(Some Reinstated) The Reason Behind The Amex Shutdowns: Amex’s Own Employee Was The Cause

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The Reason Behind The Amex Shutdowns: Amex’s Own Employee Was The Cause

Yesterday I shared some loose details on a bloody Friday of Amex shutdowns. At the time no one seemed to know what was going on. Even people that had never done anything outside of regular spend were caught up in it. More data points have come in and we finally have figured out the reason behind the Amex shutdowns, and their own employee caused it.

Update 11/18/21: The reader that first alerted me to these issues reached out with good news. After much persistence, and many calls, they were able to get their business accounts reopened. It took a ton of calls but they finally made head way calling in every few days. They said some have been able to do it easily while others are still struggling. It appears no personal accounts have been reinstated yet either. At least from the people they have talked to. Some had to pay a $25 fee to reinstate the accounts as well.

Details

According to Reddit, and some others, there was an Amex employee named Adam that had access to a 150K no lifetime language Amex Business Platinum offer. My guess is that he was a business banker.  Business bankers having better offers for the public is nothing new, but it appears every other banker’s links stopped working a while back. Everyone’s except for Adam’s link. Strange right?

People would continue reaching out to him over the phone and he would provide an offer you couldn’t get anywhere else.  Because there was no lifetime language people would come back time and time again without an issue.  He said that this was from corporate and it shouldn’t be a problem.  He was an authorized American Express employee after all.

It got so crazy that it appears people were even selling access to Adam. Hopefully anyone that did that gets called out for it.

The truly bizarre thing is that even people that had never had a Amex Business Platinum card before, and only signed up for one card with Adam, got shutdown too. That seems a bit over the top for people just trying to get a better offer than publicly available. It was offered by an Amex employee after all. But when these things go down they usually cast a wide net.

Final Thoughts

This will bring relief to many out there. If you never applied for a credit card over the phone with Adam you should be fine.  If you used other business account reps in the past it may be worth doing a risk / reward debate on your points balance. I doubt it gets that far but once something like this happens it can often spread.

I am not entirely sure what to make of this. People were applying through an Amex employee so should they be punished for something an employee of Amex was doing? People that went back for extra helpings probably knew the risks involved but anyone using him just to get a better one time offer probably didn’t.  It doesn’t seem all that different than Amex spamming everyone with a pulse an “expand your membership” offer or upgrade offer right now.

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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23 COMMENTS

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23 COMMENTS

  1. If this is the reason for Amex shutdowns, then no one is safe. Just random chance that Amex might suddenly close all your accounts. Insane company policy. I was shut down and checked my records – I’ve had two Amex Business platinums. Both were just shutdown along with all my other accounts. Both were obtained through Adam – randomly, not because I knew he had anything special to offer. One was over two years ago and the other one was 5 months ago when Amex started handing out 150k offers left and right. That I would lose all my accounts over Amex’s own employee messing up is just crazy.

    • how were you able to figure out the agent who helped you with the app? I checked through my email and only see generic aexp. com emails and nothing from specific individuals.

    • I just got a preapproved offer for a second AMEX business card via email. I was going to call them to make sure I am eligible. I have read conflicting information. I dont want everything closed.

  2. Were the people shut down able to transfer their points to a transfer partner post shutdown or were the points all lost?

        • People have been able to transfer out by calling in once they noticed their accounts were shutdown. Multiple reports of it.

      • I’m pretty sure those who heavily abused this, also juiced various referral bonuses and dumped all points to Schwab. This shutdown smells similar to what happened when a certain circle of churners hosed Amex via PPK. Except now a few “innocents” got nuked due to casual association.

  3. Here’s another tip for business owners. Let’s say you have an employee who is an authorized user on one of your AMEX business cards. The employee leaves to start her / his own business and you use her / his services. The former employee accepts credit cards and you want to pay with an AMEX card. DON’T.

    Once you make someone an authorized user on ANY of your AMEX cards, that person is FOREVER a related person in AMEX’s eyes. And, a payment to that person will be deemed a related-person payment and you will be shut down — all cards. Even if the former employee has been gone 20 years, the person is still a related party in AMEX’s eyes. I was shut down — all cards. I had no idea. A year later, I appealed and was allowed back in.

    I hope this helped another business owner avoid a tragic mistake.

  4. Collating all the DP in TG groups: it seems pretty clear it was Adam as the common point. Learned I was shutdown when I got a notification on my iphone that the business platinum was removed from the wallet. This seems to be the fastest way to know you are shut down. My account was fine 1/2 hour before this.

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