New Amex + Coins = Financial Review!

Old Aug 26, 09, 12:06 pm
  #1  
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New Amex + Coins = Financial Review!

I wanted to warn people putting coin purchases on Amex cards.

I just got swept up in their FR. Guess what, they have decided that they will close all my cards down because of "risky" behavior due to US MINT coin purchases. Note, I have not gone over the limit in a billing cycle like some do to recycle credit limits. I have a solid payment record with Amex (and with every other creditor, not one late payment and payment in full everytime). I charge everything to Amex, been with them for 10 years. My gross (and my wife's) is in the upper 5% of this country.

But to no avail. I pleaded with them that my wife is in India and she will be stranded without a functioning card, but no go. I offered to fax our pay stubs, etc., but no go. To add insult to injury, they closed my wife's cards and my mother's as well (same billing address).

I take pride in managing my finances properly and being called "financially irresponsible/risky" was a real kick in the guts.

I asked them to reduce my credit lines, deny any other charges from US Mint, but they are not willing to see reason.

I am not looking for sympathy (and I don't want to justify who is right and who is wrong), but a warning to others to cover their bases. Best of luck to the Amex Coin Churners.

Last edited by smcgrath12; Aug 28, 09 at 3:02 pm Reason: Change the title
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Old Aug 26, 09, 12:56 pm
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If you don't mind... what are/were your limits on the AMEX card(s) and how much were you charging via the Mint deal?
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Old Aug 26, 09, 12:56 pm
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That really stinks

They specifically told you the Mint purchases were the red flag? If everything else is above board,then Amex's actions,while they have a right to do so,are driving away good customers.

I hope you have other cards available to you for use.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:01 pm
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Were you prepaying your account to have a negative balance with them at any point? If so, that's risky behavior to a CC company, and it's unfortunate for you, but I don't blame them.

What I find most interesting is that your gross income is in the upper 5% tier of the country, yet your purchasing coins from the Mint for miles. Must be the excitement of the game that keeps you going. I dunno.

Thanks for the warning, but my AmEx is still going strong.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:10 pm
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im getting a bit nervous about continuing to do the coin churning as more stories like the OP come in. However for whatever reason last week i actually got a credit increase! At first i thought it was a fluke because of my numerous payments in a month, but i got the letter confirming it the other day.

im charging about 6-8K a month on coins and nothing else...which i think may be a red flag for amex. Also, i don't bring in much income either as im a student. hopefully my account won't be closed or my parent's cards for that matter as they don't do any churning.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by chimmy826 View Post
Were you prepaying your account to have a negative balance with them at any point? If so, that's risky behavior to a CC company, and it's unfortunate for you, but I don't blame them.

What I find most interesting is that your gross income is in the upper 5% tier of the country, yet your purchasing coins from the Mint for miles. Must be the excitement of the game that keeps you going. I dunno.

Thanks for the warning, but my AmEx is still going strong.
No, no negative balances. Simply maxed out credit line on my blue card as well as charges on my Plat charge card.

Since I was a kid, my mom has drilled into me the importance of saving and looking for the best deal (we had to, she was single and we were very poor). So, even if I were to make a million dollars a year, the basic tenet of how I live my life will probably not change. (We make $187K a year, I am guessing that puts us in the top 5%, if not, then my bad). I see churning coins as a riskless way to accumulate MR points (well, not riskless as I found out).
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by WBurcham View Post
If you don't mind... what are/were your limits on the AMEX card(s) and how much were you charging via the Mint deal?
Sure, my blue had a limit of $26K, my SPG had a limit of $36K and I have a Plat charge card. My SPG has a balance of only $346. It was the blue that I maxed out with 5 orders of 5K each. Plus I put $15K on my Plat card. Thats the whole history of US Mint purchases on Amex cards (I just started on that the last week of July or so with Amex). I also buy them with Schwab Visa, but thats not why I got killed).
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by freeflyin View Post
That really stinks

They specifically told you the Mint purchases were the red flag? If everything else is above board,then Amex's actions,while they have a right to do so,are driving away good customers.

I hope you have other cards available to you for use.
Yes, ONLY due to Mint purchases. I can understand a computer flagging it, but once a human intervenes, you would think that a little prosecutorial discretion might be in order, but no)
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by smcgrath12 View Post
No, no negative balances. Simply maxed out credit line on my blue card as well as charges on my Plat charge card.
That will do it.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
That will do it.
Sure, they admitted (I talked to a supervisor as well) that it was reason why it got flagged. But once she saw the "cash like" transactions of 5K each rapidly over a month, she claimed that she has no choice but to chop my head off.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:48 pm
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AMEX is hyper-sensitive these days!

I got the FR, too, in early August. The lady specifically asked me what the US Mint transactions were for, and I told her I was buying collector coins (as I wrote in another thread.) Gave them the access to my 4506T, and 5 days later, I was good to go.

It scared me a lot though, especially since I really wanted the card for Starpoints... SPG was the first and only AMEX card I have had... I got it in May with a pretty low credit limit as other new AMEX card holders - initially 2K then raised to 5K. Largest monthly activity was about $15K, including charging and paying within the billing cycle. I make sure to put every single daily charge I possibly can to the SPG card on top of the Mint purchases to make my use look more legitimate. Still I am ultra cautious with AMEX and put the larger Mint purchases on other cards instead (Flexperks, Schwab, Citi, etc.) I decide to play it safe instead.

I am sorry to hear about your story.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:53 pm
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My guess it that as long as you fly under the radar, you are good to go. If your account is flagged for FR and you get a hard-*** reviewer, and you have charged a lot of Mint purchases, you are in for some trouble.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 1:58 pm
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So these charges on the Blue card were all posted and not paid at the same time? Had the statement closed?

You're making me nervous. I've been doing HH and SPG Amex and just had one $5K order shipped today on my biz Amex. I don't need it for business and just kept it because it doesn't have a credit limit. I am wondering if I should cancel the backorders?
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Old Aug 26, 09, 2:02 pm
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The large and repeated 'cash' transactions could be triggering money laundering alerts. Taking the card to its limits each month will signal financial issues, though paid off each month, you are living on the CC.

So you have 2 risks. And if you are a student - risk 3.

In this environment, not surprising the card gets cut off, or you have problems.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 2:58 pm
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What does "FR" stand for?
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