Centurion cancelled by Amex after 15 years

Old Jul 14, 22, 8:03 pm
  #1  
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Centurion cancelled by Amex after 15 years

Long time lurker, first post. I've had an Amex account for 21 years. Charged well over $10M over those years on my Amex's, and Centurion since 2007. Perfect credit, perfect payment history. Out of the blue my cards stop working, they next day I get a letter via FedEx Stating they were cancelling my account. No reasons given. I called, no reasons given, I've just been cancelled. I have only had a little under $500k in charges this year, so maybe I'm not meeting their new spend requirements? They wouldn't say, leaves me guessing.

When I spoke with them they said all my points are forfeited (700,000 points!), as are my $10,000 in annual fees just paid two months ago for myself and additional cardholder (my partner). $10,000 not prorated doesn't seem right, if I had a gym membership and the gym decided to end my membership (with no reason?), they'd at least refund the annual membership fee or prorate it for the 10 months remaining.

I was going to cancel next annual fee due date anyway due to worsening customer service, lowering benefits and these silly new cards that replaced the nice old ones (I really liked the old ones). However, them cancelling me the way they did and taking all they have from me just doesn't seem right. To say I'm disappointed, as an Amex shareholder as well, is an understatement. No customer should be treated like this, especially your better ones.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what I can do in this situation?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 8:33 pm
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I know many people holding Centurion cards from back in the day who barely use them, I have never heard of a Centurion being pulled for low usage and $500k is not exactly peanuts anyway.

Would you be able to share any more details from the letter and your usage of the card? Biz or personal? Do you have any other Amex products?

I have had a hit and miss relationship with Amex over the years but never quite this bad. Has to be something more going on?
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Old Jul 14, 22, 8:37 pm
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mia
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You can write to the American Express executive office or file a CFPB complaint, but first look at your credit reports to see if there is any activity that you do not recognize, Is this a personal, Business or Corporate Centurion account?
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Old Jul 14, 22, 10:36 pm
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My guess is there is either some nasty entry on your credit report, perhaps one you are totally unaware of, or they think you are laundering money with the card.

Yet, the forfeiting of the points and the annual fee seems unwarranted even under these circumstances (after all, "thinking" your usage pattern could be money laundering is not proof) and I would push hard that you want those back, or take them to small claims court.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by badAmex View Post
I was going to cancel next annual fee due date anyway due to worsening customer service, lowering benefits and these silly new cards that replaced the nice old ones (I really liked the old ones).
By chance did you have a "heated" conversation with customer service? If they determined that you abused them orally, I've heard of accounts being closed for that reason.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by hi-guy View Post
By chance did you have a "heated" conversation with customer service? If they determined that you abused them orally, I've heard of accounts being closed for that reason.
Really?? I had some issues with Amex freezing my cards a few years back and got pretty angry with the finance dept (although never abusive/unprofessional) on the phone. I threatened to cancel and they agreed to refund the unused part of my annual fees for all cards. I never did cancel though and it sort of got resolved, guess I'm a sucker for punishment.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 5:40 am
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I wonder if it would be possible to post a picture of the letter with the identifying parts redacted?
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Old Jul 15, 22, 8:55 am
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There's almost always more to the story, especially in the case of a new poster's "first post". I'm sure there's a lot more to this story. Maybe we'll hear it one day, maybe we won't.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by llary View Post
Really?? I had some issues with Amex freezing my cards a few years back and got pretty angry with the finance dept (although never abusive/unprofessional) on the phone. I threatened to cancel and they agreed to refund the unused part of my annual fees for all cards. I never did cancel though and it sort of got resolved, guess I'm a sucker for punishment.
Most T&C on cards and rewards programs contain a clause that you cannot harass or abuse employees (rarely enforced) and to do so can result in termination of account and forfeiture of anything earned.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 5:35 pm
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A novel. But two chapters are missing
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Old Jul 15, 22, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by hi-guy View Post
By chance did you have a "heated" conversation with customer service? If they determined that you abused them orally, I've heard of accounts being closed for that reason.
Firing a customer who's a serial complainer or rude was the first thing that came to my mind.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 6:30 pm
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A pattern of lots of borderline chargebacks could also cause AmEx to fire a customer, but it would need to be huge for someone with this level of spend.

Were MR points earned/used inappropriately?

