The Time American Express Closed Down the Wrong Credit Card

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American Express Chat Closed Down the Wrong Card

American Express Chat Closed Down the Wrong Card

I had a recent run in with American Express chat that I wanted to talk about.  I tend to use chat or secure message whenever I can because it is simpler and easier than calling in.  American Express probably offers the best chat function of any bank.

I had a recent run in with one and I wanted to discuss what happened and how it was resolved.

American Express’ Credit Card Limits

This happened a few months ago but I hadn’t really thought about it until Bethany’s post about her retention offer on the Amex Business Platinum card.  She had a similar issue with an agent who jumped the gun, but more on that later.

American Express has a credit card limit of 5 cards for most people, some are able to get 6 but it is rare.  This limit does not include charge cards, just credit cards.

I wanted to sign up for the Hilton Aspire card, hands down the best premium card on the market, but I was sitting at 5 credit cards so I needed to close one before applying. I decided to close my American Express Blue for Business since the card no longer earned 2X Membership Rewards points after the first year. And, they wouldn’t allow me to product change it to the Blue Business Plus.

Since I didn’t feel like calling Amex I fired up their chat function online.

American Express Chat Closed Down the Wrong Card

Contacting Amex Chat

I wanted to get an issue I had with my Delta Gold Business card handled at the same time.  The card was only a few months old and I thought I could kill two birds with one stone.   I started off the chat by laying out both issues. I told the agent that I needed something looked at on my Delta Gold Business card and that I needed to cancel the Blue for Business.

The chat agent handled the Delta Gold Business stuff first and then moved onto the cancellation.  We went through the spiel and then he sent out the confirmation of cancellation.

If I am being honest, I rarely read these very closely and just say yes.  I said yes pretty quickly but noticed something was wrong right after hitting send.  The chat rep had put my Gold Delta cards info in the cancellation terms…within a few seconds I send another response saying that is the wrong card.  He responded that he had already closed it which seemed pretty quick.  Bethany experienced the same thing on her phone call.

He apologized profusely and said he will reactivate it after 24 hours, he said he couldn’t do it right away.  That didn’t make me feel great since time usually leads to errors.  I asked for the chat ID which I then saved in case it became an issue in the future.

Luckily I had already earned the sign up bonus on the Delta Business card even though the card was only 2 months old.  Who knows how it would have played out when I reached the minimum spend if it wasn’t already completed.  My guess would be that it would have been a struggle to get my miles.


If this had happened a few years ago I probably would have just left it closed. But with Amex’s new terms, where they frown on closures before the annual fee bills, I wanted the card reopened.

I went ahead and applied for the Aspire card thinking with two closures this should be easy. I also wanted to do it before the Delta card was reactivated.  American Express still gave me a pending message on the application even with the closures.

After calling American Express in the morning to check on my application she noted that I couldn’t be approved since I had too many cards.  She then realized I had closed some down the day before.  She put me on hold for a minute and then came back with an approval.

I waited a few days to see if my Delta card would be reactivated.  Shocker…it wasn’t!  Off to the chat feature I went hoping for a competent agent.  Lo an behold the new agent informed me that the reactivation was never submitted. She went ahead and did it then.  The card was active in my account a few hours later.  I haven’t used it since so I don’t know for sure if it is issue free or not at this point.


I am not sure what to take away from this.  Maybe call in for important things, or don’t ask a chat rep two things in one chat?  I am glad that I was done with the Delta Gold Business card’s bonus already because I imagine this would have caused some problems down the road.

Have you had anything similar happen with American Express like Bethany and I did?  I am slightly annoyed that it wasn’t handled 24 hours lately like it was supposed to be, but it wasn’t unexpected.  Great customer service is a thing of the past.  These days you have to make sure to stay on top of things when issues arise.  Maybe that is the lesson to be learned here.


Let me know if you have had any weird issues with Amex agents recently like Bethany and I did.


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Mark & Bethany

    So sorry to hear about issues with AX customer service. I used to work for them (in Corp Travel IT area before they spun us off) but the thing that has always stood out was customer service.

