American Express Clawing Back Points
🔃 Update: This is still going on, with the latest data point coming from reddit. In this case, an Amex Gold card was used to earn 4X points in supermarkets for years, including some gift cards with every purchase. These gift cards were usually Shell, Amazon, Visa or Mastercard gift cards. After years of not having any issues, Amex clawed back over 30,000 points. And Amex specifically mentioned in a follow-up phone call that those supermarket transactions included gift cards.
Original article: American Express has been clawing back points from customers who purchase gift cards. These clawbacks include points earned from bonus category spending, sign-up bonuses, upgarde bonuses and more.
American Express notes in its terms and conditions that purchases of “cash equivalents” do not earn points. And now many cardholders have reported that these gift card purchases have been identified as such and points have been clawed back.
Normally this includes purchases in the range of $504 to $507 which is normally the coset of $500 gift cards plus activation fee. But depending on the information American Express received, they can also flag gift card purchases when other items are included in the total.
Obviously not every single gift card purchase is flagged for clawbacks. Most likely this is affecting those who have large purchases at certain gas station and grocery chains that sell Visa and Mastercard gift cards.
Let me know in the comments if American Express has clawed back Membership Rewards points from your accounts.