Why Did American Express Raise My Interest Rate?

pile of American Express cardsDo you have an American Express card? Did you get a letter in the mail from Amex raising the interest rate on your variable APR card. In fact, I received this letter in the mail myself for my Blue card a few years ago, back in 2009. Here’s what that letter said:

  • Interest rate is being raised on cash advances and purchases
  • If you have a “penalty rate” on your account because of a late payment, the interest rates are going up
  • The late fee is being increased

Finally, under these bullets, they say they are “pleased to let you know” they will no longer be charging you an over-limit fee.

Finally, under these bullets, they say they are “pleased to let you know” they will no longer be charging you an over-limit fee. Here was my blog entry back from Dec. 2009 discussing this:

Amex, I must say although I remain a huge fan, I am a bit disappointed with this particular situation. I don’t even carry a balance so this doesn’t effect me, but having my APR go to 13.99% + the prime rate on top of that seems awfully high in my opinion. Why this bothers me so much is because I feel bad for the other equally responsible cardholders out there who have been hit with this big hike. I understand that the recent credit card reform legislation as well as the recent losses from defaults is making it a bit more expensive to do business for now, but I don’t feel accounts with perfect histories should be given this much of an increase – a 1-3% increase seems more reasonable to me.

I’ve been an American Express holder for 7 years (multiple cards). I’ve never had a single late payment, not only on my Amex cards, but on any credit card or bill in my entire life. My FICO is close to 800. A few years ago when I was in a coma and knocking at death’s door, one of the first things I said to my mother when I awoke from it was to make sure my bills were paid so they wouldn’t be late. That’s the kind of customer I am – more concerned with my obligations to paying bills and my credit history, than the fact that I was crushed in an accident and was told I was about to die. Should responsible customers like myself and others like me be rewarded with such drastic APR hikes like this?

It’s now 2011. Have you experienced any similar situations with American Express raising your card’s interest rate?

 
Comments

Just raised my rates as well. Member for over 13 years, raised rates to stay competitive.

Funny thing is my discover card offered 0% for 12 months and lower APR than AMEX.

Needless to stay I just switched all my recurring charges and new charges to Discover.

Thanks AMEX, I can really feel the love :-/

Daylight robbery as a member (Blue sky) since 2007

Notice of Important Change to Your Account Terms
We are making a change to your account terms, which are contained in the American Express Cardmember Agreement (“Agreement”) governing your Account referenced in this notice.

Important Notice Regarding Your Penalty Annual Percentage Rate

Revised Term, as of April 25, 2015

29.24% This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime
Rate.

This APR will apply to your account if you:

1) make one or more late payments; or

2) make a payment that is returned.

How Long Will the Penalty APR Apply?

If the penalty APR is applied, it will apply for at least 6 months. We will
review your Account every 6 months after the penalty APR is applied.

The penalty APR will continue to apply until you have made timely payments with no returned payments during the 6 months being reviewed.

Just received a letter stating my interest rate is now 27.54% up from 12%. I’ve been a loyal customer since 2004. This isn’t about being competitive with interest rates like some people have stated they were told by Amex employees when they called. Obviously high 20’s isn’t competitive at all. It comes down to the bottom line their investors. Amex failed once again to meet its 8% growth they promised their investors and their stock has been declining because of it. They’re cutting 4000 jobs this year and I have a feeling they’re hoping disgruntled customers will pay their cards off in full to show higher than expected revenues. They only thing the investors don’t know is that while they will be getting higher revenues they’ll be losing tons of customers. They can’t keep raising rates every time they need to make a quick buck or they won’t have any customers left.

yup got one today! As soon as I pay it off I’m done!!!

Yup! No dif than 08/09 crash. Ill be making changes with amex as well. Pass on to consumer is the name of the game. I choose not to play as much as possible. My apr hike came in last week.

Just received one today, putting up our interest rate. They say we have 850 FICO score (which is only 50 points from perfect) and that we have too much on rotating credit cards compared to limits, which is patently ridiculous and most of our cards have zero balances, and too many credit checks in the last 12 months (two, that I know of).

