Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

  • HampshireHog 120 posts

    While all this discussion of whether or not the OP or most of the rest of us meet Amex’s apperently stringent and weird criteria is interesting we’ve perhaps lost focus of the main point I think. Surely for the account to be closed without notice there must be a decision made that on the basis that there is evidence of misuse of the card account and not just the OP not resembling the cringeworthy characters in their current advertising?

    In the very first post the OP advised they had been given two months notice as statutorily required in the absence of any aggravating features. Amex also stated in the closure notice that the cards would be immediately blocked in line with the terms and conditions which appears to circumvent the notice period so could potentially be deemed unfair but the FOS usually says otherwise. To the extent it were unfair and compensation would be de minimis.

    Yes but as you say they haven’t in reality given 2 months notice

    tbtb31 79 posts

    @Metty When did you last update
    a) your employment status
    b) your personal income
    in your Amex online account?

    HampshireHog 120 posts

    While all this discussion of whether or not the OP or most of the rest of us meet Amex’s apperently stringent and weird criteria is interesting we’ve perhaps lost focus of the main point I think. Surely for the account to be closed without notice there must be a decision made that on the basis that there is evidence of misuse of the card account and not just the OP not resembling the cringeworthy characters in their current advertising?

    In the very first post the OP advised they had been given two months notice as statutorily required in the absence of any aggravating features. Amex also stated in the closure notice that the cards would be immediately blocked in line with the terms and conditions which appears to circumvent the notice period so could potentially be deemed unfair but the FOS usually says otherwise. To the extent it were unfair and compensation would be de minimis.

    Yes but as you say they haven’t in reality given 2 months notice

    All assuming, of course, OP was not naughty.

    This. Unless Amex voluntarily declares the reason or OP finds out in SAR, everything here is pure speculation.
    There have been many threads like this where posters initially claim they have been innocent all along and then later admit an activity not liked by Amex.

    Sigh…it was going well. The point is that I don’t, I really don’t know what I’ve done to upset them. Yes of course other OPs say they’re innocent but then the OPs find out via Amex/posters on here etc what they have done and then they admit to that something. That ‘something’ may be of interest to others, which is the whole point of the forum, isn’t it? If I ever find out, I’ll be labelled by you in the same way, as I’ll admit to it, if/when I find out what ‘it’ is.

    Tbh the implication that I know what I’ve done makes me more cross than what Amex did in cancelling the accounts; why on earth would I post on here if that were the case? Not for sympathy, I can live without Amex and it’s not like you’ve been told you have cancer. I am telling the story in order to share with others and try to find out from others what I’ve done wrong, whether it’s being too old, retired, but presumably having done something with my account.

    Meanwhile, CIFAS report is back already and nothing on me there. Regarding kids and wife’s primary cards that are blocked as I was a supp; none of them have had any notification from Amex of this. At least Amex emailed me and told me to tell my supps.

    Please don’t take comments as criticism, everyone is scratching their heads because it’s either a bizarre way of conducting their business, in which case we should probably all be worried OR you have done something wrong, quite likely an inadvertent error OR we all hope I’m sure, an error on their part. I’m sure we are all keen to know which.

    NorthernLass 7,934 posts

    Well it’s given me a bit of a wobble so I’ve made sure to trigger OH’s 241 for this year over the weekend! While I could live without Amex, getting closed down when in spitting distance of the voucher would be very painful.

    JDB 4,516 posts

    @HampshireHog – the issue with the notice period is that the cardholder has waived their right to be able to use the card within the two month notice period in accepting the terms and conditions. That could be found to be unfair, but I’m afraid that ultimately, so what – i.e. what compensation might be due for that unfairness? The answer is generally nothing – see FOS decisions. The removal of any MR already earned would be a different, although Amex claims to be able to do that as well.

    StanTheMan 219 posts

    Prisons are full of innocent men too.

    Lady London 2,114 posts

    “The cardholder has waived their right to be able to use the card within the two month notice period in accepting the terms and conditions”.

    I think that’s as flaky as h*ll, @JDB.
    In fact even flakier than stripping someone of MR’s and tier points they,as an extremely longstanding reliable customer, were accruing as part of a long term plan.

    If the FOS isn’t going to call out providers on this notice-nonotice execution, or get whatever might allow this shabby treatment removed that Amex has chosen to operate even in the case of a cardholder with this long good history …as allowing a provider effectively to practise zero notice flies against fairness requirements …then it’s time to leave the UK and leave Amex in the putrid sink that UK consumer finance protection would be if this isn’t sorted.

    can2 532 posts

    Prisons are full of innocent men too.

    .. innocent men with bad lawyers!

