No. of Recommendations: 4
We assign a Pay Over Time limit to your Account.
We will not place any charge into a Pay Over Time
balance if it causes the total of your Pay Over Time
balances to go over your Pay Over Time limit. We
may reduce or increase this amount. We may do so
even if you pay on time and your Account is not in
default. We will tell you if we change that amount. You
must pay in full upon receipt of your billing statement
all charges that are not placed into a Pay Over Time

So - there is a maximum amount that you are allowed to 'pay over time' and when you reach that limit, or a charge would put you over the limit, you don't get to 'pay over time' any more - you must be pay off as part of the current charges in the next month's minimum payment.

A charge is eligible if it equals or is more than a
certain dollar amount. We will tell you this amount
when you enroll, and it is subject to change. We
will tell you if we change it. Certain charges are not
eligible, such as cash and similar transactions.
We may change which charges are eligible
to be placed into a Pay Over Time balance.

Charges must be a certain minimum amount to be allowed to be put into the 'pay over time' account. If the charge is less than $25, for instance, Amex may want the money all at once. Not all charges are eligible to be 'paid over time' - for example, Amex may allow plane tickets/airline charges to be paid over time, but they don't allow charges at a casino or purchases of traveler's checks to be paid over time, because they consider these 'similar to cash'. (I have no idea if this is how Amex treats these merchant categories, or if there are other things that Amex considers 'similar to cash' or otherwise ineligible - you would have to get the specifics from Amex.)

My minimums have been more or less $1000 - sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. In January my minimum was $4000! Talk about scrambling.

So, my guess is what happened is that you made enough in new charges in December to max out your 'pay over time' allowance, plus another $3000; that you had enough in small transactions (below the minimum 'pay over time' threshold) to add up to $3000; or else you made $3000 in charges that were ineligible to be put into the 'pay over time' account. (Or some combination of these 3 issues.) In January, having that $3000 in December charges that were not put into the 'pay over time' account required you to pay the minimum $1000 (+/-) that you had been paying on your 'pay over time' balance, plus the $3000, which is how you got to a $4000 minimum in January.

Assuming no curve balls, my goals is to pay them $3500/month until the debt is completely paid off , which I hope as you say will be in 4 months.

If you aren't making any new charges, your minimum payment should remain at or below the $1000 per month - depending on how Amex figures the minimum payment on the 'pay over time' account. If you can pay $3500/month, then you should be able to pay it all off in about 4 months, more or less - depending on your actual balance and interest charges.

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