Topic Wiki

1)   What is a Financial Review?
In short - American Express occasionally freezes the credit card accounts of individuals with high-risk patterns, or for new account holders.
They request a lot of personal information, such as IRS tax returns, bank statements, letters from Banks ectÖ

Letís break it down into 2 different types of Financial Reviews
A)   Mini Financial Review
B)   Financial Review

A)   Mini Financial Review

(please fill in info) This form of financial review, is usually a short process, it could be as short as one phone call. American Express might feel a need to verify your finances for whatever reason, and they could call you to verify information. Your accounts could be suspended from using until you get in touch with them, typically they will restore your accounts after a simple phone call.

B)   Financial Review
This type of Financial Review is very common. It often happens when opening a new account for the first time, usually if you are opening a Charge Card, or a Business Card or if on a new account you start off will a lot of high spending.
American Express will suspend your account/s, they will not remove the suspension until the review is over, which takes around 2 weeks.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

2)   Triggers

Look below for a list of triggers and links.
 
3)   What will happen?
Your accounts will get suspended. You will be able to log in online, and see account activity, but you will get a message that charging is suspended.

They will contact you via phone and email. Once you get in touch with them, (typically) you will be assigned a specific representative to work on your case.

The will require mainly IRS Tax returns. The point of a Financial Review is to verify your income. They may also require Back statements, a letter from a Bank to verify your address, and other documents. People have reported that they did survive a Financial Review with just bank statements.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

In cases of a Financial Review after opening a Business Card, you will need proof of Business income.

If you cannot provide the required information, shut down your account right away.

As long as you could provide the documents they request you will be fine, they might lower your credit lines, but you should be able keep your account open. Even as low as a $6000 tax return people have been able to survive a Financial Review.

4)   What Steps Should I take?

Get in touch with Amex as soon as you could. Send in the request inform promptly. You will have a rep that will be working with you, and telling you what documents are needed. 4506-t is a transcript request from the IRS for you last tax return. You will need to fill out this form, fax it to Amex, it will take them 24-48 hours until they receive this form, they will request the tax return from the IRS that could take about a week.

Important: you only have 2 attempts to send them the fax, if they reject it after 2 attempts you will get shut down. You don't get more than 2 attempts. (source)
You may be able to get 3 attempts if you ask for a manager.

You need to be on top of it, if you donít follow thru, they could shut your accounts down.


5)   What to do if American Express closed your accounts?

Once American Express closes your accounts, the only way to get back on is if you have the required information needed to pass a Financial Review. They will require you to request a 4506 form from the IRS (which will cost you $57) before they even approve any of your future applications.


To start you may want to read up here:

F/R triggers:
[/color]


Credit line of $25k or more
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1438.msg10906#msg10906

Family member receiving FR can cause other family members to get Fr'ed as well
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=6223.msg74003#msg74003 http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg24759#msg24759

Living at same address as someone who was FR'ed
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg77046#msg77046

Using majority of CL
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=7526.msg87716#msg87716

Large cash advance
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=5908.msg82906#msg82906

Nothing...
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2723.msg30062#msg30062

Changing name on business card
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3589.msg38101#msg38101

Mint purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=146.msg22932#msg22932

Amex Gift Card Purchases
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=2422.msg26670#msg26670
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg40106#msg40106

Unusual spending
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg7627#msg7627
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39597#msg39597

Amazon payments (possibly)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3657.msg88656#msg88656
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3524.msg42436#msg42436

Using close to reported income
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/2537

Logging in online too much (!)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg13741#msg13741

Prepaying
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=1712.msg13732#msg13732
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=3710.msg39725#msg39725

Adding Cardholders (many?)
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8.msg49318#msg49318

Refunds exceeding total payments made on the card since it was opened
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=8.msg845606#msg845606
[/font]
Though not exactly F/R, it's worth mentioning that Amex takes returned payments very seriously.
They often shut all accounts without going through the F/R process.

Author Topic: Amex F/R Master Thread  (Read 1071209 times)

Offline al613

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #135 on: February 21, 2010, 03:22:22 PM »
Can I tell them that my "customer" pays me from their bank account direct to my amex? or is that a no-no?
Don't do it. you can always tell them that you are charging for a business you sre partner in and you are not allowed to share its financials.
They might reduce your credit line temporarely.
You can also call Amex to cancel all the accounts now. it would not affect you in any negative way (expt not being able to use Amex) and you can reopen them after 2 month and get new bonuses :) (I did this)

Offline joe

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #136 on: March 01, 2010, 05:53:21 PM »
I just got the FR olast Friday from amex and they froze my 2 personal and 1 business starwoods. Is it advisable to close all my accounts right now? They said I should send them in a 4506T by Friday. If I close it, do I lose all my rewards an sarwood points?

Offline deals

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #137 on: March 01, 2010, 07:32:44 PM »
I just got the FR olast Friday from amex and they froze my 2 personal and 1 business starwoods. Is it advisable to close all my accounts right now? They said I should send them in a 4506T by Friday. If I close it, do I lose all my rewards an sarwood points?
[/quote

starwood points: no
amex yes so make sure to transfer the points to you airline

you will always lose the points from your current statment

Offline joe

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #138 on: March 02, 2010, 09:48:18 PM »
Thanks, does that mean I keep the starwood points under the same starwoods number?

and should I go ahead and close it or should I just send them a 4506 and see what happens................


