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 996986 times)

Offline AJK

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #675 on: November 09, 2011, 12:43:09 AM »
BTW the cause of my FR was a $1300 purchase from Costco which I returned 2 days later.

How do you know? Is $1300 aberrational for you?
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #676 on: November 09, 2011, 12:46:53 AM »
How do you know? Is $1300 aberrational for you?

They told me;

I guess you could say so; my account is only a few months old - july this year - and the limit is only $2K

Offline AJK

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #677 on: November 09, 2011, 12:47:47 AM »
They told me;

I guess you could say so; my account is only a few months old - july this year - and the limit is only $2K

Yea, I think I've read somewhere that a high util % is a trigger for FR...
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Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #678 on: November 09, 2011, 12:49:00 AM »
I guess you could say so; my account is only a few months old - july this year - and the limit is only $2K

With a 2k limit you used 65% of your CL with one purchase... That makes sense to me (that it triggered an F/R), I'm surprised they told you though, they don't usually tell AFAIK.
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Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #679 on: November 09, 2011, 12:52:08 AM »
With a 2k limit you used 65% of your CL with one purchase... That makes sense to me (that it triggered an F/R), I'm surprised they told you though, they don't usually tell AFAIK.

It's interesting that it triggered so instantly! I told you I returned it 2 days later!

They didn't tell me outright, but that was their main question to me.

Offline AJK

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #680 on: November 09, 2011, 12:53:28 AM »
It's interesting that it triggered so instantly! I told you I returned it 2 days later!

It sends up red flags as soon as the purchase is made. AMEX undoubtedly has systems that monitor these things. It probably wouldn't have made a difference if you returned it two HOURS later.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #681 on: November 09, 2011, 12:54:52 AM »
It sends up red flags as soon as the purchase is made. AMEX undoubtedly has systems that monitor these things. It probably wouldn't have made a difference if you returned it two HOURS later.

Either way learnt my lesson, gonna make sure my account is under 33% utilization, unless there are different opinions of what the best amount is?

Offline AJK

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #682 on: November 09, 2011, 12:56:09 AM »
Either way learnt my lesson, gonna make sure my account is under 33% utilization, unless there are different opinions of what the best amount is?

There is no black and white, but the consensus is somewhere around 25-33%.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #683 on: November 09, 2011, 01:00:02 AM »
Either way learnt my lesson, gonna make sure my account is under 33% utilization, unless there are different opinions of what the best amount is?

There is no black and white, but the consensus is somewhere around 25-33%.

Best? So if I have a $30k credit line I should be using $7k+ every month?

I'd say <10% is best, at least for your credit score. 33% sounds a bit high to me.
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Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #684 on: November 09, 2011, 01:00:17 AM »
There is no black and white, but the consensus is somewhere around 25-33%.

and what's the downside of spending less than 25%?

Offline AJK

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #685 on: November 09, 2011, 01:02:11 AM »
Best? So if I have a $30k credit line I should be using $7k+ every month?

I'd say <10% is best, at least for your credit score. 33% sounds a bit high to me.

I'm not going to argue with you. I'm just relating what I've read.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #686 on: November 09, 2011, 01:11:57 AM »
and what's the downside of spending less than 25%?

That you can spend less...

I'm not going to argue with you. I'm just relating what I've read.

+1
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Offline lybbtthl

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #687 on: November 09, 2011, 01:15:37 AM »
That you can spend less...
huh?
I'm asking is there a disadvantage in spending less than 25%

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #688 on: November 09, 2011, 01:23:29 AM »
huh?
I'm asking is there a disadvantage in spending less than 25%

I don't think there would necessarily be a disadvantage of spending 10% vs 25%, but there is a disadvantage if you 1) exceed ~35% and 2) if you show 0%.
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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #689 on: November 09, 2011, 01:24:21 AM »
I don't think there would necessarily be a disadvantage of spending 10% vs 25%, but there is a disadvantage if you 1) exceed ~35% and 2) if you show 0%.

what about 1%?
is there an estimate what would be too low?