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Consumers FAQ



Q: Is privacy a new concern at American Express?
A: No. American Express has long been a leader in
customer privacy protection. We have had privacy protection codes and principles in place since the mid-1970s.

Q: What are the American Express Customer Privacy Principles?
A: The American Express Customer Privacy Principles guide our conduct in the collection, use, release, and security of customer information, as well as the responsibilities of our employees, including our dealings with business customers. These Principles define our commitment to protect the privacy of our customers.

Q: What is American Express' policy on making marketing offers to American Express Cardmembers?
A: Since 1974, American Express has provided cardmembers with information about how we develop marketing offers as well as how to opt out of these offers. The marketing programs are developed under strict conditions designed to safeguard the privacy of cardmembers' information.
Cardmembers who no longer wish to receive these offers or information on cardmember benefits may select from options to have their names suppressed for direct mail, telemarketing or e-mail offers. A convenient postage-paid form is included annually in the billing statement envelope to facilitate the opt out choice from direct mail and telemarketing offers. 24-hours, 7 days a week, Cardmembers can call 1-800-327-1267 in the United States or 525-55-326-2660 in Mexico City, or the customer service number indicated on the Cardmember's account statement. To opt out of e-mail offers, the Internet Privacy Statement provides a quick and easy way to select your online marketing preferences.

Q: What is the American Express Internet Privacy Statement?
A: The American Express Internet Privacy Statement applies the American Express Customer Privacy Principles to our online customers. The Statement describes what information American Express collects; how it is used; how to contact customer service; and the security safeguards for protecting the personal information provided by those who browse the Web site or become customers of American Express. It also provides an easy way for customers to set their preferences for receiving e-mail marketing offers.
This Statement applies only to our U.S. Dollar Card customers in the US, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Latin America and the Caribbean and to visitors to our Web site from those areas. The Statement may be modified as needed for particular products and services, or to conform to local laws or customs around the world.

Q: How are customers notified about changes to the Internet Privacy Statement?
A: Changes to the Statement will be noted in a section of the Statement called "Changes to the Internet Privacy Statement" so that customers can track the changes to the Statement.

Q: Does American Express share my e-mail address with others?
A: No. American Express does not provide your e-mail address to our business partners for marketing purposes. We work closely with our business partners to select offers we believe will be of value to our customers. We may send you offers on behalf of our business partners. Keep in mind that if you take advantage of an offer from an American Express business partner and become their customer, the partner may independently wish to send you offers. In this case, you will need to inform them separately if you wish to decline from receiving future offers from them.

Q: Do I have a choice about whether I want to receive e-mail marketing offers from American Express?
A: Yes. While we believe that information about new products and services is a benefit for consumers, we understand that some consumers may prefer not to receive these e-mail messages. Each e-mail marketing offer includes a privacy message so that you can reply to the e-mail offer and request to be taken off marketing lists.
Please note that it will take approximately 2 to 3 weeks for your request to become effective.

Q: Does American Express combine my use of the americanexpress.com Web site with information you have about me as a customer?
A: Yes. If you are known to us as a registered user of an American Express online service (with a user i.d. and password), we may combine information about your use of americanexpress.com and the online product or service you utilize with certain other online and offline information we have about you as an American Express customer, and information you have provided to us, as well as information available from external sources such as the census bureau in order to customize your online experience and present you with relevant online and offline marketing offers and updates.

Q: Does American Express use "cookies"?
A: We may use a "cookie" to enable the American Express server to recognize you as a registered American Express online service user when you reenter our site. A cookie is a small string of text that a Web site can send to your browser. Web sites use cookies to enhance the user's visit. A cookie cannot retrieve any other data from your hard drive, pass on computer viruses, or capture your e-mail address.
If you are just browsing our site and are not a registered user, you do not have to accept a cookie and you may still continue utilizing the site. If you are visiting the site to access your confidential account information, you must accept the site's cookies as they are essential for site administration and security.
Please refer to the About Cookies section of the Internet Privacy Statement for information on how to set your cookie preferences.

