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Forums Payment cards American Express Amex has cancelled all my cards!

  • Metty 79 posts

    Bit of a surprise, especially as I’m not a serial referrer or game them in any way (canx and re-apply etc).

    “American Express is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and we are trusted to adhere to specific requirements and governance.

    I am writing to inform you of a decision that has been made in relation to the above referenced American Express Card Accounts.

    Following an internal review, we have decided to give two months’ notice of cancellation to the card accounts. This decision has been taken in accordance with the rights we reserve under the terms and conditions of our agreement.

    Therefore as of 21st May 2024, the accounts will be cancelled. In the meantime the card accounts have been blocked.”

    Called Amex, it’s genuine, and they can’t shed any light. I pay off every month and have done for 30 years, so maybe I’m not good business? More worried that they know something that I genuinely don’t! Any ideas?

    Lady London 2,112 posts

    An immediate block? Especially with a credit card I am pretty sure they have to give you a reasonable notice period ,- typically 60 days – ahead of changes or cancellation.

    Notice period meaning the facilities and use of the card continue for 60 days prior to any new terms or properly notified cancellation taking effect. This I am sure is in rules that outrank their t’s and c’s – though reputable companies tend to incorporate the correct things in their ts and cs or at least refer to.them anyay.

    Exceptions would be something really major like fraud or very, very good reason to suspect it.

    Others might suggest you contact all 3 of the major credit reference agencies for the copy of your records you’re entitled to, just in case card numbers have been hijacked or an erroneous report from elsehere has been attributed to you.

    I’d fight them by any means I could. In all your posts over a long period here on HfP, @Metty, you’ve been a totally upright citizen so I hope you can get this sorted out.

    dundj 91 posts

    Can you explain who you have referred for cards in the past, including self-referrals?

    Have you raised any complaints with Amex, if so how many and over what timeframe?

    Have you been making transactions through the likes of Paypal to friends and family?

    Or is there something else you are leaving out which would explain why they are closing your accounts?

    Metty 79 posts

    In the last 30+ years I’ve never self-referred, made less than 6 referrals, definitely three to family.

    Complaints: nil

    Paypal to family: none

    If there was anything I’m deliberately leaving out of the story then I’d know why they’ve decided to bin me! The problem is what I’ve done to trigger them to have a business review in case it’s something I’m unaware of e.g. has someone taken out a mortgage in my name etc

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,169 posts

    Where do you live?

    dundj 91 posts

    Check your credit reports from at least two reporting agencies if that is the case.

    Other possibilities are a change in your income being reported, something being paid for a business on a personal card or vice versa, and a multitude of other things.

    NorthernLass 7,932 posts

    A couple of other people have posted similar stories in recent months, though I think in at least one of those cases there was a suggestion that there was something a teeny bit irregular like business use of personal card, I can’t recall exactly.

    But Amex has been making some unexpected decisions in the past couple of years – if you want to keep your accounts I would write to them and formally request an investigation into what happened. It’ll probably be a slow process but I can’t really see what else you can do.

    It could be something as simple as an algorithm deciding your credit limit is too high for your income, which might be easily rectified.

    Andrew. 491 posts

    You need to do a thorough root and branch self-check.

    LL has given the first excellent piece of advice by suggesting you check every credit report thoroughly.

    Next, do check on Companies House check and Charity Commission.

    First thing you’re looking for is any companies you are a director of (eg share of Freehold) or Charities are up-to-date with all of their reporting and to make sure you haven’t been fraudulently registered for any NewCos etc. Big Data is always watching these days, I know of a colleague who was rejected for a new bank account because a charity he was a Trustee of was late in filing returns. Also an FD who was blocked from their company’s business accounts as his resident’s group was about to be struck off.

    Metty 79 posts

    Where do you live?

