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I screwed up! When might Amex let me out of the penalty box?

I screwed up! When might Amex let me out of the penalty box?

Old Oct 23, 2023, 1:41 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation I screwed up! When might Amex let me out of the penalty box?

To make a long story short, about a year ago I canceled my Business Platinum card less than a year after receiving it (or, technically, upgrading from Business Gold to Business Plainum). As a result, two bad things happened:

1. Upon my cancelling the card, Amex clawed back the 140K bonus it had provided me (under a targeted offer) for upgrading my Amex Business Gold to the Amex Business Platinum and meeting the spending target.
2. When I subsequently sought to obtain an Amex Green card, with what I recall as a 60K initial spending offer, I was turned down. The reconsideration agent informed me that a factor was my early cancellation of the Business Platinum card.

A couple of questions:

1. Any sense of how long I'll be in the Amex penalty box before I might be eligible to get another Amex card, along with an attached spending bonus?
2. Does my de facto ban probably extend to hotel/airline-affliated Amex cards?

FWIW, my credit rating is over 800, I've been an Amex cc cardholder of one kind for another for almost 40 years, I've never had any payment problems, and I currently have four Amex ccs (Schwab Platinum, Business Plus, Marriott Business and Hilton Business).

Thanks for any advice.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:03 pm
  #2  
 
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Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. No one knows.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:22 pm
  #3  
mia
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
2. Does my de facto ban probably extend to hotel/airline-affliated Amex cards?
Not necessarily, we have reports from people who were not able to open one card (with a bonus), but were able to open a different type (with a bonus). There is no downside to applying for a card. If you see the non-bonus popup you can cancel the application.

You could open a card without a bonus (choose one that typically has a low offer), and use it to teach the algorithm that you are interested in using their cards, not only the bonus.
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Last edited by mia; Oct 23, 2023 at 2:31 pm
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:28 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
FWIW, my credit rating is over 800, I've been an Amex cc cardholder of one kind for another for almost 40 years, I've never had any payment problems
Those are all indications that you'll pay your bill on time, but they really have nothing to do with how profitable or desirable you are as a customer.

and I currently have four Amex ccs (Schwab Platinum, Business Plus, Marriott Business and Hilton Business)
If anything, that probably works against you. Especially considering your history of cancelling cards, having the above set of cards already in your wallet makes it very likely that opening an additional card will not bring any additional business to Amex, but only result in them paying out a SUB for spend that otherwise would go on an existing card.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 3:38 pm
  #5  
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There is an existing thread on the penalty box aka amex jail which has a number of data points. There is no specific time limit.

The conventional wisdom is to use each of your four existing cards for several months and then try again.
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Old Oct 24, 2023, 7:59 am
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I was in pop up jail a while back for a similar situation. In my case, I upgraded from the Amex Everyday to the Everyday Preferred and paid the incremental prorated fee. When the full year fee was charged, I downgraded back to the Preferred since I was rarely hitting 30 transactions in a month to get the 50% bonus. My bonus was clawed back.

Few months later I applied for the Gold card to get a 90K bonus and got the popup. Folks here advised me to keep spending on the Everyday card and try again in a few months. I did exactly that and few months later was approved for the Gold with a 90K bonus.

FWIW, at the one year anniversary mark I called about a retention offer on the Gold but was denied. I sucked it up and decided to keep it open to not give the almighty algorithm any more reasons to throw me in jail again. I was making atleast some use of the dining and uber credits. Maybe next year I will likely cancel completely if I dont get a retention offer.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 1:23 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
There is an existing thread on the penalty box aka amex jail which has a number of data points. There is no specific time limit.

The conventional wisdom is to use each of your four existing cards for several months and then try again.
Thanks very much for this and the several other useful replies, folks. I'll probably go this route and see what happens.
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Old Nov 1, 2023, 6:19 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
Upon my cancelling the card, Amex clawed back the 140K bonus it had provided me (under a targeted offer) for upgrading my Amex Business Gold to the Amex Business Platinum and meeting the spending target.
If you paid your annual fee and achieved the spending target, I don't understand why they would claw back the bonus even if you subsequently cancelled the card.
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Old Nov 1, 2023, 5:19 pm
  #9  
mia
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Originally Posted by tjk1976
If you paid your annual fee and achieved the spending target, I don't understand why they would claw back the bonus even if you subsequently cancelled the card.
When you accept an American Express (USA) retention bonus you agree to keep the card open for a full year. They retract the points because the cardholder did not fulfil the agreement. The terms of a Canadian retention offer may be different.
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