Financial Review discussion

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Earlier discussion is in this thread: Financial Review Discussion [2009-2013]


In the USA a Financial Review typically includes a request to submit an IRS form 4506-T which authorizes American Express to obtain a transcript of your Federal Income Tax Return for a specific year. It does not authorize a copy of the actual return. Download the form here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf

Order your own transcript here: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do


Other USA-based rewards card issuers also audit accounts and end unsatisfactory relationships.

Bank of America: 2013

Citibank: 2013

JP Morgan Chase: 2013.1 2013.4 2013.9 2013.12
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Old Mar 18, 16, 10:20 am
  #586  
 
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Which transcript does Amex normally ask for? The shorter summary transcript or the longer transcript that list most line items?
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Old Mar 18, 16, 10:32 am
  #587  
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Originally Posted by pdxer View Post
Which transcript does Amex normally ask for?
4506T. See the Wikipost at the top of this thread.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
4506T. See the Wikipost at the top of this thread.
There are several choices on that form, either a return transcript, an account transcript or a record of account which includes both. The return transcript is rather detailed while the account transcript is just a brief summary. My question is which type Amex usually requests.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 11:15 am
  #589  
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Originally Posted by pdxer View Post
There are several choices...
That is new since the last time I ordered one. (I see the form was revised in September.) Someone who has submitted one recently to American Express will need to tell us which option they use.

I ordered option (c) Record of Account for 2011-2014. Disappointed to see that the fax number does not end with 4506.

Last edited by mia; Mar 18, 16 at 11:35 am
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Old Mar 18, 16, 6:33 pm
  #590  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
What are the specific reasons? Which other issuer's card did you use for the $35,000 transaction?
The transaction was for a purchase not MS. I used NFCU CC, Barclay Aviator, and CITI Premier (20k, 10k and 5k) instead. I did receive a fraud alert from NFCU and simply replied yes to let the transaction go through. I calledl CITI for the transaction to go through. I didn't know that FR is triggered at the point of sale. The merchant said the card is declined. I called Amex, but after about 45 mins wait, I just gave up.

Couple hours later, I received a voicemail from Amex FR department requesting additional information in regards to my card ending xxxx. I reached back few days later, the person i talked to is very rude. They give me 5 days to supply all the forms or face cancellation. I find it very unreasonable. They do not want to discuss the transaction, they just want the form.

Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
You've only disclosed total income, not how you came by it.

AMEX can ask for it. OP decided it wasn't worth it which is his prerogative isn't it?

If a customer has a 40k credit limit on a card, and they want to spend 35k, I don't see why AMEX suddenly needs to see his tax records. Customer is within the approved credit limit.
The card I used, Amex Premier gold is a charge card. The funny thing is that I was approved for the amount I charged using their approval calculator (not sure what it is called). There is a link when you logging to determine if amount of a transaction will be approved or not.

Everything on the application is accurate. I do not want to jump through hoops to use the card. Plus, the transaction was declined by Amex. I guess they are afraid that I am on a shopping spree.

I have yet to receive a CC offer from Amex after this incident. (use to get them very often)

Last edited by hellopanda520; Mar 18, 16 at 6:42 pm
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Old Mar 18, 16, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by hellopanda520 View Post
The funny thing is that I was approved for the amount I charged using their approval calculator
I understand how business works and that Amex needs to look out for activity that might result in them not getting paid back. But if the "Check Spending Power" link says you are good to go, I find it annoying for Amex to trigger a FR if you stay within that amount. I have called in to Amex before making very large purchases on numerous occasions just to give them a heads up that it was not going to be fraudulent activity, and I was told on two separate occasions that all they do is run the amount amount I tell them through that exact same "Spending Power" calculator that is available to users. Even telling them to note that I called in ahead of time will do nothing to stop an automated flag of the purchase because an actual person will only see the note AFTER the flag has been triggered (when it's already too late to stop the stupidity). There is a difference between routinely looking out for business interests and making customers with pristine histories with the company jump through unnecessary hoops. Luckily, in all the years I have been a customer, none of my large purchases have ever raised any red flags. But it's stories like this that prepare me for the inevitable day that Amex will piss off this longtime cardmember.
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Old Mar 19, 16, 8:43 am
  #592  
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Originally Posted by Finagler View Post
I understand how business works and that Amex needs to look out for activity that might result in them not getting paid back. But if the "Check Spending Power" link says you are good to go, I find it annoying for Amex to trigger a FR if you stay within that amount. I have called in to Amex before making very large purchases on numerous occasions just to give them a heads up that it was not going to be fraudulent activity, and I was told on two separate occasions that all they do is run the amount amount I tell them through that exact same "Spending Power" calculator that is available to users. Even telling them to note that I called in ahead of time will do nothing to stop an automated flag of the purchase because an actual person will only see the note AFTER the flag has been triggered (when it's already too late to stop the stupidity). There is a difference between routinely looking out for business interests and making customers with pristine histories with the company jump through unnecessary hoops. Luckily, in all the years I have been a customer, none of my large purchases have ever raised any red flags. But it's stories like this that prepare me for the inevitable day that Amex will piss off this longtime cardmember.
I couldn't agree more, I've had the same exact experience too.
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Old Mar 19, 16, 12:38 pm
  #593  
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Agreed with both of the above.
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Old Mar 30, 16, 12:24 pm
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Brand newbie here. But, have been perusing this thread and others re: AMEX FR, as I have just begun the FR process and thought my experience could be useful. (became aware of FR on 3/28/16)

