The American Express Blacklist Explained & Strategies For Removal

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american express blacklist

Note: Information conveyed in this post is based off of the experiences of several friends along with experiences of others that I have read in a number of forums over the past year. I don’t have specific links, but a Google search for the term “American Express Blacklist” will result in much of the information presented here.

I start with this, because I have not linked to any specific resources. Additionally, American Express does not publish any rules for getting off of their blacklist nor do they acknowledge that such a list exists.

The American Express Blacklist Explained & Strategies For Removal

The other day I wrote about how to get a Chase credit card with a bankruptcy on your credit. Today I am going to talk about a problem that many people with past bad debts (bankruptcy or otherwise) have with American Express.

American Express has a number of tremendous credit card products. Unfortunately if you ever screw up and “cross them” you may find yourself on the so called “blacklist”. While they have never officially confirmed such a list exists, many people have their social security numbers flagged and are not able to get American Express products.

How to Get On the American Express Blacklist

According to reports, suing American Express or defaulting on any sort of debt with them will gain you a spot on their blacklist. Once on the list, you aren’t able to get any sort of credit card product from them, although it appears you are able to get cards like Bluebird or Serve.

Since American Express has many generous products and sign-up bonuses, it can be very damaging to find yourself on the list. Fortunately some people have figured out ways to get themselves off, although there is no certain set of rules.

How to Find Out If You Are on the American Express Blacklist

If you are on the American Express blacklist then it will become evident pretty quickly. When your social security number is on the list you will be automatically declined for any credit application without American Express even running your credit.

While the denial message varies based on why you are on the list, it generally talks about a past negative relationship with American Express.


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How to Get Off the American Express Blacklist

Pay off your old American Express debt

There are many reports from people who have past bad debt with American Express that they were offered to get off of the list by paying it back. Unfortunately even after the money is paid back, there is no guarantee American Express will issue you credit.

If you do go the route of paying off the debt, reports are that you won’t immediately find yourself eligible for all products. Many people have reported that you are only eligible for an entry level card based on credit approval. After proving your worthiness, you can then eventually go on to get some of the more premium cards.

Wait It Out

I have read probably 50 or more reports from people and each one tells a different story, but some people have been dropped off the list without doing anything. The only catch is that it takes somewhere between 10-30 years. Once again that is based on a wide range of reports, so take it with a grain of salt.

I personally know someone who was on the list for 15 years. It was only after employing the following method that this person was able to get an American Express card again.

Have Someone Add You As An Authorized User

Since American Express requires a social security number for authorized users, it may be possible to get yourself dropped from the list by being added to someone else’s card. I know a few people who were removed from the blacklist within a few months of being added as authorized users on other people’s cards.

The theory is that once you are accepted as an AU, you once again become an active cardholder in their system and your social security number is no longer blocked. Again, I know of several people who this has worked for and I highly suggest at least trying this.

There are a select group of people on a super-blacklist that aren’t even allowed to become authorized users. These people normally have enormous unpaid debts or other severe problems with American Express. Fortunately this doesn’t represent most people on the blacklist, but if this is you, then your only option is to wait it out.

How to Check If You Have Been Removed from the American Express Blacklist

The easiest way to find out if you have been removed from the American Express blacklist is to apply for a card. Since blacklisted people don’t have their credit checked, there really is no harm in applying once a month or so to see if things have changed. If you are still on the blacklist, then no inquiry will show up on your credit. You can find the latest Amex credit card offers here.

If you have been removed from the American Express blacklist, then your application will be processed normally and you will either receive and approval or a denial based on your credit profile.

Conclusion

If you now have good credit and find yourself on the outside looking in with American Express, there may still be hope of eventually getting another American Express card. I would suggest you start asking your friends and family to see if anyone is willing to add you as an authorized user. If not, then waiting it out may be an option as well.

One other benefit of getting a new American Express card is that they backdate the account on your credit to when you opened your first American Express account. Getting off the blacklist not only means access to new products and sign-up bonuses, it also can help your average age of accounts!

Are you on the blacklist or have you been removed from it? Let me know in the comments. I can also answer any specific questions you may have!


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136 COMMENTS

    • Delta Sky miles card was easy to get
      Never could get blue cash card which is really what I wanted
      Then Amex sent me a pre-approval for their unlimited green card. I applied and was approved. Before the green card arrived I used my Delta Sky miles card one time for a four hundred dollar purchase then paid it off the very next week, even before a bill could be generated. Then out of nowhere they closed my Delta Sky miles card with no notice!
      I called Amex and they said technically the card wasn’t closed yet but it was frozen upon completion of a financial verification. They gave me a long list of documents to send to them within 3 days or both accounts would be permanently closed.
      I advised them that I worked 12 hour days and could not get it to them by then. They closed both accounts. So I guess I’m on the blacklist.

  1. I am on it and worse yet, I didn’t do what they say I did. They claim that I defaulted on about $2000 almost 30 years ago. The truth is that it was an Amex screw-up that I was told was fixed 30 years ago, but later their records showed I never paid it. Here is the real kicker. When my wife tried to add me a few years ago as an authorized user, they sent her a letter telling her that I had defaulted on accounts and was denied. I did not apply and never signed anything, yet they told her this because she tried to add me to the account. I probably should have sued them because even if they claimed that I had defaulted, they had no right to tell a third party when I had nothing to do with the application itself and never signed anything. By the way, I have excellent credit (often 820 or above) and everything I could ever want from Chase, Citi, and Barclays, but that does not matter to Amex.

    • Wow and since it happened in an age before records were digitized, there probably isn’t a way to get this fixed. Such a tough situation. At least your wife is able to take advantage of the offers. You may want to keep trying. I have read reports of people being mysteriously dropped from the list after 30 years!

      • I may try again, but honestly, I have such strong relationships with Chase, Citi, and Barclays that I really do not need Amex. I was mainly angry that they gave personal information about me to a third party (especially false info). Even though it was my wife, I had never signed or asked for anything. As to the points game, between personal spending and buying things for resale for the business that I own, I already earn about a million miles a year, so I won’t miss Amex much.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. I can say this certainly worked for me, I defaulted on an American Express Platinum Charge Card for $35000 set up payment arrangements for it and paid it all back. Month after it was all paid off I applied for another card but still showed blacklisted..after having a friend add me as an AU for a year I reapplied for a Delta Skymiles and Instantly approved for $15,000CL.

      • Thanks for the great inf.. After reading your article, I believe my husband is blacklisted due to opened a card and closed it about 1 month later after receive the bonus(due to the lack of knowledge of the credit card bonus sign-up rules). Even though he was given all the bonus for that one card but ever since then he is never be able to approve any cards (no matter how long he waits, 3 month, 6 month or more than 1 year). Sure I will add him as an AU. And try to apply 1 month later?

    • @Tyler

      You are to be commended for owning up to your debt and making arrangements to pay it off, as opposed to walking away from your obligation.

