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A few months ago, there was an offer for The Platinum Card® from American Express with a signup bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards after meeting a spending bonus. It only lasted a little less than a day (though if you were on the Points With a Crew miles and points Slack channel you got more time than most) before it was killed. I signed myself up, and met my spending target and received my 100,000 Membership Rewards a few weeks ago.
Some people reporting their 100,000 Membership Rewards bonus clawed back
Over on the Slack channel, some folks yesterday started commenting about how some folks Membership Rewards were getting clawed back. There is also coverage about this on Reddit and Doctor of Credit.
According to the terms and conditions of the signup bonus
The following charges do NOT count towards the Threshold Amount: fees or interest charges; balance transfers; cash advances; purchases of travelers checks; purchases or reloading of prepaid cards; or purchases of other cash equivalents.
This is nothing new – it’s always been in there, but apparently Amex is taking the stance that people that met their signup bonus requirements by buying prepaid debit cards have bought “cash equivalents” and therefore are not eligible.
I did check my account and my Membership Rewards are still there (I did not do any MS to meet this particular signup bonus, though I have before on some cards)
(SEE ALSO: How I lost a $400 credit card signup bonus 🙁)
One really annoying feature is that Amex waited to do this until AFTER the 3 month spending period is over. That means that people whose bonuses were clawed back have no real recourse other than either arguing with Amex or the CFPB.
Did you have your Membership Rewards clawed back? Leave your data points in the comments
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NOT kidding… had a dream (nightmare) about this exact thing last night. Woke up and saw your post and almost threw up. Checked my balance, and all the points are there!!! 🙂 Amex did freeze my account (or whatever the term is) a while back, I found out when I was trying to transfer some points to Aeroplan and couldn’t. They told me the review should be over by mid Sept, but I just tried a transfer to Aeroplan (just 1K to test it out), and it went through right away 🙂 Hopefully my saga with this is over! For the record, I don’t do any manufactured spend (with every day expenses and work travel I get to charge on personal cards for later reimbursement, I don’t have to). I did overspent by $500 or so on Amex (vs $3K required to get the bonus) to make sure I don’t make a stupid mistake and miss out on the 100K
LOL when dream becomes reality! 🙂
Curious that you and many others in this space don’t seem much concerned here. To me, this has shades of when Amex shut down the BlueBird — with an after-the-fact claim that “unusual” patterns included purchases of gift cards…. (and I haven’t taken out any new business with AMEX ever since….. as I no longer trust them)
This too strikes me as an alarming development, as something quite new…. If indeed Amex is now after the fact characterizing the purchase of gift cards as “cash equivalents,” (e.g., as ms) then nearly all of us non-high rollers in this hobby are doomed.
Curious that you didn’t use MS to meet your spend this time. (Good for you, but ordinarily, isn’t MS a regular part of your strategy for meeting minimum spends on your revolving stash of cards?)
How does Amex know what items are on a receipt? If I buy a printer and a VGC at Office Max in the same transaction, does Amex get more info than the total?
Yes – some merchants and some card companies get what is called “Level 3” data which can sometimes tell that information. Or maybe they just looked for a lot of transactions of $505.95 🙂
I met my spend by paying my mortgage through Plastiq. You think im safe? They haven’t clawed the points back yet.
To me that would count as actual spend so I’d say you’re safe.