My Heart-Skipping American Express Statement

by joeheg

I tend to keep a close eye on our credit card bills. When you have a drawer full of cards, there’s a greater chance one of your cards will be compromised for fraudulent charges. The sooner you catch a problem, the easier it is to correct it.

I’m also keeping track of our spending to meet sign-up bonuses and spending thresholds to earn extra free nights or bonus miles.

The one bank I watch carefully is American Express. Partially because I want to make sure they pay all the statement credits we earn with credit cards, like the air travel credit from the Platinum Card. I had to contact them to get the money back for this Delta charge.

But nothing scares me more when I see an unknown bank charge on my account. Imagine my dread when I saw this on my Platinum Card account.

What scared me the most was seeing the term Cash Advance Bal. Did American Express reclassify one of my charges as a Cash Advance? I already make sure not to purchase any gift cards on my AMEX when meeting a spending requirement, so as not to incur the wrath of the RAT Team.

Since it was an equal amount transferred and I saw no change in my Membership Rewards balance, I looked online instead of contacting AMEX.

I found some posts on r/AMEX Reddit with cardholders who had similar items on their statements.

Happened to me a few months ago. I called and was told it was an internal something-or-other. Several hundred dollars in my case.

Happens to me every few months. Just some sort of internal reconciliation. Nothing to worry about.

It’s an accounting adjustment. Think of it as taking marbles out of one bucket and putting them in another. the credit and debt still 0 each out, but it’s done to put money in a different place (like into pay over time, out of pay over time etc.).

There were more conversations that possibly this happens when someone makes a product change, like from a Gold to a Platinum card. But not all people with the issue did product changes so there’s no consensus as to why it happens.

Why American Express has to take care of its internal accounting by messing with cardholder accounts is beyond me and seeing credits and debits on your statement with no explanation is lackluster customer service.

But at this point, I expect nothing more from AMEX. At least they didn’t claw back a sign-up bonus because of a non-existent cash advance.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Babblespeak December 13, 2022 - 9:14 pm

I’ve had them every two or three months on my vanilla platinum card for years. Sometimes small, sometimes triple digits. Customer support told me they’re “internal accounting transactions,” which is unsatisfying, but all they’ll say. Annoying for sure, but I’ve learned to ignore them as I can’t find a pattern to them, other than I had a couple match Sirius transactions/credits.


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