX looks at. If you have a history of dining out and using the card for such expenses, it would seem to me your chances of being declined would be minimal, especially in that $50-$100 range you mentioned. Anecdotally, what AMEX looks for is unusual or extraordinary changes in spend patterns.

The best way to resolve it is to simply call them ahead of time. If you know you're going out to dinner with, say a group of family members and you're going to pick up the tab and it could be several hundred $$$, just call and explain that to them, that you anticipate a larger than normal expenditure and will it be approved. My guess is, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how AMEX will want to help you out.

EDIT: There's a member here, Travis, who may weigh in on this, since he has a unique insight into the workings of AMEX. Personally, I've used my AMEX cards sometimes in an unusual pattern and have never been declined.
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travisrauh
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Postby travisrauh » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:28 pm

We try to give you a bit of wiggle room above what you typically charge to avoid any potential embarrassment due to a concern. The best thing you can do is make sure obviously that you have a good payment history. If you expect a significantly larger-than-usual charge, either call us or go on our website and run the "future usage/can I use my card" tool for your expected amount. That's how we prepare the system to expect those out of pattern charges. If you are still declined, it's best to call us while you're there and ask to speak with Account Protection Services so that any concern may be cleared. If you answer the security text message or push notification on our mobile app, or you verify "not fraud" with the automated system that may call, calling is not necessary.

I wouldn't expect you to, assuming your account is normally in good order, experience any issues using your card at dinner. Bon appétit!
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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:18 pm

i usually run purchases from $2.00-100 on my card most of the time. Last month a ran a $2k transaction without an issue.
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cashnocredit
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Postby cashnocredit » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:07 am

I've had an Amex charge card for a few years and I particularly like it for the ability to ability to charge large amounts. In at least one case I used it to purchase an item that was over all my other card CLs combined. I did, in that instance, check on their website to see if the amount would fly and got a prompt OK. Hard to beat that. OTOH I don't charge or spend what I don't have in the bank. Maybe Amex is psychic and knows that - lol.

Several of my other cards are so-called NPSL as well even though they have CLs but I get the feeling they are not set up for people to use in the same way Amex's NPSL cards work. It is, after all, Amex's main business model. Since people that see a CL on a card will naturally want to stay well under that I doubt traditional Visa/MC transaction and default statistics would even provide them enough historical data to automate how to safely do what is probably rare.

Maybe someday I'll test on of the Visa/MC NPSL cards and see if they have the same flexibility. I've seen a few other comments that their signature or world cards were declined once they were just 20 percent or so over their CL even though they always pay in full like about 60% of the population.

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:08 am

cashnocredit wrote:I've had an Amex charge card for a few years and I particularly like it for the ability to ability to charge large amounts. In at least one case I used it to purchase an item that was over all my other card CLs combined. I did, in that instance, check on their website to see if the amount would fly and got a prompt OK. Hard to beat that. OTOH I don't charge or spend what I don't have in the bank. Maybe Amex is psychic and knows that - lol.

Several of my other cards are so-called NPSL as well even though they have CLs but I get the feeling they are not set up for people to use in the same way Amex's NPSL cards work. It is, after all, Amex's main business model. Since people that see a CL on a card will naturally want to stay well under that I doubt traditional Visa/MC transaction and default statistics would even provide them enough historical data to automate how to safely do what is probably rare.

[color="red"]Maybe someday I'll test on of the Visa/MC NPSL cards and see if they have the same flexibility[/color]. I've seen a few other comments that their signature or world cards were declined once they were just 20 percent or so over their CL even though they always pay in full like about 60% of the population.


IIRC, with cards such as these, and I'm presuming you mean the signature Visa cards, one can charge 2 times the noted credit limit without pre-approval. The excess over the credit limit has to be paid in full within the next billing cycle.

THAT is what sets AMEX apart in being a true NPSL card. Yes, there's a limit. Yes, it's more flexible than the other so-called NPSL cards. Only AMEX is true NPSL.
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Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:37 am

As long as you don't pay late and your account is in good standing, don't worry about it! Just use it how you want.
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Postby kchengg1 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:23 am

If your dinner's are up in the thousands, then AMEX probably knows that you're a high roller. But most of the time they won't deny such small purchases. You can check how much you're capable of spending based on the "Check Spending Ability" on the website.

I can also suggest to you to pay on time so that the system knows that you're capable of paying back what you spend.



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