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Bye Bye pro-rated Annual Fee refunds (USA), September 2016, exceptions reported.

Bye Bye pro-rated Annual Fee refunds (USA), September 2016, exceptions reported.

Old Jun 5, 16, 6:55 am
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Bye Bye pro-rated Annual Fee refunds (USA), September 2016, exceptions reported.

Amex is terminating the pro-rated annual fee refunds on all their cards effective September 2016.

In my statement were these details:

Closing your Account

We are changing our policy for refunding Annual Membership fees for voluntary account
cancellations taking place on or after September 1, 2016.
If an Annual Membership fee applies to your Account, we will refund this fee if you notify
us that you are voluntarily closing your Account within 30 days of the Closing Date of the
billing statement on which that fee appears. For cancellations after this 30 day period, the
Annual Membership fee is non-refundable.
For example, if your Annual Fee is charged on a billing statement on which the Closing
Date is April 2, you have until May 2 to voluntarily cancel your Account and receive a full
refund.
Please note that any Annual Membership fees for additional cards may appear on a
different billing statement than the Annual Membership fee for the Basic Card Member's
Account. This means that additional card fees may not be refunded if you cancel your
Account.

Last edited by mia; Jun 5, 16 at 7:06 am Reason: Formatting
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Old Jun 5, 16, 11:24 am
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Well that $1 billion in cost cutting is coming from some interesting places...
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Old Jun 5, 16, 7:06 pm
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No surprise here. Sites like this one are full of people bragging about signing up for an Amex Platinum, meeting the minimum spending requirement, using the $100 Global Entry credit and the $200 travel credit, and then canceling the card within 30 days for a full AF refund.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
No surprise here. Sites like this one are full of people bragging about signing up for an Amex Platinum, meeting the minimum spending requirement, using the $100 Global Entry credit and the $200 travel credit, and then canceling the card within 30 days for a full AF refund.
The announcement changes nothing in regards to that strategy.

New CC holders will still have plenty of time to hit min spend, use the credits, and cancel the card within 30 days of the AF posting, and get the AF fully refunded.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 3:29 am
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Not if Amex starts making people wait 6 to 8 weeks for the points to post (or be accessible), as it started doing with the May 9-10 Amex Plat 100k sign-ups.

As with the other changes, they're not doing this just for the hell of it.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
Not if Amex starts making people wait 6 to 8 weeks for the points to post (or be accessible), as it started doing with the May 9-10 Amex Plat 100k sign-ups.
Do you have any data points to suggest that AMEX is doing this other than for that 100k AMEX Plat deal?

Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
As with the other changes, they're not doing this just for the hell of it.
Most normal holders are probably unable to hit min spend so quickly as to be able to take advantage of all the benefits and cancel card in time to get AF refunded. So you're right, they not doing it for the hell of it. But the change certainly won't stop me or other churners like me.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 6:11 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
...bragging about signing up for an Amex Platinum, meeting the minimum spending requirement, using the $100 Global Entry credit and the $200 travel credit, and then canceling the card within 30 days for a full AF refund.
I do not see this nearly as often as I see people realizing that they can collect a second $200 / $100 if they hold the card into the next calendar year. This policy won't eliminate that possibility, but it does mean (for most renewal dates) that there will not be a pro-rated refund in addition to the second Airline Fee reimbursement.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
This policy won't eliminate that possibility, but it does mean (for most renewal dates) that there will not be a pro-rated refund in addition to the second Airline Fee reimbursement.
Best strategy is to now apply for those cards with the credits in early December. Hit min spend, get credits for 2016, get air credit for 2017 in early Jan, wait till MR post, and then cancel to get AF refunded.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
Most normal holders are probably unable to hit min spend so quickly as to be able to take advantage of all the benefits and cancel card in time to get AF refunded. So you're right, they not doing it for the hell of it. But the change certainly won't stop me or other churners like me.
Most "normal holders" don't have any intention of canceling a new card after 30 or 60 days, so that class of cardholder is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.

Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
Best strategy is to now apply for those cards with the credits in early December. Hit min spend, get credits for 2016, get air credit for 2017 in early Jan, wait till MR post, and then cancel to get AF refunded.
For a one-time $400 score plus MR points, at the risk of being blacklisted from one of the top two card issuers for people who travel. Not a great strategy, really — especially since the banks will see it coming a mile away, after the blogs all beat the idea to death from now until December.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
Most "normal holders" don't have any intention of canceling a new card after 30 or 60 days, so that class of cardholder is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.



For a one-time $400 score plus MR points, at the risk of being blacklisted from one of the top two card issuers for people who travel. Not a great strategy, really especially since the banks will see it coming a mile away, after the blogs all beat the idea to death from now until December.
I've been doing this for quite some time now, including the points fiasco where AMEX really dropped the ball, and I'm still churning away without a blacklist. Everytime I call they thank me for my loyalty. Just the other day, I was approved for 2 Delta cards with another one pending. AFAICT, this blacklisting thing is a bit of a myth (as it relates to the activities I'm engaged in).
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Old Jun 6, 16, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
For a one-time $400 score plus MR points, at the risk of being blacklisted from one of the top two card issuers for people who travel. Not a great strategy, really — especially since the banks will see it coming a mile away, after the blogs all beat the idea to death from now until December.
Agree. Plus this completely ignores the fact that for many of us, we decide that some of these cards are worth keeping in spite of the annual fee. For me the Platinum card at a net AF of $250 (minus whatever I'm able to get as a retention bonus) is a workable value for the benefits it offers, which for me is mainly lounge access, especially once the IAH Centurion Lounge opens.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
I've been doing this for quite some time now, including the points fiasco where AMEX really dropped the ball, and I'm still churning away without a blacklist. Everytime I call they thank me for my loyalty. Just the other day, I was approved for 2 Delta cards with another one pending. AFAICT, this blacklisting thing is a bit of a myth (as it relates to the activities I'm engaged in).
Again, I never said Amex is blacklisting. I said there's a risk of being blacklisted, as Citi and Chase are already doing. It's not like Amex is going to announce such action in advance. People will just suddenly start finding themselves shut down.

Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Agree. Plus this completely ignores the fact that for many of us, we decide that some of these cards are worth keeping in spite of the annual fee. For me the Platinum card at a net AF of $250 (minus whatever I'm able to get as a retention bonus) is a workable value for the benefits it offers, which for me is mainly lounge access, especially once the IAH Centurion Lounge opens.
Right. I understand some of these "strategies" from the $20,000-per-year Reddit crowd. I don't understand it all among people who claim to make good money and who like to travel. There's no way I'd gamble my Citi Prestige and/or Citi Platinum for a one-time $1,000 score.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by jsk1973 View Post
Again, I never said Amex is blacklisting. I said there's a risk of being blacklisted, as Citi and Chase are already doing. It's not like Amex is going to announce such action in advance. People will just suddenly start finding themselves shut down.
Yes, anyone who thinks that Amex will gave advance notice of a shutdown only needs to go to the Manufactured Spending forum and read about the tidal wave of Amex Bluebird / Amex Serve shutdowns that came with no warning from Amex.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 9:12 am
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Anyone who understands accounting knows what this is about.

Because fees are refundable, Amex cannot treat them as 'income' immediately. Let's imagine Amex makes $100m in annual fees. At any point, 50% of that is refundable so it has $50m which is not treated as 'income'.

Stopping refunds will lead to a big one-off income spike because the full fee can be taken to revenue after 30 days. As there are no associated costs, all of that extra income will hit the bottom line.
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Old Jun 6, 16, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Anyone who understands accounting knows what this is about.

Because fees are refundable, Amex cannot treat them as 'income' immediately. Let's imagine Amex makes $100m in annual fees. At any point, 50% of that is refundable so it has $50m which is not treated as 'income'.

Stopping refunds will lead to a big one-off income spike because the full fee can be taken to revenue after 30 days. As there are no associated costs, all of that extra income will hit the bottom line.
Yes BUT, these points will only be frozen 6-8 weeks. The AF prorated refunds elimination won't begin until September so there will be a period in which people can still get almost all of their AF refunded.
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