The American Express Blacklist Explained & Strategies For Removal

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american express blacklist

Note: Information conveyed in this post is based off of the experiences of several friends, along with experiences of others that I have read in a number of forums over the past year. I don’t have specific links, but a Google search for the term “American Express Blacklist” will result in much of the information presented here.

I start with this, because I have not linked to any specific resources. Additionally, American Express does not publish any rules for getting off of their blacklist nor do they acknowledge that such a list exists.

The American Express Blacklist Explained & Strategies For Removal

The other day I wrote about how to get a Chase credit card with a bankruptcy on your credit. Today I am going to talk about a problem that many people with past bad debts (bankruptcy or otherwise) have with American Express.

American Express has a number of tremendous credit card products. Unfortunately if you ever screw up and “cross them” you may find yourself on the so called “blacklist”. While they have never officially confirmed such a list exists, many people have their social security numbers flagged and are not able to get American Express products.

How to Get On the American Express Blacklist

According to reports, suing American Express or defaulting on any sort of debt with them will gain you a spot on their blacklist. Once on the list, you aren’t able to get any sort of credit card product from them, although it appears you are able to get cards like Bluebird or Serve.

Since American Express has many generous products and sign-up bonuses, it can be very damaging to find yourself on the list. Fortunately some people have figured out ways to get themselves off, although there is no certain set of rules.

How to Find Out If You Are on the American Express Blacklist

If you are on the American Express blacklist then it will become evident pretty quickly. When your social security number is on the list you will be automatically declined for any credit application without American Express even running your credit.

While the denial message varies based on why you are on the list, it generally talks about a past negative relationship with American Express.




How to Get Off the American Express Blacklist

Pay off your old American Express debt

There are many reports from people who have past bad debt with American Express that they were offered to get off of the list by paying it back. Unfortunately even after the money is paid back, there is no guarantee American Express will issue you credit.

If you do go the route of paying off the debt, reports are that you won’t immediately find yourself eligible for all products. Many people have reported that you are only eligible for an entry level card based on credit approval. After proving your worthiness, you can then eventually go on to get some of the more premium cards.

Wait It Out

I have read probably 50 or more reports from people and each one tells a different story, but some people have been dropped off the list without doing anything. The only catch is that it takes somewhere between 10-30 years. Once again that is based on a wide range of reports, so take it with a grain of salt.

I personally know someone who was on the list for 15 years. It was only after employing the following method that this person was able to get an American Express card again.

Have Someone Add You As An Authorized User

Since American Express requires a social security number for authorized users, it may be possible to get yourself dropped from the list by being added to someone else’s card. I know a few people who were removed from the blacklist within a few months of being added as authorized users on other people’s cards.

The theory is that once you are accepted as an AU, you once again become an active cardholder in their system and your social security number is no longer blocked. Again, I know of several people who this has worked for and I highly suggest at least trying this.

There are a select group of people on a super-blacklist that aren’t even allowed to become authorized users. These people normally have enormous unpaid debts or other severe problems with American Express. Fortunately this doesn’t represent most people on the blacklist, but if this is you, then your only option is to wait it out.

How to Check If You Have Been Removed from the American Express Blacklist

The easiest way to find out if you have been removed from the American Express blacklist is to apply for a card. Since blacklisted people don’t have their credit checked, there really is no harm in applying once a month or so to see if things have changed. If you are still on the blacklist, then no inquiry will show up on your credit. You can find the latest Amex credit card offers here.

If you have been removed from the American Express blacklist, then your application will be processed normally and you will either receive and approval or a denial based on your credit profile.


If you now have good credit and find yourself on the outside looking in with American Express, there may still be hope of eventually getting another American Express card. I would suggest you start asking your friends and family to see if anyone is willing to add you as an authorized user. If not, then waiting it out may be an option as well.

One other benefit of getting a new American Express card is that they backdate the account on your credit to when you opened your first American Express account. Getting off the blacklist not only means access to new products and sign-up bonuses, it also can help your average age of accounts!

Are you on the blacklist or have you been removed from it? Let me know in the comments. I can also answer any specific questions you may have!

Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. I have chronicled by struggles with the blacklist here. If you search for my name you will see that I was on the blacklist for 13 plus years. During that time Amex did hundreds of soft pulls on my credit. They tried to collect a bill that had been discharged by bankruptcy by saying they might give me a card, and they told me that I was banned for life. In 2018 they gave me an Everyday Card. The credit line has not been raised, and I have paid it off every month. I always set an automatic payment for before the due date of the minimum, just in case I forget or don’t have access to a computer. One time I paid the minimum on the 27th with the auto pay and the balance on the 3rd of the next month. The due date was the 2nd, so I got charged interest. I paid everything before the end of the month. I paid everything the next month, long before the due date and got another “trailing interest charge” The next month, same thing. How did this happen? I have an auto charge for a service that comes in on the 2nd (due date). With American Express you can’t pay ahead, so I always had a balance on the due date, hence the trailing interest. You have to have zero balance at the end of day on the due date to escape the fee. (for two months in a row) I called them and explained that I could not possibly pay this because it posts on the due date and I can’t seem to get the account cleared. They won’t remove the interest. By the end of the period and going into the statement date it shows zero balance, BUT when the statement comes out there is that pesky trailing interest. It’s less than a dollar, but its irritating. They keep telling me it shouldn’t happen. I finally stopped using the card for 2 months and discontinued all auto payments and mailed them a payment. They take a mailed payment even when you have a zero balance That’s what it took. They sent me a pre-approved offer to upgrade to the Everyday preferred card, but as soon as I clicked the offer I got the instant rejection and the letter that said declined because of a previous relationship. Also I have trouble using the points. I can use them at Amazon, but can’t transfer them to airlines. So you are still a 3rd class person, even after getting off the blacklist. Despite charging and paying off over 50,000 they won’t raise the credit line or upgrade the card. I will keep the card use it a little, but I have moved on and I suggest that others do so also. The perks from other cards are better, the customer service is not what it used to be, and you will forever and always be 3rd class with them, and they make sure you know it.

    • Juan. I had a long relationship with AmEx and had most of their higher-end business and personal cards/credit lines for 15 years. I lost my business in 2007 and had to file BR. They lost money. I have since cleared my credit and have a score of nearly 850 and an income of over $100K. They still wont remove me from the list. I have all the airline cards with the best perks, much better than AmEx ever gave me. I finally decided “why do I care what AmEx says and why do I want their cards”? For the life of me, I couldnt come up with an answer. Im quite content with all that I have and the hell with AmEx!

  2. I had a American Express business account and a failed business deal caused me to not be able to handle the payments. I also had a personal Delta Amex that I had for 18 plus years never missed a payment on even with the business failed. Well once I couldn’t handle the business account they took both cards from me. I’m wanting to settle but only if they will turn back on my personal card which I’m still and paying on and have never missed a payment. I’m hoping that 20 years of good payment history and not allowing my failed business to destroy my personal they will show me some mercy. I’m just afraid of giving them a $5000 settlement and they say screw you and your personal account.

    What are my chances

  3. In only 8 months in Business, I had been offered, as you can’t apply, The Amex Centurion or Black Card. That card is sick! Anything, Anytime,Anywhere (as long as it’s legal). I would carry and pay off ea month a $250-$300k balance. You get 2 12 hr Concierges that belong to only you. They know All of your likes and dislikes, If a Restaurant or Club that is Very famous and usually you couldn’t get in, if you have The Black Card, there’s No such thing as You can’t get right in!

  4. There are thousands of quality credit card products on the market, if AMEX won’t sign you up…FUKKEM!

    • Had a BK 20 years ago and Amex has me boacklisted. My current Fico score is over 800 and I can’t get a credit card with them .

    • I had bad credit for more than 4 years, and recently i was encouraged by an article i read to go to firewallbreachexpertgmailcom for assistance. Firewall breach expert made something that once seemed so incomprehensible to me, seem so easy. I really love that they did a great job in cleaning up my credit files. I am the happiest man alive.

  5. I’ve been on the blacklist since 2008 and I try every other month or so to apply and get the instant decline. My scores are between 828-840 on all bureaus now. I have recently received two apps in the mail, for my business, to apply. If I apply and they obviously run my personal credit, as the guarantor, will I still be declined?

  6. Was on blacklist starting in 2011 with Platinum Optima Card. Owed $36k. Amex wrote off $8k and agreed to monthly payoff arrangement. Made last payment on January 2021. Get letter from Global Collections on February 8th, stating to wait 35 days from date of last payment (January 21st) to apply for a Amex card. Checked Amex Card Match on February 25th and was pre-qualified. Applied for Platinum Card and approved with 125k rewards for $5k spend in 6 months.

  7. ok another take. Went Chapter 7 in 2001 owing around 15k to Amex, no issues fell off bankruptcy + 7 and established good credit FICO 790-810 usually. Was added as an AU on my bosses Amex Platinum and Blue Cash Preferred but then denied AU on Delta Skymiles . This is how I found out about the blacklist. I noticed that they had changed my membership date with AMEX from 2015 back to 1997, 20 years later I faithfully apply for AMEX gold every month and every month I get denied. c’est la vie

  8. I was a victim of Identity Theft and at the time I had 3 AMEX cards. AMEX handled my ID Theft marked it as fraud all the cards were closed but years later I went to apply for a new AMEX card and was denied and believe I have been “blacklisted” from AMEX. After applying for a new card 4 years later debt buyers have been contacting me for the old AMEX debt caused from Identity Theft. I cannot even be added as an AU on a family member’s card. Anyone experience this type of situation?

    • Im currently in the same situation as you, I suggest calling there fraud department and also get a credit one bank amex.

  9. Had 3 AMEX cards, tough times forced to consolidate debt. payed off 60 days ago, AMEX already approved me for a new card

  10. What is the big deal about getting your American Express Card Back. My BK with them was about 11 years ago because I fell behind on my home. Had perfect credit then, Just a lot of debt. Came to a point where I couldn’t keep up. Now I have an 820 credit score, Zero Business or Personal Debt. Tried a couple of times for their AM EX Amazon Prime card. Turn me down in no time flat. Big Deal, I have my Discover card that gives me 5% back in good categories And my Bank of the West card that gives me 3% back ALL the time on restaurants and gas. No annual fees. For my business I have CAP 1 which gives me 2% all the time. When you buy $10000 in Store stock each month thats $200 in my pocket every month. When I buy off Amazon with my regular prime card ( Synchrony Bank ) I get 5% Back. My ebay card gives me 5% back also. Plus a couple others. Its American Expresses Loss Not mine. I have more credit then I need. About 125k available. Don’t see where ill ever use 10% of it at one time as I always pay it off Multiple times a month.

    • I guess Im with you on this. I have American Airlines, United, and Cap One Venture among others. They give me a much better deal for less money. I had the same situation and now my credit returned to 800+ and Ive got more credit than I could ever use. Its their loss.

    • I think the big deal is that American Express was at one time a status symbol in the credit/business world. If you pulled out an American Express card in front of others you were seen as a person of success. You still have to have near picture perfect credit in order to qualify but in today’s world they aren’t the only way to go. Personaly, I don’t think what card you pay with is an accurate gauge of your success. We have more younger people today driving cars like BMW’s that don’t even have an emergency fund or operate on a budget. I didn’t even know where the BMW dealership was at until I was 40. People today are overly concerned with what others think of them. There are 2 kinds of people in the world of success. Those who are successful and those who want you to think they are.
      Wealthy people didn’t acquire their wealth buy paying interest on credit cards, cars and mortgages.

      • I think that was the case years ago, that AmEX was a status symbol. I remember having a Gold AmEx and thinking that was a milestone in my life. There are just so many other cards to use now with better rewards, and I dont think I have paid attention to what card a person paid with in decades. It just isnt the symbol it once was. Who notices the card with which someone pays their bill anymore. I would respectfully disagree that people are so superficial now, with the exception of some places on the west coast 🙂

    • The only reason I would like an Amex card again (I actually have two through various credit unions, but they don’t see to count with American Epress, so licensed cards may be viewed differently). I’d like their Delta rewards card as that’s my airline of choice and it helps with keeping and maintaining status with the airline. This is year 7 for me past Chapter 7, so I keep trying to apply periodically. My better half tried to add me to her Delta Amex as an authorized user and I was likewise denied.

    • I suffered a BK 26 years ago including an AmEx card. I have long since recovered financially, I have a FICO score of over 830 for many years and a liquid million dollars. I recently applied for an AmEx card and was declined instantly. When I received their denial letter I contacted AmEx to inquire and was told forthrightly that my name appeared on their blacklist. I applied for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card and was instantly approved. This card also offers 100,000 points after 3 months with $4,000 in qualified purchases, so AmEx can go to hell. Life is too short to cry what AmEx thinks.

  11. I had a couple of small business accounts with American Express that were included in Ch 7 bankruptcy that was discharged in 2009. This was due to a business failure during the great recession, my personal finances were not in bad shape, but I had personally guaranteed the loans so I had to close the business and file personally. My credit score at the time of filing was 800+ and it is back up to there again. The other creditors in the bankruptcy all eventually approved me for credit with nice size lines. Chase did not approve until the bk fell off my credit report. American Express has me on their internal black list and does not even pull my credit when I apply, I last applied in early 2020. Considering that American Express got a $3.4 billion taxpayer bailout in that time, and their claimed support for small business, their treatment of small business owners like me is hypocritical.

    • No actually your belief that they should forget is hypocritical. No company has any obligation to give you a first chance, much less a second chance. You screwed them once shame on you. If you screw them again, shame on them!

      • I understand the spirit of your comment. It’s not entirely accurate. In the financial lending game, companies have to apply the same lending rules to everyone according to the FCRA based on their financial and credit profiles. Or risk steep fines and loosing a lawsuit. As long as then kind $5 to someone with credit score A, credit profile B, amd financial profile C. Provided market conditions are the same, they are in violation of the law to lend to one amd not another.

