Posted by William Charles on October 11, 2017
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Published on October 11th, 2017 | by William Charles

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Issues With American Express Bonuses Posting & A Warning About Double Bonuses

Update: Looks like this is affecting more than just SPG cards and it’s also affecting cardholders who didn’t contact American Express about missing bonuses.

There has been lots of reports from readers about the sign up bonus on their SPG cards not posting. This was covered by Travel Codex (originally here and the resolution here), we also suggested using Twitter when we linked to this TravelinPoints post in one of our recaps. What I want to talk about today is the fact that some readers have reported something unusual. The timeline seems to be like this:

  • They have contacted Twitter, this seems to have caused a manual adjustment of the points owed
  • After some time the bonus posts again. Presumably this is the bonus posting naturally
  • American Express eventually realizes their mistake and then debits one of the sign up bonuses

The problem is that in some cases people have already spent the second bonus and they end up with a negative balance. I’m not sure how American Express plan to handle this long term, but my suggestion is that if you receive a second balance that you contact American Express to notify them of the issue (and in the mean time don’t spend the points). I know it’s tempting to just use the points, but I don’t see that being a good play long term (and ethically not the right thing to do either).



35 Responses to Issues With American Express Bonuses Posting & A Warning About Double Bonuses

  1. Evan says:

    I’ve had the same experience with bonuses not posting on 2 (one for me, one for wife) Amex Hilton cards and one Amex Business Gold card. I’ve contacted Amex via chat and they’ve explained that this is an IT issue that they are aware of (not sure if that’s accurate but have received the same info from multiple reps). Hilton bonuses have posted but not Business Gold. I did receive the Hilton bonus twice on one of my cards – about 30 days apart. Agree with your advice that Amex is likely to take the points back at some point. Hoping Amex will fix this such that we can get the signup bonus points in a more timely manner.

    • Gibunono says:

      Evan,

      How soon did you Hilton points post after you online chatted with them? Did they open a case for you? In other words, do you think contacting them would expedite the error fixing in bonus posting?

      Did you also use Twitter?

      Sorry for many questions. I would be very thankful if you could answer them.

      • Evan says:

        Didn’t use twitter. Took ~4 weeks for the first points to post. Then another 4 weeks for the second bonus to post. They did open a case and provided a reference number.

        Opened a case for the Business Gold bonus as well but have yet to see those points – it has been almost 2 months since achieving the minimum spend threshold.

    • Interesting to know it’s not just SPG cards.

      • Bouje says:

        I haven’t received anything from my BGR card but this is my first MR card. (Hit spend requirements and haven’t had bonus or spend points post)

  2. Ferris says:

    Amex would consider the points as a “debt” and legally after 3 years of non-payment, they would issue you a 1099 Income form. This is how I believe it would work if you ignored them, but I really don’t know what would happen if you did need to pay them.

    • Ryan says:

      But points are considered non-taxable currency, so the “debt” would never technically be owed in US Dollars or any other legal currency. Maybe Amex will let folks wash dishes to earn the points back.

  3. Joe H says:

    This one is kind of weird, as I didn’t contact Amex at all. The original 25K showed up fine (albeit not at the speed I’d prefer), but then they advised with an e-mail and deposited a second 25K (when I was expecting 10K for the additional spend in 6 months). So this doesn’t appear only when requesting the additional points. It’s like they’ve been proactive in reaching out because of the errors they had heard about, regardless of the situation.

  4. John says:

    I agree with not spending the points in case Amex corrects their mistake but I don’t know if contacting Amex is the best course of action and I don’t think any one is ethically obligated to turn a corporation’s figurative purse into the police station. We aren’t spending granny’s SPG points here.

    If one of Amex’s card holders makes a mistake and pays the bill on Amex Card 1 twice instead of Amex Card 1 and 2 does amex contact them and say “Hey, you payed more than the statement balance on Card 1 but Card 2 hasn’t been paid?” No, they charge you a late fee and probably ding your credit depending on how fast YOU catch it. (I realize there are payment due notifications and what not but those are set up by the user and Amex is not going out of their way to make sure they collect less fee revenue)

    Why should we do amex any favors instead of just letting them correct it or not and, if not, then bank error in your favor collect 25k SPG.