    I personally also prefer to use the Chat function wherever possible instead of calling on the phone and I honestly haven’t had any issues. I think the points about entering the last 5 digits of the card number are crucial because most customers might only have 1 or 2 cards unlike those of us in the Miles/Points who have 4-5 or more (I have 6 currently as primary and 2 additional as AU).

    Regardless the customer service agents are human beings and occasionally make mistakes. Still I have found the AX reps to be much more willing to go with extra effort than with other banks e.g.(Citi, Chase, Cap1).

    Glad that you noticed so quickly about the error and that they managed to get your DL Gold re-instated fairly quickly.

    • Michael thanks for the comment. And you are right, most of the time things work without an issue. I would put Chase ahead of them from my experience. But they are still way ahead of citi and cap one!

      • It all comes down to individuals. Of course a company that really pushes service vs. one that does not has a huge impact.

        Unrelated to this issue but customer service related. I have an upcoming booking in Hawaii where I booked the first night with my Citi Hilton cert and then I booked a paid stay for 3 nights in a suite (using AX $200offer and $250 Aspire credit). I was hoping that the hotel would upgrade us on arrival for the first night but that is a huge risk in summer time in Hawaii.

        Anyway I reached out to the hotel about confirming the suite for the 1st night on the cert and they quoted me an “upgrade” rate which is the same as the nightly rate I have for the following 3 nights.

        I called Hilton Diamond desk and explained the situation to rep. Holly. She at first said that the cert I was using only allowed std. room but then she said she would call the hotel. Ended up she had the hotel change the first night to the suite and they agreed to an upgrade rate of $100 which was totally acceptable to me. Basically this rep went the extra mile.

        I know you are going to say why pay cash but in peak times I will outlay some cash. As it is I’ve got Florida to Hawaii and Kauai for 10 nights with First class (AS outbound with 1 night stop in SAN – Kimpton hotel using IHG card 1 night anniversary) (AA flat bed on return) with Hertz convertible for $2K total cash outlay and 200K Hilton points, 125K AA points and 4400 Hertz points and 30K HA points for inter-island flights. So I feel we got a pretty good deal. Now I just hope the weather holds up since 2 years ago (my wife’s first Hawaii trip) we only stayed 3 night in HNL and had to fly back home due to Hurricane Matthew.

        • It is all about getting the right person. Too bad we can’t grab the good people’s direct numbers call them back the next time 🙂

          Glad the suite worked out for you. I usually try to do the standard room the last night since I feel like they are more likely to just merge it then. But if that first night has a high cash rate that wouldn’t work as well then.

  2. I am actually surprised that Amex was able to reinstate your account so quickly.

    About a year ago I canceled my business SPG card via chat, only to find out immediately afterwards that they had canceled BOTH my business AND my personal SPG cards (the personal card was never discussed or referenced anywhere in the chat).

    Took 1 chat and 8 phone calls over 5 weeks for American Express to reinstate the personal SPG card and fix my credit reports. Every rep and various supervisors I spoke to each had a different story about what was going on with the account. It was a horrible mess. They finally shipped me a replacement card with new expiration date and security code to get the account reactivated.

    Now when I use Amex chat to cancel a card, I reference the full card name and last 5 digits multiple times in the chat to make sure that the rep has no confusion at all about which card I am canceling. And I make lots of screenshots of the chat conversation (which is easier now that the chat window finally shows previous conversations).

  3. The same thing happened to me. I chatted to close Surpass card and they mistakenly closed my SPG Business card. I never looked at the email verifying the close until 2 weeks later when i realized they closed the wrong one. I just left it.

  4. Amex agents kept looking at wrong Hilton cards when I already emphasize which card they need to look to answer my questions. Some times, I got excellent agents, and other times, i wonder how hell they got hired for those jobs

    • 1. I love the name lol
      2. I totally agree…I get asked for the last 5 digits multiple times per chat sometimes…do they not know how to scroll up?

      There are still some good ones left but they probably all work the Platinum lines 🙂


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