I have 4 AMEX accounts; BCE/PRG/HHonors/Biz Plat with ages of 3 years/2 years/1 year/6 months respectively. CL's are $10k/NPSL/$30k/NPSL. On both the NPSL charge cards, I have peeked at the "check charge limit" button a time or two for giggles and have plugged in over $50k with an ok-to-go from AMEX. My spending habits are $100/$3500/$0/$6000-$10000 monthly on each respective card. And FWIW there were balances of $4500 and $5500 on the PRG and Biz Plat when the FR was initiated. Both payments where due in over ten days. I went ahead and paid them the day the FR started just cause I felt like it, but neither were near the due date. I have never had a late/incomplete payment. Ever, on any account, AMEX or otherwise.

As with nearly all experiences I have read about, I was NOT notified in advance of the FR, but instead became aware when my wife tried to make a purchase of about $1400 on the Biz Plat and it was denied. Actually, because most of our product comes from suppliers in Asia I assumed this was a fraud-flag initially as this happens about 1/3 of the time and is cleared up with a 2-3 minute phone call to authorize the charge....no biggie. Well, both of us sat on hold for over thirty minutes and when I finally got through it was to the FR Department and when my first complaint was the long hold time, they explained that was due to my call being flagged and routed to the FR Dept, and that this was a much smaller dept w/longer hold times. Great! The gal I spoke with was nice enough...firm but not mean and told me she would email me the instructions to fill out a 4506T and that I had until 4/11/16 to do so.
This is important: SHE ACTUALLY TOLD ME THAT THE FR WAS DUE TO MY AUTH. USER (MY WIFE) MAKING THE BULK OF THE SPENDS ON THAT CREDIT LINE...AND NOT ME, THE PRIMARY CARDHOLDER. IT WAS NOT DUE TO TOTAL SPENDING, CHANGE IN HABITS, A PARTICULAR CHARGE, ETC. I JUST WANT TO EMPHASIZE THIS AS I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS POSTED AS A REASON FOR FR BEFORE.
Ok, no big deal on my end. The Biz Plat is for our sole-proprietorship business, which is online retail clothing boutique (children's clothing). Business is 5 years old, we file taxes (Schedule C on 1040), make good money doing it. Everything is totally legit in terms of; "should we have a biz card". I explain to the gal that my wife runs the day-to-day ops of the business, as I have a full-time job for another employer and that is why her card is attached to our suppliers for product, shipping, etc. I think this should clear this up right? Nope. The FR is in play so they need the tax transcript "or else". She actually gets nicer at this point and says that this is just to verify income which is never really done at the time of the app and that if it matches we are good to go. If it doesn't match, we will have issues with reduced CL's and or cancelled cards. But, she actually says that "The word cancel is not what I want to leave you with, and we just want to verify income and continue the partnership we have had the last few years." Ok, I like that.

What I don't like; that they freeze all your accounts. This is ridiculous and unwarranted IMHO if you have a good (perfect) payment history. I use my personal PRG basically as a debit card (Over $40k run through in 2015) always PIF in advance of the statement closing in most cases. And now she is telling me I can't use that to buy a sandwich and get my car washed at lunch. ...?! That is ridiculous.

I sent in the 4506T within hours (uploaded digitally using their site). I could care less about sharing this info. You might not care either if you have ever seen what the Tax Transcript looks like. We recently had a look at ours due to taking out a new mortgage in Sept. of 2015 so there is nothing there but the facts of what you filed for income-wise. I actually feel like it is well within AMEX rights/interests to verify this as they are literally extending me anywhere from like $8k-$20k on a monthly basis. If it were one of my vendors, you can bet I would ask them for a credit app & references!

So, I sent that 4506T in Monday 3/28 around 2pm PST. I have called both yesterday morning and this morning to verify they have it but after waiting on hold and getting the message that they will "call me when the documents are in", I have given up both times on talking to a real person.

One other detail; I used an income of $115k when applying for the Biz Plat which is the card that triggered the FR and was the last card opened. that $115k is what is listed in my financial profile on the AMEX website as well so I am assuming that is the number they want to see on the tax transcript. The kicker here is that that actual AGI on my taxes is $173k. I was unaware of the new regulations allowing me to claim my wife's income as part of my "total household income" (all of our biz income goes through her SSN) when apping for a CC so I just used my REAL income from my day-job. Now in light of those new rules and the fact we file a joint 1040 with Schedule C, it appears to me like AMEX may be pleasantly surprised by my tax transcript. Will I get an apology? Wishful thinking I'm sure.

