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Amex Offers Cash to Get Rid of Customers

American Express won't share the juicy details behind how it chose the select few, but Reuters recently reported that the credit card giant is actually offering some U.S. cardholders $300 to pay off balances and close their accounts. My, how things have changed, eh?

A short time ago credit issuers were stepping all over each other trying to become the card of choice in everyone's wallet, and now they're willing to pay cash to just get out before the economy gets any worse.

According to Molly Faust, a spokesperson for Amex, letters were sent out earlier this month to "a relatively small number of cardmembers who have sizable balances and little spending and payment activity." She also explained that the offers were only made available to retail customers, not corporate accounts. Cardmembers have until the end of February to decide whether they will take it or leave it, and those who choose to take the offer will receive a shiny $300 prepaid gift card in return.

Amex has always been rather aggressive in how they manage risk. And I suspect other credit issuers will follow suit with similar tactics as unemployment continues to increase and concerns of rising delinquency rates force them to develop more creative ways to improve the riskiness of their portfolios. If you received the offer, would you take the deal?

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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