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. However, 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.
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