Do you have an account with American Express Centurion Bank or American Express Bank?
If so, you may soon be one of the estimated 250,000 customers who will receive part of an $85 million refund from the bank as repayment for their deceptive practices from 2003 to 2012. In addition to the refund, American Express will also pay a $27.5 million penalty.
American Express’ Misdeeds
American Express has recently found itself under the scrutiny of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for some of its subsidiaries’ deceptive acts and illegal fees. Some of the offenses include:
- Telemarketers telling potential customer that if they signed up for the Blue Sky credit card offered through American Express Centurion Bank that they would receive a $300 sign up bonus, which new customers never received;
- Charging late fees that were higher than those set by law. This occurred at both American Express Centurion Bank and American Express Bank;
- Discriminating against older customers (those 35 and older) by using a discriminatory credit scoring system at American Express Centurion Bank for those applying for new accounts;
- Telling customers that by paying off old debt they would improve their credit score. The problem? The three subsidiaries didn’t notify the credit bureaus of the changes, and in some cases, the debt that was being paid off was over 7 years old and would have no impact on credit scores even if it was reported.
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