Back in January there was an amazing offer for the American Express Platinum Card through CreditCards.com. By going through the “Offers Matched For You” option (on the top left of the site), a 100,000 Membership Rewards Points sign up bonus would be offered. This offer disappeared by the following morning.
I went ahead and applied for the card and was instantly approved. The card arrived a couple of days later. I activated the card by calling the number on the back of the card not the activation number on the front sticker. I was told about various perks the card offered as well as the bonus I would receive after hitting the required spend.
Before activating a new credit card I always call in to reconfirm my signup bonus.
The Amex Platinum became my go-to card. I was looking to hit the spend relatively fast so I started using it for pretty much everything. I had a few more questions about some of the card benefits so I called up again about a week later. I spoke to a friendly representative and was explained everything I asked. I inquired about my sign up bonus again and was told that after spending $3,000 I would receive 100,000 points.
I went on using my card and hit the required spend about a month later and started checking to see if my bonus posted. While checking my account on americanexpress.com
I noticed that I could see pending points. I saw that I had 2,000+ points that would be posting soon. I started wondering why my bonus was not showing as pending too. I called up American Express again and asked how long it took for pending points to be moved to an account. The rep mentioned that points usually post one month later. I then asked why my sign up bonus was not showing as pending. Once again I was told my bonus offer and placed on hold.
When the rep came back on the phone, I could not believe the news. I was told that I did not qualify for the sign up bonus! I was then transferred to American Express Membership Rewards.
I went over all of my information and explained my situation with the Membership Rewards rep but was told there was nothing that could be done. The rep then spoke to a higher-up but nothing came from that either.
I was then told that the only thing I could do was write a letter to the Membership Rewards Correspondence Unit. I asked for a phone number or e-mail address but was told I had to write a letter. This was definitely odd.
I received a response in the mail a couple of weeks later from the Vice President of Dispute Resolutions. The letter stated that I would hear back once again when the investigation had been resolved, which should be in less than a month.
Less than a week later I received another letter. This one was from Membership Rewards Customer Care. There was no signature or name given like in the first letter. The letter brought me some bad news.
We will be unable to issue the Welcome Bonus to your new Platinum Card account. According to our records, you previously have a similar Card product.
It seemed like the Dispute Resolutions department disregarded everything that I wrote in my letter and just stuck to their exact rules. It didn’t matter that multiple Amex reps told me that I would get the bonus or that one rep even gave me his name and employee number just in case I had any problems.
I couldn’t just take no for an answer.
I decided to call up Membership Rewards one last time. I spoke to a very nice and understanding rep and went on to explained the entire situation. She looked over my account and said that one of my calls was noted- where I was told that I would get the bonus. There was nothing that she could do for me but she did see my side in this situation.
The rep offered me one last shot to get my bonus. She said that I could write a letter to Claire B. of Membership Rewards in NYC. I was told to write “escalated matter” on the outside of my envelope and that Mrs. B had final say. If she said no to my bonus there would be nothing else I could do.
I sent my letter out the following day and couldn’t do anything more than wait for a response.
About 3 weeks later I received an e-mail from American Express Customer Care. I was nervously excited to read the message.
I logged in to my account through my iPhone and read some great news!
Here is part of the message:
I certainly understand your disappointment with the misinformation you received regarding the Platinum Card bonus offer. I also recognize your good efforts with trying to rectify the situation and bring it to our attention. My deepest apologies are extended for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.
We do appreciate you obtaining the Platinum Card and we have honored the bonus offer. We have issued 100,000 Membership Reward points to your account, which will appear on an upcoming statement. The points are available immediately for your use.
I was really impressed with American Express for doing the right thing. They honored the word of their representatives and the amazing bonus offer I was promised!
It took quite a few phone calls, a couple of letters and a lot of my time but it was well worth it in the end. I’m now 100,000 Membership Rewards points richer!
There are some lessons to be learned here.
- Always confirm your sign up bonus
- Pay attention during phone conversations and document who you spoke to
- If you think that you are right or deserve something NEVER take no for an answer.
Sometimes decisions are not final even if you are told they are!