    • Steven says:

      I think paying off 2 different cards is not the same situation. Paying off the same card twice would be similar and in that case, they will eventually send you a check to zero out your balance. You can usually also call and ask them to send you a check if you want it faster. Comparing that 2 accounts vs 1 is like comparing apples to oranges.

      • John says:

        In my analogy, the customer is making a payment on the same card twice.

        Your analogy works to in that Amex isn’t contacting you to let you know that you overpaid. Instead they are holding on to your money (we would be holding on to their SPG points) for however many months until their terms (or maybe even the law) says they have to send you a check. There is a possibility that check never gets to you and doesn’t get cashed an eventually Amex keeps the over-payment (we would eventually get to keep the SPG points if Amex doesn’t notice their mistake).

        Analogies aside, the main point is that American Express is a corporation and we, as humans, don’t have any ethical obligations to it.

    • That’s a personal choice, I’d rather just contact them so they can reclaim the points sooner rather than later.

  5. Gibunono says:

    Anyone knows how long it takes the bonus to post NATURALLY? My Surpass card is experiencing the same issue: no bonus posts after spending requirement is met.

    In regards to this comment in the post: After some time the bonus posts again. Presumably this is the bonus posting naturally.

    Please share your DP if you have the same issue with your newly opened Surpass card. Thanks!

  6. Sunny says:

    My prg bonus hasn’t posted yet. This will be my second month with it and I have already spent 2k in the first month. Do you think it’s better for me to call them now or wait till I get second month statement and then give them a call if it hasn’t posted?

  7. Hugh says:

    I’d strongly suggest that anyone experiencing long “delays” or other issues with Amex BONUS points showing up to note (and specify) whether you did any MS to meet that bonus – especially at the mall. It has been widely reported (including here) that they are filtering out gift cards purchased at a well-known mall office and not counting that towards spend requirements for new card or other bonus. If you were MSing on Amex cards, at least for a bonus (at the mall), this is now expected behavior. I believe this post is about a different phenomenon, but folks who are unaware of the other could easily conflate the two. Best to be aware before poking Amex with a complaint, lest you get extra eyes on your account when you may not really want that kind of ratty attention.

  8. Ike says:

    same crap here, bonuses not posting for in-laws, Got them signed up under my referral bonus when it was the 35 K points for SPG personal cards, should have posted a long time ago. Multiple reps have said “wow we are so surprised, let us look into this. Here is a case number” Bunch of BS from AMEX customer service & supervisors. Total waste of time, trying to get these points lost more in my time getting these points than they are worth. Plus didn’t get my second referral bonus on them either.

    AMEX is going down the tubes.

  9. TheMonkeyTech says:

    I also have the same issue with my Hilton Surpass. After hearing all the nightmare stories about AMEX, I did 3k in natural spend on the card in the first month. The points from my 3k spend posted, but my 100k bonus has not. This is not an issue with MS as all 3k was organic.

    Thanks for the advice above, i will open a ticket with AMEX via chat.

    Another family member never received his SPG points, i will also pursue that in chat as well. That was from gift card purchases though.

    • Gibunono says:

      @TheMonkeyTech

      Is the surpass signed up for the recent 100,000 points + 1FN offer?

      • TheMonkeyTech says:

        Yep. Same offer. I finished my 3k spend at the end of Sep, my statement closed on 10/2. Still nothing.

      • TheMonkeyTech says:

        I chatted with them online today, completely useless. They just gave the usual wait 6-8 weeks. Well thats helpful if I wanted to use the points to book in December. I can’t wait to drop all my amex cards, so many issues with Amex nowadays.

  10. sunny says:

    just talk to amex rep and he told me they will give me the bonus offer every points from the purchase made in last month statement they will give it in second statement

  11. TheMonkeyTech says:

    Either they are really busy or they don’t much care to respond on Twitter any more. Its been hours since i tweeted them and they havent replied back at all.

    • sunny says:

      talk to them on live chat on amex in your account. thats what i did and got the answer right away

      • TheMonkeyTech says:

        Thanks for the tip Sunny. I just finished talking to them over chat, they said they would open an investigation and that was it…. Well i guess we’ll see….

