Published on July 27th, 2016 | by Chuck32
How do Statement Credits Affect Points and Minimum Spends with Amex?
Amex has various benefits and programs which result in statement credits, including the Airline Credit benefit, Amex Offer credits, Global Entry credits, and more.
Do those statement credits reduce the number of points/rewards earned? And do they reduce your overall spend on the road toward meeting the spend requirement for a signup bonus?
All statement credits (with the exception of returns) seem to count for minimum spend purposes. However, for earning points, there’s a difference between Amex Offer credits and OPEN credits which don’t earn, versus all other credits which do.
Some general things to keep in mind when calculating Amex rewards:
- You don’t earn points on the annual fee.
- Annual fees do not contribute to minimum spend requirements.
- If you return an item the points are clawed back.
- Rewards post after statement close with a one month delay, e.g. a day or two after your April statement closes, you’ll see the points from your March statement. SPG cards do not have this delay; the points show up within a few days of statement close.
Travel Benefit Credits
Amex has numerous travel credit benefits, such as their $200 airline incidental benefit on the Platinum card or $100 on the Premier Gold card, and their $100 Global Entry benefit.
Points are earned on Airline credits. Similarly, these purchases should count toward the minimum spend requirement.
Note that while travel benefit credits do not reduce your overall spend for promotional purposes, on the Amex site it will show as a decrease in your Year-to-Date spend. Disregard the YTD spend when you’re calculating your spend for promotional purposes.
Amex Offer Credits
Amex Offer credits reduce the amount of points earned, e.g. if you spend $100 and get $20 back, you’ll get 80 credit card points, not 100. The system treats the Offer credit as if it were a return; if you buy $100 worth of goods and return $20, you’ll only get 80 reward points.
They even deduct it properly from the category bonus earnings. For example, if you get an Amex Offer credit at a grocery store on a Blue Cash card, you won’t earn any cash back on that purchase, not the base cash back amount and not the bonus cash back amount.
One case where this isn’t true is offer credits from Amex themselves, such as those $10 Amex Express Checkout credits last year. Those did earn points and cash back. Also, Amex Offers on third-party cards (such as BBVA, etc.) do earn points on the full amount of the purchase; they don’t process the credit as if it were a return.
Data points in the comments to this post suggest that Amex Offer credits DO count for meeting a minimum spend. Apparently, it’s just for point-earning purposes that they have it coded not to count, but for all else it does count.
Amex Open 5% Rebate
As with Amex Offers, the 5% OPEN savings on Amex business cards are considered by the system as if it were a return and it does not earn points. It should still count toward a minimum spend requirement, as with Amex Offers (above).
Interestingly, when there is an Amex Offer at an OPEN partner, the system awards 5% on the full purchase amount, without first deducting the Amex Offer credit.
Insurance Benefit Credits
Insurance benefits like Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Extended Warranty, and similar benefits should count toward your minimum spend and should not have any points deducted.
These benefits come through as ‘Payments’ in the Amex system, as if you sent a payment to the card in the amount of the statement credit. That shouldn’t affect the purchase for spend and points purposes at all.
Chase Travel Credit
With regards to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card $300 travel credit, it’s documented that the $300 travel credit does earn points (3x per dollar on travel), and also counts toward the minimum spend requirement.
While statement credits have been working to count toward the Amex minimum spend for the automated system, we recommend not counting them in case you ever have to deal with pesky representatives.
- How Long Do I Have To Reach My Minimum Spend Requirement?
- I Didn’t Complete My Minimum Spend Requirement, Is There Anything I Can Do?