The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

American Express / american express reduced credit line and damaged my credit

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I am a small business owner and I am extremely particular about my credit. With a lot of hard work, years in the making, my credit score was nearly perfect.

Because of the flexibility of the American Express Platinum card and it’s advertised “no preset spending limit”. This is advertised on all of there web sites, TV and print advertising.

• Airport Club Access
• Exclusive amenities at boutique, resort, and luxury hotels
• Platinum Travel Service
• No pre-set spending limit
• The Membership Rewards First® program
• Platinum Card Concierge Service
• By Invitation Only® Events

I applied for and received this card and paid a very high annual fee ($450.00 PLUS $250 for each additional card holder) for this privilege so that I could use it for larger purchases.

Later, because we are launching a new business I also ordered anther American Express revolving card and a line of credit account. All accounts were solely based on personal credit and I was told that up front.

American Express extended numerous solicitations on the platinum card to pay some of my purchases over time. You were instructed to request to pay over time and then they would take several days to approve. In order to help finance my new business, I also took advantage of that offer.

I paid fully and on time according to the terms of my agreement. I never made a payment late. I had only used a percentage of the credit available to me on the line of credit and the revolving card as they came with a preset limit that I was given in writing.

I purposely kept my spending below the max available so that it would not adversely effect my credit score.

Bait and switch ... I was shocked when my Platinum card was declined for a small purchase. I contacted American Express and was told that they had decided to give me a “credit limit” that was less than my current balance on the card and that I was over their newly imposed limit. They gave me no reason for doing this and gave me no advance notification.

I had recently written a check from the line of credit to cover some other purchases. I had checked the available credit prior to doing this and it was sufficient to cover the check. Several weeks later I received letters in the mail saying they had reduced my limit on my revolving card and my line of credit account.

I called and asked if the check would be honored as I had written it prior to them reducing my limit. They refused to honor it and returned the check. (costing me fees)
Their reason? Because I didn't have a Dunn & Bradstreet number. I've requested a number from Dunn & Bradstreet and have never received one. Yet remember that my line of credit was secured off of my personal credit, not my business credit worthiness.

This matter has had a severely negative impact on my credit score. By reducing the credit limits, it looks as though I was maxed out on my available credit which causes your score to drop dramatically. Not only has it limited my credit line with American Express buy has caused me to be declined by others because of the negative impact on my credit.

Not only is this False and deceptive advertising and “bait and switch”, This is an unethical practice and I feel American Express should be made to honor their agreements. Especially with regard to the fact that they charge exorbitant membership fees for the “privilege” and then renege on the original offers.

I would like my original terms restored immediately and the information corrected with all credit bureaus.

Thank You for your assistance in this matter.

Sort by: DownDate | Rating


  • Ch
      21st of Aug, 2017
    0 Votes

    The Same issue of reducing the credit limit happened to me today. The American express customer service(from India) sucks, they doesn't speak good to the customers. They reduced my limit 8000 without any sort of prior notice. They sent me an email after doing it. American express will be sued someday if they dont understand the customer's problem. They will have to face the consequences in the near future. Playing with the life of people is not the right way of doing business. They say it's a customer centric company and never bother about the customer problems, what sort of a company it is?. I'm going to close the account in few more day's shortly after paying the dues. USA's most useless credit card & service ever.


  • Jm
      1st of Oct, 2014
    0 Votes

    In December 2008, my business was ruined by American Express
    who had extended us unlimited credit, only to withdraw the credit without any
    reason or warning. I lost everything—my retirement, life savings, my credit
    rating and my home. Claiming “unjust enrichment” AmEx then suited me for the
    unpaid balance.

    I have been in court for 5 years trying to represent myself.
    Finally I have a prominent law firm interested in the case and even a class
    action suit. I need the stories of others that have been damaged personally or
    in their business. It can be in the form of a letter, but to be considered as
    evidence in the case, I need stories notarized as an Affidavit. (click on the
    link below to see my affidavit.)

    Also, should you have any contacts, I need the media’s
    coverage. Please let us know if anyone can help.

