The American Express Customer Service Representative Who Loved Me

When I opened my mailbox a month ago, I wasn’t expecting to be caught up in a torrid love affair, but a lovesick American Express Customer Outreach Representative from suburban Texas had different plans.

I don’t know my credit score off the top of my head, but I pay my credit card on time every month and in full. I have bills in my name. I haven’t defaulted on any loans. I figure my score is modest, nothing to get excited about. So I was quite surprised when I received a generous offer from American Express to apply for their Green Card.

With my current credit card, I was the one to solicit Chase, throwing the old double wink at a recalcitrant customer representative, who I assume begrudgingly gave me a line of credit just to leave the bank. But American Express was making a play for my wallet, and they were playing hard. I felt like the prettiest girl at the bar, with men scrambling to line up and offer me a fixed-rate APR. I carefully read the offer, I considered it. But I ultimately decided that annual fees were just not my thing. With great trepidation, I sent the offer spiraling toward the bin. 

Well this must have really crushed someone over at American Express, because not two weeks later, I had another envelope in my mailbox, this time a select invitation to apply for the Gold Card. In all my years I’ve never been courted quite this hard for anything, never mind for something as high stakes as a pre-screened credit card offer. While I hate playing the siren, this Gold Card wasn’t quite my speed either. It carried a heftier annual fee than its predecessor, and my charging habits just don’t justify the extra cost. This one too was recycled with a tear shed, knowing that in a stuffy office in a business park somewhere in El Paso, Texas, the heart of an American Express Customer Outreach Representative was breaking.

Or so I thought. Two weeks after the second offer, I was faced with yet another American Express envelope. Black, you might guess? Platinum? Ruby? Had my star-crossed American Express Customer Outreach Representative pulled some strings to get me an exclusive application for a card outside my spending power and credit score? No, no, no—it was an epistle forged in spite. The pre-screened offer was again for the Green Card, the one I had so lovelornly rejected four weeks prior. Knowing I had rejected Green and then Gold, this customer outreach monster decided to taunt me with the lower offer once more. But why? I had only followed my heart.


Maybe in a couple of years, American Express Customer Service Representative, we would have worked out. We could have fallen into each other’s arms and spent out the sweet summers of our lives lazing in hammocks purchased from rewards points and attending exclusive-card-member-only jazz concerts on a private beach. But you had to play with fire. You got hurt, and you had to hurt back. You had to bring my credit score into this. Had it fallen so precipitously since the first time you offered the Green Card? My mind immediately raced there.

If you wanted to have a go at my wardrobe or appearance or that weird noise I make when I drink cold water, fine. But my credit score is off limits. I never set out to hurt you, American Express Customer Service Representative, I only set out to be a responsible spender. But somewhere along the way, you got jaded. You got burned and then burned again, and now anyone who refuses your advances gets the twisted ire of your most insidious design, drunk on the power of pre-sorted first class mailing privileges.I may pay 45 cents to mail my letters, but at least I know who I am. That second Green offer ended up with the other two you sent, and know that I won’t be drinking two bottles of wine tonight and fishing it out to scrawl my social security number and work phone on the tear-soaked dotted lines. It’s over. I never asked for this, American Express Customer Service Representaitve. I never asked for us.

 

 

Matt Powers is a heartbreaker.

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12 Comments / Post A Comment

jfruh (#161)

Can anyone explain what the advantages of getting an AmEx card are? You can’t carry a balance (not that you SHOULD, but it’s nice to know that you can), you pay annual fees, and it isn’t as widely accepted as MasterCard/Visa. What am I missing?

pearl (#153)

@jfruh o! I accidentally deleted instead of edited. Anyway – they offer good protection benefits. Broke the glass bottle of some cosmetics I got on ebay – they paid for it. Broke it again and they paid for it again. This protection is on all of their cards, I believe. Not all their cards have annual fees, and they have credit cards too, not just charge cards. The platinum charge card is popular among frequent travelers for its lounge access and travel benefits and supposedly is worth its hefty annual fee. No charge card for me though, too much potential responsibility.