    StanTheMan 219 posts

    Prisons are full of innocent men too.

    .. innocent men with bad lawyers!

    Indeed, with 35 years impeccable behaviour….

    jj 527 posts

    It’s worth setting out some facts among the speculation.

    Unlike mortgages, the FCA rules for credit card providers provide considerable flexibility. The affordability assessment is expressly allowed to include income other than salary and wages, and may include income from savings, including capital draw-down. Joint income is fine in so far as it is reasonable to expect such income to be available to the customer. For anyone interested, it’s all set out on the FCA’s website in CONC 5 and PS18/19. Once a credit card has been granted, there is no regulatory requirement to reassess affordability unless the credit limit is materially increased. However, customers must be monitored, and firms must take appropriate action where there are signs of actual or possible financial difficulties (CONC 6).

    However, Amex is free to apply stricter standards for its own purposes. For example, Amex doesn’t use household income (although the rules allow it), and doesn’t seem to regard draw-down of investment principal as income. We don’t know why, and they don’t need to tell us why. Maybe the IT systems are too hard, gathering evidence is too difficult, the risk of default is higher, or they can’t work out a decent sales journey.

    Amex is also free to use closed user group data to monitor income and expenditure, or to undertake reviews when customers reach a certain age. It may continually assess actual and customer profitability, or use predictive fraud models. Under any of these circumstances (and many more), It can close accounts as it sees fit. We don’t know which of these things Amex does, and they don’t need to tell us.

    So @metty’s problems really are a needle-in-a-haystack issue. A DSAR request might cast some light. One guess might be that an algorithmic account review process for older customers has simply said, ‘No!’. But that doesn’t explain the closure of supplementary cards on other accounts. More likely, chasing the tier points has created unusual expenditure patterns that have triggered an algorithmic warning of increased fraud risk. But we don’t know, and we’re only guessing.

    jj 527 posts

    Sorry if this duplicates – my first posting disappeared into thin air.

    It’s worth setting out some facts among the speculation.

    Unlike mortgages, the FCA rules for credit card providers provide considerable flexibility. The affordability assessment is expressly allowed to include income other than salary and wages, and may include income from savings, including capital draw-down. Joint income is fine in so far as it is reasonable to expect such income to be available to the customer. For anyone interested, it’s all set out on the FCA’s website in CONC 5 and PS18/19. Once a credit card has been granted, there is no regulatory requirement to reassess affordability unless the credit limit is materially increased. However, customers must be monitored, and firms must take appropriate action where there are signs of actual or possible financial difficulties (CONC 6).

    However, Amex is free to apply stricter standards for its own purposes. For example, Amex doesn’t use household income (although the rules allow it), and doesn’t seem to regard draw-down of investment principal as income. We don’t know why, and they don’t need to tell us why. Maybe the IT systems are too hard, gathering evidence is too difficult, the risk of default is higher, or they can’t work out a decent sales journey.

    Amex is also free to use closed user group data to monitor income and expenditure, or to undertake reviews when customers reach a certain age. It may continually assess actual and customer profitability, or use predictive fraud models. Under any of these circumstances (and many more), It can close accounts as it sees fit. We don’t know which of these things Amex does, and they don’t need to tell us.

    So @metty’s problems really are a needle-in-a-haystack issue. A DSAR request might cast some light. One guess might be that an algorithmic account review process for older customers has simply said, ‘No!’. But that doesn’t explain the closure of supplementary cards on other accounts. More likely, chasing the tier points has created unusual expenditure patterns that have triggered an algorithmic warning of increased fraud risk. But we don’t know, and we’re only guessing.

    TMG 8 posts

    Sorry if this duplicates – my first posting disappeared into thin air.

    It’s worth setting out some facts among the speculation.

    Unlike mortgages, the FCA rules for credit card providers provide considerable flexibility. The affordability assessment is expressly allowed to include income other than salary and wages, and may include income from savings, including capital draw-down. Joint income is fine in so far as it is reasonable to expect such income to be available to the customer. For anyone interested, it’s all set out on the FCA’s website in CONC 5 and PS18/19. Once a credit card has been granted, there is no regulatory requirement to reassess affordability unless the credit limit is materially increased. However, customers must be monitored, and firms must take appropriate action where there are signs of actual or possible financial difficulties (CONC 6).

    However, Amex is free to apply stricter standards for its own purposes. For example, Amex doesn’t use household income (although the rules allow it), and doesn’t seem to regard draw-down of investment principal as income. We don’t know why, and they don’t need to tell us why. Maybe the IT systems are too hard, gathering evidence is too difficult, the risk of default is higher, or they can’t work out a decent sales journey.

