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Old 01-22-09, 05:59 PM   #1
ehidle
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I despise American Express again

Until today, I had two Amex cards for my business. I used them regularly for travel and business expenses, have always paid the bill on-time, in-full with rare exception, and have been a model customer since I opened my business in 2006. Well, maybe not a "model" customer in the sense that a "model" customer is probably one who charges $50K/month and has $10MM/year in revenue, which I most certainly don't. But still...

So, today, they called to say they were cutting my credit line by, get this, 80%.... wow.. 80%!!! That's insane. That bold a move prompted me to check my credit report just in case something really bad happened, but nope, it's squeaky clean. They said I'd get a letter explaining their reasons. I can't wait to read it.

I guess this is the credit crunch biting me in the rear? I dunno. So, my immediate response was: Close all of my accounts. All of them. Not just my SimplyCash Platinum card and the 3 Employee cards I have on that account, but also the Business Platinum, for which I had been paying the hefty $400/year annual fee, thinking I'd actually use the free companion airfare (which I didn't end up doing anyway).

I might add this isn't the first time they have inexplicably and without warning, done something to tick me off. Grrr....

Anyone else ever been ticked off by these jokers?
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Old 01-22-09, 06:03 PM   #2
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Hahahah.. so get this. This is even funnier! I logged into my Chase business account just now to make sure they hadn't done the same thing, and they actually recently RAISED the limits on Both my Amazon Business and my Chase Professional cards by 20%.

Amex is run by a bunch of... cough.. well... you know..
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Old 01-22-09, 06:21 PM   #3
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amex has a terrible reputation on the selling end. It's so bad, a lot of retailers refuse to carry them.
buying end is much better though.
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Old 01-22-09, 06:57 PM   #4
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Thing is some of these credit/bank companies are in such dire straights they have to reduce their exposure to risk at every level. If your credit wasn't as good as it is you might have been canceled out completely. It's really unfortunate that those of us that have used our credit responsibly have to pay the price of those that haven't and those that gambled on paper assets. It will get worse before it gets better. Hopefully the whole credit system will survive but it will be touch and go for a while. What I want is those that caused this to be waiting in line at the soup kitchens instead of getting gov't handouts and keeping their mansions.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:28 PM   #5
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^^

Well, if they're cutting the credit lines of people with good scores by 80%, I'd hate to see what they're doing to people with not-the-best scores. It can't be pretty.

Didn't Amex get billions that they were supposed to use to help free up the credit markets?
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Old 01-22-09, 08:10 PM   #6
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http://consumerist.com/5136452/amex-...ithout-warning
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Old 01-22-09, 10:10 PM   #7
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They did the same thing to me. I had an Amex Blue card that I was carrying like a $1,000 balance on, I did a balance transfer onto that card to get a 3% interest rate. They dropped my line of credit from $10,000 to about $100 more than what my balance was. I checked my credit report too, thinking something went haywire, but everything was fine, score over 700, etc. So, I paid the balance and closed my account.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:14 PM   #8
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Its a gamble if a place even bothers with Amex, so I wouldn't open an account with them. Instead, if I were doing a business, I'd hit a local bank or credit union and grab a decent line of credit that way. At least with a VISA or MC label on the credit card, most merchants will be gratified to take the card.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:15 PM   #9
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Until today, I had two Amex cards for my business. I used them regularly for travel and business expenses, have always paid the bill on-time, in-full with rare exception, and have been a model customer
Keep in mind that to a credit card company, that makes you an awful customer.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:27 PM   #10
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Until today, I had two Amex cards for my business. I used them regularly for travel and business expenses, have always paid the bill on-time, in-full with rare exception, and have been a model customer since I opened my business in 2006. Well, maybe not a "model" customer in the sense that a "model" customer is probably one who charges $50K/month and has $10MM/year in revenue, which I most certainly don't. But still...

So, today, they called to say they were cutting my credit line by, get this, 80%.... wow.. 80%!!! That's insane. That bold a move prompted me to check my credit report just in case something really bad happened, but nope, it's squeaky clean. They said I'd get a letter explaining their reasons. I can't wait to read it.

I guess this is the credit crunch biting me in the rear? I dunno. So, my immediate response was: Close all of my accounts. All of them. Not just my SimplyCash Platinum card and the 3 Employee cards I have on that account, but also the Business Platinum, for which I had been paying the hefty $400/year annual fee, thinking I'd actually use the free companion airfare (which I didn't end up doing anyway).

I might add this isn't the first time they have inexplicably and without warning, done something to tick me off. Grrr....

Anyone else ever been ticked off by these jokers?
I AM EXTREMELY PISSED OFF WITH AMEX . I got the letter last week informing me on my 85% credit limit cut. Now I am utilizing 98% of my credit limit instead of the 24% I was using. I also immediately checked my credit report and found no problems what so ever. So now my credit rating is going to take a big hit. I called them up and they said it was because I carried a balance, and that I was a risk. I said WTF I pay on time every month, never miss a payment, and pay more than I should. I should be a damn VIP with how much money I am paying them in interest. They wouldn't even increase it a little.

I now suspect they will try to raise my low interest rate since my credit score will decrease
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Old 01-22-09, 10:30 PM   #11
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I have an Amex Platinum. it used to make sense cause of the 4 free domestic companion tickets per year (definitely worth more than the $400 charge). Well, they canceled that program, and I just traveled internationally and not a lot of places take it. So now its of as much use to me as a wet dish rag.

