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American Express - cutting its credit risk all round?

Got a letter from Amex over the weekend telling me that "as a responsible lender" it was cutting my American Express card (opens in new tab) credit limit by a third.

At first I thought this was due to my having paid off a low-cost balance transfer last year and not using the card since then, but a quick peek on the money newswires (opens in new tab)reveals that thousands of UK punters are in the same boat.

Martin Lewis' Moneysavingexpert forum has loads of postings (opens in new tab)from upset Amex cardholders who have seen their limits slashed to almost nothing.

Some cardholders have even had their accounts closed for no good reason.

Earlier this year Amex announced it was no longer offering low-cost balance transfers to existing cardholders. Now the company seems to be slashing its credit risk substantially.

Ironically my rock star pal (name dropper! -Ed) - who is quite wealthy, but utterly crap at paying his bills on time - gets stiffed by late card payment charges from Amex several times a year, and his limit is still 20K.

Looks like Amex is shifting its entire credit portfolio to a low-risk set of cardholders, and giving the general hoy-poloy (i.e. me and quite a few others) the old heave-ho...