Posted by William Charles on January 25, 2020
Credit Cards

Published on January 25th, 2020 | by William Charles

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American Express Issuing Points Adjustments For Some Claw Backed Self Referrals

Last year some readers had points clawed back due to self referring themselves to credit cards. This is despite the fact that American Express had already sent out 1099 forms for these referral bonuses. In the last few days we’ve see a number of people receive a points adjustment from American Express (1, 2, 3), these aren’t the full amounts that people lost from self referrals. My guess is that American Express is crediting back points were 1099 forms were issued, but I don’t know that for sure (Update: This doesn’t seem to be the case, as some people have received a points adjustment but received no 1099). It seems most people have not received a points adjustment of any type, so I suspect whatever is happening is being slowly rolled out. Feel free to share your own experienes in the comments below.



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RWHR
RWHR

No added points yet for me for the clawbacks I got ~(~60k)

YoniPDX

Reclawback in 5, 4, 3, 2 ……

Sevillada
Sevillada

Yeah, i wouldn’t be surprised if they returned them only to claw them back

Nick
Nick

Curious, how much did Amex value the MR points on the 1099?

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

1c/pp

John
John

I wonder how they justify that, since the cash value on their own site is $0.006 per point lol (excluding Schwab card of course)

Mali
Mali

Got 10k back for my platinum card. Lost 55k in total for self referral (from platinum and ED). Weird since platinum is 15k per/referral but happy to have something back.

John
John

Got 20k added to my account a few days ago. I forget exactly how many were clawed back last year, I want to say closer to 60k though. I never received a 1099 form for anything from AMEX either.

Leslie
Leslie

What does the description for the 20k say?

Matthew
Matthew

Why do Amex issue the 1099? I thought the referral points are capped at 55k so no 1099?

VL
VL

If you referred from more than 1 card, or got some courtesy points on top of the referrals… you can get to 60k

Sevillada
Sevillada

For some reason they issued 1099 for all referrals

qmc
qmc

They can issue a 1099 at whatever level they want. $600 in misc payments is the IRS’s requirement threshold.

PointsMadness
PointsMadness

F this stupid company that can’t make up its mind what it wants from its customers.

Hey here is a great deal! Oh, but here are the conditions and fine print. We agree on that? Great! Except Amex can change its mind anytime because their systems suck, even after customers fulfill their end of the bargain and receive a 1099 to boot.

As for those points that customers earn for being good little mice in the Amex circus? Claw back anytime! If you don’t like it, you can chat with India all you like lol. But hey, Amex has that legendary customer service, didn’t you know? Rofl

What a joke of a company

tribesman55
tribesman55

^this

Frank
Frank

At some point you wonder who is making these judgement calls. I understand they clawed back hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of points but now to reverse course and spend all the money on programmers + support hardly seems worth it given the customer goodwill loss. Just program the referral bonus with an IF condition to see if SSN_refer = SSN_signup, 0 points awarded. Focus on the future, not the past

VL
VL

They might have realized that 1099ing people for money they took back is a problem… when it comes to compliance programming cost is not even considered

qmc
qmc

Close all your amex accounts if it’s no longer a good value proposition.

Jon
Jon

Thanks for the “tip”

DP
DP

The person that insisted on putting that clause that goes something like, “we, at our sole discretion, can act like fools and burn bridges with loyal customers,” clearly had a day like this in mind — of sticking it to a lot of people and enjoying the sadistic pleasure of it all. VERY sad. They should return 1/2 of any points taken away to split the difference…fix their website coding + write clearer referral terms…and just move on.

David Allen Schexnayder
David Allen Schexnayder

Your whole post reeks of someone who simply has a bone to pick with Amex, not so much as a review if the topic. I’ve been a member since 1987, and in over 30 years I’ve not only enjoyed my conversations with their CS, I’ve looked forward to the times where it was necessary to speak with them. The have always proactively offered suggestions with how to get the most out of the account and they’re U S.-based employees, I’ve rarely spoken to their Indian call center. Why don’t you just cancel your card? No one forces you to be a member.

