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Lil' Buddy's Blog: Credit Card Giant American Express says "Give Your Cards Back to Us!"


His Majesty, Buddy Holly Moss - Guards the Moss Family Compound - 09-18-2008Hey, you dogs! 

It's a bit of a sad day for Chicago Basketball Fans - Chicago Bulls Greats Norm Van Lier and Johnny "Red" Kerr each passed away tragically today, within hours of each other.  Two of Chicago's most fervent cheerleaders have left the building - very tragic indeed!  See coverage in today's Chicago Tribune.

I caught another story in the Chicago Trib the other day syndicated by Bloomberg News about an unusual tactic American Express is taking.   You know American Express.  Am Ex.  The green, or gold, or blue card with the Centurion Logo on it.

For years, these guys advertised, heavily, to never "Leave Home Without It."   Their card solicitations were everywhere!    And most everybody I knew, as well as the close business friends and associates of our Team Leader, and my Human Daddy Dean, had one.

Well now, however, Am Ex is actually paying some of its cardholders to cut up their cards, in return for a sizable $300 American Express Gift Card.  To be eligible for the gift card, cardholders must pay their outstanding balances in full before April 30th.  Canceling your card may lead to forfeiture of any accumulated Rewards Points or Rebates not yet earned.

Why the unusual step?

Quite simply, American Express wants to stave off card holder default.  Am Ex has seen a steady rise recently in charge-offs - or open account balances the company now tags as "uncollectable."  Last month, 8.29% of its charge balances were considered not collectible, versus 7% in December, 2008.  Payments at least 30 days late rose in January as well.

As unemployment rates continue to climb across the U.S., many consumers have begin using their credit and charge cards somewhat irresponsibly, to draw money so they can pay off normal monthly household expenses.  Other credit card issuers have reduced credit limits, raised interest rates, and dramatically cut back on once-commonplace card solicitations.  (Heck, a couple of years ago, even I would receive a few credit card solicitations in my lil' mailbox each week - and I have four paws!)

Am Ex was one of the recipients of U.S. Bailout Money last year to boost its capital balances - nearly $3.4 Billion worth!  However, its profit picture continues gloomy - Fourth Quarter, 2008 Profit tumbled 72% as more and more American Express Cardholders defaulted.

Me?  Being a conservative dog (albeit with liberal political views), I stay away from the plastic.  Whenever I head out on the town, I often conveniently leave my wallet in my other fur . . .

. . . and let my humans pick up the tab!

Check out  my post from yesterday @ BlogChicagoHomes.com.



Comment balloon 4 commentsDean Moss • February 27 2009 01:37AM


Aw schucks, I have an amex but with a 0 balance.  Maybe if I rack it up to 10k they will write it off for me.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I would get rid of my Amex Card if it wouldn't hurt my credit rating. Unfortunately, when you cancel a card you lose the history, which impacts your credit score. It also changes your ratios of available credit so I won't do it. But, I am relating this because one day Amex decided I was using my card too much (I was still below 50% of my line of credit, and they called me, asked me to pay $2000 immediately. I told them I had already scheduled an online payment to be paid in a couple of days, and they could wait. The next day I went to get gas at a Costco self serve, and they had blocked my card. I called them, told them what I thought of their actions, and they released the block. I haven't used the card since, nor will I ever again.

Posted by Michael S. Mackey, REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS (CENTURY 21 All Islands) about 10 years ago

I have quit using my plastic!!  Cash or wait.

Posted by Wendy Welborne-Kimery (Keller Williams-Lake Norman Mooresville,NC) about 10 years ago

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Posted by Alessandra about 10 years ago

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