Offline Dan

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #139 on: March 02, 2010, 09:56:05 PM »
Do you have an income last year or no?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MOSES

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #140 on: March 03, 2010, 08:40:05 AM »
Do you have an income last year or no?
I just got an FR. The reason being because some stupid manager promised me a relocation of credit lines. then they changed their rule about it with the new cc rules and they did not want to honor it even though they told me that it was done. I spent an hour on the phone with them and they did not budge. I told them that I had already given a vendor my card to use because the rep had told me that the credit line relocation was complete. anways.... the manager submitted a credit line increase on a brand new account. btw this is a business card with a tax id number. anyways I tried to make a payment to the account for more than the balance so I could us it and get the starpoints. they said that they had to verify who i was with another dept. the FR dept got on the line (I did not realize what dept I was talking to) they asked me my annual income. and then they said they wanted to see my business tax returns. and they emailed me the form to fill out 4506T. anyways She told me on the phone that they only had to see by business financials, and now I think the form she emailed me includes personal. I have 4 cards. 2 personal starwood (one from 08 and one from jan of this year) and 1 business starwood (got in jan of this year) and  one gold charge that I received less than a month ago and doubt if I will ever see the bonus MR points. my total credit limit was 11.000 plus the charge card.  Should I cancel all and wait two months or is their another option. I inclued my paraents income when I applied for the card.

Offline MOSES

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #141 on: March 03, 2010, 01:39:26 PM »
ANYONE PLS

Offline Mikeoracle

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #142 on: March 04, 2010, 08:29:29 PM »
B"H my F/R is done and my amex cards are up and running again, so I want to relate my experience for others reference.
First  of all I found out what triggered my F/R, it seems a charge of just over the available credit was denied and when the card was charged again for a few hundred dollars less just under the limit and went through, that triggered the F/R (a long story how this happened...).
Also it seems that there are obviously different levels of F/R as I did not need to send in a 4506T and only needed to fill out a bank account verification form they emailed me that I needed to have my bank fill in the current balance and 6 month average for up to 2 accounts and fax it in. When I asked her if there was any risk in having my accounts closed she said only if the form is not sent back they might have to evaluate and close accounts if necessary, but if I fill out the form she was adamant that they appreciated and wanted my business and it was just procedure that had to be followed and possibly credit limits might be adjusted.
Also it seems they dont mind if you pay your bill from someone else's bank account as i explicitly told them that when they told me to fill out the bank form explaining that my bank account wont reflect all the amounts that i put on the card and pay since my "clients" pay my card directly. She said she understands but in order to determine that I can pay the amounts that I charge they cant rely on anything else except for what I show in my bank accounts.
Since I had 8 days to return the form I made sure to quickly deposit anything I can get my hands on that I would be depositing in the near future and once they cleared I had the form filled out and sent in, this was Friday and by Wednesday morning the hold on my account was lifted with the only change being the credit lowered on one of my personal cards from 35K to 12K. My other personal cards and my business card stayed the same.

If anyone has any questions, let me know.

Offline MOSES

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Re: Financial Review
« Reply #143 on: March 09, 2010, 05:45:04 PM »
HEY GUYS. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP.

My FR is done. I SURVIVED. What triggered it was my business card (the card is on a TAX IS not a sol proprietor). They wanted to see my business tax returns from 08. I told her that the corp was opened in september 2008 and they was not much action in 08. we went back and forth. I wanted to show her my bank statements instead and she said she needs the returns, she was a very nice person BTW....
What eventually saved my tush was that my father declared me as a dependent in 2008. After she found that out she said to send in my last 3 months of my business bank statements ( the account I had been using to pay the card. I sent them in and she cleared the account within the hour. (the December one wasn't so hot but the other ones were ok) she also asked me a lot about the kind of business that I am running... etc.
anyone have a questions, let me know. I am willing to talk on the phone and give advise from my experience.


Offline flyer11204

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How NOT to get financial reviewed by amex????
« Reply #144 on: March 14, 2010, 11:28:59 PM »
I was a member of amex since 2006 (at a young age). I had five cards totaling about 100k in limits. Two years later they shut me down for financial review and I did not send in the required paperwork. A little over a year later I reapplied and was immediately asked for my tax documents. I sent them in stating my current annual income at 40k  (sent in May 2009) . I currently have a gold, a platinum, and a starwood with a $4500 limit and typically with my additionals wrack up about 15-20k a month on the gold and platinum each and full balance on the starwood and it is also paid in full every month.

 Is this situation asking for another financial review?

Any suggestions? Should I rather open a corporate card for this amount of transactions? Any other ideas welcome.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 11:37:10 PM by flyer11204 »

Offline MOSES

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Re: How NOT to get financial reviewed by amex????
« Reply #145 on: March 15, 2010, 05:42:31 AM »
If you done mind forking over the docs, why are you afraid of a financial review?

Offline flyer11204

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Re: How NOT to get financial reviewed by amex????
« Reply #146 on: March 15, 2010, 09:54:24 AM »
cuz i only make 40k and i use about 30k a month

Offline flyer11204

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Re: How NOT to get financial reviewed by amex????
« Reply #147 on: March 15, 2010, 10:11:59 PM »
anyone?

Offline Dan

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Re: How NOT to get financial reviewed by amex????
« Reply #148 on: March 15, 2010, 10:37:17 PM »
Yes, it does sound like you are setting yourself up for another F/R.
Maybe shift some spending to a non-amex if you are scared of getting one?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline D.S.

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Life after financial-review
« Reply #149 on: March 16, 2010, 04:20:38 AM »
I got notified by AmEx of a F.R., and I preemptively closed all 3 of my cards rather than deal with it.  I am dying to open a Starwoods card, but I am in no position to be sending in papers. Is there any chance I will not be immediately asked for my papers? A couple of years have gone by.