Amex RAT Is Attacking From Multiple Angles – Check Your Accounts!
Being an American Express cardholders is quickly becoming a burden. The Amex RAT (Rewards Abuse Team) team is coming from all angles, especially for those who have Platinum Cards. But even those with other cards are having issues with self referrals.
Purchasing Gift Cards with Amex Platinum
Back in July, gift card purchases stopped working to trigger the annual airline credits from the Amex Platinum card. That was a great option to maximize the card’s benefits for those who might not have many incidental charges during the year.
Then, more recently, it was Saks gift cards that stopped triggering yet another annual credit. The Amex Platinum card comes with a $50 credit for spend at Saks during the first 6 months of the year and another $50 credit for spend during the final 6 months of the year. Many people have been able to take advantage of this by purchasing Saks gift cards in-store to either sell or use later. Shawn covered the news about two weeks ago.
But it’s even worse than that. Some people are having their credits clawed back, months after the fact. Miles per Day reports a case where Saks credit was clawed back even 8 months after a purchase, and even after the card was closed. Yes, this was a “trick”. But the fact that they’re looking into this as well, makes you think that Amex RAT is out in full force to enforce rules.
Self Referrals a Big No-No
American Express made referrals easier last year. It’s now possible to refer to any credit card, even if you do not have that card yourself. But when they introduced this new feature, it also became possible to refer yourself for a new Amex card. We warned that referring yourself could be risky business. That has turned out to be true.
But the bad news doesn’t end there. Gets even worse for those who have used self referrals. There’s a few data points that some people who have referred themselves are also being blocked from generating new referral links. Even their old referral links are no longer working.
And this is clearly not just a glitch. The following message is showing up when trying to generate referrals:
Your Card account’s eligibility to participate in the Refer a Friend program is based on your creditworthiness and other factors including your account history with American Express.
That’s a lot of bad news to take in. But the common theme is that Amex RAT is going after everyone. If something is excluded in the terms, sooner or later it will probably get enforced.
Check your accounts to see if you have been affected by any of these developments. Check you airlines incidentals reimbursements and Saks credits. Also check your Membership rewards balances for clawbacks. And finally take a look at your referral links, to make sure they still work, especially if you have shared them with friends and family.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve been affected!