    Amex is also free to use closed user group data to monitor income and expenditure, or to undertake reviews when customers reach a certain age. It may continually assess actual and customer profitability, or use predictive fraud models. Under any of these circumstances (and many more), It can close accounts as it sees fit. We don’t know which of these things Amex does, and they don’t need to tell us.

    So @metty’s problems really are a needle-in-a-haystack issue. A DSAR request might cast some light. One guess might be that an algorithmic account review process for older customers has simply said, ‘No!’. But that doesn’t explain the closure of supplementary cards on other accounts. More likely, chasing the tier points has created unusual expenditure patterns that have triggered an algorithmic warning of increased fraud risk. But we don’t know, and we’re only guessing.

    Isn’t it likely that Tier Point “challenge” has triggered unusual spending patterns across many accounts? If so shouldn’t someone at AMEX have anticipated that?

    Ladyshopper 116 posts

    @Froggee, they don’t seem keen if your only income is a pension (even a gold-plated one!), but if you say you’re employed a few hours a week which brings in a few extra quid, that’s fine, apparently. Perhaps you could be Mrs Froggee’s PA?

    I’m currently on an Amex break, I took stock of my cards recently and I literally only have the HH Barclaycard and another minor one with a 0% balance transfer. All my others are SUPPs.



    @Ladyshopper
    , I am in a similar position to you as I was part-time for half my service, but haven’t had this problem. Are you in a position to do even a few hours per week which would push your income to, say the Gold card threshold? After my 2 year break I’d really like another BAPP, so need to find a part time job which will make up the minimum income requirement without affecting out travel plans, which is going to be fun!!

    Also part-time for the majority of my 16.5 years service (although varying in hours from 30-34 at different points), so have that double whammy! I think my pension is around £11k, so it would be more than a few hours a week needed unfortunately. And health wise I’m not really up to working either. I do get a small amount of ESA on top of that, which fortunately protects my NI contributions, but was a right old battle getting that.

    I know rules change, Amex have to be careful etc, but it’s just a little frustrating when household income wise, nothing has changed for us at all (in fact it’s probably gone up a bit). Our bank account is a joint one, the only thing that is separate is things like ISAs to maximise use of them (only have one each, so nothing that I can claim adds enough to my income to make it up to the minimum) and premium bonds.

    If I can ever get on top of my health issues enough to work a few hours, then I’d be very happy to to be honest. Feel like quite a useless part of society the majority of the time.

    The Urbanite 118 posts

    @Metty

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    I can’t remember the number of times I have been banned or had cards cancelled by Amex. Bottom line is I still have a account with them despite this.

    In my case I can’t really blame them – I didn’t do anything that broke the T&Cs as such (and I did examine them) but I did loads to up the points I was earning. It was child’s play to empty out the (exceptionally generous) credit limit in one fell swoop and reload, playing the referrals game, loading offers to each card via the URL, Curve, paying off the balance with gift cards and points earning credit cards and so on. I triggered multiple manual credit / financial reviews which meant the cards got suspended but I kept passing them. They would ask what I was spending so much on in supermarkets a month and I just said shopping, which wasn’t untrue.

    It is standard for them to give the 60 days notice and suspend the cards immediately. It doesn’t stop use of the other services that come from being a cardholder like insurance, lounge cards etc but if they don’t like anything about the way the cards are used, they can do that.

    The reason they couldn’t uphold the closures was for doing it improperly. There is a way to escalate complaints. Appealing on the basis of being a good, loyal customer won’t work because they already decided you’re an undesirable customer and want to terminate the relationship. Appealing on the basis of them doing something that breaches the terms or principles of fair treatment is more likely to get you somewhere, but you need to be read up on the rules and have a compelling argument.

    Loyalty doesn’t mean anything if they don’t want the custom, in a lot of areas you’re rewarded for the opposite if a company thinks it’s best to make a marginal amount out of you than nothing at all. If the product is bringing a benefit to you, as Amex tends to then the customer service can be overlooked. No point in cutting of your nose to spite your face.

    Good luck with it.

    Metty 79 posts

    @Metty When did you last update
    a) your employment status
    b) your personal income
    in your Amex online account?

    My memory isn’t what it was, but I have no recollection of updating a) or b) with Amex (or any other c/card providers that I’ve been with for years). Although I do recall an online chat about my current income and how that is defined post retirement as I was then final salary pension + sole trader + consultancy, so I did upload my last personal tax return to whoever that was.

    It’s a fair point though, I only ever go on the Amex site to pay my bill and save offers, will have a look around their site to see how I could have updated such things, assuming I’m not locked out.

