Posted by William Charles on December 10, 2015
Consumer Credit

Published on December 10th, 2015 | by William Charles


Did You Receive A $100 Check From American Express? Yes, It’s Legitimate

The Letter

Quite a few readers let me know that they had received a letter that had a $100 check enclosed and the following letter:

We are writing to let you know that a previous application(s) you submitted may have been declined in error.

We are sending you the enclosed check in the amount of $100.00 for any inconvenience this may have caused.

This check can be deposited directly into your bank account. You don’t need to take any further action before using this check. The check must be deposited within 180 days of the date printed on the check.

Legit Or Not

Quite a few of the readers that received this check weren’t sure if it was legitimate or not, especially as some of them didn’t remember any declined applications. I thought it best to double check with American Express and below is their response:

Yes, these are, in fact, legitimate checks and the customer can be confident that these checks are valid and can be cashed immediately.

That said, a customer can call the Research and Recovery team at 954-503-2820, MondayFriday between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM ET to confirm the validity of the check they received.

Or, if you would like to send me the actual letter these readers are receiving we can validate their particular claims or they can call the Research and Recovery team at the number listed above to validate.

Elizabeth Crosta
VP, Public Affairs

For whatever reason that research and recovery number is not listed on the American Express website, so if you’re still in doubt I’d instead recommend calling the number on the back of your card and then asking to be transferred to that department.

In fact I’d recommend doing that before cashing your check regardless, as scamsters might be aware of similar mail outs that American Express are doing and targeting it that way.

Our Verdict

I’m not a lawyer, but I suspect but cashing that check you’re agreeing not to peruse any legal action as a result of the incorrectly denied application. In saying that, the letter doesn’t mention anything to that effect so it’s also likely that this is just a gesture of good will. Maybe you’re also able to get the application that was denied over turned into an approved application as well?

At the end of the day, the checks are real and $100 is $100 so feel free to cash them. I’d personally still call the number on the back of my card and ask to confirm this with the research and recovery team first though.

Hat tip to Point Me To The Plane

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Can I sue Amex for not rejecting my application?


“I suspect but cashing that check you’re agreeing not to peruse any legal action as a result of the incorrectly denied application.”

I am a lawyer, and at least based on what’s been presented, you are not waiving your right to sue. Absent any additional terms that would be seen as forming a contractual offer- somethinh along the lines of “your endorsement and deposit of the attached bank check hereby constitutes an acceptance of our offer and a binding agreement not to sue us for the matter described above” it’s not going to be seen as a waiver.

If you were a dick about it you could actually use the letter as evidence that Amex did in fact do the terrible things you’re describing. But I have a hard time you’d be able to get much out of it beyond $100.

Scot Rosenberg
Scot Rosenberg

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt you’re a lawyer, Amex has the right to deny applications, they are not obligated to accept any customer for any reason, I think it’s only a gesture meant not to piss off potential good customers.


I got a similar check from AmEx several years ago. It was for $300. I didn’t ask any questions. Thanks AmEx!


I like to try to look at the positive: a huge corporation made a mistake, acknowledged their mistake, and sent out cash as an apology. I have a very low tier Amex Card (Everyday) and this is why I choose to do business with American Express. I personally didn’t receive the check, but it’s incredible they even bothered to do anything about their error. Why not $50? Why not a $50 Amex gift card?

Tracy Allen

I want 100 dollar chexk

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