    • Tyler

      You probably were off the blacklist as soon as you paid Amex off but it probably took some time to update their records.

  3. I hope you can help. I got a RB (Redbird) myself and want to get an additional card by using my dad’s SSN. FYI he currently not in US and is living overseas for a while due to his job. He was living at different address than mine and when he moved overseas, he entrust me with his ID (now expired) that has different address than mine.
    I called and asked him for permission to use his SSN to apply another RB, he said it’s fine as long as it won’t affect his credit or anything, I explained that this is prepaid card and it won’t be any hard pull so he gives me an ok.
    So I bought a temp card and load it with $500, then register for permanent card online.
    I entered all of my dad’s info including SSN and DOB and use my current address as mailing address for the permanent card.
    At the final page of registration, to my surprise it asked me 3 security questions with drop down multiple answer for each question.
    I think I accidentally got one of the answer wrong, it asked me something like if my dad know me (I was surprised!) and I chose “no” as I was scared if I say yes that Amex flag it for double application for me as I already have a RB.
    After hit submit, it says something like “unfortunately we can’t approve your registration at this time and need more information from you”.
    I called Amex and pretending to be my dad in hope that they can approve it over the phone, the rep said more info needed and will send me email.
    I received an email that they need my dad’s valid ID or DL that shows my address on it (since I entered that address on registration) and last 3 months phone or electric bills with my dad’s name on it and my address. Problem is my current address only has my name on it since I am the one living there.
    Should I wait it out and re-register again using new temp RB? I am concerned if I send my dad’s ID that not shows my address through secure document upload, it will make Amex even more suspicious and flag it.
    Greatly appreciate any advice.

    • I can’t guarantee this will work, but I would have your dad call and send in his information with his address explaining that he wanted it sent to his daughter’s house. If they require, he can send in the bills with his name and actual address along with his non-expired id and they can mail the card to him and then he can send it on to you.

      • thanks Shawn! How about the option of wait it out? how long you think I should wait until re-register with new temp card to make sure Amex doesn’t flag my dad’s SSN?

  4. 1) Does anyone here know how Amex handles a former customer who refused to submit documentation for an Amex Financial Review and closed all his accounts?

    2) How long should this customer wait until he applies to open a new Amex account?

    3) Is he black listed for several years or more?

    4) Would the authorized user trick work in this case?

    • A friend of mine was FRd last year and she refused to send them the documents amex asked for. They closed her blue cash account. A month after, she applied again and was approved. When the card came and she tried to activate it, she was transferred to another department and was told the account was closed. She asked why and was told reason was unsatisfactory past relationship.

      • I know people who got shutdown due to not sending docs for FR and they tried every six months to get a card and were rejected until after 24 months had passed. Then they got approved. I don’t know if that is a general rule or if they just got lucky.

  5. FYI – There is a limit to how far back Amex will backdate your accounts. I had a Green and an Optima card back in the late 80s and early 90s. I cancelled them both due to the (then) high AF. Both were closed in good standing. I didn’t open my next Amex account until 2010. All my cards now say “member since 2010”.

    • You should call and ask them to search their system for your previous accounts.. Sometimes you need to call more than once but I know people who were recently successful in regaining their original membership date from the 80s.

      • Jack,

        Great info! I will give it a shot. It would help my AAoA out significantly; it has taken a huge hit since I started playing the CC churn game 2 years ago. MY AAoA is now down to about 4 years; having several of those accounts now show an AoA of 24 years would be sweet!

      • Just finished online chat with Amex and the CSR indicated this wouldn’t be a problem. The CSR had to send it to another department, but said I should be getting new cards with “the correct date” within 2 weeks. Keeping fingers crossed!

      • My online account now shows “member since 19XX” where XX was before I entered High School. But who am I to argue!

        Also received an email saying new cards are on their way. Time to wait a month or so to see if it gets updated to the CC bureaus.

      • Just a quick note of thanks to everyone for pointing this ‘trick’ out to me. My Equifax is now showing my oldest “open” account as 35 years old and it basically doubled my AAoA overnight. Transunion hasn’t updated yet, but I’m now confident this will propagate to all 3 CBs.

        Thanks again!
        Gloob

  6. The claim that a “select group” of people on the AmEx blacklist cannot become authorized users while others on the blacklist can is a myth.

    If you are on the blacklist, you will not be approved as an AU absent a system glitch. If you are approved as an AU, you are not on the blacklist.

    • That simply is not true. I know of at least ten people who have been auto-denied for their own cards based on an “unsatisfactory past relationship”, but who were allowed to become AUs and then eventually cardholders again. Perhaps there are different levels of a blacklist, but this is not a myth. Thanks JC.

      • Very true. I was blacklisted in 2005. In 2016 I was approved for an Everyday Card and was invited this year for the Platinum which I now have. I’ll tell you this: I WILL NEVER SCREW UP AGAIN! LOL

      • Hey bud. Chaptered 13 Amex in 07. I’m on the list and have been declined 3 years in a row. Just added to my wife’s gold card as a AU. Get your facts straight.

        • I filed chapter 13 eight years ago and only owed Amex $1200. My wife tried to add me to her card as an AU and it was DENIED. They even asked if the AU ever defaulted on Amex during the application and said it would be denied if so.

          • Correct. I’m definately blacklisted due to being a stupid 21yr old with a great paying job, but no clue as to how to handle credit. I burned them on 4 cards. That was 15 years ago and auto denial on any apps. My husband just got 3 cards with them and tried to add me as an AU, letter came saying no way. I can’t have even an AU card with them.

  7. This is a very helpful post for me. My bankruptcy was 9.5 years ago, and I’m currently thinking of strategy for applications after the 10 year mark passes. One of my bad debts was Amex. Thanks very much for writing this.

  8. I tried to apply for AMEX card today, and I was turned down because my account was closed due to bankruptcy in 2010. The agent was asking me to pay my previous payments in installments, and I said by law they ask me to pay what was included in BK. The rep transferred me to another department, and the other agent told me that they might have to run another credit check but mostly likely I will be denied because of the BK, I was already upset and hanged up. I am planning on adding myself as an authorized user on spouse’s account. Hopefully, it will do the trick.

  9. I tried to apply for AMEX card today, and I was turned down because my account was closed due to bankruptcy in 2010. The agent was asking me to pay my previous payments in installments, and I said by law they ask me to pay what was included in BK. The rep transferred me to another department, and the other agent told me that they might have to run another credit check but mostly likely I will be denied because of the BK, I was already upset and hanged up. I am planning on adding myself as an authorized user on spouse’s account. Hopefully, it will do the trick.

  10. I had an issue with them in 1990 and I did apply about ten years later and got the message that I had past issues with them. Lately I read reports that although some were slipping through the blacklist. In January of this year 2015, I applied for the American Express Everyday Blue Cash rewards and immediately came back with approved!
    At the time it said member since January 2015!

