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Don't Leave Home; Your Credit Card is on Hold
msnbc.com ^ | March. 8, 2009 | Joel Grover

Posted on 03/09/2009 4:50:01 AM PDT by christx30

If you have an American Express card, beware: your card could be put on hold at any moment, even if you think you've made all your payments on time. That means, you won't be able to charge anything on your Amex card.

That's exactly what happened to Cathy Jones, a businesswoman with three Amex charge cards. She got a call from Amex last week saying her cards were now on hold, while the company did a financial investigation to make sure she could pay her bills.

Jones was baffled. She's been an Amex cardholder since 1989 and can't remember being late on a payment. So, to get some answers, Jones and I got on the phone, and called the customer service number on the back of her card.

An Amex representative in New Delhi, India, said because of the bad economic times, American Express is now doing financial investigations of thousands of cardholders. The rep said Amex is insisting these customers fill out an IRS form 4506-T, authorizing the company to get their tax returns for the last three years. The rep told us if Jones didn't fill out the IRS form, they'd cancel her charge cards for good, within five days. And here's the part that concerned Cathy Jones: The rep said these "investigations" were being done, not in the US, but in India.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: americanexpress; amex; credit; creditcards; debt; economy
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Wow... why would anyone use AmEx now that they are doing this stuff?
1 posted on 03/09/2009 4:50:01 AM PDT by christx30
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To: christx30
re: An Amex representative in New Delhi, India

Say no more.

It would certainly help to would bring back all of positions sent ‘over there’ during the now-departed times of ‘full employment’.

2 posted on 03/09/2009 4:54:20 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: christx30

Looks like AmEx is going the way of the other decrepit credit card companies.


3 posted on 03/09/2009 4:55:32 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: christx30
Incredible. Are they trying to go out of business? What could be the justification for such a massive piece of stupidity? You'd think they'd want paying customers like this.
4 posted on 03/09/2009 4:55:57 AM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama!)
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To: christx30

That’s it. I am done with American Express.

Except perhaps to short their stock.


5 posted on 03/09/2009 4:56:49 AM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahweh Yahushua Family Country)
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To: christx30

My husband has NO choice. The corporation he works for has all their employee expense cards through American Express.


6 posted on 03/09/2009 5:00:34 AM PDT by GWMcClintock ("When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Ps. 11:3)
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To: christx30

I guess American Express should consider a new name.

Orient Express?


7 posted on 03/09/2009 5:02:16 AM PDT by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: GWMcClintock
My husband has NO choice. The corporation he works for has all their employee expense cards through American Express.

Same here. We haven't received notice of this though. Have you?

8 posted on 03/09/2009 5:05:23 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: christx30

Typical drive-by posters...don’t know a damned thing.

It it were your own money you were lending, wouldn’t you want to find out ways to ‘stop the bleeding’...stop losing money to all the small businesses going bankrupt?

I know several people that had high credit ratings and in six months they were filing bankruptcy.

Bad stuff happens.....and sometimes it happens quickly.
It’s smart business sense to reevaluate the risks.


9 posted on 03/09/2009 5:05:37 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: DCPatriot
I know several people that had high credit ratings and in six months they were filing bankruptcy.

Then how are tax returns from 3 years ago going to help?

10 posted on 03/09/2009 5:07:57 AM PDT by Sloth (The tree of liberty desperately needs watering.)
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To: DCPatriot
Bad stuff happens.....and sometimes it happens quickly. It's smart business sense to reevaluate the risks.

How does looking at a 3 year old tax return help?

11 posted on 03/09/2009 5:08:48 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: Sloth

Ok, I least I didn’t post 3 years after you did!


12 posted on 03/09/2009 5:09:33 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: christx30

RE “Wow... why would anyone use AmEx now that they are doing this stuff?”

I love my Chase card dont have AmEx but she may have other credit problems not mentioned like cable bill .


13 posted on 03/09/2009 5:13:10 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Keynesian Eco 101 : "If you won't spend your money WE WILL, and your kid's too!")
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To: christx30

It’s called unsecured debt.


14 posted on 03/09/2009 5:14:53 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Keynesian Eco 101 : "If you won't spend your money WE WILL, and your kid's too!")
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To: christx30
Total BS... been carrying a card since 1978... have a Platinum now... never a problem... always sided with me on the few disputes that I ever had... and I am happy if they make certain that their customers can pay their bill... maybe I have had no problems due to the fact that since 1978... I have NEVER filed to pay off the balance before the due date! Total BS. I'll just bet this person was "kiting" her accounts and got caught... no one has three Amex cards... unless something is very strange!

LLS

15 posted on 03/09/2009 5:15:14 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my president... NEVER!)
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To: Sloth
Then how are tax returns from 3 years ago going to help?

