Tricks to become "targeted" by AMEX

Reply

Old Jan 7, 12, 7:24 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA,AA,Marriott Platinum
Posts: 324
Tricks to become "targeted" by AMEX

I was wondering what triggers to be targeted by AMEX?

- high spend
- credit pull
- relationships with partners

Does anyone know a way to trigger this?
aarato is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 7:58 am
  #2  
VBC
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7
Hi Aarato,

Sorry to ask but targeted for what exactly? Perks, cards, limit increases or detrimental things like fr?

From my history with Amex spend has not been that big of a deal. I average 150k a year in personal expenses on my plat charge but that doesn't result in anything special.

I have noticed a correlation to revolving debt on my other cards though. When I was rocking 5% I got pre-approvals for plat business, etc. As utilization increased during a job change offers decreased from pre-approve to pre-select to invite to nothing.

As for FR, I have been lucky enough not to be hit. I have seen other users mention a mix of credit and charge can be a flag. I cancelled their credit products a while ago (no reason, just never used them) and won't accept sign and travel on my personal charge (rate is way too high). I also pay my bill the day it cuts online (27th every month). At heart they are a charge company and despite their advertising I don't think they like the exposure of their credit products. Of course I may be wrong though
VBC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 9:38 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: EWR Ionosphere Club, LAX Clipper Club, Still Traveling Global, yearly BIS miles
Programs: EAL Silver Wings, I-Club, Flying Colonels DL, WorldPass PLat from the olde Meatball and PE SMARTbank
Posts: 1,651
bump

for years got offers, lately nothing, esp since I started using AMEX more often
frank_10b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 9:51 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 212
I've always figured if I was employed to write code to track who to target for a FR due to possible higher risk, it'd be pretty easy (beyond the known measures, like credit score and declining available credit).

Declining account activity isn't always a good measure because one could be charging on a different card due to dissatisfaction of the product, and don't want to piss them right out the door, but other activity could indicate a problem. Like:
  • Track tipping amounts in restaurants. If a card holder normally tips generously and then starts getting stingy with tips, that could be a sign.
  • Where one charges. If months ago charges to Nordstroms were common but now Wal-Mart shows up weekly.....
  • Payment activity. An obvious one. If payment gets later and later in billing cycle, possible red flag.
  • Dollar coin purchases (ok, old news now, but had to slip that one in!)

There's a Wal-Mart next door to my work and I occasionally pop in there to get a few things because it's convenient, but I always pay with cash
weave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 10:13 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: LAX
Programs: All Around Nobody
Posts: 849
Tip amounts don't always show up on my statements, sometimes the tip included total shows up and the tip section reads 0.00
Aaron01 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 10:15 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: S Cal
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, United Silver, Marriott Plat, SPG Plat, IHG Plat, Hilton Diamond,Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 1,094
It's an interesting question that I've wondered about too. My wife was pursued by AmEx - first she got a Gold offer that we ignored, then another Gold offer (ignored again), and then finally a 100K Plat offer that we accepted. I've not heard a peep from AmEx with any offers for myself.

We both have Starwood AmEx cards. I am guessing that AmEx knows her from that relationship?? Could that have been a factor?

What is different about her and me?
- It's not individual income. My income is far higher than hers. I work full time and she works part time.
- It's not credit card utilization. I use my cards more, and charge more, than she does. I charge more on my Starwood AmEx than she does on hers.
- It's not our overall credit card portfolio. She and I have similar cards.

Only 2 things stand out in my mind that might have led to AmEx targeting her:
- We recently refinanced our home loan. As part of the process, our credit scores were disclosed. We both have excellent credit. My average FICO score was in the range of 780-790. She was a little over 800.
- She is far better looking than me. I can't blame AmEx for going after her.
GetawaysRus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 10:46 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,434
Originally Posted by aarato View Post
I was wondering what triggers to be targeted by AMEX?

- high spend
- credit pull
- relationships with partners

Does anyone know a way to trigger this?
AS someone has asked already? Targeted in what way?

Financial Review Targeted?

Rules from US DHS and others that say you must <<know your customer<< i.e. you are not a, pimp, drug runner, arms dealer, anything illegal etc.

Exposure to Amex of over $100,000 use month for sure kicks you out for a FR or if you are new and immediately start spend of even a 5,000 to 10,000usd a month

Targeted for bonus offers? Stop using Amex for spend IF YOU HAVE GOOD CREDIT
Centurion is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 12:03 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,708
Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Targeted for bonus offers? Stop using Amex for spend IF YOU HAVE GOOD CREDIT
+1
If I see any correlation at all, it is when I stop using their cards that I get the best offers. So use their card, be on their radar, then ignore them for six months. YMMV.
ddallas is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 1:45 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Anywhere I need to be.
Programs: OW Emerald, *A Gold, NEXUS, GE, ABTC/APEC, South Korea SES, eIACS, PP, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 16,043
Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
- She is far better looking than me. I can't blame AmEx for going after her.
Make sure shes good enough not to be bought by AMEX!

