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 1230881 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #200 on: August 30, 2010, 04:17:53 PM »
true they lose on that, BUT its guaranteed money as well because they charge the merchants a %
They make maybe 1% profit on a normal transaction after costs plus buying Starpoints, but can make 30% APR.
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 Yordai Dooma

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #201 on: August 31, 2010, 10:10:21 AM »
When you prepay on a cc, are you able to do so online? or do you have to send a check?

Does it differ depending on if its amex or citi?

Offline Smirk

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #202 on: August 31, 2010, 11:35:20 AM »
I prepaid online through my bank account

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #203 on: August 31, 2010, 11:36:01 AM »
I think the safest thing is to pay with your bank account the same day you make the charge so that its not a prepayment.
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 Yordai Dooma

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #204 on: August 31, 2010, 11:56:22 AM »
I think the safest thing is to pay with your bank account the same day you make the charge so that its not a prepayment.

I need to prepay though. Im trying to make a $1030 charge on a card that has a $1000 limit. I want to prepay exactly $1030 and then make the charge, which would put me back at zero.

I prepaid online through my bank account

Is that done like a normal bill pay? Meaning you initiate the payment from your bank as a bill pay rather than initiating the payment by logging into amex.com or citicard?

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #205 on: August 31, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »
Is that done like a normal bill pay? Meaning you initiate the payment from your bank as a bill pay rather than initiating the payment by logging into amex.com or citicard?
Correct
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 jmail

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #206 on: August 31, 2010, 01:30:29 PM »
Is there a reason to billpay through your bank instead of the cc website (other than the fact that all your bills can be done in one log-in/session)?

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #207 on: August 31, 2010, 01:41:58 PM »
Is there a reason to billpay through your bank instead of the cc website (other than the fact that all your bills can be done in one log-in/session)?
The cc website won't let you prepay.
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 yare

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #208 on: August 31, 2010, 01:46:35 PM »
anyone know if amex can fr an au?  and if you're only using the au card to purchase, can they fr the main card as well?

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #209 on: August 31, 2010, 01:52:10 PM »
can amex can fr an au? 
No
and if you're only using the au card to purchase, can they fr the main card as well?
Of course
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 mords

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amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #210 on: October 13, 2010, 03:35:58 PM »
I was approved for the business gold charge card and i tried to buy 4 $1000 gift cards and i saw that after a day and half that my balance was at $0.00. So i called amex and they told me the purchase was denied and that all my three accounts with them are on a freeze. And then the lady started doing a financial review on me. Anyway i faxed in my paper work hopefully all goes well! It is not just coins which can cause a red flag!!

Offline Devorah

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #211 on: October 13, 2010, 11:14:04 PM »
Same thing happened to me and I only bought 1 $1000 gift card.

Offline Devorah

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #212 on: October 13, 2010, 11:15:27 PM »
My purchase was approved and it was almost 2 months ago - my FR just happened.

Offline moish

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #213 on: October 14, 2010, 04:34:56 AM »
so then how do you know it was the gift card that triggered it?

Offline Devorah

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #214 on: October 14, 2010, 10:39:25 AM »
so then how do you know it was the gift card that triggered it?

It happened to both myself and my husband and those were the only out of the ordinary purchases.  The rep pretty much confirmed it.

Offline mords

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #215 on: October 14, 2010, 02:42:26 PM »
@Devorah
Did everything turn out ok with the FR?

Offline Devorah

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #216 on: October 14, 2010, 08:26:49 PM »
@Devorah
Did everything turn out ok with the FR?
Just sent in the 4506T - waiting to hear from them.

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #217 on: October 15, 2010, 12:29:42 PM »
What are they looking for when they do an FR?  And what information do they ask for?  If you know you did something dumb is there a way to fudge it to look better?  I have never been FRed as I'm new to all this, but the whole idea freaks me out.

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #218 on: October 15, 2010, 12:39:02 PM »
What are they looking for when they do an FR?  And what information do they ask for?  If you know you did something dumb is there a way to fudge it to look better?  I have never been FRed as I'm new to all this, but the whole idea freaks me out.

They want to know that you actually make the money you said you make. They ask for Tax returns / W2's, 1099's / bank statements showing how much money goes in and out.If you did something dumb and they come after you, fess up with them, show them how much money you (or your household) DO make, and hope for the best. There's nothing to get freaked out about. Max, they will close you down or lower your CL.

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Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #219 on: October 15, 2010, 12:54:15 PM »
There's nothing to get freaked out about. Max, they will close you down or lower your CL.

That's enough to freak some people out.

I went from 9 cards with a CL of over 90k to 1 card with a CL of ~30k.

I was able to reshuffle my credit lines and I moved some of the credit to one card and closed all the others, then sent the financial/tax documents. Now that they don't allow that online people won't be able to do that.