The Plum Card… Plum Crazy.


What should have been an incredible business aid and financial tool has turned into a bit of a joke for us. So far we have put about $6000 on the card and have begun the process of updating our vendors, and payees with the new card information.

I went to Costco to buy an iPod and the card was declined. Thinking it was a Costco issue I headed over to Best Buy. Again the card was declined (it had worked the day before). This was disappointing but I assumed there was some kind of misunderstanding that I could get resolved the following day. I had my wife call American Express and they told her that I would have to call back myself. “Why did we spend an hour on the phone with you two days ago setting me up as another primary card member?” Despite the fact that she was listed as such they would not talk to her.

Today was my turn. I got in touch with a rep at American Express and was informed that I had unofficially reached my limit. “My limit?” I asked in surprise. The rep then told me that she had to go through my purchase history and authorize some of the charges that were pending. Our conversation went something like this:

“There is a charge from Apple Computer. What was that for?”
“A Laptop.”
“Okay, I can authorize that.” (“What the hell is this?” I thought)
“And there was charge from Best Buy. What is that?”
“Computer software?”
“Okay, we’ll let that go through.”
“And there is a charge from Moteng. What is Moteng?”
“It’s a company we get products from.”
“What products are those?”
“Items to resell. Knives. We buy them to resell them.”
“Okay, we can authorize that. Well, things look okay, but if you want to put anything else on your card you’ll have to go through our credit department to have each additional purchase approved.”
“Ah… well…” I was somewhat perplexed at this point and very perturbed. “We can just pay off the balance and then keep using the card, right?”
“No sir, I’m sorry. You can only pay off the balance at the end of a billing cycle.”
“So there’s no way to pay it off now?”
“I’m sorry, but we have to keep you limited since we have no buying history available from you. Again, if you need an increase you can petition the credit department of American Express.”

 I’m not sure what kind of retail business has a cash flow of $6000 a month, but it’s certainly not mine. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood something somewhere, or perhaps the representative I talked to was misinformed. I was under the impression that the Plum Card could help our company but with restrictions and conditions like those mentioned above I may need to look elsewhere.

11 thoughts on “The Plum Card… Plum Crazy.

  1. That’s strange! I thought that if you paid off the balance within 10 days of placing a purchase then you receive a 2% discount if the balance is over $5000 that month or 1% if it is $5000 or under for the month. Why would the customer service rep state that you cannot pay off your balance? My plum card is on the way as I have an american express business gold rewards card and I ALWAYS pay off my balance within 10 days of a purchase and I do it online. This rep is either grossly misinformed or there is something amiss.

  2. Sorry for the confusion- You can pay off the balance at the end of the billing cycle. My gripe is that it appears that you cannot pay of the balance in the MIDDLE of a billing cycle. Right now one of the cards we have is an MBNA business card. We run up about 20K on the card, pay it off, run up 20K, pay it off. We do this about 5 times during the billing cycle each month. So far with the plum card it appears I’m limited to 6K a month, period. It’s time to sick my wife on them (she does our accounting.. .and she’s fierce). I hope you have better luck w/ you Plum card!

  3. My understanding that one receives 2% back if the individual purchase is $5K or more and 1% for all purchases below $5K. Can someone answer whether this is a cash back offer or is the credit applied directly to you bill? Thanks

  4. Your breakdown is correct- The credit is applied to your statement (bill).
    Personally I like my MBNA card much better. The world points they offer are excellent. You have the option to go with cash. It translates to 1% cash back, but it’s still cash, which I like.

  5. Plum card sucks ass. I have an AMEX platinum that I put well over a million a year on and I just got the Plum card. For one purchase I had to call them 5 damn times and my vendor had to call 2 times to get the charge approved on my plum card, wasting 2 hours. Don’t get this card if you are a current AMEX customer. They didn’t give a shit that I put over a million a year on my Platinum card. They were incompetent asses who didn’t know what they we’re doing. I heard 5 times “Just try it again, it will go through no problem” Bull shit. Anyways the point is they said I had to build up a buying history or something with them, even though I’ve been a “member” for years and have a limit of $280,000 a month on my platinum. It’s like a separate company within AMEX and me being a “member” didn’t matter much to them.

    This company is going down hill, and I’ll be looking into the MBNA card you have. So I agree unless you have a little company that put a few grand a month on a card this card is a waste of time, just a marketing gimmick.

  6. Totally right- we have Amex Platinum cards too and Amex wouldn’t even look at the credit history of the other cards. They really are two totally different companies. As much as I like getting “2% back” on my card when it’s just a few hundred bucks it’s as good as worthless.

  7. Wow, Cam and Ben are incredibly misinformed or simply lying about being Amex members.

    First of all, Amex approved my Plum because of my Platinum. They never ran an additional credit report. Second, you can certainly pay off the Plum in the middle of a billing cycle. I’ve done so. You can pay off any Amex at anytime the charges are on the statement. In fact, the only time you can’t make a payment is within 48 hrs of a previous payment as it is still crediting to your account.

    Ben, if you were really putting $1MM/year on your Platinum, you’d probably have a Centurion (Black Card). I put $400K on my Platinum last year, was offered a Centurion, and accepted. No problem at all.

    I put $25K on my Plum in the first two weeks without an issue. Amex’s customer service is among the best in any business, and they bend over backwards to help good customers.

    Honestly, I don’t believe that either of you really have Platinum cards, or any Amex accounts at all. The information you’ve both provided is completely wrong.

  8. The only “good” thing that has happened since my initial post is that I can now pay off my balance in the middle of a billing cycle now (thanks to repeated calls to get my online account properly set up). To date my limit is still right around $6K a month.
    I have no issues w/ my platinum card (which I do have). The Amex customer service is great and it’s fine for what we use it for. My issue is with the Plum Card and how it doesn’t really benefit my business as I’d hoped.
    JC, I’m thrilled that the Plum Card has worked out for you.

  9. You CAN pay off your charge card balance anytime of the month. However, I believe you must wait 30 days from enrollment in pay by computer in order to begin to do so.

  10. The Plum card is not very good for business. They have preset set limits so don’t buy that line “no limit”…false advertising at its best. They will decline your first big charge. They have some type of fraud thing they do they never tell you about . So be ready to have your fist vendor you use it with think you are trying to not pay them.

    You can’t prepay on the net. Well you could then they changed it. but of course how would anyone know. first 30 but who know it has not been 30 for me yet

    You can do a wire to pre-pay…so no ach…so $20

    its run poorly

    most of the reps are rude….sound very old as well. really odd

    Lame. If anyone is going to use this start out slow, don’t get it near your important vendors it is not ready for prime time.

    amateur hour

Comments are closed.