Earlier today I received the strangest letter I have ever received from a credit card issuer. The letter was from American Express. Visible from the outside was the following message:
PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL
DO NOT DISCARD
PLEASE OPEN IMMEDIATELY
I had never received a letter form Amex with such a message, so I was instantly intrigued. I opened the letter and it stated the following:
We are writing to let you know that a previous application(s) you submitted may have been declined in error.
We are sending you the enclosed check in the amount of $100.00 for any inconvenience this may have caused.
This check can be deposited directly into your bank account. You don’t need to take any further action before using this check. The check must be deposited within 180 days of the date printed on the check.
American Express Account Services
Indeed there was a $100 check enclosed.
I have no idea what prompted this letter. American Express has never declined any of my credit card applications. The letter does not clarify what type of application was declined, but I am not sure what else it could be. No specific account number is identified at any part of the letter.
I do not usually turn down free money, but for a moment I was not sure if it was morally correct to accept this check from Amex given the circumstances. Then I remembered a couple of headaches Amex has caused me this year and figured there was no logical reason not to deposit the check. In any event, today is Giving Tuesday, so I will definitely be making a new $100 donation.
Have you ever received a similar letter from American Express? If so, are you aware of what prompted the letter?