    I took advantage of setting my preferences, bank account on payments, etc., and even gave me the credit line limit. The card would be arriving in a week or so

    This blacklist still haunted me and although it was approved, was it really a done deal? So I logged in the next day and the member since date changed to since 1986!

    Two months later, on taking up their preapproval offer for their Gold Premier Rewards card and was instantly approved.

    Who knows, I was probably off the blacklist for some time. I have learned a lot from those early years.

  11. I screwed Amex for about 15-20k in a bankruptcy. I had a blue credit card with a 10-15k balance and gold card with about 5-6k balance and I filed Ch.7 due to a large real estate venture (failed obviously). I have been on the blacklist for 6 years now. I have not tried the authorized user approach and probably wont anytime soon. My credit is back to a decent level 715 approx on EX and TU. My score was over 800 when the wheels came off….. live and learn. God Bless.

  12. In 2013 I made a $5000 investment on my Amex card in a local business here in town. Naturally, the investment turned out to be a total failure, and I lost my money. Three month’s later, the company that I worked for, went out of business out of the blue. I was unable to keep up with my payments. The card eventually was cancelled, and the fees started piling on. Fast forward to September of 2014, and I worked out a settlement to settle for 2k on a 7k debt, and after reading about the blacklist, I figured I was done for with Amex. I stumbled upon this article, and after reading about how if you are “blacklisted” they won’t do a hard pull on your credit, but just a generic message saying based on past experiences we can’t approve you blah blah. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a go. I could also absorb the inquiry as well. I applied for the Amex Everyday Card, as I knew some of the others were more “prestigious”, thus tighter approval standards. Expecting to receive the rejection message, imagine my surprise when I was approved for a $3500 limit. My Fico score that I paid for through Equifax is a 670.. Needless to say, I am quite shocked…

  13. i failed to pay my 3000 credit card bill back in 2007 due to loosing my job. amex no longer shows on my credit report. My mom just added me to her account and after sending application online a message read: Pending final verification of your application, the following Additional Cards will arrive at your primary billing address in a plain white envelope displaying the American Express Blue Box logo, addressed to each individual below, and with a return address in Omaha, Nebraska.

    not sure if that means they will send it? maybe if I was black listed they would have denied me right away? i believe i applied a year ago and i got denied right away. but I’m not ssure if i remember that correctly whats your take on this?

    • That is how a lot of people were able to get off of the list. I am pretty sure you will get the authorized user card, but there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rule. I hope it works!

  14. I had three accounts with AMEX that went south through a divorce back in 2005. I have cleaned up my credit and was recently issued an AMEX Corporate card via my job. Could this happen if I was blacklisted?

  15. I have three accounts that went bad during a divorce back in 2005. I have recently been cleaning my credit and been hired by a new company. I have to have a corporate AMEX for my job, applied and was approved. Does that mean I’m not on the list?

    • Sorry for not responding Mike. Corporate cards are handled differently, so I couldn’t say either way. The real only was to find out if you are off of the blacklist is to apply for a card when you are ready. If you are on the blacklist then you will generally get an automatic denial.

      • I figured as much. If these accounts are off my bureau’s, could that possibly start the process of them being resurrected?

      • I had three AMEX accounts back in 2005, that were removed from my bureaus long ago. Since then, I’ve always wanted to get another card with them, but knowing I defaulted for quite a bit of money. When I started my job last January, part of my employment was to have an AMEX Card for travel and expenses. I was freaking out back then thinking this credit denial, would keep me from a job.

        I had to apply for the card through AMEX, using my companies code or something. To my amazement, I was approved, through AMEX. I have heard of a blacklist they keep. Also, the corporate card is in my name, no mention of the company on the card. On the statement mailed to my house, the bill is in my name with company name on second line, before address.

        Also, I just recently noticed, there was a hard credit pull/inquiry on Experian around that time back then. So my question is, the fact that all the above happened and the AMEX derogs are not on my bureau, could I possibly be eligible for another card, when my score increases, or now, based on my being approved for the corp card with a hard credit pull?

        • Getting a Corporate Card seems like a good indicator that you are not on the blacklist. However, you need to find out if you were approved outright or if your company had to guarantee the account to get it approved. Also, Amex doesnt HP on Corporate Cards, it should only be a SP.

          Another thing, If you are on the blacklist and you apply for an Amex Card, there is no pull on your credit. So it wont hurt to apply for a card.

          • Also,

            I noticed allot of AMEX soft pulls on my Experian bureau, dating back to 2013, like every month, sometimes days apart. I wonder if they are soft pulling me to extend promotional offers, which maybe would mean I am not on the blacklist?

          • Cant explain the HP on a Corporate Card. You should speak to your Amex Card Administrator about that. Generally when they do a monthly SP its for either a promotional offer or you have an outstanding balance owed to them.

  16. According to this, I’m on the super-blacklist since I went into chap7 BK in 2010 and was discharged in 2011. My spouse tried to add me as a user and they have denied me twice! Like other CC users here, I have Chase, City and Barclay from Apple, but can’t use AmEx.

  17. My post isn’t showing up so I am trying again. I apologize if it eventually appears twice.

    Hi,
    You wrote in your article the following to determine if (I am) still on the Amex blacklist:
    “The easiest way is to apply for a card. Since blacklisted people don’t have their credit checked, there really is no harm in applying once a month or so to see if things have changed. If you are still on the blacklist, then no inquiry will show up on your credit.”

    So, in a nutshell, I was fairly sure I was on the Amex blacklist, having defaulted for a few thousand Dollars back in 2002/3. That would be about 13 years since defaulting. My ex went after my money like a rabid dog, and she destroyed my credit, and forced me to close my company and thus almost 50 people lost their jobs. She ended up getting nothing because my liabilities outweighed my assets. Wonderful.

    So, turn the clock ahead to March of 2015 (this year). After having hideous credit for all those years, I finally decided to check my reports. SURPRISE! EVERYTHING negative had fallen off all of my reports. I applied for a Cap1 Quicksilver Mastercard – got it. Also got a Chase Freedom Visa, a Discover Card and an Amazon Store Card. Because of my old, old car loan still showing on my reports, all 62 payments were perfect, my credit score was upper 700’s until last month – but last month I had to spend a bit because I moved apartments. It is down in the mid-600’s now because I used a high percentage of my available credit. HOWEVER, my Cap1 MC and my Chase Visa credit lines were just substantially increased. My score will rebound nicely this month, and I have also started to pay off the $2000 that I owe on the cards combined. I have been perfect with my payments since recovering my credit, and it WILL stay that way.

    So, I wanted to find out about the Amex blacklist, and how I could find out if I was on it. I read your article. Taking your advice I applied for a Green Card, on-line. I was denied within 10 seconds. An hour later my TransUnion subscription sent me an alert indicating that Experian was reporting a new inquiry from American Express.

