Skip to comments.A (Very) Watchful Eye on Credit Card Spending
Posted on 02/02/2009 11:36:30 AM PST by Clairity
You probably know that credit card companies have been scrutinizing every charge on your account in recent years, searching for purchases that thieves may have made. Turns out, though, that some of the companies have been suspicious of you, too.
In recent months, American Express has gone far beyond simply checking your credit score and making sure you pay on time. The company has been looking at home prices in your area, the type of mortgage lender you're using and whether small-business card customers work in an industry under siege. It has also been looking at how you spend your money, searching for patterns or similarities to other customers who have trouble paying their bills.
In some instances, if it didn't like what it was seeing, the company has cut customer credit lines. It laid out this logic in letters that infuriated many of the cardholders who received them. "Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped," one of those letters said, "have a poor repayment history with American Express."
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
It's ridiculous to punish one customer for the problems of a "class of others", instead of looking at the individual credit and payment history of each customer.
later reading ping
It won’t be too far off: “Mr. Yokel, you ingest too much HFCS and alcohol. You have been reported to the National Health Agency.”
THank you, American Express (a subsidiary of NPR).
Regards, Mastercard (a subsidiary of your local government-owned bank)
I have heard that credit card companies stand to lose money for the first time ever. As soon as I can gather up some cash, I am going to offer to pay them 2/3 of my outstanding balance in a lump sum if they will take it. Of course it must be in writing first.
What they wanted to do was monitor the programs I watched and then sell that info to their advertisers. I never plugged it in, lol.
We’ve noticed a payment to a entity of governmental concern called Free Republic LLC. You have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security. You will be notified regarding which national emergency center to which you should report. After we have recieved the proper documentation we will make determination on you credit credit situation.
I have just paid our American Express Gold card down to zerO, and we won’t be using it any longer.
In 2006 I made $29,500 dollars worth of purchases on my card. That included eight months were out balance was $3,000 or more. In 2007 I made $25,000 dollars worth. That included two months with balances of $5,000 and $5,600 dollars. Several others were in excess of $3,000 and a few others over $2,000. Last year, I made about $3,250 dollars in purchases on my Gold Card all year.
The last three Christmases this company decided it was a good idea to limit my December purchases. Three fricken years and no payment made more than four days late. I paid the big balances on time. Once payment in that period of time was three days late. Two were one day late.
I am a 22 year client of American Express. They make their money off my purchases. They get a percentage off my purchases, and I get to float my purchases on their card.
When I have cash flow issues to contemplate, I want to know that I have a partner that is going to be there. Well, these three years A/E set a $1,000 dollar limit during the holidays. And when my balance was $900 on my November statement, they wouldn’t let me charge more than $100 until it was paid.
I hadn’t been late on a payment in over 18 months when that took place.
My wife and I decided it would be best to use our other cards. We can pay them off just as easily as we can the Gold Card.
Pretty smart move on American Expresses part. A few percent of $25,000 is a fair amount of money from one customer. They won’t be getting it off our account any longer.
My wife as a massive line on her business card. I wonder how American Express is going to like losing the percentages off that card.
A/E has become too smart by half.
AMEX definitely DOES look at individual credit and payment history of each customer. The standard AMEX card doesn’t carry any formal limit, and the real limit is constantly being adjusted based on all the factors AMEX can get hold of. Many years ago, I suddenly started making much bigger charges than I’d historically done (like single charges in amounts similar to what I’d historically charged over an entire year). The first one was actually airline tickets for a business trip that was going to be reimbursed. They didn’t block the charge when I made it, but did wisely give me a call soon afterwards just to inquire about 1) whether I’d actually made the purchase, and 2) what my current income was. As my charging patterns gradually rose much higher, and my payments remained timely, I never heard from AMEX again, and never had a charge blocked or questioned.
If somebody is charging payments to, for example, a sketchy multi-level marketing outfit (”just buy our $1000 start-up package, and you’ll soon be making $100,000 a year”), half of whose AMEX account holder customers had defaulted on their AMEX card payments within 6 months of making their first charge with the “merchant”, AMEX would be nuts not to scrutinize the account and reduce it if other factors weren’t impressive enough to offset the black mark.
I don't think that it sounds stupid or evil. I wouldn't want to loan money to somebody who appears to be spending it at adult establishments either and is apparently too stupid to realize he should be paying cash for items he doesn't want the wife to know about.
If ya take somone’s money, even on a loan with a promise to repay, ya ain’t got much to complain about if they’re checking up on your ability to repay it.
Irresponsible use of credit is what got us into this mess...now we’re going to complain when the finance company is trying to keep ahead of the game and restrict their losses?
If the American Express customers don’t like it, I suppose they could use their Visa or Mastercard.
Sometimes I really don’t get all the fuss.
“Furthermore, we’ve been tracking your online purchases and note that kind of books you’re ordering at Amazon.”
That’s why Cletus uses cash for his “video” purchases! Hahahaha.
Insurance companies are doing the same thing as well.
“Weve noticed a payment to a entity of governmental concern called Free Republic LLC. You have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security. You will be notified regarding which national emergency center to which you should report.”
Bring only what you can carry. Dress warmly and be sure to bring a shovel.
Weve noticed a payment to a entity of governmental concern called Free Republic LLC. You have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security. You will be notified regarding which national emergency center to which you should report. After we have recieved the proper documentation we will make determination on you credit credit situation.”
I donate to Jim and FR only by cash. I can only send a small amount, and I don’t need my checking account or my credit cards showing that, either.
Even when I win the Lottery, I will do LOTS of CASH purchases. It’s no one’s business how I spend my money, and it most certainly isn’t information that some snot-nosed Liberal educated punk needs to be examining to determine MY credit worthiness.
Most of the last 25 years crops of “students” couldn’t pour pee out of a boot if the directions were written on the bottom of the heel.
22 years is a heck of a plus on your credit scores. Depending on other factors, canceling the card could cost you valuable points. You should consider keeping it with just token balances.
You can blame "data mining" for these sorts of activities, that is, where huge databases are subjected to very esoteric statistical analyses to spot future trends. One of the prime culprits/beneficiaries is SAS. If this practice is curtailed in the future, that could negatively impact SAS, possibly leading to layoffs at the software firm.
It was also to enable you to order pay per view movies. We had DISH too, but had already switched to an internet phone provider. They wanted us to fork out an extra $5.00 per month if we DIDN'T hook their receiver to our phone, so we agreed. The trouble was that their receivers were technically incompatible with internet phones so it didn't work. It took us months to convince them of this and rebate all those $5.00 charges because their tech staff didn't even know that. It also cost them three separate service calls (on their nickel) before they finally gave up and refunded our money.
I never had a credit card in my life(I’m 50). I use my debit card with a VISA logo for most purchases. I guess I am old fashion. I feel if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. You can rent a car if you travel with the debit card. They charge between 200 and 400 dollars deposit that is returned to your checking account when the car is returned.
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