American Express Travel Related Services
Enforcement, Debt Collection, Credit Cards
In December 2013, the CFPB, with the FDIC, and the OCC, issued a consent order to three of American Express subsidiaries — American Express Centurion Bank, American Express, FSB., and American Express Travel Related Services Company — for charging “improper fees” and misleading customers “to sell some of the company’s credit card add-on products.” American Express was ordered to refund $59.5 million to approximately 335,000 customers for “unfair billing practices and deceptive marketing of add-on products, such as payment protection and credit monitoring.” American Express also agreed to pay a $9.6 million penalty to the CFPB.
The Bureau alleged that from 2000 to 2012, the subsidiaries and their vendors and telemarketers engaged in misleading and deceptive tactics to sell some of the company’s credit card add-on products.”
“The regulators said the companies misled consumers about the benefits of the products, the length of coverage and the costs. The companies also were accused of unfair billing practices related to identity protection products. Many consumers were charged for these products without written authorization, the regulators said. In addition, the companies were accused of unfairly charging card holders interest and fees. Some of those monthly fees pushed account balances past their limits, causing additional fees and interest, the regulators said.” [Stuart Pfeifer, “American Express to pay $75 million in deceptive practices case,” Los Angeles Times, 12/24/13]
As part of the agreement, American Express also paid a “$9.6 million cash penalty” to the CFPB, $3.6 million to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and $3 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. [Rachel Abrams, “American Express to Pay $75 Million Over Credit-Card Practices,” New York Times, 12/24/13]
Inactive or Resolved