Posted by William Charles on November 6, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on November 6th, 2019 | by William Charles

264

Reports of American Express Shutting Down Some Users Accounts (Update: Transfer Out)

Update: For those who were shut down there are a number of datapoints (1, 2, 3, 4) of people being able to call in and still transfer out their points. Worth a try if you’re in this situation. One person also appealed the decision and were given an official response that the accounts were shut down due to self referrals.

Original post: Today in the /r/churning daily discussion thread a number of users have reported that American Express has shut down all of their accounts, there is now a dedicated shut down thread as well. At this stage it is not clear how American Express has targeted people for this wave of shut downs, so we are trying to get some additional information. If you have been shut down it would be helpful to provide answers to the following questions:

  1.  Did you do manufactured spending in bonus categories?​
  2. Did you do multiple pay-over-times?
  3. ​Did you do self-referrals?​
  4.  Have you ever had a financial review?​
  5. Did you know certain methods that can reset spend limits?​
  6.  Do you have multiple of the same cards?​
  7. Did you apply for the no AF Hilton Aspire that was linked today?



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Justintime
Justintime

Amex with the honeypot on that Aspire i have zero doubt since it’s a super special link that only ‘gamers’ would have access too. I almost applied until I saw this. Fuck no.

Motty
Motty

You think so? Where did link first come from?

FvckDoc
FvckDoc

If it’s true, Doc definitely got paid by Amex to release the link…

Dinarte
Dinarte

After all the good that Will and Chuck have done you really want to say that? Foh

DonS
DonS

They really release some good info.

Kyle
Kyle

The DPs suggest that the Aspire link and shutdowns today are merely coincidence. I doubt they have such a fast acting and deliberate turnaround to shut down users.. for now.

YoniPDX

I have to agree with you Kyle I think that if it was a true RAT Honeypot – then people wouldn’t be getting the SUB pop-up – esp people with very low velocity with AmEx. I think that it’s coincidence – I just checked I can still refer people and now refer people from Aspire card.

Looking over the shutdown thread it looks like common theme was self-referrals and multiple same card – but its still early.

Also people that have lost ability to refer are reporting shutdowns.

sam
sam

Is self referral not encouraged with amex? Not in amex game yet but do have 2 cards

Joe
Joe

Not any more. 2 sets of claw backs have occurred in the last 5 months or so.

Jeff
Jeff

If something is too good to be true it usually is.

It was a trap all along to weed out the hardcore churners.

Pahanin
Pahanin

I’m hardcore but I make a u-turn from Amex and head to Barclays

soulespada
soulespada

Barclay’s is getting stingy too and they hit you with hard inquiry each time and there is no guarantee if you get their cards or not

YoniPDX

Barclays is a likely TD if your at/over 6/24.

Tim
Tim

There were a good number of people saying they also saw the $0 AF navigating normally through Amex’s webpage.

Seems just like an accidental mistake and nothing more.

J
J

In the past, I had the popup. I did not on the Aspire (likely before then as well). I have not been shut down. I did no other gaming.

slowbrake
slowbrake

Meh, after awhile you’re only waiting around for the ‘no lifetime language’ offers anyway.

Brad
Brad

The link was available to everyone. You just had to log into your account and then act like you’re applying for the aspire card and there it was

Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly

All of my cards shutdown including my Centurion Biz.
1. No
2. No
3. No
4. No
5. No
6. No
7. No

joe
joe

Maybe someone else at your adress got shut down so therefore you did? when they send out a fr it works like that…

StarAdmiral
StarAdmiral

My wife got a FR but that was because she didn’t have a SSN, not for any shenanigans. My accounts were unaffected.

Nick
Nick

Folks, this is a joke. Look at the username.

Kyle
Kyle

Troll

Jeff Bezos

You too Brian?
My amazon card was shut down too.

Darold
Darold

Are you the points guy Brian Kelly?

Mike L
Mike L

Amex has been throwing a nonstop hissy fit ever since they lost Costco.

frogger
frogger

That is the dumbest comment ever. Costco was causing them to lose money. Soon as they dumped Costco their profits went up. I bought their stock when they lost Costco and I have double my investment.

Mr. Mosby
Mr. Mosby

In fact, Citi had to gut their benefits because of the Costco losses.

MisterBill
MisterBill

Wasn’t that really part of the cutback in benefits on free cards industry-wide?

Matthew
Matthew

Many DPs on reddit of the no AF language on the main Aspire page on Amex’s website today.

sam
sam

amex is getting ridiculous and has me continuously on edge… they took away 50k MR from me for no apparent reason. I would honestly think twice about holding any kind of sizable rewards point balance with them

Pahanin
Pahanin

Wowsa. For no reason at all?

Don
Don

by “no apparent reason” do you mean you self referred and got hit with clawbacks just like everyone else?

Yasmar Notlob
Yasmar Notlob

No reason at all?

Sure Jan.

Matt
Matt

I believe you could fink of a reason why they took away exactly 50k MR points. I believe we can all think of a reason, lol.

Pahanin
Pahanin

Sheesh…only a few hours after the Aspire link and shutdowns are already triggered. Are shut downs permanent?

