Before we get started, let’s keep in mind that this is a rumor and one I haven’t been able to verify with any of my sources at American Express. It comes from US Credit Card Guide and I trust their team to properly vet this. According to them American Express have created a Rewards Abuse Team (or RAT for short) to combat reward abuses.
The following changes have already been made:
- MPX will no longer trigger the airline credit (as we thought)
- Purchase products to meet minimum spend requirements and then return them
According to the same source they have no plans to stop airline gift cards from triggering the airline incidental travel credits.
Not hugely surprising, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the same team was in charge of dealing with the frozen membership rewards accounts due to the 100,000 Platinum links. I don’t really have an issue with either of the ‘abuses’ they are/have cracked down on, although it would suck to have meet a minimum spend requirement in good faith and then have had to return an item – so I hope there is some level of leeway there. MPX triggering the credit was great, but obviously never the intention of the credit.
I’m not surprised they have decided to not remove the ability to use this credit on gift cards and I suspect that this will become official policy in early 2017 (or they will make a similar change to the airline credit) due to the fact that both the Citi Prestige airline credit and the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit are easier to use.
Obviously the creation of RAT isn’t a good thing, but at the moment I’m not too alarmed. Discuss.