Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > Manufactured Spending
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 15, 13, 8:15 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SF Bay area
Posts: 232
Amex started denying rewards to purchase of reloads

Update: Now it's not a question of whether it hurts, but how much... Thanks BenH for his report at post #23: Does Amex consider gift cards "cash equivalents"?

Short summary is that at least 2 types of reloads (VR, MP) are not receiving cash rewards. Gift cards are still OK for now.

End of Update.

Just read from another thread that Amex is not giving cash rebate to "reload" cards. It's quite surprising that no discussion here. I checked the T&C in Amex site and indeed it is buried under "Terms and limitations apply" -- you have to click the tiny sign (†) to see it. (https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...sh-back-cards/)

Now the question becomes whether gift cards are considered "cash equivalents"? It's quite chilling because in that same thread someone reported claw back of reward dollars by Amex (though for a different reason). What if one year later Amex wants you to return all the cash back because it's earns on "cash equivalents"?

Amex T&C (bold is mine):

Cash back is earned only on eligible purchases and is earned in the form of Blue Cash Reward DollarsSM (reward dollars). You can redeem reward dollars for statement credit, merchandise and gift cards, whenever your available reward dollars balance is 25 or more. The number of reward dollars you earn is based on a percentage of the dollar amount of your eligible purchases during each billing period.

Eligible Purchases means purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply.

You will earn a reward of 3% on the first $6,000 of eligible purchases in an annual reward year at supermarkets located in the U.S. (superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets). An annual reward year is 12 billing periods in a row starting with the one that begins in January; 2% on eligible purchases of gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. (superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations); 2% on eligible purchases at select department stores located in the U.S. (The current list of select major department stores at which you can earn a 2% reward is available at americanexpress.com/rewards-info); and 1% on all other eligible purchases.

Merchants are assigned codes based on what they primarily sell. A purchase will not earn a higher percentage reward if the merchant’s code is not eligible. Purchases made through a third-party payment account or on an online marketplace (with multiple retailers) will not earn a higher percentage reward. A purchase may not earn a higher percentage reward if the merchant submits the purchase using a mobile or wireless card reader or if you use a mobile or digital wallet.

Last edited by shel; Jun 10, 13 at 11:03 am. Reason: Update
shel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 13, 9:17 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: MCO
Programs: AA 1MM, BA, UA, HH Dia, CC Gold, SPG Plat
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by shel View Post
Just read from another thread that Amex is not giving cash rebate to "reload" cards. It's quite surprising that no discussion here.
If you read it in a thread, then wouldn't that qualify as discussion (that might even be continued in said thread)?
It's not discussed further because it's not a concern.
/thread
TTnC4me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 13, 12:00 am   #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6
Amex cash back

Have you checked if Amex disqualified your grocery purchases for cash back bonus? There might be a glitch (crossing fingers)
natgwapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 13, 1:01 am   #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,602
Quote:
Originally Posted by shel View Post
Just read from another thread that Amex is not giving cash rebate to "reload" cards. It's quite surprising that no discussion here. I checked the T&C in Amex site and indeed it is buried under "Terms and limitations apply" -- you have to click the tiny sign (†) to see it. (https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...sh-back-cards/)

Now the question becomes whether gift cards are considered "cash equivalents"? It's quite chilling because in that same thread someone reported claw back of reward dollars by Amex (though for a different reason). What if one year later Amex wants you to return all the cash back because it's earns on "cash equivalents"?
Yes, gift cards are considered cash equivalents, and AMEX has had that wording in the fine print for a while. They could probably claw back the last several years rewards if they could tell what you were buying and if they felt like pursuing it. As it is now they don't know what you are buying and they have not been pursuing clawing back. They have handled it by putting a cap on the rewards your can earn.
ddallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 13, 9:45 am   #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SF Bay area
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTnC4me View Post
If you read it in a thread, then wouldn't that qualify as discussion (that might even be continued in said thread)?
It's not discussed further because it's not a concern.
/thread
The other thread is American Express Blue Cash Preferred (6% supermarket questions) but main concern there is the cap. I think this forum is more focused on the "cash equivalents".

