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Old May 12, 11, 7:13 pm   #1
 
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Have been denied AMEX gift card purchase for months, any suggestion?

I used to buy AMEX gift cards through BC to get both cash back and points with my AMEX S.P.G cards. However, all my credit cards (visa/master/amex) and visa gift cards got declined for "verification issue" since a few months ago, even when I placed order after I log into my AMEX account. I called AMEX gift card and the supervisors at Salk Late City had no idea what was wrong. They could see all my declined orders (I guess they track the billing address?). They only suggested me to buy the gift cards from local AMEX centers (of course without the cash back and fee waiver), and couldn't solve the problem.
Did any of you have such problem and got it solved? Suggestion is greatly appreciated.
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Old May 13, 11, 4:07 am   #2
 
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the supervisors at Salk Late City .
s/b Salt Lake City?
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Old May 13, 11, 11:37 am   #3
 
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What is "bc" for cash back?

Do you need to spend the gift cards or ca n you withdraw from an ATM for a free?

You say declined for "verification"?

What exactly are you buying?

Is it coins from the US mint?
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Old May 13, 11, 11:57 am   #4
 
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What is "bc" for cash back?

Do you need to spend the gift cards or ca n you withdraw from an ATM for a free?

You say declined for "verification"?

What exactly are you buying?

Is it coins from the US mint?
bc = Big Crumbs

He may have violated the $5,000 Gift Card limit?
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Old May 13, 11, 12:27 pm   #5
 
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I never violated the 5K gift card limit.
I used the AMEX gift cards to buy coins about a year ago and then I used the AMEX gift cards in COSTCO mostly.
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Old May 13, 11, 1:08 pm   #6
 
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I never violated the 5K gift card limit.
I used the AMEX gift cards to buy coins about a year ago and then I used the AMEX gift cards in COSTCO mostly.
Feel free to call this heresay/speculative etc. but my personal experiences/opinion on this one is they are cracking down hard. My SO who works in finance and called AMEX GC (after calling each CC that was declined) and was transferred to a supervisor. My SO explained there are certain "things" you cannot blatantly tell customers in the finance world. She explained this guy went around in circles with her telling her in not so many words that both her and I are banned from buying AMEX GC's. (Both Business and Personal) Neither of us went over any limits or broke any "rules". As a merchant, they can choose who they sell their product to. My SO also said once he used the term "red flag", she knew where it was going. My feeling is that they are looking for very specific types of activity and when that pops up, they're not taking chances and are preventing people from ordering. I tried to order without logging in and was still denied. (So they're tracking by either our names, CC #'s or address.) I haven't pinpointed which one(s) yet. We get the same error you do. (Before this call to AMEX GC yesterday I called our CC companies who confirmed it's not their end and they were right) I honestly wish I had a better answer. The supervisor advised my SO to try the "corporate website" but my SO said she doubts that it would work. I'm also unsure if any "blocks" will be lifted in X time or not. Hopefully you have better luck than we did!
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Old May 13, 11, 1:17 pm   #7
 
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Feel free to call this heresay/speculative etc. but my personal experiences/opinion on this one is they are cracking down hard. My SO who works in finance and called AMEX GC (after calling each CC that was declined) and was transferred to a supervisor. My SO explained there are certain "things" you cannot blatantly tell customers in the finance world. She explained this guy went around in circles with her telling her in not so many words that both her and I are banned from buying AMEX GC's. (Both Business and Personal) Neither of us went over any limits or broke any "rules". As a merchant, they can choose who they sell their product to. My SO also said once he used the term "red flag", she knew where it was going. My feeling is that they are looking for very specific types of activity and when that pops up, they're not taking chances and are preventing people from ordering. I tried to order without logging in and was still denied. (So they're tracking by either our names, CC #'s or address.) I haven't pinpointed which one(s) yet. We get the same error you do. (Before this call to AMEX GC yesterday I called our CC companies who confirmed it's not their end and they were right) I honestly wish I had a better answer. The supervisor advised my SO to try the "corporate website" but my SO said she doubts that it would work. I'm also unsure if any "blocks" will be lifted in X time or not. Hopefully you have better luck than we did!
I've also had all my recent AMEX GC purchases canelled. I haven't really abused the program, only oredering a grand total of about 3 or 4 thousand dollars worth in the past year or two. I've also had plenty of other spend on the AMEX credit cards. Not sure why they cancelled my orders, but i was pretty pissed. I gave one of two of them away to my relatives as graduation presents, and when they tried to use them they had a zero balance. Embarassing for me as well as them. I never even received a courtesy phone call notifying me they were going to zero out the balance on the gift cards and refund my AMEX credit card. Usually AMEX is better than this...
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Old May 13, 11, 1:41 pm   #8
 
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I've also had all my recent AMEX GC purchases canelled. I haven't really abused the program, only oredering a grand total of about 3 or 4 thousand dollars worth in the past year or two. I've also had plenty of other spend on the AMEX credit cards. Not sure why they cancelled my orders, but i was pretty pissed. I gave one of two of them away to my relatives as graduation presents, and when they tried to use them they had a zero balance. Embarassing for me as well as them. I never even received a courtesy phone call notifying me they were going to zero out the balance on the gift cards and refund my AMEX credit card. Usually AMEX is better than this...
I had the same thing happen, and AMEX blamed my CC issuer saying they had requested it. Called my CC issuer (Chase BA) and they confirmed it was Amex doing this. Getting kinda annoyed with amex not straight up saying "FOAD, we don't want your business".
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Old May 13, 11, 1:52 pm   #9
 
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A ray of hope, but wondering about effects on the credit card department

I am not sure, but I may have been rehabilitated a bit by AmEx.