    John Cockerham


  • Ev
      12th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have posted prior and continue to read all this about Open from American Express designed to help your business with cash flow. OMG they are evil, they charge merchants for the points that they give their customer and do not tell the public whom is acutally giving the rewards, in return they pull you credit line from you for no real reason to their "va;lued" customer... They will sue you, they will damge your credit by lowering your credit lines and making you apear debted out, they will send you to three attorney and collection agencies for no given honest reason, I had one attorney put a negative reporting on my credit card whom hasnt even sent me any information then they play dumb to it. Thye hire people whom will nto discuss anything with you but threaten lawsuit and try to place a lein on your business. They are truly evil. I am suing them, tehy have caused me grief unlawfully and I will see victory in their nonscence business practice, they cause small business closures and are strictly evil.
    If your doing business with them, stop they will get the best of you in time these posting are all 100% honest on thsi forum!

  • Jp
      13th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    I've been a customer since 1993. We put everything on Amex, we run a high monthly bill on our supposedly unlimited charge card, around $6, 000 a month and up to $12, 000 with vacations. I got an email three weeks ago saying we had a limit of $10, 200 which, since I was about to make payment for that month, meant if we'd spent more then a couple of hundred dollars over two weeks on it, we'd go over the limit. the email claimed we'd get postal advice, which never came.. in the post i got advice THREE SEPARATE TIMES that they had removed our flexible payment option. an option i had never used, never asked for, had it foisted on me by evil Amex.
    I have never missed a payment (they agree with me on that), have an excellent credit score... i am fighting with them every two days to resolve this. i sent them a 12-page fax of credit reports and their stupid letters and tonight told they haven't processed it yet...they've had it for one week. bad luck for us if we take a week to deal with them. i'm so over amex but don't want to cancel my card and damage my score... Class action--yes!

  • Fx
      11th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi All,
    I had both business and personal accounts with Amex. All are in good standing. In October I experienced the same treatment from them by lowering all of my credit lines. I canceled 2 personal and 3 business accounts because of this. I have been paying down the balances on time each month since then. I received a call yesterday from an Amex rep. She told me that Amex was requesting that I make a payment that day to further bring down my amount owed. When I asked her why she told me that I had balances outstanding. I said yes but they are paid on time and based in Amex's treatment of me personally and my business I do not feel compelled to advance my payment schedule. Besides the accounts are closed and I have given my business to Chase. She began to tell me about the amounts Amex had extended to me in the past ($50, 000 +. This was paid in full over 2 years ago). I pointed out that that should have been their criteria when they decided to lower and stop customers credit lines. I confirmed that all of my accounts were closed and I told her that if and when the economy gets better Amex will never get either my personal of professional business. As for now, I will continue to pay down the balances but I will not over extend my financial situation to apese American Express.

  • Iu
      28th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi, I started a cause on Facebook called "Boycott American Express". Feel free to join and spread the word:

  • Ha
      9th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have been with Amex since 1992, I have 3 cards. My costco true earning had credit line of $37500, it was reduced to $100.00 Only. I have perfect credit and last year alone I used this card for over $260K and paid it off. I have cut my Amex cards and now I say to everone, Please leave home without it.

  • Rp
      21st of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    This is the letter I wrote AMEX and never received an answer:

    "I heard once that a bank lends you an umbrella on a sunny day and asks for it back when the rain starts.
    I spoke to your associate two days ago when I receive the call, he was very rude and told me that I had serious delinquency on my credit report. Yes, I do have 1 item from the University of Phoenix that was a total scam. It is paid for, it was paid 4 years ago. My credit score is over 720 and my wife over 750. We make over 250K annually and I did take this reduction personal due to the manner I was talked to. The kicker being that I just paid 13000 for a bill of 13000, I don't carry balances, maybe this is the reason you are so upset since you get no interest from me.

    I use this card for business, but I will not user American Express any longer. My company *********** has 6 Platinum cards that we pay 300 yearly for each, I will close those accounts as well. I had another American Express with Bank of America and it has already been switched to a VISA.

    Don't worry about my credit worthiness, you won't have my business any longer, as a matter of fact I also cancelled our account with my credit card vendor and as of Tuesday we don't accept American Express at my business as well.

    Thank you for informing me though. It was very thoughtful of you.