    Winchester, UK

    JDB 4,514 posts

    @Metty – I’m genuinely sorry to hear this. The simple answer is that yes, Amex knows all sorts of things and has access to all sorts of data, notably that relating to any other financial application of any sort made where the info supplied is at variance with the information Amex has. The bad news is there is very little you can do about it and Amex won’t, and don’t have to tell you the reasons for closure and it’s extremely unlikely they will reverse the decision.

    You should check the agencies above for the protection of your interests, even if it changes nothing with Amex.

    Metty 79 posts

    Thanks, will check credit ref agencies, but thanks all for the advice. It’s annoying to lose 2-4-1s but….

    Misty 254 posts

    So sorry to read this particularly when it seems so arbitrary, especially with 30+ years with them.

    Have you recently retired ? They don’t seem to want retirees, which is odd, as now I’m not paying out for 2 lots of exorbitant school fees, I have a greater disposable income. They have probably done some sort of deep sweep of accounts and you don’t fit into their algorithm.

    How many cards did you have with them? Maybe they feel you have too much credit? Perhaps you could call and see if a reduction in your available credit would allow them to keep one of the cards open for you.

    I agree with looking into all the agencies who are mentioned above in case there is something going on in the background, that you don’t know about.

    Cranzle 275 posts

    Could it have anything to do with your employment status vs what you’ve told them your employment status is?

    Skywalker 720 posts

    @Metty – sorry to hear this. How frustrating!

    I’m just wondering – does this type of action from Amex prevent a previously blocked customer from applying for a credit card with them in future?

    DTraveller 20 posts

    How frustrating! And especially given your good standing. Disappointing for a long term customer.

    I would recommend calling them and starting a formal complaint to investigate the decision. One of my card accounts was silently suspended a couple of months ago. Phone calls and chats with the customer service team didn’t yield anything useful, it was only when I started a formal complaint was the issue investigated. I never found out the reason for the suspension, and AMEX stated they couldn’t explain it either (not that they couldn’t share, more that the person investigating didn’t know the reason), but the card account was reinstated.

    It does make me think twice about ‘relying’ on AMEX (I know you shouldn’t) and really makes it clear at this time, long term custom isn’t really valued. (as is their commercial choice)

    zapato1060 696 posts

    As previously mentioned if it’s not using personal cards for business use? Sending £s via PayPal f&f? Over declaring income? There must be something else because why would they cut ties with someone whose been with them for 30 years?

    Denial is usually the first response but when dug deeper “ohh that’s why” comes up. So I suggest to take the advice given before me, check records and start complaints proceedings.

    AJA 1,083 posts

    @Metty I have nothing useful to add given it’s all been said above but I am genuinely sorry for you. This sounds a very one-sided and arbitrary decision by Amex. I do hope you convince them to change their minds.

    I think I’d be tempted to contact the consumer columns at The Guardian to see if they might be able to get a media response. Either Anna Tims or Miles Brignall.

    Metty 79 posts

    @ everybody thanks! Mrs Metty’s just had her Amex (a secondary of one of mine) declined in Windsor Castle gift shop so Amex aren’t mucking about!

    As far as employment, nothing’s changed since I retired 10 years ago, I’m lucky enough to have a final salary pension and support my even more frequent travel habit by trying to spend kids’ inheritance by annual withdrawal of ££ from the lump sum/inheritance pot. Am a director of a PLC but that’s for very occasional consultancy, there’s only £16k in the bank account and I haven’t withdrawn anything more than £1k from that as tbh as I don’t need to or know how to efficiently

    Only financial change in the last year or two was paying off the mortgage.

    I haven’t told Amex of any change of financial circumstance e.g. retirement or paying off mortgage, nor do I recall them ever asking since last application for an Amex.

    Will look at credit records when home, meanwhile I’d better placate MrsM and go pay for the tins of Windsor Castle biscuits with my Virgin M/c 😀

    dundj 91 posts

    @ everybody thanks! Mrs Metty’s just had her Amex (a secondary of one of mine) declined in Windsor Castle gift shop so Amex aren’t mucking about!

