American Express is One Day Away From Cancelling Your AmEx Card

People are getting a little pissed off that their American Express cards are getting canceled without notice. It is a shocker to be a proud card-carrying AmEx customer only to get the mail one day and find out your card is now closed.

“They can’t do that to me. I’ve been a loyal customer for years,” people say.

But here is the truth. Not only can American Express cancel your card without notice, but you must destroy your cards.

To rub salt into the wound, AmEx might even tell other people your card has been canceled and yanked from you.

A Deep AmEx Cancelled Card Dive

When I heard about American Express canceling cards, I went to the best reliable information source on this issue.

There is no better place to look for the truth than in the client agreement with the credit card.

And according to the cardmember agreement, you might have always paid your card in full, never been late on a payment, and have never had an issue with AmEx but yet still have your card canceled.

So here is exactly what the American Express Green Card cardholder agreement says.

Cancelling or suspending your Account

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 cancelled 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.

If your Account is cancelled, you must destroy your cards.” – Source

Why Would American Express Cancel My Card?

Ultimately American Express doesn’t need to give you any reason or justification for canceling your card and account. I’m not aware that they even have to give you any notice. Every American Express cardholder is actually a day away from a cancellation or a credit limit reduction.

But let’s just assume that you’ve never missed a payment or been late on your account. Here are some reasons they may close your account:

  • You are not using your card enough, and it’s not generating revenue for American Express.
  • Activity on your other accounts may have triggered a closure because it triggered a computer-generated risk flag.
  • Your credit score dropped.
  • AmEx changed their account qualification risk analysis.
  • They no longer are in that affinity card account business anymore.
  • Your payment was returned by your bank and refused for ANY reason.
  • Your spending pattern shows some risky behavior that caused an account alert.
  • Something in your demographics might have triggered an account warning. This might include a job loss, pandemic, occupation, relocation, or some other demographic shift.
  • Your account shows a lot of suspicious behavior like unusual returns or frequently running up against the card limit.
  • My favorite reason is if the card hasn’t been used for the intended purpose.

American Express Really Does Cancels Cards Without Notice

Here is what people have shared:

  • Recently, I’ve had two American Express Platinum Cards Cancelled without any notice, via mail, email, etc. I’ve been a member in good standing for over 20 years.” “When I made our last payment, approximately {$5000.00}, it was returned NSF as I had transferred the funds to our new bank.” – Source
  • I have had four American Express cards for two years now with an impeccable record with no late or returned payments. This month, two payments were made erroneously to an old bank account on file, which was no longer open. I contacted AMEX to cancel the payment, and they didn’t, this resulted in a returned payment. On XX/XX/20, my cards were closed due to the single returned payment even after explaining the issue and having it notated on my account.” – Source
  • After paying as described above, I logged back into Amex app on Saturday XXXX XXXX, 2020 and then all of a sudden, to my shock and disbelief after being a loyal customer for 10 years, it shows both accounts are cancelled. At this point, my XXXX XXXX and XXXX went through the roof as I was livid. After spending many hours on the phone with Amex reps in Mexico and finally the United States, I finally reached a stateside manager, after you had to move the Earth to speak with anyone in management, who said all they can do is forward this on to the credit department, but that was all they could do for me.” – Source
  • American Express Credit Card Company closed all my 5 credit cards ( 3 biz card + 2 personal card ) suddenly without any inquiry or conversation with me. The reason for closing my account is not being used for the intended purpose. I called them multiple times to figure out what is not being used for the intended purpose. They never gave me a clear answer. My personal guess is because that I carried high balance ( over XXXX ) at that moment as my business does have a temporary need for credit at that moment. They may have a concern that I have trouble to pay the balance down.” – Source
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So you see, it really does happen, and the people that filed the reports above certainly felt it was unwarranted. I’d be agitated as well.

If you want to read more actual consumer complaints about American Express card cancellations, click here.

All Your Membership Rewards Points Will Vanish – Poof

If American Express cancels your card, you should be mentally prepared that every single reward point you had accumulated will be erased or “forfeited,” as American Express politely says.

AmEx says, “If we cancel any of your enrolled Card Accounts for any
reason (including your death, insolvency or bankruptcy), you’ll lose all the points in your Rewards Account.”