Q: How can I get more information about your online privacy policies?
A: If you are an International Dollar Card customer and have questions about our online privacy policies, please call 1-800-327-1267 in the United States or 525-55-326-2660 in Mexico City.

Q: How can I get information about my account?
A: If you would like more information about your American Express account, please call the customer service number listed on your account statement.



Q: How can I shop for the best deal on a credit or charge card?
A: There are several things a consumer can compare in shopping around for the best deal when choosing a credit or charge card. Fees, charges and benefits will vary among card issuers. The following are important features to compare:
  • Annual percentage rate (APR): The APR is a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly interest rate.
  • Grace periods: The time you have to pay before interest is charged. There are three types of grace periods: typical, full and no grace periods.
  • Annual fees: Many credit card issuers charge an annual fee for granting you credit, typically $15 to $55. Some issuers charge no annual fee.
  • Transaction fees and other charges: Some credit card issuers charge a fee if you use the card to get a cash advance, if you fail to make a payment on time or if you exceed your credit limit.
  • Customer service: Many issuers, including American Express, have 24-hour toll-free telephone numbers.
  • Other benefits: Issuers may offer additional benefits, some with a cost, such as: insurance, credit card protection, discounts, rebates, airline frequent-flier mileage, special merchandise offers and rewards for usage.

Q: How much should I pay each month on my credit card?
A: If you pay the minimum-only payment when you pay your credit card bill, you are paying the maximum amount in interest. To reduce interest costs, whenever possible, pay as much as you can. For example, if you have an outstanding balance of $2,000, with an 18.5 percent interest rate and a minimum monthly payment, it would take more than 11 years to pay off the debt and cost you an additional $1,934 just for interest, which almost doubles the total cost of your original purchase.

Q: What should I do if I can't make my credit card payment?
A: If you ever find yourself in a situation where you can't make a monthly payment, notify your credit card issuer and work out a modified payment plan with your creditors that reduces your payments to a more manageable level. Be cautious about turning to a debt counseling company to solve your debt problems. Avoid paying such a firm in advance until you find out what the company can really do. Before you sign a contract, check out the organization with the U.S. Better Business Bureau or with your local consumer protection agency.

Q: Who can I contact for additional help?
A: There are nonprofit organizations across the United States that counsel indebted consumers. Counselors try to arrange a repayment plan that is acceptable to you and your creditors. You may want to contact a nonprofit counseling service, such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), for help. To obtain the telephone number of your local CCCS office, call 800-388-2227.

Q: How can I get a copy of my credit report?
A: You may want to review your credit report at least every year or two. If you have been denied credit, you are entitled to a free credit report within 60 days. Under other circumstances, you may be charged a small fee. The major U.S. credit bureaus are:
  • Equifax
    P.O. Box 105873
    Atlanta, GA 30348
    800-685-1111


  • Experian (formerly TRW)
    P.O. Box 8030
    Layton, UT 84041
    800-392-1122


  • Trans Union
    P.O. Box 390
    Springfield, PA 19064
    216-779-7200


Q: How much does it cost to use a credit and/or charge card when traveling outside the country?
A: Your credit or charge card company will convert the charges to the appropriate currency before it appears on your statement. Most card companies exchange money at rates that are generally more favorable than the rates you would get on your own at a retail store or hotel.
The currency conversion may take place days after your purchase, depending on when the merchant submits the charge to your card company and when it is processed. It's possible that the exchange rate could be less favorable at that time -- or it could be better. Most card issuers charge a currency conversion fee that may be added to your bill with each foreign purchase.

Q: When you travel, how many cards should you carry?
A: Two major credit and/or charge cards will be enough for most people, although you may want to carry more on a long trip or if you plan to spend a lot. Leave behind any cards you won't be able to use in other countries, such as your local department store cards. If you do carry more than one credit and/or charge card, carry them separately, so if one is lost or stolen, you'll still have another one to use.


The questions and answers above cover broad consumer topics and some of American Express' perspectives relating to them. If you didn't find the specific information you're looking for about a particular American Express product or service here, please refer to our various business sites.


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