    I am somewhat baffled. Are you 100% sure that they do not run credit reports if someone is on the blacklist? 100%?? And again, as if I am a bit dense – seriously, does this really mean I am off the blacklist? I NEVER expected it to happen. But I would appreciate your feedback on this.

    Also, can I ask Amex to reconsider me in two or three weeks when I know and can confirm beforehand that my score went way back up?

    • There is nothing 100%, but you need to wait for the letter to come in the mail. It has been my experience and the experience of dozens of others that they will automatically deny you if you are on the blacklist. When you get the letter they will tell you why you were denied. If it is for a bad past relationship with them then you are probably on the blacklist. My guess is that it will probably because of your score drop and high balances related to the limits.

      • Hi Shawn,

        Thanks for your reply. I did, in fact, get the rejection letter in the mail from American Express. Turns out that you were correct. They did specify precisely what the reasons were for the denial.

        However, I just wanted to thank you. Based on your advice, I did check my Amex blacklist status, and I am officially off the list. I am sure that within 6 months to a year, I will be able to overcome the reasons Amex detailed that caused the rejection. Getting my credit back, and building it to a healthy state, is the first steps to a mortgage down the road.

        Thanks again.

        • Out of curiosity, what were the reasons for denial? Based on your description of your credit profile, I thought you would be approved.

          • I’m off the blacklist, but since my credit profile is too new – I gather – is thee core of the denial. I figure over the next 6 months to a year I will iron out the issues.

            1. Number of credit card accounts opened recently, excluding retail cards.
            Which is three…
            2. The amount you have paid on your bank and retail cards over the last 12 months is too low.
            3. The length of time revolving accounts have been established.
            But I had my 15 year old perfect auto loan JUST fell off my reports. It stayed with me through the bad times and into the good just now. But 15 years is the max for accounts closed but paid in good standing. It lowered my credit score, also.

      • Curious. I’ve really rebuilt my credit back up. I paid down about 12,000 in debt from 2007 to 2011 with the help of a company that got all my delinquent credit cards to stop charging me interest. AMEX wouldn’t accept the terms of this company helping, so Amex got nothing, and I defaulted I think maybe 300-400 on a Gold Card, and maybe 4000 on an IN:NYC Amex card.

        The collection agency that kept hounding me for what seemed like months was NCO Financial. The calls and letters finally stopped.

        I’ve had an attorney find a few FDCPA violations committed against me from a few creditors that wouldn’t accept the terms. It cost me nothing up front, and I ended up getting about $5000 in settlement money because of these FDCPA violations committed against me. These 3rd party collection agencies had to remove the negative things from my credit report, and couldn’t re-sell the debt to another collection agency. My credit score has gone from low 500s to low 700s in about 18 months now. There isn’t anything bad on my credit report. I don’t see anything about the Amex cards or NCO Financial trying to collect. I am honestly surprised.

        I am willing to try applying for a green card again now that I’m not an irresponsible early-twenty something. The rental car insurance coverage is worth the annual fee alone with the amount of times I rent a car each year.

        I’m just scared that applying will re-ignite something with Amex and maybe the collection agency will start coming after me again. Have you heard of this happening with anyone?

        • You need to see if the Amex account is within the statue of limitations in your state. If the debt is out of the SOL then you will not have to worry about potential collections. However, you can still be on the blacklist.

  18. I defaulted back in 03 on about $6000 on an AMEX green. Tried to get on as an authorized user with my father and he was told that I could not become an authorized user do to a bad past relationship with them.

  19. I was just denied an AU Card under a family member and called was told due to past relationship 2005 Bankruptcy where 5K on Amex was discharged. Next month will be ten years. No Big deal have a Visa Signature Card with Capital and World Card with Barclays. Amex loss in my books because they make money on charges and interest if a credit card and also the discharged debt was a write off for them. My opinion the risk is low on AU cards so I really think Amex is making a bad business decision.

  20. I had three AMEX accounts back in 2005, that were removed from my bureaus long ago. Since then, I’ve always wanted to get another card with them, but knowing I defaulted for quite a bit of money. When I started my job last January, part of my employment was to have an AMEX Card for travel and expenses. I was freaking out back then thinking this credit denial, would keep me from a job.

    I had to apply for the card through AMEX, using my companies code or something. To my amazement, I was approved, through AMEX. I have heard of a blacklist they keep. Also, the corporate card is in my name, no mention of the company on the card. On the statement mailed to my house, the bill is in my name with company name on second line, before address.

    Also, I just recently noticed, there was a hard credit pull/inquiry on Experian around that time back then. So my question is, the fact that all the above happened and the AMEX derogs are not on my bureau, could I possibly be eligible for another card, when my score increases, or now, based on my being approved for the corp card with a hard credit pull?

  21. I for one am greatful for the blacklist. If they’re not going to approve me anyway, they’re saving me from a hard inquiry. I applied when I joined Costco in Oct. 2013, a year after bankruptcy. Prior to the bankruptcy I had an AMEX card for over 15 years. It was my go-to card for all my living expenses and I paid the balance in full every month, never late. Even though I included them on the list of creditors that were NOT INCLUDED in the bankruptcy, they shut off my card and let me know my account was now “terminated”.

    Anyway, the Oct. 2013 rejected never resulted in an inquiry on my credit report.

    • If Amex did not take a loss on you your should not be on the blacklist. You should contact them to get that straighten out. So when you are ready to apply again that wont be an issue.

  22. My credit is excellent and so is my track record with AMEX, but I’m concerned that I may end up on the blacklists when my elderly Mother passes away. She is now in a nursing home on Medicaid with no assets and there is a $2000 balance on her Delta AMEX card.
    .
    Since she started to develop dementia, I have been listed as the manager on her account, which authorized me to pay bills, etc. But-unlike any other entity-AMEX required my social security number to designate me as account manager. Although I am not legally obligated to pay her debt either now or when she passes, I am very concerned that they may blacklist me when she dies and I notify them as executor that there are no assets to cover the debt.

  23. This worked for me. I was an AU on the AMEX Delta card for about 3 years. We run over 100K per year through it. Last month I applied for my own Hilton Amex and was approved instantly. Credit line is low, but i figure that is to be expected.

  24. THIS IS ONE QUESTION NOBODY HAS BROUGHT UP:

    I had a charge off about 9yrs ago. I have had soft inquiries on my experian regularly since. If I were to be removed from the blacklist would those inquiries cease?

    • I can’t answer that. Banks regularly conduct soft inquiries so they can decide if they want to send you offers. Soft inquiries don’t show on your public credit report (you are the only one who can see them) and they don’t impact your score.

      • I think what he’s asking is, if he was on the blacklist, would he still be getting soft pulls or soft pulls only for people not on blacklist?

        • Let me clarify. I am on the blacklist and I get inquiries every month or two from Amex in the account review section on my Experian. The account charged off 10 years ago. I am wondering if Amex account review inquiries specifically are an indicator that you are on the blacklist.

