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American Express bad experience – Ripped Off

January 18, 2008

The experience I had with American Express is so bad. Credit card holders must be very careful about the terms and paid all the fee on time. Well, I let it go but here is the story to share.

Credit Card Finance Charges – Ripoff

Credit card and its huge finance charges

  • I put 1500$ as a balance transfer from my Citibank account to American Express because they offered me one year grace period of 0% interest rate. I agreed and intended to pay the minimum amount monthly and used the 1500$ for my investment.
  • I was asked to use paperless payment and agreed since I loved environment. I selected the Automatic Payment for Minimum Amount so they would take care of my monthly payment automatically. Therefore basically I do not get any monthly notice of my balance.
  • I checked few times, it worked and not worked and I did manual pay at times.
  • Few months past, plus the one month I was in Vietnam. The balance increased a lot because of incremental finance charges (freaking formulars) WITHOUT any notice UNTIL it was TOO MUCH, then they let me know as their interest went pass 20%!  That’s how they do business though.
  • I argued about it and got denied and referred to the terms of the credit card agreement which nobody ever read that carefully. I agreed to pay it off and said I want to terminate the account. I was relieved when they said that was done.
  • After a while, they still sent me a request for finance charge of the initial incremental charge because finance charges were for two cycles before a long explanation. I was asked to refer to the tiny terms of the agreement again and nothing can be done on their side.
  • Well, I paid it off now. Though American Express should be right legally but they sucks because they mistreated customers.

Some follow-ups with the thing

  • Wrote this post to remind myself and you to be careful with credit card company.
  • Did a Google search on “Credit card” and “Ripoff”, and American Express. Found a website to survey the customers: RipoffReport:

  • On choosing a credit card: I still like Cibibank as I like money as dividend. I had only one more credit card as Airlines one.
  • Thought of a new idea for a Vietnamese website – a consumer protection, or product survey website.  🙂 This should be an interesting idea as the VN business environment has no good standards and is weak at customer protection. I am not sure if there is an effective customer protection bureau in Vietnam. 
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