        If they took someone with an identical or near identical profile out of the doghouse they could get fined and will loose a lawsuit. Consumer lending laws were created for exactly this purpose.

        The hard part is finding someone identical or early identical that was approved so you have a basis for your claim. On that piece I wish you luck lol.

        I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. I’m text on the Internet. Do your own homework.

      • What’s hypocritical is them being ok taking billions of dollars from taxpayers when they went bust and touting themselves as supporters of small businesses while having the industry’s strictest rules for small businesses that go bust. I did not say they should forget nor did I “screw” them.

      • I’m surprised anyone would comment that a consumer screwed the banks. While a consumer, could perhaps, max out all of their credit cards and pay minimums for a few months than just stop paying and file bankruptcy, the overwhelming majority of consumers are those described in this thread where due to economic hardships unforseeable, they had to file bankruptcy. And I’m practically all instances used credit until the end when the glass spilled over.

        So they’re paying minimum fees all the whole banks are racking up interest fees based on their mortgage, credit card etc. I know of no person who just woke up one day and said I feel like filing bankruptcy. It’s usually years of struggling, trying to make ends meet. All the while paying fees and interest plus minimum payments to the banks.

        Even with foreclosures, banks more than not come out ahead. The consumer does not as they are blacklisted for years. Same for credit cards.

        While a consumer might have failed to repay their debt, they were paying fees and interest all the while. In these cases, failure to fully pay a bank for a loan isn’t the same “screw” as stiffing uncle al. They often have already made back more the the original charge. They don’t need your violin.

        • Such a pathetic entitlement attitude. You made a contract (YOUR WORD). You did not KEEP YOUR WORD! Not their fault you are not a man of your word! It is your fault. Accept the fact that you screwed the bank and did not keep your word. It doesn’t matter if it is a big bank, small bank, hardware store, local gas station, or mom and dad, you are still a thief, if you do not keep your word!

      • I completely disagree with that philosophy and it is nothing about entitlement but if businesses are given 2nd chances with government or taxpayer relief then they can’t take the moral high ground on budgets and expenses. That is hypocritical dear biased writer.

    • Some updates from my 13 plus years on the blacklist. All based on true experience. During that time Amex checked my credit almost 500 times. All were soft pulls. It did not matter when the bankruptcy fell off (2005 bankruptcy 10 years on credit report. In California would have been 7). The rejections were instant anytime I made an application. No hard pull was ever done. They go by their own records, not just the credit bureau’s. At some point maybe about 7 or 8 years in I called them and they told me the ban was for life unless any balance was cleared. Now, mind you I had gone through bankruptcy. So in essence they were offering me quid pro quo a card for paying off a discharged debt. The bankruptcy laws are quite clear that the creditor may not attempt to collect a debt after it has been discharged in bankruptcy. That is the whole purpose of bankruptcy. In fact, Amex had a special card just for this purpose, the Optima. If somebody is looking for a potential class action, there it is. I have no idea if this program is still in effect or not. Desperate people would sign up for the program, and there was no guarantee that you would get the Optima card, just a favor for a favor, although most people who followed through did seem to get it. There is nothing illegal or wrong about paying a discharged debt, but there is something wrong for a creditor to try and collect it. In my case, one day, I was approved, after over 13 years after discharge , never was a hard pull.

  12. I have what I believe to be a unique case. In 1998 I defaulted on a vehicle for about $8,000. Not being credit savvy, I simply drove the vehicle to the dealer and gave them the keys not knowing that it would come back and haunt me. It went on my CR for about 7 yrs or so and then fell off. Fast forward to 2016. I worked hard at striving to build an excellent credit history. I achieved a perfect on time and payed off history with all of my creditors. One day in March of 2016, I received a summons from a law firm, regarding that vehicle and how they were planning on suing me for over $30,000. I contacted an attorney. I tried to settle for the amount I owed back in 1998 but they were intent on suing for the full amount. The attorney told me I either had to pay or file Chapter 7.

    All of my cards(Discover, Walmart Capital One, America Express and a few others were paid in full. I lost a few of the cards and have since regained them back. Surprisingly, I never lost my American Express card and continue to use it from time to time and like the others is on auto-pay. Can anyone explain to me why I never lost my American Express Card? I haven’t called them to request a credit limit increase either lest they pull my report and discover the negative Chapter 7. LOL
    I may be forced to stop using regardless because it expires 04/21

    • Seven years from your BK filing in public records you will be safe again. Just make sure the bureaus drop before you do anything with AX. In the meantime, use it and pay it. They will send you a replacement on 4/21 unless you do something that gets their attention.

    • No idea. Unless it was a charge card. Depending on what state you signed the loan in the SOL seems like it might have run out. In short, in only a few starlets where the SOL is over 8 years would that even have been an issue.

  13. My situation is similar to some here but with a nuance no one seems to have touched upon. I was a college kid with a low paying job, so I mainly ended up eating and buying school books off of my Amex Blue (opened in 2006). I tried very hard for a long time to keep the card paid up, but the interest rates killed me, and I lost faith. Eventually, I had to accept that I would be charged off, have a ding forever to my credit and never have an Amex again. Then they started sending me letters from collection agencies saying that they would forgive 50-60% of my $6400 balance (which still shows as charged off on Experian) if I paid them (the collection company, I assume) the balance. I’ve been there before with other store credit cards, which I paid the price, once tax season came, and I was left with “income” from the forgiven credit balances. No thanks. Either I pay all of it at a favorable and reasonable rate, and they reinstate my credit history and relationship, or I wait this one out until I die.
    My question is, however, why am I now getting calls from AMEX directly, stating that they want to set up some sort of arrangement for me to pay this off, if it is listed as charged off and in collections? Is this some trick to try and reset the clock on my debt? I don’t even want to talk to them and admit anything if that will trip off the debt clock again. I’d rather have the money ready to pay them back, get a SOLID agreement that this repayment will favorably alter my credit, and possibly reinstate my credit relationship with AMEX.

    Any advice, suggestions? I am so sore about this. I have one tiny balance secured credit card with Capital One, and an under-600 score because of my youthful indiscretions (in addition to $150k in school loan debt that has not budged for lack of decent paying jobs in the last 10 years), and I am ready to give up on getting credit ever again, but then I found this thread, because I am truly confused at what tactic AMEX is using to try and start something with me again.

    • Yes, please be careful. If you admit to the debt you can restart the clock. So never say I can’t pay you or again admit that you owe a debt. If it has been charged off, they have already written it off and could very conceivably been paid by their insurance company. I would suggest that you get your credit reports sent to you and begin challenging anything on those reports. The credit reporting agencies receive upward of 400,000 bits of information a day and their agents only have a few minutes to make a decision to determine whether something is legitimate or should be removed from a credit report. There are special codes that the reporting agencies use. Always, write to a credit reporting agency and do not use a digital means of communication because it is not binding. With AMEX they have a long memory regarding defaulting on a card! You would be better off applying to other credit card companies. Even if you pay AMEX it will restart the clock and you can still not receive a credit card from them and also have a ding on your credit report.

    • VERY IMPORTANT – THIS COULD BE “ZOMBIE DEBT” – DO NOT PAY UNTIL U Check your state law on the statute of limitations for consumer debt. In some states they only have 4-6 years after the debt was incurred or you last payment to pursue you for the debt. But if you make any payment, the clock starts over. If the statute of limitations has expired, tell the collection agency so and tell them to stop contacting you. They would love to trick you into making a small payment so that the debt comes back to life.

  14. I am blacklisted since 1996. But I was able to get a Gold Amex and Air France KLM gold Amex card in Europe with no issue. Just the advantage of being a dual citizen!

    • Just an interesting story. One time Amex faced internal memo of their business plan to my business phone. It discussed their 4-5% default rate and strategy. In short they raised prices and fees and etc to negate the 5% default losses without even needing write downs. Basically when people default they dont lose a penny as larger customers and special services cover the cost!

  15. I recently sent a complaint to Delta customer service about American Express’ policy including a link to this page. Delta replied back with apologies and said that they are sharing the info with American Express, who knows maybe if they get a few more complaints something will happen.

  16. So, a rather embarrassing question/post and I am just looking for advice. I am not sure if I have been blacklisted or not, but I keep getting denied. Theres a lot of detail on here, but I will hopefully keep it simple.

    So I own a therapy clinic that charges insurance companies. As a business we are required by our insurance contracts to bill any patient responsibility to a patient. You can actually loose your contracts if you do not go through the proper billing channels. I had been an Amex client since 2014, with a Delta Platinum, Delta Business Plat, Hilton Basic, and Gold card for myself.

    This last July I was seen by our PT for numerous visits, billed insurance like we also do, then received the insurance check only to show I owed my business $1900 (my PT hit insurance before the hospital charged my surgery) for my deductible. In August I paid $1900 to my business on my Gold Card and paid it off 2 weeks later. Next day after paying it off I tried to use my business card, only for it to be declined. I pulled up the app and it said my accounts were “restricted”. I called Amex immediately and they mentioned I was being flagged for a financial review. I took the time to send them over 100 pages worth of documents over the next two weeks because they wanted to see what was business expenses and what weren’t. At the end of that two weeks I get a letter stating they were canceling my accounts effective immediately. I called Amex only to be told I was abusing my accounts and giving my business a “cash advance” from my Gold card. I thankfully transferred a bunch of MR points to Delta 2 weeks prior to the review to buy some tickets, but I was flabergasted that this had happened.

    I was told by a supervisor to pay off cards and reapply. I paid off all balances (about 14K) the week after the shut down, but didn’t reapply till November. I was immediately denied without a credit pull both times I have applied for a pre-approved card. They state my past relationship with them is why I was denied. I didn’t cause Amex to loose any money, nor did I do anything illegal, I even sent them our insurance contracts to show I was required to pay the deductible. All they tell me is that I should have used a different payment method for that purchase.

    If anyone has any recommendations on how long I need to wait, or any other thing I should try, please let mw know. I am very frustrated because my score only dropped 8 points (to 767) because of this and I have never had credit issues before.

    Thanks for the help!

    • What you did is a clear violations of your merchant agreement and is expressly spelled out in the fraud section. Once you commit this act, you are going to be waiting at least twenty years or more, if ever.

  17. And yet American Express received a $3.3 billion bailout from taxpayers in 2009. My small business failed in 2009, I had guaranteed the debts and was forced into
    bankruptcy. Can’t get an Amex card despite great credit 10 years later – they don’t even look at it because I am on the list. (I want Delta Skymiles). There is something wrong with this picture.

    • Just to share a brief story and my point of view
      Filed chapter 7 2014
      Gold card was shut down
      good credit now-applied once or twice-shot down
      impact to my life=0
      who cares-just sayin……

  18. I flied chap 7 BR in 2008 and AmEx lost about $55,000. I have perfect credit now and a FICO of 810. My partner tried to add me as an authorized user and it was denied.

      • Did you guarantee and pay the Amex debt? I am in a similar situation and wanted to know if I should reaffirm the debt or not. Thanks

        • I did not. Mine was about $55K so its just not worth it to me to get the card. I have every other card out there that I would want. If it was only a few thousand and I thought they would give me my card back, I might do it.

    • Did they pull your credit? They didn’t even pull mine because they were included in my bankruptcy 10+ years prior.

      • They never pulled it since I was already on their blacklist. They dont follow the 10 year BR rules like others do.

    • I filed Bankruptcy in 2015. I had 2 American Express that were over $6,000 and they both were included in the Bankruptcy. I had citi, discover, barclays in the bankruptcy and they all gave me a 2nd chance and issued me credit cards as my bankruptcy has gotten older and that i’ve reestablished credit. My Fico score is 750. Amex on the other hand tells they have canceled my previous accounts when i apply for a card and when I spoke to an agent, they tell me they lost over $6,000 when the cards were bankrupted and they only consider if i pay it back which would be senseless because i filed Bankruptcy for a season and paid a Bankruptcy Attorney.. I know i am definately on the blacklist. My question is, will their always be a balance with them? even though they legally can’t collect it as its bankrupted?
      Will they ever issue a card to me? even after 20 years. I’m a Delta Skymiles member and Delta is always trying to get to apply for an Amex.

      Discover gave me a $7500 limit 3 years after I bankrupted a card with them with a high balance.

  19. yesterday, I wish to post recent accounts closure or shut down by Amex in order to seek help from any readers on here, but my contents wasn’t posted. May I ask why it didn’t get posted? If my writing will not be posted, would you kindly send the info to my submitted email since I didn’t save my own writing for myself? That way, I could copy & paste the writing or request on another web site for help. Thanks

  20. I was blacklisted for years after a FR. Got added by my son as an AU. Applied and got Platinum card. Member since date is showing HIS member since date. I called up to see if I could get them to change that, they said they would have to send it for investigation. Of course I declined. I would love to have my 1982 member since date but I am afraid that an investigation might result in a shutdown. They asked for a card number with a date of that year. I do have them, but I am worried of issues. Any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions?

    • I would not bother, why open a can of worms for a member since date?
      not worth it imho, your back in their good graces.

  21. There seems to be a new different kind of blacklist for people who Amex thinks abused the system.

    I know one person who had his Amex account closed for alleged “abuse.” He was able to reapply a few months later with no issues. Oddly enough, this was not my experience.

    Last year all I did on my Amex card was MS. They cancelled the account citing “abuse.” I paid it off and reapplied this year, and was approved but the card was cancelled 8 hours later. Amex sent the same letter when they cancelled this year citing “abuse.”