The exceptions to this are if you die, the card is closed for inactivity, or the closure was a mistake. – Source

Which AmEx Cards Can be Cancelled Without Notice?

So let’s see how many other American Express cards they can take from you for no reason that you know of. I’m just going to keep track as I read through cardmember agreements.

Card NameCancelable
American Express® Gold CardCan be canceled without notice.
American Express® Green CardCan be canceled without notice.
Platinum Card® from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
The Platinum Card® from American Express for Goldman SachsCan be canceled without notice.
The Platinum Card® from American Express exclusively for Morgan StanleyCan be canceled without notice.
The Platinum Card® from American Express for Charles SchwabCan be canceled without notice.
Centurion® Card from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
American Express Cash Magnet® CardCan be canceled without notice.
Amex EveryDay® Credit CardCan be canceled without notice.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit CardCan be canceled without notice.
Blue from American Express®Can be canceled without notice.
Blue Cash Everyday® from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
Blue Cash Preferred® from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
Delta Skymiles® Blue American Express CardCan be canceled without notice.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardCan be canceled without notice.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum
American Express Card
Can be canceled without notice.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express CardCan be canceled without notice.
Hilton Honors American Express CardCan be canceled without notice.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardCan be canceled without notice.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardCan be canceled without notice.
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® CardCan be canceled without notice.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardCan be canceled without notice.
Morgan Stanley Credit Card from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
The Charles Schwab Investor Credit Card® from American ExpressCan be canceled without notice.
Optima® Credit CardCan be canceled without notice.
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I don’t want to have all the fun, so feel free to read through all the card terms and conditions like I did to confirm your card rules.

What You Can Do if You AmEx Card is Cancelled

I suppose the teachable moment is that all credit cards can be canceled at any time. As a cardholder, you have the privilege of using the credit card as long as the creditor allows you to.

You don’t own the card. It’s not yours, and creditors can demand the actual card back.

Step 1 – Contact Customer Service

You can reach out to American Express customer service using the telephone number on the back of your card. You can even log in to your American Express account and see other contact points like chat or email.

Step 2 – Figure Out the Mystery

I understand why your tensions and emotions would ratchet way up if your card was canceled. It’s infuriating. But the customer service person is not responsible for the cancelation. Rather than be pissed at them, try to make them your friend and advocate on your behalf.

It is far better to be polite and ask for help to understand why your card was canceled than it is to rage at them. You want to hunt down the specific reason and determine if it was an error or mistake. It does happen.

Step 3 – Is There a Resolution Available?

Once we know exactly what triggered the card’s closure, you can see what options might be available.

In the case of a payment issued accidentally from a closed bank account, American Express has been known to listen to the explanation. The key, though, is it must have been a rare event, and you don’t have a history of bounced payments.

One consumer reported that American Express did a three-way call with the bank to confirm the funds were available in a different account. The payment was accidentally issued from the wrong account by the cardholder.

Step 4 – Escalate

If you feel like you are still not making any progress on getting your account reinstated, ask to have your issue addressed by a manager. Again, be polite. But moving up the customer service chain has helped others get their cards back in limited cases.

Step 5 – Be Willing to Pay

There is absolutely no guarantee that American Express will reopen a canceled account, and even if they do, you will be subject to the following terms.

“We may agree to reinstate your Account after a cancellation. If we do this, we may:

  • reinstate any additional cards issued on your Account,
  • charge you any applicable annual fees, and
  • charge you a fee for reinstating the Account.” – Source

Step 6 – Get Your Reward Points Back

If you are successful in getting your account reinstated, you can attempt to get your deleted reward points back. But you may have to pay. In the case of losing points to a late payment, American Express says, “You can get forfeited points but first, you must pay the amounts due on your Card Account or Accounts. Then, you must request those points from us and pay a $35 fee for each billing period, and each Card Account, for which you requested the points. You must request the points within 12 months after the billing period for which you didn’t get them.” – Source

Ask Me for Some Help

If you’ve had an issue with American Express closing your account and you’d like me to investigate the issue, just ask me your question here.

Steve Rhode

2 thoughts on “American Express is One Day Away From Cancelling Your AmEx Card”

  1. Paid my bill every month no missed payments for 6 years and paid my balance off then came the axe right after I paid off every thing

    Reply

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