Posted by Chuck on December 1, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on December 1st, 2016 | by Chuck

121

Amex Freezing MR Accounts for 100k Personal Platinum Applicants

Oh, no!

A few reports (1, 2, 3) indicate that Amex is again freezing Membership Rewards accounts of those who applied using the 100k Platinum link that surfaced a couple weeks ago. [This issue is with the leaked personal 100k link, not the public 100k business Platinum card offer.]

This is the same thing that happened back during the May leaked Platinum 100k offer. First they froze the Membership Rewards accounts, then they clawed back the bonus.

Now, some people who got in on the November 100k offer are seeing that their MR accounts are frozen. Points earned from all MR Amex cards are frozen. Both this time and last time, the freeze began around two weeks after the applications.

Let’s hope they don’t claw back the points again this time. So long as you did your part, you should get the bonus points, but we’ll have to see if that happens.

Last time around, Amex used two strategies to skirt their obligations when people challenged them:

  1. If the minimum spend was met utilizing manufactured spend and thus they aren’t eligible
  2. Since you already got a signup bonus on a different version of the Platinum card you aren’t eligible

In this case, just make sure to meet the spend requirement without MS to get out of the first problem. If you previously got a Platinum bonus on a different version of the Platinum card, they might crack down and not give you the bonus. We shall see.  🙁

Probably not worth calling in; just wait to see what Amex does. It’s likely an issue that affects hundreds of people together. If you applied for the Platinum 100k offer and your account isn’t frozen it might be worth transferring out what you’ll need soon.



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James
James

I don’t have any love for Amex, but can’t blame them for denying people the MR signup bonuses for the two reasons you state here. MS spenders and applicants for multiple versions of Platinum cards are gaming the system, so they don’t have any rights to complain if they got their points clawback if they engaged in the two activities.

Red
Red

Anyone has a right to complain if their MR account is frozen and they can’t use their previously earned points for months.

Wayne
Wayne

Correct!

The banks spare no expense trying to game you. Massive ad campaigns, huge bonuses, big discounts, waived fees all designed to lure you in for one purpose. Run up and carry a high interest balance. So, it is just as fair for those who have the disipline, knowledge and balls to seek our own advantages. Apparently, there aren’t so many of us that it ruins bank profits so party on Garth!

milespoints
milespoints

MS yes, but multiple Plats – I don’t think so.

They clearly are different products – some have different AFs (like the MB Plat) others have the AF waived (Ameriprise). They are clearly not identical

joe
joe

+1

Lantean
Lantean

this…

Michael
Michael

Along with the different AF and different benefits, I currently hold the MB plat and was approved for the latest 100k Plat offer. I confirmed the offer with a CSR when I activated the card.

If they are going to deny it based on the multiple versions bit, they shouldn’t approve me for two of the same accounts simultaneously, and they shouldn’t confirm the sign up bonus when I activated it.

Victor
Victor

they will tell you that their marketing department does not coordinate with their existing account service department so even if you are targeted when you hel this card or a different platinum card that it is up to you to know and understand the terms of the agreement. They do not honor CSR phone calls or even secure messages that you are approved before you make the minimum spend. I received a targeted offer in a different amex account and they clawed back 100k because I had the personal platinum some years back. They are still reviewing the MB platinum. ALl of my points have been locked up for close to 6 months now

William Charles

Fine print isn’t clear on different versions of the cards, IMO that’s not a valid reason at all. Especially something like the MB card as it has different benefits.

Sa
Sa

you are right about the gaming the system.
on the other side, we are talking about a bank, so screw them.

Miz
Miz

Do you understand that the main problem is “freezing the MR account” and not “denying the signup bonus”? Amex can delay crediting the signup bonus, but why should Amex freeze the entire MR account?
Assume that after a month Amex concludes that the card holder is eligible for the signup bonus, thus the MR account gets unfrozen and signup bonus points are credited. But how does Amex compensate the card holder for the damage, cost, and inconvenience of freezing his/her MR account for a month?

jf
jf

ummmm how is this any different than all the chase folks that get thousands of dollars worth of URs by churning the CSP, or getting CSR, freedom, ink+, etc etc etc?!?!

Audrey
Audrey

Also don’t close card right after earning bonus.

Sectate
Sectate

+1 closure or downgrade though not explicitly against the rules was given as reason for clawback. Also Amex did seem to relent on the denials for other flavors of Amex as several folks reported points being given back without intervention on their part.

The other thing to be careful of is returns and credits for airlines or global entry. Make sure your spend is greater than 3k net of these.

George
George

I used to love Amex but with clearly superior products from Chase the only use for Amex anymore is to hit up whatever remaining bonuses I have not gotten yet and dump it.