DrPete
DrPete

yep. well 5-7 yrs

David
David

at the earliest

philco
philco

It has nothing to do with link as there are data points of folks closed who didn’t apply for that card. There is one person on Reddit that unless they are lying I have no idea why they were closed.

sdsearch
sdsearch

Reviewing the dedicated shutdown Reddit thread linked above where people are answering the questions, it seems that everyone who reported so far that they got shut down and answered all the questions had BOTH done self-referrals AND had multiples of at least one non-Hilton card. (I say “non-Hilton” because multiple Amex Hilton cards COULD have come from migration of the Citi Hilton cards to Amex a bit less than 2 years ago.)

philco
philco

I agree all the data points point to self-referrals. I am guessing the multiple cards is a reflection of the self-referrals but who knows.

kcihtred2
kcihtred2

you should make a guide to cashout since a lot of people are hitting that

USB
USB

Agreed!

Andrew
Andrew

IME There may not be any cashout… A “No FR” shutdown = you’re well and truly f*cked.

Samosa
Samosa

Now I am getting nervous, I have $7.36 CB sitting in my Blue Cash Everyday. I think it’s time to pull the trigger and cash out.

Mr Blonde
Mr Blonde

Fuck how did the RAT team let this whale slip by unscathed

Tim
Tim

Is there something I’m missing? isn’t the minimum redemption $25

satellite
satellite

OP missed /s

George
George

Sarcasm is most effective when it makes logical sense.

An “oh wait” at the end would’ve at least shown they know their stuff. Without it, they seem somewhat uninformed.

TCW
TCW

No, it was both extremely obvious and funny. I’m amazed anyone took the post as serious.

max martori
max martori

lmao

Yasmar Notlob
Yasmar Notlob

Sure you didn’t miss a zero or two there?

Ferris
Ferris

Honey you have nothing to worry about if there is $7.36 sitting in your account. People getting shut down likely carry balances of MR points in excess of 1M pts.

Glenn
Glenn

Its a *joke* folks. Jeez.

CZ
CZ

Probably too late

Miles
Miles

At least a few of the people shutdown had MR accounts that went negative and they closed those accounts and opened new cards with new MR accounts.

Matthew
Matthew

Finally a rational and plausible explanation.
Though it seems like if this were the case Amex should allow someone to “pay back” the negative points to return to good standing.

TW
TW

That’s not how MR works in my experience. Opening a new MR card doesn’t just magically give you an all new MR bucket, if you’re negative it’s not just going to disappear by closing your MR accounts and opening a new MR card.

BUT_WHY_MALE_M0DELS
BUT_WHY_MALE_M0DELS

no, that seems to be what actually happens if you close all MR accounts.

JohnFromATL
JohnFromATL

That is exactly how it works. It has been a known thing for a long time.

Woody
Woody

shaking now…… I ve done things more terrible than that list of questions, I value Amex soo much, Amex is the reason why I started traveling the world.. I am still in my 20s and absolutely grateful for the premium flights and luxury hotels I get from my amex cards…
if i survive
and I know the answer for question 5
and I was already banned by Chase couple years ago.

Davey Crockett
Davey Crockett

Banned by Chase and sill going nuts with AmEx? Hopefully you get banned and normal churners get some stuff back. Always the greedy aholes that ruin it for everyone.

bob
bob

you might wanna pre-emptively dump your MR into Delta (or whatever airline you like).

JB
JB

Delta will claw them back at AMEX’s request. Best bet is to turn them into cash with a Schwab account

Electroman

The cost of those miles is sunk; Delta won’t claw them back.

Crys
Crys

Did chase ever allow you back in?

Woody
Woody

No, couldnt even open a checking account.

TJK
TJK

What did you do to get banned by Chase? Wow.

GengisKhan
GengisKhan

Yeah Wow. I almost got into a physical fight with a manager at a Chase Branch and didn’t get banned.

Matt P
Matt P

If you value amex so much, why do things that are questionable?

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

Like following the advice that’s ladled out by blogs?

George
George

Caveat emptor.

Besides, DoC and most other big names always had a disclaimer re: self-referrals AFAIK. The Pay Over Time stuff, not so much… but the DPs suggest that’s not a (major) factor.

toddo
toddo

Burn all your bridges baby. blaze of glory !!!

VL
VL

If you value it THAT MUCH, why would you do those crazy things? Be reasonable is the rule #1 if you want to stay in the game… especially if you are already banned by 1 bank…
Huh.. good luck anyway…

Morris
Morris

Well… as the saying goes: “It pays to Discover” 🙂

MoreSun
MoreSun

So far everyone shut down today had self-referrals clawed back

Tim
Tim

I can feel a shutdown coming…
I’m at -80K (self – referral) & have had a FR.
“Alive” for now, but like last time – I might be in the second wave.
I think this is a good question to think about – are those that were shut down today the ones that received clawbacks during the first wave?

BubbleheadBee
BubbleheadBee

I was shut down yesterday, used self-referrals, and had 80% of the MR points claw-backed during first wave and second wave. My MR account was negative.