We also just read in the newspaper that Costco is not renewing its Amex contract and is moving to Visa. We only have the Amex card because of Costco, so this is a pretty dumb time for Amex to be annoying extremely good customers for 20+ years, as we are. As a result, we plan to close our account as soon as Costco makes the move, I believe this summer or later this year. Goodbye and good riddance, Amex!

Same thing for me. Been a long time customer well over 10 years. Great credit score and limit is over 30k. I had just paid off about 7k and got it under 1k balance and shortly after got increase notice (was at 9%). Don’t know if that was a coincidence. I’ll be cancelling after paying off the balance and using the points.

amex raising my rate. they cited:
always pays in full
never carry a balance
826 fico

wtf

Just got a letter I was getting raised because I have a below average rate. Meanwhile it also said my credit score was 819. They should give me a lower rate at that score no?>
JC

Yes – just yesterday these fascists sent me a letter telling me that as of Apr 15, 2015, my 9.25% rate was being jacked up 66% to 15.24% … to “remain competitive”.

The time for customers to rise up is long overdue. The time the banks had moral authority to lord it over us is over (since the Fiscal Meltdown).

Shame on you, Amex …

Yes, shame on Amex.! I called them and exploded on them and I don’t even carry a balance. Raising my “so-called” low rate of 14.99 to 27.99!
Needless to say they said they were lower than the other credit cards so they needed to get in line with them to be competitive. I just laughed my butt off while she tried to convince me of this reason. I escalated the call to a supervisor and she did the same thing.
Honestly, I’m not sure why I even applied for Amex to begin with. I have several (more than I need with low rates with no balance.) I think I may have took a promotional rate and used it. However, where I live in NC they’re many stores have a sign posted saying they do not accept Amex. Don’t know the reason for that one but I assume they treat them like they treat their other customers. I’m just glad I don’t owe anything on it. I did some homework and informed them that BOA, CITI, CHASE, DISCOVER, all have AMEX rates beat.
I think this comes down to so many stores not accepting AMEX they feel the need to raise rates for what stores do accept their card. The supervisor said, “you don’t have a balance so it won’t affect you, what’s the big concern.” I told her the big concern is that I have very good credit and it is an insult for them to raise their rates on me and for them not to count on my using their card. Amex is like “loan sharks.” This is one case I hope the government steps in and puts them in their place. Loan Sharks are illegal.

I have been a cardmember for 22 years (various cards) and never been late on payments. Credit score 780. I’m not exactly sure, but I never saw or got a statement and when we got home from an extended vacation, checked all my accounts and realized AmEX was due that day. I submitted the payment but it reached them two days late. I got the notice of the increase from 15.99 to 27.99. I called them immediately and they told me the ‘pending increase’ would be stopped. Paid the bill off in full and closing my card. It’s too competitive out there to have to put up with this. They were very accommodating on the phone, I have to say.

I’ve been an amex blue card member since 2002. Lately, I’ve not been using the card due to uncompetitive interest rates. In March of this year, amex’s “wallet protector service” was auto billed to my account for $39.99. This was the only charge on my balance. I did not check the statement because I never use the card. The following month they tacked on a $25 late fee and raised my rate to the penalty rate of 27.24%. The whole process was initiated by a charge against the card made by american express itself.

The whole process impressed me as a predatory one. Needless to say, I immediately cancelled the “wallet protector service”. Amex refused to do anything for me.

Hello Aaron,
That same thing happened to me just today and I am glad to hear that I am not alone. When you called did they offer to lower the card rate? The hold time right now is over 10 minutes so maybe I will call back later. I just was wondering. Thanks.

