I Spend More Than $2M a Year With American Express and They Closed My Cards

Question:

Dear Steve,

I’ve been an Amex customer for ten years and have five accounts. I spend over $1M each year, closer to $2M on average, and out of the blue, all accounts closed. No missed payments or anything like that. I pay the balances in full each month.

I was told it “was a business decision,” and I can’t get anything else from anyone. They send me mailers and emails weekly to open more cards, carry a balance, and I get calls from personal reps. Now I’m ghosted.

Ryan

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Answer:

Dear Ryan,

You are not alone in having your cards canceled. I’ve received many similar questions from people who had the same experience.

It would be a tragedy if your self-esteem and self-worth were somehow entangled in carrying an American Express card. It is nothing more than a piece of plastic or metal that allows you access to a financial product or tool to make transactions. Sure, you might have had some perks, but many other cards have great bonuses.

If I can drag you ten steps back, hopefully, I can show you that American Express makes it very clear they reserve the right to cancel any card, at any time, for any reason.

It’s not you; it’s them.

It’s like the kid we all played with as a child that brought his football and then decided to go home and take his ball even though the rest of us were still playing. American Express took their ball and went home.

The AMEX credit card agreement says:

When anyone is granted an American Express card, it is because the creditor made a business decision they could make money from you if they gave you a card.

This decision was based on a risk versus reward calculation. However, there is no doubt it sounds like you’ve been a good and active customer all these years.

American Express is free to change its business calculation and protect profit loss exposure by canceling cards. As I said, it’s their ball. They took it home.

You can beg and plead for American Express to reconsider its decision. However, don’t be surprised to learn they will charge you fees to open a new card, and you will most likely lost any reward points you had on your old cards.

I’m less surprised by AMEX closing your accounts than I am it doesn’t happen more often. After all, the American Express cardholder agreement fine print says, “We may:

  • cancel your Account,
  • suspend the ability to make charges,
  • cancel or suspend any feature on your Account, and
  • notify merchants that your Account has been canceled or suspended.

If we do any of these, you must still pay us for all charges under the terms of this Agreement.

We may do any of these things at our discretion, even if you pay on time and your Account is not in default.

It’s time to find a new creditor and hunt for a new card that will reward you with perks and benefits for being a current cardholder.

You’ve now joined the growing club of people who used to be American Express cardholders. Unfortunately, you are not the first person this has happened to, and you damn sure won’t be the last.

Sincerely,

You are not alone. I’m here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don’t give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach