"AMEX Does It Again"

Jet Blue Card from American Express Review
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Written by: igmont on 2009-09-14

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igmont's review: First- LOVE Jet Blue Airlines.

Second- my payment was due on a Sunday. It got there late. So I went from 13% to 27.24% as a penalty. Only options- pay the rate, pay off the card, or decline the rate, but cancel the card. I need the points I have on the card, so I am stuck paying it off.

Called their Customer Service, and AMEX, as usual, has their robots with ZERO ability to do anything for you recite the "You violated the terms so we are opting to raise the rate as per terms...". Google it and find hundreds of people got the same letter from Lawrence Sharnak, VP at AMEX.

Similar problem with my old Green card. Surprise, we lowered you credit line (AMEX with a credit limit?). While on a trip I found this out. Why? Well one reason I took out a auto loan with a company with a high default rate on their loans (Capital One!). SO, their issue with Cap One makes me the victim.

Avoid AMEX. Better yet, use their card and pay it off monthly. Get the rewards.

5 Comments

Comment 1 by mskiwi
Not Suprised on 2009-09-14

This is not meant to come across as rude, but in this current credit environment creditors are closely monitoring our behavior. Amex started the ball rolling with AA's, cld's and closures.

Your best bet is to stay current, pay well *before the due date and possibly wait another 6-12 months. They may just lower your apr.

My motto is never, ever be late.
Comment 2 by ashes
What Were You Expecting? on 2009-09-14

By being late you are adding fuel to fire. CC companies are already monitoring their customers like hawks and by being late you have given them an excuse to jack up the rates. I don't fault Am Ex in this instance. The climate for credit is extremely volatile and if you give CC companies any reason to be nervous, they will call you out on it. By being one day late, you were late. As MsKiwi said, the motto is "NEVER BE LATE." People with perfect credit and long payment on time histories are seeing their interest rates go up. Capital One raised my interest rate and I have never been late, never utlilized the card more than 5% and always PIF for 5+ years. By being late you are asking for it.
Comment 3 by colonative
Agreed on 2009-09-14

With MsKiwi and Ashes. Again, not to be harsh, but it is always wise to pay ahead of time. My last billing cycle with Amex had the new 25 days to pay (August) so they do give ample time to pay and their online payments are the quickest of any card that I have.

You have the right attitude though, use them for their rewards and never pay a dime of interest.
Comment 4 by wanderer
Jet Blue AMEX on 2009-09-19

GADS! The credit world sure isn't what it used to be. Lowering your credit line while you are out of town is legal but totally unfair. I always carry at least two credit cards with me when I travel one a Mastercard and one a Visa just in case..."... Don't leave home without it..."! Boy Scout motto: "... Always be prepared...". AMEX can go belly up as far as I am concerned. They are always more expensive to the vendor, fees and AF's higher and then they wonder where are loyalties at??? By the time the final parts of the new credit law are in place February 2010 I believe credit will be slow for awhile. Banks want time to survive the credit crunch and see how the consmers weather the storm. My Capital One Business Cards both went to 17.8% purchases and 24.9% Cash. I have had one account for eight years totally used it by the "terms and conditions" with a $10,600 CL and originally 7.9% purchases and 15.9% cash. They wonder why I may close the cards down? Then on top of it they are going to report the business cards to the personal credit bureaus in addition to the commerical bureaus! What's this?
Comment 5 by racerrandy
Similar Issue, Same Results on 2009-09-27

Don't feel like the "lone ranger." I too, received the dreaded letter saying that my interest rate had increased. My problem stems from the fact that I paid my AMEX CC balance online last month for the first time, well in advance of the due date. I thought that everything was fine, until I tried to use the card to pay for a client's dinner, and was told it was declined. I called AMEX to ask why and was told about the "late payment." The CSR said that two attempts had been made to submit the payment with my bank and both had been returned. A third request had been submitted and AMEX was awaiting the results.

I asked why someone didn't call and inform me of this issue BEFORE putting a hold on my account and was told by the CSR that "the Federal Government won't let us call and ask for money."

I got online and checked my banking information. I'd made a mistake in entering the bank account number that I was using to pay AMEX. I told the CSR of my problem and she said to make a payment online. I tried and the AMEX website wouldn't accept it as it said that I was current on my account. The CSR then said to give her the correct number and she'd enter the payment. I promptly gave the CSR the correct account number over the phone and paid the entire balance.

Received my current statement this week and it had a "returned check fee" and "interest" tacked on. I called AMEX back and was told by a supervisor that she understood the situation and would credit both charges.

Two days later, the "you made a mistake, so we're going to put it to you" letter arrived.

A call to the "hotline" didn't resolve a thing; they said "that's the policy, there's nothing we can do. Either opt in and accept the higher rate or opt out" which is what I am considering.

I pay my monthly statement in full, so the "penalty" APR won't impact me. What I find disconcerting is how AMEX had the "you need us more than we need you" attitude in dealing with the error.

The reason I have the AMEX card is the recent purchase of Northwest by Delta. And the change from the World Perks VISA to the AMEX Skymiles card. I travel a lot for business, use my card frequently, and thought that I would be valued as much by AMEX as I was by VISA.

Boy was I wrong...
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