I am happy to hear I am not alone. When these letters come out you feel like you are the only one. We were lat by one day in my 18 year relationship with AMEX. I received my letter November 8th and sat on it trying to calm down and decide whether to cancel or not. I saw the letter sitting on my desk today and got upset all over again and said that’s it! I called and cancelled my card and I will cancel my business card as well.lyalty means nothing anymore to this company. We are just numbers to these greedy companies. Don’t they charge too much interest where some retailers don’t carry there services. It is either Visa or MasterCard who have never let me down mind you. I can say the csr was very nice to deal with and completely understood and cancelled immediately. I hung and said that was too easy. Not even a fight back to retain me as a customer. I charge well over 5 figure charges and pay in full. Maybe it was a marketing ploy to shake out the folks who pay in full and on time? They do not make any money off us true payers. Needless to say its nice to have the power to change. Feeling great so long Amex forever! I’ll see who else I can get to dump them.

Count me in. 10 years with Amex. Never late with payment. Looking for another card as we speak.

Amex stripped my 10 years membership for missed one day payment. And increased interest rate to 25%. Good Bye AMEX. Greed $$ over customers.

I also had my interest raised to 27% over one late payment over a 10 year period! not to make excuses, but I was changing banks and my checking acct info wasn’t updated on time…and it was a payment of only $20 dollars! I am for sure closing my account. I can’t justify having my interest raised to 27% – not when other equally good credit card companies (Capital One, Discover) are more understanding. Also, I have been a customer for 10 years and have excellent credit (above 800). More than disappointing. Furious.

I also was one day late on a payment and received a notification that they were raising my rate to 27.24%. I have been a cardholder for 25 years! They said there was nothing they could do so I closed my account. Apparently, loyalty is not important at all to American Express. Time to earn some Marriott Rewards points!

I had one late payment two months ago. Interest when from 19% to 27%. I just got off the phone with and they could not lower it. Goodbye American Express!

Same experience. I was ONE day late and they raised my rate to 27%. I promptly paid off the balance and shredded my card.

This evening I decided to give American Express a call about their high interest rate of 15.24%. I explained that I use their card for 90% of my purchases, I have always paid on time, a member for over 20 years and a FICO score of 800. The rep in Canada, Sean, was very courteous and reduced the rate to 13.24 and said to call in another 6 months for another review. So this was a beginning.

Call them up and be nice. Worked form me.

Still, wise to pay these blood-suckers on time!

I read this post right before calling AMEX regarding our Penalty APR that would take effect next week, and I was not going into my phone call with high hopes. We had three late payments at the end of 2011, two of them only one day late.

The customer service rep took off the Penalty APR without me having to persuade her at all. I just stated that I wanted to ask about it and see if there was anything that could be done. She saw that we had been customers for 6 years and had made on time payments, always more than the minimum balance. (Though these were not our first late payments.) She then went on to state that she would be taking off the $25 late charges for Nov. and Dec! I did not ask for that at all.

So I just wanted to put it my two cents worth that my experience with their customer service has always been positive… they have usually given me what I asked for, even when I really didn’t deserve it.

42 years with AMEX, with a Stellar payment record. I called today to complain about a 15.25 % rate. They transferred me 4 times and each rep said it is what it is. I paid it off and no more AMEX for me. There are plenty of cards out there for less that treat customers with respect they deserve

Why is the Small Business Administration promoting American Express through press releases and their website (that we pay for)? This is just inexcusable abuse of our tax dollars.

http://www.sba.gov/saturday

Me too! I’ve paid off my balance at the end of every month for 11 years now. I just discovered I had an interest balance of $6 tacked on to my bill. What the heck? Then I looked at my interest rate, and it’s 14.99% !!!! I haven’t had an interest rate like that since I had my first credit card in college. On top of the high interest rate, I also pay a $60 annual membership fee. I’m canceling this card as soon as I cash in my flier miles. Jerks.

AMEX raised my rate from 8.9 to 19%…. They did not notify me, when I noticed the interest rate (try to find this on a bill) had changed, I called and cancelled. The kept the rate on the unpaid balance at 19%. I asked “Why” they changed my rate, the said, “business climate required it”. I cancelled, threatened to sue, they moved my account to a “hardship” account at 0% for 3 months and 9% for following 3 months, but still refuse to adjust the rate down on prior balances, which conflicts with current law.