  • Ar
      6th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I 'm with AMEX since 1997 EXCELLENT credit never been late with them received a credit reduction letter in the last 4 months I was reduced from 27, 000 to 15, 000 and now to 8, 900 these ###s left me with a $ 300 open credit, in the eyes of a Bank it looked as if I'm maxed out, which means my FICO score is affected. AMEX is the most corrupt credit card Compamy all consumers should complain for their practises. I'm writing a very strong letter to FTC, my cousin has a friend who works for the New York Times, These ###s deserve all the bad publicity.

  • Di
      6th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    We have used AmEx Blue and gold cards for several years with $20, 000+ credit limits. We have carried balances in excess of $15K several times and paid them off in full over and over, NEVER late. We never pay the minimum $200-400 due... usually pay $2, 000 to $5, 000 at a time. We have excellent credit, just bought a new home, pay all bills on time. Husband got a big promotion and I received a good raise this year and we have "recession proof" jobs. When my AmEx Blue was declined yesterday while making a large purchase I laughed and told the clerk to try it again... declined again. How embarrassing! I put it on the Visa and told my husband. He called AmEx this morning and was informed that they have dropped our credit line over $10, 000 to just $200 over our current balance. They said "market conditions" were the factor. I pointed out our excellent payment history and the volume of business (and interest payments) we provide them. I asked to have a supervisor review this and was told it would be 90 days before they would reconsider. My husband is enraged and will pay it off and cancel the account entirely. They have already damaged our credit with the reduction of credit line, so we don't care if closing of the account is negative on our credit score. We can and will pay cash. Why does a company run off good paying, productive customers? Why drop us, but keep a customer who pays late fees but will default on the big balance as the economy tanks? AMERICAN EXPRESS IS IN BIG FINANCIAL TROUBLE. If I owned any stock in them, I would SELL IT NOW. We are cashing in all of our hundred thousand rewards points onto gift cards before they decide to close our account or go out of business altogether. I suggest you do the same!!

  • Jo
      5th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I've had the american express card for over 20 years. by 2009 i had a delta american express card, platinum card, and the blue card. I've been using credit and the american express card to run my small decorating business for 15 years. I often would make a large payment and then make a large purchase. I have an excellent record of making payments on time. Recently I made a large payment of $11, 000. Shortly after making the payment i needed to make a $9000.00 purchase. I went online to see if my payment had cleared. I saw the payment had cleared but the credit was not available. I called Amex and spoke to a customer service rep. The CS rep assured i was an excellent customer and i had nothing to worry about. as i was talking to CS i refreshed my screen and the credit line appeared. The following day i went to use the credit line and it was declined. I call CS and was told that my credit line was lowered by $11, 000.00. I was dealt with by CS like I was the lowest thing on the food chain, talked down to, and i felt like i was not worth their time, and not one person was interested in listening to my problem. Amex's computers had made the decision and that was it. Goodbye chump. Following this event my financial infrastructure fell apart. I blame AE directly responsible for the collapse of my business. You can look at my credit report and see no derogatory marks until after the Amex credit event.

  • Je
      28th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    While there are no shortage of complaints I too want to share my frustrations over recently having my American Express Blue Card canceled unexpectedly. Ironically its a card I use somewhat infrequently at places that don't accept other more common cards, e.g. Costco. I used it by accident to purchase gas on a business trip in February - mistaking it for my company card and promptly received a letter stating that the card was being canceled. I assumed it was due to lack of use (not realizing yet that I'd used it on accident) but was told by the customer service rep that I spoke with (in an extremely demeaning and condescending tone I might add) that it was because I'd had a negative report against my credit history. That came as a shock since I have worked very hard to protect my credit and maintain my high score. Turns out it was a bill for $40 that my doctor didn't file correctly with my insurance company (or send me a bill for, or call about) that got turned over to a collection agency back in September. I made a few more calls and got the bill paid off immediately (its much easier to pay a bill when you know that it exists) and I was surprised that the folks at the collections agency were much more polite than the folks at American Express had been - despite the fact that I'd been a loyal and reliable customer for nearly a decade.

    I got my statement in the mail today - and it suggested that I still had several thousand Membership Reward points eligible for redemption. I figured that would be a perfect way to get some semblance of resolution - but discovered after calling their customer service number that the points were gone before I'd even received the membership cancellation letter.

    I don't mind loosing points or being forced to immediately pay my balance (thankfully not that large since I'd only made the one charge for gas) but I do mind being treated like someone who'd done something wrong after being a loyal and trustworthy cardholder for so many years and I greatly mind the negative impact that the account closure will likely have on my credit score. As I'm currently in the process of refinancing a mortgage I fear that the later could potentially cost me thousands.

    Obviously at this point I wouldn't recommend American Express - as I wouldn't wish for anyone to have the experiences that I've had (or those that others have explained in this forum that are truly far worse) but I also hope that there can be some sort of effort made by American Express to repair the damage that they've done to individual customers who have suffered as a result of their recent practices. Companies that act this way certainly don't deserve to receive money from American taxpayers nor do companies who treat loyal customers so poorly deserve to stay in business.

    Jennifer B.
    Bloomington, IN

  • Sd
      24th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had the same thing happen about 2 weeks ago. I have been a member since 1998, have a plat card, blue and the costco card...My authorized user went to use the costco card (which had no balance on it) and it was declined for a $300 charge?? I had plenty of room on the card and I too called Amex to inquire. I was advised my account was under review for a credit line decrease and could not use my card until it was lowered?? I was confused so I called plat card to see if they could give me a better answer and they could not, I was also told that due to the economy that all card members were being evaluated, etc...My credit score is >800, nothing has ever been late and when I get the email that a "new" bill was available on line I paid it in full... I think Amex should go out of business for shotty business pratices, I cancelled ALL my amex cards and paid them off in full that same day... They told me since I was such a "Valued" customer w/excellent credit w/them that they would have someone call me back to discuss my decision to close my accounts... apparently they dont give a ###, that was 2 weeks ago and I still have not heard anything...I will NEVER have another Amex card... I have even gone as far as to discuss this situation to our company owner who is going to cancell all of our corportate Amex cards (which we spend >100k per month on them) and go with Visa... if they are going to do this and ### peoples credit up doing so making the persons debt ratio go bezerk they should have to correct this ###... I closed them all and paid them before my debt ration went out of wack and ruined my good credit score...they really dont care when you call them either, they are just like "oh well" another one cancelled their card... Well when everyone gets rid of their cards who do they think is going to pay their salary..

  • Ju
      20th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I found my Amex card was closed out today without any warning! I have had the card for 4 plus years and had always paid on time. Not only was my card closed, but I loss all of my hard earned points! These unethical and unfair practices being perpetrated by American Express and the people who works there should be held accountable to some kind of justice.

    I will never hold another American Express card again, and I will make every effort to warn other individuals.

    Damn to American Express and to those individuals who make these callous decisions.

  • Pe
      19th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    American Express - is there even one individual in your organization with a BRAIN?? Read the posts above and add my complaint to the ever-growing list. My interaction with your customer "service" department was the last straw. Cut my credit limit without notice despite a 100% perfect payment history for 5 years. The no "preset spending limit" is a crock of [censored]. That doesn't mean that they'll readily increase it. It means that will arbitrarily cut it, in some cases below your current balance, on a whim - claiming that it's based on a 6-month moving average of your payment history.

    Consumers and business owners - AVOID AMERICAN EXPRESS AT ALL COSTS! Vote with your feet - we do not have to put up with their inexcusable antics.
    There are plenty of great banks with VISA and MasterCard offerings that don't play games with their credit limits. Let's put American Express in the same Hall of Shame as Oldsmobile, Eastern Airlines, Lehman Brothers, Enron ...

  • Fr
      17th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I agree! I have never been treated so rudely and poorly by a company before. I had my AmEx for about 2 years and never been late and always paid on time if not early. I paid my AmEx card off to a zero balance since I was heading out of town for a conference that I was working at and I wanted to make sure I had enough funds to cover my hotel and expenses. I paid my card on 3/10 and 3/13 they closed my account without any notice and I was put in a horrible situation since I was out of town and was counting on those funds to be available, when I called them they were very rude and could have cared less.

