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 974418 times)

Offline mords

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1231
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1231
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 9427
  • Total likes: 48
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA LT Plat, Avis, SPG Plat
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

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1231
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1231
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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.

Offline bem684

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 676
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
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.

Offline Avid Reader

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 4016
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: NYC
  • Programs: Starwood Gold, Accor Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz Five Star Gold, Marriott Silver, National Executive
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.

Offline AsherO

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 20559
  • Total likes: 126
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 74
    • View Profile
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.
PGF24BMGS

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 53452
  • Total likes: 2361
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #220 on: October 17, 2010, 06:26:47 PM »
From everything I've seen AMEX won't close your account even if you only make a very modest income and even if you completely lied on your application.

Lower your limits, sure.  But generally if you cooperate they won't close your accounts unless you don't have any income.
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 AsherO

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 20559
  • Total likes: 126
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 74
    • View Profile
Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #221 on: October 17, 2010, 11:05:36 PM »
From everything I've seen AMEX won't close your account even if you only make a very modest income and even if you completely lied on your application.

Lower your limits, sure.  But generally if you cooperate they won't close your accounts unless you don't have any income.

Two of my friends showed some income (nowhere near what they reported), cooperated, and has their accounts shut down.
PGF24BMGS

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 53452
  • Total likes: 2361
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #222 on: October 17, 2010, 11:09:14 PM »
Two of my friends showed some income (nowhere near what they reported), cooperated, and has their accounts shut down.
Interesting, I haven't seen anything like that reported online.  Do you know by any chance how much income we're talking about?
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 AsherO

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 20559
  • Total likes: 126
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 74
    • View Profile
Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #223 on: October 17, 2010, 11:11:55 PM »
Interesting, I haven't seen anything like that reported online.  Do you know by any chance how much income we're talking about?

They were both getting a low enough income on the books to still be eligible for govt. benefits.
PGF24BMGS

Offline Aben

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 587
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: amex financial review for buying gc
« Reply #224 on: November 30, 2010, 08:09:58 AM »
I got an Amex FR around 2 years ago for opening a couple accounts one after anothe sent in all the info they wante my W2 I told the lady that on my applications I wrote 100,000 bec that was including my parents eventhough tnat on my w2 it said 25000 she kept all of my accounts opened and did not lower my credit on any of my cards (4) and the highest credit limit that I had on 1 card was 25,000.
A couple of months ago after I applied for the premier gold charge card they wanted to FR me again bec why do I need so many cards I told her that I was doing it for the points after going back an forth she let me go.