(2nd Round of Emails) BREAKING: Amex Clawing Back Credit for Multiple Amex Offers & Charging Customers Retroactively

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Amex Offers Chargeback Multiple Offers

Amex Offers Chargeback Multiple Offers

UPDATE: There are reports of a second round of emails being sent out to people.  I imagine this are people that didn’t heed the warning the first time around and kept using the offers on more cards. H/T DoC

Amex Offers has long been a program that adds a lot of value. For years each card and its authorized user cards was eligible to get an offer. For some of the more lucrative deals this meant you could get credits multiple times for the same merchant.

A couple of weeks ago American Express changed their website to limit Amex Offers to one per cardmember across logins and cards. (Although the Marriott offer this week seemed to not be restricted in this way.)

Either way this restriction of one offer per cardmember has always been in the terms, but was never enforced. Now, it seems that American Express means business. Miles to Memories Contributor @PDXDealsGuy just received the following email regarding the Staples Amex Offer and IT’S BAD.

Others on Twitter are reporting it as well. 1 2

Staples Offer Terms

I do think it’s important to point out that this restriction is in the terms for the offer, although some have interpreted this as saying one credit per cardmember per product. Clearly Amex is enforcing this based on one credit per person across all cards. Here is what the terms say.

Limit of $100 in total statement credits per American Express® Card Member.

Amex Clawing Back Credits

As you can see, American Express is charging him $80 because he had taken advantage of the Staples offer on two cards. I know some people who have claimed to do this on many many cards, so they might be in for a rude awakening. I personally have also done this on two cards, but have yet to get the dreaded email. I haven’t seen any data points about other offers, but this could just be the beginning.

Conclusion

American Express is serious about enforcing their one deal per cardmember rule it seems. With the recent website changes and this realization that they are actually charging members who have used an offer more than once, it is safe to say they aren’t messing around.

Have you received this email or a similar one? Share your experiences in the comments.


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43 COMMENTS

  1. It’s about time the card companies catch up with those that game the system- bloody hell christ what do ya’ll expect- lol.

    • Unlike most other web sites railing about this brutal after-the-fact change, curious this site starts off with comments rushing to defend the corporation… Hannity-style

      Game the system? What are you talking about? Amex long put the offers across multiple cards…… and then their technology permitted us to download it on multiple separate cards. Now they say screw you, and forget about our miserable confusing technology, and we really did mean just one per person, never mind our system permitted you to load it across multiple cards.

      Class action law suit time.

      • What are you talking about? Just as we let your comments through we let others comment as well. No one here at this site is defending this. I am not a lawyer and thus I can’t say whether this is legal or not. Nor is it my place to say.

        Also, please stop commenting under different names. Thanks.

      • I agree with the class action comment. I’m no attorney, but it seems that they established a practice/pattern of allowing this for several years now. What’s really scary is how far back they intend to go?

        • I disagree. The fact that something is happening does not by default mean informed consent/approval of what is happening.
          For example: If an employee is embezzling a company for a few years, does this mean that the company allowed it and therefore they cannot seek to recoup what was embezzled from them?

          No offense, but what kind of people are these who choose to cheat a credit card company for such small payoffs?

          • Some people (resellers primarily) made tens of thousands of dollars off these offers.

            And how is it “cheat[ing] a credit card company”? The credit card company came up with Amex Offers in the first place! All people did was sync them to multiple cards, which the system allowed for years and years and years, and which Amex never made any effort to prevent.

            This is kind of like if your local government announced one day that it was suddenly enforcing jaywalking laws and then sent you a $50 ticket for every time you had ever crossed the street. It’s wrong.

        • The offer was not available on multiple cards, you had to use the multi tab TRICK in order to get it onto multiple cards. So you are going to file a lawsuit and go into court saying, “Well yes, the offer was not able to be loaded onto your card more than once but I found a trick that by opening multiple tabs at the same time, I was able to get it onto multiple cards.” The judge may sue you for injuring himself when he falls out of his chair in laughter.

          • Suppose for a minute that 1) Amex knew about the Trick (pretty obvious since it’s all over the blogosphere) 2) Encouraged the Trick by a) not stopping it when they clearly could have as they have recently done and by b) paying each and every time without clawbacks as they are now doing and could have done earlier and c) approving unlimited applications for AU cards by the same user and 3) benefited by the Trick by promoting the increased engagement statistics to merchants to encourage new offers? I’ve always wondered why they allowed this practice to go on for years without stopping it and the only logical conclusion I can draw is they benefited from it.

          • Well I for one never used any tricks. I have five accounts and five logins– which, for the record, I created before Amex offers were a thing– and lots of offers showed up on all of those cards.

            I didn’t “do” anything to make that happen– it’s what Amex presented to me, unbidden. And they never expressed any problem with it, never tried to prevent it, never had any issue with it before this very moment.

