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?
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!