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 ect…

Let’s 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 don’t 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 1436279 times)

Offline oldguy

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8520 on: November 23, 2021, 03:06:19 PM »
All my FRs have been at least a month, sometimes more...
Usually mines are 2-3 weeks, The longest one was in the beginning of this year that took 6 weeks.

Online Euclid

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8521 on: November 23, 2021, 03:11:16 PM »
You can't pass a FR?
Me and my wife get a FR minimum once a year, sometimes even twice...
The only issue is my accounts are frozen for a few days/weeks.
I definitely could pass a consumer FR, question is for a biz FR since I don't file taxes for the sole prop (my name). I've never had an FR in all my years with Amex; maybe this will be the first?

Also, I see many DPs that Amex will shut down an account for a returned payment, even without an FR. I'm hoping that's only for a returned payment due to "insufficient funds", and not due to an "invalid account number".

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8522 on: November 24, 2021, 01:05:00 AM »
I definitely could pass a consumer FR, question is for a biz FR since I don't file taxes for the sole prop (my name). I've never had an FR in all my years with Amex; maybe this will be the first?
If you can pass a consumer FR you should be fine.
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Offline ungar17@yahoo.com

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8523 on: November 30, 2021, 10:14:13 PM »
Amex is offering me up to 100k MR for adding employee cards to my platinum card (20k per employee).
Is doing this something that would cause a FR?

Offline nirc

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8524 on: December 02, 2021, 10:45:19 AM »
My 18 yr old kid signed up for business platinum (+ immediately added 5 employees for 20k per card bonus) with annual income of $20,000 and is now getting FR. Stupid.

They’re asking for tax returns, employer information etc... all of which he can’t provide as his business is a sole prop and is too new to have filed a 2020 return.

Most income not documented (reseller) though has some on a 1099 and W2 from summer/ part time jobs

Ideas how to pass?

What other questions will they likely ask?

Any concerns we may be dragged into this mess? Not want to risk my points.




« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 11:46:57 AM by nirc »

Offline lcm

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8525 on: December 02, 2021, 12:17:30 PM »
My 18 yr old kid signed up for business platinum (+ immediately added 5 employees for 20k per card bonus) with annual income of $20,000 and is now getting FR. Stupid.

They’re asking for tax returns, employer information etc... all of which he can’t provide as his business is a sole prop and is too new to have filed a 2020 return.

Most income not documented (reseller) though has some on a 1099 and W2 from summer/ part time jobs

Ideas how to pass?

What other questions will they likely ask?

Any concerns we may be dragged into this mess? Not want to risk my points.
There is a concept of access to parents' funds can counted as income.
Meaning, if you would be willing to/do give that amount per year, it can be counted as income. Giyf
Not sure how to prove, maybe a letter from you. Hopefully someone more experienced can chime in.

Offline nirc

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8526 on: December 03, 2021, 12:14:00 AM »
My 18 yr old kid signed up for business platinum (+ immediately added 5 employees for 20k per card bonus) with annual income of $20,000 and is now getting FR. Stupid.

They’re asking for tax returns, employer information etc... all of which he can’t provide as his business is a sole prop and is too new to have filed a 2020 return.

Most income not documented (reseller) though has some on a 1099 and W2 from summer/ part time jobs

Ideas how to pass?

What other questions will they likely ask?

Any concerns we may be dragged into this mess? Not want to risk my points.

had initial phone asking all usual questions about business - length, income, how he sells merchandise, if amazon/ebay - does he have "store" etc..

now he's required to submit recent bank statements (connected to card) and pay stubs from past year. They not want tax return as all income started in 2021, and is only interested in legit documented/verifiable income - no tutoring, babysitting, music lessons even though those are majority of his $20k income.

as is account balance only has $5k in it, is it better to deposit additional funds into account and say that's the income stream of selling merchandise? if yes - better to have multiple small deposits or few large ones?

card only opened 3 weeks and spent around $6k on it, so in my mind it's reasonable that there is $0 income so far since merchandise first has to be delivered, then find a buyer, then deposit the money. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 12:18:29 AM by nirc »

Offline ari3

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8527 on: December 03, 2021, 01:29:22 AM »
You can't pass a FR?
Me and my wife get a FR minimum once a year, sometimes even twice...
The only issue is my accounts are frozen for a few days/weeks.
What are you doing to warrant that kind of attention?

Offline Cat18

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8528 on: December 03, 2021, 04:09:23 PM »
SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

Opened a brand new Amex biz plat and in 2 weeks racked up $6000 in posted charges and another $8000 in pending.

1) However, my points balance (right side of account page) is showing a big fat 0 and that's in spite of also doing a referral that should've earned me an additional 15k MR points.

2) i also signed up for 5 employee cards for 20k bonus for each, and when i tried to activate them online, i get a message to call.

This is my first MR producing amex so maybe points only post when my first statement closes in another 2 weeks, but is still a little unsettling.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 04:40:39 PM by Cat18 »

Offline HoKo

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8529 on: December 03, 2021, 04:16:08 PM »
SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

Opened a brand new Amex biz plat and in 2 weeks racked up $6000 in posted charges and another $8000 in pending. However, my points balance (right side of account page) is showing a big fat 0 and that's in spite of also doing a referral that should've earned me an additional 15k MR points.

