Regular readers may remember the strange case of the recent American Express cashback offer with watch manufacturer Bremont.
Many cardholders were given a very attractive offer of £400 cashback on a £500+ purchase if they used their American Express card. Given the price of Bremont watches, this was not as generous as it sounds but that is beside the point ….
Readers who took up the offer at Bremont stores in London had no problems. The cashback appeared quickly as promised. However, readers who ordered online did NOT get their money.
This is because Bremont was processing online orders via a third party payment aggregator. The ‘merchant’, as far as Amex was concerned, was the payment aggregator, not Bremont.
Purchases handled by payment aggregators such as iZettle and Stripe are blocked from Amex cashback transactions because the Amex IT system does not know who the underlying merchant is. The rules of the cashback deals always contain this line:
“Offer does not apply to spend on other Cards you might hold and is not valid for transactions made using Payment Aggregators.”
However, American Express had specifically said on their website that purchases on the Bremont website WOULD qualify.
These two statements were contradictory but – as the customer had no way, at all, of knowing in advance that Bremont used a payment aggregator – the latter claim, that purchases via the Bremont website DID count, would clearly seem the overriding one.
This problem has now reared its head again.
A reader got in touch to say that he had been targetted with an American Express cashback offer of 15% back at mattress retailer Brook & Wild. You may have this deal yourself as it is still active.
You can guess what happened …..
The reader made a sizeable purchase with Brook & Wild …
… after reading on the ‘Offers’ page of the Amex website that website purchases counted for cashback ….
… which was processed by Brook & Wild using the Stripe payment processing system …
… which is what appears on the reader’s Amex statement …
… and so American Express has not paid the 15% cashback
American Express suggested that the reader contact Brook & Wild and ask them to refund the original payment and process the transaction again directly. Brook & Wilde responded by saying that Stripe is their ONLY online payment processing method. This means that this American Express cashback offer is totally unusable, according to the rules.
But there is some good news ….
I raised this issue with American Express this week. This is that they told me:
“I …. can confirm that we always honour all cashback offers. When payments are made through an aggregator, the cashback takes a little longer to process. We’re currently processing the Bremont ‘spend £500, get £400’ cashback transactions for purchases that were made via an aggregator.
With regard to Brook and Wild, again, these payments were made via an aggregator, so will take longer to process. But again, Cardmembers can expect their cashback to appear within the 90 day period outlined in the T&Cs.”
The Bremont offer is actually now over the 90 day period outlined in the T&C’s (it ended on 16th June so all cashback should have been credited by mid September) but I will give American Express the benefit of the doubt for now.
The good news is that we have it in writing that Amex is ignoring the part of its rules which involve payment aggregators, at least on the merchant side (I still think they would refuse to pay up if you used PayPal to order, linked to your Amex).
The bad news is that you may well have to wait the full 90 days from the end of the offer – which could be five months or more from when you made your purchase – to get your cashback. But it will come ….
PS. If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons why I think you should get an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.