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 980455 times)

Offline josh nyc

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #750 on: December 15, 2011, 03:51:10 PM »
So the wife and I who have different names but same address (obv) were both hit this morning with account freezes followed up by email requests for 4506Ts. (the full account freeze prior to notifying me really ticked me off as I was declined this morning on a purchase with 2 diff cards which is why I called - only to find out hey its F/R time! grrr)

2 weeks ago, first amex app since may - wife triple apped Plat #2, SPG #2, DL Gold and was approved on all 3. Received plat and activated yesterday.

My Cards:
Plat, Gold, Gold Premier Rewards, SPG (5k CL), SPG#2 (2K CL), DL Gold (3K CL), SPG Biz (4K CL)
recently closed cards (last 6-12 months) were Plat, Gold, and a DL

Mrs Cards:
Plat (just received and was activated yest to double up on '11 and '12 AA GCs), Gold Premier Rewards, SPG (15K CL), DL Options (10K CL), Was approved for : SPG#2 & DL Gold (need to verify CLs)
recently closed: Plat, Gold, Jblue

Im assuming her TRIPLE APP & VERY HIGH CLs triggered FR for her and then same address triggered for me (although we were both frozen at the same exact time - btwn last night and this morning). I have no idea why they give such high CLs and never asked.

The Good:
1) I have most of what my stated income to amex is (prob about 15% short), but close enough from my day job.
2) I also own a new business (<1yr old) that has revenue for this yr (but im not taking a salary from the biz this yr and neither is the mrs - should i somehow claim the mrs makes some income from there? - something im not nec keen on doing if it will open up more doors to nowhere)
3) Mrs and I have a jt account at schwab with decent enough sized balance...its out there and not sure the best way to spin this as being income for her
4) We share a jt checking accnt that has monthly transactions and balances large enough to cover all our spending on Amex
5) We both have personal checking accounts that avg 5K+ in balances

The Bad:
The mrs is back in school and hasnt filed a tax return/made income since 09. In 09 the income was not that significant <20K

What is the best way to deal with this??
THANKS!

Offline 3ZeroT

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #751 on: December 16, 2011, 02:42:18 PM »
Just to be clear, you didn't file married jointly last year (even if she had no income)?  In that case your income would have come back on her transcript.

Offline josh nyc

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #752 on: December 16, 2011, 03:50:17 PM »
Just to be clear, you didn't file married jointly last year (even if she had no income)?  In that case your income would have come back on her transcript.

Going through my return last nt I realized (of course) that we filed jointly. My 2010 income is 20% stated income BC I only worked oct-dec. I can show pay stubbs for 2011 showing significant increase. Do I call Amex prior to sending in 4506T? And do I also explain other assets?
Thx!

Offline Dan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #753 on: December 16, 2011, 03:54:21 PM »
Yes and yes.
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 josh nyc

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #754 on: December 16, 2011, 04:23:12 PM »
Yes and yes.

We have diff amex F/R reps for the two of us. Do we each explain separately? (asking if anyone has had any sort of experience whether they treat you and wife as complete separate entities even when filing jointly etc)

apologize if my questions are not as clear as they should be- this F/R stuff is horrible!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 04:31:32 PM by josh nyc »

Offline compddd

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #755 on: December 16, 2011, 06:27:11 PM »
How do I find out what my CL is on my Amex charge cards?

Offline TC610

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #756 on: December 16, 2011, 07:21:26 PM »
How do I find out what my CL is on my Amex charge cards?

There is no credit line with AMEX Charge Cards.  They have no pre-set limit, but don't confuse that with "unlimited". 

Offline Side incomer

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #757 on: December 17, 2011, 06:22:19 PM »
We have diff amex F/R reps for the two of us. Do we each explain separately? (asking if anyone has had any sort of experience whether they treat you and wife as complete separate entities even when filing jointly etc)

apologize if my questions are not as clear as they should be- this F/R stuff is horrible!
My wife and myself got both FR'd, my wife didn't survive, and I survived thru the same income, same cards, and got FR'd the same time. etc.
So, my suggestion is to completely work separately, because you have better chances going this thru.
Side income is the most solid income... בדוק ומנוסה

Offline AsherO

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #758 on: December 20, 2011, 05:25:36 AM »
How do I find out what my CL is on my Amex charge cards?

There's a link online to check spending ability, you can put in an amount and they tell you if it's approved. I wouldn't play around with it too much though, it might call unwanted attention to your account.

There is no credit line with AMEX Charge Cards.  They have no pre-set limit, but don't confuse that with "unlimited". 

There's a soft limit which they adjust periodically based on your spend/payment patterns.
PGF24BMGS

Offline TC610

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #759 on: December 20, 2011, 04:42:22 PM »
There's a link online to check spending ability, you can put in an amount and they tell you if it's approved. I wouldn't play around with it too much though, it might call unwanted attention to your account.

There's a soft limit which they adjust periodically based on your spend/payment patterns.

Correct, which is why I said "don't confuse that with unlimited'" :)

Offline dans fan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #760 on: December 20, 2011, 08:02:40 PM »
My wife and myself got both FR'd, my wife didn't survive, and I survived thru the same income, same cards, and got FR'd the same time. etc.
So, my suggestion is to completely work separately, because you have better chances going this thru.
i disagree dont know how you got to that conclusion i would say it depends

Offline Side incomer

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #761 on: December 20, 2011, 08:20:34 PM »
i disagree dont know how you got to that conclusion i would say it depends
Don't see any reason to work together. If one of them has a nasty account manager, why should the other-one suffer.
Could you explain what benefit you can get from working together.
Side income is the most solid income... בדוק ומנוסה

Offline dans fan

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #762 on: December 20, 2011, 08:42:01 PM »
if you dont end up with a nasty one they will need a solid explanation why the other doesnt pass and wont get away with "it doesnt meet our standards"

Offline Side incomer

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #763 on: December 20, 2011, 08:47:31 PM »
if you dont end up with a nasty one they will need a solid explanation why the other doesnt pass and wont get away with "it doesnt meet our standards"
But that's what I pointed out, you have nothing to lose by working separately, I didn't say it's guaranteed, but definitely better changes to survive, at least one. At least, based on my experience.
I still didn't get an explanation from you, what you "benefit" from working together. You just explained why you wouldn't benefit for sure not working together.
Side income is the most solid income... בדוק ומנוסה

Offline ZCN

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Re: Amex Financial Review
« Reply #764 on: December 20, 2011, 09:18:29 PM »
Just got a call from AMEX for FR after doing a 3BM.

I've gone though most of the pages in this thread and have a question I haven't seen addressed.

 I barely had any legal income (under 5k on the books ) last year when I filed. Since then I have some decent income, but still short of what I told AMEX I make a year. Problem is, the guy at AMEX I spoke to told me they are only interested in my tax returns, and it won't help to send in other docs like bank statements etc. Does anybody have any experience with a small amount of income earned with a FR?
 And should I send in the bank docs anyway?