Hi there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, I want talk about American
Express financial reviews, how you can avoid them, and what to do if you happen to get
one. (light chiming music) About a month ago, one of our subscribers,
Kanniappan, told me that he was notified by American Express that he was under a financial
review. The review was triggered after he made two
charges via PayPal, both of which were used to send money to others. American Express contacted him and asked him for
additional documentation, and also alerted him that the Paypal payments were against
their policy. Though most frustrating was that they put
a hold on his account, so he wasn’t able to use his credit cards until it was resolved. As many of you know, this is not an uncommon
story or experience. In fact, I went through one a few years when
I bought several gift cards on my business card, so it can easily happen to you. So, I thought I would review how to reduce
the chances of having a financial review, and also, what to do if you find yourself
in this situation. So, let’s start with how you can reduce
the risk of review. Number 1) Be careful when sending money to
others: As we learned from Kanniappan’s story, his two PayPal transaction which were
used to send money to others triggered his review. Since the banks are often worried about the
possibility of money laundering, transferring large amounts of money to others can raise
a red flag, especially if you do it multiple times in a short period of time. Number 2) Be aware of your normal spending
habits: Financial reviews are generally triggered when the issuer detects something out of the
ordinary. The process is automated, and their systems
look for spending patterns that are different than your normal spending. So, you may want to be careful when making a large
purchase on a card within a short timeframe, especially if the card is new or if it hasn’t
been used very much. Number 3) Notify issuer of a large upcoming
expense: If you think you’ll be making an extremely large purchase that may be out of
your normal spending pattern, it might be worth letting the issuer know you plan to
make a large purchase. This can also reduce the chance of a fraud
alert on your account. Number 4) Be honest about your income numbers:
American Express allows you to request a line of credit increase by providing your total
annual income. Trying to inflate your income amount can definitely
trigger a financial review, especially if your reported increase doesn’t sound reasonable. I recommend being honest with your stated
income so you won’t have any issues proving it if asked. Number 5) Clicking the “Spending Power”
button (more than once): Sebby from AskSebby mentioned this one in his video, which was
really interesting. He mentioned he tried to click on the Spending
Power button which confirmed that he eligible for a larger purchase. However, it looks like since he clicked on
it more than once, he was immediately hit with a financial review, even though American
Express approved the requested spending limit. So, if you end up getting a financial review,
there are generally three outcomes that can occur. One is that American Express confirms your
information and releases your account holds. The second is that they release the hold on
your account, but then they lower your credit or charge limits. The third possible scenario is that American
Express finds you to be too high of a credit risk or find a discrepancy in your stated
income, and they close your account. Now, if you do find yourself in the situation
that you are under financial review, you’ll want to follow these tips: Number 1) Be courteous and cooperative: It
may seem frustrating and ridiculous to you, but try to remember that American Express
is trying to protect their business as well. My advice is to be as courteous, cooperative,
and professional as possible, and resist the urge to be annoyed or angry with the specialist
that contacts you. Number 2) Provide requested documentation:
Make sure to provide any documentation that can help your case as soon as possible. In this situation, being proactive and responsive
can definitely help influence the situation. Also, if you think you there may be additional
information that American Express should consider, don’t hesitate to document it and provide
it to the financial review specialist assigned to your case. And finally, Number 3) Relax: I know that this can be a
scary situation, and not one that anyone likes to experience. However, just know that it happens all the
time. As long as you’re not lying or misusing
your cards, then you’ll likely come out ok. And if you do happen to fail the review process,
then things will still be ok. There will always be new card offers and issuers
in the future, so don’t be worried if things don’t work out. Luckily for our subscriber Kanniappan, he
was contacted by American Express a few days later and informed him that after reviewing
his spending and payment history, they were canceling the review and removing the hold
from his account. They did warn him against using services like
PayPal to transfer money to others, but he essentially passed without any issues. I want to personally thank Kanniappan for
sharing his experience with us, and even urging us to share his story in order to help others. Hopefully, we can learn from his experience
and be better prepared for similar situations. Have you ever had a financial review from
American Express? If so, please share your experience below. Also, let us know if you have any questions. If you’re interested in applying for any
of the cards featured in this video, check out our Credit Card Offers link for the latest
offers. We do get a percentage if you use our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but
it does help us to continue creating content for this channel. If you enjoyed this video or found it useful,
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for travel articles, updates, and giveaways. Until next time. Travel safe and travel smart.