Macy’s upgrades Harriet Stenzel’s credit card against her will, but she’d rather have her old Macy’s card back. Can this case of an unwanted Macy’s card upgrade be fixed?
Macy’s upgraded my credit card to a new Macy’s/American Express card. I never asked for a new card. I don’t want it. I could have opted out, but the letter from Macy’s that would have allowed me to do so never reached me. As a result, I missed the deadline.
A Macy’s representative told me I could get another regular Macy’s card only if the letter was returned by the post office. But Macy’s didn’t receive a return letter. I initiated an online chat with Macy’s customer service, and a representative said that if I don’t like the new Macy’s/American Express card, I can just close my account. I just want my old card back. Can you help me? — Harriet Stenzel, Kennesaw, Ga.
Macy’s shouldn’t force you to have a new American Express card. It should have asked you to opt in to the new card — not out. That would have been the ethical way to do it.
The new American Express card allows you to participate in Macy’s loyalty program, but it also comes with a high annual percentage rate. You are smart to turn it down. The card may benefit Macy’s, but you’re better off staying far away from its rewards program — or the sky-high interest rate.
Why did this Macy’s card upgrade happen?
It’s unclear what triggered this “forced” conversion to an AmEx. But it appears Macy’s qualifies customers for the new card. So if you spent a lot of money at Macy’s, it assumes you would really rather have one of those new Amex cards that lets you collect “Star Rewards.” In fact, Macy’s is so confident that you want more rewards that it will make that decision for you (but don’t worry, you can always opt out).
I have a pretty good idea of what happened here. You probably received the notification letter from Macy’s. It looked like junk mail and went straight to the recycler, where all credit card offers belong. Macy’s never received a return letter because it was lining your birdcage.
How to resolve this Macy’s card upgrade problem
I see you tried to resolve this in writing, which was great. You could have also escalated your case to someone higher up at Macy’s. I list all of the Macy’s executive contacts on my consumer advocacy site.
I understand why Macy’s was reluctant to downgrade your card. Every customer who opts out of its new American Express card is lost revenue to Macy’s. The company wants you to participate in its addictive loyalty program, use its high-interest credit card, buy more and pay more. If I was a Macy’s shareholder, I’d be really happy with this kind of business practice; as a customer, not so much.
I contacted Macy’s on your behalf, and it allowed you to return to your old card.