  25. Is being blacklisted relevant to direct applications with Amex, or does it effect any card they sponsor?

    I.e. I know I am blacklisted by Amex, but would like an Amex from Citi / Wells Fargo, etc. Anyone with experience here?

    Searched online, but can’t find any data points. I’ll try an application in a few months the next time an inquiry drops off.

    • It only has to do with the cards they issue. For cards issued by other banks they are merely the payment network and don’t have anything to do with the approval process since your account is with another bank.

  26. Hi Shawn, Just happened to google this topic because I was denied for having a bad prior relationship with AMEX in the early 2000s (layoff, etc.) where the payment plan was just undoable and they were having none of it while I was unemployed. The account was charged off in 2003 (about 2500) and when I applied in December 2015 was automatically denied. I asked for a further review (not knowing about the black list) and nothing happened. I followed up and they did pull a credit report but denied again citing the same reasons as they did in the first letter. I guess I’m SOL. I have near-perfect credit (800+) and have for years. What’s the best way other than AU route to get back in their good graces? I now wish I’d known about this sooner so I wouldn’t have this inquiry on my report for 2 years.

    Hey, thanks,
    DS

    • The only two ways I have ever heard of anyone being successful in getting off of the list is either paying back the money or slipping through by first becoming an AU. I wish I knew another way!

  27. I’ve read many posts in these forums, relating to possibly/likely, being AMEX blacklisted and becoming an AU on an existing account. My question is, is it better to become an AU on an existing account and just be added, or have my wife app for say the PRG and add me during that process? That way it’s a card I can use alone for awhile. I currently have a 693 EX and recently had a Corp card through work. I left that company, but paid on time for 12 months. I am going to app for Marriott Rewards myself in a couple of weeks, so just in case AMEX pulls my credit, I am waiting to see if I am truly on the blacklist.

  28. My story: In 1993 I filed for BK at the age of 21, and I owed AMEX 29K on a Gold card. Who gives a 21 year old kid a Gold Card and lets them rack up to 29K in debt in a 30 day period? Fast forward to 2016 (now 42), and with available credit lines of 268K (aggregate total) between all my personal revolving accounts – all with a 0 balance. I also have 5 business credit cards (two are VISA lines of credit that are 200K each) that I personal guarantee with an aggregate total of 500K in available credit, all with 0 balances – or it is paid off monthly when any/all are used. My FICO score (at the time of this writing is 833; my mortgage company just gave me a copy of the report as I’m in the process of buying another home. The report I ran on “creditchecktotal.com” said my FICO score was 807 (ran on the same day as the mortgage company – and it was a soft inquiry). My point, your FICO score does vary depending on what type of credit you are trying to ascertain. Back to my AMEX story… At least once or twice a year I have tried to apply for an AMEX card; I’ve tried for the Green card, Gold, Platinum, etc. I’ve even tried to get it under my business (in business for over 20 years with annual sales in the MM). Every single attempt, every single year has yielded negative results. The author of this article is correct, they won’t even pull your credit report; their internal blacklist flags you immediately and generates a denial letter.

    A good friend of mine was telling me the other day how he just got approved for the Blue card by AMEX. I asked him how (he had a previous BK with them too)? He said his wife had an AMEX card with a 10K limit (not sure which card) and she added him as an authorized user. He said when she added him, they reduced her credit limit from 10K to 1K within 30 days. He then said a few months later he applied on his own for the Blue card, and was approved for 5K. He said he would add me as an authorized user to his account if I wanted. I told him I will try it after I get through my mortgage process. I know his credit is a little shaky, and that could affect my credit report. I also told him that when he adds me as an authorized user, he can keep the card – this way he has no risk of me damaging his credit. I will keep you posted after I do this.

  29. I applied for the cards I wanted last week, then applied for AMEX PRG, just in case they HP’d me, which they didn’t and I was promptly denied, because AMEX cancelled my previous accounts. I am on the list also…AU time!

  30. Hi Shawn,

    Very nice post, but not helpful for me yet… I will get straight to the point and hope you can advise.

    I received my first AMEX in 2005 and in 2007 defaulted on it (and on very many credit items at that time) due to some personal problems. It was approximately 6-7k debt to AMEX.
    It has been over 9 years since then and all negative information has been removed from all of my credit reports as statue of limitation expired. My score is 740 now and I was just approved for a 20k Chase CC. I have a leased car under my name for over 2 years now, personal income is over 100k. Four years ago my wife added me to her platinum AMEX account and I spent over 300k on it since then, no late payments ever.
    AMEX, however still refuse to issue a card under my name (or the business name) and they say the only reason preventing me from getting is my old default with them. I have spoken to maybe 10 different representatives in AMEX but no one can advise how to help the situation and restore their confidence…

    I would greatly appreciate any useful ideas?

  31. I know this post is a year old, but it’s still an interesting read.

    I defaulted on my Premier Rewards Gold card a year ago due to a sudden catastrophic family event. It was for a relatively minor $2200, but my finances were so exhausted back then that I couldn’t even begin to pay it down. This all went down about a month after I started a new job where I was issued a Corporate Green card for necessary travel expenses. Even though my Gold card was cancelled and the debt collectors were let loose on my arse, my corp card remained fully functional through it all. I paid off the $2200 as my financial situation improved, however, and Amex in turn sent me a paper application for their Optima card about a month after the last payment posted. I filled it out, sent it in, and was given an Optima card with a $500 limit. And according to the paperwork, I’ll be eligible for other Amex cards after a year of good behavior with the Optima. So it looks like I’m back in… I wonder if my Corp card kept me off the blacklist?

  32. I was blacklisted for 10 long years after a $6000 charge off. Since that time, my credit score and income have risen substantially. Just got approved for an Amex Platinum.

  33. Nobody has answered me yet.

    Is Soft (account review inquiries) on Experian and indicator that you are blacklisted.

    Thank you.

  34. I defaulted on two american express cards in a chapter 7 back in October 2009. They were paid off in full this year – I just reapplied for a Delta Platinum Card and was approved with 10K limit. Credit scores 746/731. I originally called right after the debt was paid in full and was told to call back in 30 days. I did have a gold amex issued through work during this time as well.
    Hope this helps!

    • I believe I may have burned American Express for $7K-$8K in Chapter 7 in 2001. How would I go about finding out from them what I owe and how to pay it back? Aren’t they not allowed to talk to you about bankruptcy debt? I mailed them a letter about 3 months ago asking if I owe them anything and if so, what I can do about it, and they never replied.

      • Amex and any other creditor can accept payment on Bk’d debt but they are very cautious and will make it clear that your payment is voluntary and you will get nothing in exchange, etc. However, the reality is that if you pay them back you will be off the blacklist. Call their Global Collections department.

  35. I had a amex gold card back in 2009 but I had some issues with my family and job so I didn’t pay my account about 780 dollar now I was reading about all this information because I want to apply back I want to grow up my credit. should I just pay and try to apply right away or do I need to talk to someone first about what happened ??? do I need to send and apology letter with the payment?