    When I called it to inquire, staff said I wasn’t on a blacklist because I paid it off and was approved. They were not sure if it was perhaps a glitch or other issue and said I was free to reapply again. I did not see any point of reapplying if they kept cancelling my card (not to mention that they pulled my credit when I applied, which is what they don’t do when you are on the blacklist).

    One person said Amex will likely let this go after a few years. That said, is this issue permanent and will apply to all new accounts I get or will Amex likely let it go after a few years or if I call in? Is there a particular department or Vice President/director I should contact about this?

    I no longer MS and want a second chance.

  22. The WF Propel card only uses the AMEX card network. Your approval has nothing to do with AMEX or the blacklist. You will receive the card. I have one and I’m on the blacklist.

    • thank you for bringing that up. I wanted to find out if i was on amex blacklist because i had a charge off 7 years ago. Now i have a 800 credit score and I also have the wells fargo propel Amex card for 3 years now. Does that mean that i am off the blacklist?

  23. So interesting development. In the past month Amex denied me,Amex skymiles denied me. Instants, no credit pull
    Today Wells Fargo Propel American Express Approved. 10k credit line.

    Waiting to see if it arrives Canceled 🙂

    • Propel or navy fed Amex or any other “Amex network co-branded cards are not American Express cards they belong to that branch & only partner w/ Amex to use their network” if you are on the blacklist only cards on amex’s site will be denied.

  24. Amex does have a long memory and holds a grudge. Due to a business failure I had a charge off of about $13k around 26-27 years ago. I cannot get any new Amex card approved, yet I have no problem being added as an AU. I also actually have two Amex cards currently – one Hilton card that used to be a Citibank card that was sold to Amex and the other is a Blue Business Plus that was a referral on some pre-approved deal.

    Yet, even with perfect credit for the past 26 or 27 years and an 820 FICO, Amex will not approve me for any personal or business cards, always citing past relationship, despite the fact that I actually have two cards in good standing.

    I guess I’ll wait it out another 3 years and see if that makes a difference. Good thing I have a spouse that can get these cards and make me an AU because I do like their bonuses.

    • I have very similar situation as you; they don’t approve any personal and business card even though I have the blue card in good standing.
      Do you have an update?

  25. I read each comment dating back to the first one and I have a unique situation different than everyone else on here. Unlike many who were primary card holders that filed BR or had an AU default on them, I was an AU and the primary account holder had unfortunate finance issues that led them to file BR and I had to give up my two card(s) in 2012. The primary had about $20k on a personal Blue card and I had about $9K between a Biz Platinum & Gold. I was advised to not pay AmEx seeing as I could no longer have the cards and the responsible party to the debt was the one filing BR. Fast forward 5 years later, new business partner did bad business had us entangled in court led to my having to file BR myself. So the two questions totally un asked/unanswered in this whole thread over the years are…. 1. Will AmEx black list an AU who wasn’t the one that filed BR leaving them with the unpaid balance? 2. After BR w/o having defaulted on an AmEx is it possible to be someone with great credit AU? I recently applied for a new business card because business is booming now and credit is back in decent standing so I applied and it wasn’t an immediate regection, they told me it would take 14 days then I got an e-mail with a link notifying me of their decision to decline with further detail coming by mail in 14 days. I also checked my credit report via and there appeared to be no hard inquiry by them making me think my SS# is flagged. Forgot to mention I also have had 2 prepaid AmEx cards as well.

  26. American Express cancelled all of my accounts last year because of MS. The staff told me I was free to reapply and that as long as I did not “abuse” the process I should be good to go.

    I reapplied last week and was approved. 9 hours later they cancelled the card and sent the same email and letter from last year stating that the account was cancelled because I abused the process.

    I called back and was told it could be a glitch but nevertheless was free to apply again. It was unclear to the representative why I was cancelled again.

    If there was a blacklist they should not have pulled my credit or approved me for a card. I found out that they did pull my credit for this card.

    Does somebody out there still hate me and find the account to cancel 9 hours after applying or is it likely that there is an endless loop on my profile cancelling all cards from last year? If so, will this issue ever go away? I no longer MS and want a second chance.

    I do not see any point in applying again if they will keep cancelling.

    This sounds like the February 7, 2015 comment above in which someone was approved and cancelled right away when card came.

    Yet when I hear about a blacklist, it is always about being declined for accounts without a hard pull, not an approval/hard pull and cancellation right after.

  27. After a BK in 2008 , was just upgraded to Platinum. Got gold back in June of 18.
    They did deny me for some time but finally back in

  28. After 30+ YEARS I am still on the Amex blacklist from having a $1500 charge-off, followed by bankruptcy. They have a LONG (forever) memory. I also have the same problem with Citibank (30+ years!) over a $500 charge-off. Great credit today…

  29. So i filed a BK in 2004 related to 9/11 (i was a NY’r,lost my job,home,etc). Amex blue was include in this.
    I had a high paying job and defaulted on over 10k
    Since the discharge i worked hard to restore myself and currently keep a over a 800 FICO. several cards with a 20k+ limit and under 2% utilization. I am auto denied every application.
    My 80yr old mother has attempted to add me to her account (over 40yrs) and they simply will Not.

    Super Blacklist i must be on. Meanwhile my company got me a corp Amex. i assume they secure it.

  30. I had an American Express Zync card in 2010 while in college. In 2014, I asked them to transfer it to an Amex Gold card and they did. In 2016 the card was charged-off because I was unemployed and couldn’t make the payments. Later in 2016 I gained employment and settled the debt with them. This year (2019) I check to see if I pre-qualified for any of their cards. Their system said I pre-qualified for the Amex Gold card. Subsequently, I applied and the application was approved and now I have a new Amex Gold card three years after the charge-off of my previous Amex Gold card.

  31. I’ve been applying for Amex several times in the past 5 years but each time I applied, the application never gets processed to find out in the end because of old debt, however in 2017 I applied for Amex Blue with my credit score at 800+ and got approved, but I got surprised with the credit limit they gave me which is $500. However, I put the card in heavy use and in perfect standing and after 8 months I requested limit increase but, they declined because of old debt, since then I requested increase 3 times and each time they decline with the same reason, but last time it happened which was last month, I received a bill for the old debt 2 weeks later in the amount of $1100 and an offer to settle for 50%. I finally decided to call them and ask them to lower the settlement so I can pay it and get it out of my way. So we settled at $360, and I paid it and I was told to wait up to 35 days before I can apply for a new card to make sure I am no longer on the blacklist. I still have 3 weeks to go and we’ll update you after I apply for new Amex card in 3 weeks.

  32. Apparently, I’m on the blacklist, even though I have an Amex gold card. In 2003 at the age of 22, I made some irresponsible financial decisions and filed bankruptcy. Amex lost about $13,000. A decade later in 2013 after it fell off my credit report, I was invited to apply for an AMEX gold card. I was approved and received it right away. For the past 6 years, I’ve used my gold card virtually every day, I have zero debt, and I have a 835 credit score. The new Marriott Bonvoy credit card seemed like a good deal, so I thought I’d add to my collection. I was just denied. The rejection states: “We value your membership and appreciate your interest in another American Express Card. We’re writing to let you know we cannot approve your application at this time because American Express cancelled your previous account(s).” When I called and asked why, they said it was because of the old account. I asked how on Earth I was approved for an AMEX gold card and have been using it for the last 6 years, and I received a non-sensical answer and was told I’d “never” be approved.

  33. I was approved for the every day blue and a gold card did you check to see if you happened to be

    on a preset limit with the gold card? I did and was placed on a preset limit. If they may have “back dated” you no credit card company cannot hold past BK’s against you it is against the law for one thing.

  34. Hi George , I was in a Similar situation
    Had the BK back in 2008. It came off my credit report in 2018 I applied for Amex blue everyday card as well as gold and got approved. It should be ten years for a personal BK. I kept trying every 6 months finally got back in
    Good luck.

  35. I had a bk ch 7 filed in 2009 discharged 2010 and had a Costco AMEX with about $15k at a time that was included in the bk and I know I’m on their blacklist even today as they will not approve me for a Delta AMEX or any other, nor add me as an AU to wife’s Delta Amex account…I asked how long will it take to come off and I got 2 different answers from 2 different reps…one said never unless paying off the old card and the most recent said about 12 years…I have a credit score currently in the mid 700s…what else can I do or what Amex card should I try to apply for?

  36. I have a American Express Blue and was issued a Amex gold card. Found out that I am now put on a
    preset spending limit on the gold! I was off the “grid” for 30 years and now trying to get it removed
    so how can I do it? I gave Amex additional financial information and was denied what I strongly suspect that
    they have “backed dated” and used old information on a BK which was well over 30 years old. I need help

  37. I just got approved by AMEX after defaulting with them about 8 years ago for a substantial amount.

    Got the AMEX Blue card CC.

    Maybe the Black list is not that long anymore? I was transferred over to Risk management member (after not been able to upload my bank history on their website) and my application was approved!

  38. Hi can someone advise me what to do,,, i had a blue cash credit card with 25000$ limit and 2 months ago i was doing online shopping when they suspended my charges and asked to fill out authorization form for financial review,,, so i filled out the form and after 2 weeks they called and told that because of my writing IRS couldn’t gave my income info,,, so i filled out very clearly 2 time and again they said they couldn’t get my info so they closed my account,, after a week they closed also all my relatives and friends credit cards that were under my address,,, i called and they were talking very rude. I have a 800 credit score and no late payments and because of that my score decreased… what can i do???

    • Vahe

      You might seek a free consultation from from a credit counseling firm such as Consumer Credit Counseling or possibly a law firm. You might also ask one/all of the 3 credit bureau’s; Experian, Equifax or Trans union.

  39. They don’t give you the chance to add yourself as an additional. They deny you right away and they’ll tell tou ‘you’ll get a letter in the mail’ even if you try to add yourself online..

  40. My situation is very different. I was forced into Chapter 7 in 2016 due to defaulting on a vehicle back in 1997.(Yes, you read that right) I was told that they are allowed to revive the order up to 3 times and by law they had a case against me. The law firm refused to settle with me. They wanted over $30,000 for a vehicle that I only owed $8,000 on back then. I turned it into the dealer figuring they would simply cancel the sale not knowing how things work in the credit world. I lost 3 credit cards in the Chapter 7 file; Capital One, Walmart and Discover. They were all at the time paid down to $0. They allowed me to keep my American Express and my First Merit CC which is now Huntington. I lost the other 3 and shortly after reapplying received another Capital One Card. Discover was paid down to $0 but they have denied me 3 times. I never applied to Walmart because I heard a 3 year lapse is required. My American Express is always paid on time but they haven’t pulled it and it has been 2 yrs and 3 months since Chapter 7 discharge. I would like to request a credit line increase but I’m afraid they will notice my Ch 7 that wasn’t noticed before. Is it possible that they missed this or have I retained my card simply because it has always been in good standing?

  41. Hmmm Mike it was totally random I was checking every 6 months. Was denied every time. Have you checked your credit report to confirm the BK is not showing ? Give it another few months more then likely will come off. You should be good to go after it is off. They also of course look at your current fico score

  42. Lisa, that’s awesome !! Got the rose gold as well as blue everyday. For some reason I need to wait at least a year for platinum. But pretty happy with the rose gold cars for now. It took them over 10 years to remove me from the blacklist

  43. I made payment arrangements with Amex two years ago after including them in my BK for about 10k. I have since paid them in full, have a 748 score, four major credit cards and I am an authorized user on AMX from a relative, yet they immediately deny me. When I call them they simply tell me I am denied due to my previous history with them.

  44. Almost off the blacklist– I had a BK in 2005 and every once and a while I check on the AMEX site to see if anything has changed. Every time I get an immediate response that they cannot give me a card. They do NOT do a hard pull and the reply is immediate.
    Recently I did that and it came back with 3 cards that I was qualified for, would I like to apply for one. I picked the lowest one, the everyday cash card. 30 seconds later the screen said Congratulations you will receive your card within 3-5 days. Wow, I thought, finally after 13 years. I got an email that said in part “Welcome to Amex EveryDay® Card Membership! We’re excited that you have chosen American Express again.” The email invited me to setup my online access, but I was unable to do so. I could see the writing on the wall. Notice that word again.
    I should have known better. They have a long memory. Within hours I got an email to look for a US Mail. Maybe it’s nothing, but it looks to me like hasta la bye bye from them.

    • Update: The card came 9 days after approval. Activated card. So far so good. Have made a few small purchases which I will pay off ASAP. I know of people who had the card yanked after a month or two, so I am not trusting anything yet. They did a hard pull on Experian. I will update. JV

      • Update: Card still active. First statement in about a week. Noticed that the member since date has reverted online from 2018 back to my original date almost 30 years ago.
        Card has 2018.


        • After a black list jail sentence, I received a platinum card (now also an Everyday and the new Rose gold card) and my card had the current date at the time. I called them and they recent me a new card reflecting the original date!

  45. I currently owe $6000K and I continue to receive statements. If I pay the amount owed in the statement, will they reinstate the account? When I call they tell me the account has been discharged. So I am confused as to why they continue to send a statement requesting a payment.If anyone can assist with some options I would really appreciate the assistance.

  46. Hi. I had a Bk back in 2008.
    Was just approved for a Amex gold and Amex everyday card. Tried to get a platinum card told me I won’t be approved since I had one back in 2007 which was written off bad debt. What I don’t understand is how was I approved for a gold and Amex everyday card ? But platinum not

  47. I did a form of insolvency here in the UK back in 2006. Burned Amex for about 10k. Once my insolvency dropped off my credit files from 2012 I applied twice a year and each time getting referred then decline letter. Roll on to 2018 and, for some reason, I was referred but then approved for the BA Amex followed by online instant approval for Platinum.
    The only difference between these and previous applications is that I had an existing member refer me so they could get some points (assuming I wouldn’t be approved but my friend/referrer wanted me to try anyway).
    So there you go, 12 years I had to wait. I really missed by Amex cards!