JB San Diego
JB San Diego

As of right now, my account is still active (knock on wood!!!)

Did you do manufactured spending in bonus categories?​ NO
Did you do multiple pay-over-times? YES
​Did you do self-referrals?​ YES
Have you ever had a financial review?​ NO
Did you know certain methods that can reset spend limits?​ NO
Do you have multiple of the same cards?​ NO
Did you apply for the no AF Hilton Aspire that was linked today? NO

Tim
Tim

Which wave did your self-referrals get clawed back?

JB San Diego
JB San Diego

First and Second. On the first wave, they didn’t claw back everything until the second wave (was not new referral).

Lukas
Lukas

Why can’t you have multiple of the same card? I have EDP and recently PC’ed my Blue for Students into another EDP. Is this a problem or does the multiple of the same card refer to something else?

YoniPDX

You can have multiples of the same card, the problem is when its connected to two things likely : Self- Referrals and Military AD who hold multiple premium cards – no AFs because of SCRA/MLA -I know that one of them was 7/12 with self-refer –

So Airline credits/uber/saks/dell – as well as the Brilliant credits – if someone got greedy with multiple cards but also self-referred. They say pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered. I know that I would probably do the same if I was still AD Still feel for them even with a shutdown, I know that sick feeling of loss.

DrewH2024
DrewH2024

I’ve had 5 Amex platinums of various types, never paid an annual fee (military). 2 have been shut down due to failing to keep Schwab and Morgan Stanley accounts funded 100% of the time. No self referrals though, and no claw backs.

Michael
Michael

Are you aware of military cardholders getting shutdown because they hold multiple cards? I have Platinum, Gold, Blue Business Plus, Hilton Aspire, and Hilton Surpass. My wife, who is also a military cardholder, carries Platinum, Hilton Aspire, and Delta Platinum. We don’t partake in any of the shenanigans, but Amex waives nearly $2500 in annual fees.

YoniPDX

Derp of the Derp report gets $3K+ in AF waived but does no MS, no self referral, his P2 IIRC gets large AF waived as well.

As well as just the standard credits Saks/Dell/Uber – might have painted outside the lines a little with credits. But he does have four personal Pt cards.

I did read that AmEx refunded an O-7 or O-8 like 26 years of fees under MLA/SCRA IIRC AmEx initiated the refund on their end.
Michael

Multiple same cards and Self-refer seemed to be this biggest key in the shutdowns.

Michael
Michael

P2?

YoniPDX

Player 2 i.e. Husband or Wife or SO.

One AD reports 26 AmEx cards no MS, or self refer, not shutdown or FR.

George
George

I would think no shenanigans = no reason for a shutdown. Shutting you down for getting a ton of AFs waived by SCRA would be illegal, no? Whether it’s 0 cards or 20 cards, the law is the law. You can’t just decide you don’t like it and shut down people with lots of it to reduce your losses.

Michael
Michael

Not illegal to shut me down, because Amex can do business with whomever it wants. Would be dumb though, given that they know a cardholder is military from the very first application.

George
George

I think it’s a legal gray area and they wouldn’t risk it. Just as you can’t engage in a pattern of firing people who take multiple medical leaves (even in “at-will employment” states), you can’t engage in a pattern of shutting down people who have many AFs waived by SCRA. And if you can’t make it a pattern, you’re not gonna do it at all, because you’ll just enrage (soon to be former) customers to save what is essentially pennies, and still open yourself up to review by the CFPB. If they really had a problem with it and wanted to make a change, I would think they’d be lobbying instead.

Steven
Steven

I plan to get 3 Hilton Aspire cards for 3 free nights but don’t plan any manufactured spending. Is there a risk for shutdown?

YoniPDX

WhIle you would likely just get the 150K SUB only on the first card – your limited to 2 cards per 90 days and limited to 5 CC total Biz/Per (charge card not limited ATM). I would not push trying to us NLL to get additional SUB if you have had the card in last 7 years at least till dust settles.

But past behavior with AmEx may get eyes on your account or if you have a NSF payment, file a dispute, or possibly abuse 0% offers, etc.

sdsearch
sdsearch

There is a difference between multiple cards meaning 2 total and one done by a PC, and multiple cards because of churning and/or self-referrals, and ending up with 3 of Plat, 2 of Gold, 2 of biz Gold, etc, as one person in a FlyerTalk thread about this (who got 18 cards shut down yesterday) did.

It also may matter how you use them. If you use 2 x EDP to get around an annual limit on category spend with one card, Amex is not going to like that at all (once they discovered it, which is likely only to be in a periodic “sweep”). But if you keep the category spend on both cards together well within whatever the limit is for one card, Amex is much less likely to care that you have two of the same card.

NBG
NBG

how are people notified of shutdown?. Email?.

YoniPDX

Desktop show a red triangle over the card and shows cancelled – same when you close a card till you remove it with manage this card.

Ha
Ha

Yes, mine received an email

MoreSun
MoreSun

Card declined and/or logging in and seeing Cancelled next all their cards apparently.

Jacob S. Parker
Jacob S. Parker

Thank you! I had same question

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