Since American Express has effectively consumed the majority of this month’s posts with their ludicrous, new-Subaru-MSRP-valued offers, it seemed fitting to send the month off with discussion about scaling and financial reviews based on chatter in and around the community.


American Express is more tolerant of massively scaled spending than any other big bank, but keep the following in mind:

  1. AmEx doesn’t care about cycling your credit lines. You can spend up to your credit limit, pay it down before the statement closes, and then spend a bunch more.
  2. AmEx does care about an explosion in spending. If you typically spend $5,000 per month and then spend $300,000 in two weeks, you could end up with a financial review. For rough numbers lets say:

    – A quick ramp of 3x to 5x of your normal spending is probably OK
    – A quick ramp of 20x+ of your normal spending is probably not OK
    – A slow, multi-month ramp to 20x+ of your normal spending is probably OK

  3. AmEx doesn’t care if you spend multiple times your annual business revenue on business cards.
  4. AmEx often cares if you spend multiple times your annual income on personal cards.
  5. AmEx doesn’t care about round numbers — 30 to 50 repeated $1,000.00 transactions won’t cause any problem, provided you’re playing by the above rules.
  6. AmEx won’t typically shut you down immediately if you violate the above rules, instead you’ll end up with a financial review. (Shutdowns at AmEx are more like being in the wrong place at the wrong time unfortunately.)

Financial Reviews

When American Express finds behavior it doesn’t like you’ll get a call asking for a financial review. When you get a financial review, American Express will usually ask:

  • “Why are you spending so much at” (Answer: to separate my expenses of course)
  • “Why did you start spending so much more this month than normal?” (Answer: big business contract)
  • “What’s the source of your income?” (Answer: my job and the big business contract)
  • “Can we see your tax returns for the last two years?” (Answer: of course, here’s a signed 4506-T form)

AmEx usually suspends your charging privileges during a financial review and they typically take two to four weeks to complete their investigation. Assuming the income reported on your tax return meets or exceeds the income you put on your card applications, you’re almost certainly in the clear and you’ve essentially got a green light to keep the shenanigans rocketing toward the moon. Then you can go inception and use all those Membership Rewards to buy yourself a Subaru with your American Express to earn even more Membership Rewards to earn another Subaru.

Have a nice weekend!

Recharging your new 99 employee-card funded electric Subaru for another MS run.