About 7 – 8 months ago I received an offer for an American Express Business credit card. I didn’t really need another credit card at the time, however thought the points system sounded pretty good. I already had a TD Visa Card in both my business and personal that collected TD Rewards points as well. What I didn’t realize was exactly how American Express worked and no one really explained this when I signed up. I assumed it was similar to a regular credit card like I had been using for years. What I didn’t realize was if you had made a purchase on your credit card they expect it to be paid off in full by your next billing period (which is ideally how you should pay off credit cards). Unfortunately sometimes there are cash flow issues and you are unable to pay off the full amount on a credit card and you get charged interest on whatever you have left on the card, this can vary from 15 – 25% with the average usually being 19-20%.
With my business I had to make a purchase around $4300 plus another purchase of around $200 in late November. I thought I would use my business AMEX card to make these purchase to try and get some points on the card. I had planned to pay off $2000 or so in the first month and give myself a couple of extra months to pay off the rest depending how cash flow was in the business. By January I still had owed $2500 on this card but didn’t think much of it as there would be an interest charge and I could pay it off when I was able to. I started getting multiple calls daily from American Express demanding full payment which I was kind of surprised basically a month after the purchase. I had to start ignoring these calls as it was literally ringing every day morning, day and night time. I explained we had some cash flow issues that we were dealing with and that I had planned to make some payments as soon as I could. Through January I made some small payments ranging from $100 – $250 to start bringing the total down and hopefully keep them happy. The calls continued and they still were telling me the way the card works is that it has to be paid off in the next billing cycle. A few days ago I paid $1000 and the calls are still coming in. This is extremely frustrating operating a business. On top of this American Express also takes all the points away when you don’t make full payment within your billing cycle. It’s nice to know they have a very demanding collections department but at some point it becomes harassment. If these terms were clearly explained to me when I signed up for the card I would have made these purchases on my VISA card. With VISA I wouldn’t have been harassed while making regular payments on my balance, I would have paid the interest on what I needed to borrow and kept my TD Rewards points.
This is the last time I’ll ever use any American Express credit card for business or personal. I highly recommend you look at any other option besides AMEX, if you are looking at TD Visa, They have a really good rewards point system as well.