PointsMadness
PointsMadness

My whole post reeks of the bad experiences many consumers have had at the whims of Amex. This is just another chapter of the points and clawbacks debacle that’s been going on for months, are you even paying attention?

If you have had wonderful interactions with Amex over the years then count your self fortunate that they haven’t backed out of offers and agreements with you while implying it’s all the customers fault.

I’ve been with Amex since 1995 and it is rather obvious this isn’t the same company it used to be, with service, offers, and professionalism all in decline. So yes I am stepping away from Amex, and while doing so, I’m going to voice my displeasure and frustration with the company.

P
P

I didn’t get clawed back any points last year but Amex did deny three upgrade and sign up bonus with no lifetime language so I hope they give those too.

US
US

Got 15k back, Total claw back was 45k. Didn’t get any 1099 either.

Leslie
Leslie

What does the description for the 15k say in your account?

US
US

Just says Points adjustment

US
US

(Deleted)

someones1
someones1

Speaking of 1099s for referral points, did anyone ever do the legwork with their lawyer/taxman/whatever to determine how appropriate it is to be 1099’d for these points as income when most T&Cs state that you do not own the points and the respective issuer can take them away whenever they please?

YoniPDX

Wonder if someone could report tax fraud on thst basis to the IRS (as opposed to trying to fight the IRS over income).

StarAdmiral
StarAdmiral

Has anyone got referral privileges back?
or called and asked if it can be reinstated?

AJ
AJ

I am curious too. It sucks that I can’t refer family and friends 🙁

AKiko
AKiko

I called and asked. No notes in the system and the Membershio rewards rep escalated it and still nothing. Could be systematic.

DP
DP

I appealed to the Executive Office level. No information on when the referral ban will be lifted — if ever. I personally don’t know if Amex has even thought that far into the future. Seem to be doing all of this on the fly and then seeing the fallout. If people raise heck, they will likely stop. If people just sit there and do nothing, then they’ll push a lil bit further. If a person has multiple cards and they don’t use/need some of them, recommend closing 1+ cards. Shift spend elsewhere. I’ve closed 2 accounts and shifted my ad spend from Amex Gold biz to Chase Ink Pref. It’s not like every referral I did was a self-one. The terms were vague. Approval process flawed. I’ve made it clear I don’t agree with their course of action. They do not seem to care at all. It’s bad business to burn bridges and make customers pay for their own errors.

RobbTPC
RobbTPC

Me and my wife lost our referral privileges on our personal AMEX Cards. I can still refer from my business AMEX cards though. I’ll probably just switch all my cards to business over time. We’ve referred to each other but I’ve never referred a card to myself.

DP
DP

With numerous phone calls and 2 separate Executive Office cases, I proposed they return 50% of the clawback as a settlement. Questionable violation due to vague terms…improper website coding…etc. Told them I wanted to stay on their good side and not close any of my 12 accounts. They gave me nothing, basically told me to piss off, and said closing all the accounts was, “my choice.” Pretty disappointing. Gave it my all. Not every referral was a self one, but they’ve blocked me from doing ANY referrals and won’t say when/if the ban will ever be lifted. I don’t know if *THEY* even know the answer. I’ve since closed 2 accounts with another 5 closures planned. Shifted a lot of spend elsewhere. Terrible policy. Basically making their customers pay for their own approval/coding mistake(s). 55k taken. 0 returned.

Sexy_kitten7
Sexy_kitten7

Much like AA, I suspect they don’t negotiate with terrorists. To be frank, they don’t care about your business. In fact, they’d probably prefer you harass other banks. If you really want to teach them a lesson, sue them for the cash value of the points and keep collecting SUBs. But hollow threats rarely yield results.

Doug
Doug

Amex is just a dumpster fire with this crap.

tennismenace3
tennismenace3

I received 15k for my BBP. I can’t explain why. I did lots of self referrals.

NBG
NBG

Wonder if the adjustment is for amex correcting the 1099 to the correct cash value of 0.6c vs 1c.

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