Anyway we are in unchartered water. Just be prepared someday Amex may want you to return $$$ that was "bank error" in your favor.
shel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 13, 9:53 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SF Bay area
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddallas View Post
Yes, gift cards are considered cash equivalents, and AMEX has had that wording in the fine print for a while. They could probably claw back the last several years rewards if they could tell what you were buying and if they felt like pursuing it. As it is now they don't know what you are buying and they have not been pursuing clawing back. They have handled it by putting a cap on the rewards your can earn.
Thanks for the insight. But the "cash equivalents" clause in T&C is new -- supposed to take effect May 1. I'm not worried about years back but going forward.

Does Amex know what you are buying? No one is sure. For example, Discover knows your "cash back" and doesn't give rebate on it. Has Amex required grocery stores to break down the "cash equivalents"? I hope not.
shel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 13, 11:58 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Programs: CO, UA, AA, WN, DL Gold
Posts: 2,232
required spend

Not only cash back. Will Amex not allow GC as part of a required spend to get a sign up bonus?
thebat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 13, 8:27 am   #8
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA 2MM Perpetual Platinum; HH & SPG Gold
Posts: 20,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by shel View Post
Just read from another thread that Amex is not giving cash rebate to "reload" cards.
This language now appears in the terms of all USA-issued American Express personal cards. I do not recall any report of the terms being enforced as written. Have you?

I have read reports of cardholders being asked during telephone discussions if specific transactions were Vanilla Reloads, but there were no consequences. This does not mean that the terms will never be enforced as written.

American Express practice frequently differs from policy, and usually in the customers' favor, but if practice is later brought into alignment with policy it usually happens abruptly, and customer service then has no flexibility to make exceptions.
mia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 13, 8:51 am   #9
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
This language now appears in the terms of all USA-issued American Express personal cards. I do not recall any report of the terms being enforced as written. Have you?

I have read reports of cardholders being asked during telephone discussions if specific transactions were Vanilla Reloads, but there were no consequences. This does not mean that the terms will never be enforced as written.

American Express practice frequently differs from policy, and usually in the customers' favor, but if practice is later brought into alignment with policy it usually happens abruptly, and customer service then has no flexibility to make exceptions.
During a FR, Amex specifically asked if I had bought VRs. It started with asking if I had made large ($500) purchases at CVS. I said "yes, I bought GCs". They responded by asking if I had bought VRs. I told them yes I had. They can most definitely see what we are buying (at least a FR rep can). They mentioned that they did not like this practice, but beyond that nothing came of it. And I then went on to pass my FR (even though my 2011 income was ~5k less than what I had reported on my Amex application in 2012). I have since not bought any VRs with that Amex card.
MilesGator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 13, 8:54 am   #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: UA MPE, BA Blue, AA, IHG Plat Amb, Marriot Silver, HHonors Silver, National Exec, Avis First
Posts: 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddallas View Post
Yes, gift cards are considered cash equivalents, and AMEX has had that wording in the fine print for a while. They could probably claw back the last several years rewards if they could tell what you were buying and if they felt like pursuing it. As it is now they don't know what you are buying and they have not been pursuing clawing back. They have handled it by putting a cap on the rewards your can earn.
I suspect that would be a PR disaster!
Bender464 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 13, 1:15 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 72
@shel "Unchartered waters"

I haven't laughed so hard in a while.
pdxp2b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 13, 7:03 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxp2b View Post
@shel "Unchartered waters"

I haven't laughed so hard in a while.
He must be the guy who "hided" the VRs
farwest101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 13, 2:11 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Programs: CO, UA, AA, WN, DL Gold
Posts: 2,232
liquidate Amex gift card?

Well, I've searched and searched. I can't find the answer to the simple question in the post title. Can you turn Amex Gift card into cash? Is there any way to load them into BlueBird?
Thanks
thebat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 13, 2:19 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebat View Post
Well, I've searched and searched. I can't find the answer to the simple question in the post title. Can you turn Amex Gift card into cash? Is there any way to load them into BlueBird?
Thanks
I heard that Amex was not affected by the law that required Visa/MC GC's to start issuing PINs. So without a PIN, you cant load it to BB.
cashback is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 13, 4:08 pm   #15
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 909
Deleted

Last edited by vagrants; Jun 1, 13 at 4:17 am.
vagrants is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:20 pm.