  • Jl
      28th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have a 25k credit line, always paid off. I wanted to park $23k balance from my BOA on to my True Earnnings Amex since my promo from BOA 1% was coming up due in March 2009. I spoke with a rep over the phone to do the transfer and after a few days later i was rejected due to my current credit score of 758. The letter was not specific in anyway, they just stated after evaluating your current report blah blah blah blah blah. Anyway to make a long story short, i now have to dip into my savings to pay off the $23k. I have currently all these cards no balance AMEX Clear $20k AMEX True Earning $25k AMEX Gold small business up to $200k yes $200k AMEX Simply Cash $30k. I am a bit sour at AMEX amid this global crisis and their way of donig business without any pre warning. I am sure a class action will come about, when one of the lawyers gets their card declined or rejected and he googles this.

  • Sc
      27th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    They have done the same to me. Read Below.

    February 27, 2009
    American Express
    Consumer Affairs
    P.O. Box 981542
    El Paso, TX 79998

    Dear Consumer Affairs,
    I have been a loyal customer and card holder of American Express for over 10 years. I am extremely disgusted by the way I have been treated by you and your company. I hold a Platinum Charge Card, a Blue Credit Card, and a Delta Sky Miles Card. After consulting your customer service department I was told not to pay off the cards and that leave a small balance on them would continue building credit with American Express. In Aug. 2008 I made a payment of $8000.00 on the Blue Card as well as a $3500.00 Payment on the Delta Sky Miles card. This is on top of the $2000.00 to $5000.00 I pay monthly on my Platinum card. My calculations are that I spend about $40, 000.00 a year with you and this is how I have been treated.
    After Paying down about $11, 000.00 in balances on both the Blue and Delta cards which I was informed to do by YOUR company’s customer service department instead of paying them off. YOU American Express lowered my credit lines to about $100.00 over the balances left. Wow I give you eleven thousand dollars and you penalize me! How dare you. This is bad business but still I kept all my cards with you after speaking to one of your Customer Service reps who informed me that they have reevaluated everyones credit lines during these tough times.
    Well times are tough and I got laid off in December and start a new job March 16th. When I knew things could get tough I stopped using my Platinum charge card and decided after 2 months that I would not be able to pay the full balance which is around $2000.00 dollars. I called to pay $500.00 and to move the remanding $1500.00 to a line of credit which I could pay over the next few months. I had done this in the past and paid it off and was told it would not be a problem to do again. After I was transferred to a specialist who could do this I was told I could not and that I needed to pay the full balance. I informed her I could not until the first week of April and that I would like to pay $500.00 and she told me that $500.00 was not acceptable. NOW you can wait on your money and as soon as I can pay the balance off I will cancel all 3 of my cards and never again will I do business with American Express again nor will I have anything good to say about American Express to anyone. Your company really disappointed me and when we come out of these hard times I hope American Express suffers for the way they have treated there trusted clients.
    Sincerely yours,

    Scott A. Owens
    Card holder since 1998

    Scott Owens
    Brunswick Ga.

  • Ch
      23rd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I agree with all the above. This has happened to me twice. My AmEx was just reduced a few days ago and I have never missed a payment, I have not used the card in approximately eight months, never exceeded my credit line, and make two payments per month. When checking my credit report it clearly shows, I have an excellent record of payment with AmEx and all other creditors, therefore, I do not understand how they can "profile" me and reduce my credit limit. I immediately contacted them to inquire about there action and they did not have a clear answer regarding the reduction. But, like I have read with other complaints, it appears they seem to expect these calls and have a script to say nothing. I no longer plan to stay with AmEx because of they credit practices which are illegal.

  • Do
      28th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I completely agree with all of your statements. My American Express card was canceled despite never having been late on my payments and not exceeding my credit line. I needed to speak with 3 agents and specifically ask for a supervisor before I was able to receive any intelligible answers. I was then informed that the company has 7 years to perform a review and to then adjust rates as they choose. I now have only 90 days to pay off my balance or else be reported to credit bureaus as being delinquent in my canceled account and owing the full amount. I would love to be a part of a class action lawsuit if anyone finds a viable way to do it!

Post your comment