    Metty 79 posts

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    🙂 That made me chuckle; I did game Tesco back in the £1 meals days but never have with credit cards.

    Someone’s just called saying that the CEO and the other Exec person I contacted have tasked them with the investigation, but I may not hear for 15 days.

    If I were still working full time then night shifts would be the ideal time for formulating appropriate challenges to Amex once I have it, thanks for sharing your story though, as I can think of one thing they’ve done so far which must be a privacy breach.

    NorthernLass 7,934 posts

    @The Urbanite – have you by any chance been with us longer than your 115 posts would suggest?!

    I agree that institutions can be remarkably sloppy about the way they go about these things. Amex seems to have bypassed any review process here which does make me think there’s been minimal human involvement.

    tbtb31 79 posts

    @Metty When did you last update
    a) your employment status
    b) your personal income
    in your Amex online account?

    My memory isn’t what it was, but I have no recollection of updating a) or b) with Amex (or any other c/card providers that I’ve been with for years). Although I do recall an online chat about my current income and how that is defined post retirement as I was then final salary pension + sole trader + consultancy, so I did upload my last personal tax return to whoever that was.

    It’s a fair point though, I only ever go on the Amex site to pay my bill and save offers, will have a look around their site to see how I could have updated such things, assuming I’m not locked out.

    If you haven’t notified your card provider of a change of employment or income, especially when it is a significant change as in leaving employment, then you’ve got your answer right there. The T&Cs have a requirement to do so, and credit providers are paranoid about, sometimes unwittingly, offering loan arrangements to people who cannot reasonably afford it, such as a large legacy credit limit based on full time employment and high personal income at the time, after suffering billions in fines and compensation claims. Any change in employment status and income essentially resets the credit evaluation / rating, and failing to notify, even without any ill motive, is a serious issue.

    The Urbanite 118 posts

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    🙂 That made me chuckle; I did game Tesco back in the £1 meals days but never have with credit cards.

    Someone’s just called saying that the CEO and the other Exec person I contacted have tasked them with the investigation, but I may not hear for 15 days.

    If I were still working full time then night shifts would be the ideal time for formulating appropriate challenges to Amex once I have it, thanks for sharing your story though, as I can think of one thing they’ve done so far which must be a privacy breach.

    A step in the right direction with the escalation. If nothing is untoward there might be a positive outcome.

    @The Urbanite – have you by any chance been with us longer than your 115 posts would suggest?!

    I’m barely a spring chicken in the points game, only started in 2013!

    Metty 79 posts


    If you haven’t notified your card provider of a change of employment or income, especially when it is a significant change as in leaving employment, then you’ve got your answer right there. The T&Cs have a requirement to do so, and credit providers are paranoid about.

    I can’t find this requirement in what I believe are ‘T&Cs’ in the Cardmember Agreement from Account management tab.


    @TMG
    above suggests it’s up to Amex to monitor me? In which case, since I retired in 2014, my overall financials haven’t really changed and I’m still paying my card off every month, but I’m being simplistic, I’m sure Amex have tentacles into my life.

    Richard Peters 172 posts

    Given this thread and the pending loss of a Directorship (min salary of £12K) but more than covered by increases in other income I phoned AE to advise and was told “we don’t have breakdown of income sources and if required will make occasional requests for income confirmation: thanks for letting us know that no material change in income and I will put a note on your file. Let’s hope that works when CH update!

    RTS 125 posts

    @Metty

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    I can’t remember the number of times I have been banned or had cards cancelled by Amex. Bottom line is I still have a account with them despite this.

    In my case I can’t really blame them – I didn’t do anything that broke the T&Cs as such (and I did examine them) but I did loads to up the points I was earning. It was child’s play to empty out the (exceptionally generous) credit limit in one fell swoop and reload, playing the referrals game, loading offers to each card via the URL, Curve, paying off the balance with gift cards and points earning credit cards and so on. I triggered multiple manual credit / financial reviews which meant the cards got suspended but I kept passing them. They would ask what I was spending so much on in supermarkets a month and I just said shopping, which wasn’t untrue.

    It is standard for them to give the 60 days notice and suspend the cards immediately. It doesn’t stop use of the other services that come from being a cardholder like insurance, lounge cards etc but if they don’t like anything about the way the cards are used, they can do that.

    The reason they couldn’t uphold the closures was for doing it improperly. There is a way to escalate complaints. Appealing on the basis of being a good, loyal customer won’t work because they already decided you’re an undesirable customer and want to terminate the relationship. Appealing on the basis of them doing something that breaches the terms or principles of fair treatment is more likely to get you somewhere, but you need to be read up on the rules and have a compelling argument.

