I’m a long term customer with American Express. Membership Rewards is the first flexible point program where I ever earned points. I’ve since transferred points from my account to make possible some of my most memorable trips. Despite my past experiences, I have a love-hate relationship with them.
I think American Express has the best combination of cards that earn either Membership Rewards or points with their co-brand partners (Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton and Delta.) It might be because of the desirability of those cards that AMEX has taken an aggressive stance against anyone they feel is abusing the relationship. That’s the realm of the RAT team. No reason is too small for the RATs as they’ll even take back points you earned through an AMEX processing error, such as earning a bonus on charges that were refunded by an AMEX credit. Buy a gift card during your sign up period and they’ll deny your bonus. Now they deny you getting a bonus on a card before you apply with the AMEX pop-up.
So imagine my surprise when I found that AMEX had paid me for an AMEX offer when I didn’t expect them to.
Back in March, there was an AMEX offer for 500 Membership Rewards points if you paid $90+ for a cable or satellite TV bill. You were able to use the offer four times before July 24.
I wanted to max out the offer as quickly as possible. My cable provider doesn’t allow me to make multiple payments with the same card on the same day, so I paid $90 on April 18 and another $90 on April 20. The bonus 500 Membership Rewards points showed up three days after each charge.
I forgot to use my AMEX for the bill in May, so the charge went on my Ink Cash. I remembered in June but only on the due date. I was lazy so I put the whole $234 charge on the AMEX.
Imagine my surprise when I saw an additional 1,000 Membership Rewards in our account when I checked AwardWallet.
AMEX awarded me the 1,000 points because I charged more than $180 ($90×2). I’d never tried to do this with AMEX Offers before. I figured if they said you’d get a bonus for $100+ for 3 times, that means you needed three purchases over $100 not just one purchase over $300.
I guess what I’m looking for is some data points. Is this something AMEX has been doing for a while or did I just catch a lucky break? Or should I be worried that the RAT Team is going to come calling and claw back the 500 points (That’s Sharon’s bet!)
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary