American Express will refund $85 million to 250,000 consumers thanks to an order by federal banking regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the state of Utah. T
he CFPB says that 3 American Express subsidiaries violated consumer protection laws from 2003 to 2012 by misleading consumers when they offered a $300 sign-up bonus for the Blue Sky Credit Card.
Consumers never received the money. In addition, regulators found the American Express companies charged unlawful late fees, discriminated against new account applicants over the age of 35 and misled people about paying off old debts and debt collection.
So a consent order worked out with the American Express requires the following:
Amex will have to give customers the $300 they were promised for signing up for a Blue Sky Credit Card.
Customers charged illegal late fees will receive reimbursements with interest.
Customers lured by deceptive promises to pay old debts will be reimbursed with interest.
Consumers promised their debt would be paid and were denied new American Express Cards will receive $100 and a pre-approval offer for a new card.
You don’t have to do anything if you are an affected card holder. And if you’re no longer a customer, you’ll receive a check in the mail.
The American Express companies will also have to pay an addition $27.5 million in fines to government agencies.