American Express Misleading Billing Practices
I am planning on canceling my American Express Gold Card for which I pay $125/year because of their misleading practices which they do not admit to.My January 2011 statement and all previous statements had a "Payment Due Date" on them, which indicated the date that was 25 days (grace period) from the close of the billing cycle.
However, now American Express uses new language on their statements which say "Please Pay by" and the "Please pay by" date is 14 days from the end of the billing cycle (even though the grace period is now 30 days). They have changed the language because it encourages customers to pay sooner (so Amex gets paid faster and makes more money). The language intentionally misleads the customer to think the payment is due on the "Please pay by" date when it really is not. Obviously when you call them, they tell you that it is not officially due until 30 days after the billing cycle, but it doesn't say this anywhere on the statement or the webpage.
Also, Amex won't admit their reasons for changing the language but it is very clear why they did this – to unfluence customers to pay sooner even though they don't have to. Additionally on the American Express website, you can't schedule a payment for the future past the "Please pay by" date, even though the payment isn't actually due until 16 days later.
As a long time customer, I am extremely disappointed that American Express is engaging in this misleading behavior and I plan to cancel my card very soon.I just want everyone know about these misleading practices so they aren't confused like I was.