Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

  • Metty 84 posts

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

    I guess that could be related; we have a joint Starling a/c that’s used to pay off the Amex bills. It’s always that joint account, not our individual personal ones that never, ever get used.

    Online shopping? MrsM ordered 10 swimsuits from John Lewis recently and sent 9 back. Hardly manufactured spend! (And no I don’t buy refundable cash airline tickets and then canx them to hit spend targets)

    ukpolak 68 posts

    My mum was “de-banked” by NatWest last year – basically denied access to her wealth (savings) and income (pension). This was all rather sudden with no comms whatsoever, and calling and visits the branch etc yielded a brick wall: “someone will be in touch to discuss”. Meanwhile bills were bouncing, deposits bouncing etc.

    An email to Alison Rose yielded a call back from the exec complaints team who gave the same scripted info, as did a call from me to my NatWest relationship manager who was equally useless and his hands were tied on what he could say or what he had been told. We were all in the dark.

    Alas nothing ever came back other than a letter after about a month saying that they were terminating their banking relationship and giving her 30 days to move all money and direct-debits etc elsewhere. Bank switching services wouldn’t work and it all had to be done manually based on memory of what bills were due and when.

    Worst of all, she had been NW staff throughout her whole career – even during the days when Fred the Shred would send weekly videos asking cashiers to recommend OAPs take out loans to pay for grandkids’ Christmas presents, recommending they use their pensions as source of income.

    I joined a FB group about it and it seems very commonplace unfortunately – somehow you become out of their risk appetite or no longer profitable / valuable, but to this day we just don’t know in the case of my mum.

    Of course a DSAR came back with nothing in there, and she did a CIFAS (?) fraud marker check which also yielded nothing.

    I’m no big fan of Farage but NatWest got what was coming to them – Dame Rose lost her job about 3 months after we’d contacted her and IIRC the regulator is now looking in to “debanking” as they just went completely silent on my mum’s case and denied access to all of her money.

    Whilst it sounds like you’ve had more success at least in terms of comms, I do wish you all the very best. My lesson learned was to have back-up accounts (credit card and current) and also to screen print direct debits and standing orders to allow for a reasonable migration if I suffered the same fate.

    BTW I have read of a number of banks doing this (through the FB groups I read) but this is the first time I’ve ever read of Amex doing it.

    Good luck in getting it sorted – it was a mega stressful period for my folks and on one call to their customer service agents, they basically told my mum to ask family for a short term handout.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    I really, really want to know why this has happened.

    With nearly £700 for Plat just making me struggle why would anyone pay this for the current set of poor benefits, too many stories of Amex customers being mistreated or or dreadful customer service encounters, and sorry but if Amex thinks the images in each of their 3 banner ads over the past 3 weeks depict example customers that will attract large numbers of British customers to their cards… it’s really not clear what is Amex about these days.

    On the banner ads there was a week of one that looked like only very young people who drink a lot and spend their time partying are the target; then Billy Bunter as another poster described him, then a young lady who, if it’s a travel card, appears to be jumping up and down on a hotel bed… Please Amex who is the customer you do want?

    can2 575 posts

    I am really getting sicker and sicker each day reading stories where honest people are treated like international money rinsers with no evidence or explanation…
    The poor guy mentions returning John Lewis shopping as a possible reasoning.
    No @Metty, it is not acceptable, most likely it is not even the reason.
    No @Metty, using a joint account cannot/should not be the reason, it’d be so easy to block payments if the names do not match.

    I am so sick of it.

    Our household pays about £1150 in card fees to Amex each year, and I don’t want to sit and wait for my turn to get shut down for doing nothing wrong.

    Jwillow84 1 post

    Make a cifas data request. It’s a fraud database, if another company reports you then you can get refused credit cards etc.

    rams 224 posts

    My mum was “de-banked” by NatWest last year – basically denied access to her wealth (savings) and income (pension). This was all rather sudden with no comms whatsoever, and calling and visits the branch etc yielded a brick wall: “someone will be in touch to discuss”. Meanwhile bills were bouncing, deposits bouncing etc.

