Points Clawed Back - Can I do anything?

Old Mar 24, 21, 5:18 pm
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Points Clawed Back - Can I do anything?

Last year I took a targeted upgrade from Everyday to EveryDay Preferred and paid the prorated annual fee, met the spend requirements and received my bonus points. Last month I was charged the annual fee and since I was never hitting the 30 transactions needed to get the 50% bonus points, I decided to downgrade back to the Everyday card where it's easier to hit the 20 transactions per month and receive the 20% bonus.

Today I received an email saying they have adjusted my account because of the downgrade and sure enough I saw that the bonus points had been pulled out. I wish I had known that even downgrades would trigger a clawback. Any suggestions on how to proceed? Should I just chalk this up to experience and move on?

FWIW, this is now my only Amex card. I had a Gold card which I cancelled last year after I got charged the $250 annual fee and almost always was losing out on the limited restaurant credit.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
... paid the prorated annual fee, met the spend requirements and received my bonus points. Last month I was charged the annual fee ... Today I received an email saying they have adjusted my account because of the downgrade and sure enough I saw that the bonus points had been pulled out. I wish I had known that even downgrades would trigger a clawback. Any suggestions on how to proceed? Should I just chalk this up to experience and move on?
How many months did you have it for? If you don't keep the upgraded card for a full year, then yeah, that'll happen. And as to the bolded, yes, unfortunately.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:16 pm
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Yeah, as KK stated, if you didn't keep the card for a year you have little recourse.

AMEX is very clear about closing cards within a year. And that year begins when you decided to accept a bonus to upgrade to another card.

Sorry.

Last edited by Diplomatico; Mar 24, 21 at 8:24 pm
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
How many months did you have it for? If you don't keep the upgraded card for a full year, then yeah, that'll happen. And as to the bolded, yes, unfortunately.
I believe I upgraded at the end of Sept last year expecting a return to office and the ability to start charging daily lunches to the card to get the 30 transactions. I had the upgraded card for maybe just shy of 6 months. I knew about Amex clawbacks when a card is opened and then closed. I didnt realize that it applied to upgrades and downgrades as well.

Oh well! I guess Amex made a half year's annual fee off me for once
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Old Mar 24, 21, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
Yeah, as KK stated, if you didn't keep the card for a year you have little recourse.

AMEX is very clear about closing cards within a year. And that year begins when you decided to accept a bonus to upgrade to another card.

Sorry.
For the record, I didn't close the card, simply downgraded it to what I had before.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
For the record, I didn't close the card, simply downgraded it to what I had before.
Right - but downgrading and cancelling have the same negative impact in the eyes of Amex if they gave you some incentive, like an upgrade or retention bonus.

I have a ED to EDP upgrade offer in my email right now, and this is a quote direct from the T&Cs in the email: "...if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account."

Unfortunate to learn a lesson the hard way...
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
Right - but downgrading and cancelling have the same negative impact in the eyes of Amex if they gave you some incentive, like an upgrade or retention bonus.

I have a ED to EDP upgrade offer in my email right now, and this is a quote direct from the T&Cs in the email: "...if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account."

Unfortunate to learn a lesson the hard way...
Does this mean at least one renewal AF cannot be avoided? I picked up the Plat last November, so do I need to pay a second AF (keep it more than a year) to avoid trouble? TIA.

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Old Mar 25, 21, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by LAX View Post
....do I need to pay a second AF (keep it more than a year) to avoid trouble?
If we are now discussing a card obtained through a new application, rather than via upgrade, the renewal fee will be due after the account is 12 months old.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by LAX View Post
Does this mean at least one renewal AF cannot be avoided? I picked up the Plat last November, so do I need to pay a second AF (keep it more than a year) to avoid trouble? TIA.
Honestly, I now wonder if this has in some way blacklisted me (or at the very least put me on some kind of naughty list) with Amex. If I were you, I'd probably look to keep the card for an additional year and try and get a retention bonus to offset the second year's annual fee. 2 years seems to be the new safe spot now. I upgraded from the ED to the EDP by simply clicking the upgrade offer that showed up under My Offers and didn't bother to read the T&Cs. Lost 25K MR.

Does anyone have any data points on whether future applications for new cards are approved/rejected based on a past clawback of points?
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Old Mar 25, 21, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
If we are now discussing a card obtained through a new application, rather than via upgrade, the renewal fee will be due after the account is 12 months old.
Does this mean it's okay to wait until the renewal AF posts (which I guess is 12 months since account opening) and then call to cancel? As long as this is done within 30 days of posting, the full AF will be refunded, right? This may end up being a moot point as I might decide to keep it for at least another year if rumored changes to Plat benefits may end up being positive for me.

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Old Mar 25, 21, 4:04 pm
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I didn't know about this!
Just accepted upgrade offer from green to gold last month.
Guess I have to be careful next year.

When you downgraded the card, I assume this is done via the phone, and they didn't remind you about the terms?
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Old Mar 25, 21, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX View Post
Does this mean it's okay to wait until the renewal AF posts (which I guess is 12 months since account opening) and then call to cancel? As long as this is done within 30 days of posting, the full AF will be refunded, right?
It's actually within 30 days from the closing date of the statement on which the AF posts. I had no clawback from my PRG bonus when I closed it in this manner (immediately following my first renewal AF).
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Old Mar 25, 21, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
It's actually within 30 days from the closing date of the statement on which the AF posts. I had no clawback from my PRG bonus when I closed it in this manner (immediately following my first renewal AF).
Thanks for reporting your experience. Does this (closing an account just after a year to avoid paying another AF) have a negative impact on future applications? I am guessing no unless it's done on a regular basis.

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Old Mar 25, 21, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by xcollon View Post
I didn't know about this!
Just accepted upgrade offer from green to gold last month.
Guess I have to be careful next year.

When you downgraded the card, I assume this is done via the phone, and they didn't remind you about the terms?
Nope! Not a peep. If he had explicitly told me that my points would be debited I would have backed off. My guess is since I was only downgrading and not canceling the card, he didnt need to bother much.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX View Post
Thanks for reporting your experience. Does this (closing an account just after a year to avoid paying another AF) have a negative impact on future applications? I am guessing no unless it's done on a regular basis.
Not that I'm aware of; I even received a targeted offer for the BCP recently that was better than the public offer.
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