    Loyalty doesn’t mean anything if they don’t want the custom, in a lot of areas you’re rewarded for the opposite if a company thinks it’s best to make a marginal amount out of you than nothing at all. If the product is bringing a benefit to you, as Amex tends to then the customer service can be overlooked. No point in cutting of your nose to spite your face.

    Good luck with it.

    Tf you could pay off amex with a GC ?!

    The Urbanite 118 posts

    @Metty

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    I can’t remember the number of times I have been banned or had cards cancelled by Amex. Bottom line is I still have a account with them despite this.

    In my case I can’t really blame them – I didn’t do anything that broke the T&Cs as such (and I did examine them) but I did loads to up the points I was earning. It was child’s play to empty out the (exceptionally generous) credit limit in one fell swoop and reload, playing the referrals game, loading offers to each card via the URL, Curve, paying off the balance with gift cards and points earning credit cards and so on. I triggered multiple manual credit / financial reviews which meant the cards got suspended but I kept passing them. They would ask what I was spending so much on in supermarkets a month and I just said shopping, which wasn’t untrue.

    It is standard for them to give the 60 days notice and suspend the cards immediately. It doesn’t stop use of the other services that come from being a cardholder like insurance, lounge cards etc but if they don’t like anything about the way the cards are used, they can do that.

    The reason they couldn’t uphold the closures was for doing it improperly. There is a way to escalate complaints. Appealing on the basis of being a good, loyal customer won’t work because they already decided you’re an undesirable customer and want to terminate the relationship. Appealing on the basis of them doing something that breaches the terms or principles of fair treatment is more likely to get you somewhere, but you need to be read up on the rules and have a compelling argument.

    Loyalty doesn’t mean anything if they don’t want the custom, in a lot of areas you’re rewarded for the opposite if a company thinks it’s best to make a marginal amount out of you than nothing at all. If the product is bringing a benefit to you, as Amex tends to then the customer service can be overlooked. No point in cutting of your nose to spite your face.

    Good luck with it.

    Tf you could pay off amex with a GC ?!

    There was a window when they accepted those grubby Pay.com £25 gift cards. Probably others too but normally the gift card providers block you from doing financial transactions as I suspect their business models rely on the cards not being completely emptied out.

    RTS 125 posts

    @Metty

    Sorry to hear this. I hope there will be a resolution or at least some closure in due course.

    I can’t remember the number of times I have been banned or had cards cancelled by Amex. Bottom line is I still have a account with them despite this.

    In my case I can’t really blame them – I didn’t do anything that broke the T&Cs as such (and I did examine them) but I did loads to up the points I was earning. It was child’s play to empty out the (exceptionally generous) credit limit in one fell swoop and reload, playing the referrals game, loading offers to each card via the URL, Curve, paying off the balance with gift cards and points earning credit cards and so on. I triggered multiple manual credit / financial reviews which meant the cards got suspended but I kept passing them. They would ask what I was spending so much on in supermarkets a month and I just said shopping, which wasn’t untrue.

    It is standard for them to give the 60 days notice and suspend the cards immediately. It doesn’t stop use of the other services that come from being a cardholder like insurance, lounge cards etc but if they don’t like anything about the way the cards are used, they can do that.

    The reason they couldn’t uphold the closures was for doing it improperly. There is a way to escalate complaints. Appealing on the basis of being a good, loyal customer won’t work because they already decided you’re an undesirable customer and want to terminate the relationship. Appealing on the basis of them doing something that breaches the terms or principles of fair treatment is more likely to get you somewhere, but you need to be read up on the rules and have a compelling argument.

    Loyalty doesn’t mean anything if they don’t want the custom, in a lot of areas you’re rewarded for the opposite if a company thinks it’s best to make a marginal amount out of you than nothing at all. If the product is bringing a benefit to you, as Amex tends to then the customer service can be overlooked. No point in cutting of your nose to spite your face.

    Good luck with it.

    Tf you could pay off amex with a GC ?!

    There was a window when they accepted those grubby Pay.com £25 gift cards. Probably others too but normally the gift card providers block you from doing financial transactions as I suspect their business models rely on the cards not being completely emptied out.

    Ah wasn’t there a £2.95 charge on those to load them?

    davidl 31 posts

    I feel amex have lost all persective and decency.

    Member since doesn’t seem to mean much.

    Card status, Centurion, Platinum or Gold and so on, counts for little.

    Chasing a small number of rention points or what ever, is small beer for the complete disregard for anything that seems moral or normal. Amex need to decide who they want as customers.

    I feel its awful after 30 years to be treated so badly.

    I was a member for 23 years. Got a weird letter from them and closed my account there and then.

  • 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.