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amexgoldcardThere is nothing I like more than receiving free money.  And since I equate airline miles and hotel points with money (though of course some are worth more than others…), getting free miles and points!

I use Award Wallet to track my miles and points balances, and the other day, I noticed that my wife had 50,000 extra American Express Membership Rewards.  I was confused to know where those had come from.

One of her first cards that she had signed up for was a targeted offer for 50,000 Membership Rewards point when spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.  This was about a year ago and I was not as good at tracking my spending, and I missed the deadline (by ONE DAY!).

So I did not receive the bonus.  I tried for months to talk with American Express to try and get it.  I thought that there was somewhat of a valid argument, depending on the definition of the date that we received the bonus.  This was somewhat complicated by the fact that the card was in Carolyn’s name, so I was limited to chatting.  I would actually get the chat representative to agree with me that the bonus was deserved, but then somehow it would be overruled.  There may actually have been a phone call with me talking in falsetto pretending to be her 😀

The disagreement

So to me it boiled down to when my account started.  I applied for the card on June 14 but didn’t actually get an approval notice until June 15, and didn’t actually receive the card until a week or so later.  I completed my $1000 in spending on September 15, but my argument was how could my 3 months to spend on the card start until I actually received the card?  It was kind of a weak argument but I thought it was worth a shot.

In the end, like I said, despite multiple chats and a few calls, I never was able to get the points.

I gave it my best shot, because I’ve had pretty good success with companies giving in “just this once” on things like this.  But in the end, I just chalked it up to a rookie mistake for not meeting the (very minimal) spending requirements earlier.  In the end, it shouldn’t have even come down to the definition of 3 months.

One year later

So one year later, as we were going through our cards and figuring out which ones we wanted to pay the annual fees on, I logged into Award Wallet, only to find:

awardwalletamexWait, what?  Indeed, when I logged on to the American Express account, the 50,000 points had posted.  I assume those are the original points, but I am not sure why it took a year to post.  Maybe it was something involving her anniversary, or maybe it took months and months to be reviewed by senior management.

In any case, I am not complaining, nor am I violating the #1 rule of travel hacking (DO. NOT. CALL. EVER)

Since I value Membership Rewards points at nearly 2c each, this was like nearly a surprise $1000 – so to say I was pleased would be quite the understatement!

What about you? Have you ever gotten a bonus you weren’t expecting?

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