Alex
Alex

Amex shouldn’t put these links out if they don’t want people signing up for their cards

Elias
Elias

Amex didnt put those links… someone modified one targeted link

Matt P
Matt P

That means they put the link out. They need better QA to keep people from getting through the links. The easiest is just to require personal info and a promo code, otherwise people will find it if it’s on the internet.

P
P

Any report of this happening on the business version?

Jim
Jim

I guess I don’t get it. I am among those who this just happened to on the most recent round, the one from two weeks ago. I haven’t received the bonus for the platty since I just got the card (and have never had a platty before). I had points from other bonuses sitting in my MR account, and now they’re gonna beef about those because I applied using a link they didn’t want out in public? Seems petty, but I guess that’s the game. I can see them trying to hold the spend on the platty to the terms, but to review earlier ones to make sure after the fact seems vindictive.

Jim
Jim

amex sucks!! with losing the partnership with costco and pissing off customers, it is going down.

Nick
Nick

Yeah mine are frozen too. Only concern is that I have an Ameriprise (never got a bonus though, just wanted to try out Plat benefits and figured I’d never get targeted for an offer good enough to make $450 up front worth it).

Checked cardmember agreements. Issuing bank, annual fee structure, earning structure, name, and cost for authorized users are all different across the board. This is a different product to me at least.

mk712
mk712

People in your situation have been denied the bonus before, even after a CFPB complaint: https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/55noxc/data_point_amex_100k_clawback_cfpb_response/

Nick
Nick

I know…not optimistic about this, but here’s to hoping. No MS no funny business about this one…the only thing I got going for me is Amex has this page with all of their different products and Ameriprise Plat is clearly delineated from the normal Plat https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/cardmember-agreements/all-us.html

chris
chris

i was autoapproved this round and i was approved for the mb plat in june and received a bonus. i’m pretty sure my account will be frozen but i haven’t tried transferring out yet. do you suggest i try to transfer out or will that trigger a review? thanks.

Mark O
Mark O

I don’t think it would trigger anything to transfer 250 points somewhere etc.

Raul
Raul

Do not transfer. This is what got my wife points frozen then clawed back. We both hit min spend and got airline giftcards for incidentals wife tried to transfer points to close account and that’s what triggered account freeze. I on the other hand did not try and transfer points since I had other other amex cards to pool points. My points were left alone hers were clawed back. Only difference is she tried to transfer points out

chris
chris

thanks for the reply. have you tried transferring recently? i don’t want to trigger a review but i would like to eventually get my points out. i actually applied specifically so i can use it for a vacation in july next year. thanks again.

Raul
Raul

I would let them sit there for at least a month before trying to transfer out but that’s just me. I’ve transfered some points around since then. Good luck

Adam
Adam

My hope is that AMEX is just trying to stop the earn, burn, cancel crowd. I’m accumulating several card bonuses for a big redemption in a year, so my hope is that a transfer a year or 6 months from now mean my account gets frozen. I mean, c’mon AMEX. Now that Chase has blacklisted me with 5/24 I’ve shifted about 85% of my spend over to AMEX. Shouldn’t that count for something? I don’t MS either, so hopefully I don’t look too suspicious.

Regardless, I knew the risks involved when I applied. Thanks for posting the link Doc! You da MAN!

Mosh
Mosh

Do they consider Plat business and personal as a different version or total diff product?

Mark O
Mark O

Went through this with the wife’s card in May – had to file a CFPB complaint to get the freeze lifted and got to keep the points…best of luck but a huge PIA and Amex customer service is worthless when dealing with it – which is probably the worst part. Just be upfront about it and give information when stuff should be complete and there wouldn’t be as much backlash.

gman
gman

If i find a work around and manage to take the points out will amex penalize my account?

Mark O
Mark O

Probably would have a negative balance so MR would essentially be dead to you moving forward.

Paul
Paul

Come Amex. Why are you making it hard to be your customer.

steve
steve

My 50K points were recently clawed back for a targeted offer with no first time language (no MS). Separately, now my 25K points earned with gold amerprise are frozen ($2k min spend; some MS).

Darv
Darv

I signed up in May, my first MR card. To my knowledge my points were never frozen. I was never asked about my spending. My spend was all organic. I just transferred out 50k for a flight booking. My wife applied for the Platinum with the offer you’re referencing. Hopefully it is not hard for her. We plan to do only organic spend on her card and the PRG she has as well. For that matter, we’ve never manufactured spend, never felt it was worth it. I actually had only been doing cash offers but the May Amex offer seemed awfully good, so I applied. And now I’m pretty sure we’ll keep at least one Platinum between the two of us. So Amex…if you’re reading, this offer will keep a long-term customer.

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