Closing it when the current year expires. Their service has been great but the $400 fee just does not make sense for me.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:22 PM   #12
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Keep in mind that to a credit card company, that makes you an awful customer.
I believe that way of thought has changed. Credit card companies now have to look at any balance as a high risk of default. They need to pare down those account receivables. So customers that do not carry a balance are the one's they want. They do get a percentage fee on every purchase. These examples are how the credit crunch hits main street. I expect all the frill packages will disappear soon too.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:36 PM   #13
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I expect all the frill packages will disappear soon too.
Hmm. Usually when I ask people why they use a credit card, the response is because of the "free" stuff their card provider gives them for using the card.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:25 AM   #14
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It costs a lot of money to get someone to sign someone up and keep them if they are a good customer. Very short sighted behavior on the part of AMEX but what makes anyone think that a great many of the honchos are brains.

If there were brainy people running things we would not be in the mess we are in now!
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Old 01-23-09, 12:29 AM   #15
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Keep in mind that to a credit card company, that makes you an awful customer.
Not so much with Amex... it's not a credit card, but a charge card. Full balance due every month for their "regular" cards.

I had a gold card many moons ago... quit them mostly because internationally, very few places accepted them because of the 13% "cut" they take!

Reading their antics over the past year or so, I'm glad I'm not a "member".
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Old 01-23-09, 03:48 AM   #16
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Not so much with Amex... it's not a credit card, but a charge card. Full balance due every month for their "regular" cards.
I had both - the SimplyCash is a credit card and the Platinum is a charge card - although mine had the option to pay over time because of my good credit.

The SimplyCash was the one that was cut by 80%, which sucks because I just did a big custom jersey design and I was going to order the inventory on that card.

On the aside, I have to say that I have loved having business cards with Chase.

And here's a new slogan for Amex: "American Express - The Credit Union for the Super Wealthy" hahah..
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Old 01-23-09, 07:51 AM   #17
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I just realized that the Costco membership is going to have to go as well, since I no longer have Amex cards for my business, I won't be able to shop there. Jeez... what a PITA.... the next closest thing around here is BJs and they're farther away.
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Old 01-23-09, 07:59 AM   #18
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You can get the Costco membership without the Amex card. Many years ago, I got the Amex card through Costco, but I was a member for 15 years before I got the card. If Amex were to ever cancel my card, I would still be a Costco member.
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Old 01-23-09, 08:04 AM   #19
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You can get the Costco membership without the Amex card. Many years ago, I got the Amex card through Costco, but I was a member for 15 years before I got the card. If Amex were to ever cancel my card, I would still be a Costco member.
I know, but without an Amex, you cannot purchase anything at Costco unless you either pay cash or lug your big company checkbook around with you. It's a huge hassle and a security risk for my checkbook to leave my office, and debit cards have a low daily max, even for the business accounts, that prohibits making sizable purchases at Costco.

Costco does accept Visa/MC online, but then shipping adds cost and is a huge pain.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:55 PM   #20
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Just got our dear john letter from AMEX...saw it coming though. Their loss, we ran over $160k through their CHARGE cards last year. Canceled the full account, now our local bank's Visa will pick up the slack. And we stopped taking them at our store I would love to find out what their criteria is, otherwise I am convinced that they are using a random number generator or a dart board.

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Old 01-23-09, 01:19 PM   #21
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No credit available to small businesses?

Sounds newsworthy or something...
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Old 01-23-09, 02:04 PM   #22
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No credit available to small businesses?

Sounds newsworthy or something...
Nope business as usual...the small businesses (under 150 employees) employ around half of the workers in this country...but they are handing the billions out to the banks and big businesses, but it sure isn't making it to the smaller ones. I can list several dozen small businesses that have had their credit cut off for no real apparent reason and are having to shut their doors. It used to be that credit was issued on a few clear cut criteria: Ability to repay, inventory and tangible assets (equipment and property) apparently in the new voodo capital market it doesn't work that way. IMHO "trickle down economics" didn't work too well, the last time around.

Huge business concerns like WM (they are the poster child) suck up resources and make it hard for everybody from manufacturing to retail to compete. Read up on The Atlantic and Pacific Tea company...pretty much the same thing WM does today, (and is allowed to get away with it) got there backsides handed to them by the US Justice department.

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Old 01-23-09, 02:25 PM   #23
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for what its worth, I'd avoid Chase as well. I've had my chase platinum card MC since '01. I don't use it that often, but when I was traveling overseas I knew I would have to (my main card is discover). I used their online system to let them know i'd be traveling. Then I called to confirm, they said they had no record of my request, but that it was now taken care of. My first day overseas, I made two phone calls with the card from the airport, and it was locked after that, I had to call them from overseas to fix it.

The phone number they gave me for help overseas did not work. The number on the back of the card which says "when overseas..." took me to an activation line, not customer support. I received no emails, phone calls, or online messages from them about the lock. I'm in the process of moving all my accounts away from them.
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Old 01-23-09, 02:34 PM   #24
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I used to spend between 4 and 10k a month on my Amax business, then again this was the 90's and early 2k's and it was a company card issued in my name.
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Old 01-23-09, 03:08 PM   #25
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From a Reuters story from earlier this month:

"American Express -- which sold its international banking operation in 2007 to focus on the credit card business -- recently became a bank holding company and is expected to get $3.39 billion from the government."
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