July 22, 2024

The founder and CEO of Chanhassen, Minn.-based MyPillow told RedState the behind-the-scenes details of how American Express kneecapped his business after many years.

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“As long as I’ve been in business, and when I say Amex, this isn’t us taking other people’s cards. This is our own cards,” said Mike Lindell, who invented the cornerstone pillow in 2004.

Lindell said in the second week of September, his Amex representative called to say that the credit card company was considering dropping MyPillow’s credit limit from its $1 million level.

“It was like an umbrella, a $1 million, and if let’s say in a weekend you use $200,000 of it, which should be a normal weekend—maybe 300,” he said. 

The Minnesota-born CEO said he used the Amex account as revolving credit so that he was making payments daily. “If you’re getting close to your million, we were paying just about every day for sure, at least three days.”

Lindell said he never exceeded his limit and always paid on time.

The man President Donald J. Trump called the single greatest buyer of ads in the history of our country said he issued Amex cards to employees throughout his company to pay for shipping, advertising, and other expenses, where there are recurring charges.

“It’s tied to almost everything, Facebook ads, Google ads, UPS shipping—so every time you’ll put 10,000 on the card. Once it ships out, it’ll hit the card again automatically in the middle of the night or day,” he said. 

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In the second week of September, Lindell said his Amex representative called to say the company was lowering the boom. “I said: ‘No, you can’t do it. Reduce the credit line. I said, if you do that, it would cripple us.”

The MyPillow huckster said he was stunned when the rep told him the new limit would be $100,000. 

“I said: ‘Are you out of your mind? You just won’t take the card. We’re done. I mean, you can’t put for a hundred grand,’” he said. “This guy, he’s been my rep, I guess, for a long time. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to him, but I was on the phone for this. It was very serious.”

Lindell said he tried to reason with the rep: “You need to go ask your superiors why they would even do this. You can’t just shut us off. We don’t have a million dollars on Tuesday.”

The rep agreed to go to his bosses and told Lindell: “Mike, I’m on your team. I’m on your team. He comes back from his superiors, and he said: ‘No, they’re not going to reduce it.’”

Despite the good word, Lindell said his rep ghosted him, and American Express lowered the credit limit regardless.

“They shut us off on Monday, and it just shut everything down,” he said.

Lindell said he and his managers scrambled to set up accounts with other banks—and they were forced to rely on debit cards with a $10,000 purchase limit, which meant the purchase agents were bombarded with fraud alert texts: “You put a debit card on there, and you get a thing that says, is this fraud? Do you really want to buy it? Do you really want to pay for $200,000 worth of shipping? It’s a disaster.”

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“You never want to have a gap in your shipping or your Facebook ads as they gear up or your Google ads,” he said.

 “That’s just the way these platforms are run, so for example, Facebook, if you buy $5,000 worth, as soon as it runs that ad, it’ll bang the card again,” he said.

Lindell has been retaliated against before

This is not Lindell’s time being de-banked. In January 2022, his long-time banking relationship, Minnesota Bank & Trust, where he said he had nine accounts, told him that he presented the bank with reputational risk. 

Today, BlackRock, one of the financial institutions leading the leftwing movement of so-called stakeholder investing, owns 13.65 percent of the bank’s parent, Heartland Financial USA. Another leftwing activist financial institution, Vanguard, owns 7.30 percent.

Lindell and his company have taken hits from the big box retailers, as Bed, Bath and Beyond and Walmart stopped selling his MyPillow products. 

The CEO said retailers told him it was because his company was named in lawsuits related to his investigations and activism related to the 2020 presidential election—even though his businesses were always separate from his political activities.

“We need to fix to secure our election—they are saying MyPillow profited from that,” he said. “If that’s my intention, I got to be the dumbest guy in history.”

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Lindell said he is well aware that the blowback to his election integrity crusade has devastated his business. 

“I lost all the box stores in January of 2021, and then even Walmart last year and hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “My company’s just been devastated, but yet, I’m not changing my tune on the election.”

The people really getting hurt are the company’s 1,300 to 1,500 workers, who all earn shares in the company, he said. 

“They’re hurting all of our families.”

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