Posted by Chuck on April 8, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on April 8th, 2018 | by Chuck

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Office Depot and Staples May No Longer Be Earning 5% with Amex SimplyCash – Data Points Needed

A few reports are trickling in about Office Depot/Max no longer earning 5% with the Amex SimplyCash card.

A friend reports that Staples is no longer earning 5% either for the past few months.

All data points we’ve heard thus far are for gift card purchases so it might have to do with Level 3 Data rather than a coding change for these stores. If it is a store coding change, it might vary by store location.

Please contribute your own data points in the comments. Just be aware that rewards on Amex cards come with a statement delay, i.e. if you make a purchase on March 10th and your statement closes on the 20th, rewards for the March 10th purchase won’t show until April 20th.

Update: These reports seems to be anomalous – it’s still working for most without an issue.



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carl wilson
carl wilson

No dps here, but This is L3 all the way. Welcome to the world of ‘custom’ prices, and ‘custom’ points accrual.

ed
ed

i gave up on Amex. Family and businesses have given up on them and we also no longer accept Amex from customers (they don’t seem to care and just use a different card). Amex Rats are surely a frustration for the marketing team and sales reps. Pendelum has swung too far, but it’s their choice.

AP
AP

how do you see the breakdown of the rewards in amex login??

MSer
MSer

I have to look at statements to figure it out. Just d/l the pdf

AP
AP

Just looked got my 5% for all the Staples VGC sales in Jan

Information Booth
Information Booth

Got my 5% for Jan. GC purchases, at Staples, as well. I’m wondering if the increased frequency of these promotions was the cheese for the RATS!! Well, at least Jesus loves us!!

Judy Jones
Judy Jones

Just a question on if there is a difference between Visa/ M/C debit gift products to the Credit card company coding as buying a card for Amazon or Gasoline? One is a cash equivalent, one is store merchandise.

ed
ed

they don’t seem to care, so beware.

86
86

Level 3 data includes the item product code.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Damn RATs again 🙁

Credit
Credit

There is a lag off couple off months for cash back to show up

Michael B
Michael B

I noticed this on an OM VGC purchase about 2 months ago and then cancelled my card because it’s completely useless to me. Amex is fully intent on becoming inferior to Chase in every way.

bob
bob

yeah, i just cancelled mine too – the 3% CB on restaurants isn’t enough if i can’t also rack up cash via these OM/OD deals.

As long as Chase INK+ still works, i’m good to go. but damn, it sucks losing a card that had a $25K CL (for me).

Zachek
Zachek

You didn’t transfer the CL to another biz card before cancelling?

Dan
Dan

I had regular purchase at both stores ONLINE during the same statement cycle. Every purchase earned 5%.

Are you sure all the DPs did not exceed the 25k limit?

If this is true, I will cancel this card… might as well open another credit card slot for Amex.

wzb
wzb

On March 12, I spent 6000 amazon gc in office depot, it earned 5%

WZB
WZB

On March 12, I spent 6000 gc in office deopt, it got 5%, recently purchase in Office depot still got 5% but not gc. I never buy vgc

Jon
Jon

How could you tell since rewards post delayed a couple statements

WZB
WZB

Because in the spending history, in the new view, you can see the reward, and it shows 300. they will be deposited on your account automatically in two statements, but will show in your reward account in one statement. but in the new view of spending history, you can see the reward of each purchase.
I think only VGC dies

Andrew
Andrew

I also checked my ‘new view’ and all purchases made at OD (including VGC as recently as April 1st) are showing as 5% Reward. My OD is classified as ‘Business Services – Office Supplies.’ Of course, rewards have not yet posted but it is showing like they will.

Aks
Aks

My statement has two months lag time on posting rewards. My purchase in Nov-17 was posted in early Feb-18 closing statement. Last purchase in Mar-18 is scheduled to post early Jun-18.

86
86

I wish Amex would update accounts with rewards in at least the month they’re earned, as in, on that month’s statement. Most all my other cards show the rewards at the same time the transaction posts online.

Those charges shown in the graphic were made in December, and Amex probably would have updated their terms by now if a policy change to exclude gift card purchases were the cause of 5% not being given for those purchases back then.

john
john

My March 3 statement has U.S. Office Supply Stores 1% for visa gift card purchases. I noticed it last week. Good while it lasted.

BbS
BbS

what was the date of the purchase?

Captainsave
Captainsave

Won’t amex be breaking their own terms by not rewarding 5% on legit spend at office supplies store?

William Charles

Gift card purchases are excluded, so no.

norma
norma

Technically, per their T&Cs, gift cards are not mentioned in the cardmember agreement. (They are mentioned in other agreements). However, terms state prepaid and cash equivalents *are* excluded.

William Charles

Yes, gift cards are defined as cash equivalents elsewhere though. Can’t remember exactly where but they are specifically called out

86
86

Would like to see evidence from Amex that prepaid debit gift cards are now considered cash equivalents by them. They normally make clear in their terms what they exclude, like the specific language excluding any gift card purchases for sign-up/retention bonuses, buying or reloading reloadable prepaid debit cards, manufactured spending on their own prepaid cards, etc.

Wyle
Wyle

If I log into my SimplyCash Plus account, there is an option to preview a new format. When I select that, I can click on individual transactions and get a full page with details including a REWARDS box. OD/OM purchase on 3/17/18 for $399.90 shows “5% U.S. Office Supply Stores $20.00”. Based on all previous billing cycles, I expect this reward will post as a credit to my MAY billing statement.
Neither my online account (either format) nor billing statement show the rewards for each transaction like the sample in the post.

Aks
Aks

I see the same “5% U.S. Office Supply Stores $20.00” detail that you see for my March and April transaction.

Randy C
Randy C

My 3 separate transaction each posted the same way as above. So seems to have worked for me. Will be testing out the current promotion as well.

KC
KC

Based on the New Detailed Format, my purchases made on 4/3 have the “5% U.S. Office Supply Stores” but my 4/4 purchases do not have that label. They are the exact same GC item from Staples.com….

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