    • hi

      always been declined for bad debt about 10 years ago that i actually paid off in full

      anyways tried via referral link and .. i got approved !!! 🙂

      happy days now i can start collecting emirates points again as been struggling since mbna withdrew theirs.

  48. Congrats to you!!! I have a very similar story and YES, IT IS POSSIBLE. My c/o was in 2005 and now I have an Everyday Card, a Platinum Card with an AU Gold Card and the Rose Gold Card. And let me tell you, I WILL NEVER screw up my credit again. Oh, the feeling of enjoying a complimentary glass of wine in a Centurion Lounge… Life is good and YES, it will get better!!!

  49. I waited 15 years but it was worth the wait.

    Just wanted to thank everyone for keeping this old thread alive.

    20 years ago when I got to college I didn’t know how to use credit responsibly. I’m still learning actually. My Amex was charged off after college and over the years I’ve received various offers to pay it off to receive an Optima card. Not wanting to reage the old debt I ignored those offers and just resigned myself to the fact I’d probably never have another AMEX again.

    Welp fast forward 15 years later. I’ve got a good job, diversified credit profile and great payment history. I received an offer for gold/rose gold card a couple weeks ago. I came across this forum and decided to apply and *boom* I was approved.

    So to all of those rebuilding just stay the course. I promise it’s worth it whether or not you get an Amex.

  50. I had a financial review and they closed all of my accounts. I reapplied yesterday and they approved my application but then cancelled my card today citing previous unsatisfactory relationship.

    Can I call to request reopening? Also, the agent on reconsideration told me that I am not on a blacklist because I paid off the accounts but now they just cancelled my card right after approval. I find this concerning because that account had no issues or activity on it; it was just opened.

    What should I do? Should I wait some time and reapply?

    • Hi Anonymous – What happened in your situation? When did AMEX close your accounts and when did you reapply? What was the outcome of your situation?

      • All I did on the card was MS. Account was open for 18 months and they closed it in September 2018 for not going through with financial review. Reapplied three weeks later and it was approved but then cancelled the next day.

        Reapplied again 9 months later and it was approved, but then cancelled 9 hours later. They sent a very similar letter when they cancelled this time as they did in September 2018.

        Seems weird because when someone is on the blacklist, they do not receive a hard pull or an approval. In my case, they pulled my credit and did a hard pull only to cancel the account shortly afterwards. I have never heard of this.

        Wonder if someone out there still hates me or if there might be a glitch that keeps cancelling the accounts.

        I called customer service and they weren’t sure why but one stated it might be a glitch. Another said that the accounts review department might just be finding my account and cancelling it because it didn’t like my previous behavior last year.

        But the strange thing is: instead of blocking my applications, they are approving them, doing a hard pull each time, and then cancelling my account only hours later.

  51. I had my identity stolen about 17 years ago, all the other creditors were either very helpful or at not much of a problem in getting through a nightmare that took over a year to clean up, hundreds of hours of my and a hell of a lot of expense. American Express decided they were special and didn’t want to eat $25,000. I sure as hell wasn’t going to pay then a nickel. I ended up wasting over $2,000 on an attorney and I spent months sending threating letters and faxes directly to the OGCs of the credit bureaus so prevent Amex from posting any derogatory information.
    Fast forward 16 years my wife has had a AMEX card for a couple years with an excellent limit and history so I tried getting added as authorized used. Nope, still blacklisted. In fact, a few months after that I started getting letters and calls asking if I wanted to settled on what owed them for 25 cents on the dollar. Seeing as they owe me, I think you can figure out where I told them to put there green card.

  52. I’ve had a AX Green Corporate company Card since 1997 when I started my current job. In the mid-2000s I applied and was approved for a personal AX Green card and AX Costco card. My AX Green card was linked with my AX Green Corporate company card which I ended up racking up hundreds of thousands of membership Reward points. Around 2008 when the housing bubble popped I ended up owing AX 45K on the green card and 5K on the Costco card. I had pretty much lost my mortgage rental income and couldn’t pay for the cards anymore. They ended up closing both personal cards, but they didn’t close my AX green Corporate company card. AX eventually filed a lawsuit against me on the Green card and of course won a judgment . They placed a lien on my personal property which still exists. Fast-forward to 2018, I still work at the same place and still have my AX Green Corporate company card with Membership Rewards. I’m thinking of applying for an AX card personal just to see if I’m on the blacklist or not. Throughout the years I have received my replacement AX Corporate company card with no issues.

  53. I still wonder if there is an illegality with keeping a blacklist. It doesn’t conform to the way other credit cards companies do business with people who file bankruptcy. Any legal scholars here?

  54. Hi. Very interesting article and replies from people. I live in England and burned American Express for around £2500 when I had some severe financial problems around 2001. My credit is now excellent and Id apply around once a year from around 2010 to them but always get rejected. The last rejection was at the start of this year but had another go recently and have been approved for Platinum charge card. So after 17 years I seem to have dropped off the blacklist. Happy days.

  55. I had a bankruptcy in 7/2003 and two Amex cards closed for total of 16K. I just tried to apply again and it said my previous accounts were closed and didn’t hit my credit report. The ironic thing now is I’ve learned my lesson and my credit score is 820-830 car and house both paid off within the past year. I want their sapphire preferred card because you get 6% back from grocery stores and I do $200 a week in groceries. I haven’t scene any other card approach the 6% back, my chase freedom does just 1.5% on everything.

    Oh well…I guess I’ll keep applying every 90 days or so.

    • I had two CO’s in 2008, divorce, a total of $13K. My credit is all cleaned up now, 750’s across the board. I have over $120K in spending limit now, 5% UTI. I am still on the blacklist, no hard pull as of yet. I try once a month for the same card, Gold card. Is that too often? It’s only been 10 years at $13K loss. I read someone blacklisted, was approved under their business name, with their same social attached to the business. I’m wondering if I should try that? Any input anyone?

  56. Had a BK in 1996 My Amex green was always paid on time but had a 14k balance on an Optima account that was charged off. To this day I am still denied, only 22 years….. I apply once in a while, but I am not losing sleep on this. I have excellent credit and plenty of credit, got a bank amex card to use on the amex network. I have to say that in the 80’s and 90’s, Visa and Mastercard Bank credit cards had not many reward card offerings and amex cards were ahead of the game. I dont think it is the case today. There are plenty of options nowadays outside of amex for people who want a solid Cash reward or Travel reward card with plenty of perks.

  57. How exciting for you! I have a similar story, filed BK with a $25K Am/Ex included in 2009. I was thinking of waiting 2 years after the BK falls off (Next April) and try again.

  58. I am so happy I found this forum! Yes you CAN get off the blacklist. I filed bk on an amex account back in 2007. I have a home , business, and cleaned up my credit since. Credit Karma showed it as a good odds and I was denied through that site for an Amex Blue Card. So I went directly onto the Amex site right after the first denial and registered for a Delta Skymiles card in my business name also using my ss# and I was accepted with my original member since 2005 displayed on my account. 5k limit to boot. I thought I was forever blacklisted!

  59. I had an Optima card in the 80’s that I sadly had to BK on. It was charged off. I didn’t apply for a cc for a long time. My credit has been repaired since, and Amex opened a new card for me with a $22k limit! Unfortunately, I tried to transfer over my Miles to my Delta account. After being denied, I was told that my old Optima balance is still on my account and I cannot use my miles. Huh? They gave me a new card with a crazy high limit but won’t let me redeem my miles? In addition, that card was charged off in a BK 27 YEARS ago! Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  60. The blacklist still exists for corporate AU’s. We offer employees the choice of using their own credit card and getting reimbursed (which I prefer since I am able to keep my Delta status this way) or being an AU on our business Platinum Am Ex which a lot of employees like for the lounge access, 10 free gogo passes and Global Entry.

    Saw a first two weeks ago, a new hire wanted to be an AU on our corporate account and was denied but Am Ex didn’t give us the reason. He told me he burned Am Ex for $25,000 twelve years ago when he filed bankruptcy but his credit is fine now. He’s not that happy because he’ll have to use his personal credit and wait to get reimbursed and he travels a lot and we use Delta for most of our flights so he is going to have to come up with the money for a SkyClub membership or wait in the concourse on his flights and pay for Global Entry out of his own pocket or get another credit that provides the benefit and pay that annual fee for that card out of pocket.

    This was the first I’ve heard of Am Ex declining an AU on a business account.

    • Interesting – thanks Jamie. Tell him he could get the Chase Sapphire Reserve and that comes with Priority Pass membership which includes a lot of airport restaurants these days. Also earns 3X Ultimate Rewards on flights (best points out there) and comes with a global entry credit.

  61. I got my first credit card in 1988. Amex Green. They gave them away to anyone at my University in those days haha. So of course I ended up defaulting on it for something like $1200. So here we are, 30 years later, and it appears I am *still* blacklisted. I’ve got high 700 scores, an Amex Corporate card for my business expenses, and even a USAA Amex card, which i understand is a licensed product.

    There was *NO credit pull, and the online response was “we can’t give you an answer right now” or some such. I travel for work so I will be interested to see what the letter says when i get home. After reading this now, I think i am one of those 30year guys. 🙂 The funny part is I care less about being turned down for a legit credit inquiry than the idea of being blacklisted for something from the late 80s. In truth, they probably did me a favor. I’m sure they would have made more than that from me after this long on some kind of finance charge. 🙂

    • Yup, same here. I BK’d 27 years on an Optima card. I have since reopened an Amex card, they gave me a crazy high credit limit…..and I can’t transfer my points to my Delta account. Reason being, my Optima still shows past due, though it was included in the BK charge off.

      Why did they bother giving me another card and entrusting me a “second time” if they weren’t going to let me use one of the benefits of the card? I was thinking “maybe I’m one of those 30 year people,” but if you ARE a 30 year person and still being blacklisted, well, I may just open that other account and close the Amex one!

      • Update. I got an email 2 days ago from American Express. I was APPROVED for the Platinum card. I still haven’t been home yet to see if they sent a letter, but this could be a validation of the Year 30 rule.

    • ***UPDATE 21 JUNE 2018***
      I got an email 2 days ago from American Express. I was APPROVED for the Platinum card. I still haven’t been home from travel yet to see if they sent a letter, but this could be a validation of the “Year 30” rule. Interestingly, my account lists me as Member since ’88. I just read that it doesn’t mean anything credit-wise since about 2 years ago (which figures), but I still have a 20+ year credit history anyway. It did cause me to reflect on exactly where I was in 1988. 🙂 Ahh, the 80’s.

      • I’ve been a member since 1988, too, but my Amex card says 2016. My online account says 1988. I can’t use my miles that I’ve accused since 2016, according to them, but they also just sent me a letter for the Gold Amex card and the Platinum one. What? Color me confused.

  62. I got my first Green Card in 1986, I was 22 at the time, and quickly ran it up. I eventually had a bill for
    $5,600+, I had no way of paying. I also ran all my other card up. I sent letters to all my creditors and
    negotiated payments. All except Amex gave me a reduction and a payment agreement. Amex wouldn’t.

    I eventually paid Amex in full. And yes “The Green was Gone” ! Fast forward, a good friends mother
    passed, she transferred her moms card me. Yes Amex, actually did it. Now I have 5 Amex cards.

    But, “I want my 86 Member Date Back”, how due I get it? Amex asks, whats your old number. After
    20 + years, I have no way of finding it. And my good friends at Amex won’t give it! What can I do?

  63. I have an unpaid $ 150K debt with AMEX 10 years ago. Applying now for a supp card so waiting to see what happens

  64. One more story. Filed BR in 2008, with a debt to AmEx of about $50,000. I now have no record of BR and my partner tried to add me as a AU. They denied it. Im wondering if this is legal? Once the BR is off of the record, can they legally hold a grudge?

    • I know I have read somewhere they can maintain internal records. I’m sorry I can refer back to where I read that.

      I filed bK ch 13 in 2009. Owed nothing to am/ex, but failed to close account prior to filing and the account was included in bk. In 2015 my company requested to add me to corporate card and was declined. They never even asked my social. At the time I had began to rebuild my credit and was sitting at a 720-ish FICO. A year later he requested again and I was approved as an authorized user.

      Last year I check the am/ex preapproval site and it gave me “excellent” odds for an everyday card. I applied. Was denied. No hard credit pull on my bureaus. They definitely keep a list.

      Try again in a year and share with us what happens.

  65. More than one payment made by an ex business partner was returned NSF. Amex cancelled my Delta Skymiles card. They suggested I apply for an Optima card. I’m not really interested in that, but I would like to know if there’s any way to get back the use of the 85,000 skymiles I had.

  66. American Express against the people’s the people’s Monies and nobody say nothing must to be federal and state government stop this kind gutter system sick of this cylinder lock list the Big Bang and I little girl one that stick on with doesn’t know head of the gum boots must we get the American Express the lock list look like today against the people’s must be against you spank don’t forget to world you know need American Express American Express we need the US American Express number one as a crook bank just to pay the last year the first of the month 96 million dollars fine for Freud

  67. They do! I had a charge off of about $950 about 13 years ago. They still hadn’t forgiven me in 2011, but 2 years ago I got an Everyday card and last year a platinum card. All good!!! And I’ll never cross them again or anyone else!!!

  68. I have been on their blacklist for 18 years due to a chapter 7 bankruptcy. They don’t forgive the past!

  69. I want to thank you for the advice: I had a Amex Green Card, as a college student in 1991, which was charged off by 1996 or so. I tried to apply for a card, but was rejected, but they did pull my credit report and gave me a good explanation. They suggested I reapply later this year; thus after 20 years, I am off their “bad list”!

