Mysterious 3x bonuses for Amex MR

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by karlmitchell, Jan 23, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. karlmitchell

    karlmitchell Silver Member

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    Many have been bemoaning the lengthy withdrawal of the American Express Membership Rewards Earn Points page (a referral site). However, there has been an interesting development recently that I thought many of you might be interested in. It is covered in a flyertalk thread entitled "online shopping portal gone", with the new information from page 10 onwards.

    Since October, several of us have started seeing mysterious 3x bonuses appearing for internet purchases with the Amex PRG card. These include:

    Amazon payments (inconsistent - "Merchandise & Supplies - Internet Purchase" only?)
    Paypal payments (to more than one merchant)
    Budget.com
    Bestbuy.com
    Tix, inc
    Fab.com
    Water & Power Cashier (a local utility provider).

    Some more observations:
    - the 3x seems to double-dip with referral sites.
    - most, but not all, are processed as "Merchandise & Supplies - Internet Purchase".
    - most, but not all, used to be in the old Earn Points mall

    To me, it's starting to look like they're trialling a replacement for the Earn Mall, and I'm just starting to adjust my spending accordingly.

    For those of you with MR cards:

    Could you please check to see whether you're getting similar?
    What are your opinions on whether this should be kept quiet?
    Does anyone have any more insight?

    I'm happy to share data on which payments have successfully and unsuccessfully received the bonus.

    Thanks,

    -Karl
     
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  2. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    where do you see the detail of points earned for each purchase? My points for last month seemed high, but i could not find a detail break down. Like you, i have been afraid to call and ask.
     
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  3. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    I have researched this a bit more. I can now say that I spent money at Best Buy through the ultimate rewards site using my gold amex card. I recieved 2x points to UR and 3x points on my MR account with amex.
    I did not expect this when I did it, but will take it, thank you.
     
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  4. karlmitchell

    karlmitchell Silver Member

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    In case anyone needs this information, log in to your American Express account and go to Rewards->Points Summary. Then click on the Activity Detail tab and you can list previous MR statements. For each date, if you click on the little box with a plus to the left, it will reveal a "see card bonus detail" link. That will show every time you've received more than the standard 1x.
     
  5. amazzajr

    amazzajr Active Member

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    Never knew this! Thanks!
     
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  6. amazzajr

    amazzajr Active Member

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    Confirmed: 3X MR on Amazon purchases.
     
  7. bretta

    bretta Silver Member

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    Does anyone see this on the Business Rewards Gold, or just the personal?
     
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  8. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    mine was on the personal
     
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  9. karlmitchell

    karlmitchell Silver Member

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    Same here. Unfortunately my next MR statement (this week) will be pre-discovery, but the one after will have lots of purchases that were with my knowledge of the bonuses. Hopefully these will reveal more to the pattern of 3x bonuses.
     
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  10. brc98

    brc98 Member

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    I've been noticing 3x MR w PayPal purchases and car rentals at enterprise.
     
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  11. cc1972

    cc1972 Silver Member

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    That would explain the "extra" miles I got...
     
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  12. karlmitchell

    karlmitchell Silver Member

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    I've been following these bonuses for a while now, and just looked at my most recent (February) statement for an update. I received mysterious 3x bonuses for the following merchants:

    Bestbuy.com
    Water & Power Cashier
    LivingSocial
    Wag.com
    Amazon.com (Amazon Marketplace only - not pure Amazon)

    The results seem consistent with previous ones. Note that "Water and Power Cashier" is a local utility, but online credit card payments process as an Internet Purchase.

    Furthermore, the March statement pending points are listed, and if I apply the following bonuses to my statement:

    Gas x2
    Groceries x2
    Internet Purchase x3
    Vehicle Rental x3
    Flights x3 (none apply this month)

    I get within 10 points of the pending points, the rest being accountable for by considering that for 3x bonuses, you only receive the extra points on the purchase, not on any sales tax. (Note that I pay my utility bill bi-monthly, and so that does not contribute this month). The results seem very consistent from statement to statement.

    Does anyone have any non-flight, non-vehicle rental purchases under the Travel category they can check?

    My theory remains unaffected: American Express are experimenting with giving 3x category bonuses in order to make up for the withdrawal of the mall. If so, and if Internet Purchases and Travel (or at least Vehicle Rental) remain stable 3x categories, this will make the Amex PRG very competitive with Chase Ultimate Rewards once more.

    Thanks,

    -Karl
     
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  13. not received on the plat or gold business for me
     
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  14. websteth

    websteth Silver Member

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    No bonus with Platinum either for me. Oh Well.
     
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  15. brc98

    brc98 Member

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    I didn't get more than 1 point on Internet purchases for my prg statement that cut on march 29. I did get 3x for rental cars. Card is a personal card, not business.
     
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  16. guoguo914

    guoguo914 Active Member

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    my Bestbuy.com purchases got 3x, category: Category: Merchandise & Supplies - Internet Purchase

    paypal transaction doesn't, category: Category: Business Services - Internet Services
     
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  17. guoguo914

    guoguo914 Active Member

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    Mind listing the categories of those 3x purchases?
     
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  18. brc98

    brc98 Member

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    If I could figure out how to upload a screen capture, I can show you were I recieved 3x points for a paypal purchase on 10/14/12.
     
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  19. guoguo914

    guoguo914 Active Member

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    Thanks. karlmitchell and I actually sort of reached consensus on the flyertalk thread that paypal purchases can be categorized differently.. and that's why some fall into 3x while others don't.
     
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  20. Flying Machine

    Flying Machine Silver Member

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    Platinum here too. Nada..
     
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  21. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    Platinum here as well. Spent lots of $ at bestbuy, paypal purchases, Amazon and nothing =(
     
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  22. +1:(
     
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  23. guoguo914

    guoguo914 Active Member

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    well, Platinum is not part of the deal...
     
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  24. i'm not getting it on Business Rewards Gold either
     
  25. karlmitchell

    karlmitchell Silver Member

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    Most recent Amex PRG statement just came in, and confirms previous analysis. Also, I used my current statement to estimate my pending MR points, and the results were accurate. Clearly the 3x bonuses Internet Purchases and Vehicle Rental (and others, maybe?) are ongoing, and remain stackable with other earnings malls.

    I must admit, I'm surprised the various bloggers haven't announced this. Not that I'm that keen to draw attention to it, but this sort of thing does seem to attract attention.
     

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