Amex Does The Right Thing- I Got My 100,000 Points

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by MLW20, May 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Back in January there was an amazing offer for the American Express Platinum Card through CreditCards.com. By going through the "Offers Matched For You" option (on the top left of the site), a 100,000 Membership Rewards Points sign up bonus would be offered. This offer disappeared by the following morning.

    I went ahead and applied for the card and was instantly approved. The card arrived a couple of days later. I activated the card by calling the number on the back of the card not the activation number on the front sticker. I was told about various perks the card offered as well as the bonus I would receive after hitting the required spend.


    Before activating a new credit card I always call in to reconfirm my signup bonus.


    The Amex Platinum became my go-to card. I was looking to hit the spend relatively fast so I started using it for pretty much everything. I had a few more questions about some of the card benefits so I called up again about a week later. I spoke to a friendly representative and was explained everything I asked. I inquired about my sign up bonus again and was told that after spending $3,000 I would receive 100,000 points.


    I went on using my card and hit the required spend about a month later and started checking to see if my bonus posted. While checking my account on americanexpress.com

    I noticed that I could see pending points. I saw that I had 2,000+ points that would be posting soon. I started wondering why my bonus was not showing as pending too. I called up American Express again and asked how long it took for pending points to be moved to an account. The rep mentioned that points usually post one month later. I then asked why my sign up bonus was not showing as pending. Once again I was told my bonus offer and placed on hold.

    When the rep came back on the phone, I could not believe the news. I was told that I did not qualify for the sign up bonus! I was then transferred to American Express Membership Rewards.

    I went over all of my information and explained my situation with the Membership Rewards rep but was told there was nothing that could be done. The rep then spoke to a higher-up but nothing came from that either.

    I was then told that the only thing I could do was write a letter to the Membership Rewards Correspondence Unit. I asked for a phone number or e-mail address but was told I had to write a letter. This was definitely odd.


    I received a response in the mail a couple of weeks later from the Vice President of Dispute Resolutions. The letter stated that I would hear back once again when the investigation had been resolved, which should be in less than a month.


    Less than a week later I received another letter. This one was from Membership Rewards Customer Care. There was no signature or name given like in the first letter. The letter brought me some bad news.
    We will be unable to issue the Welcome Bonus to your new Platinum Card account. According to our records, you previously have a similar Card product.
    It seemed like the Dispute Resolutions department disregarded everything that I wrote in my letter and just stuck to their exact rules. It didn't matter that multiple Amex reps told me that I would get the bonus or that one rep even gave me his name and employee number just in case I had any problems.

    I couldn't just take no for an answer.


    I decided to call up Membership Rewards one last time. I spoke to a very nice and understanding rep and went on to explained the entire situation. She looked over my account and said that one of my calls was noted- where I was told that I would get the bonus. There was nothing that she could do for me but she did see my side in this situation.


    The rep offered me one last shot to get my bonus. She said that I could write a letter to Claire B. of Membership Rewards in NYC. I was told to write "escalated matter" on the outside of my envelope and that Mrs. B had final say. If she said no to my bonus there would be nothing else I could do.


    I sent my letter out the following day and couldn't do anything more than wait for a response.


    About 3 weeks later I received an e-mail from American Express Customer Care. I was nervously excited to read the message.


    I logged in to my account through my iPhone and read some great news!


    Here is part of the message:

    I certainly understand your disappointment with the misinformation you received regarding the Platinum Card bonus offer. I also recognize your good efforts with trying to rectify the situation and bring it to our attention. My deepest apologies are extended for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.
    We do appreciate you obtaining the Platinum Card and we have honored the bonus offer. We have issued 100,000 Membership Reward points to your account, which will appear on an upcoming statement. The points are available immediately for your use.
    I was really impressed with American Express for doing the right thing. They honored the word of their representatives and the amazing bonus offer I was promised!
    It took quite a few phone calls, a couple of letters and a lot of my time but it was well worth it in the end. I'm now 100,000 Membership Rewards points richer!

    There are some lessons to be learned here. 1- Always confirm your sign up bonus 2- Pay attention during phone conversations and document who you spoke to 3- If you think that you are right or deserve something NEVER take no for an answer.


    Sometimes decisions are not final even if you are told they are!

    (originally posted to my blog HERE)

     
    edekba, LeeInDC, jwsky and 3 others like this.
  2. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    Perhaps the problem began by trusting CreditCards.com offers as reliable. This is not to excuse Amex for promising you something you probably didn't qualify for (since you had previously received a signup bonus), but the
    CreditCards.com website can't check that. Did you really deserve the signup bonus, or were Amex finally treating you with respect anyway? Enjoy the card, as it is one of the best out there imo.
     
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  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    So what was the reason you were initially denied? Did you actually have a similar, disqualifying product within period that would not allow you to get the bonus? And if so, were the original agent(s) who told you that you did qualify aware of the issue?

    I missed jumping on that card but will certainly look out for that offer if it reoccurs. In the past, I thought that confirming (via secure message) that I was eligible for the bonus was enough to insure I would get it (and I didn't have a problem with my 75K Business Gold card), but I want to have all my i's dotted and t's crossed if the offer comes around again.
     
  4. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    This is why I'd prefer to apply for credit cards directly through the website of the bank/card issuer, or possibly the airline/hotel.
     
  5. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    The creditcards.com offer was reliable. Once approved I called in immediately to Amex and was told the offer and bonus I would receive by the representative. Whether or not I had a similar product is pointless. The whole point is that I was told repeatedly by Amex reps the offer I would be receiving. From what I understand the Amex reps can see a cardmembers full profile/ what cards they have.
    I also don't think it was a respect issue. I think it was Amex sticking by their employees word in the end. If Amex had told me that I did not qualify upon activation then I would've simply not activated my card.
    I have an Amex Gold card. Like I stated above, I believe the agents can see the full profile and should review it or know before confirming someone's bonus offer. I always call in to make sure the application went through appropriately. I called a few times and was always told that I qualified for the bonus.
    I don't see the reason for that if a better off is available elsewhere. I've received a bunch of cards through creditcards.com and never had an issue with a bonus besides the Amex Platinum.
     