Manufactured spending would fall under suspected money laundering I guess.

Was there ever a financial review or did OP refuse to cooperate with one?
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Old Jul 15, 22, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
A pattern of lots of borderline chargebacks could also cause AmEx to fire a customer, but it would need to be huge for someone with this level of spend.

Were MR points earned/used inappropriately?

Manufactured spending would fall under suspected money laundering I guess.

Was there ever a financial review or did OP refuse to cooperate with one?
Borderline chargebacks? Like disputing transactions?
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Old Jul 16, 22, 3:04 am
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The only relevant statement from the letter:

"We are writing to inform you that after a recent review of yourAmerican Express account(s)referenced above, we have cancelled the account(s) based on adherence to regulatory guidelines."

What guidelines? And so they can keep my points? AND my annual fees I just recently paid (but was more than 31 days ago)? Doesn't seem fair to me, nor how any company should treat any customer.

Originally Posted by llary View Post
Would you be able to share any more details from the letter and your usage of the card? Biz or personal? Do you have any other Amex products?
Personal Centurion. I had the Biz Centurion but cancelled it over a decade ago as I didn't see a reason to justify the two annual fees, but in hindsight, the business Cent would have been better. I had one other Amex business card I almost never used, moved most my spend over to Chase some years ago for the better points and, in my experience, service.

Originally Posted by mia View Post
... first look at your credit reports to see if there is any activity that you do not recognize...?
100% perfect credit, always have had. Never missed a payment in my life on anything. Just checked again, nothing.

Originally Posted by nyc2cal View Post
...or they think you are laundering money with the card.

Yet, the forfeiting of the points and the annual fee seems unwarranted even under these circumstances (after all, "thinking" your usage pattern could be money laundering is not proof) and I would push hard that you want those back, or take them to small claims court.
No churning, no manufactured spending, all legit charges, very rarely any disputes, only insurance claimed a lost iPhone twice in 15 years and they were legitimate losses. Definitely *not* laundering money, not even by a longshot, I've always paid my taxes in full and abide by the law.

Originally Posted by hi-guy View Post
By chance did you have a "heated" conversation with customer service? If they determined that you abused them orally, I've heard of accounts being closed for that reason.
I did make some logical and unemotional comparisons to the former personal concierge which was 100x better, but that was some time ago as I simply had to accept the change for the worse with the fee hikes. I try to avoid wasting time with customer service and everyone knows how bad their travel is so I almost never used it (even booking FHR online).

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
A pattern of lots of borderline chargebacks could also cause AmEx to fire a customer, but it would need to be huge for someone with this level of spend.
Were MR points earned/used inappropriately? Manufactured spending would fall under suspected money laundering I guess.
Was there ever a financial review or did OP refuse to cooperate with one?
No FR, had one over a decade ago and wasn't an issue then, and I'm in a much better financial position now. Only used points for airline transfers, and all only earned on legitimate spend, no manufacturing of any spend, wouldn't use Amex for that anyway even if I knew how to do this, I prefer Chase points to Amex for the transfers into United and Hyatt.

Originally Posted by USCTrojan83 View Post
Borderline chargebacks? Like disputing transactions?
Nope. Never. Only disputes over the years were quite rare and 100% legit - I never even had any fraud on my card somehow (though I've had with other cards, maybe I was skimmed with those cards at some point).

I sold all my Amex stock. Not much other "voting with my wallet" I can think of to do. Extremely disappointed, I feel a bit robbed considering the annual fees and the initiation fee and how little of the benefits I could actually use during Covid and how worthless some of the benefits were to me (like the gym membership I could never use).
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Old Jul 16, 22, 8:16 am
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Not sure about legislation in US but in the UK I would send the a final letter before action were, fact base and not emotional, would demand my pro rata fee back for service not received and in line with their normal operation (plenty of evidence that it is customary for Amex to refund annual fee pro rata. Failing that you would take them to small claim court were with minimal initial outlay, you could make your legal claim to the fee.

the initiation fee however can be argued that it is not refundable as it must have been over 15 years old and made full use of it by being a member for all this time.

back to the letter, it sounds like there is something in your spending pattern, Credit or tax profile that has flagged something to them. American Financial institution have been very careful with tax residency and or international held capital and assets for US taxpayers in recent years that they simply prefer to drop a customer then risking the huge fines imposed by the US authorities.
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