I will update when anything happens. As of now; 11:30am PST 3/30/16 there have been no updates from AMEX. I really wish they would get this done by Friday. We have already had to shift about $2500 in Biz expenses to another card which sucks but isn't nearly the PITA that it will be when I need to deal with all the auto payments I have set up on my personal PRG start dinging that card in the first week of the month (State Farm, DirecTV, Utilities,etc)
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Old Mar 30, 16, 12:42 pm
  #595  
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Originally Posted by dmoil2481 View Post
... FR WAS DUE TO MY AUTH. USER (MY WIFE) MAKING THE BULK OF THE SPENDS ON THAT CREDIT LINE...AND NOT ME, THE PRIMARY CARDHOLDER. ...The Biz Plat is for our sole-proprietorship business... (all of our biz income goes through her SSN)
Welcome to Flyertalk. You describe your business as a Sole Proprietorship, but one person applied for the card while another person is reporting the income. I don't know if American Express will care about this if you are filing a joint tax return. (I don't know that they will even be able to see it on the transcript.)

For reference, here is an IRS document which outlines the requirements for spouses to jointly operate a Sole Proprietorship:

https://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources...ities/Entities
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Old Mar 30, 16, 2:04 pm
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Thanks for the welcome Mia, and the link.

I misspoke as we consider our biz a "joint venture"...essentially a sole proprietorship shared by two married people. We meet all of the requirements AND live in a community property state. (CA) In fact, I actually asked our family accountant before applying for the card which business designation I should select and she told me that based on the option given by AMEX that sole proprietorship was the most accurate.

Also just as an FYI, on the tax transcript that AMEX will be seeing there is no designation of who earned what $....meaning the transcript does not break down who made want amount of wages and tips and who made what amount of self employment income listed on the schedule c. I think this is specific to a joint filing.

So, AMEX may philosophically care if the biz income is attached to my wife's SSN but I applied for the card, but they would never be able to establish that as an issue from the transcript alone.

Also, FWIW I ran the numbers and the "bulk" of the charging being done by my AU (wife) that caused AMEX to start the FR was about 62% of the charges YTD vs my card doing 38%. This seems awful picky to me. Also given that is obvious that the AU is a relation based on our names.....

Last edited by mia; Mar 30, 16 at 2:23 pm Reason: Combine consecutive replies
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:56 pm
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So, a family member logged into their AmEx account and it shows all of the accounts as being closed. When I was FR'ed years ago my accounts showed as being "suspended" ... he called AmEx who transferred him to the 'manager assigned to handle the case' but has been unable to reach that manager so far.

Any idea if this is a FR or more like a permanently terminated relationship?
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Old Apr 2, 16, 11:01 am
  #598  
 
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Originally Posted by CodeAdam10 View Post
So, a family member logged into their AmEx account and it shows all of the accounts as being closed. When I was FR'ed years ago my accounts showed as being "suspended" ... he called AmEx who transferred him to the 'manager assigned to handle the case' but has been unable to reach that manager so far.

Any idea if this is a FR or more like a permanently terminated relationship?
I went through a FR in February and at that time the app/website described it as "charging suspended," so I would be somewhat concerned in this case. Any idea what triggered the closure/FR? Did they receive a call? I received a voicemail about a "business matter from American Express" and called back after hours to get the form they needed sent to me - never had to speak with the actual FR case.

What initiated my FR, FWIW, it's charging about 20k on charge cards in one month (min spend bonuses on BGR and Biz Plat). After sending in the tax form they cleared me a week or so later with no CL changes.
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Old Apr 2, 16, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bodiddely View Post
I went through a FR in February and at that time the app/website described it as "charging suspended," so I would be somewhat concerned in this case. Any idea what triggered the closure/FR? Did they receive a call? I received a voicemail about a "business matter from American Express" and called back after hours to get the form they needed sent to me - never had to speak with the actual FR case.

What initiated my FR, FWIW, it's charging about 20k on charge cards in one month (min spend bonuses on BGR and Biz Plat). After sending in the tax form they cleared me a week or so later with no CL changes.
I see. Thanks for that - sounds like a FR still should show accounts as being "suspended" as opposed to "closed".

No call from anyone at AmEx and he was unable to establish contact on Friday with the manager assigned to the case and they don't work weekends so can't say why...he did recently apply and was approved for both the SPG Pers/Biz cards and went a little heavy on meeting the spend within a week (so ~$8k+ in a week) ... maybe they didn't like that but who knows. Let's see what happens on Monday but from the looks of it it sounds like a "goodbye" from AmEx.
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Old Apr 6, 16, 12:07 pm
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Exclamation Amex Account Suspended after VGCs?!

Guys,
I got a call from Amex this morning, threatening to close my account, pending an investigation...does anyone have advice?

Here's the situation:

-Opened Platinum card (100K) mid-Feb, making a few thousand dollars of normal purchases, including $3K of VGCs
-Opened SPG Business (35K) end of March, spending $5K on VGCs
-Opened SPG Personal (35K) end of March. Tried purchasing $2,500 VGCs last night, and charge was denied.

I called Amex last night, and they told me to call a special fraud line this morning. On the call this morning, I was told that I needed to fill out IRS form 4506-T to confirm my income, and they asked me why I was spending so much on VGCs.

I haven't filled out the form yet, but does anyone know what's going on and/or have any advice? Thanks in advance!
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