False alarm: Rumors of Amex closing all Zync card accounts not true

Jan 29, 2020

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Recently, rumors circulated that American Express was officially closing all Amex Zync Card accounts at the end of March 2020 based on an email a group of cardholders received. I reached out to Amex to confirm, and a representative clarified that Amex had no plans to unilaterally close all existing Zync accounts. The emails that were cited in recent reports were actually part of a regular review process. Amex only sent out a small batch of emails to affected cardholders.

So if you did not get an email warning about your account closing, you have nothing to worry about. Those who did receive an email have until March 29, 2020 to use their card. Afterwards, their accounts will be closed. These cardmembers will not be auto-transferred to another card product. If you are an affected cardmember who still has rewards in your account (and no other linked Membership Rewards card), you will be able to redeem them online though March 20, 2020. Amex is also giving a 30-day grace period after accounts are closed where you can redeem your points via phone by calling 800-297-3276.

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While the card has been discontinued since 2012, some still have Zync accounts. I was a freshman in high school when the American Express Zync Cards first made waves in the credit card market. By the time I was old enough to apply for and appreciate rewards credit cards, the Zync had long been closed for applications. But from the sound of it, the Zync was a very interesting product. It came with a distinct blue and white design and an interesting set of card details.

For those of you (like me) who aren’t familiar with the original card details, Amex allowed cardholders to choose from one of 10 “Packs,” each offering its own set of benefits targeted towards a specific type of consumer. Annual fees tied to the card ranged from $0 to $25 based on the benefits pack chosen.

There was a Give Back option that awarded 1,000 Membership Rewards points for each logged hour of volunteer service and 1x on all charity donations made with the Amex. There were two travel-centric options: Family Travel gave you access to a specialist to help book vacation with savings and travel benefits, and Go gave you 2x on airfare, lost wallet protection and travel discounts. Other packs included a Restaurant, Style, Connect (for phone, cable and internet benefits), Eco, Music, Personal Finance and even a Food & Wine option.

Related reading: Choosing the best American Express card for you

Compared to the top credit cards of today, none of the Zync card options stand up to the competition. But it is certainly an interesting product to look back at, especially as we head into a new decade.

Bottom line

It’s not uncommon for credit card issuers to review accounts, and there are a multitude of reasons why they may choose to close certain cardholder accounts. The most common reason is inactivity (which I am assuming is the reason for the vast majority of this batch of account closings), but payment history, your credit score or a breach of your cardmember agreement can also lead to your account being shut down by an issuer.

This is why it’s important for you to use your credit cards at least once every few months, even if it’s just for one purchase that you immediately pay off. That way your account is staying active, and you’re less likely to have your account closed during a review process such as this.

Featured image by by filadendron/Getty Images.

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