Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

That’s not really relevant. I didn’t say it was a valid reason. He earned “too much” so they didn’t pay out, no matter how legit his transactions may have been.

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But it is important to note why. He earned “too much” because he went beyond his credit limit by maxing out the card, paying it off, and maxing it out again (and maybe again and again). If you do that, you have to be prepared that the card issuer is going to catch you and deny your rewards.

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On what legal basis can they deny your rewards if they have made a public statement that you will receive rewards of 5% of purchases? I suppose they could argue donations were not purchases, although they have normally been treated that way. It would seem hard to argue they were cash advances, or balance transfers. I guess a similar argument could be made for taxes, although I have regularly earned rewards from paying taxes via credit cards.

I think the only claim they would have is the first one they made to you:

The question is whether that is in the fine print somewhere in the terms. It doesn’t have to be in the terms for the 5% bonus because it could apply to rewards generally. If the terms don’t say anything about how long the balance has to remain on the card, or if they don’t say that you can’t earn any rewards on purchases beyond your credit limit each cycle, I think they should have to pay you the full amount.

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“We can do whatever we want.” Seriously. There’s no legal basis to it. Yet 99% of their customers just accept that as fact.

I have the promised data point regarding Amex BCP to BCE product change

11/24/17 - upgraded BCE to BCP to get $250 bonus
02/09/18 - billed $79.16 AF (10 months)
12/12/18 - billed $95 AF (12 months)
12/15/18 - downgraded back to BCE (over the 12-month mark). Rep said $95 AF would be reversed
01/12/19 - received credit for $87.08 (11 months)

So what does it mean? Well, in my case I would expect that the full $95 would be refunded since it was within 30 days of the one-year anniversary of the BCP upgrade and within 3 days of the AF posting. But I did not. It’s only about $8 and I did actually get to use BCP for 13 months paying for 11, so I’m not pursuing this. But the important thing is that there was no claw back for me.

The take-away is that if you plan to close or downgrade BCP and are timing things to not run afoul of the 12-month claw back potential, you should take this data point and others and figure out what the key dates really are. I have to say it is unclear.

You can ask for the $8. Don’t bother with data points. Just tell them the Rep told you the total fee would be refunded.

I think people (including the low level representatives) are mixing the two amex “rules”. I’ve seen the same with prorate refunds.

  1. Cancelled card within 30 days of AF posting = refund AF. Cancelled card >30 days after = no AF refund.
  2. Product change card = pro-rated refund.

Dumb question here, is there a site that have a listing of stores and their credit card “category”’

all I can tell you that in CT/NY Amex 5 or 6 % at groceries applies to main grocery stores here (s&shop/shoprite/acme/tops/stew leonards) and drug cat is walgreens/rite aid/duanne reade only. I have heard that fred meyer out west does not code as grocery. Walmarts here code as wholesale/dept store.

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Not a dumb question. The good news is that you can google “merchant category codes” and find such sites as that show you the MCC for a particular merchant.

The bad news is that you may encounter different MCCs reported with your transaction for a bunch of different reasons, and pointing to one of these lists when talking to your credit card company about it is probably not going to help.


StatGren, that VISA tool is great but took me a bit to get used to. Didn’t know one has to enter an address of some sort which can be just a ZIP code to get it going. I entered Goodwill for kicks and it says “specialty Store”.

The other bad news is that sometimes your cards will completely ignore the merchant’s MCC (usually done more by Amex than anyone else).

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For anyone interested. In a recent discussion with a Freedom CU representative I was told the reason they charged my card for the 5% rebate they had given me was that they viewed all of the Paypal charges as I paying the money to my self, which would make it a cash advance. Actually, the charges were for charitable donations through the Paypal Giving Fund, which passes it on to the charity of your choice without charging a fee to the charity. If this was the case, I should have little trouble showing it was not paid to me but to the Foundation for Metabolic Cancer Research. I can at least imagine someone seeing Paypal and presuming the payments were using Paypal to pay themselves.


And when you said this to the rep you were talking to, what was the response?

If you are lucky, you’ll have little trouble getting them to roll back the reversal. But it’s just as likely to have a lot of trouble getting it done. The fact they think they can arbitrarily decide not to give you your rewards based on their own subjective opinions rather than following their own written terms should prepare you for the a brick wall you’re about to hit when pursuing this further. As I predicted, their entire position boils down to “rewards abuse”, and their reaction is “we can do whatever we want regardless of the terms”.


I quite agree with glitch99 on this . . . . very strongly. Prof. Ed’s post does give me pause. However, so far so good.

“Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold!"

That is pretty much the way I’m proceeding . . . until I get my ears boxed.:wink:

Sharonview FCU has launched a new Visa rewards card offering two points for every dollar spent.

Sharonview FCU Visa card

There is no annual fee for this card. There is a small ($200) bonus available for new applicants.

Sorry. After further review it appears this Sharonview deal is just another phony credit card deal. I hate it when financial institutions pull crap like this. The reward here is not really a 2% reward.

Don’t forget CVS.

Guys there may be trouble in paradise regarding the Freedom CU credit card 5% reward deal. We already have ProfessorEd’s report of woe up thread. Now this:

5% at Freedom CU - Too good to be true?

My own data point remains at “so far so good”, but I am on pins and needles with significant concern regarding AA (adverse action) despite not having strayed from the written terms and conditions of the card.

My guess is this promotion is way over budget at Freedom CU and they are doing what they can to rein things in.

This is another post regarding the Freedom CU 5% reward deal. I am now aware in detail of an additional data point. However, I promised confidentiality to the person who shared with me their experience, and I intend to keep that promise. Hence:

All I can say is that with the Freedom CU card at 5%, if you seek to avoid AA (adverse action), it is a REALLY bad idea to recycle your credit line. Doing so definitely attracts attention from the “powers that be” at Freedom CU. And the clawback experienced by ProfessorEd and reported up thread is not an isolated example.

As for myself personally, while I have not recycled by credit line, I have ventured right up to the edge of doing so. As a result I am far from confident that I am safe from AA. We are very nearly at January’s end. Fingers are crossed.


Just to be clear, what I’m thinking is that recycling of your credit line with this 5% Freedom CU deal seems to be a common element with those cardholders who have experienced AA.

However, I’m NOT at all certain that avoidance of credit line recycling will protect anyone from AA. There might exist other AA triggers of which I remain unaware.

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