    An email to Alison Rose yielded a call back from the exec complaints team who gave the same scripted info, as did a call from me to my NatWest relationship manager who was equally useless and his hands were tied on what he could say or what he had been told. We were all in the dark.

    Alas nothing ever came back other than a letter after about a month saying that they were terminating their banking relationship and giving her 30 days to move all money and direct-debits etc elsewhere. Bank switching services wouldn’t work and it all had to be done manually based on memory of what bills were due and when.

    Worst of all, she had been NW staff throughout her whole career – even during the days when Fred the Shred would send weekly videos asking cashiers to recommend OAPs take out loans to pay for grandkids’ Christmas presents, recommending they use their pensions as source of income.

    I joined a FB group about it and it seems very commonplace unfortunately – somehow you become out of their risk appetite or no longer profitable / valuable, but to this day we just don’t know in the case of my mum.

    Of course a DSAR came back with nothing in there, and she did a CIFAS (?) fraud marker check which also yielded nothing.

    I’m no big fan of Farage but NatWest got what was coming to them – Dame Rose lost her job about 3 months after we’d contacted her and IIRC the regulator is now looking in to “debanking” as they just went completely silent on my mum’s case and denied access to all of her money.

    Whilst it sounds like you’ve had more success at least in terms of comms, I do wish you all the very best. My lesson learned was to have back-up accounts (credit card and current) and also to screen print direct debits and standing orders to allow for a reasonable migration if I suffered the same fate.

    BTW I have read of a number of banks doing this (through the FB groups I read) but this is the first time I’ve ever read of Amex doing it.

    Good luck in getting it sorted – it was a mega stressful period for my folks and on one call to their customer service agents, they basically told my mum to ask family for a short term handout.

    I had the same experience last year with Barclays smart investor which then led to my Hilton credit card and premier accounts being closed with no reason provided. They made an absolute mess of transferring my trading accounts to Hargreaves Lansdown taking almost 5 months all in from when they denied me access to it. It’s not surprising when you read in the press of Barclays being a shambles of an organisation.

    Speaking of which I referred the case to the financial ombudsman last year who have just sat on it as they are utterly hopeless organisation.

    The Savage Squirrel 599 posts

    I’m generally against regulation, but for something as fundamental as a current account where sudden closure could have potentially life-changing consequences; I’m starting to believe more and more that far tougher regulation is needed. For banks I have no issue with this – as 2008 showed that they are, ultimately, protected by the taxpayer from failure, then they should be made to dance to the taxpayer’s tune a little.

    Harrier25 892 posts

    I’m starting to believe more and more that regulation is needed.

    Really? Did you just say that?? You won’t find a more regulated area. Now if you were saying this about industries such as gas and electricity, where regulation is a complete joke, then I would agree…and by the way, hanging your dirty washing out in public is never an advisable thing to do.

    Metty 84 posts

    Make a cifas data request. It’s a fraud database, if another company reports you then you can get refused credit cards etc.

    Thanks, will do.

    Sorry to hear of others’ experiences with financial institutions, sounds nastier than today’s experience for me.

    I’ve called Amex this evening, having checked there’s nothing fishy that I can find, to complain that it’s as much the way they’ve blocked all my cards with zero warning as much as the block itself. Mrs Metty thinks that I should desist from posting further on here, partly as I’m only going to make matters worse, but like @JDB suggests, once they’ve decided that I’m no longer a customer then they’re not going to change their minds and unlikely to explain why.

    I also don’t want to negatively impact Rob’s business as Amex is bread and butter, but I think that we’re like bees in a hive on HfP and I’ve learnt by others sharing and feel obligated to share too for the greater good.

    I’ve been told by someone (thanks :)) that it was the Head of Amex UK Business who personally made the decision to bin me and that it’s not fraud. I don’t know if this is true, but it’s certainly interesting if I’ve made it to the top of the league of least valuable customers.

