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Find help from American Express hardship programs.

Most credit card companies will review a customers situation on a case by case basis and then offer them a hardship program. On the other hand, American Express (AMEX) tends to have just one hardship program that they offer their customers. There is not a dedicated phone number to call either. You just need to call the 1800 number on the back of the credit card and tell them you are having difficulties and want to explore the options that are available to you.

While American Express does tend to be inflexible and will rarely negotiate, it seems as if the hardship program is a little easier to enter into then it is for other credit card issuers. Some customers have also been told that additional options will be available to them as well as other customers in the future. Continue reading below to find some examples of how AMEX has assisted its customers.

Examples of American Express credit card assistance programs

  • A customer had a $2000 balance on their card. They called AMEX, and the American Express hardship department called back the next day and asked for further details about their situation, including requesting financial information. After the information was provided, they offered the credit card hardship program. It was offered as a six month program, with 9.99% interest rate, and the monthly payments were lowered to $50/month. They were also told that they may receive additional help after the six months.
  • A cardholder had run up a 10K bill on their account, and they missed their last payment by about 30 days. The person did call the company at that time, and asked what options, if any they had. They offered this customer a 12 month hardship program. The first six months the interest rate was reduced to zero percent, and after that the rate would go back up to a still low 9.99%. The monthly payment was reduced to just over $150 per month on their credit card.
  • Another AMEX customer was paying about $400 in interest every month for many years on a business account they had. The credit limit was $40,000, but they had an outstanding balance of about $30,000. The persons spouse got sick, and had to go on leave from work. They contacted AMEX and asked what could be done, if anything. AMEX offered them a short, six month plan with a reduced interest rate, and then said they would reevaluate at the end of the six months.





  • There is an example of one customer who never missed a payment for several years. Then just recently they had trouble with their payments due to job concerns, and the weak economy. They called American Express and asked for the AMEX hardship program. They still wanted the customer to pay $580.00 per month, which was equivalent to the regular payment, but they lowered the interest rate to 0%, so in effect the entire payment went to principal. After additional negotiation, the customer was told that the company only has one hardship program that lasts 6 months and sets the interest rate at 0% and then 6 months at 9.99 % APR. After that the terms would go back to normal rates and payments at the end of the year. the customer was also told they would not be eligible to apply for additional assistance for at minimum one year.
  • One more example which seems to support the standard, and only, program that is offered. A lady from AMEX told a customer that they would lower their monthly payment and that they would also have 6 month of 0% interest rate and then six months of 9.99% interest rate. This customer was also told that was all the aid that was available.
  • There are cases in which it can be more difficult to get help from the hardship program though. An American Express account holder had some difficulties over the past few years in paying off all their bills on time, not just their credit cards. Their credit score was lowered as a result. Then, when they missed some payments on their AMEX card, the hardship program offered to them was much less flexible then what is indicated above. The thought is that the company no longer wanted to keep this customer’s business over the long term so they were less willing to work with them to find a solution.

By Jon McNamara

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