  6. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    American Express changed their T&C a while ago so that if you have one annual fee MR card, you can't get the bonus for another (except the MB Platinum, which they treat as a separate product). What did the T&C of the offer you applied to say?
     
  7. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I can't say for sure considering I applied for the card back in January. But apparently it must've said something along the lines of what you wrote. When I applied I did not realize that this was the case.
     
  8. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    So, it seems you didn't qualify for the points, according to the T&C that you accepted? Did that website you used let you know that?
     
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  9. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    If that's the case, you shouldn't have been eligible for the bonus. You should always read the T&C for every card you apply to.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I recall that I was quite nervous and even asked here about this offer, because I had the Fidelity Gold Amex from a decade ago. It definitely excluded regular Gold cards,
     
  11. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Creditcards.com brings you to the card's website that you are applying for. You do not apply directly through them.
    I did read the T&C and debated whether or not I qualified. I called in after getting instant approval and was told the bonus I would receive. I called a couple of other times and was always told that I qualified.
    Apparently it did exclude Amex Gold but the reps told me otherwise and in the end I got my bonus. Maybe it was an error on their part but the reps should not tell customers incorrect information if that is the case.
     
  12. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I just went to creditcards.com, and navigated to the American Express Platinum application through their website. The application states clear as day that "If you are identified as a current American Express® Cardmember, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days." Seems to me that you were clearly ineligible.
     
  13. Quasiconvexity
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    Quasiconvexity Gold Member

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    I think Amex was under no obligation to give you the points given that the T&C clearly stated you were ineligible and you were aware of it before you applied (it is not like you checked your eligibility before applying for the card). I am glad you got the points, but I think Amex went above and beyond, and your post makes it seem like Amex was at fault, while, in my opinion at least, they were not.
     
  14. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I read it as: 1- I never had an Amex Platinum and 2- I did not apply within the last 90 days for a Gold card so it was worth applying and then calling in to see the exact rules.
    I'm wondering if you work for Amex or are mad/ upset that I got the bonus?

    I called in because when applying I was not fully sure if they meant had the gold card within the last 90 or applied for one in the last 90. I skimmed over the terms and decided to apply ASAP before the offer was pulled.

    I only stated that Amex was at fault due to being told multiple times that I did qualify for the offer. I know that when you call Amex they can see your full profile with all of your active accounts. I should've been told that I did not qualify early on and not after reaching the spend. Like I already stated, one representative went so far as to guarantee me that I would get the bonus and even gave me his name and employee #.

    I respectfully disagree with your opinion as did the Amex higher- ups that apologized and awarded me my bonus.
     
  15. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    You read it wrong.

    Why didn't you call in before you applied? Could've saved yourself a lot of time and effort that way.

    I don't work for American Express (nice unwarranted personal shot, BTW). I am annoyed that you got something which you were clearly not entitled to get (which you should've known, had you bothered to read the rules carefully). That happens enough, AmEx will reduce bonuses and make it harder to earn MR points.

    We all know that front-line CSR reps (and frequently supervisors too) are not always knowledgeable about the products/rules.
     
  16. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I called right after applying as well as upon card activation. If I was told that I did not qualify for the bonus then I would've cancelled the card on the spot.

    I'm sorry for you being annoyed but we can't please everyone, can we now? According to American Express I didn't either or they wouldn't have given me the 100,000 MR points or apologized to me.

    I am guessing that you only do things exactly by the books? Never fly on a mistake fare, book a hotel at an incorrect price etc...? If so you must be the voice of reason on Milepoint.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But he wouldn't have gotten 100,000 MR points that way.

    Really? The sentence "This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days" leads you to understanding that Amex cares about when you APPLIED for the gold card? I know a lot of fine print is confusing and hard to understand, but this sentence is one of the better ones. Which part of "had" is not clear? ;)

    I am wondering about your strategy of apply first, then ask for rules clarification. Given that the application is what triggers the credit check, many people would probably think that it's better to do it the other way around, to not waste a hit on the credit record.
     
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  18. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Why didn't you call before you applied? If they told you no at any time after you applied, you just wasted a hard pull.

    Yes, I do try to do things exactly by the books. I have never bought a mistake fare, nor have I ever booked a hotel at an incorrect price, and have no intention of ever doing either. I also don't do manufactured spending. And because I don't, I'm not worried about having my travel disrupted by fare issues such as these, nor am I worried about having my credit cards shut down because of VR, or Bluebird, or whatever else people use for that. I also don't play games with credit card issuers when applying for new cards. I go through the official bank/airline channels and read the T&C before applying and that way I don't have the stress of worrying about having some potential mistake deal honored.

    It's people like you trying to game the system by getting things that you're clearly not entitled to that will raise the costs to the airlines/hotels/banks of providing these rewards, and they will then make them less useful.
     
  19. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I think I wrote about how I wanted to get the application in before the offer was pulled. I went over the fine print quickly with someone else. They were also confused by the mention of 90 days. I had it for over 90 days so I thought it may have meant, applied/ received it within the last 90. ;)

    As for my strategy. I wasn't worried about a pull and wasn't going to waste time with a phone call first.
    That is your opinion, not mine or many others. I've booked a few mistake fares in the past, never an incorrect hotel rate. Manufactured spending is a whole other topic which I see nothing wrong in doing if one chooses to do so.

    You should do what you feel is right as will I.
     
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