    • You can call the Global Collections Department and arrange for payment. Once paid it can take 30-60 days to update in their systems. Once updated you will be off the blacklist and eligible to apply for an Amex product without automatically being denied.

  36. Even though I hadn’t included it in my bankruptcy (was really hoping to keep it), my Starwood AmEx got cancelled in 2009 with about $3k still on it (which somehow rolled into the bankruptcy). Since then I haven’t been able to get a card from AmEx, but I just signed my wife up for a Blue Cash AmEx, and added myself as an additional card member. She was approved just fine, but they turned me down for an additional card on her account. The T&C for additional cards even state that “Additional Card Members must…never had a defaulted account with American Express.” Seems perhaps this is no longer a viable way to get off the blacklist.

  37. I had a personal Amex Platinum and a Amex Gold in 1980s and 90s. Back in 2002 I had some financial difficulties and filed Personal BK which included both Amex Cards for a total of $17,000. Since 2004, I tried couple of times for new cards but I was declined automatically, I guess I was on their famous Black List.
    Since 2004 I own a multi million dollar business, Amex was after me to add them to our current merchant service to start accepting Amex Cards in addition to our exsisting merchant service account for Visa, Master Card and Discover. Last month we started to accept Amex Cards as well.
    About a week ago I got a call from a representative of Amex Premium Business Account Acquisitions, she offered us to open an Amex Business Platinum Card with first year fees waived and 100,000 membership points upon approval. As expected, as soon as my social was entered the old BK and $17K write off showed up.
    The representative made several calls to different departments while I was on the phone listening in. She finally spoke to one of the supervisors at their credit department in Florida and obtained an ok to remove me from the list upon making a $17K payment.
    I immediately got two cashiers checks for the two old accounts and sent to Florida via FedEx Priority Express. I was removed from the list within 24 hours and received my new Business Platinum Card within three days.
    I must also add that my business charges about $35,000 a month on our current two AAdvantage Business Cards from Citi Bank for the last 12 years. I guess, I can confirm that Amex is currently running an aggressive campaign to transfer premium business accounts from other banks high limit credit card holders.

  38. I was curious about this policy and decided to test it out. In 1985, AmEx offered me a Green card, and after a while, I added a family member as an AU who could not get his own card. (In retrospect, bad idea, but I was 22; what did I know?) For several years, there was no problem, and I was upgraded to a Platinum card after a couple years. The card was good for far more than I could personally handle, thanks to the AU…but in 1993 things went bad and I was left holding the bag for 57K. Eventually this was cleared in a Ch. 7.

    I applied for a “Blue Cash Everyday” card, and received a decline because of “prior adverse account activity” with AmEx. I called their customer service, essentially to say “Seriously, you’re turning me down for something that happened over 20 years ago?” and I was told that their current policy is if any AmEx account is closed in an unfavorable manner, you can’t get another one. They don’t even run your credit; their system pulls your app immediately. I said, “So I’m banned for life from having an AmEx card?” and was told that this is their current policy; it could change in the future…no promises.

  39. I had an AMEX Gold card when I was 18, that I defaulted on for about 23K when I was 21, and included in a BK with no payback. Fast forward 21 years later, I’m now 42… with Fico scores in the low to mid 800’s between the big three. I have every credit card worth having, and have available credit lines of between 28K and 100K, (some are corporate cards for my business) and a 2.1M mortgage, and a 525K boat that is financed – I had no issues procuring either. Long story short, I still get denied by AMEX. I’ve tried a few times over the years, only to get a letter of denial because of my previous history with them. No, I don’t need the card; I want what I can’t have. The author is correct, they do not pull your credit if you are on the “blacklist;” their internal system does a cross check of the list, and instantly issues a denial letter. You could apply daily with no affect on your credit bureau. Today my girlfriend added me (authorized user) to her AMEX Platinum personal card, and her Platinum corporate card in an attempt to see if I can get myself removed from the list that I have been on for over 21 years. I will keep you posted in about 3 months to let you guy’s know if I get approved for any of their products going forward. Lastly, thank you for the informative article.

    • UPDATE: I received a Platinum corporate card as an authorized user on my girlfriends account. We also received a letter that said I was not eligible for authorized user on her personal account. They said they would reevaluate the request after 12 months of usage on her corporate card. In the interim, my friend tried to add me as a authorized user on his personal Amex Blue card; he received the same denial letter on my behalf. Please note that my credit is impeccable w/ scores in the 800’s. This is strictly because I’m on their blacklist from 20+ years ago. I’ll keep you posted.

  40. I went Bankrupt in 2005, with a few thousand on an Amex card. I had been an Amex card holder for over 20 years.
    I applied after the BK was removed from my credit report. FICO 785 or so.
    Got the dreaded denial because of previous relationship.

    Had a business colleague offer to list me on his card. They did, charged him$175 and dropped his credit limit so far that his card became useless. I called and had the additional card removed and they agreed to refund the $175, Dinged his credit.

    When I talked to them they tole me the ban was for life. If I wanted any reconsideration I would have to pay off the card.
    This certainly appears to be an illegal attempt to try to collect a discharged debt.

    A pox on them.

  41. I had perfect Credit with Amex until my x husband that was just an authorized user ran my card (his card) up to $12k and didn’t pay it. This was in 2004. I’ve applied in 2013 and got the automatic reply about an old account and tried again today – 7.28.16 and was denied again, same reason. It’s been 12.5 years now. I guess I’m going to be on their blacklist forever! 🙁 I was added as an AU user today and the response was we’d have an answer in 14 days, If I was approved I would get the card in a white envelope. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Does it matter which card you apply for? I had the GOLD in 2004 when this happen. Are some easier than others?

    I notice each month that there are Soft Pulls from AMEX on all 3 of my Credit Reports. Why is this happening if I’m still on their blacklist? Seems it would be a waste of their time.

    Credit Karma always has several Amex cards listed and say that my approval rate is good.

    My Credit Score is in the 800’s now. I hate that I can’t get another card with Amex because of what my AU did on my account – they didn’t know that he was my husband as we didn’t have credit together, he was just an AU.

    Funny thing is – he has his own account now after screwing mine up.

  42. These ‘lists’ exist. I work for a credit card issuer and we will decline all applicants that have had a charge-off or bankruptcy ‘on-us’ — ever. If you have had a charge-off and/or bankruptcy ‘off-us’ we will eventually consider your application depending upon how long it’s been since the event.

    I am on the AMEX blacklist as I settled $10k of a $15k debt in 2014; after I was served for defaulting. I haven’t tried to apply again as I’m working to rebuild my credit.

  43. I o my drfaulted $1200 on Amex a few years ago and I can’t even be added as an AU. On the app, it says AU must not have defaulted on Amex in the past.

  44. If I was an AU on an account that has been cancelled and the $1200 on the gold charge card was paid back to Amex in full, can I try to apply for the blue card now as primary. Am also on the BL. Can I even get approved for a basic Amex card?