They ignored all complaints, I have to sue them to get this resolved, they acknowledged that they were in violation of the law, but don’t care. Was a great customer for 9 or so years, no blemishes on my part. I hope everyone sues them in small claims court…

Outrageous.

I see that I am not the only person that AMX took advantage of and refuse to work with especially when I closes my account over 2yrs . My interest is more than my amount due that is a shame everyone should stop paying them after all we have paid more than what we charged. I would never recommend them to anyone.

I pay all cards off each month. I save Am-Ex for high charges from travel & hotels. I’ve got both business & platinum personal – been a customer for 30+ years. Now I’ve got a notice they’re raising interest to nearly 20%. I’ll call them and complain for sure, probably will curtail my use of Am-Ex . They did this concurrent with my payment of their $450 membership fee.

I was late by tow days twice, so they increased the rate to 27.24%
Besides this being excessive and unethical it may even be illegal?
Anyone knows what the maximum rate is the can lawfully apply?

The only way to get back at those greedy scum bags for me is to stop accepting Amex cards as a form of payment at my business. I encourage other business owners to follow suit.

There has got to be something criminal on what AMEX is doing with interest rates. I was late by one day to pay it on-line (I simply forgot). They even called me to remind me of the payment, which I readily apologized, and asked me if I wanted to pay it now and if I made the next months payment as well it not reflect as a late payment. Strong arming? I have never been late as I make payments on-line. This sounds extremely unethical. Why should I be punished with an exorbitant rate increase for a one-time problem? Most other cards raise the rate after you have been late twice within a 6 month period. This is just wrong.

As with the author of this commentary. I too am one who has always payed AM Ex. bills on time and have never failed. I am generally a fan of AM Ex. However every time I get a notice like this I am reminded about how “small” I am. That is a feeling of highest insult. I just hate feeling “small.” Nonetheless, all the changes don’t effect someone who pays on time always. Am Ex. will however, insult me enough if (when) the value of a rewards point shrinks (further?). I have already determined a point at which I will bail on them if/when even the rewards aren’t worth it.

In Australia they go one better. If you pay late over 3 months (1 day will do it) they up your rate to… get this… 25%!! for 12 months.
Then they send a letter ” as we are responsible lenders” and as you pay down your card (have not used for 18 months) they reduce your limit (charged over limit till I complained) on top of that charge membership fees for a service they do not provide.
Amex next step is Fair Trading and ombudsman.
You are the most foul purveyors of credit that I have ever seen (Amex).
My mission is to remove you from the marketplace.
Excess interest.
Excess membership fees.
Surcharge on purchases due to excessive merchant fees and slow payment to merchants.(most retailers charge 2.5-3% on Amex and Diners so you can add this to your interest on purchases)
Legalised loan sharks….. Amex sucks … use mastercard, Visa or anyone else. Amex is an abhorrent organisation.
DO NOT USE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES…. You have been warned!!

Am also an Amex card holder since 1988.

I rejoice using it almost exclusively because it has relatively low interest compred to Citicard Visa which charges 29.90% on standard purchases, more than double that of Amex’s!!!

Cheryl, your story is virtually identical to mine. October 2010 was the first I was aware that American Express has changed my interest rate to be the margin over prime. A 13.99% interest rate in September (obscenely high to begin with) was now added to the 3.5% prime rate to make a 17.49% interest rate in October. I called twice, spoke with 5 different people, and got the same answers you did. I am a 20 year customer, always paid on time, currently have a high balance, and most months maintained a balance on which I paid interest. I did not see any announcement that this was coming as for several years I have paid my bills on-line with American Express. After checking the balance I go straight to the activity section because I know what I spent that month and I know what the balance should be. They did not put anything on the first page of the web-site that I am aware of and they did not email me. If the announcement was on their web-site, it was buried. There was no reasonable electronic attempt to inform me of the opt-out option and, surprise-surprise, it has expired and I am flat out of options.

