Giving Up on AMEX :-(

After a year of random silliness, I seem to have come to the decision to give up on American Express.

I’ve been a dedicated (seriously … insane & hardcore) AMEX user since 1988. 20 years. Two decades. I was the kind of guy who wouldn’t shop someplace if they didn’t take AMEX. Whenever one of my companies set up credit card processing, I insisted on accepting AMEX out of the gate – even with the higher fees, and always in disagreement with my employees who had to operate the processing. I wrote letters and emails to companies that didn’t take the card. I was an AMEX fanboi.


I’ve charged on the order of a million dollars on my AMEX – including a ton of business travel and corporate expenses (“We need five more $5K computers? No problem. Call DELL – they’ve got my AMEX on file.”). I doubt I’m in AMEX’s top 10%, but I have to assume the top tercile – if not quartile (that’s gotta be a really long tail graph…).

In the last year, they’ve gotten “unhelpful” – and always about stupid things. Given how much the card costs (card fees + rewards program + a second card for the boss) plus the fees they’re collecting on my transactions, it just doesn’t make sense unless they’re gonna be helpful. Although they have bent over backwards for me before, it’s been many many years since I’ve needed anything from them, and the last set of  interactions throughout 2008 elicited nothing but “sorry, no” responses from them.

Well AMEX, “Sorry. No.”


  1. Claire

    Comments part 2: I’m with you on giving up with bad service. Citibank is that for me – even though I have “been a member since 1987.” They reduced my credit line by 99% when I failed to pay two bills due to craziness in our life/ misplaced bills. Previously I always cleaned down balance very month. Result is I use another card now, even though I haven’t formally canceled theirs.

  2. Claire

    One of my colleagues has used the Amex return benefits on electronic devices multiple times. Even recently he had a great experience. On a separate note, I clearly am not at the top in credit card spending. Had lunch a few months ago with someone who had a black Amex card. He had to explain to me what a Centurion Card was – but he had some great stories to tell about the service he had received – don’t know how dated they were though.

  3. Sergey

    AMEX failed to focus their branding efforts on the next generation of the potential card holders. I get solicitations from the Gold Card nearly on a monthly basis, but in the age when other cards offer me (cash not points) rebates of up to 6% on my purchases, I find it difficult to see the benefits of having this product at my own expense. And yes, there are still places that don’t accept it… There are still places where people are willing to pay for “prestigious” piece of plastic. They should try China.

  4. Dan

    Interestingly, these guys have been slagging a lot for everyone. I have zero credit cards (always been a cash guy) with exception of having an Amex, but frankly all kinds of friends with various cards and spending limits (plenty of Centurion holders) have been complaining about how horrible service has become. In fact a very close friend and Centurion holder just canceled his card after Amex called to tell him his limit (I thought it was limitless?) was lowered. This is the kind of guy who charges in excess of 100k/mo.


  5. Will

    Too bad. I too am an Amex junkie. While my wife and I carry Visa cards, they are strictly designated as backup. Their service has been outstanding and, as far as I know, remains such. It is a harsh contrast to the unreally bad service I’ve gotten for my Visa/MC cards, especially from CitiBank. I’m sorry to hear you and Amex are parting ways. I hope I don’t start to run into the same problems.

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