New Amex T&C: "Gaming" grounds for freezing, taking your MR points

New Amex T&C: "Gaming" grounds for freezing, taking your MR points
0

#1

These restrictions have shown up on recent Blue Everyday card statement.

According the change in T&C, Effective November 1 Amex can take the following actions if they, in their “sole discretion” even suspect you are “abusing, misusing, or gaming their rewards program”:

Take away any points in your program account
Temporarily suspend your ability to redeem points
Temporarily suspend your ability to earn points
Cancel your program account
Cancel any of your American Express Cards

I don’t show any of these changes in my September closing statements, but will be watching closely for the statements closing in October.

I take this as a sign that Amex’s Rewards Abuse Team (RAT) is growing increasingly aggressive. This should concern not only those churning or MSing Amex cards, but anyone who takes advantage of lucrative new promos with min-spend requirements. Among other issues, what iare they going to define as “gaming” or “abuse”?

Let’s keep track of new intel and data points from Amex on this issue.

( Hattip to the watchful folks at the excellent DOC site: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/amex-adds-terms-allowing-temporarily-suspend-earning-membership-rewards/ , who got the initial heads up from http://travelwithgrant.boardingarea.com/2017/10/04/american-express-may-temporarily-suspend-credit-card-earning-redeeming-ability-effective-november-1/#_ga=2.48054375.1122187790.1506087097-900096217.1393110672 )


#2

I’m surprised they thought they needed to add that the the T&C of the Blue Everyday card. That’s not the first card I think of in terms of gaming sign-up bonuses or MS. Sign-up bonus was like what $200? and the 3% cashback is capped after $6k spend. With transaction costs for MS, it also seems like there’d be a better card than that to abuse. Besides, the move threatens cards earning points only so why add this to the terms of a card earning cash rewards? Weird.

But thanks for the heads-up. I may draw down the level of points I have with Amex just in case…


#3

I assume that the ToS is coming to every card now.


#4

[quote=“stanolshefski, post:3, topic:1054, full:true”]
I assume that the ToS is coming to every card now.[/quote]

That’s my assumption also.

Anyone have October statements cycle on their Membership Rewards earning Amex cards?


#5

I got an email notifying me of a new statement, strongly urging me to review the statement for changes to T&C. I expected to see the “gaming” restriction. However it was just a change that allows me to contact AMEX and ask they not share new account information with merchants when I get a card with a new number. This is OBC.


#6

Chase’s UR has had similar wording for a long time


#7

Wow, that’s a nice change.


#8

PSA to those who aren’t aware, a lot of DPs online have reported that Simon Mall purchases did NOT qualify to meet their MSR. Purchases of AGCs from AXP website didn’t also qualify.

To be on the safe side, it is best to do all spend to meet MSR organically. There are those who apply and get approved for AXP cards only to ask, how do I meet MSR now?


#9

Well, there go my six OBCs.


#10

I haven’t seen any data points showing grocery purchases with OBC aren’t qualifying for 5x.


#11

you guys are essentially seen as card counters in a casino. they don’t like you, and this gives them a blank check to kick you out.

i know a lot of you guys love the coupon/rewards game, to me it’s just too much effort. spend less save more it’s that simple.

like banning someone in a forum. what’s trolling? could be as simple as opening your mouth.


#12

What about drug stores? I have very expensive Vanilla flavored “medication” that I purchase on a regular basis.


#13

Right but if the doom and gloom at OP mentioned is going to propagate out to all AmEx cards, buying gift cards at drugstores to earn 5% isn’t going to fly anymore.


#14

When you can save $13k on flights alone from NYC to Hawaii for minimal effort and in minimal time, tell me something that competes by simply spending less–of course this is rhetorical, since so many variables like income vs expenses come into play. But I think you see my point.


#15

yeah, i usually look for sale/club items at the supermarket. i think it’s when you get compulsive, it backfires.

and you still spent money. i don’t fly from nyc to hawaii


#16

Huh? I didn’t spend anything. My net was very much in the black.


#17

you said you saved 13k on flights alone. so you still spent something. like getting comped at a casino.


#18

I used miles. The flights were $6500 per person, round trip, a few months out when I booked it. I spent literally $0 to get those points.


#19

I think you’re safe there because I asked one manager and she said they don’t do L3 data due to HIPPA provisions. From what I understand the receipts generated at their pharmacy and the grocery section are the same that’s why even if *CCs ask, they won’t provide L3 data to protect their customer’s privacy. That’s so comforting for me since I buy my bancorp VGCs there. It’s possible, this is what all other drugstores follow.

I read reports that Discover had a hard time extracting L3 data from walgreens regarding their promo of giving 10% on up to $10K purchases and there were a lot of people who got double cashback for a year. In fact just months ago, I got a statement credit from which I wasn’t expecting since my CB computation was correct according to my records. But I’m not one to look a gift horse so I just muttered thank you!


#20

what about when you landed? … i know i know.

i still think it gets people into the mindset of spending more.