Because it provides a good composite of how much of the person/company's gross income...which is always used in applications...is being written down on the Schedule C.

16 posted on 03/09/2009 5:15:41 AM PDT by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon))
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To: jwparkerjr

Send copies of tax returns to New Delhi... yeah, okeydokey.

Amex can certainly tighten up their credit review if they wish. If asked for my tax returns, I think I will instead send back my Amex blue card. I’ll send it to New Dehli wrapped in presents from New York courtesy of my cat’s litterbox.


17 posted on 03/09/2009 5:16:48 AM PDT by Made In The USA (Liberalism is a sign of stupidity.)
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To: beaversmom

The AmEx card I have is also a corporate card and we’re forced to use it by the company in order to be reimbursed.

I’ve not received notice of any of this, but I sent the link to my upper management to see what they have to say about it. The company employs just shy of 50,000 people so hopefully if this is being done they can stomp on it for us.


18 posted on 03/09/2009 5:18:44 AM PDT by leapfrog0202
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To: christx30

If it were me:

“I have no intention of sending MY tax information to India.
This sound more like an attempt to extort identity theft.
If AmEx believes this is a good business practice, then it’s important for me to tell them otherwise.
The only prudent action is for me to cancel all 3 account immediately!


19 posted on 03/09/2009 5:20:41 AM PDT by G Larry (Obama's plan = "STEALING FROM THOSE WHO CREATE THE JOBS!")
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To: GWMcClintock

He should contact Corporate HQ and let them know there may be an attempt to extort ID theft and the company needs to change contracts!


20 posted on 03/09/2009 5:22:43 AM PDT by G Larry (Obama's plan = "STEALING FROM THOSE WHO CREATE THE JOBS!")
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
Looks like AmEx is going the way of the other decrepit credit card companies.

Didn't you get them memo? They're now a bank so that they can get their fair share at the TARP trough/window. They then lend that cheap money out to chumps who pay them for the privledge and then gouge merchants who accept their plastic. Folks have been paying attention and paying them down.....they're stuck with lots of dead wood now

Watch for them to take another dip this week.

21 posted on 03/09/2009 5:23:11 AM PDT by ninonitti
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To: christx30

That’s exactly what happened to Cathy Jones, a businesswoman with “”three Amex charge cards””. She got a call from Amex last week saying her cards were now on hold, while the company did a financial investigation to make sure she could pay her bills.

Simple “red flag” 3 AMEX cards...no reason for that. If I was AMEX I would want to talk to her also. I would bet that they have been sending her information that she has not responded to.

100 to 1 there is more to this than has been reported


22 posted on 03/09/2009 5:23:22 AM PDT by BubbaJunebug (s)
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To: christx30

I’ve heard of a couple of people with excellent driving records losing their auto insurance as well. Companies are actively shedding risk.


23 posted on 03/09/2009 5:23:42 AM PDT by IamConservative (I'll keep my money. You keep the change.)
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To: GWMcClintock

Corporate HQ needs to tell AmEx that the corporation stands behind the accounts and if that’s not good enough the corporation will change accounts!


24 posted on 03/09/2009 5:24:18 AM PDT by G Larry (Obama's plan = "STEALING FROM THOSE WHO CREATE THE JOBS!")
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To: LibLieSlayer
Yeah...I call BS on this story also. I've carries an Amex since 1974 and paid when due ever since. Never a problem. Also had a Diners Club since '72. Went thru a long spell of not using it; but now that's a good one to have. Never a problem;especially with cash advances at hotels.
The 3 Amex cards is the key here. I've had 1-bidness card and 1-personal card...but with the three in the story...my money says she kiting herasccounts for every cent and getting ready to do a bankruptcy. Sounds like due diligence on Amexs' part.
25 posted on 03/09/2009 5:24:52 AM PDT by Tainan (Where's my FOF Indicator?)
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To: GWMcClintock
"My husband has NO choice. The corporation he works for has all their employee expense cards through American Express."

He still has a choice, it just may not be a very likable one, or one you would ever want to have to consider.

For myself, personally, I would never be the one to take the risk of having to pay the business expenses of the company I work for. Since I would never have an AmEx card in my name (especially not for a company I didn't own) I would be left with the choice of looking for different work.

26 posted on 03/09/2009 5:26:52 AM PDT by Pablo64 (Political Correctness is a DISEASE. <==> TRUTH is the CURE.)
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To: BubbaJunebug

Well Mr. “no reason for that”, try this one percent possibility:

Husband has a Corporate AmEx Card,
Wife has Corporate AmEx Card,
Couple has private AmEx account.


27 posted on 03/09/2009 5:27:45 AM PDT by G Larry (Obama's plan = "STEALING FROM THOSE WHO CREATE THE JOBS!")
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To: christx30

I’ll bet $10 this woman has high balances and is making minimum monthly payments to get this kind of attention from AmEx. They wouldn’t shoot themselves by hitting just “anyone” with demands for tax returns.