shoot (#1,281)

@jfruh Best customer service EVER EVER EVERRR, great rewards perks if you get one that matches your lifestyle, and they’re pretty much the only people who can bail you out in certain situations (in my limited experience, ie being somewhere cash-only without cash/debit, no one but AmEx could dispense money from an ATM right that second at a reasonable rate right). I dunno which ones don’t allow it, but my AmEx allows me to carry a balance. I wouldn’t trade my AmEx for five Visas.

sony_b (#225)

@jfruh On some products you can carry a balance. Our AmEx is our CostCo card, and we get 1-3% back on all purchases and it doubles the warranty on things we buy at CostCo – which can be a great deal for electronics and small appliances.

@shoot And on the Gold and Platinum charge cards, you can actually go through your list of purchases and pick ones you want to pay for on a monthly basis.

selenana (#673)

@jfruh I got an AmEx Delta Skymiles card (after reading the airline mile article on this site) because I got a 30,000 mile sign up bonus, which just by itself is a free domestic ticket. They also waived the first year annual fee. I will probably cancel it after the annual fee kicks in because I also don’t believe in paying any more for a credit card.

lalaland (#437)

@jfruh I love my card – I had a Mastercard previously and they cancelled it every month because they kept detecting fraud charges on my card. While it was great that they were able to detect it, I wasn’t exactly feeling good about my credit card security in general. In frustration, I cancelled it for good and got an American Express, and no problems since (knock on wood). I don’t pay any fees, but I do pay my balance in full every month.

scn231 (#1,705)

I have three amex’s… in my experience, they start with a good offer (first year’s fee waived, a free flight from jetblue or delta or whoever), they have great customer service, and they have better cash back (or at least equal) benefits to my chase freedom card. Also, when I got charged a fee the second year I just called and they canceled it. And damage waiver on rented cars, which benefit my visa/MC got rid of a few years ago. And you can carry a balance same as any credit card, if you’re willing to pay the interest. So I pretty much pay by amex if the place accepts it (basically everywhere you’d spend a lot of money, supermarkets and whatnot) and have a backup visa in my wallet for places that don’t. Their online website/billing is also super easy to use and all my accounts are in one place, which I appreciate for easy bill paying and rewards tracking.

I guess the rewards stuff is dependent on your credit, but… it’s worth checking out the benefits available to you at least!

I’m not sure where people get the idea that all AmEx cards carry fees. Sure some do, but not all.

I charged a car repair on my AmEx card and the guy interrogated me on why I would pay all these fees for an AmEx card that can’t be used anywhere and I was like, what fees? I use this card everywhere, plus it’s the only credit card Costco accepts. I’ve never paid any fees in the past 7 years and they offer great rewards, travel protection, and customer service. He wouldn’t stop insisting on the fees and it seemed he wouldn’t let down even if I showed him all my bills from the past 7 years to prove him wrong.

punzy (#160)

@Victoria Ngo@facebook Maybe he meant the higher fees the seller/businesses pay? I believe AmEx charges a higher percentage on transactions than VISA/MasterCard, which is why fewer places allow them. Or he was just nuts, who knows?

@punzy Yeah I’m aware AmEx charges a higher percentage on transactions, which is why it’s rarely accepted at small businesses, but often accepted at larger businesses (Costco, major airlines, Amazon, etc). But he kept insisted I was crazy for paying such high annual fees for the card, which ended up with me defending my AmEx card and failing to convince him that I don’t pay any annual fee. He probably had a similar experience as this writer and was sure all AmEx offers were just as crappy as the ones offered to him.

noralo (#581)

AmEx IS great for rewards (I use mine for miles), but doesn’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason when sending offers. I remember reading on a forum recently about couples where one person has bad or no credit and gets a great amex offer, and the other has great credit and doesn’t get a targeted offer. Usually these offers come with the annual fee waived for the first year, and I’ve heard from many people like @selanana that if you call and threaten to cancel the card after the first year they’ll waive the fee for the second year as well.

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