Posted by William Charles on February 9, 2019
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Published on February 9th, 2019 | by William Charles

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American Express Closing Some Morgan Stanley Platinum Accounts (Don’t Panic)

American Express has sent out letters informing some Morgan Stanley Platinum cardholders that their card is being shut down in the next 60 days.

Before people start panicking it seems like people are receiving these shut down notices for one of two reasons:

  • Access accounts were never actually funded
  • Morgan Stanley accounts were closed by user

Remember you need to be an active Morgan Stanley user to have this card, so having an unfunded account or closed account won’t work. For more information about this card/access accounts, check out our post Getting the Amex Platinum Morgan Stanley Card, and read these posts by Windbag miles:

Hat tip to echen1024



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Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Thank you for including the “Don’t Panic”. Of course Amex is going to catch on if you try to snake out of the requirement of a MS brokerage account. It worked while it worked, so I guess you just gotta park the $5k in there for a year.

Debit
Debit

Nope. Amex reads the blogs and catches things right on the blogs. They probably have no idea about all their loopholes.

Buckeyejalen
Buckeyejalen

Looks like AMEX won’t claw back signup bonus right? But doesn’t that conflict with the 12 months term?

Frank
Frank

That’s some news as one of the methods touted was to open the account and never fund it. Obviously that was dumb but it shows that is a no-go now

Alex
Alex

I funded my MS account in good faith and then later received notice that their platform had not invested my funds according to the risk profile I set. They added a little over $100 to my account and stated this would cover the difference in portfolios along with any taxes due. But gave no explanation whatsoever as to how they calculated this number. Talked to several of their reps, and each of them could not figure out how one would be upset about this and could not understand my demand for some calculation to explain where they got their numbers. Couldn’t get anywhere with their advisors so requested an account closure. Will probably lose my MS platinum now. Horrible service and refused to even refund the fees I paid for the platform. Can’t reccomend using an access account in any capacity.

Darv
Darv

This is a good example of why Amex shouldn’t close your Platinum card. I would think they’d want you to continue using that card, or at least ask you if you want it converted to their vanilla product. People may have valid reasons for closing their MS accounts, as in not liking them, or like in your situation.

YoungestofAlltheBuck
YoungestofAlltheBuck

Makes sense. Keep the account funded and don’t worry.

Got the same letter from Amex on my Schwab Plat bc Schwab closed my checking+brokerage account due to Chex. Opened and funded a lone brokerage account and am fine

JB San Diego
JB San Diego

Thank you DoC for the heads up! I fall under this category and comes Monday, I will be on the lookout for the letter. Tomorrow, I am going to get my AA e-gift cards for My $200 airline credit. Other than this, I don’t need the card and they would actually be doing me a favor to close it.

mjs
mjs

if that’s the case, you may want to close it yourself. generally doesn’t matter, but good idea not to have “closed by creditor” on your credit reports. Also, who knows if Amex closes it, they may internally note you more unfavorable for future cards.

Dan
Dan

do they refund the annual fee when they close it involuntarily? could actually be a benefit if you time it right

Matthew
Matthew

Why would they give you a refund for you choosing to not meet their T&C?

Darv
Darv

Because I paid an annual fee, as in annual. If they close it before the 12 months are up, they should issue a pro-rated refund of the fee. As best I can tell, their fee refund policy is if I choose to cancel the card. In this case they’re closing it. If they’re not doing this purely to curb abuse of people holding multiple versions of essentially the same product, I don’t know why they want to close these. In theory, somebody might open a MS account, see the ad for the Amex co-branded product, and apply for the card. Then change their mind on MS, but appreciate the Plat benefits. I would think Amex would want to let people keep the cards. So as a policy, it doesn’t make sense. I would think that’s a reason for the co-branded relationship, to expose both groups to each other’s products. The MS account is not needed for the charge card except for transfers. But whatever, Amex. Maybe they are selectively closing people’s accounts and this is a RAT thing. I actually doubt it is a RAT thing, rather that they’re simply enforcing the relationship requirement, which again doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Stable Genius
Stable Genius

Maybe because the terms are a bidirectional agreement? What’s next: they’ll close your account, keep your $550, clawback or charge you for 60,000 MR, report your account as closed by creditor to the bureaus, and send you a bill for long distance landline CSR calls… all for a determination you failed to be eligible for the card 60 days after both of you opened it? Of course not.

I don’t think an arbiter in the country even one working for Amex would be able to find justification for punitive penalties with no damage (outside the bonus points). The points and product are theirs, and the annual fee is yours for a year of financial services from Amex. This is why they prorate fees in the first place. What happens if you say, “oh I am so sorry Amex, let me fund it next billing period,” will they prorate their annual fee penalty in your example?

Cool Guy
Cool Guy

They do refund. However, the annual fee will be prorated. Just like you can close your account any time by yourself.

Rowan
Rowan

I wonder if those of us with an Ameriprise Platinum card but no associated Ameriprise Financial accounts will receive similar letters soon…

CongestionCharge
CongestionCharge

I’d say they’re catching on

Darv
Darv

I hazard a guess that most churners who applied for this card did not fund the account, so there are quite a few people this affects. Also as I recall the language was that you needed a relationship to open the account. Does it specifically say you need to maintain an account to keep the card?

Darv
Darv

I didn’t read the letter above. Their terms and conditions apparently say you need to maintain the brokerage account to keep the card. Since the brokerage account could be closed for a few reasonable circumstances, I wouldn’t think Amex would do something punitive beyond simply closing the charge card. I guess we’ll see.

Igor
Igor

The sky is falling!

Phill
Phill

lol…it’s okay chicken little…

Bill
Bill

Didn’t get the letter. I have a free AAA account that I got through work benefits that has had a few dollars parked in it for umpteen years, but has never had anything invested.

Fishtrackerjr
Fishtrackerjr

What if they come for ameriprize?

Pam
Pam

For the one apply for first year free, it’s not too bad since there was no bonus to be clawed back. For anyone who applies for 60K MR version, well, let’s hope they don’t come for Ameriprise.

Highsky
Highsky

Will the welcome bonus be clawed back since my account was opened in less than a year ago?

CtownBin
CtownBin

Got this exact same letter for my Schwab plat. Happens to be my year is up anyways so it’s no big deal, but for those still in the first year, it’s still possible to keep the card open by opening the brokerage and linking by their deadline. Might be annoying, but probably worth it since you don’t want to mess with having an AMEX card closed within the first year, even in their T&C they list that as a no-no.

Pam
Pam

Did you ever fund the account? I assume you open the Access Investing account.

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