28 posted on 03/09/2009 5:36:26 AM PDT by mikey_hates_everything
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To: LibLieSlayer

The original article should’ve read “legitimate businesswomen”. :)


29 posted on 03/09/2009 5:38:15 AM PDT by ClaudiusI
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To: christx30

Many years ago an AmEx representative said of me “We don’t want his kind.” The shopkeeper wasn’t supposed to repeat that to me, but it made him so mad that he did.

As my income rose in later years, they started sending applications. Keeping in mind their earlier gaffe, I never even opened them...

P.


30 posted on 03/09/2009 5:38:34 AM PDT by Peet (<- A.K.A. the Foundling)
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To: Sloth

Very good point


31 posted on 03/09/2009 5:39:12 AM PDT by listenhillary (Rahm Emmanuel slip - A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: DCPatriot
It it were your own money you were lending, wouldn’t you want to find out ways to ‘stop the bleeding’...stop losing money to all the small businesses going bankrupt?

My thought is that if you are concerned enough about a customer, or know so little about them, that you find it necessary to have them send their private tax information to India........you probably shouldn't lend to them in the first place.
32 posted on 03/09/2009 5:40:21 AM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: christx30

There ought to be a law that forbids companies from sending private information to foriegn countries. We do not have the ability to be represented by our laws under which the contract was signed so we have no contractual recourse.

Perhaps all AmEx shoudl sue them for violation of privacy.


33 posted on 03/09/2009 5:40:46 AM PDT by CodeToad (Liberalism is Communism, and both are a mental disorder. Grow up.)
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To: ottbmare

There is a reason Blackrock, the investment arm of Amex is among the worst returns of the investment houses.

I think it should be prohibited to outsource offshore such financial data.


34 posted on 03/09/2009 5:46:49 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: christx30

Me. And when I call, I get someone that speaks clear English within 1 button press.

Definitely love my Amex.


35 posted on 03/09/2009 5:47:42 AM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: mikey_hates_everything
I’ll bet $10 this woman has high balances and is making minimum monthly payments to get this kind of attention from AmEx.

The article says that she has three Amex charge cards. Charge cards have to be paid in full each month. Amex has recently allowed some large purchases to be paid over time, but for the majority of purchases, it must be paid in full at the end of each month.

36 posted on 03/09/2009 5:55:32 AM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: G Larry

Well Mr. “no reason for that”, try this one percent possibility:

Husband has a Corporate AmEx Card,
Wife has Corporate AmEx Card,
Couple has private AmEx account.

Well lets see. I have my personal AMEX as does my wife. I also use a corp AMEX card. The key is there are never any balances, never past due. I have only had one instance of a hold and it was on a trip recently where I was in China, Malaysia and Vietnam in the span of 20 hours....it raised a red flag with AMEX...which quite frankly I’m glad it did. I got a “stop” as I was making a purchase...got on the phone with them and it cleared in 5 minutes.

I stand by my earlier comment...more than meets they eye here.


37 posted on 03/09/2009 5:59:09 AM PDT by BubbaJunebug (s)
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To: BubbaJunebug

I am a small business owner and I have 3 Amex cards. One for myself and 2 for my employees. My company (ME!) is responsible for making the payment on all of them. So it is possible to have 3 cards and not be scamming.

And Amex decided to apply a limit on my cards without any prior notice. In fact, I was traveling on business so I was really “thrilled” by their action. I had to provide information not as detailed as was requested for Ms Jones. But then again my balances are usually less than $1000 at any given time.

While I understand the need for companies to manage their risk prudently, the recent abrupt actions are causing Amex more reputional risk than they realized.

In lending for the self-employed it is not uncommon for the lender to require 3 years of tax returns to verify income and cash flows.


38 posted on 03/09/2009 5:59:51 AM PDT by DieNarrin (Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity!)
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To: LibLieSlayer

I’m with you on this. Why did she have three cards?
If AMEX has to absorb consumer bad debt, they’ll just pass along the cost to the merchants and then fewer will accept the card.

Also, as a worker, whose total family income is reportable and subject to tax law, I don’t mind if folks with non-reportable income are now being scrutinized more carefully. AMERX is extending you credit; they have a responsibility to their stockholders and other customers to ensure that you will be able to pay it back

The fact that they farm their customer service out to India is irritating, but I think that American unions have just priced themselves out of the market. I’ve had good and bad results with customer service abroad; same as with domestic workers. If the language skills are good, sometimes you just don’t know where you are talking to. The other day I had an Australian living in Costa Rica answering the phone. As long as they do their job well and resolve my issue, I don’t care; I don’t have a personal relationship with these people.

