Paying income tax doesn't qualify for welcome bonus?

Old Aug 2, 2022, 5:10 pm
  #1  
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Paying income tax doesn't qualify for welcome bonus?

I received a no lifetime Amex Plat Bus offer for 150k bonus points if I spent $15k in 3 months.

Spent $15k to pay income taxes online.

Normally bonus points have posted very shortly after meeting the minimum spend, but these points hadn't posted for a month, so I called.

The rep, after checking with "management" stated that paying taxes isn't an "eligibile purchase", so I won't be getting the 150k points. She insisted I wasn't purchasing any good or service, and thus it's not an eligible purchase.

This doesn't sound right.

HUACA?
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Old Aug 2, 2022, 5:16 pm
  #2  
mia
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Many of us routinely use American Express cards to pay taxes and earn bonuses:

USA Tax Payments with Amex [Consolidated]

If the transaction earned base points, which you can verify online, it will count toward the new account bonus. The fact that the bonus did not post as rapidly as on previous occasions is of no particular significance.
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Old Aug 2, 2022, 7:09 pm
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Plenty of chatter about this on Reddit. Several people are reporting the same message but so far most see the bonus post, just very slowly as opposed to typical immediately on meeting MSR.

So far it seems random but haven't seen any data points of it not posting 12 weeks after MSR is met which is technically how long they can take.
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Old Aug 2, 2022, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by pitflyer
Plenty of chatter about this on Reddit. Several people are reporting the same message but so far most see the bonus post, just very slowly as opposed to typical immediately on meeting MSR.

So far it seems random but haven't seen any data points of it not posting 12 weeks after MSR is met which is technically how long they can take.

Thanks! Glad I'm not the only one! The rep was very insistent that since I didn't buy a good or service the spend wasn't eligible for the welcome bonus, and she read the terms and conditions to me verbatim, and it was hard to argue with her, as I didn't purchase a good or a service as stated in the terms. Perhaps they're considering paying taxes as cash or cash equivalents now. Or at least that's the direction they may be going?

I did get the 22,500 points for the spend (1.5*15) but so far (6 weeks) no bonus points.

If the points don't eventually post, I guess I'm stuck paying the annual fee, and getting no welcome bonus, since it will be more than a month after the fee posts.

FWIW here's the language from the offer. Again, not sure how I can argue I made a purchase of a good or service.

†Card Offer

To be eligible to earn the points associated with this offer you must charge $15,000 (the “Threshold Amount”) of eligible purchases during the first 3 months of membership on an eligible Business Gold Card from American Express. Eligible purchases can be made by the Basic Card Member and any Employee Card Members on a single Card Account.

Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount do NOT include fees or interest charges, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to- person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Limit one offer per Card Account. Offer may not be combined with any other special offer. Your Card account must not be canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment of any offers. The 150,000 points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account 8-12 weeks after you have met the Threshold Amount.

Last edited by jchock1; Aug 2, 2022 at 8:03 pm
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Old Aug 2, 2022, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by jchock1
Thanks! Glad I'm not the only one! ...
Nope, definitely not the only one, I was there 18 months ago. For my first (of multiple) NLL Biz Plats I had to meet the minimum spend TWICE before the SUB posted. At the time I attributed the problem to my discussing (and possibly changing) the statement billing closing date immediately upon card receipt.

Originally Posted by mia
Many of us routinely use American Express cards to pay taxes and earn bonuses: ...
Yes, highly successful (for meeting minimum spends for SUBs).

As I wrote in May 2021:
… Go figure, 2 months until first statement, qualifying charges 6 weeks apart with payment of full balance mid cycle, incorrect information provided multiple times, bonus awarded 6 weeks after (first) qualifying charges, immediately after second qualifying charges; Amex’s procedures remain mostly a mystery to me. While I’m pleased with finally receiving the bonus, I remain quite leery of AmEx bonus policies and procedures in general. …
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 5:51 am
  #6  
mia
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Originally Posted by jchock1
FWIW here's the language from the offer. Again, not sure how I can argue I made a purchase of a good or service.
....
Taxes are payment for the services provided by government.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by mia
Taxes are payment for the services provided by government.
Of course! Duh. Not sure how far that will get me. But worth a try.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 9:10 am
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It was earlier this year, but my tax payment through one of the three processors absolutely counted for my BizPlat SUB requirement.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 9:30 am
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Paid my 15k on Hilton Business and got FNC for it, almost immediately. Not sure if SUB is different
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 9:39 am
  #10  
mia
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American Express can change their policies at any time, but I cannot think of a compelling reason they would discourage tax payments. The customer pays a fee to use the service (in the case of Federal income taxes), the risk of fraud seems to be low, the transactions are potentially large.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 9:43 am
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Honestly I'd just wait. Amex is occasionally buggy with posting sign up bonuses with a lag (plenty of discussion about this here, reddit over the times). I'm personally waiting on a biz gold bonus that I'd have received 2 weeks ago if the points posted immediately. Tax payments absolutely count. All calling and chatting is going to do is create more eyes and customer service cases. I'd bet your bonus is like mine, just caught in some Amex time warp, and will show up when they show up.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by mia
American Express can change their policies at any time, but I cannot think of a compelling reason they would discourage tax payments. The customer pays a fee to use the service (in the case of Federal income taxes), the risk of fraud seems to be low, the transactions are potentially large.
Bonuses are given to try and drum up business. They dont want you using the card once for a huge sign up bonus and then have you stick the card in a sock drawer. If you get the card, do one large purchase, and then forget about it, they don't like it. Sounds like exactly what the OP did, which makes sense that they don't like it.

If you are getting regular 1x spend, or even 2x spend, you could probably do it all day and they wont care, because they are making money on it. But they are losing a lot on this sign up and not gaining the loyalty, so it makes sense to me, from a business perspective.

Like I said, I charged 15k on my Hilton Business, got my FNC and 45,000 points. The refund hit before the statement even closed. Absolutely worth the $600 I paid in fees, since my FNC was used for $900 value, not sure it was worth it to AMEX though.
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by pitflyer
Plenty of chatter about this on Reddit.
Hm, didn't notice this in r/churning. Link?
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 11:35 am
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Opened several Biz Plat and same as the last few years used Kiva.org (with PayPal) and there was never a problem. Beside one SUB not posting. Chatted several times and finally got it escalated and the CSR Supervisor said it was "Cash Equivalent" even as points posted + another card opened after this one got the SUB using Kiva .... she got it escalated and the points posted a week or so later.

Not sure why one out of many Kiva transactions was flagged as "cash equivalent" as they all looked the same on my end.

And since then this problem never happened again.

Weird
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Old Aug 3, 2022, 12:34 pm
  #15  
mia
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Originally Posted by blitzen
....
Not sure why one out of many Kiva transactions was flagged as "cash equivalent"
Did the Supervisor say that the system had flagged the transaction as a Cash Equivalent, -or- did the Supervisor only offer that as their opinion? Part of the art of customer service is to invent plausible explanations when there is none.
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