American Express Card Activation Issues
Well, this was not an article I expected to write. Usually Amex is a pretty easy issuer to deal with when talking about new cards. The cards are normally already added to your account upon approval, they come quickly and activation is a breeze. Well, something is broken or something has changed recently. I had American Express card activation issues last night for myself and my wife. Mine was fixed somewhat easily (I think) but my wife’s took over an hour on the phone and chat and still didn’t get fixed. I thought it was weird that both of us had the same problem and my buddy Rick said that he heard of some other, similar data points. So this doesn’t appear to be a one off thing.
Update 11/30/22: How To Fix Your Account
This issue has been percolating for 2 – 3 weeks now and American Express still seems completely clueless as to what is going on. People signing up for Business Gold and Platinum cards in the last day or two are having this same issue still. They call in and the tech support has no clue what to do. They are able to add the card to their log in eventually but the Membership Rewards accounts are still not linked and the new card shows a 0 Membership Rewards balance. My buddy Rick from ToP figured out how to get to the right person and gave me the info. I then tried it myself and was able to get it corrected.
Get Your Cards On The Right Account
You first need to get all of your cards in the same login, usually waiting a few days does it if you get an error at first. Even if you created a new log in you can go and delink that card from the new log in. I did this with my wife’s card. I had to click delink twice since it said it couldn’t the first time. Once that is done go to your normal Amex login and add the card like you normally would.
Call & Ask For The Membership Rewards Department
After this is done call the number on the back of the card but ask for the Membership Rewards department not normal customer service. Say you want the accounts linked so all your MR points are in one place. She was able to do this within a few minutes where normal service reps have no idea. Watch if you had points post on the new account already though. They will need to be manually transferred over to the combined accounts. Same goes for any pending points in your account if your statement has settled. Hopefully they should all post there automatically going forward.
Issues Activating Our New Amex Business Platinum Cards
We each were targeted for those 200K Amex Business Platinum and business checking account offers. The plan had been to wait until December to time the applications perfectly but my sister needed some help with a discounted Switch for the holidays and they were in stock on Dell’s website, and we would have credits to cover it, so I jumped a little early. I figured I can always downgrade the cards to the Amex Green Business card in January of 2024 if there are no retention offers and it will work about the same as planned.
We were both instantly approved and the cards arrived two days later. I always love the speed with which Platinum cards arrive! We unboxed them and went online to activate them like we have for dozens of other Amex cards.
Upon activating them we were not prompted to log into our account, the only option was to set up a new account. I decided to just log into our accounts and add it manually. That is when I was hit with this error.
Amex Chat To The Rescue, Well Sort Of
After seeing that I fired up Amex Chat on my account, luckily it was actually available. I went through some verifications and the rep was able to link up the accounts and clear the errors. After that I was able to manually add it to my log in. The Membership Rewards balance wasn’t accurate, showing zero, but he said that they should be linked up within 72 hours. I am not so sure that is how it will play out though, more on that later.
Next up was my wife’s account and I figured it would be the same issue but an extra 10-15 minutes wasn’t a huge deal. Or, so I thought! The Amex chat rep was unable to get the accounts linked and told us to call in. Of course it had to be her account to call in! I called, since I was an authorized user on the account, and talked with the rep. My wife did need to get on for a bit and give like 4 verifications before she could hand the phone back to me. It seemed excessive compared to previous interactions where I spoke on her behalf.
Then we went through all kinds of questions and hoops and the rep just couldn’t get the accounts to link up. I kept getting put on hold for her to call technical support and would come back but nothing. All in all, I spent an hour on chat and the phone and the rep came back to say they couldn’t figure it out and I would need to put this card under its own login. Not ideal!
What Caused This?
Amex is no stranger to buggy IT. Usually it comes in the form of credits etc. not posting properly. I have no idea why it was so difficult to add a card to a log in account. The business checking account added to the account no problem.
I wonder if it has something to do with this beefed up security on the site. I have noticed the need to get secondary verification to log into our accounts quite often now when it was never a thing before. The option to login after approval didn’t pop up in the past either. It kind of errored out and wouldn’t let me do it.
Maybe there is an issue with these 200K combo application links? Our business checking accounts got added to the right Membership Rewards account no problem though. I have a feeling the chat agent was able to add my card to my log in but that the Membership Rewards accounts will be different still.
I prodded the call center employee that they have different Membership Rewards accounts, don’t you think that may be the issue. She said could be but there was no way for her to merge them. That seemed crazy to me but I went ahead and added the card to a new login because I was over dealing with it all.
American Express Card Activation Issues: Final Thoughts
Did I get 4 different Amex employees that were incompetent (chat rep, call center rep and 2 technical support people) or is there a deeper issue going on here? Let me know in the comments if you have had similar American Express card activation issues and what card they were on. Let’s see if this is a much larger problem.
All I keep thinking is, dang I wish I waited until next month to apply. Maybe these bugs would have been fixed by then! No good deed goes unpunished I guess. Ha!
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