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American Express Sends Out Checks for “Technical Error” Regarding Annual Fee Refund

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Updated at 7:30am PT on 2/10/24: This post was written in 2019 when American Express sent out checks with the help of Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions.  If you receive a check like this in 2023 or 2024, the check may not be legitimate.  Please scroll down to the comments section for more information.  Thank you.

Good morning everyone, sorry for the lack of posts lately, I was on vacation in Tahiti and Moorea for 10 days for my pre-honeymoon and didn’t have time to write any posts.  I have several posts in the pipeline, so I will work on getting those published over the next 2 weeks.  Anyway, this morning, Doctor of Credit wrote Numerous American Express Bonus Adjustments Posting Now for Referrals and More.

Yesterday, when I picked up my held mail from the Post Office, I received a letter and check from American Express regarding a “technical error” that caused an annual fee to be charged but not refunded when I closed an American Express credit card.  I have several open and closed American Express credit cards so it wasn’t obvious which credit card this was related to.  Luckily, the letter says account ending in 01009 and I was able to look up that credit card number in my credit card spreadsheet.  I keep all open and closed credit card details in the spreadsheet, so I was able to find out that it was my closed American Express SPG Business Credit Card.

a close-up of a credit card

Interestingly, I received a check for $98.18 even though the annual fee was only $95.  Maybe American Express gave me some interest along with the refund.  The other interesting thing was that the check was issued by American Express, but the check belongs to a Chase Bank checking account – I found that amusing.

a close-up of a check

I then pulled up my last American Express SPG Business Credit Card statement (I save all my credit card statements for every credit card, just for these types of situations) and scrolled down to the fee section.  There was the $95 annual fee that was billed on 4/6/18.  According to my credit card spreadsheet, I called American Express to close the credit card on 4/14/18.  I am 99% sure I got the annual fee refunded, but my memory from 1+ year ago is not great.  Either way, I wasn’t expecting this check, but I am glad the check arrived.

a close up of a credit card

Have you received a similar check from American Express recently?  If so, please share your data points below.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

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28 thoughts on “American Express Sends Out Checks for “Technical Error” Regarding Annual Fee Refund

  1. MikeL

    “the check was issued by American Express, but the check belongs to a Chase Bank checking account – I found that amusing.”

    That’s funniest thing yet today… hahahah I guess everyone loves Chase!

    1. Aj

      I got an exact looking check. Same layout and bank. From Amex. I called them and they said it’s a scam. Don’t cash it.

  2. Pingback: American Express Mailing Out Checks for Annual Fee Refund Error - Doctor Of Credit

  3. Brandon Goode

    I received an email but I’m not seeing anything on the card yet and no check although the email says “if you’d like a refund check, you can request it.”

  4. John Hicky

    I just got a letter with an attached check, dated December 29, 2023. The check is for $1.00 (One dollar) and the letter states “We discovered that we owe you a refund on your above referenced account that we did not previously process due to a system error. This was a credit balance of less than $1.00 that was removed after pending on your account for five months. We sincerely apologize for this error and any confusion it may have caused.”

    Like your check, this check has the American Express address (on the upper left) and at the top center notes “JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.” The check appears legitimate and there are no warnings or indications that cashing the check will lead to any sort of fee or charge, so I’m leaning towards cashing it. Very strange, though!

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi John, yes, the check should be legitimate. Sounds like a rounding error on AMEX’s side, so they sent out a $1 check to fix the issue.

    2. Debbie

      Hi. I recieved the exactly letter as you for $1. Interesting to me is that I haven’t had an American Express card for at least 30 years. I’m skeptical about its authenticity.

      1. Mari

        I just received the $1 check also and I have NEVER had an Amex card. Very strange. I doubt I’ll cash it…not worth the risk.

        1. Denise Poutre

          Same thing Mari. Not planning on cashing it. It was for a value of under $1 and the check is for $1.27 (interest).

    1. Betsy Ford

      Me too. I cancelled my AmEx account so long ago that I no longer have the records of it. I was leary of the check, tried to figure out if it was some version of phishing, but it seemed legit so I deposited the check.

      My question is, “why NOW?” Has some regulatory body or lawsuit prompted AmEx to refund these micro-balances?

      1. Grant Post author

        AMEX or their auditors might have found this issue and are trying to get ahead of any possible class action settlement. That’s my guess.

        1. Tee

          I got the same check for $1. At the bottom of the letter, it says “This program is managed by Amex Travel Related Services Co…with assistance from Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions Inc… is a program administrator retained by Amex for this purpose”.

          There could have been a class action for the millions and millions of accounts with less than $1 being removed. The payout to the plaintiff could be up to 10,000% of their original amount (with max payout if the account had 1 cents in it). The lucky people with that big return should be out celebrating, probably not on the private island that the legal team bought after their share of the settlement.

          1. Grant Post author

            Did you ever book travel with AMEX Travel? Maybe their backend service was acquired by AMEX Travel and they found an issues that they are trying to correct.

  5. rt

    I just called AMEX about the $1.00 check with letter from 12/29/2023, they said it was a technical glitch that sent those letters out and I should ignore it.

  6. ZV

    It was probably that computer program that a hacker uploaded to the credit union that took the rounded 100th of a penny from everyones account and dropped it into the hackers account. Unfortunately, the hacker was off by a few decimal places so everyone got $1…. Oh wait, never mind… I was just remembering the movie Office Space…

  7. Harvey

    I received the same $1 check back in December and called American Express because I have never had an American Express card nor have I ever used their travel services. I was told it was a scam and not to cash. Today, I received a letter asking me to cash the check, and that if I didn’t receive it to give them a call. I did a reverse look up and it lead me to “low risk” scam alert. The kicker is, the letter also stated, “If you feel that these funds do not belong to you, kindly return the check with an explanation to the address above”. So, let’s see…I would spend $.88 to send the check back? How ridiculous! The check was ripped up a long time ago.


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