    I’ll report back when there’s news.

    CarpalTravel 377 posts

    And that is the key here, really – you just want to know why. They at the very least could have provided some level of detail to you that informs and if applicable, educates for the future. I am sure this could be done without compromising their internal systems/checks/rules.

    Of course they don’t *have* to do that, but it would at least show a long term customer a smidgen of respect. Instead though, they come out here looking like an absolute arse. Hardly an organisation that one would rush to recommend to others…

    I appreciate that this is a very personal matter but if possible, please do keep us updated. Maybe there is something useful to learn.

    tjtedafc 4 posts

    I am so sorry about what happened to you, I would recommend you to email straight to the CEO after you have your evidence/stance ready.

    Did that previously and they will start the investigation. There is a investigation team in Brighton work for the exec.

    steve.squeri@aexp.com

    FazzyBear 26 posts

    What happens to Amex MR points in these situations!?

    dannyc 20 posts

    Yet the head of Amex UK remarked just 2 days ago in this puff piece on the ‘importance of authenticity’…

    https://www.raconteur.net/leadership/ceo-on-the-spot-10-questions-with-american-expresss-hannah-lewis

    John 1,052 posts

    I think getting de-Amexed is not the same as being de-banked by a current account provider, as Amex is not necessary to function in a cash-free society. Since banks want a cash-free society, I believe that they should be forced to provide current accounts to anybody who meets criteria determined by the government – which would include people such as convicted fraudsters, with restrictions on what they can do with their account obviously.

    Is Amex UK completely independent from Amex in other countries? If the OP held the IDC or US Amexes would these be affected?

    HSBC in each country is separate as I was debanked by HSBC UK despite being Premier (they wouldn’t confirm it but the offending transaction was using 99.9% of my entire account balances to pay an Amex bill of a larger amount than the sum of all previous transactions in the past year). It hasn’t affected my HSBCs in other countries.

    And recently HSBC country X requested extensive KYC info because I global transferred equivalent of £400k from HSBC country Y, which had just been held with HSBC Y for 5 years. After some discussion I figured that the process to get that information internally was so convoluted that HSBC X decided to be lazy and make me do the work myself.

    zapato1060 717 posts

    What happens to Amex MR points in these situations!?

    I believe it vanishes.

    I pay mine and my wife’s account from my current account. Is this illegal?

    BBbetter 779 posts

    And that is the key here, really – you just want to know why. They at the very least could have provided some level of detail to you that informs and if applicable, educates for the future.

    And result in another Farage type situation?

    If I was Amex I wouldn’t give the reason.

    The Savage Squirrel 599 posts

    I’m starting to believe more and more that regulation is needed.

    Really? Did you just say that?? You won’t find a more regulated area. Now if you were saying this about industries such as gas and electricity, where regulation is a complete joke, then I would agree…and by the way, hanging your dirty washing out in public is never an advisable thing to do.

    Difference between heavily regulated and effectively regulated of course. I wonder if you’d feel the same if you were treated like ukpolak’s mother and suddenly left borrowing money from family to pay basic bills? Credit cards are obviously a completely different non-essential product so I do appreciate that we’ve wandered off topic.

    BBbetter 779 posts

    I’m starting to believe more and more that regulation is needed.

    Really? Did you just say that?? You won’t find a more regulated area. Now if you were saying this about industries such as gas and electricity, where regulation is a complete joke, then I would agree…and by the way, hanging your dirty washing out in public is never an advisable thing to do.

    Difference between heavily regulated and effectively regulated of course. I wonder if you’d feel the same if you were treated like ukpolak’s mother and suddenly left borrowing money from family to pay basic bills? Credit cards are obviously a completely different non-essential product so I do appreciate that we’ve wandered off topic.

