Beware: Macy’s American Express Credit Card

Recently, I was the victim of fraudulent charges made to my Macy’s credit card account.  When I called in 2 days after the charges were made to report them, I was told “no problem, we’ll take care of this.”  Then I was also told that there are problems within Macy’s where the cashiers can inadvertently bill other people’s charges to your account, because people are allowed to charge items to their Macy’s account WITHOUT ID. They just have to enter the social security number or telephone number and then sign for it.

To add insult to injury, a few days later I received a note demanding I fill out a form,  BY HAND, and include 2 forms of identification that include my signature. I do not keep my passport in the house, but in a safety deposit box, and this necessitated an extra trip.   I was told in the letter that if I did not send the form in within 15 days, then it would be assumed I would accept responsibility for the fraudulent charges.

What?   On what planet does that make good customer sense?  When I called Macy’s to ask about this and to explain what a hassle this was for a problem that was not my fault, they said they were sorry, but there was nothing they could do about it.  By the way, they also said I only needed to send in 1 form of ID.  They “were in the process of getting the form changed.”  Oh thanks for telling me before my trip to the bank for my passport.

Once these charges are settled, I plan to cancel my Macy’s American Express credit card account—it’s not worth the risk or hassle to deal with their problems any longer.

But just for the record: macy’s promise to only hold you liable for $50 of fraudulent charges is apparently no longer in force.


  1. Melinda, I am a Macy’s Sales Supervisor and I really hate to hear when this happens. One of the great things about having a Macy’s card is that you can shop with out actually having to have your card with you. However, you are required to have proof of identification, the sales associates will enter the identification number (drivers license usually) while the customer enters their SSN. The only part of your SSN that is visible to the sales associate is the last four digits of your SSN. Your Macy’s Amex # never appears on the screen and register receipt, only the last 4 digits of the card. You should speak with the store manager where this happened (if you have not done so).

  2. I just would like to say that you have some info wrong in your experience. Macy’s will not let you charge without your id, as an employee I can say that when a customer does not have his or her Macy’s card we ask for a form of id and have the customer input the social security number. You either have your id or we don’t run the transaction.

  3. It’s my understanding the the clause to only hold you responsible for $50 worth of fraudulent charges is the law. Legally, they can not hold you liable for more than that under the consumer protection act.

  4. The government by law can allow you liable up to $50. Macy cannot take that away.

  5. Bonnie Tomlinson

    I’m so glad I found your post.
    My Macy’s AmEx was used on Dec 30 to make a charge with AirAsia which in turn also earned me the benefit of international fees. When I called the Macy’s customer service number, I was told I had to had the situation with AirAsia myself. They found a number since none was listed on the bill and sent me on my way. The number was wrong. I called them back and was told that I needed to write them a letter explaining the situation. I could either mail or fax the letter. I was told that they would not be removing the charges until they worked it out with AirAsia. I mailed AND faxed the letter.
    In the meantime, I did find an email address for AirAsia. They were just as helpful. I was told to speak with my local police in order to file a fraud report and send that report to my credit card and then the credit card and AirAsia would discuss.
    Now I wait until this 3 day weekend is over so I can call Macy’s again to follow-up even though I was told I would receive a call upon receipt; that didn’t happen. My next call is to AmEx to discuss at length the situation. I have cancelled my card, but not yet closed the account while I work this out. That will be my final step.
    What finally wound up happening for you?

  6. Thanks for all the responses. After 3 months and numerous phone calls where Macy’s kept trying to charge me finance fees for this problem, they finally rescinded the charges. But it was a total waste of my time to process their problems. To the people who say this isn’t possible, let me explain. I didn’t make that line up, that was what the person on the phone told me happened. To those who said the law prevents liability, I can scan the threatening note from Macy’s who wanted to stick me with the charges if I didn’t send in 2 forms of identification.

  7. BEWARE THE MACYS “AMERICAN EXPRESS” CHARGE CARD!! On October 15, 2011 I purchased $79 in clothing at a Macy’s store. I was asked if I’d like to receive a $10 credit by opening a Macys charge card (American Express) and use it for my purchases. I agreed, and signed up for the card. Eight days later, before the end of the billing cycle, I used my checking account to electronically pay my Macys bill in full. I thought that all was well. I made no further purchases with the card.