Last edited by mia; Jan 7, 12 at 4:11 pm Reason: Please do not quote the entire text of multi-paragraph posts.
AA_EXP09 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 4:13 pm
  #10  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
Posts: 36,651
It is simple for American Express to estimate the amount you are spending on cards issued by other banks. If they want a larger share of your spend you will be targeted.
mia is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 6:31 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Exposure to Amex of over $100,000 use month for sure kicks you out for a FR or if you are new and immediately start spend of even a 5,000 to 10,000usd a month
This is not always the case.

Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Targeted for bonus offers? Stop using Amex for spend IF YOU HAVE GOOD CREDIT
More like usually spend a lot, stop spending, and have great credit. Even then, not necessarily. The truth is, AMEX is not that great at targeting the right people.
JFKLAX321 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 12, 11:08 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: PHL (kinda, no airport is really close)
Programs: AA Gold but aiming for Plat Pro. Enterprise Platinum though, woo-hoo!
Posts: 2,824
Originally Posted by weave View Post
I've always figured if I was employed to write code to track who to target for a FR due to possible higher risk, it'd be pretty easy (beyond the known measures, like credit score and declining available credit).

Declining account activity isn't always a good measure because one could be charging on a different card due to dissatisfaction of the product, and don't want to piss them right out the door, but other activity could indicate a problem. Like:
  • Track tipping amounts in restaurants. If a card holder normally tips generously and then starts getting stingy with tips, that could be a sign.
  • Where one charges. If months ago charges to Nordstroms were common but now Wal-Mart shows up weekly.....
  • Payment activity. An obvious one. If payment gets later and later in billing cycle, possible red flag.
  • Dollar coin purchases (ok, old news now, but had to slip that one in!)

There's a Wal-Mart next door to my work and I occasionally pop in there to get a few things because it's convenient, but I always pay with cash
There is a regional department store chain based in Reading, PA called Boscov's. Many years ago I saw a credit scoring algorithm that added points for having accounts with many providers, but deducted points if you had a Boscov's account.

More to the point, algorithms to flag potentially defaulting accounts are by their nature agnostic. They don't try to "guess" what qualities will predict default (or fraud, or anything else, good or bad, you are trying to predict). They simply track the past data that, singly or in combination, are most predictive of what they are trying to predict. If people who make purchases of exactly $13.22 had statistically higher defaults than those who don't, then you would be more likely to get an FR if you bought something for $13.22. It's not about logic, it's about the data. These systems cost millions to implement and maintain. (I work for a company that develops them.)
redtop43 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 12, 1:23 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Programs: AMEX Platinum, Delta Gold, Alaska Air MVP Gold
Posts: 449
Originally Posted by Centurion View Post

Exposure to Amex of over $100,000 use month for sure kicks you out for a FR or if you are new and immediately start spend of even a 5,000 to 10,000usd a month
Not true. I frequently have balances over $100,000 a month and have not gotten a FR nor do I get a "mid-month shakedown call" like some have reported.

I also have it set to auto pay on the please pay by date.
jandersinc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 12, 6:10 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: EWR Ionosphere Club, LAX Clipper Club, Still Traveling Global, yearly BIS miles
Programs: EAL Silver Wings, I-Club, Flying Colonels DL, WorldPass PLat from the olde Meatball and PE SMARTbank
Posts: 1,651
Originally Posted by redtop43 View Post
There is a regional department store chain based in Reading, PA called Boscov's. Many years ago I saw a credit scoring algorithm that added points for having accounts with many providers, but deducted points if you had a Boscov's account.

More to the point, algorithms to flag potentially defaulting accounts are by their nature agnostic. They don't try to "guess" what qualities will predict default (or fraud, or anything else, good or bad, you are trying to predict). They simply track the past data that, singly or in combination, are most predictive of what they are trying to predict. If people who make purchases of exactly $13.22 had statistically higher defaults than those who don't, then you would be more likely to get an FR if you bought something for $13.22. It's not about logic, it's about the data. These systems cost millions to implement and maintain. (I work for a company that develops them.)
Thank you for your insights,
so what do you think that the data has found or most likely to find in creating profiles of "dangerous" or customers that should be "targeted" for either good or bad treatment?
Certainly Walmart is a big No-no, any other retailers? Which ones may be surprising positives? I heard that some cc issures like Starbucks as a first purchase on a new account.
frank_10b is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 8, 12, 9:11 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,434
Originally Posted by jandersinc View Post
Not true. I frequently have balances over $100,000 a month and have not gotten a FR nor do I get a "mid-month shakedown call" like some have reported.

I also have it set to auto pay on the please pay by date.
You are wrong if you are talking about USA. You have been kicked out by a computer program for a FR. An FR does not mean you have to submit tax returns but does mean a person has reviewed your account and if Amex can get enough information on their own a FR person can close your case without you even knowing.


I have not received shake down calls. Mid

You have been kicked out for a FR. All banks have to do it. AND AMEX IS BANK... Forget about the ambiguous laws from USA DHS just look at recent fines Banks have paid in Washington and New York. The fines are bigger than a few million USD. Fines large enough to make sure every bank like Amex does it. They have departments/divisions that make sure they are in compliance.
You have a blend now that went from loss prevention to compliance with << know your customer laws>>

With the above said I would be surprised if you never got a phone call as this would be the minimum imho. The call could be taken by someone else i.e. secretary, personal banker, assistant, CFO, CPA, etc

Last edited by Centurion; Jan 8, 12 at 9:19 am
Centurion is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: