American Express Financial Review-What Is It And How To Avoid It…

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American Express occasionally freezes the credit card accounts of individuals with high-risk patterns.

They request lots of personal information, such as IRS returns, that most people are hesitant to fax away in today’s age of security risks.

I personally have a dozen or so AMEX cards, and have never had a financial review, so I don’t speak from my own experience, but here are some important steps you can do to avoid the dreaded financial review:

-Keep your credit lines on each of your AMEX’s below $25,000.
One symptom commonly found among people who have been hit with a review is very high credit lines.

-NEVER utilize over 50% of the credit line of any of your AMEX cards.
If you have a Starwood card with a $10,000 limit, never have a balance of over $4,999, even if you pay it off every month on time.

-Keep your collective credit balances well below your stated annual income.
If you reported an annual income of $200,000, AMEX won’t like it if you have $190,000 of credit available to spend in one month.

What if you do get hit with a financial review and you don’t make any income on the books?

Immediately call up AMEX and ask to close down every one of your accounts.
If the AMEX financial review bean-counters close your accounts they will say closed by issuer, which is quite bad.
If you pre-emptively close them they will simply say closed at customer request, and will barely hurt your credit.

Suffering from Starwood AMEX withdrawal?
Don’t worry!
Since you pre-emptively closed your accounts, just wait a few months and then you can apply all over again, and you will even get the signup bonus again!

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23 Comments On "American Express Financial Review-What Is It And How To Avoid It…"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Moshe

But what is the advice to someone who did not close them down but rather “the issuer” closed them down? How do we get back on the band wagon?

Anonymous

is there anyway i can contact you by phone for some asvuce on this matter?

Anonymous

Does anyone know if these suggestions or if the whole problem of a financial review applies to AMEX business cards?

Anonymous

Your recommendation doesnt work. When they called me up to geta financial review, i right away wanted to cancel the cards, and they said i cannot cancel them because they are freezed. i got to wait. and now my credit report has 4 instances of closed by issuer

Anonymous

anon at 946 you will probly not get to talk to dan i dose not have time just say thank you for all what he dose for us we cant ask for more

Anonymous

what about a gold card with a no limit card , what is the max ,
thanks daniel, aj

Anonymous

i got f/red yesterday,

Told them it was too inconveinant, please close them all right now.

Paid off the balance.

I went from 130k available credit to 0 in about a minute.

applied for and got approved for chase and citi and bank of america.

Chase 24k, citi, 12k, boa 34k.

screw amex. i aint going back.

(except for starwood points, then canceling, reapplying, cancel…)

Anonymous

i just cancelled three accounts no problem

K

How often does this happen and why does it seem like this happens to everyone—

Anonymous

I just went onto the starwood amex link (thats on top of this site) to get a new card for an aditional 10,000 points, and i was surprised to reed:
“1 To be eligible to receive 10,000 bonus Starpoints®, you must make your first purchase with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card within one year of Card approval. Bonus points will appear on your Starwood Preferred Guest statement 8-12 weeks after your first purchase. Bonus Starpoints are for first-time Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cardmembers only. You may have more than one Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card account, however, if you have or had any such account you are not eligible to receive bonus Starpoints you may be offered for any other such account.”
Is the game over? should I sign up anyway? will I get the points?

Dan

Moish-
What do you mean “it wont let me”
Do you mean that they wont give you another card?
You just have to cancel your first starwood card card before applying for another one.

Anon-
It’s always said that.

shay

I have had a few financial reviews, my experience is that that paying to close to the due date (or statement closing date which can be later then the due date and is allowed with an amex charge card)can trigger a financial review.

Moish

Hey Dan, I hope you’re enjoying your trip.
I didn’t know you had to cancel first. NK told me he applied for a bunch at the same time then combined all the available credit. To answer your question it says that “your app has been canceled beaduse your earlier request was approved” (or something like that).
Also please answer my second question; “do all credit cards charge 2 or 3 percent on balance transfers? I am looking for a card that has 0% APR on balance transfers for one”
Thanks Dan!

carl

Dan ,Need an answer ASAP please! I am under AMEX FR and closed down all my cards right away as u suggested. I have though Gold card and Platinum card still. I want to close them but want to know if I have to transfer our my AMEX MR points or if Id ont will I lose them?? Basically can I proceed with cancelling my gold card and dont need worrry about my points or must i transfer them out right now and then cancel the card. {PLease somebody respond. Thank you

carl

Dan- if i must transfer out now, should i transfer to SPG and get hammered on the exchange ratio or just transfer to Onepass and pay the $20(or the 3500 points) fee for transfer. My basic goal is to use ANA eventually to get tickets to Israel through Continental

Dan

At this point its known that you should only close the accounts if you don’t make any income at all. This post is over 3 years old.

At any rate you need to transfer now. Pick between Continental, ANA, or Air Canada.

carl

Thank you very much Dan, enjoy the trip

Jeremy

Dan, i understand this post is very old, but i need some info. On the app i wrote i make about $160,000/yr, now i am being FR’ed, they want my tax info. The problem is my tax info will only show about $8,000 for lat year, what should i do? Close the account? Submit the paperwork? and if i do any what happens to my points?

Brownieee

@Jeremy: So what happened to you?

yanky

on shabbos afternoon right before SBS they froze all my 40 amex cards! 5 cards with all additional.couldnt shop !
financial review. reported 30,000 income. tax return 10,400
what should i do ?

Dan

@yanky:
Send it in and hope for the best.

yanky

can they hold it against me for writing 30 and filing 10

Josh

@Dan: Dan are your instructions above from 2007 still true today?

You wrote that: “What if you do get hit with a financial review and you don’t make any income on the books?
Immediately call up AMEX and ask to close down every one of your accounts.”

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