What to Do When You Can’t Pay Your American Express Bill
American Express, unlike Visa and Mastercard, issues all cards with the American Express logo. Cardholders can access accounts online and pay bills from one central website. According to the American Express website, the company has topped the J.D. Power and Associated customer service list for the past five years, as of 2011. Currently there 22 different personal American Express cards, including:
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Hilton HHonors Surpass
- Gold Delta Skymiles
- True Earnings
How to Pay the Bill
Cardholders can register for online account access to view bills and make payments online. Other payment options are also available.
Pay online: You can pay your American Express bill online at https://online.americanexpress.com/myca/logon/us/action?request_type=LogonHandler&Face=en_US&DestPage=https%3A%2F%2Fonline.americanexpress.com%2Fmyca%2Fonlinepayment%2Fus%2Fpaymentcenter.do%3Frequest_type%3Dauthreg_PayBill%26Face%3Den_US%26Face%3Den_US%26sorted_index%3D0%26inav%3Dmenu_myacct_paybill. You can create a new account or register a new card with your account from this page.
Pay by phone: Cardholders can call 1-800-472-9297 to make a payment by phone. This number is available to accept payments 24 hours a day.
Pay by mail (standard): Make your personal check or money order out to American Express and mail to:
PO Box 360001
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33336-0001
Pay by mail (overnight): If you are sending an overnight payment you must use the physical address for American Express.
US Payment Florida
2965 West Corporate Lakes Blvd
Weston, FL 33331-3626
Questions About Your Billing Statement or Account?
American Express offers a FAQs section for personal, business and corporate cards, but the best means of finding answers to your questions on fees, charges and taxes is through the site search or Terms and Conditions page for your specific American Express card. Customer service for personal accounts is available at 1-800-528-4800.
How the Penalty Fees Work
American Express offers different fees for each credit card. A complete list of Terms and Conditions is available for your card. Fees you will likely find associated with your card include:
- Annual Membership Fee
- Transaction Fees
- Late Payment Fee
- Returned Payment Fee
I Can’t Make a Payment
American Express is a unique credit card provider. Some cards require the full amount charged to be paid in full within a set grace period. Other cards allow the cardholder to make flexible payments as desired to pay down the balance. If you are having financial problems and can’t pay your American Express bill, log-in to your account and visit the Payment Plan page of the website or contact customer service at 1-800-592-1160.
Will They Work With Me to Pay My Bill?
Yes, American Express will work with you to pay your past due bill. This is one of the only credit card companies that publish a payment plan option in the FAQs and as a dedicated website page. However, if you avoid calls from customer service and refuse to pay your bill you risk losing charging privileges and having your account turned over to a collection agency.
Official American Express Debt Settlement Statement:
We make every effort to work with Cardmembers who are facing financial difficulties to find the most equitable solution for their particular case, through a customer assistance program, a consumer debt management program (CDMP) and collections.
We continually review our practices and procedures in an effort to improve and enhance our collections efforts. For example, we have enhanced our Collections process, including:
- Calling Cardmembers in earlier stages of delinquency;
- Providing more flexible solutions based on individual circumstances
- Broadening the range of eligible products included in CDMP and extending the length of that program.
Customer Assistance Program (CARE) – Temporary Financial Hardships
American Express is committed to helping Cardmembers who are facing temporary financial hardship (defined as someone who has been unable to continue paying their monthly bill at the current level) and has significantly expanded its assistance plans in light of the severe economic downturn. Our goal is to maintain a long-term relationship with Cardmembers whose financial difficulties feel temporary in nature.
The program we offer (which is a significant enhancement to a program that we put in place in 2008) allows lending Cardmembers to significantly reduce their monthly payments by as much as 57% for up to a year.
- A Cardmember will not be able to put additional charges on their card while they are participating in the program.
- The lower monthly payment reflects a lower interest rate, reduced minimum due and the suppression of certain fees and penalties.
- Depending on individual circumstances, it is possible that Cardmembers who are current (in addition to delinquent cardmembers) may be eligible.
- As with other similar programs in the industry, lending Cardmembers in the AXP program are not reported negatively to the consumer credit bureau.
- Customers who complete the plan successfully will be able to resume using the card with a spending limit that reflects their financial circumstances.
In addition to responding to Cardmembers who call us to discuss their individual situations, we are proactively identifying Cardmembers who may benefit from our customer assistance plans. Because Cardmembers are facing difficulties, we make every effort to work with them to find the most equitable solution for their particular case.
- An on-line self enrollment process is available in the proactive communication channel for customers experiencing a certain level of financial difficulty.
- Our program has helped several hundred thousand Cardmembers since its inception.
- For those customers facing long-term hardships, AXP continues to offer debt management plans that provide eligible consumers with reduced interest rates and the ability to pay off their balance over a longer period of time.
Customer Debt Management Programs (CDMP) – Long-term Financial Difficulties
We fully support the efforts of those Cardmembers who enter into debt management programs in order to fulfill their financial obligations.
For Cardmembers who are facing longer-term financial difficulties, we do offer CDMP, a debt management program that provides reduced interest rates for eligible consumers.
We continue to evaluate and improve our program to increase the range of solutions we can offer to allow Cardmembers greater flexibility to reduce their debt.
We appreciate the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) efforts to provide more relief to consumers who may be having difficulty paying their debts, and we support and already adhere to many of its “Call to Action” guidelines. As we complete our work to expand our debt management program over the next few months we will comply fully.
Consumers who contact us for counsel are advised to contact third-party agencies to create a debt management plan. We accept such plans only from agencies that are aligned with American Express’ values, and which include the following characteristics:
1) A focus on financial education;
2) Adherence to the highest standards of integrity and a focus on the best interest of customers as evidenced by our review of:
- Practices and advertising used to attract customers
- Governmental or public investigation/scrutiny of practices
- Accurate and timely tracking of payments and program completion
3) Customer initiated via the credit counseling channel; and
4) Eligibility determined for consumer products by internal and external credit history and balance.
We maintain close relationships with the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling), AICCCA (Association Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies), and the CFA (Consumer Federation of America).
We do not accept settlement offers from for-profit debt settlement companies that focus exclusively on debt settlement.