  12. Vee says:

    Actually, this happened to me. The issue was that Amex created an SPG account for me even though I linked my own SPG to it. Then they merged the accounts after talking to reps. However, the bonus was never attached to the accounts so after my spending I never recieved the bonus. 6 Months later and my bonus arrived after a supervisor found the issue. Surprisingly, another bonus posted but 1 week later I recieved a Letter from Amex saying the extra bonus points was a courtesy to make up for their mistake. Keep an eye out for a letter before chatting with Amex.

  13. ff_lover says:

    DP:
    1. AMEX Blue for Business 2x bonus points not posting at all. Chatted with Delhi, India customer service. Incompetent people there. Kept just asking and repeating same questions/answers w/o looking at and “calculating” the points from the Monthly statments for 2 consecutive months. Will send a letter to AMEX MR office with screenshots.

    2. AMEX Hipton Surpass 100K points not posting. Had to create a case to get them to post.

    3. AMEX Delta Platinum Business 70K bonus hasn’t posted even after 3 months of meeting the minimum spend. Again created a case. No Delta bonus miles yet!

    Totally getting fed up with AMEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Every other Bank (Chase, Bank of America, US Bank, Barclays etc. etc.) points post like clockwork.
    AMEX totally lost my business!

    • Gibunono says:

      Do you have positive experience with amex during the past few months? Any card you opened and did get the bonus from amex?

      Thanks.

  14. Charlie says:

    If Amex is going to continue with this policy of posting signup bonuses late so they can review the spending to see if it qualifies, then they should simply make a firm and public policy that bonuses will post x number of statements after the spending is complete, and they should annotate the cardholder’s online account to give the date that the bonus will post. Instead they keep their review process secret, and many new cardholders panic because they think that the bonus has been overlooked. The customer service reps get confused and issue a manual bonus before the review process finishes.

  15. Tad says:

    I had SPG points post erroneously and then get debited back without any interaction on my part at all.

  16. Sue says:

    Got the Surpass in mid August. Met the spend and the points posted after the first statement closed in September. This was probably right before they announced points would take longer to post.

  17. Just a Note says:

    Not a signup bonus, but registered AUs for both PRG and Everyday cards (4 of each), and met the minimum spend on all cards. First bonus posted (5000 for PRG, 1500 for Everyday), but thus far that is it.

    I have actually contacted Amex, and they just say to “wait 8-12 weeks”. The next PRG bonus hits the 8 week mark on Monday, will see what happens. Others happen shortly after.

    One note: The PRG cards were activated via phone, with social security (mine). The Everday cards were not activated, online, by phone, or anywhere, they just worked.

    Naturally hesitant to contact them again, as the AUs are not questionable (they are simply variants of my name), but don’t want to call too much attention, what with new Amex terns and conditions.

    However, curious if anyone else has received multiple AU bonuses, or they always just post one, then the others post later?

    • Rigo Leto says:

      This is a well known AMEX bug by now that’s been confirmed through several DPs. If you signed up 4 AUs all at the same time, you will only receive the first 5k, for the AU that was first on your list.

      If you registered the 4 AUs separately, you will receive all 4 right away.

      Who knows if/how AMEX will fix this. Everyone who’s contacted them has been told to wait the full 8-12 weeks, but AMEX seems oblivious to the fact the 4 bonuses are posting immediately for those who registered their AUs one by one, so it’s not a matter of waiting, but a matter of them fixing their bug for people who registered 4 in one go.

      • Just a Note says:

        Sounds like they are using the Citi IT staff on this one – especially since the offer says you must sign up all AUs at once! Naturally had not (yet) tried to add individually, so the AUs were added all at once. Next time I get the chance, will try and add them individually.

        In the meantime, will see if I can wrangle the others out of them when the 12 week mark hit, as it’s not come through after 8. Thanks for the info.

  18. Sarah says:

    I commented on the last SPG thread about not receiving my 25k bonus. It finally posted last week (while we were away on the vacation we’d hoped to use it on), after four phone calls and five months after meeting the spend.

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