  45. I defaulted on a AMEX 10 years ago for about $1700. About 5 years ago, my boss tried to add me as an AU to her corporate AMEX only for them to deny me…HOW EMBARRASSING. My credit was super crummy too, and that boss would occasionally REMIND ME. Glad that job is over. Fast forward 5 more years to now: My credit is MUCH better and moving in the right direction. I was in the low 500 when I decided to turn this around and now in the mid-700s. I suppose I had a shot of courage yesterday after now having 2 BOA Visas (4000CL and 2,000CL), a Cap 1 MC (3,800CL), two store cards (Neiman Marcus (2,000) and Bloomies (500) and a Discover(10K CL), that I, with GREAT TREPIDATION, hit the ENTER button on my online AMEX application – hoping and praying my blacklist days had ended…..SUCCESS! I was approved for a Blue Cash Everyday card for a $10K CL! I almost fell out of my chair. I just received an email that it’s shipping but I still can’t believe it. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!! I can guarantee you this: No matter what…I will NEVER screw up my credit again! It’s a long arduous road but it can have a successful ending!!! Hang in there!

  46. So October 2015 I got my final decree issued for my chapter 7, so it’s been a year now. Amex was listed in the BK and the balance was under $2,000. Does this mean I’m blacklisted with Amex? I read that the Delta Amex card is easier to get, and possibly with my income and score I could get it. Since I’m rebuilding my credit now (it’s been a year) and my FICO is increasing and currently at around 650 and Credit Karma is showing 697 (whatever that’s worth). Is it worth applying for? Or should I just avoid the credit inquiry and try a different card?

  47. Ho Shawn. I has a conversation with you in 2015, over my being on the Amex blacklist. I followed your advice, and just the other day pigs flew. Amex removed me from their blacklist – without paying back the debt, and they approved me for a American ExpressBlue Cash Preferred – 2 k limit, but no restrictions. And eligible for their 3x CLI in 45 days.

    BTW, since communicating with you in 2015, I have acquired 7 card accounts, but the two newest I am dropping because the have a nasty habit of sticking misc interest charges onto my statement during the overnight when my statement posts. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve is in my sights in 6 months time.

    I would never have checked again had I not had the dialogue with you. So, thank you..

    C. Lavenger

  48. I was discharged Chapter 7 in 2010 and recently applied for new Amex credit. They are the only company that I am aware of that denied me credit without pulling my credit report that I am aware of. And when I asked about it they told me after I finally got through to the right department that I was banned for life unless I paid the discharged debt and legally I am told any company can do this.

  49. 12 years ago, I had the Amex Blue and Amex Gold cards. My (now ex) husband was an authorized user. We used our cards for everything but eventually my husband chose to stop paying his balance. I closed all my cards leaving a balance of $2,000 on the Blue and $4,000 on the Gold.
    I stopped using all credit for 10 years however 18 months ago I decided to rebuild my credit. After reading your advice regarding applying for a card to see if I was on the blacklist, I applied for the green Amex but was denied as I had an outstanding balance. I applied again several months ago and received the general “Sorry we cannot approve your application at this time…” The kicker is that they ran my credit – so off the blacklist, right?
    Today, I was approved for the Amex Blue, the only card for which I applied.
    Awesome advice Shawn, thanks so much.

  50. I can’t find an answer to this anywhere, maybe you can help. I have a green card that I owe 35,000 on and they sent me to fr. I did not give them any requested items and they cancelled my card. The $35,000 was all on pay over time. How long do I have to pay that money back? The first statement I received was normal and had a minimum amount due. Will they just keep billing me as normal until it’s paid off?

    • I have never heard of this scenario so I can’t speak to that. I would contact Amex to find out the exact details in order to make sure you don’t default in any way.

  51. Hi Shawn, I am on the blacklist due a business closure many years ago that resulted in AMEX writing off around $50K. My wife has outstanding credit and we have been using her AMEX card for a number of years now. We charge a LOT of expenses (6 figures) on the card each year. I would like to try to be added as an additional user but we are worried they may flag her to my old balances and this may cause them to review her account and close it or reduce the credit line, especially since we are self employed so run our expenses on a personal card.

    Have you ever heard of a request for an additional cardholder who is blacklisted triggering problems for the primary cardholder or a review of their credit use or limit?

  52. Here is my experience… been with Amex since 1998 and carried the Personal Plat since 2003. In 2010 I started a big investment opening up a 20,000sqft restaurant/lounge that totaled over 4.5MM. Well as most restaurants do, it failed miserably but still didn’t have much debt personally. I had to file Chapter 7 in 2013 because of all the PG’s I signed from the restaurant. In the BK was the Amex that only had 5k on it but was told by my BK attorney that it would be a waste to pay it off. They will close the account anyway. So I listened and left it in the BK untouched. Towards the end of 2014 though I figured I’d see if my wife would add me as an AU to her plat corp card which is my business anyway and was approved to my surprise. Here is the weird part. When I first got the card it shows member since 2014. The magnet got damaged somehow and they sent me a new card and that showed member since 1998. Not sure if that means I’m off the blacklist or it was just a mistake on their end but I just wanted to share my experience. I’m scared to apply for an AMEX personal thinking they can go back and take back my corp card lol.

  53. Hello, I have a question about the blacklist that I haven’t seen anyone else ask. In 1988 I was unable to pay 300.00 due on an Amex Green card. It stayed on my credit report for 10 year. I’ve been repairing my credit and now have scores in the lower 700s, no negatives, 4 good accounts, though not much credit history. Credit Karma tells me I have a ‘very good’ chance of being approved for two Amex entry level cards … so I’m curious if I’m on the Amex blacklist or not.

    Here’s my question: when I check to see if I’m prequalified for a Amex card on the Amex site, it asks for last four or my social security number, and then tells me they weren’t able to match me with any offers at this time (and they show me cards I might be interested in). I assume they do a soft pull (why else would they ask for last four of social?) … but would they do a soft pull if I am on their blacklist? Wouldn’t they just immediately reject me for previous non payment without a soft pull?

    Your thoughts appreciated …

  54. I had a 3911 balance with them back in 2006. Had my car stolen with the 3911 worth of merchandise and then some in it 1 week from purchasing it. 1 month later was robbed for over $5k. SO I was at a point in life when I mother’effed everything and defaulted. A year later I arranged to pay back the money I paid down the balance to about 2500 in about 6 months then money wasn’t coming in anymore so I stopped paying collection agency. I was 19 when I got my AE pretty much young and dumb to how important credit was. Over 10 years later almost 800 score. 75k in revolving credit 2 perfect auto loans paying off at moment obviously perfect payments on all 5 other cards companies I decided to take leap of faith. I applied and got shot down. I don’t know what came to me to try but my best friend just applied and got 25k limit with his first AE. I asked him to try to add me as AU so maybe I can wiggle my way back into getting my own card with them again. He gave name SS and DB and it was approved instantly. This was 2 days ago 4/10/17. My purpose of adding myself was to re-establish myself with them and if they asked me to repay I would’ve but they approved it. My reason for denial was because of my bad rep with them but as AU I got approved. Card should be here soon let’s see what happens if they shoot me down upon further digging on my bad rep with them.