    As far as employment, nothing’s changed since I retired 10 years ago, I’m lucky enough to have a final salary pension and support my even more frequent travel habit by trying to spend kids’ inheritance by annual withdrawal of ££ from the lump sum/inheritance pot. Am a director of a PLC but that’s for very occasional consultancy, there’s only £16k in the bank account and I haven’t withdrawn anything more than £1k from that as tbh as I don’t need to or know how to efficiently

    Only financial change in the last year or two was paying off the mortgage.

    I haven’t told Amex of any change of financial circumstance e.g. retirement or paying off mortgage, nor do I recall them ever asking since last application for an Amex.

    Will look at credit records when home, meanwhile I’d better placate MrsM and go pay for the tins of Windsor Castle biscuits with my Virgin M/c 😀

    Check they’ve not had a judgement against them recently as being a director can affect you personally.

    CarpalTravel 368 posts

    It is great that you are still showing good humour. Inconvenience aside, I can also imagine feeling a little bit hurt by an apparent rejection. Simply put though, there will be a reason for this, and as others have already explained there are multiple avenues to check.

    Also I would suggest reflecting on all card activity you have had credits and debits. The plural is used so presumably you have more than one card with Amex? Check them all, yours and any associated. Others will know better than me whether this matters, but do you have anyone (other presumably than MrsM!!) associated with your cards who could have caused a review?

    I read once of someone having had their account closed and the only vaguely unusual thing they could apparently think of was that they cleared a balance using more than one bank account. Presumably ringing money laundering alarm type bells, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a frequent or huge event.

    SBIre 167 posts

    Google your name. I assume you or a family member has not recently gotten into politics, but maybe your name has appeared on an PEP (politically exposed person) or adverse media list. That is a long shot though. Has the Amex account or the bank account you use to pay it off been used for any regular or irregular transactions that might look suspicion? Transactions of £9.999, lots of money cycling etc Your bank is probably not talking to Amex, but it might happen. Finally, have you bought anything at home or abroad that might be legal there but perhaps frowned upon here – weed, crypto, gambling etc

    BBbetter 717 posts

    I haven’t told Amex of any change of financial circumstance e.g. retirement or paying off mortgage, nor do I recall them ever asking since last application for an Amex.

    There are many ways amex and other banks can find out financial information rather than asking you directly. There are some who feel smug getting cards approved on a false income and then come here, complain and act like it was a surprise.

    SBIre 167 posts

    I haven’t told Amex of any change of financial circumstance e.g. retirement or paying off mortgage, nor do I recall them ever asking since last application for an Amex.

    There are many ways amex and other banks can find out financial information rather than asking you directly. There are some who feel smug getting cards approved on a false income and then come here, complain and act like it was all fine.

    This point about getting information is very true. Amex may have onboarded a new data supplier that highlighted something amiss – in which case they will not tell you what happened. Or they may have changed some internal models to do with making sure customers do not access to products they cannot afford, in which case I’d hope they would tell you, but probably won’t.

    Metty 79 posts

    Checked Equifax and I’m rated 1000 (out of 1000). Checked Experian+ too, nothing at all on either that’s odd.

    I did a current account switch TSB to Natwest yesterday. Don’t think that’s too exciting.

    Looking at Amex a/c only strange behaviour is cancelling 12 paid for BA sectors one day last week. It’s a football thing, trying to get flights to whoever West Ham got in the draw so Marseille, Cologne, Milan, Rome.

    Otherwise wrt points made above

    No judgements against anyone in the PLC I’m a director of, no Paypal abuse, googling me results in nothing of interest and no gaming of anything Amex related (such as I read on HfP etc). I’m thoroughly boring. As is MrsM the Supp cardholder.

    Colin MacKinnon 289 posts

    One thing Amex is disliking now is someone other than the account holder paying off the card.

    Me and Mrs Mack have different surnames, but financial POAs. So sometimes I’d pay my card from her account and sometimes she’d pay minor from hers.

    Now we transfer the cash at the bank between bank accounts before paying the relevant cards.

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