  70. Hello and thank you in advance for your time.

    I recently took a job that offers a company AMEX. Unfortunately for me, I was declined for this card. Upon doing some research, I learned that I hold a balance from a previous AMEX Corporate Card. This balance does not show up on my credit report at all and I am currently battling my previous employmer to figure out whose responsiblity this balance is. It has been over 3 years since I had that account. My current Experian score is mid 500s. Most have had issues w/ their credit, I’m no different.
    My question is this, and I can’t get a straight answer from AMEX. Is my past balance the road block to getting approved for this card? If the issue is my score, then I will use the money I could pay off the balance and work to get my score up by paying other resposibilites. If it is my past AMEX balance that is the issue, then I will pay it off (the balance is $900).

    Is there anyone that has had a similar experience?

    Thank you again.

  71. Hello and thank you in advance for your time.

    I recently took a job that offers a company AMEX. Unfortunately for me, I was declined for this card citing “information from my Experian Credit Report. Upon doing some research, I learned that I hold a balance from a previous AMEX Corporate Card. This balance does not show up on my credit report at all and I am currently battling my previous employer to figure out whose responsibility this balance is. It has been over 3 years since I had that account. My current Experian score is mid 500s. Most have had issues w/ their credit, I’m no different.
    My question is this, and I can’t get a straight answer from AMEX. Is my past balance the road block to getting approved for this card? If the issue is my score, then I will use the money I could pay off the balance and work to get my score up by paying other resposibilites. If it is my past AMEX balance that is the issue, then I will pay it off (the balance is $900).

    Is there anyone that has had a similar experience?

    Thank you again.

  72. sure ! i’ve never paid too much attention to my credit score as it’s been in the 700s for awhile now.My husband and I just got really serious about our getting out of debt,we have a little over $16,000 and 3 collections in debt and we’re expecting a baby. I don’t want to have that junk hanging over out heads! so i seek for help via internet on how to be debt free of credit card,i got directed to hackmania_9outlook and here i am with a fact that real hackers are in our midst .Beware of imposters y”all.

  73. I was blacklisted in 2006 for a 2k default i paid off afterwards. I tried applying for a card again in 2010 and they didn’t even pull my credit, got same letter as others. In 2012 I worked for a very large corporation and they were able to somehow get me a corporate card (i think they guarantee the debt?). Now I am back to getting tons of amex offers saying i’m pre-approved. Going to try next month after I downgrade my CSR 🙂 and replace with the plat. Wish me luck!

  74. Pretty sure I’m on it. I filed for BK after a failed business in 2009. Had an am/x with probably about $25K charged at time of BK. Long story short, in 2014 I took a promaotion with my company and was ran for a corporate am/x as AU. Denied. A year later bossman tried again and I was approved as AU. That was two years ago. I still have 1.5 years before the CH 7 falls of my report, but I decided I would try their pre-qualify page on am/ex. They pre-approved me for the blue cash everyday. Then I applied and was instantly turned down. No inquiry on my reports. I will try again after the BK falls off the report and see what happens. I don’t need an Am/Ex as I have 2 Cap ones and a barclay card with over $20K in avail credit (which I use only 10-15% off and pay off monthly), My income is now back to over $250k/year and my Fico on Experian is 752. I own a house and paid off my car loan. Creditwise, I am in great shape. I will be fine without American Express but something in me has made it a challenge that I must overcome!

  75. How long after FINANCIAL REVIEW Shut down before I can reapply?

    I came under Financial Review from AMEX after I used my own card reader to make a large transaction to get the 60k MR sign up bonus. AMEX wanted last 2 months of bank statements with beginning and ending balances. I refused the bank statements at first, but I did send them IRS tax transcripts from the past 2 years, with adjusted gross income of 165k in 2015, and 246k in 2016. They still insisted on bank statements. I sent the statements with my with beginning & ending balances and transactions blacked out, I did only showed them my deposits (10k and 15k). They refused to accept this, even after speaking to a supervisor and having my case escalated to a VP. I voluntarily closed my 6 accounts so they show as “closed at consumers request” on my credit report. Before closing, I paid off the entire balances in full, less than $200 amongst all the cards. I have been an authorized user & account manager since 2010 on 2 of my mothers AMEX accounts, 15k & 20k limits. I am still on her accounts after the shutdown of my accounts, and her accounts have not been affected. Interestingly, just before the financial review I had applied for a SPG business card, it was approved 1 day after my accounts had been frozen for the Financial Review. When I received the card and activated it, it showed as also frozen. I find it interesting that I was approved after the FR freeze….. I wonder if this means that I am not blacklisted? This along with the fact that I am still an AU and account manager on my mothers accounts make me believe that I am not blacklisted. I wonder if they will put me through FR if I apply again? I don’t mind providing tax transcripts, but I refuse to allow them to peer into my bank accounts. Anyone go through something similar to this or have any thoughts on how long before I reapply and what might happen?

    • I would recommend applying for AU on another persons account. Apply about 1/year for an Amex Credit Card product to see if Amex erases you from the FR blacklist; no hard pull if you are still blacklisted. Amex has been known to erase blacklisted former customers that do not have outstanding debt with Amex.

  76. Got my first Amex card back in 1991 shortly after high school. Everything was fine until 2009 when I ended up filing a CH7 BK due to the housing crash. I burned amex for around 15k total (8k business line of credit, 7k personal cards). Fast forward to today and my FICOs are around 750, income 100k+ a year, and pay all cards off in full every month. I was able to get a Chase Sapphire Reserve card recently after a couple tries with the recon people but I would still like to get back with Amex.

    I have been on the blacklist since my BK. I’ve tried once a year and always get auto declined for my own cards. I also get auto declined when trying to add myself as an AU on my wife’s platinum card. For the hell of it I setup an amex high yield savings account and put in 20k into it. After a couple of months I had my wife try adding me again as an AU and it went through this time. I got the card and was able to get logged into the amex credit card website and it shows me being a member since 1991.

    I waited about another month and I’m now seeing preapproval offers for the Amex Platinum 100k deal and few other cards. I tried to apply for one credit card and one charge card via the preapproval portal and was auto declined for both. I’d really like to get a couple amex cards again as I understand they would be back date to 1991 which would really help my avg account age.

    Anyway… should I just wait it out and try again in a few months? Has anybody with CH 7 discharged debt been able to settle with amex for an amount less than the total to get off the blacklist? Thanks!

      • Bummer! Guess I should have done some research as it looks like they stopped backdating new cards on March 21st, 2015. That’s good to know as my desire to get back into Amex’s’ good graces isn’t as high now!

  77. I was the victim of identity theft over 15 years ago multiple credit cards opened in my name. All of the other banks were very sympathetic and relatively easy to deal with, just had to supply the necessary reports and notarized affidavits. AMEX turned out to be complete douche bags and after initially pretending to be helpful decided they weren’t going to eat a $25 loss and changed their mind after 3 months and tried coming after me for the debt. I ended up having to get a lawyer to get them to back down and ended up threatening all three credit bureaus with lawsuits for continuing to report AMEX. So after 15 I’ve tried the AU attempt. Did not work. I’m certainly on their blacklist for good.

  78. I owed $5k to Amex that I couldn’t pay in 2011 so they close my card and sold my debt to a debt collector but the collector paid it off and said I don’t owe anything(not sure how that worked or what it’s called) but vaguely remember they said I still have to pay if I want to ever get an amex card again? is this going to be erased from my credit if I pay it? should I even bother paying it now?
    Since they told me they paid it off themselves they never bothered me since.

  79. I been with Amex since 2002 never missed a payment I have an excellent credit and I still do never miss a payment with any one else all the sudden Amex called tell me we are going to cancel all your accounts but they won’t give me a reason tried calling many times and same answer , after. Week received a letter stating that I didn’t use my card the proper way since 2002 been using it same way , read your article before and asked my friend to add me as AU he did 3 month later same thing happen to me with the same letter that was sent to me before , tried applying 3 month later was declined but they never pulled my credit any suggestions please thanks.

  80. I guess I’m on the Amex blacklist. Early 2000’s I had some personal problems (mainly divorce) that meant I defaulted on Amex Gold and Costco. They charged them off in 2006 (so well out of the SOL). Now I have a credit scores in high 700’s or low 800’s. Just applied for a Amex Delta card and was immediately declined. I called them and they basically want the entire balances paying off. I find this objectionable that they have taken a tax write off (and used TARP). The ironic thing is I’m a AU on both a Platinum card and the same Amex Delta card I’m applying for.

    I’m thinking of countering their pay off for a lower amount. Anybody have any thoughts for a % they think is reasonable?

  81. Applied for an AMEX DELTA card three years after a discharged BK7. Since that time, no late payments, 9% usage of available credit totalling, $29,000.00 with Cap One, Discover, Santander and others. 662- EX, 675 -EQ 672- TU – AMEX was not part of my discharged debts.

    I was denied for reason, BANKRUPTCY. So, tried and true, AMEX is very unforgiving for BK filers and the best bet is to wait 7-10 years after the discharge.

    I was advised I could try again in 30 days which I will not.

  82. Long time Amex holder. Ran in to some trouble. Worked out a payment arrangement. Amex wouldn’t reinstate my old card. Instead sent me an offer to get the Optima card. I accepted and now have the optima. I think it is from a subsidiary of Amex. Have had the card for a few years now and want to switch back to regular Amex. I have heard/read that I cannot as long as I have the optima. That I would need to cancel the optima first before applying for the regular Amex. Could be risky. Anyone have any insight?

  83. Question – I had a charge off with the. But eventually paid the full balance as an arrangement with Amex. They the. Wouldn’t open my account but instead offered me the Optima card with an annual fee. First, I thought Optima was discontinued. Second, why wouldn’t they open my account and instead give me optima? I think the optima is also offered from a subsidiary and not directly with Amex. Anyone have any idea? Also, I have had the optima card for a few years now and have always been on time. I have heard that if one applies for the regular Amex while having the optima it will be declined, but if you cancel the optima you have a “shot” at the regular Amex. Any insight?

  84. I had a 3911 balance with them back in 2006. Had my car stolen with the 3911 worth of merchandise and then some in it 1 week from purchasing it. 1 month later was robbed for over $5k. SO I was at a point in life when I mother’effed everything and defaulted. A year later I arranged to pay back the money I paid down the balance to about 2500 in about 6 months then money wasn’t coming in anymore so I stopped paying collection agency. I was 19 when I got my AE pretty much young and dumb to how important credit was. Over 10 years later almost 800 score. 75k in revolving credit 2 perfect auto loans paying off at moment obviously perfect payments on all 5 other cards companies I decided to take leap of faith. I applied and got shot down. I don’t know what came to me to try but my best friend just applied and got 25k limit with his first AE. I asked him to try to add me as AU so maybe I can wiggle my way back into getting my own card with them again. He gave name SS and DB and it was approved instantly. This was 2 days ago 4/10/17. My purpose of adding myself was to re-establish myself with them and if they asked me to repay I would’ve but they approved it. My reason for denial was because of my bad rep with them but as AU I got approved. Card should be here soon let’s see what happens if they shoot me down upon further digging on my bad rep with them.

  85. Hello, I have a question about the blacklist that I haven’t seen anyone else ask. In 1988 I was unable to pay 300.00 due on an Amex Green card. It stayed on my credit report for 10 year. I’ve been repairing my credit and now have scores in the lower 700s, no negatives, 4 good accounts, though not much credit history. Credit Karma tells me I have a ‘very good’ chance of being approved for two Amex entry level cards … so I’m curious if I’m on the Amex blacklist or not.

    Here’s my question: when I check to see if I’m prequalified for a Amex card on the Amex site, it asks for last four or my social security number, and then tells me they weren’t able to match me with any offers at this time (and they show me cards I might be interested in). I assume they do a soft pull (why else would they ask for last four of social?) … but would they do a soft pull if I am on their blacklist? Wouldn’t they just immediately reject me for previous non payment without a soft pull?

    Your thoughts appreciated …

  86. Here is my experience… been with Amex since 1998 and carried the Personal Plat since 2003. In 2010 I started a big investment opening up a 20,000sqft restaurant/lounge that totaled over 4.5MM. Well as most restaurants do, it failed miserably but still didn’t have much debt personally. I had to file Chapter 7 in 2013 because of all the PG’s I signed from the restaurant. In the BK was the Amex that only had 5k on it but was told by my BK attorney that it would be a waste to pay it off. They will close the account anyway. So I listened and left it in the BK untouched. Towards the end of 2014 though I figured I’d see if my wife would add me as an AU to her plat corp card which is my business anyway and was approved to my surprise. Here is the weird part. When I first got the card it shows member since 2014. The magnet got damaged somehow and they sent me a new card and that showed member since 1998. Not sure if that means I’m off the blacklist or it was just a mistake on their end but I just wanted to share my experience. I’m scared to apply for an AMEX personal thinking they can go back and take back my corp card lol.

  87. Hi Shawn, I am on the blacklist due a business closure many years ago that resulted in AMEX writing off around $50K. My wife has outstanding credit and we have been using her AMEX card for a number of years now. We charge a LOT of expenses (6 figures) on the card each year. I would like to try to be added as an additional user but we are worried they may flag her to my old balances and this may cause them to review her account and close it or reduce the credit line, especially since we are self employed so run our expenses on a personal card.

    Have you ever heard of a request for an additional cardholder who is blacklisted triggering problems for the primary cardholder or a review of their credit use or limit?

  88. I can’t find an answer to this anywhere, maybe you can help. I have a green card that I owe 35,000 on and they sent me to fr. I did not give them any requested items and they cancelled my card. The $35,000 was all on pay over time. How long do I have to pay that money back? The first statement I received was normal and had a minimum amount due. Will they just keep billing me as normal until it’s paid off?

    • I have never heard of this scenario so I can’t speak to that. I would contact Amex to find out the exact details in order to make sure you don’t default in any way.

