American Express canceled my account. Will this hurt my credit score?

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I’ve been an American Express customer for more than 20 years. I was never late, never went over my credit limit. While out of town recently, I tried to use my card to pay my hotel bill and was told it was declined. I called Amex right away and after waiting on hold for about an hour, I was able to speak to a customer service rep who said my account was CANCELED due to a change in my credit score.

Needless to say, I was upset. I checked Experian when I got home and everything was ok, as it should be, since I keep all my accounts current and under my credit limits. I’ve since learned that Amex has been having financial difficulties. They needed a huge Federal bailout ($ 3 billion plus.) Apparently, through their mismanagement, they’ve run out of money and are closing accounts and lowering credit limits to conserve their cash. I can’t imagine they’ll be around much longer if this is how they treat their long-term customers. I heard that if they rather than I closed the account, that this hurts my credit score. Is this correct? Do I have any recourse against them? By the way, I paid my account in full within 10 days of their closing it.

5 Comments
  1. Reply
    ladykenmax
    November 10, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Who better to call but Experian, Tell them the circumstances and see if they can put a note on your credit report on why the account was closed. Good Luck

  2. Reply
    Igotasecondchance
    November 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    You are incorrect when you say that Amex is in financial trouble, actually in this economy they are doing very well. Your card was canceled because as the rep informed on of the 3 major credit bureau has reported that your credit score has dropped there are 3 major credit reporting agency Experian, Transunion (Amex goes through them mostly) and Equifax you should check all three however you will recv a letter stating which credit bureau was used to provide that information just in case there is an error on your report that you need to correct. No, you do not have any recourse against Amex because it is in your customer care AGREEMENT that Amex can/will close your acct or DECREASE your credit limit if they find that you have “credit issues” or that you are a “credit-risk” even if it is outside of the American Express account (your situation). Your credit card is subject to the terms and conditions of Amex not the card holder. I know what has happened to you is embarassing but please dont be mad at Amex Understand that it is a business and although 20yrs of loyalty is great we are in a world where credit is big big big factor Would you loan money to someone that you have known for 20yrs if they were known to not pay their debts to others. Dont be offended by what has happened accept it. If you really would like them to consider re-opening the acct because 20yrs of of loyalty is something GREAT and admirable to Amex call and ask for the number to the Corporate Headquarters of course this is not a gurantee, I do know that Amex is strong on customer care so they will try their very best to help you out but be resonable about the situation American Express is a business and so that they dont end up bankrupt or in “financial difficulties” they must make wise decisions, such as closing accts and cutting credit lines of those who are known as “credit risk” American Express is a great company and they do really care about your business but they still have to function and be smart to stay in business.

    Good news is your credit score will not drop because they closed your acct as long as when they report to the credit agency you have a zero balance.

  3. Reply
    bastetg4
    November 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

    If AmEx was strong on customer care, they wouldn’t be pulling this kind of crap on long-term customers with good histories. But don’t take it personally–they’re doing this to everyone. Whether they’re in trouble doesn’t really matter–they’ve closed your account and you want to know what happens next. I’ve seen this kind of story a lot recently. You probably don’t have any recourse (termination is at their discretion), because they had a reason to close your account, whatever it was. It can’t hurt to try though–they’ve already closed your account, so they can’t do worse to you if you call.

    But your question was will it hurt your score. AmEx charge accounts are unlimited, so it won’t affect your overall credit limit, and if you’ve already paid it off, you don’t have to worry about having the “paid off” date being later than the closed date. The way this will hurt you is that your utilization may go up–the percentage of usage to credit limits on your other cards. The ideal number is 10% or less usage of your overall credit. If your other accounts have lower limits, you could easily jump over 30% utilization, which will lower your credit score.

    Also, 7-10 years from now, the AmEx account will drop off your credit report. A good open account on your report is a good thing, but a closed account (even in good standing) will drop off in 7-10 years and may shorten your credit history’s average age. Overall, though, it shouldn’t affect your score very much if you have other accounts in good standing.

  4. Reply
    wildbirdie
    November 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

    It won’t hurt. Creditors close accounts for inactivity all the time.

    Just think about the fee you’re saving. I had an Amex when I was young and bank cards were new and $ 1000 was a big line (not much if you’re traveling). Now that I have three bank cards each with 10,000+, who needs to pay a fee for Amex?

  5. Reply
    SlimMick
    November 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Remember that there are three credit bureaus…not just Experian….You can get your credit report for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com (NOT freecreditreport.com)….See if anything is amiss on your Equifax or Trans Union credit reports on that site.

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