I am disgusted by un-American Express. I will be contacting the attorneys involved with that class action law suit in Atlanta tomorrow.

Hi, We are in the same position as you. How do you get involved in the class action law suit?

Thanks for your response,

Jeff

I have been with american express for about 20 years. I have paid on time . I have a small business and count on my credit cards to pay invoices etc. They have raised the interest rates so high now that I will have a hard time paying. Is this there way of helping small business? They get help from the gov. and then increase our rates? I find this quite unfair. I think they want us all to go bankrupt.. What are they going to do to help us keep their cards?
Lorie

The same thing just happened to my simply cash business card. I have been paying down a balance for equipment. Paid on time every month plus extra. Never late! Now my interest rate DOUBLED!!!!!!

All because I did not opt out of a rate increase. The notice said for “purchases”, I am not making purchases and have not used the card in two years.

None the less they did not care and now I am stuck with a rate of almost 12%!!!

I plan on contacting the above for class action information.

This is totally unbeleivable.

When I opened my October bill for my Amex business acccount I was shocked to see the higher monthly payment and much higher interest charged for the month. I obtained last month’s bill to compare and found that my interest rate increased by 4%–from 15.24% to 19.24%. I pay my bill on time every month and have had the business card for 2 years although I have been an Amex customer since 1983. When I called to ask why the rate increased, they informed me that a general rate increase across the board was issued to business card holders. They said my June statement had the rate hike information and that a letter went out. I never received such a letter and there is no reason for me to look at page 4 of my bill each month. They said there is nothing they can do since I didn’t opt out. I was not using the card, just paying off the balance. I will close the account and do a balance transfer to pay off this nonsense as soon as I can. Let us not take this mess laying down. It’s time to fight back.

sounds like there is a lawsuit now

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against American Express Regarding Improper Increases in Customer Credit Card Interest Rates
Posted on: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:38:58 EDT

Atlanta, GA, Sep 17, 2010 (PRWeb.com via COMTEX) —
Atlanta law firm Webb, Klase & Lemond, LLC has filed a class action lawsuit against American Express alleging that the company unilaterally increased consumer interest rates in violation of the applicable credit card agreements. The complaint asserts that these increases were contrary to American Express’ long-standing practice of tying its rates on many credit card accounts to the Prime Rate, the interest rate charged by banks to their most creditworthy customers. This commitment was established in the company’s form contracts and through years of consistent dealings with customers according to the suit. The complaint states that American Express raised rates even for consumers who have always maintained their good standing by satisfying all account requirements, such as making required payments and not exceeding credit limits. Furthermore, the plaintiff claims American Express has taken such action even against those whose credit scores and general creditworthiness have not declined. The suit requests that customers be refunded all excessive interest charges in addition to several other forms of relief. The case, styled Meeks v. American Express Centurion Bank, Inc., is pending in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia and has been assigned Case Number 2010CV190851.

According to the suit, for several years Mr. Meeks was charged a “fixed-variable” interest rate equal to the Prime Rate plus a “marginal rate” of 2.99 percent. In this manner, the plaintiff claims the company’s interest rates tracked the Prime Rate, moving up when the Prime Rate climbed and down when the Prime Rate fell. The complaint asserts that the company unilaterally ended this practice in late 2008 and throughout 2009 by periodically increasing customers’ marginal rates such that – even as the Prime Rate fell to historic lows – customers suffered higher and higher interest charges. For example, Mr. Meeks’ marginal rate went from 2.99 percent to 11.99 percent and thus, even with the Prime Rate at 3.25 percent, American Express charged him interest of over 15 percent, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Meeks claims the improper and excessive rate hikes have cost him hundreds of dollars and more than doubled his monthly payments.