  89. 12 years ago, I had the Amex Blue and Amex Gold cards. My (now ex) husband was an authorized user. We used our cards for everything but eventually my husband chose to stop paying his balance. I closed all my cards leaving a balance of $2,000 on the Blue and $4,000 on the Gold.
    I stopped using all credit for 10 years however 18 months ago I decided to rebuild my credit. After reading your advice regarding applying for a card to see if I was on the blacklist, I applied for the green Amex but was denied as I had an outstanding balance. I applied again several months ago and received the general “Sorry we cannot approve your application at this time…” The kicker is that they ran my credit – so off the blacklist, right?
    Today, I was approved for the Amex Blue, the only card for which I applied.
    Awesome advice Shawn, thanks so much.

  90. I was discharged Chapter 7 in 2010 and recently applied for new Amex credit. They are the only company that I am aware of that denied me credit without pulling my credit report that I am aware of. And when I asked about it they told me after I finally got through to the right department that I was banned for life unless I paid the discharged debt and legally I am told any company can do this.

  91. Ho Shawn. I has a conversation with you in 2015, over my being on the Amex blacklist. I followed your advice, and just the other day pigs flew. Amex removed me from their blacklist – without paying back the debt, and they approved me for a American ExpressBlue Cash Preferred – 2 k limit, but no restrictions. And eligible for their 3x CLI in 45 days.

    BTW, since communicating with you in 2015, I have acquired 7 card accounts, but the two newest I am dropping because the have a nasty habit of sticking misc interest charges onto my statement during the overnight when my statement posts. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve is in my sights in 6 months time.

    I would never have checked again had I not had the dialogue with you. So, thank you..

    C. Lavenger

  92. So October 2015 I got my final decree issued for my chapter 7, so it’s been a year now. Amex was listed in the BK and the balance was under $2,000. Does this mean I’m blacklisted with Amex? I read that the Delta Amex card is easier to get, and possibly with my income and score I could get it. Since I’m rebuilding my credit now (it’s been a year) and my FICO is increasing and currently at around 650 and Credit Karma is showing 697 (whatever that’s worth). Is it worth applying for? Or should I just avoid the credit inquiry and try a different card?

  93. I defaulted on a AMEX 10 years ago for about $1700. About 5 years ago, my boss tried to add me as an AU to her corporate AMEX only for them to deny me…HOW EMBARRASSING. My credit was super crummy too, and that boss would occasionally REMIND ME. Glad that job is over. Fast forward 5 more years to now: My credit is MUCH better and moving in the right direction. I was in the low 500 when I decided to turn this around and now in the mid-700s. I suppose I had a shot of courage yesterday after now having 2 BOA Visas (4000CL and 2,000CL), a Cap 1 MC (3,800CL), two store cards (Neiman Marcus (2,000) and Bloomies (500) and a Discover(10K CL), that I, with GREAT TREPIDATION, hit the ENTER button on my online AMEX application – hoping and praying my blacklist days had ended…..SUCCESS! I was approved for a Blue Cash Everyday card for a $10K CL! I almost fell out of my chair. I just received an email that it’s shipping but I still can’t believe it. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!! I can guarantee you this: No matter what…I will NEVER screw up my credit again! It’s a long arduous road but it can have a successful ending!!! Hang in there!

  94. If I was an AU on an account that has been cancelled and the $1200 on the gold charge card was paid back to Amex in full, can I try to apply for the blue card now as primary. Am also on the BL. Can I even get approved for a basic Amex card?

  95. I o my drfaulted $1200 on Amex a few years ago and I can’t even be added as an AU. On the app, it says AU must not have defaulted on Amex in the past.

  96. These ‘lists’ exist. I work for a credit card issuer and we will decline all applicants that have had a charge-off or bankruptcy ‘on-us’ — ever. If you have had a charge-off and/or bankruptcy ‘off-us’ we will eventually consider your application depending upon how long it’s been since the event.

    I am on the AMEX blacklist as I settled $10k of a $15k debt in 2014; after I was served for defaulting. I haven’t tried to apply again as I’m working to rebuild my credit.

  97. I had perfect Credit with Amex until my x husband that was just an authorized user ran my card (his card) up to $12k and didn’t pay it. This was in 2004. I’ve applied in 2013 and got the automatic reply about an old account and tried again today – 7.28.16 and was denied again, same reason. It’s been 12.5 years now. I guess I’m going to be on their blacklist forever! 🙁 I was added as an AU user today and the response was we’d have an answer in 14 days, If I was approved I would get the card in a white envelope. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Does it matter which card you apply for? I had the GOLD in 2004 when this happen. Are some easier than others?

    I notice each month that there are Soft Pulls from AMEX on all 3 of my Credit Reports. Why is this happening if I’m still on their blacklist? Seems it would be a waste of their time.

    Credit Karma always has several Amex cards listed and say that my approval rate is good.

    My Credit Score is in the 800’s now. I hate that I can’t get another card with Amex because of what my AU did on my account – they didn’t know that he was my husband as we didn’t have credit together, he was just an AU.

    Funny thing is – he has his own account now after screwing mine up.

  98. I went Bankrupt in 2005, with a few thousand on an Amex card. I had been an Amex card holder for over 20 years.
    I applied after the BK was removed from my credit report. FICO 785 or so.
    Got the dreaded denial because of previous relationship.

    Had a business colleague offer to list me on his card. They did, charged him$175 and dropped his credit limit so far that his card became useless. I called and had the additional card removed and they agreed to refund the $175, Dinged his credit.

    When I talked to them they tole me the ban was for life. If I wanted any reconsideration I would have to pay off the card.
    This certainly appears to be an illegal attempt to try to collect a discharged debt.

    A pox on them.

  99. I had an AMEX Gold card when I was 18, that I defaulted on for about 23K when I was 21, and included in a BK with no payback. Fast forward 21 years later, I’m now 42… with Fico scores in the low to mid 800’s between the big three. I have every credit card worth having, and have available credit lines of between 28K and 100K, (some are corporate cards for my business) and a 2.1M mortgage, and a 525K boat that is financed – I had no issues procuring either. Long story short, I still get denied by AMEX. I’ve tried a few times over the years, only to get a letter of denial because of my previous history with them. No, I don’t need the card; I want what I can’t have. The author is correct, they do not pull your credit if you are on the “blacklist;” their internal system does a cross check of the list, and instantly issues a denial letter. You could apply daily with no affect on your credit bureau. Today my girlfriend added me (authorized user) to her AMEX Platinum personal card, and her Platinum corporate card in an attempt to see if I can get myself removed from the list that I have been on for over 21 years. I will keep you posted in about 3 months to let you guy’s know if I get approved for any of their products going forward. Lastly, thank you for the informative article.

    • UPDATE: I received a Platinum corporate card as an authorized user on my girlfriends account. We also received a letter that said I was not eligible for authorized user on her personal account. They said they would reevaluate the request after 12 months of usage on her corporate card. In the interim, my friend tried to add me as a authorized user on his personal Amex Blue card; he received the same denial letter on my behalf. Please note that my credit is impeccable w/ scores in the 800’s. This is strictly because I’m on their blacklist from 20+ years ago. I’ll keep you posted.

  100. I was curious about this policy and decided to test it out. In 1985, AmEx offered me a Green card, and after a while, I added a family member as an AU who could not get his own card. (In retrospect, bad idea, but I was 22; what did I know?) For several years, there was no problem, and I was upgraded to a Platinum card after a couple years. The card was good for far more than I could personally handle, thanks to the AU…but in 1993 things went bad and I was left holding the bag for 57K. Eventually this was cleared in a Ch. 7.

    I applied for a “Blue Cash Everyday” card, and received a decline because of “prior adverse account activity” with AmEx. I called their customer service, essentially to say “Seriously, you’re turning me down for something that happened over 20 years ago?” and I was told that their current policy is if any AmEx account is closed in an unfavorable manner, you can’t get another one. They don’t even run your credit; their system pulls your app immediately. I said, “So I’m banned for life from having an AmEx card?” and was told that this is their current policy; it could change in the future…no promises.

  101. I had a personal Amex Platinum and a Amex Gold in 1980s and 90s. Back in 2002 I had some financial difficulties and filed Personal BK which included both Amex Cards for a total of $17,000. Since 2004, I tried couple of times for new cards but I was declined automatically, I guess I was on their famous Black List.
    Since 2004 I own a multi million dollar business, Amex was after me to add them to our current merchant service to start accepting Amex Cards in addition to our exsisting merchant service account for Visa, Master Card and Discover. Last month we started to accept Amex Cards as well.
    About a week ago I got a call from a representative of Amex Premium Business Account Acquisitions, she offered us to open an Amex Business Platinum Card with first year fees waived and 100,000 membership points upon approval. As expected, as soon as my social was entered the old BK and $17K write off showed up.
    The representative made several calls to different departments while I was on the phone listening in. She finally spoke to one of the supervisors at their credit department in Florida and obtained an ok to remove me from the list upon making a $17K payment.
    I immediately got two cashiers checks for the two old accounts and sent to Florida via FedEx Priority Express. I was removed from the list within 24 hours and received my new Business Platinum Card within three days.
    I must also add that my business charges about $35,000 a month on our current two AAdvantage Business Cards from Citi Bank for the last 12 years. I guess, I can confirm that Amex is currently running an aggressive campaign to transfer premium business accounts from other banks high limit credit card holders.

  102. Even though I hadn’t included it in my bankruptcy (was really hoping to keep it), my Starwood AmEx got cancelled in 2009 with about $3k still on it (which somehow rolled into the bankruptcy). Since then I haven’t been able to get a card from AmEx, but I just signed my wife up for a Blue Cash AmEx, and added myself as an additional card member. She was approved just fine, but they turned me down for an additional card on her account. The T&C for additional cards even state that “Additional Card Members must…never had a defaulted account with American Express.” Seems perhaps this is no longer a viable way to get off the blacklist.

  103. I had a amex gold card back in 2009 but I had some issues with my family and job so I didn’t pay my account about 780 dollar now I was reading about all this information because I want to apply back I want to grow up my credit. should I just pay and try to apply right away or do I need to talk to someone first about what happened ??? do I need to send and apology letter with the payment?

    • You can call the Global Collections Department and arrange for payment. Once paid it can take 30-60 days to update in their systems. Once updated you will be off the blacklist and eligible to apply for an Amex product without automatically being denied.

  104. I defaulted on two american express cards in a chapter 7 back in October 2009. They were paid off in full this year – I just reapplied for a Delta Platinum Card and was approved with 10K limit. Credit scores 746/731. I originally called right after the debt was paid in full and was told to call back in 30 days. I did have a gold amex issued through work during this time as well.
    Hope this helps!

    • I believe I may have burned American Express for $7K-$8K in Chapter 7 in 2001. How would I go about finding out from them what I owe and how to pay it back? Aren’t they not allowed to talk to you about bankruptcy debt? I mailed them a letter about 3 months ago asking if I owe them anything and if so, what I can do about it, and they never replied.

      • Amex and any other creditor can accept payment on Bk’d debt but they are very cautious and will make it clear that your payment is voluntary and you will get nothing in exchange, etc. However, the reality is that if you pay them back you will be off the blacklist. Call their Global Collections department.

  105. Nobody has answered me yet.

    Is Soft (account review inquiries) on Experian and indicator that you are blacklisted.

    Thank you.

  106. I was blacklisted for 10 long years after a $6000 charge off. Since that time, my credit score and income have risen substantially. Just got approved for an Amex Platinum.

  107. I know this post is a year old, but it’s still an interesting read.

    I defaulted on my Premier Rewards Gold card a year ago due to a sudden catastrophic family event. It was for a relatively minor $2200, but my finances were so exhausted back then that I couldn’t even begin to pay it down. This all went down about a month after I started a new job where I was issued a Corporate Green card for necessary travel expenses. Even though my Gold card was cancelled and the debt collectors were let loose on my arse, my corp card remained fully functional through it all. I paid off the $2200 as my financial situation improved, however, and Amex in turn sent me a paper application for their Optima card about a month after the last payment posted. I filled it out, sent it in, and was given an Optima card with a $500 limit. And according to the paperwork, I’ll be eligible for other Amex cards after a year of good behavior with the Optima. So it looks like I’m back in… I wonder if my Corp card kept me off the blacklist?

  108. Hi Shawn,

    Very nice post, but not helpful for me yet… I will get straight to the point and hope you can advise.

    I received my first AMEX in 2005 and in 2007 defaulted on it (and on very many credit items at that time) due to some personal problems. It was approximately 6-7k debt to AMEX.
    It has been over 9 years since then and all negative information has been removed from all of my credit reports as statue of limitation expired. My score is 740 now and I was just approved for a 20k Chase CC. I have a leased car under my name for over 2 years now, personal income is over 100k. Four years ago my wife added me to her platinum AMEX account and I spent over 300k on it since then, no late payments ever.
    AMEX, however still refuse to issue a card under my name (or the business name) and they say the only reason preventing me from getting is my old default with them. I have spoken to maybe 10 different representatives in AMEX but no one can advise how to help the situation and restore their confidence…

    I would greatly appreciate any useful ideas?

  109. I applied for the cards I wanted last week, then applied for AMEX PRG, just in case they HP’d me, which they didn’t and I was promptly denied, because AMEX cancelled my previous accounts. I am on the list also…AU time!