I am annoyed that my employer has farmed out the phone call center responsibilities to a (domestic) company. I thought that the personal touch was one of our strong points. I suppose that if they found a foreign company that was cheaper they would send the job abroad too. Once you lose the personal touch with your students, do you really care if the call is answered by someone in Texas or Delhi?


39 posted on 03/09/2009 6:00:42 AM PDT by YankeeGirl
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To: christx30
I had an Amex corporate card a number of years ago when my employer forced me to charge business-travel expenses on it. (That contract was allowed to expire when so many people complained about the card's less-than-universal acceptance.)

I've never understood why anyone would want the standard, high-annual-fee Amex personal card. Most of the no-fee Visa and MC cards have virtually unlimited charge limits, cash-back or other rewards programs, and convenient year-end accounting statements. Plus, many of the places we go don't accept Amex cards because of the relatively high fees Amex charges merchants. I have a number of friends that have the Delta Airlines Amex card for the FF points, but, given the difficulty of using points and the implicit exchange rate, I'd rather have cold, hard cash back. Many years ago, there used to be some comfort in carrying an Amex card when traveling abroad, but that hasn't been an important issue for about 20 years.

40 posted on 03/09/2009 6:13:11 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: christx30

VERY POOR Public Relations move by AMEX, no matter how justified by market conditions.


41 posted on 03/09/2009 6:18:40 AM PDT by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: christx30

If this happens to me, (I’ve had AMEX since the late 80s, too) they will lose my business.


42 posted on 03/09/2009 6:19:52 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: christx30

Sounds like a scam.


43 posted on 03/09/2009 6:22:01 AM PDT by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
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To: DCPatriot
It’s smart business sense to reevaluate the risks.

No argument there, but it will be a cold day in H$ll before I send them 3 years of tax returns so they can "review" them. There is a lot more info on a tax return than simply gross income. And none of it is any of their business.

44 posted on 03/09/2009 6:39:54 AM PDT by lafroste (gravity is not a force. See my profile to read my novel absolutely free (I know, beyond shameless))
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To: Tainan
It is amazing how ignorant Americans are about business.

LLS

45 posted on 03/09/2009 6:45:26 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my president... NEVER!)
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To: ClaudiusI

Hee hee!

LLS


46 posted on 03/09/2009 6:48:56 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my president... NEVER!)
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To: christx30

I’m so glad to see this post ...just 5 minutes ago I did a search for ‘HSBC reducing the available credit on it’s credit cards’.

Out of the blue and as ‘strictly a business decision’ they reduced my card from 6k to $790. which is nothing.

With that amount we can’t even buy plane tickets over the net...

...we always payed up at the end of the month and it was so convenient using the card as opposed to cash.

Now I’ll book mark this page maybe I’ll find some options.


47 posted on 03/09/2009 6:54:51 AM PDT by exPBRrat
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To: christx30

I had an Amex for several years, and eventually, like with my other cards, I got in too deep with it. (Little-known fact, you *can* actually charge over time on normal Amex cards for large purchases. We had to do it for a $3000 repair to my pickup when it stranded my wife in Atlanta.)

I went into a credit counseling program that worked with my creditors to put me on payment schedules and lower my interest rates. All my other card companies—Citi, Bank of America, Chase—were fine with it. Amex told the counseling service “eff you,” cranked my interest rate to 31%, and sold my account to a bottom-feeding collection agency.

The best part? I worked out a crippling payment with the collections agency and got the balance paid off. With the last payment, the guy said, “Now that you’ve got the balance paid, American Express is going to be sending you an offer to open another card account.” Yeah, RIGHT. I’ve learned my lesson. Membership may have its privileges, but they’re on a mighty short leash.

}:-)4


48 posted on 03/09/2009 7:09:29 AM PDT by Moose4 (Hey RNC. Don't move toward the middle. MOVE THE MIDDLE TOWARD YOU.)
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To: exPBRrat

That’s why they reduced your limit—because you never carried a balance. Credit card companies HATE you. You make them no money. I’ve worked off and on in the IT side of the industry for several years, and this is the kind of stuff you hear from inside the companies. Credit card companies make their money off idiots like me who ran their balances up and then could only afford to make minimum payments (if that) while getting pounded with fees and high interest rates. A smart person like you, who prudently uses their card and pays it off every month, doesn’t produce a profit. So they look for ways to marginalize you.

}:-)4


49 posted on 03/09/2009 7:14:18 AM PDT by Moose4 (Hey RNC. Don't move toward the middle. MOVE THE MIDDLE TOWARD YOU.)
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To: YankeeGirl

The number on the back of my card rings Customer Service in Atlanta... I think. I have always gotten an American to help me when I have had reason to call.

LLS


50 posted on 03/09/2009 7:20:33 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my president... NEVER!)
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