The lawsuit asserts that American Express imposed these higher rates even on existing customer balances. In addition, the suit alleges that American Express’s offer that customers could reject this interest rate increase by freezing or closing their credit card accounts is inadequate because, as the company is well aware, most consumers rely on their credit card accounts and closing any credit line has a negative impact on a consumer’s credit score. As a result, the complaint contends that customers have been forced to accept American Express’ unilateral rate increases.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this press release, please contact Webb, Klase & Lemond by e-mail at contact(at)webbllc(dot)com or by calling (770) 444-9325.

###

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/09/prweb4525714.htm.

In May of 2009, I was assessed a penalty rate of 27.24% by Amex for having 2 late payments (each less than 5 days late) in a 12 month period. I was told the penalty rate would apply for 12 months forward, provided I pay timely. I got the message and have paid early since that time. My balance is quite large, and I now only charge less than $100/month for netflix and the likes. I know that the card reform later changed the penalty apr rules, but that the “old rules” still applied to my situation. However; I am now being told that Amex no longer has to rescind the penalty rate on my account, even after the 12 months pass. Is anyone familar with this situation?

I have American Express(blue cash) card since 2003 and never missed payment even then they increased my interest rate to 17.24% without giving an option to opt out. This is a rip off and broad day light robbery by the credit card company. I closed my account with them but they are still charging new rate. Is there no regulatory body in this country to take on this bull by its horns? All consumners should walk off this money sucker.

I was a member of American Express since 1999, I held two different cards at one time. I dropped the one card I had and kept the Blue. I never paid late in the 10 years I was with American Express, my interest rate was raised from 10.24 to 15.24. Fortunately I was not carrying a balance at the time. I loved American Express and was very loyal member, the customer service I dealt with was an abomination and they offered me nothing in anyway to accommodate me or offer to lower the interest rate. I closed my account with American Express and strongly advise anyone with American Express to do the same, even if you hold a charge card or don’t carry a balance!!

Amex is a MAJOR rip-off company. They don’t realize customer loyalty should be the Most Important part of their business. NOT trying to rape people with 27.4% Interest Rates. I am moving my balance over to Discover who BTW doesn’t participate in these Illegal Practices.

Funny — Gov introduces Credit Crad Reform and these MONSTERS implement this practice prior to law going into effect!

I cancelled my account when I got the letter, told them I opt out of the changes. The account was then closed. They increased the rate anyway. I will not pay them a dime now, screw them. 15% of Zero is Zero I told them, I will be happy to pay my very large balance off at the old rate.
I will file a BK before I am held at gunpoint by them. Kiss my *** Amex.

I’m totally with everyone here, AMEX Blue card holder since 2003 and they increase the APR from 6.99 to 10.99 and then 15.54% NOV 09. I have a credit and made payment on time and sometimes more than minimum.

Wow…. not to worry, i recieved an offer from citi mastercard with no interest on purchase and transfer for 0ne year and 8.99% APR there after.Will tranfer Blue card and bye bye to AMEX

i recieved the same letter buy was lied to and told if i closed my account that my rate would not go up, i just looked at my statement and realized my apr actually increased and there is nothing i could do about it.

I been an american express customer for the last 3 years and I have enjoy all the benefits… However I am disappointed in the way Amex is handling all the extra cost. I will definitely close my account and keep my discovery and Bankofamerica visa card that as of right now havent oncrease my interest rates. They have to understand that we, the people who pays on time,will not accept non-sense increases on our rates over 6 points increase… 1 or 2 could have been enough.
Close your amex credit card now .

I could care less if they wanted me to keep my account with them, so I called up and told them I’d like to opt out of the rate increase and close my account. To my astonishment, I was told by both a front-line rep and second level “supervisor” that there is no opt out available, and closing my account would not prevent the rate inscrease. There’s always an opt-out, but I let it go since they made poor judgement in the past on managing their business that now they can’t afford to operate in a recession. I’ll be damned if they win the JD award again.