  110. My story: In 1993 I filed for BK at the age of 21, and I owed AMEX 29K on a Gold card. Who gives a 21 year old kid a Gold Card and lets them rack up to 29K in debt in a 30 day period? Fast forward to 2016 (now 42), and with available credit lines of 268K (aggregate total) between all my personal revolving accounts – all with a 0 balance. I also have 5 business credit cards (two are VISA lines of credit that are 200K each) that I personal guarantee with an aggregate total of 500K in available credit, all with 0 balances – or it is paid off monthly when any/all are used. My FICO score (at the time of this writing is 833; my mortgage company just gave me a copy of the report as I’m in the process of buying another home. The report I ran on “” said my FICO score was 807 (ran on the same day as the mortgage company – and it was a soft inquiry). My point, your FICO score does vary depending on what type of credit you are trying to ascertain. Back to my AMEX story… At least once or twice a year I have tried to apply for an AMEX card; I’ve tried for the Green card, Gold, Platinum, etc. I’ve even tried to get it under my business (in business for over 20 years with annual sales in the MM). Every single attempt, every single year has yielded negative results. The author of this article is correct, they won’t even pull your credit report; their internal blacklist flags you immediately and generates a denial letter.

    A good friend of mine was telling me the other day how he just got approved for the Blue card by AMEX. I asked him how (he had a previous BK with them too)? He said his wife had an AMEX card with a 10K limit (not sure which card) and she added him as an authorized user. He said when she added him, they reduced her credit limit from 10K to 1K within 30 days. He then said a few months later he applied on his own for the Blue card, and was approved for 5K. He said he would add me as an authorized user to his account if I wanted. I told him I will try it after I get through my mortgage process. I know his credit is a little shaky, and that could affect my credit report. I also told him that when he adds me as an authorized user, he can keep the card – this way he has no risk of me damaging his credit. I will keep you posted after I do this.

  111. I’ve read many posts in these forums, relating to possibly/likely, being AMEX blacklisted and becoming an AU on an existing account. My question is, is it better to become an AU on an existing account and just be added, or have my wife app for say the PRG and add me during that process? That way it’s a card I can use alone for awhile. I currently have a 693 EX and recently had a Corp card through work. I left that company, but paid on time for 12 months. I am going to app for Marriott Rewards myself in a couple of weeks, so just in case AMEX pulls my credit, I am waiting to see if I am truly on the blacklist.

  112. Hi Shawn, Just happened to google this topic because I was denied for having a bad prior relationship with AMEX in the early 2000s (layoff, etc.) where the payment plan was just undoable and they were having none of it while I was unemployed. The account was charged off in 2003 (about 2500) and when I applied in December 2015 was automatically denied. I asked for a further review (not knowing about the black list) and nothing happened. I followed up and they did pull a credit report but denied again citing the same reasons as they did in the first letter. I guess I’m SOL. I have near-perfect credit (800+) and have for years. What’s the best way other than AU route to get back in their good graces? I now wish I’d known about this sooner so I wouldn’t have this inquiry on my report for 2 years.

    Hey, thanks,

    • The only two ways I have ever heard of anyone being successful in getting off of the list is either paying back the money or slipping through by first becoming an AU. I wish I knew another way!

  113. Is being blacklisted relevant to direct applications with Amex, or does it effect any card they sponsor?

    I.e. I know I am blacklisted by Amex, but would like an Amex from Citi / Wells Fargo, etc. Anyone with experience here?

    Searched online, but can’t find any data points. I’ll try an application in a few months the next time an inquiry drops off.

    • It only has to do with the cards they issue. For cards issued by other banks they are merely the payment network and don’t have anything to do with the approval process since your account is with another bank.


    I had a charge off about 9yrs ago. I have had soft inquiries on my experian regularly since. If I were to be removed from the blacklist would those inquiries cease?

    • I can’t answer that. Banks regularly conduct soft inquiries so they can decide if they want to send you offers. Soft inquiries don’t show on your public credit report (you are the only one who can see them) and they don’t impact your score.

      • I think what he’s asking is, if he was on the blacklist, would he still be getting soft pulls or soft pulls only for people not on blacklist?

        • Let me clarify. I am on the blacklist and I get inquiries every month or two from Amex in the account review section on my Experian. The account charged off 10 years ago. I am wondering if Amex account review inquiries specifically are an indicator that you are on the blacklist.

  115. This worked for me. I was an AU on the AMEX Delta card for about 3 years. We run over 100K per year through it. Last month I applied for my own Hilton Amex and was approved instantly. Credit line is low, but i figure that is to be expected.

  116. My credit is excellent and so is my track record with AMEX, but I’m concerned that I may end up on the blacklists when my elderly Mother passes away. She is now in a nursing home on Medicaid with no assets and there is a $2000 balance on her Delta AMEX card.
    Since she started to develop dementia, I have been listed as the manager on her account, which authorized me to pay bills, etc. But-unlike any other entity-AMEX required my social security number to designate me as account manager. Although I am not legally obligated to pay her debt either now or when she passes, I am very concerned that they may blacklist me when she dies and I notify them as executor that there are no assets to cover the debt.

  117. I for one am greatful for the blacklist. If they’re not going to approve me anyway, they’re saving me from a hard inquiry. I applied when I joined Costco in Oct. 2013, a year after bankruptcy. Prior to the bankruptcy I had an AMEX card for over 15 years. It was my go-to card for all my living expenses and I paid the balance in full every month, never late. Even though I included them on the list of creditors that were NOT INCLUDED in the bankruptcy, they shut off my card and let me know my account was now “terminated”.

    Anyway, the Oct. 2013 rejected never resulted in an inquiry on my credit report.

    • If Amex did not take a loss on you your should not be on the blacklist. You should contact them to get that straighten out. So when you are ready to apply again that wont be an issue.

  118. I had three AMEX accounts back in 2005, that were removed from my bureaus long ago. Since then, I’ve always wanted to get another card with them, but knowing I defaulted for quite a bit of money. When I started my job last January, part of my employment was to have an AMEX Card for travel and expenses. I was freaking out back then thinking this credit denial, would keep me from a job.

    I had to apply for the card through AMEX, using my companies code or something. To my amazement, I was approved, through AMEX. I have heard of a blacklist they keep. Also, the corporate card is in my name, no mention of the company on the card. On the statement mailed to my house, the bill is in my name with company name on second line, before address.

    Also, I just recently noticed, there was a hard credit pull/inquiry on Experian around that time back then. So my question is, the fact that all the above happened and the AMEX derogs are not on my bureau, could I possibly be eligible for another card, when my score increases, or now, based on my being approved for the corp card with a hard credit pull?

  119. I was just denied an AU Card under a family member and called was told due to past relationship 2005 Bankruptcy where 5K on Amex was discharged. Next month will be ten years. No Big deal have a Visa Signature Card with Capital and World Card with Barclays. Amex loss in my books because they make money on charges and interest if a credit card and also the discharged debt was a write off for them. My opinion the risk is low on AU cards so I really think Amex is making a bad business decision.

  120. I defaulted back in 03 on about $6000 on an AMEX green. Tried to get on as an authorized user with my father and he was told that I could not become an authorized user do to a bad past relationship with them.

  121. My post isn’t showing up so I am trying again. I apologize if it eventually appears twice.

    You wrote in your article the following to determine if (I am) still on the Amex blacklist:
    “The easiest way is to apply for a card. Since blacklisted people don’t have their credit checked, there really is no harm in applying once a month or so to see if things have changed. If you are still on the blacklist, then no inquiry will show up on your credit.”

    So, in a nutshell, I was fairly sure I was on the Amex blacklist, having defaulted for a few thousand Dollars back in 2002/3. That would be about 13 years since defaulting. My ex went after my money like a rabid dog, and she destroyed my credit, and forced me to close my company and thus almost 50 people lost their jobs. She ended up getting nothing because my liabilities outweighed my assets. Wonderful.

    So, turn the clock ahead to March of 2015 (this year). After having hideous credit for all those years, I finally decided to check my reports. SURPRISE! EVERYTHING negative had fallen off all of my reports. I applied for a Cap1 Quicksilver Mastercard – got it. Also got a Chase Freedom Visa, a Discover Card and an Amazon Store Card. Because of my old, old car loan still showing on my reports, all 62 payments were perfect, my credit score was upper 700’s until last month – but last month I had to spend a bit because I moved apartments. It is down in the mid-600’s now because I used a high percentage of my available credit. HOWEVER, my Cap1 MC and my Chase Visa credit lines were just substantially increased. My score will rebound nicely this month, and I have also started to pay off the $2000 that I owe on the cards combined. I have been perfect with my payments since recovering my credit, and it WILL stay that way.

    So, I wanted to find out about the Amex blacklist, and how I could find out if I was on it. I read your article. Taking your advice I applied for a Green Card, on-line. I was denied within 10 seconds. An hour later my TransUnion subscription sent me an alert indicating that Experian was reporting a new inquiry from American Express.

    I am somewhat baffled. Are you 100% sure that they do not run credit reports if someone is on the blacklist? 100%?? And again, as if I am a bit dense – seriously, does this really mean I am off the blacklist? I NEVER expected it to happen. But I would appreciate your feedback on this.

    Also, can I ask Amex to reconsider me in two or three weeks when I know and can confirm beforehand that my score went way back up?

    • There is nothing 100%, but you need to wait for the letter to come in the mail. It has been my experience and the experience of dozens of others that they will automatically deny you if you are on the blacklist. When you get the letter they will tell you why you were denied. If it is for a bad past relationship with them then you are probably on the blacklist. My guess is that it will probably because of your score drop and high balances related to the limits.

      • Hi Shawn,

        Thanks for your reply. I did, in fact, get the rejection letter in the mail from American Express. Turns out that you were correct. They did specify precisely what the reasons were for the denial.

        However, I just wanted to thank you. Based on your advice, I did check my Amex blacklist status, and I am officially off the list. I am sure that within 6 months to a year, I will be able to overcome the reasons Amex detailed that caused the rejection. Getting my credit back, and building it to a healthy state, is the first steps to a mortgage down the road.

        Thanks again.

        • Out of curiosity, what were the reasons for denial? Based on your description of your credit profile, I thought you would be approved.

          • I’m off the blacklist, but since my credit profile is too new – I gather – is thee core of the denial. I figure over the next 6 months to a year I will iron out the issues.

            1. Number of credit card accounts opened recently, excluding retail cards.
            Which is three…
            2. The amount you have paid on your bank and retail cards over the last 12 months is too low.
            3. The length of time revolving accounts have been established.
            But I had my 15 year old perfect auto loan JUST fell off my reports. It stayed with me through the bad times and into the good just now. But 15 years is the max for accounts closed but paid in good standing. It lowered my credit score, also.

      • Curious. I’ve really rebuilt my credit back up. I paid down about 12,000 in debt from 2007 to 2011 with the help of a company that got all my delinquent credit cards to stop charging me interest. AMEX wouldn’t accept the terms of this company helping, so Amex got nothing, and I defaulted I think maybe 300-400 on a Gold Card, and maybe 4000 on an IN:NYC Amex card.

        The collection agency that kept hounding me for what seemed like months was NCO Financial. The calls and letters finally stopped.

        I’ve had an attorney find a few FDCPA violations committed against me from a few creditors that wouldn’t accept the terms. It cost me nothing up front, and I ended up getting about $5000 in settlement money because of these FDCPA violations committed against me. These 3rd party collection agencies had to remove the negative things from my credit report, and couldn’t re-sell the debt to another collection agency. My credit score has gone from low 500s to low 700s in about 18 months now. There isn’t anything bad on my credit report. I don’t see anything about the Amex cards or NCO Financial trying to collect. I am honestly surprised.

        I am willing to try applying for a green card again now that I’m not an irresponsible early-twenty something. The rental car insurance coverage is worth the annual fee alone with the amount of times I rent a car each year.

        I’m just scared that applying will re-ignite something with Amex and maybe the collection agency will start coming after me again. Have you heard of this happening with anyone?

        • You need to see if the Amex account is within the statue of limitations in your state. If the debt is out of the SOL then you will not have to worry about potential collections. However, you can still be on the blacklist.

  122. According to this, I’m on the super-blacklist since I went into chap7 BK in 2010 and was discharged in 2011. My spouse tried to add me as a user and they have denied me twice! Like other CC users here, I have Chase, City and Barclay from Apple, but can’t use AmEx.

  123. I have three accounts that went bad during a divorce back in 2005. I have recently been cleaning my credit and been hired by a new company. I have to have a corporate AMEX for my job, applied and was approved. Does that mean I’m not on the list?

    • Sorry for not responding Mike. Corporate cards are handled differently, so I couldn’t say either way. The real only was to find out if you are off of the blacklist is to apply for a card when you are ready. If you are on the blacklist then you will generally get an automatic denial.

      • I figured as much. If these accounts are off my bureau’s, could that possibly start the process of them being resurrected?

      • I had three AMEX accounts back in 2005, that were removed from my bureaus long ago. Since then, I’ve always wanted to get another card with them, but knowing I defaulted for quite a bit of money. When I started my job last January, part of my employment was to have an AMEX Card for travel and expenses. I was freaking out back then thinking this credit denial, would keep me from a job.

        I had to apply for the card through AMEX, using my companies code or something. To my amazement, I was approved, through AMEX. I have heard of a blacklist they keep. Also, the corporate card is in my name, no mention of the company on the card. On the statement mailed to my house, the bill is in my name with company name on second line, before address.

        Also, I just recently noticed, there was a hard credit pull/inquiry on Experian around that time back then. So my question is, the fact that all the above happened and the AMEX derogs are not on my bureau, could I possibly be eligible for another card, when my score increases, or now, based on my being approved for the corp card with a hard credit pull?

        • Getting a Corporate Card seems like a good indicator that you are not on the blacklist. However, you need to find out if you were approved outright or if your company had to guarantee the account to get it approved. Also, Amex doesnt HP on Corporate Cards, it should only be a SP.

          Another thing, If you are on the blacklist and you apply for an Amex Card, there is no pull on your credit. So it wont hurt to apply for a card.