  55. Question – I had a charge off with the. But eventually paid the full balance as an arrangement with Amex. They the. Wouldn’t open my account but instead offered me the Optima card with an annual fee. First, I thought Optima was discontinued. Second, why wouldn’t they open my account and instead give me optima? I think the optima is also offered from a subsidiary and not directly with Amex. Anyone have any idea? Also, I have had the optima card for a few years now and have always been on time. I have heard that if one applies for the regular Amex while having the optima it will be declined, but if you cancel the optima you have a “shot” at the regular Amex. Any insight?

  56. Long time Amex holder. Ran in to some trouble. Worked out a payment arrangement. Amex wouldn’t reinstate my old card. Instead sent me an offer to get the Optima card. I accepted and now have the optima. I think it is from a subsidiary of Amex. Have had the card for a few years now and want to switch back to regular Amex. I have heard/read that I cannot as long as I have the optima. That I would need to cancel the optima first before applying for the regular Amex. Could be risky. Anyone have any insight?

  57. Applied for an AMEX DELTA card three years after a discharged BK7. Since that time, no late payments, 9% usage of available credit totalling, $29,000.00 with Cap One, Discover, Santander and others. 662- EX, 675 -EQ 672- TU – AMEX was not part of my discharged debts.

    I was denied for reason, BANKRUPTCY. So, tried and true, AMEX is very unforgiving for BK filers and the best bet is to wait 7-10 years after the discharge.

    I was advised I could try again in 30 days which I will not.

  58. I guess I’m on the Amex blacklist. Early 2000’s I had some personal problems (mainly divorce) that meant I defaulted on Amex Gold and Costco. They charged them off in 2006 (so well out of the SOL). Now I have a credit scores in high 700’s or low 800’s. Just applied for a Amex Delta card and was immediately declined. I called them and they basically want the entire balances paying off. I find this objectionable that they have taken a tax write off (and used TARP). The ironic thing is I’m a AU on both a Platinum card and the same Amex Delta card I’m applying for.

    I’m thinking of countering their pay off for a lower amount. Anybody have any thoughts for a % they think is reasonable?

  59. I been with Amex since 2002 never missed a payment I have an excellent credit and I still do never miss a payment with any one else all the sudden Amex called tell me we are going to cancel all your accounts but they won’t give me a reason tried calling many times and same answer , after. Week received a letter stating that I didn’t use my card the proper way since 2002 been using it same way , read your article before and asked my friend to add me as AU he did 3 month later same thing happen to me with the same letter that was sent to me before , tried applying 3 month later was declined but they never pulled my credit any suggestions please thanks.

  60. I owed $5k to Amex that I couldn’t pay in 2011 so they close my card and sold my debt to a debt collector but the collector paid it off and said I don’t owe anything(not sure how that worked or what it’s called) but vaguely remember they said I still have to pay if I want to ever get an amex card again? is this going to be erased from my credit if I pay it? should I even bother paying it now?
    Since they told me they paid it off themselves they never bothered me since.

  61. I was the victim of identity theft over 15 years ago multiple credit cards opened in my name. All of the other banks were very sympathetic and relatively easy to deal with, just had to supply the necessary reports and notarized affidavits. AMEX turned out to be complete douche bags and after initially pretending to be helpful decided they weren’t going to eat a $25 loss and changed their mind after 3 months and tried coming after me for the debt. I ended up having to get a lawyer to get them to back down and ended up threatening all three credit bureaus with lawsuits for continuing to report AMEX. So after 15 I’ve tried the AU attempt. Did not work. I’m certainly on their blacklist for good.

  62. Got my first Amex card back in 1991 shortly after high school. Everything was fine until 2009 when I ended up filing a CH7 BK due to the housing crash. I burned amex for around 15k total (8k business line of credit, 7k personal cards). Fast forward to today and my FICOs are around 750, income 100k+ a year, and pay all cards off in full every month. I was able to get a Chase Sapphire Reserve card recently after a couple tries with the recon people but I would still like to get back with Amex.

    I have been on the blacklist since my BK. I’ve tried once a year and always get auto declined for my own cards. I also get auto declined when trying to add myself as an AU on my wife’s platinum card. For the hell of it I setup an amex high yield savings account and put in 20k into it. After a couple of months I had my wife try adding me again as an AU and it went through this time. I got the card and was able to get logged into the amex credit card website and it shows me being a member since 1991.

    I waited about another month and I’m now seeing preapproval offers for the Amex Platinum 100k deal and few other cards. I tried to apply for one credit card and one charge card via the preapproval portal and was auto declined for both. I’d really like to get a couple amex cards again as I understand they would be back date to 1991 which would really help my avg account age.

    Anyway… should I just wait it out and try again in a few months? Has anybody with CH 7 discharged debt been able to settle with amex for an amount less than the total to get off the blacklist? Thanks!

      • Bummer! Guess I should have done some research as it looks like they stopped backdating new cards on March 21st, 2015. That’s good to know as my desire to get back into Amex’s’ good graces isn’t as high now!

  63. How long after FINANCIAL REVIEW Shut down before I can reapply?

    I came under Financial Review from AMEX after I used my own card reader to make a large transaction to get the 60k MR sign up bonus. AMEX wanted last 2 months of bank statements with beginning and ending balances. I refused the bank statements at first, but I did send them IRS tax transcripts from the past 2 years, with adjusted gross income of 165k in 2015, and 246k in 2016. They still insisted on bank statements. I sent the statements with my with beginning & ending balances and transactions blacked out, I did only showed them my deposits (10k and 15k). They refused to accept this, even after speaking to a supervisor and having my case escalated to a VP. I voluntarily closed my 6 accounts so they show as “closed at consumers request” on my credit report. Before closing, I paid off the entire balances in full, less than $200 amongst all the cards. I have been an authorized user & account manager since 2010 on 2 of my mothers AMEX accounts, 15k & 20k limits. I am still on her accounts after the shutdown of my accounts, and her accounts have not been affected. Interestingly, just before the financial review I had applied for a SPG business card, it was approved 1 day after my accounts had been frozen for the Financial Review. When I received the card and activated it, it showed as also frozen. I find it interesting that I was approved after the FR freeze….. I wonder if this means that I am not blacklisted? This along with the fact that I am still an AU and account manager on my mothers accounts make me believe that I am not blacklisted. I wonder if they will put me through FR if I apply again? I don’t mind providing tax transcripts, but I refuse to allow them to peer into my bank accounts. Anyone go through something similar to this or have any thoughts on how long before I reapply and what might happen?

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