Author Topic: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?  (Read 1587 times)

The 585

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Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« on: October 24, 2021, 10:17:51 AM »
In July I was buying a Delta international flight through their website and was offered to apply for the Amex Delta Skymiles Gold credit card with instant approval, 70k bonus miles sign up offer with $2k spend. Well, with all my travels I quickly surpassed the $2k and received the bonus skymiles credited to my Delta account.

Now several months later, I realize I won't use the card anymore and already received the bonus anyways, so I messaged Amex customer service asking if I closed the card would I maintain all my skymiles -- which they reassured me yes, I would maintain all my earned miles plus the welcome bonus miles. So I said OK please close that card.

And then just recently a couple weeks later, I received an email from Amex saying I didn't meet the terms of the welcome offer. I immediately contacted customer service who said they will open an investigation into this, reviewing everything and then they will get back to me. I also submitted a request to reinstate the card, hoping this will help resolve the issue favorably.

Do they have any recourse to actually take these 70k bonus miles out of my Delta account? What if they were to be used already? Anybody have a similar issue? I've received several credit card bonuses in the past but never had this type of problem!

dandarc

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2021, 10:34:57 AM »
Have you gotten this particular bonus before?

Different cards have different terms around this, and there usually is language that if they discover after the fact that you're not eligible they can claw the miles back.

The 585

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2021, 11:22:20 AM »
Have you gotten this particular bonus before?

Different cards have different terms around this, and there usually is language that if they discover after the fact that you're not eligible they can claw the miles back.

Never had this bonus before. I think the particular issue is closing the account within 12 months, which was in the fine print. But again, I've received several offers with other CC companies and never had this type of issue. I guess all I can do is wait and see, but if reinstated, I hope that can put me back in good terms.

The part that really frustrates me is that customer service specifically confirmed I'd keep all my sky miles and the welcome offer upon closing the account, rather than warning me about the 12 month terms. It's the only reason I went ahead and closed the card, otherwise I'd have certainly kept it open with no issue! But they'll be able to see the chat logs.

Catbert

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2021, 11:36:32 AM »
Yes, Amex can and will clawback a welcome bonus if you cancel in less than 12 months.  Other miles that you earned through spend won't be confiscated.  For the future (assuming you're not in Amex jail) wait until the annual fee posts and then cancel.  You have 30 days after it posts to cancel and annual fee will be refunded.

Other credit card companies don't routinely do this (at least not yet).

Edited to add:  I always wait until the annual fee posts to cancel a card if I'm cancelling within the first year regardless of issuer.  Just a good practice in general.  In fact, for Amex cards if it's not worth keeping two years I skip it.  Amex's RAT (Rewards Abuse Team) if vicious.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 11:44:01 AM by Catbert »

The 585

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2021, 11:45:18 AM »
Yes, Amex can and will clawback a welcome bonus if you cancel in less than 12 months.  Other miles that you earned through spend won't be confiscated.  For the future (assuming you're not in Amex jail) wait until the annual fee posts and then cancel.  You have 30 days after it posts to cancel and annual fee will be refunded.

Other credit card companies don't routinely do this (at least not yet).

Understood, but do they have any flexibility to grant an exception in this case? Being misled by the customer service rep while closing, and requesting an account reinstatement to re-open the card? I'm hoping there's a gray area.. because the 70k miles are a LOT to lose..

And yes in hindsight I do realize it was an incredibly stupid move on my part not to just keep the card open in the first place.

bacchi

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2021, 02:51:32 PM »
Yes, Amex can and will clawback a welcome bonus if you cancel in less than 12 months.  Other miles that you earned through spend won't be confiscated.  For the future (assuming you're not in Amex jail) wait until the annual fee posts and then cancel.  You have 30 days after it posts to cancel and annual fee will be refunded.

Other credit card companies don't routinely do this (at least not yet).

Understood, but do they have any flexibility to grant an exception in this case? Being misled by the customer service rep while closing, and requesting an account reinstatement to re-open the card? I'm hoping there's a gray area.. because the 70k miles are a LOT to lose..

And yes in hindsight I do realize it was an incredibly stupid move on my part not to just keep the card open in the first place.

AmEx service is usually the most competent and most fair. In this case, since the rep told you it was ok, you might complain to the FCPA if they deny it.

The 585

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2021, 05:56:30 PM »
Yes, Amex can and will clawback a welcome bonus if you cancel in less than 12 months.  Other miles that you earned through spend won't be confiscated.  For the future (assuming you're not in Amex jail) wait until the annual fee posts and then cancel.  You have 30 days after it posts to cancel and annual fee will be refunded.

Other credit card companies don't routinely do this (at least not yet).

Understood, but do they have any flexibility to grant an exception in this case? Being misled by the customer service rep while closing, and requesting an account reinstatement to re-open the card? I'm hoping there's a gray area.. because the 70k miles are a LOT to lose..

And yes in hindsight I do realize it was an incredibly stupid move on my part not to just keep the card open in the first place.

AmEx service is usually the most competent and most fair. In this case, since the rep told you it was ok, you might complain to the FCPA if they deny it.

Thanks for the input bacchi, that's great to hear and I hope you're right! But I'm unfamiliar with the FCPA, that's that?

Rubic

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2021, 04:07:38 AM »
Quote from: Geographer link=topic=124462.msg2920071#msg2920071
And yes in hindsight I do realize it was an incredibly stupid move on my part not to just keep the card open in the first place.

Not to dump on the OP, but just to share my experience. I've been churning
credit cards for over a decade for miles, points, cash. In every case I wait
until the annual  fee comes up and then either negotiate to get it waived or
close the card after  the fee appears on my account.  In every case I've
received a full refund for the annual fee (if closed) and maintained my
relationship with the company.

bacchi

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2021, 08:17:24 AM »
Yes, Amex can and will clawback a welcome bonus if you cancel in less than 12 months.  Other miles that you earned through spend won't be confiscated.  For the future (assuming you're not in Amex jail) wait until the annual fee posts and then cancel.  You have 30 days after it posts to cancel and annual fee will be refunded.

Other credit card companies don't routinely do this (at least not yet).

Understood, but do they have any flexibility to grant an exception in this case? Being misled by the customer service rep while closing, and requesting an account reinstatement to re-open the card? I'm hoping there's a gray area.. because the 70k miles are a LOT to lose..

And yes in hindsight I do realize it was an incredibly stupid move on my part not to just keep the card open in the first place.

AmEx service is usually the most competent and most fair. In this case, since the rep told you it was ok, you might complain to the FCPA if they deny it.

Thanks for the input bacchi, that's great to hear and I hope you're right! But I'm unfamiliar with the FCPA, that's that?

Wow, I really flubbed that. I meant the CFPB at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/.


Duke03

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2021, 02:28:42 PM »
Welcome to Amex I see you have met the RAT!!! (Reward Abuse Team)  Amex has a history of clawing back any points they deem you cheated to obtain and can go back years....

The 585

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Re: Can Amex take back welcome bonus miles?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 09:49:58 AM »
Well I was approved for a reinstatement for the Amex card. Despite the $25 account reinstatement fee, I REALLY hope this will help support my case favorably. And if so, I'm definitely keeping it open the required amount and learning my lesson.

Edit to follow up: In the card terms, it clearly states "We are not responsible for your miles after they are credited to your SkyMiles account. We are also not responsible for the actions of Delta on your SkyMiles account."

My bonus skymiles are all already transferred into my Delta SkyMiles account. Wouldn't this indicate that Amex no longer has jurisdiction over them anyways?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 10:36:17 AM by Geographer »