          • Also,

            I noticed allot of AMEX soft pulls on my Experian bureau, dating back to 2013, like every month, sometimes days apart. I wonder if they are soft pulling me to extend promotional offers, which maybe would mean I am not on the blacklist?

          • Cant explain the HP on a Corporate Card. You should speak to your Amex Card Administrator about that. Generally when they do a monthly SP its for either a promotional offer or you have an outstanding balance owed to them.

  124. I had three accounts with AMEX that went south through a divorce back in 2005. I have cleaned up my credit and was recently issued an AMEX Corporate card via my job. Could this happen if I was blacklisted?

  125. i failed to pay my 3000 credit card bill back in 2007 due to loosing my job. amex no longer shows on my credit report. My mom just added me to her account and after sending application online a message read: Pending final verification of your application, the following Additional Cards will arrive at your primary billing address in a plain white envelope displaying the American Express Blue Box logo, addressed to each individual below, and with a return address in Omaha, Nebraska.

    not sure if that means they will send it? maybe if I was black listed they would have denied me right away? i believe i applied a year ago and i got denied right away. but I’m not ssure if i remember that correctly whats your take on this?

    • That is how a lot of people were able to get off of the list. I am pretty sure you will get the authorized user card, but there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rule. I hope it works!

  126. In 2013 I made a $5000 investment on my Amex card in a local business here in town. Naturally, the investment turned out to be a total failure, and I lost my money. Three month’s later, the company that I worked for, went out of business out of the blue. I was unable to keep up with my payments. The card eventually was cancelled, and the fees started piling on. Fast forward to September of 2014, and I worked out a settlement to settle for 2k on a 7k debt, and after reading about the blacklist, I figured I was done for with Amex. I stumbled upon this article, and after reading about how if you are “blacklisted” they won’t do a hard pull on your credit, but just a generic message saying based on past experiences we can’t approve you blah blah. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a go. I could also absorb the inquiry as well. I applied for the Amex Everyday Card, as I knew some of the others were more “prestigious”, thus tighter approval standards. Expecting to receive the rejection message, imagine my surprise when I was approved for a $3500 limit. My Fico score that I paid for through Equifax is a 670.. Needless to say, I am quite shocked…

  127. I screwed Amex for about 15-20k in a bankruptcy. I had a blue credit card with a 10-15k balance and gold card with about 5-6k balance and I filed Ch.7 due to a large real estate venture (failed obviously). I have been on the blacklist for 6 years now. I have not tried the authorized user approach and probably wont anytime soon. My credit is back to a decent level 715 approx on EX and TU. My score was over 800 when the wheels came off….. live and learn. God Bless.

  128. I had an issue with them in 1990 and I did apply about ten years later and got the message that I had past issues with them. Lately I read reports that although some were slipping through the blacklist. In January of this year 2015, I applied for the American Express Everyday Blue Cash rewards and immediately came back with approved!
    At the time it said member since January 2015!

    I took advantage of setting my preferences, bank account on payments, etc., and even gave me the credit line limit. The card would be arriving in a week or so

    This blacklist still haunted me and although it was approved, was it really a done deal? So I logged in the next day and the member since date changed to since 1986!

    Two months later, on taking up their preapproval offer for their Gold Premier Rewards card and was instantly approved.

    Who knows, I was probably off the blacklist for some time. I have learned a lot from those early years.

  129. I tried to apply for AMEX card today, and I was turned down because my account was closed due to bankruptcy in 2010. The agent was asking me to pay my previous payments in installments, and I said by law they ask me to pay what was included in BK. The rep transferred me to another department, and the other agent told me that they might have to run another credit check but mostly likely I will be denied because of the BK, I was already upset and hanged up. I am planning on adding myself as an authorized user on spouse’s account. Hopefully, it will do the trick.

  130. I tried to apply for AMEX card today, and I was turned down because my account was closed due to bankruptcy in 2010. The agent was asking me to pay my previous payments in installments, and I said by law they ask me to pay what was included in BK. The rep transferred me to another department, and the other agent told me that they might have to run another credit check but mostly likely I will be denied because of the BK, I was already upset and hanged up. I am planning on adding myself as an authorized user on spouse’s account. Hopefully, it will do the trick.

  131. This is a very helpful post for me. My bankruptcy was 9.5 years ago, and I’m currently thinking of strategy for applications after the 10 year mark passes. One of my bad debts was Amex. Thanks very much for writing this.

  132. The claim that a “select group” of people on the AmEx blacklist cannot become authorized users while others on the blacklist can is a myth.

    If you are on the blacklist, you will not be approved as an AU absent a system glitch. If you are approved as an AU, you are not on the blacklist.

    • That simply is not true. I know of at least ten people who have been auto-denied for their own cards based on an “unsatisfactory past relationship”, but who were allowed to become AUs and then eventually cardholders again. Perhaps there are different levels of a blacklist, but this is not a myth. Thanks JC.

      • Very true. I was blacklisted in 2005. In 2016 I was approved for an Everyday Card and was invited this year for the Platinum which I now have. I’ll tell you this: I WILL NEVER SCREW UP AGAIN! LOL

          • That’s a good question. My boss at the time tried to add me as an AU in 2012 and I was denied. Then I spent 2012-2016 to clean up my credit and was issued a card in 2016, so 2005 chargeoff ($900), 2012 denial as AU and then a card of my own in 2016, a platinum card in 2017 and a rose gold card in 2018.

      • Hey bud. Chaptered 13 Amex in 07. I’m on the list and have been declined 3 years in a row. Just added to my wife’s gold card as a AU. Get your facts straight.

        • I filed chapter 13 eight years ago and only owed Amex $1200. My wife tried to add me to her card as an AU and it was DENIED. They even asked if the AU ever defaulted on Amex during the application and said it would be denied if so.

          • Correct. I’m definately blacklisted due to being a stupid 21yr old with a great paying job, but no clue as to how to handle credit. I burned them on 4 cards. That was 15 years ago and auto denial on any apps. My husband just got 3 cards with them and tried to add me as an AU, letter came saying no way. I can’t have even an AU card with them.

  133. FYI – There is a limit to how far back Amex will backdate your accounts. I had a Green and an Optima card back in the late 80s and early 90s. I cancelled them both due to the (then) high AF. Both were closed in good standing. I didn’t open my next Amex account until 2010. All my cards now say “member since 2010”.

    • You should call and ask them to search their system for your previous accounts.. Sometimes you need to call more than once but I know people who were recently successful in regaining their original membership date from the 80s.

      • Jack,

        Great info! I will give it a shot. It would help my AAoA out significantly; it has taken a huge hit since I started playing the CC churn game 2 years ago. MY AAoA is now down to about 4 years; having several of those accounts now show an AoA of 24 years would be sweet!

      • Just finished online chat with Amex and the CSR indicated this wouldn’t be a problem. The CSR had to send it to another department, but said I should be getting new cards with “the correct date” within 2 weeks. Keeping fingers crossed!

      • My online account now shows “member since 19XX” where XX was before I entered High School. But who am I to argue!

        Also received an email saying new cards are on their way. Time to wait a month or so to see if it gets updated to the CC bureaus.

      • Just a quick note of thanks to everyone for pointing this ‘trick’ out to me. My Equifax is now showing my oldest “open” account as 35 years old and it basically doubled my AAoA overnight. Transunion hasn’t updated yet, but I’m now confident this will propagate to all 3 CBs.

        Thanks again!

  134. 1) Does anyone here know how Amex handles a former customer who refused to submit documentation for an Amex Financial Review and closed all his accounts?

    2) How long should this customer wait until he applies to open a new Amex account?

    3) Is he black listed for several years or more?

    4) Would the authorized user trick work in this case?

    • A friend of mine was FRd last year and she refused to send them the documents amex asked for. They closed her blue cash account. A month after, she applied again and was approved. When the card came and she tried to activate it, she was transferred to another department and was told the account was closed. She asked why and was told reason was unsatisfactory past relationship.

      • I know people who got shutdown due to not sending docs for FR and they tried every six months to get a card and were rejected until after 24 months had passed. Then they got approved. I don’t know if that is a general rule or if they just got lucky.

  135. I hope you can help. I got a RB (Redbird) myself and want to get an additional card by using my dad’s SSN. FYI he currently not in US and is living overseas for a while due to his job. He was living at different address than mine and when he moved overseas, he entrust me with his ID (now expired) that has different address than mine.
    I called and asked him for permission to use his SSN to apply another RB, he said it’s fine as long as it won’t affect his credit or anything, I explained that this is prepaid card and it won’t be any hard pull so he gives me an ok.
    So I bought a temp card and load it with $500, then register for permanent card online.
    I entered all of my dad’s info including SSN and DOB and use my current address as mailing address for the permanent card.
    At the final page of registration, to my surprise it asked me 3 security questions with drop down multiple answer for each question.
    I think I accidentally got one of the answer wrong, it asked me something like if my dad know me (I was surprised!) and I chose “no” as I was scared if I say yes that Amex flag it for double application for me as I already have a RB.
    After hit submit, it says something like “unfortunately we can’t approve your registration at this time and need more information from you”.
    I called Amex and pretending to be my dad in hope that they can approve it over the phone, the rep said more info needed and will send me email.
    I received an email that they need my dad’s valid ID or DL that shows my address on it (since I entered that address on registration) and last 3 months phone or electric bills with my dad’s name on it and my address. Problem is my current address only has my name on it since I am the one living there.
    Should I wait it out and re-register again using new temp RB? I am concerned if I send my dad’s ID that not shows my address through secure document upload, it will make Amex even more suspicious and flag it.
    Greatly appreciate any advice.

    • I can’t guarantee this will work, but I would have your dad call and send in his information with his address explaining that he wanted it sent to his daughter’s house. If they require, he can send in the bills with his name and actual address along with his non-expired id and they can mail the card to him and then he can send it on to you.

      • thanks Shawn! How about the option of wait it out? how long you think I should wait until re-register with new temp card to make sure Amex doesn’t flag my dad’s SSN?

  136. I can say this certainly worked for me, I defaulted on an American Express Platinum Charge Card for $35000 set up payment arrangements for it and paid it all back. Month after it was all paid off I applied for another card but still showed blacklisted..after having a friend add me as an AU for a year I reapplied for a Delta Skymiles and Instantly approved for $15,000CL.

      • Thanks for the great inf.. After reading your article, I believe my husband is blacklisted due to opened a card and closed it about 1 month later after receive the bonus(due to the lack of knowledge of the credit card bonus sign-up rules). Even though he was given all the bonus for that one card but ever since then he is never be able to approve any cards (no matter how long he waits, 3 month, 6 month or more than 1 year). Sure I will add him as an AU. And try to apply 1 month later?

      • Curious…I just applied for an AMEX Secured via USAA Bank and was accepted. I had a bk in 2004 in which AMEX took at $10K hit. My credit score is over 700 and I have very little debt to income other than a home mortgage. I read this article and applied online for a regular AMEX and was denied quickly. Did not show up as an inquiry so I’m assuming I’m on the list for over 10 years now. I’ll wait for the denial letter but Im curious if you’ve heard of USAA AMEX Secured and if it will help clear the blacklist at any point or am I just wasting my time (and money)?

    • @Tyler

      You are to be commended for owning up to your debt and making arrangements to pay it off, as opposed to walking away from your obligation.

    • Tyler

      You probably were off the blacklist as soon as you paid Amex off but it probably took some time to update their records.

    • I wonder if that would work for me… I had to consolidate my Amex because I had a personal situation and fell behind on my payments. I called Amex so many times to lower my Interest or make some kind of arrangement where to lower my minimum payment of $1,000 a month, and they denied me every single time. Once I signed up for consolidation, they offered to lower my interest and it was too late.

      I miss my Amex 🙁

  137. I am on it and worse yet, I didn’t do what they say I did. They claim that I defaulted on about $2000 almost 30 years ago. The truth is that it was an Amex screw-up that I was told was fixed 30 years ago, but later their records showed I never paid it. Here is the real kicker. When my wife tried to add me a few years ago as an authorized user, they sent her a letter telling her that I had defaulted on accounts and was denied. I did not apply and never signed anything, yet they told her this because she tried to add me to the account. I probably should have sued them because even if they claimed that I had defaulted, they had no right to tell a third party when I had nothing to do with the application itself and never signed anything. By the way, I have excellent credit (often 820 or above) and everything I could ever want from Chase, Citi, and Barclays, but that does not matter to Amex.

    • Wow and since it happened in an age before records were digitized, there probably isn’t a way to get this fixed. Such a tough situation. At least your wife is able to take advantage of the offers. You may want to keep trying. I have read reports of people being mysteriously dropped from the list after 30 years!

      • I may try again, but honestly, I have such strong relationships with Chase, Citi, and Barclays that I really do not need Amex. I was mainly angry that they gave personal information about me to a third party (especially false info). Even though it was my wife, I had never signed or asked for anything. As to the points game, between personal spending and buying things for resale for the business that I own, I already earn about a million miles a year, so I won’t miss Amex much.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

    • American Express the broken the federal law and state law selling information to chase very Secret very organized Li I called them anytime they never give me the good answer all right answer because everything is c .up

    • Delta Sky miles card was easy to get
      Never could get blue cash card which is really what I wanted
      Then Amex sent me a pre-approval for their unlimited green card. I applied and was approved. Before the green card arrived I used my Delta Sky miles card one time for a four hundred dollar purchase then paid it off the very next week, even before a bill could be generated. Then out of nowhere they closed my Delta Sky miles card with no notice!
      I called Amex and they said technically the card wasn’t closed yet but it was frozen upon completion of a financial verification. They gave me a long list of documents to send to them within 3 days or both accounts would be permanently closed.
      I advised them that I worked 12 hour days and could not get it to them by then. They closed both accounts. So I guess I’m on the blacklist.


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