I received the same letter. They said that they would be raising interest rates in Oct. I called to close the card and ‘opt-out’, but they had sneakily sent the letters out about a week prior to the ‘deadline’ Congress had set. My rate was initially at 7%, slid up to 10%, and after the letter it’s up to a 15.5%!!! (never late on a payment, credit score is 760+). Unbelievable. Needless to say, I transferred the bulk of my balance to Citibank, who is giving my 2% interest for a year and a half. Not a good business move for Amex.

Idiot Congress is trying to pass a law to cap interest rates at 16%. Watch out!! All of us will never be able to get those 5% interest rates again, because we’ll have to make up for the people who move down from their 20% interest rates who can’t pay their bills on time. Way to ‘stimulate’ the economy. Vote out your corrupted State Representatives in 2010!!!!!!!

I just received a letter from AMEX about our APR going up from 15.99% to 27.34%. I didn’t think it could go that high! This was because our payment was 2 days late and of course they tacked on the $39 late fee too.

I have been a loyal Starwood AMEX cardholder for 7 years and have a 750 credit score, but they didn’t care when I called customer service. They were not flexible at all in terms of negotiating.

I like the benefits the card offers, but this is ridiculous! I will pay off the balance and switch card companies too.

Well, I have to say that I feel better reading this blog….I thought I was the only one.

I have been an Amex customer for over 20 years, have a 780 credit score and just got my rate increase to 27.34 percent.

Not only that but earlier this year they cut off my sign-and-travel benefit on my Gold Card, closed one of my cards due to inactivity and declined me when I applied for a Costco cash back card.

When I did call to discuss this they had nothing to say, not even thank you for being a long time customer.

I have since decided to stop using my Amex and switch to another card company.

We just received the letter from Amex. Called them but they won’t give me specific details about WHY they raised our rates, because I am not the Man (the account holder).
We have had this card for 11 years.
They raised our rate from 13.99 to 27.34 percent. We will pay off our $2,000 balance and close the account. Their loss. They are idiots. They are going to lose all the good, responsible customers who pay their bills on time.

I received same letter , have perfect credit and never paid late. I fought back . I closed my account

Well, I must have skipped the part where they were informing us about APR increase. I have noticed it on my statement though so I called in to check what was the reason for that.

I was informed that it was general increase to all card holders (as we all know of course). My APR jumped from 6.24% to 9.24%.

I was told that they have increased APR to make more credit available to people. How funny, 5 months earlier they have slashed my limit by 25% so what is the next step AMEX? I wasn’t at fault. My payments were always on time, credit always healthy. I had my credit limit slashed and now APR raised – I will remember that when the good times come and you will be fighting for customers AMEX.

As for now, I have paid my balance off. I don’t need to take this crap.

I also got the increase letter. I used the card last year to fund a wedding and graduation party. Slowly paying it off – of course now it will take much longer having jumped from 5.9% to 15.4%. More than double. Never late, on any payment, ever. Credit score 750+. I just wonder at what point everyone says, enough and just stops paying. AMEX should have at least had an opt out option. This is what happens when politicans pass laws with loop holes like – “you have a year before the laws take effect”. Plan to move one of my IRA accounts to the Credit Union and then apply for a 8.9% MC. Once open I can transfer the balance and close the AMEX Optima card.

I don’t qualify for their cards. You have to have really good credit to get them.

I love my Amex too but I am too sad to see how they are handling interest rates. What can we do as consumers to avoid them raising our interest? Is there anything we can do at all or do we just have to suck it up and live witht he higher interest and hope there is no rainny day in the future where I cant pay my credit card in full every month?

I received the same letter for my Costco Amex card. I am also disappointed in the way Amex handled this. I will be spending much less at Costco as a result. One of the sneakiest parts of this whole thing was, like Frank mentioned, the failure to offer an opt-out. Even if you cancelled your card, you would still pay the higher rate on your remaining balance.

I use Amex but I wish they would be more fair. I agree that lately they have fallen short to say the least.

And … They did not offer an opt-out if you had a balance.

What a joke. Over in the UK I hear they are now charging inactivity fees too.

I’ve been an Amex cardmember since ’76 and have felt let down with their service the past year. They aren’t what they use to be.