Get Your American Express Complaint Solved

How to File a Complaint Against American Express

Learn your options to get your voice heard and make American Express pay

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Has American Express left you struggling for hours on hold, trying to get your issue fixed? Have you gotten nothing but lists of auto-responses or hold messages, and feel you’ve no other recourse but to sue American Express? We can help. 

Here are your options to get a fair resolution with American Express:

  • Understand American Express Dispute Policies
  • Sue American Express in Small Claims Court
  • Use Arbitration to Settle Your Complaint with American Express


Essentially, you have been trying to figure out how to sue American Express. Read on to learn about different ways of filing a claim against American Express, and what you should know about each:

Understand American Express Dispute Policies

American Express has made an attempt to reduce their number of customer complaints about service, the kind you file when you have an issue with their services or when you feel they overcharged you or misled you, which means you have some simpler steps to try first.

Reduced Time Frame

If you opt to file an internal dispute with American Express for a non-fraud related case, you now have a limited window of 120 days from the time of the transaction. 

Evidence Changes

You can provide varying forms of documentation for transactions where your physical card was not used. 

Redispute Limitation

If you were dissatisfied with the resolution the first time, you can raise a dispute twice on the same transaction.

American Express makes it easy to find educational resources for situations where fraud takes place, or where you dispute a transaction, but they don’t make it as easy for situations where the company is at the center of the dispute. 

So, what about situations where there isn’t a transaction, per say, but where the company salesperson misled you, or their service doesn’t turn out to be what they promised, they revoked your bonus points without just cause or where they overcharged you? American Express customers who have been mistreated by the company have options to fight back.

Arbitration Clauses

Your contract with American Express will likely stipulate that due to an arbitration clause, you cannot sue them except for in small claims court. 

This is typical of banks, wireless companies, and cable services, among other companies. When you become their customer you agree not to sue them or take part in a class action lawsuit. In effect, you agree to abide by a decision made by an arbitrator, if you have a dispute that goes to mandatory arbitration. This process is meant to expedite the dispute process for you and for them, so it’s not all bad. 

Sue American Express in Small Claims Court

This is where small claims court comes in. With small claims court you can only submit certain types of claims. 

Most small claims court have monetary limits that range between $2,500 and $10,000 in damages. So, if your claim is less than the minimum cap or more than the maximum, you might not be able to file. 

Bear in mind there are also nominal fees depending on the amount of your claim. 

If things settle in your favor, it will either be:

  • Monetary or
  • Equitable

Monetary is a dollar amount while equitable is anything outside of a monetary request. Most small claims courts will only approve a settlement for monetary compensation. 

This can be an arduous, time consuming process as each local small claims court has different steps for filing a claim. However, small claims court is typically easier and faster than a traditional lawsuit. 

You could walk away with compensation, or even settlement in exchange for dropping your claim. 

How to Sue American Express with Small Claims Court

Most states require you take the following actions:

  1. Send American Express a demand letter wherein you state exactly what the problem is and formally request that the company fix it before you file the claim. This can be something as simple as a letter you would write to a coworker, just stating the facts, listing your contact information, and explaining what you want. It doesn’t need more than a few sentences. A hard copy must be mailed via certified mail to:

American Express Company

CT Corporation System

111 Eighth Avenue

New York, New York, 10011*

*Note: The address in question should be the same address listed in your subscriber agreement.

  1. Fill out the required state forms. Each state, and sometimes county, has specific forms that must be filled out in their entirety and submitted in person to the court. Be sure to have 3 copies at least (but pay attention to your state requirement). The court and the representation for American Express need copies, too. 
  2. Formally file the complaint by visiting the court in person. For this, you want the county clerk’s office. Some counties let you send it via email, but most still require in-person submissions during regular office hours. There will likely be fees for this, and once submitted the county clerk will give you a stamped and dated form to keep and bring to your hearing date. 
  3. Now you have to officially serve American Express. This means delivery of copies of all the papers you formally filed need to be given to American Express. There are very specific rules for each county regarding the serving process, and be sure to abide by them. Even a single, otherwise minuscule error can be grounds to throw your claim out the window. 
  4. After you file formally, a hearing date will be provided to you. You must arrive with your copies and any other evidence to substantiate your claim at the date and time appointed. Representatives from American Express may or may not show up.

Use Arbitration to Settle Your Complaint with American Express

If that seems like too daunting a task, you are seeking equitable compensation, or your claim cannot be filed in small claims court for whatever reason, you can use a consumer arbitration process to simply the resolution of your claim. 

This process brings with it the chance of an early resolution. Most big companies, like American Express, will offer to settle early once arbitration has been initiated. 

How to File a Claim Against American Express with Consumer Arbitration 

  1. Submit your complaint through an official legal notice of dispute. With help from our online interface you can submit what your issue is and what you want the company to do to fix it. We’ll handle the legal notice next.
  2. That information is used to generate a hard copy letter sent to American Express on your behalf. Included in the message is a time frame and a notice that if American Express doesn’t resolve your issue by the end of that time frame, you might escalate to consumer arbitration. Remember the demand letter from the small claims court above? It works exactly like that, but it’s done for you!
  3. The company might offer to settle by the deadline, working through a third party or contacting you directly. You are welcome to accept any offer they propose, or not. 
  4. If they don’t make an offer, arbitration filing documents from the American Arbitration Association are generated and a “documents only” arbitration is set up. This is an easier version of arbitration in that it doesn’t require you to sit across from an American Express rep at a large conference room table and talk out your issues. Of course, you can do it that way if you really want to. 
  5. In accordance with the arbitration agreement in your American Express agreement, the documents are filed with the American Arbitration Association and the process is started. They will appoint someone, the case administrator, to manage the claim, schedule appointments, and collect any necessary documents. Everyone gets updates from them, including when an arbitrator has been appointed. Then, depending on which format you choose (documents only, phone calls, or big conference room table), a date will be set for the hearing.

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