American Express offering cardholders $300 to get lost

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There was a time when carrying an American Express card gave one a sense of elevated self-importance. So how do you suppose those customers feel today when the company offers them $300 if they will pay off their balance and get lost?

The new program, offered to selected customers via a direct mail campaign, offers a prepaid American Express card with $300 on it if the customer enrolls in the program and pays off his account within two months. At that point, his existing American Express account is automatically canceled. Ouch!

This is an example of the impact of new database marketing techniques that allow merchants to identify and fire 'bad' customers; i.e., those whose business is not profitable to the merchant. Included in this bucket are those who pay off their balance each month and don't take advantage of ancillary services. In other words, what the frugal person would think of as good customers.

If you don't carry a balance on your credit card, if you visit the teller window rather than the ATM, if you don't respond to line-of-credit offers, don't be surprised if you too are fired by your bank. And I'd be surprised if it offers a $300 f***-off bribe.

Thanks, Creditmattersblog

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