When the bakery closed during Covid, one reason was Bank of America’s delays in handling of our emergency loan (PPP) request. That’s a different story for another time, but the bottom line is that I moved from Bank of America to a credit union (for both business and personal banking).

Recently, the credit union attempted to update their online banking. It’s a disaster and customers have been without access to transfers, bill pay, balances, etc for over 2 weeks.

Because of this, I looked at moving some of the business accounts to new banks, including American Express Business Checking (which had very good reviews).

Enter American Express

During the application review, I was asked to call in to the American Express call center to provide additional information.

Surprisingly, the call was answered in a US call center and the agent was very polite, courteous, and friendly. The agent was great. No complaints.

She asks me to give her my social security number… which I reply that perhaps she wants the company number instead (as this is a business account). No, needs my social as this is “for your security.”

“For my security?,” I asked… “Yes, sir.”

Meh… whatever… figured I give it an move on.

Once my social security number was provided, she then stated she needed my date of birth.

“This is for my security?,” I asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“So to be clear, for my security, American Express is asking me to give over the telephone my name, date of birth, and social security number?”

“Yes, sir.”


Again, she was a great agent. Friendly, courteous, etc. This wasn’t her decision… this was an American Express policy.

I responded to her politely as well and cancelled the application. American Express and I continue to have different views of security.