Complaints Against American Express

American Express provides a range of financial services, and they are not without their fair share of customer complaints. We show you the most common, and what legal options you have when things go wrong.

Have you been paying high fees for your credit cards, savings accounts, or CDs? Was your account closed without your knowledge and you can’t access your funds? Are you having problems accessing your account online or through the American Express app? Do you encounter issues when using your American Express credit cards or gift cards?

American Express is well-known for its credit cards, however, the company offers many other services such as bank accounts, financial planning, and asset management. Several companies that fall under the American Express brand including the American Express Bank, Ltd., American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., IDS Financial Services, Inc., and First Data Corporation.

While they offer a variety of services, American Express receives its share of complaints. Over the past three years, the Better Business Bureau has received 2,981 customer complaints about American Express. Frequent customer complaints about their banking services include:

  • Dissatisfied with products or service quality
  • Closed accounts
  • Problems using services online or via the app

Dissatisfied with product or service quality

One of the most common customer complaints arise from American Express credit cards. American Express cards can offer many perks such as reward points, travel certificates, and bonus travel miles. Customers often complain that they don’t receive the perks as promised or they are unable to access them. When they contact customer service, they are either told that they were not entitled to receive them and aren’t given an explanation.

In other instances, customers are told that they didn’t qualify for the perks even though their original application stated that they did. Also, customers report that the type of credit card account that they have was changed without their knowledge, causing them to lose accumulated bonus points and travel miles.

Also, customers report frustrations with the American Express gift cards. Not only do these carry high fees, but there is also a high instance of unauthorized charges on these cards that customers have a difficult time resolving with customer service.

One customer noted:

I received an American Express gift card as part of a rebate on a purchased product. When I attempted to use the gift card for an online purchase, which was for the value of the gift card, the transaction was refused. I attempted two more times and was refused each time. My call to American Express Customer Service was terrible due to the spotty and noisy line. I could barely understand the customer rep, but what I could piece together was that a 10¢ transaction fee is assessed for an online purchase. However, I was assured that after the transaction cleared, the 10¢ would be credited back to the card. Since I tried to use the balance on the card, and the 10¢ fee the card was added to amount of the purchase, the card was declined, thereby creating another 10¢ fee for each time the card was declined.”

A common customer grievance centers on the fees that they pay for credit cards and CDs. In some cases, customers are charged high early withdrawal fees for CDs if they make a mistake when setting up their account. Some claim that the high fees that they pay for the exclusivity of American Express credit card products aren’t worth it due to poor customer service or their inability to access their perks.

Closed accounts

Customers that carry American Express credit cards or savings accounts have had their accounts closed without notification.

As one customer put it:

This company has been great for over 5 years. Suddenly they have closed my account…”

Customers who have held American Express credit cards for years have had their accounts put on hold or suspended pending a financial review. In some cases, the documentation isn’t processed correctly and the customer’s account is closed. In other cases, their credit lines are dropped significantly without explanation.

Problems using Amex services online or via their app

Customers have reported that online services have gone down for technical reasons, which restricts them from using their card to make purchases or receive cash. Activity reflected online or via the app is often delayed or the balance due is not correct. Customers often think they have more credit than they do or they don’t make a large enough monthly payment, leading to late fees.

Customers also report that when they make their payments online, they are often duplicated. When they contact customer service, they are told it can take several days to refund their overpayment. In many cases, refunds are sent to them via mail as opposed to being credited back to their bank account.

If excessive fees, misleading promotions, and poor service are costing you a lot of money with American Express Bank, you may have another option. FairShake helps customers who have tried unsuccessfully to fix their problems with American Express Bank. If you’ve done all that you can do and still can’t resolve your issue, learn how FairShake can help you.

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