AMEX Question

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Doris K., Jul 8, 2000.

  1. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, a young woman I know asked me a question about American Express. I feel like I might have been a bit abrupt by answering her question without having checked here first.

    According to my friend, she has some scars on her credit reports that range in age from 3 to 5 years. Two are unpaid utility bills and one shows as a redeemed auto repossession on two of her reports. On her Equifax report, the repossession is not shown, but it is listed as an I-3, which I believe denotes a 60-day late pay. This is her only negative line on her Equifax report, which I believe AMEX uses. She has quite a few positive lines on all reports, but most are for new accounts opened within the last year. Each of her reports includes excessive inquiries made within the last year.

    Her question about American Express had to do with her opening either a $5000 money market account or CD with AMEX. She has a secured Optima card with a small limit, and she wanted to know if her having the Optima account and the $5000 banking account would increase her chances of obtaining an unsecured card. I told her that I didn't think it would make any difference, and that only a really good credit report would matter.

    Was I right in telling her this? Perhaps some of you who have more experience in dealing with American Express could set me straight.
  2. JP

    JP Guest


    AMEX is very difficult to obtain with negative information on one's credit report. Also AMEX doesn't always use Equifax, they have also been known to use Experian.

    Utility companies are generally pretty good about removing negative info once they have been paid. I would suggest calling them and getting an agreement in writing to remove the negative information in return for payment. I would also dispute the repo, you might get lucky on it.

  3. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    I did suggest to her that if she has $5000 to spend, she should be able to settle with the utility companies and get that negative information removed. I doubt, however, that disputing her repossession would do her any good. One of the auto finance companies (I think GMAC) took it two or three years ago, but she got it back. It shows as a "redeemed repossession". The account is still open, and she's still paying for her car. I doubt she would have much luck disputing it. She will probably have to ride that one out at least until the car is paid for.

    Still, while I don't have much experience in dealing with American Express, other than paying my bill on the rare occasion that I use my card, I can't imagine that depositing money in their bank would sway their decision to approve her for a card. While $5000 might seem like an awful lot of money to most of us, it's chicken feed to banks. I'm beginning to feel more and more that I gave her sound advice even though I really wasn't sure.
  4. JP

    JP Guest

    Doris, I think you did give her sound advice. I would still suggest she dispute the "repo". If they do nothing more than change it to an I-3 like Equifax did, I believe that looks better than a "repo". If she is able to get the utilities removed and the "repo" changed to I-3, she may be alot better situation to apply for the AMEX card.

    My logic here is that she will only have 1 late payment on her report, which may make her score high enough to qualify. If they do deny her, she may be able to call AMEX and talk them into approving her since the event is 3 years old. One last thing, having only a late payment may also convince them to unsecure the Optima account she has since her situation has improved.

  5. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    By the way, JP, I failed to thank you for addressing my question. Thank you. I appreciate your time :)
  6. Keith

    Keith Guest

    After reading a news article that stated that AMEX has not been reporting to the credit agencies( I read it at I called their customer service number 1-800-628-2244. The rep assured me that AMEX reports (hmmm.. I don't know about that). The rep told me to call 954-503-3787 and speak with AMEX's "credit bureau dept". I did and they told me that AMEX does report for all cards EXCEPT the Secured Optima! She said that the Secured Optima was designed only to establish a history with AMEX and therefore AMEX DOES NOT REPORT SECURED OPTIMA accounts to the credit agencies. She also said that if the account is maintained in good condition a regular account could be offered. One problem...she did not know how long the secured account had to be maintained! Could take years! So if you are planning to use this card to build credit history... IT WONT HAPPEN!

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