    On January 16, 2012, out of curiosity, I went online to check my Macys account. It showed a balance due in an amount of over $300. I thought that someone had fraudulently used my card. I called Macys customer service. I was told that my card actually has two account numbers; one for purchases made at a Macys, and the other for purchases made outside of Macys. I was told that, while my purchase was at a Macys, my payment was applied to the account for non-Macys purchases. Therefore, my account had been accruing late penalties and interest charges. The representative advised that he would remove the late penalties and charges (and advised that I then had a credit balance of $11). Again, I thought that all was well. WRONG.

    Several days later, I received, in the mail, a letter from a collections agency, demanding that I pay a Macys bill of $300+. I called the collection agency, and explained what the Macys representative had told me. The representative advised that they would note their files. I asked if a negative report had been sent to the credit reporting agencies. She said that it had. I had to demand that they reverse the negative report, and, after speaking to her supervisor, the representative said that the report would be reversed, and that it would take up to 30 days for the credit reporting agencies’ records to reflect that. Several days later, I received in the mail a letter confirming that Macys had sent a request to the “national credit reporting agencies” to remove the negative report. Again, I thought that all was well. WRONG.

    Last week, I received in the mail an offer to apply for a Mastercard account. (As I plan to travel to Italy, and my only credit card, an American Express card, will not be accepted by most (European) vendors, I was glad to be able to have a credit card that, if I should need it, would be accepted.) I applied, online, for the card, but was rejected. I received a message stating that “the reason for the rejection will be mailed to you.”

    So, I checked my credit report. It showed “negative information,” from, you guessed it, MACYS. (I have never been late or missed any payments in my 60 years; I felt very shocked and distressed.)

    Today, I called Macys customer service. They said their records do not show that they sent the letter to me in January (advising that the negative report would be removed). At first, I was given the same ol’ line: “we will send a letter to the national credit agencies within the next 7-10 days, and then it will take up to 30 days for them to remove the negative report.” I asked to speak to a supervisor who said the same thing. I got quite upset with her and demanded that someone personally take care of it NOW, that I have no confidence that “a letter” would be sent, that they have damaged my excellent credit history, and that they owe it to me to closely and personally take care correcting all of their mistakes. The supervisor assured me that, this time, it will be taken care of.

    I’m NOT going to think that all is well until I again check my credit report, in 30 days, and see that, finally, all is well. Keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.

    If all is not well, I am going to have my attorney contact them. I will also contact Michael Finney, a consumer reporter for ABC News, Channel 7, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have him investigate. He’s very good at getting results.

  8. That is so true, but in my case now a nightmare. I live in the Caribbean and when last in the U.S shopped Macy’s. They looked up my account and said it was still open and I could charge and receive the discount. I went online to try to pay the bill prior to leaving and it showed nothing due. I then called and was told it was an Amex account that had not been registered, but that she would register it and send the new card. It was sent to my daughter in the U.S. so I don’t even have the account number to call. I thought ai made the payment when I was on the phone with customer service, but I now find a collection letter has been issued! I have had previous issues with all the different cards Macy’s issues, like others, in that you don’t understand what card is being charged. I had requested that all my accounts be closed in the past, but it was obviously not done. Now until my daughter can get the info on this last issue faxes to me, I can’t even call to try to resolve it!

  9. O.K. I was able to pay the bill on the phone, they dropped the late charge but charged $5.00 (normLly $15.00 ) to process the payment immediately. Not able to speak to anyone regarding my credit for 3-5 days until The payment has cleared. Not holding my breath, but have asked for all my Macy’s accounts tobe closed as there was still confusion as to a card being lost or stolen. That didn’t happen, I had just cut up the old card but they had no way. to put that in the computer I guess.

  10. They are soooo horrible. I only believe in CHASE. should have listened to my friends about Macy’s AE. I have never been late for any of my credit cards. I’d set this up as an ebill, somehow it didn’t go through. I only owed $14.30, they charged me $30 late fee + $17 finance. I’d called customer, super “COLD”, she kept repeating you’d signed the contract, you know what the charges are…
    Horrible customer service especially since I’ve just opened the card. They should have showed a little more consideration and “HEART”. I guess AM thinks they are “ALL that” and that’s why people are moving elsewhere. BAD SERVICE.

  11. You guys are right about this macys card. It is a real pain in the ass. I gave up trying to get a $45.00 refund that was due to me. They promised and promised to take care it. Now I am trying to figure out how to cancel this card. Not easy to do. I get cut off on phone, dropped on chat line. I wont even shop there wth cash. Why give them another dime

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