    I don’t think it requires more regulation. You can open an account in 5 mins with many other banks.
    Public need education to spread their money across (atleast 2) banks.

    strickers 732 posts

    @Metty I really feel for you, not knowing why would be driving me bonkers. Not the same level I know but I recently applied for interest free credit to buy a new iPhone and was declined, this was Barclays Partner Finance which I believe is Clydesdale. I’ve been using this process for years, never missed a payment. I also recently tried the eligibility checker for the Avios Barclaycard and was given 0%. This is even though I’m a Barclays Premier customer without a Barlcaycard, the Barclays app seems to think I have a card but that was closed nearly a year ago.


    @BBbetter
    Since reading the debanking horror stories I’ve staring leaving enough money is my Chase account to cover a month of bills. I also now have a paper copy of all the direct debits.

    CarpalTravel 377 posts

    And result in another Farage type situation?

    If I was Amex I wouldn’t give the reason.

    Fair point.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,272 posts

    On the regulation point having worked for a regulator and in a regulated sector the problem is often out of date regulations that can’t be easily changed.

    The scope for a statutory regulator is set out in primary legislation and the regulations themselve via secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments).

    But changing the SI requires getting approval from your sponsoring department who will then lay them before Parliament for 40 days so not a quick process.

    Otherwise you can basically only fiddle around with the guidance you write and this is often not enough.

    And then there is also how one company interprets the regulation versus another and that isn’t always consistent across the sector.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    There will for sure be a notice period in the card agreement. Notice means notice. It means Amex can’t pull the plug, normal usage has to continue to be operated for the period after which notice has been given.

    The problem is that in case of very very few things like fraud, a provider can be exempted from providing reasonable or contractual notice. The really bad part is that the provider has only to claim they even only just ‘suspect’ fraud or whatever they are allowed to claim, to exempt themselves from giving notice or from having to provide fair reasons for their action, to an independent authority or adjudicator.

    I hate bureaucracy and excessive regulation especially if it still doesn’t stop corporates doing what they shouldn’t [water companies overextracting and tolerating polluting], or harming individual consumers without good reason.

    Though I hate excessive oversight and sponsoring yet another quango or finance regulator, I think it’s time an Appeals Board was put in place to whom those refused or, particularly, discontinued financial service may turn. As @Savage Squirrel has said, the finance industry enjoys considerable protection in the UK and should have to justify this type of decision on an individual basis and not hide behind protections for ‘their business reasons’ to mistreat customers. When those protections they are using so as not to have to prove their actions are fair, were actually intended to be used to fight crime.

    Perhaps a subdivision of the FOS could be set up to independently judge these appeals? They might as well do something useful 🙂

    Seriously, I’d also think about taking it to the FOS and letting them enquire of Amex whether @Metty’s actions were so extreme as to justify Amex not even honouring a notice period, eg 60 days. There are hurt feelings here, =30 YEARS= LOYALTY COUNTED AS NOTHING BY AMEX, as well as the summary loss of facilities that were being relied on day to day and month by month.

    Cranzle 280 posts

    And result in another Farage type situation?

    If I was Amex I wouldn’t give the reason.

    Fair point.

    They didn’t give Farage a reason. He submitted a SAR, which I think is the first thing one should do if you want any chance of finding out a reason. Once you query the reason, I suspect a full and honest SAR becomes less likely

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    SAR’s aren’t effective in Finance issues like this anyway. Due to the regulation/legislation/oversight gap that lets finance providers decline to provide data concerning reasons for their decisions.

    Rules intended to fight crime that are being hidden behind by finance providers in order to take actions with impunity, that abuse individual consumers.

    Cranzle 280 posts

    SAR’s aren’t effective in Finance issues like this anyway. Due to the regulation/legislation/oversight gap that lets finance providers decline to provide data concerning reasons for their decisions.

    Rules intended to fight crime that are being hidden behind by finance providers in order to take actions that abuse individual consumers.

    They MIGHT not be effective. But they can be, as experienced by Farage.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.