In March, I was rejected for an AmEx GC order in March that was within limits, as far as I can tell. It was within 14 days of another order that, together with the rejected one, would have added up to exactly the $5k limit. There were no other orders within 14 days when the second order was rejected. The e-mail that I got vaguely indicated that I had exceeded some limit, unlike most other people's rejection letters, which vaguely refer to verification issues.

Shortly after that, I was charged for the AmEx premium shipping program. I had miscalculated the end date of the free trial, but I decided not to fight it, as I had already made a bit more than that in rebates.

Perhaps a week later, still in March, I attempted another order, and this time was rejected with a letter mentioning "verification" issues, like the one other people have received.

I made no further orders in the rest of March and all of Aprill. Then I made an order in May, and it was apparently approved, although the card has not yet arrived.

However, even if I am now rehabilitated, I do not plan to try to maximize my rebates until I get banned again, because I wonder if being frowned on by the gift card department can effect the credit card department. I think the AmEx credit card sign-up bonuses and other credits their customer service representatives sometimes give are more valuable than the gift card rebate, especially if you compare the effort involved for each and factor in the moderate credit card churn policies that AmEx seems to have (rumored currently to be 2 years from cancellation of the same card to requalify for a new sign-up bonus, according to a letter that appeared on frugaltravelguy in the past month or so, if I recall correctly ).

I have never seen any reports indicating that buying gift cards effects the credit card department, but I would be very interested in reports from anyone who has been banned from buying gift cards and then tried applying for a Centurion Bank ("real") American Express charge or credit card or attempted to get a substantial rewards credit from customer service.
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Old May 13, 11, 2:04 pm   #10
 
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I had the same thing happen, and AMEX blamed my CC issuer saying they had requested it. Called my CC issuer (Chase BA) and they confirmed it was Amex doing this. Getting kinda annoyed with amex not straight up saying "FOAD, we don't want your business".
It's definitely AMEX doing this. My card I used to purchase some of these AMEX gift cards was and AMEX credit card, which were cancelled. I tried with a CapOne card, and that was cancelled as well.

In both cases i received the gift cards in the mail, and gave them away already, and then noticed that they refunded my credit cards for the purchase of the gift cards and zeroed out the balance on the gift cards.
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Old May 13, 11, 2:08 pm   #11
 
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It's definitely AMEX doing this. My card I used to purchase some of these AMEX gift cards was and AMEX credit card, which were cancelled. I tried with a CapOne card, and that was cancelled as well.

In both cases i received the gift cards in the mail, and gave them away already, and then noticed that they refunded my credit cards for the purchase of the gift cards and zeroed out the balance on the gift cards.
Yeah, I got that impression. AMEX CSRs are useless too. There's one good supervisor, "Brittany", who was at least polite while giving me the same ......... OTOH, I've gotten 3 promises of a callback from various people there, and 0 calls. So I think the verdict is "FOAD, we don't want your business".

Tempted to use consumerist's list of AMEX executive email addresses Won't help, but it'll at least piss someone off.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:02 pm   #12
 
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I, too, have had my ability to purchase amex cards destroyed.

I bought 5,000$ worth via BC with my SPG card. This triggered a financial review wherein I was told that if I ever bought amex GCs again with my amex credit cards I would have those credit cards closed.

Which is amazing considering the site prefers you use your amex CCs to make the purchase -- preselecting them.

So I went on trying to make purchases with a Chase visa and was not successful once -- I've been getting the same errors that you guys have. Many, many calls to their abysmal customer service have brought me to the edge of declaring jihad on all of India. I've never had such a terrible customer service experience. No one knows why my orders don't go through, many promised callbacks that never occur. I can only suspect that I've been secretly flagged as a 'do not sell!' by Amex's nazi GC department.

To make matters worse, I purchased premium shipping on the last order that came through. When I attempted to cancel and have the premium shipping refunded (since none of my orders were going through....) all of the customer service people were convinced that I was on a free trial. Trying to get a refund for this was a herculean task. I was finally promised one, though, after two weeks, my card has not been refunded..

I've heard only good things about american express. I've experienced only bad. Their financial review team is akin to the spanish inquisition and their gift card site is horribly broken and secretly bans you. Not to mention the customer service is manned by idiots.

I could go on and on and on. The stress and anger these people have caused isn't worth any amount of cashback or points/miles.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:09 pm   #13
 
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I could go on and on and on. The stress and anger these people have caused isn't worth any amount of cashback or points/miles.
Gosh - its terrible that AMEX is cracking down on people who are taking advantage of the system.
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Old May 13, 11, 5:17 pm   #14
 
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Gosh - its terrible that AMEX is cracking down on people who are taking advantage of the system.
Gosh, it's so terrible that we're "taking advantage" of their system by following the rules and being customers of Amex. Really, will our audacity reach no limit?
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Old May 13, 11, 6:13 pm   #15
 
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Gosh - its terrible that AMEX is cracking down on people who are taking advantage of the system.
That's a pretty ignorant response.

How is purchasing amex GCs, within their $5000/14 day limit, with BC cashback and utilizing them for everyday use taking advantage of their system?

If they wanted to crush the usefulness of using amex GCs they should just end their relationship with BC. They shouldn't punish me for ordering and using their GCs.
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