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American Express: Backstabbers
Old 01-21-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
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American Express: Backstabbers

I got a solicitation from AMEX and agreed to do a 0% balance transfer from AMEX to another credit card. AMEX charged me $99 for the transfer and transferred the money to my other credit card. Done deal I thought.

After I make the first timely minimum monthly payment, AMEX demands me to give them a copy of my tax return or they will cancel my AMEX card and ask for immediate full payment of the remaining balance. I am definitely not giving them my tax return information for them to lose since it has way more information than is irrelevant to them yet very relevant if it ended up in the wrong hands.

The original application does not state I may be subject to this and I read through the fine print which also does not mention this transaction may be subject to me providing them a copy of my tax return AFTER they sent me the balance transfer.

Just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if what they are doing is legal.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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american express financial review?

seems to happen often enough....I havent had a problem with them, though by not bt'ing too high a percentage...you should be able to pay payments under the original terms, but they will simply cancel the account...
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
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What did they say was the reason for for requiring a copy of your return...outrageous. This is sensitive to me as I was just required to provide our return to my employer to verify dependent eligibility and it got me thinking about just who IS entitled to copies of our return. In the past, I have readily provided copies for mortgage app and hesitantly provided copies for FAFSA audit.....I think Im getting paranoid.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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I'd tell 'em to pound salt! But that's just me.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
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What did they say was the reason for for requiring a copy of your return...outrageous.
That's the weird part about all this. When I asked why they needed my entire federal tax return, they could only tell me that it was for "financial review." In fact, they wanted me to give them full rights via Form 4506-T which would not only give them the dollar amounts but would also give them all the detailed supporting documents including all my bank names, addresses, and bank account numbers. NO WAY am I going to give them access to all that information. What's more is that even if I agree to give them all this highly sensitive information, they may still close my account at their discretion.

My theory is that this is a legal scam they have developed to charge people $99 for a balance transfer and immediately close their account in about a month. On a $3,300 balance transfer, a 3% balance transfer would translate to a 36% (3% * 12) ROI for them.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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I'd tell 'em to pound salt! But that's just me.
I would too, but they already took my $99 for the balance transfer they did. If they had told me they needed all this information BEFORE they gave me the money, I would not have gone through with the deal.

Essentially, they sent me a letter asking me to do a BT, I said OK under the terms specified on the application (no mention of any "financial review" on the application), they sent the money, I made one payment, they sent a demand for highly sensitive financial information (that most people would not agree to give out) or the account would be closed immediately with full payment due.

I've done plenty of business deals in my life, but this one wreaks of fraud. Based on an earlier post, apparently this has been happening to a lot of other people too. I get the feeling I will be receiving a letter from a court in the next few years regarding a class action lawsuit regarding this matter.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by retire@40 View Post
I got a solicitation from AMEX and agreed to do a 0% balance transfer from AMEX to another credit card. AMEX charged me $99 for the transfer and transferred the money to my other credit card. Done deal I thought.

After I make the first timely minimum monthly payment, AMEX demands me to give them a copy of my tax return or they will cancel my AMEX card and ask for immediate full payment of the remaining balance. I am definitely not giving them my tax return information for them to lose since it has way more information than is irrelevant to them yet very relevant if it ended up in the wrong hands.

The original application does not state I may be subject to this and I read through the fine print which also does not mention this transaction may be subject to me providing them a copy of my tax return AFTER they sent me the balance transfer.

Just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if what they are doing is legal.
I don't know for sure, but it sounds like AMERPRISE needs some leads from the mother corp, and this is one way to do it. Maybe Dennis Hopper wants to meet you............
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:40 PM   #8
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I had a somewhat similar -- yet equally ugly -- experience with American Express recently. I've been a cardholder for more than 25 years, had green, gold and platinum cards through the years and transferred over to their Blue card about three years ago. Never a late payment, never any problems and I like their points program. Unlike the other cards which supposedly have no credit limit but carry an annual fee, the Blue Card has no annual fee but does have a credit limit...in my case it was more than $25K. More than enough for anything I'd ever want to purchase! All good, so far.

ABout six months ago, I too got an offer to do a balance transfer for 0% and since we were about to get some major renovations done on the house, I applied for and received a balance transfer of about $9,000 -- enough to cover the renovations and some other odds and ends on a couple of credit cards. My plan was to pay off this balance transfer early this year to avoid any additional fees.

Imagine my surprise around the holidays when I tried to use my AmEx card to buy an airline ticket and was refused (after all I still had lots and lots of available credit on the AmEx card.) When I called AmEx, they told me I had exceeded my credit line -- impossible, I replied! They then said that my available credit had been reduced to $1 more than the amount I transferred through their stupid 0% offer, in effect closing my account until I paid off the balance transfer.