          • Actually yeah — what MikeO said… they totally could have benefited from this as people the transaction fees for people taking advantage of this offer added up. Despite the violation of the terms, as a computer scientist, I find it appalling that they simply didn’t correct the darn error in their system. This should constitute some sort of negligence on their side…

  2. I have never done this trick because I thought it was dishonest, but I think it was all those stupid bloggers promoting this trick that killed it. All the banks follow the bloggers and forums now to catch any and all loopholes.
    Most of these wannabe bloggers are going to be out of business soon.

    • If you’re talking about getting an offer on multiple cards, that has been going on for at least five years. Hard to blame bloggers. More likely it was people taking advantage to an absurd level that did it. Either way all deals die. Ones that last five years are rare.

      • You are correct that his trick has been around for a few years. But bloggers kept posting about it. Eventually, it will get back to the credit card company that there are flaws in their system that they need to correct. However, if the bloggers didn’t keep posting about it, the credit card companies might have never caught on. A few people doing something can remain under the radar, but when something is mass broadcast repeatedly on the internet then the flaw is bound to be shut down.

        The recent Chase Sapphire 4 year rule, and the one before that of only being allowed to apply for one Sapphire card came about because of all the mass broadcasting of Chase credit card churning. The wannabe bloggers wanted to build followers and clicks so they posted all these articles on how to game the credit card companies over and over. Unsurprisingly the banks took steps to stop this and everyone in this hobby loses, and the wannabe bloggers end up folding after hurting everyone else.

  3. That’s bullshit because per cardmember means member of that card to about 90% of people that read that sentence. They offer a discount to you on multiple cards because they are too dumb to figure out the technology to offer it the way they intended, then put vague fine print, expect you to read their minds as to how they intended the offer they offered you 4 times and think they are going to charge you after the fact for their mistake of offering it to you 4 times? Hell no.

  4. I got same email clawing back $100 from staples. Hope they don’t claw back Lowe’s that existed around same time.

  5. IANAL but for those authorized users who got the offer under a separate log in different from the primary cardholder, I *think* they have a leg to stand on about claiming right to use the offer that was made available to them. This may only work for those with unique SSN AUs, not for those AUs which are just variations of the the name of the primary cardholder and/or fictitious AUs created by the primary cardholder. If there is anyone to blame, it should be @mex IT dep’t which should’ve not made the offer available to those they want to exclude from using the offer.

    Depending on the number of cardholders affected with this clawback, this may be like the case of 2016 DiscoverIT fiasco where they ended up paying after saying they will not honor those transactions that bought GCs.

    • I would think unique SSN AU’s would be fine as long as they don’t have primary accounts as well. But I can’t say for sure at this point.

      • Yes, we can all speculate but bottomline will be if all those affected will strike back against the giant firm. From what happened with DiscIt who was initially adamant in not paying those who wouldn’t provide proof their purchases didn’t have GCs, they still ended up paying several thousands to all those affected. I cannot predict what this company will do, que sera, sera.

    • I an AU and a primary who had both Staples & Amex offers.

      All my offers were on valid AUs, not multiple SSNs.

      I closed my SOs account to at least minimize the damage if they don’t go after closed accounts.

      I might close mine too, still on the fence.

  6. Speculating here, but I’ve always thought that Amex benefited by allowing multiple offers per cardmember and therefore, turned a blind eye to the practice. When their sales team would pitch a merchant, I’m sure they highlighted statistics about the number of offers added, used, etc., in essence, how much engagement the offers received. My guess is the merchants hit for large amounts (ie Staples for $100 per card) got wise and started asking about the number of unique users and realized that number was far lower than the gross number of offers redeemed. They basically forced Amex to clean up their numbers. If not, why did they allow the practice (including allowing unlimited amount of AU cards for the same name/cardholder) for years?

  7. It’s about time! Get rid of those abusers cheaters. I would love to be one of 9 or 12 jurors on this case so I can send a clear message to abusers/cheaters/gamers.

  8. Some of the people commenting are basically providing their own opinions without reading the terms. The

    Some Offers clearly state: ” Limit of 1 statement credit(s) per American Express® Card across all American Express offer channels.”
    But other offers state: “Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member across all American Express offer channels. ”

    That’s determination. I have the 4 Marriott offers of spend $300 get $60 on EACH card and that offer says its one per card.

  9. I’m going with the “this is a crackdown on all those who have created multiple identities of themselves in order to game the system” take. Makes perfect sense. Primary card member with multiple personalities is definitely an abuse of the terms. On the other hand, AU cards for actually different (ss#) and real individuals could still each justifiably qualify for their own offer under the somewhat not-specific language “one offer per card member”. I’ve had a couple legitimate AU card members take advantage of the Staples offer a while back, but still no email. Knock on wood…

  10. My plight has been this: If a CC company or any company makes up T&Cs, those are their rules. One could argue that if you break them then whatever you are doing can be voided. Maybe they let it go here or there, or maybe they miss it, or maybe they one day crack down. Sometimes for all things going forward, and sometimes, for everything pending and even going backwards too. How far is I guess up to them.

    BUT… Are these T&Cs actual legal to even have in there?

    And are they legal in YOUR state? –like, just because it says this or that in some agreement between you and the company, is that even allowed to be an agreed upon thing or a rule?

