Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

For a change: NOT phishing!

Vector illustration of detailed glossy red credit card isolated on white background

Awoke this  morning to find an email from American Express (purportedly) announcing that they haven’t received this month’s payment, and if I’ll just click here I can pay right up.

Well, naturally I figured this was an attempted rip. Pulled out last month’s bill and found a note saying I’d paid electronically on 11/7, with the bank scheduled to deliver the amount by 11/9.

Whoever sent the message had the last four numbers of my credit card number. So I called the customer service number on my AMEX statement and was astonished to discover that it was a REAL message from the REAL American Express. Their CSR asked me to check my bank statement online, to be sure the attempted payment had not been deducted from my account. And no, it hadn’t.

So I sent payment forthwith, and she canceled the late fee. Good thing: AMEX has jacked up its late fee for consumer accounts.

I was surprised they’d send this notice by email, since it looks convincingly like a phishing attempt. Surely there must be enough consumers out here by now who would never even think of responding to such a thing. In most circumstances, I would simply delete the message. The only reason I called AMEX on the phone is that I’m pretty OCD about paying credit-card bills on time.

At any rate, now we know: AMEX does send out phishy-looking notices. If you get one, obviously don’t click on any links or call any phone number given in the message. Get the number from the back of your credit card, or use the customer service number on your statement. Call, inquire, and pay if need be.

Image: DepositPhotos,  © ladyann

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. Wow Funny….I’d be freaking out as well. But their CSR’s are usually top rate. Sadly….I think I’m gonna be “shopping around” for a new CC. They just jacked my “membership fee” to $95 per year. I know they have to make up for losing Costco but MAN…that’s almost $100 for ….??? Maybe some folks can justify the costs but I’m finding it more and more difficult to swallow. Your thoughts?

    • waitaminit… Go to their website and look at the choices of CC plans. Both of mine are no-annual-fee AMEX cards.

      The kickback isn’t huge, but there’s a little bit of cash back. Wouldn’t have been anyway, without the endless gigantic Costco purchases put on the card. Dunno what the interest rate would be — doesn’t matter, because I never run a balance on a credit card.

      But I have to say: AMEX’S customer service can NOT be beat. To me, that’s worth paying for.

      If I were paying for it, that is… 😉

  2. I’m spoiled…They actually paid me $350 to take this card a while back and waved the fee for the first year. And it’s fairly generous with 6% back on groceries and 3% back on gas. But now the fee has jumped to $95 this year and now that we are “empty nesters” the grocery rewards aren’t as big a deal. And the incentives that I used to get by e-mail aren’t as useful or applicable as they once were. My thought is to shop around and see if I can score a CC that would benefit us with travel credits. The gent over at Root of Good has basically made this CC rewards on travel “an art form”. Doubt if I could match his performance…. I’d be tickled to take the sting out of some plane tickets prices….and to have an extra $95 in my bank account a year….

    • Hmmmmmm…. Probably time to think about that, then.

      I think if you’re using “miles” as rewards, you should take them fairly quickly. Heard stories of the things expiring or CC companies finding other ways to welch on them.

      Airplane prices are outrageous now! Really, even if the security BS weren’t abusive, I probably wouldn’t travel anyplace I can’t reach by car, anyway!

      Took myself out of the running for a contract editing job because part of the deal was the winning candidate was supposed to show up at and report on the annual conference in Maine. It sounded WONDERFUL…till I realized the air fare alone is well over $300, and that doesn’t count the lodging, the food, and the whatnot. Figured by the time all was said and done, the cost would be about what I would be paid to produce that issue of the publication! And that was a quarter of the entire year’s pay.

      Okay, you could look at it as a sort of “free” working vacation…which would have been OK if I didn’t have to put up with the airport nightmares. But add to the two together…too much cost, all the way around. 😉

    • If you’re looking for a new miles card, check out the Capital One Venture cards. The lower tier card offers 1.25 miles with no annual fee, and the higher tier offers 2 miles with a $59 annual fee. If you spend more than $7,867/year on the card the higher tier will net you a greater reward, below that level you’re better off with the lower tier card.

      I have several friends with Venture cards, and they love it. I have their Quicksilver card, which is the cash back version of the card, that I love.

  3. Hmmm….Thanks MD…I think we’re gonna have to do something….$95 is just a “little too far down crazy lane”…Amex has been great and it is our primary card….but as so many things in life…”what have ya done for me lately?” And Funny, I would die for $300 airfare….When I go to visit DD2 out West…$6/700 round trip….ECONOMY…emphasis on economy… It’s so crazy I have/am SERIOUSLY considering a bus OR train. The train would be …”an adventure”…. the bus …I am sure would be an adventure AND 48 hours in travel time….WAIT….Maybe $600 isn’t so bad….LOL.

    • Is that per person, or for you and Mrs. JJ? I found a $300+ fare at one of the big ticket-selling websites. Hm. The ticket could’ve been one-way, though. 😀 LOL! I thought it would trigger all sorts of alarms to buy a one-way ticket, the theory being if you’re not planning to come back you must be a crazed terrorist.

      Seriously, though: if that guess is right and the fare I saw was one-way, then flying to Maine to attend a conference and report on it would have cost me MORE THAN I WOULD’VE BEEN PAID to produce that issue of the publication! Contract pay was $1,000/issue. A $700 airline ticket plus several days of lodging and restaurant food would more than consume that much.