Most credit card issuers have rules that let you reopen a cancelled credit card if you change your mind after closing it. However, American Express has thrown a monkey wrench into their policy. Doctor of Credit (H/T) reported yesterday that American Express is charging $25 to reopen cancelled cards. The $25 reopening fee is not included in the cancelled card’s annual fee (if applicable).
Furthermore, reinstating a cancelled card is subject to approval and can take up to 10 business days (two calendar weeks) to process. Both personal and business Amex cards appear to be subject to this rule. Cardholders have 30 days after cancellation to reopen an Amex card.
This is an interesting move by American Express. They have noticed that a plethora of cardholders are cancelling their cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the cardholders who have cancelled were not aware of the new benefits at the time of cancellation.
Unfortunately for those cardholders, Amex has decided to take advantage and charge $25 for each cancelled card. Most cardholders might find American Express’ reopening fee worth it, depending on the card’s benefits.
For example, the personal Platinum Card is offering $320 in monthly wireless phone service and streaming credits from May through December 2020. And that is in addition to the plethora of travel benefits it offers. However, these benefits are countered by a $550 annual fee. And the total fees rise to $575 if you were to cancel the card and then reopen it. Rethinking about the Platinum Card and its perks might be worth the $25 reinstatement fee if you think travel will soon be a safe option.
The easiest way to avoid American Express’ $25 reopening fee is to really think about whether you want to cancel your card. Do not rush your decision. Run the numbers for your expenses and make sure that your Amex card is still beneficial for you.
Moreover, American Express’ new benefits (if applicable) should give you more incentive to keep your card for at least one more year.