    And will a judge or magistrate enforce them based on other criteria, evidence, intent from both sides if there is a disagreement regarding the use of such T&Cs?

    Think about that one for a while.

  11. Seems like a decent “bait and switch” or “unfair business practice” lawsuit. Amex had the ability to prevent any card member from downloading the offer to another card after the first download. Why did it not do that? Despite the fine print (which most people don’t read), if it permits subsequent downloads, I think it has waived its power to claw back statement credits that enticed cardholders to make purchases they would not have otherwise made.

    Suppose a store advertises “limit one” to sell a quart of milk at a sale price. You don’t notice the limitation and buy 2 and the store charges you the same low price for each one on your credit card. A month later, can the store unilaterally claw back the difference between the regular price and the sale price via the card issuer? I think not.

  12. After further research, I don’t think a class action lawsuit has any chance. Amex, like most financial institutions, has an arbitration provision. So, the only way to correct mass wrongs would seem to be to get a regulator to go after Amex.

    One might consider filing a claim notice. See https://web.aexp-static.com/us/content/pdf/GCO/gco_claim.pdf. The question is whether Amex might retaliate by cancelling your card(s). Anyone have any thoughts about that?

  13. A savvy miles friens of mine who started doing all things when i did around 1999 had a theory:

    Staples was recently bought
    Many people doing this had issues w orders hitting or going over $1k online

    The store has issues w limits in stores and always has been store dependent which to us means they get skittish about all things anyway. No system to handle it so cant handle it

    Someone new there saw a spike w amex deals and was like wow

    Amex allows it all cuz they likely make money somewhere in this. They let it happen and always have.

    But then staples calls and says hey we aint payin! There’s something wrong in denmark!

    Then amex has to be like oh yah ok sure
    And to cover their arse they cancel all who did this.

    If this is true lowes may not crumble

    • If Staples is “getting skittish” like you said, then why are they coming up with these NO FEE on VGCs promo or the great $ give-a-way last week with MCGCs at OD/OM? Are they gluttons for punishment or maybe they just like to give away money? Of course, there are those who have saved the AO $5/$25 or have not used their 10% on up to $1K AO on AXP biz. I’m sure there are those who dgad about possibility of clawback, they’d rather not leave any money on the table.

      I cannot pinpoint the reason why Staples and OD/OM likes to give away money these days when they are in the brink of closure (with many of their branches already closed in many states).

      • These entities have their own reasons for giving deals on gcs we buy. I think there may be a “oh that’s too much” factor going on though.

        Who knows what “too much” is but we have all seen it before from stores and managers and banks in all levels of ms

  14. Maybe I did not understand the distinction being made. I have three co-branded AMEX cards. It would have been nice if they wish to enforce the fine print, to print the restriction prominently where you click to accept the offer as a reminder. And yes I also do not read the rental car agreement before signing it either. I may have been guilty of cashing in once or twice using different cards. If they claw back my credit, I will simply cancel the card if they do. And I have been a card member since 1978 and have Visa and MasterCard options to fall back on..

  15. whether it’s in the terms or not, you have the ability to fight the reversal of credits because of the precedent set when they did not enforce their own terms. Enforcing it going forward is expected, but surprise charges are not…IMHO

  16. I would like to claw back my annual fees now too. Oh but the CPB is headed by someone out to destroy it. The supremes are closing class action avenues. So AMEX keep your cards, for a 59$ annual fee I can get 3% return in spending with Alliant or 2% no annual fee. Why would I want to exchange cash for your hard to redeem pesos? Cash is king!!!

    • I would still take 2 MR points over 3% cashback any day. Yes the amex offer has became less lucrative but that was the rule from day one… we just have been knowingly abusing it. I would be the first to admit that. I’ve got some amazingly lucrative offers… like 20k MR points on $1000 cough… refundable… cough tickets on multiple cards over the years. Hard to redeem? occasional bonus transfer offers like 35-40% bonus when transferred to airlines like virgin atlantic or british airways, there are many lucrative redemption options. I recently took my family of 4 to Paris on Delta one using virgin miles transferred at like 40% bonus. I can’t get enough of these. I’ve stopped redeeming offers on multiple cards of mine… no more multiple browser tricks but I still get lucrative MR point offers from time to time. I love those. and I love these occasional upgrade offers. you don’t see those from other card issues. I’ve just took advantage of 150k hilton points bonus offers on upgrade from Hilton Asend to Aspire.. no credit check.

  17. I just redeemed a number of lucrative offers that appeared on both mine and my wife’s AU card, so am really hoping (without having checked) that the specific language of each offer ensures no clawbacks. But in any case, reading all the responses here is awesome food for thought for a relative newbie so thank you all (even the crazies!) and please keep posting your thoughts. As to those who say video killed the radio star (translation: bloggers are evil and kill all good things), get off your elitist soapbox. The only thing that stays the same is change. Love to all and vote tomorrow to make this country great again by being compassionate and welcoming for all.

  18. I’m confused if this would be a problem for the primary cardholder and authorized user each using an offer, or if it’s the same person across multiple cards. Or both?

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