Amex Shutting Down More Accounts for Abuse
American Express has launched a new wave of shutdown. Emails were sent out yesterday in the evening and there are several data points showing that people’s accounts were shut down and all points were taken away. This affects all American Express cards held by the customer.
It is not clear what exactly is causing these shutdowns. It could be abuse of the recent promotion for extra 3X points after referrals, but that feels way too quick. American Express usually takes its time with these things.
The most plausible reason seems to be the of NLL offers for Delta credit cards. That alone doesn’t seem to be breaking the rules, as people are just taking advantage of the offers they are given. But it could be an issue when those offers are not meant for you. The shutdowns are likely due to applications through these offers earlier in the year, in July and August.
It is also interesting that this happens while cashing out Membership Rewards points for 1.25¢ through Schwab hasn’t been possible over the last few days.
Here’s what American Express says about abuse in its application terms, which is a bit vague:
If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome offer (s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.
I am just speculating about the shutdown reasons here, because I don’t have any first hand experience. Check your accounts, and hopefully you are not affected.
But you shouldn’t shy away from applying, or using American Express credit cards. Just familiarize yourself with the rules they have, and as long as you don’t abuse rewards, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. American Express has tons of great credit cards products that come with big welcome offers such as 60K for the Amex Gold Card, up to 60K for the Amex Green Card, and much more.