No letter. No call. Just an embarassing surprise when I tried to use the card. When I complained about this, AmEx said that they were reviewing all their credit card holders and taking steps to try to identify any issues before they became problems down the road. Bull----!! I'll have the balance transfer paid off next month -- then it's adios AmEx, points program or no!
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:46 PM   #9
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Did you guys acutally get someone that speaks English to speak with. I've given up with AmEx, going to cancel my card this month after 25 years.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:55 PM   #10
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Yeah, the woman spoke English...I think she was even located in the U.S. When I challenged her about the lack of notice from them about this change, her response was "if you read your "contract" you'd know that we reserve the right to make changes at any time. Well, excuuuuuuussssseee me!
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:58 PM   #11
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Yeah, the woman spoke English...I think she was even located in the U.S. When I challenged her about the lack of notice from them about this change, her response was "if you read your "contract" you'd know that we reserve the right to make changes at any time. Well, excuuuuuuussssseee me!
And so do we, dumpum!
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:46 AM   #12
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See you later AMEX.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:00 AM   #13
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Glad I dumped AmEX two years ago because of their highly yearly fee. They are scum but probably no different than Bank of America which raised my interest rate secretly to 22% even though I have had that VISA card for about 15 years and have never had a late payment, and also have a really high FICO.

The only time I use credit cards anymore is to pay for travel. Otherwise I'm using my debit. If everyone would protest and stop using the cards, the banks would have to change their policies.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:06 AM   #14
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One possibility is to refuse to comply, ask for the $99 back, payoff the balance transfer and demand to speak to someone higher up until the $99 is refunded. Say that you relied on the terms of the offer when paying the $99 and now they are changing the terms so you are getting nothing for the $99 and want it back now.

Even if the "fine print" allows them to do financial review and demand payment in full if you don't comply, the timing is inappropriate and given that you paid $99 for certain benefits, you should either get the benefits or be refunded your $99.

Or at least that is what I would argue.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:17 AM   #15
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I don't have an Amex card. I've never understood the appeal of having a card that not everyone takes.

I did a 0% balance transfer to one a while back, and it worked fine, but they only transferred a portion of my request. My credit is very good, so the only reason I could see for them to limit my transfer is to limit the free money they were giving me. I paid it off and canceled the card with no issues.

On a positive note, my Chase Visa card called me because someone had tried to use it to make an suspicious internet purchase. They canceled my card and sent me a new one. It's nice to have them deal with it so quickly and cleanly.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:08 AM   #16
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On a positive note, my Chase Visa card called me because someone had tried to use it to make an suspicious internet purchase. They canceled my card and sent me a new one. It's nice to have them deal with it so quickly and cleanly.
My Chase VISA did the same thing. I have to say I've had it for 10 years and they have been great to deal with.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:33 AM   #17
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I don't have an Amex card. I've never understood the appeal of having a card that not everyone takes.

I did a 0% balance transfer to one a while back, and it worked fine, but they only transferred a portion of my request. My credit is very good, so the only reason I could see for them to limit my transfer is to limit the free money they were giving me. I paid it off and canceled the card with no issues.

On a positive note, my Chase Visa card called me because someone had tried to use it to make an suspicious internet purchase. They canceled my card and sent me a new one. It's nice to have them deal with it so quickly and cleanly.
Next month it will be ten years since I've had any kind of credit card (other than the obligatory U.S. Govt credit card that I am required to use for specific types of charges only, when I travel for work).

In ten years, I have never needed anything more than my debit card for anything or any reason, and I have never suffered any inconvenience due to not having a credit card. I don't plan to ever apply for one, for any reason. They just don't float my boat.

I don't have a mortgage, car loan, household loan, etc, either. What amazes me is that despite my lack of credit usage, my credit scores (the ones you get for free once a year), are all in the mid 800's. So much for the theories on what affects credit scores.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #18
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Next month it will be ten years since I've had any kind of credit card (other than the obligatory U.S. Govt credit card that I am required to use for specific types of charges only, when I travel for work).

In ten years, I have never needed anything more than my debit card for anything or any reason, and I have never suffered any inconvenience due to not having a credit card. I don't plan to ever apply for one, for any reason. They just don't float my boat.

I don't have a mortgage, car loan, household loan, etc, either. What amazes me is that despite my lack of credit usage, my credit scores (the ones you get for free once a year), are all in the mid 800's. So much for the theories on what affects credit scores.
wasn't it only recently that they let you rent cars and hotel rooms with a debit card?
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:53 AM   #19
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wasn't it only recently that they let you rent cars and hotel rooms with a debit card?
I dunno what "they" decided - - but in the real world, I have never had even the slightest hesitation from anyone in accepting my debit card for such purchases, or for anything else. Over the last decade my life has been much simpler and cheaper than it was when I had a wallet full of credit cards (and statements, and minimums by due dates, and fees, etc). Each to his/her own.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:04 AM   #20
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Capital One jacked my rate from 8.9% to 15.9%.I've been dealing with them for years,carry a low balance(that could be the reason) and have a fico score of 813.

They offer low rates to new customers,but screw the people that have kept them in business.

Welcome to Capital One!
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