This is my first MR producing amex so maybe points only post when my first statement closes in another 2 weeks, but is still a little unsettling.

I've always found it rather confusing to keep track of Amex MR points but this article from a couple days ago might help you figure out what's normal vs what's not: https://frequentmiler.com/finding-and-figuring-your-bonus-membership-rewards-points/

Also, are the $6K/$8K in purchases obvious MS or legitimate transactions? I would strongly recommend avoiding obvious MS on Amex cards during the SUB period...RAT team is thought to be most aggressive during this timeframe.

Offline Cat18

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8530 on: December 03, 2021, 04:31:37 PM »
I've always found it rather confusing to keep track of Amex MR points but this article from a couple days ago might help you figure out what's normal vs what's not: https://frequentmiler.com/finding-and-figuring-your-bonus-membership-rewards-points/

Also, are the $6K/$8K in purchases obvious MS or legitimate transactions? I would strongly recommend avoiding obvious MS on Amex cards during the SUB period...RAT team is thought to be most aggressive during this timeframe.

i clicked "explore rewards" and it shows a 0 balance. on the next page my hyperlink points balance is also 0.

you're right, i should've been more careful. i joined a BG and got a little excited when i saw how many points i could earn.

all legit transactions, but not for my sole prop "business".
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 04:38:22 PM by Cat18 »

Offline yelped

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8531 on: December 04, 2021, 09:33:22 PM »
It just takes time to post with Amex. They're not quick like Chase is.

Offline R.A.T.

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8532 on: December 04, 2021, 10:29:29 PM »
RAT team is thought to be most aggressive during this timeframe.
We know all the tricks.

Offline oldguy

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8533 on: December 05, 2021, 12:52:56 PM »
SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

Opened a brand new Amex biz plat and in 2 weeks racked up $6000 in posted charges and another $8000 in pending.

1) However, my points balance (right side of account page) is showing a big fat 0 and that's in spite of also doing a referral that should've earned me an additional 15k MR points.

By Amex it will show 0 until you pay your 1st statement. If you go to the points summary page you should see them pending already.

Offline Cat18

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8534 on: December 05, 2021, 02:52:22 PM »
By Amex it will show 0 until you pay your 1st statement. If you go to the points summary page you should see them pending already.

On that page, interesting enough it shows —— Earned 38,814 and Pending Points 6,779 even though points balance still shows 0.

Not that points aren’t a worry, Should I be concerned that Amex is making me call in to activate my 5 employee cards and not allowing me to do online or is this normal?

As I reached my SUB in the 1st 2 weeks, should I hold off spending on 5 “employee” cards for 1-2 months and let things cool down to prevent RAT attention or as long as I get my 200,000 MR points I am fine?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 03:25:13 PM by Cat18 »

Offline oldguy

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8535 on: December 05, 2021, 11:01:53 PM »
On that page, interesting enough it shows —— Earned 38,814 and Pending Points 6,779 even though points balance still shows 0.

Not that points aren’t a worry, Should I be concerned that Amex is making me call in to activate my 5 employee cards and not allowing me to do online or is this normal?

As I reached my SUB in the 1st 2 weeks, should I hold off spending on 5 “employee” cards for 1-2 months and let things cool down to prevent RAT attention or as long as I get my 200,000 MR points I am fine?
There is no clear cut answer.... If the FR's would be black and white then it would be easy to answer, but because there is no way to know for sure what triggers it, then kit all depends on your risk tolerance..

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8536 on: December 14, 2021, 10:50:45 AM »
My account is suspended because of an FR.

I recived 150K Signup points + 62K from charges I made the annual fee is due Today and the charges are due in a month.

Question: Should I pay the annual fee? Where is the best place to transfer the points?

TIA

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8537 on: December 14, 2021, 04:41:48 PM »
My account is suspended because of an FR.

I recived 150K Signup points + 62K from charges I made the annual fee is due Today and the charges are due in a month.

Question: Should I pay the annual fee? Where is the best place to transfer the points?

TIA
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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8538 on: December 16, 2021, 01:22:30 PM »
To continue from above ——
So it looks like will be failing the F/R as documents submitted are not sufficient, and they will be closing all Amex accounts ASAP.

What chances of them clawing back the Marriott SUB points plus free night certificates already issued?

Some ideas I’ve been thinking about:
1) book a stay to “use up” points in account or
2) transfer them to another party for safekeeping or
3) preemptively close Marriott cc, thereby severing the connection any maybe protecting the points.

@Dan #advice needed

Most worried that they drag us into a F/R since live at same address and did the referral.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2021, 04:18:15 PM by nirc »

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Re: Amex F/R Master Thread
« Reply #8539 on: December 16, 2021, 01:32:50 PM »
So it looks like will be failing the F/R as documents submitted are not sufficient, and they will be closing all Amex accounts.

What chances of them clawing back the Marriott SUB points plus free night certificates already issued?

What are the chances of them doing a F/R on us (parents) as we share address and did the referral?
They don't claw back cobranded card earnings last I heard. As far as the second question, I don't believe you are at any risk, but I can be wrong.
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