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Good news if you lost American Express cashback because the merchant used a payment aggregator

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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.

Bremont American Express cashback problems

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

Brooke and Wild American Express cashback issues

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.


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Comments (70)

  • Planeconcorde says:

    Typo: This is that they told me:
    Probably should be: This is what they told me:

  • John says:

    Some Hiltons use 3CPAYMENT but this has not been a problem for me so far. You don’t get the email saying you used the offer though.

  • Chris says:

    Amex did give me the £400 cash back, despite ordering from Bremont online and it being processed by stripe. I did have to call and complain though, they didn’t want to give it at first…

  • Chris says:

    They were telling me it was a fraudulent transaction! Surprised they’ve got another offer on Bremont, thought they’ve been very upset with them…

  • Shoestring says:

    O.T HT HUKD

    £29.99 Travelodge – Central London £29.99 (Sunday dates in Dec & Jan / Including London Central Tower Bridge & London Waterloo)

    London Farringdon:
    22nd Dec
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Central Waterloo:
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Central Tower Bridge:
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Central City Road:
    22nd Dec
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Liverpool Street:
    22nd Dec
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Kings Cross Royal Scot:
    22nd Dec
    29th Dec
    5th Jan
    12th Jan

    London Battersea:
    5th Jan (£19.99)
    12th Jan (£19.99)

  • Shoestring says:

    Heathrow x2 Travelodges £23.99 for 22 Dec, 5 Jan, 12 Jan
    https://www.travelodge.co.uk

    • Yuff says:

      OT : Shoestring
      I emailed BA about EU 261 duty of care for our half term cancelled flight hotel booking and they said unfortunately they couldn’t pay towards any out of pocket expenses.bith you and lady London said they would say that but that they will pay out in the end, do I risk it? 😄

      • Shoestring says:

        You’d have to remind me of the facts. If *they* cancelled your flight & moved your flight back by 1 day and you had no choice in the matter, of course you’re entitled to duty of care. If it was just flashing red (ie a warning of potential disruption) – then no.

        Key question: was your flight cancelled unilaterally by BA?

        • Shoestring says:

          FWIW I read through the BA guidelines to OTAs https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/traveltrade/bookings-policies/policies/standard-customer-guidelines#cancellations

          and at one section they even tell OTAs to inform passengers on cancelled flights that they are *not* entitled to duty of care and to make a note of it in their booking!

          So you’re probably coming up against ‘first refusal’ and just need to be sure of your ground and insist on your refund of duty of care expenses.

          I have applied for BA compo/ service recovery on about 10 occasions so far – on all 10 occasions I have got an initial BS cut & paste reply, I have on every occasion challenged this, insisting on getting compo/ service recovery – and succeeded every time.

          • Yuff says:

            Thanks shoestring,
            They cancelled our October 29th flight lgw-pmi several months ago. Next available flight was from LHR via Madrid, the following day, which they have transferred us to.
            I have 2 hotels booked at Heathrow on points but ideally Sofitel is the most convenient, although the new Crowne plaza and Hilton T5 aren’t bad second choices. However we are losing a day of our trip through no fault of our own.
            From your experience it sounds like we have a good chance of compensation.

          • Shoestring says:

            It’s black & white, slam dunk etc

            They cancelled flight, you moved to next day flight: you are always in this scenario entitled to duty of care.

            It doesn’t matter in law if it is your outward or return flight, nor how much notice you have been given. (They can’t insist you stay at home instead of in the hotel the night before flight & pay for your own food.)

            BA’s own guidelines, in case anybody else is reading: £200 per person per night in a hotel (they reasonably expect couples to share, but you could break the £200 guideline and claim half each – the £200 guideline *is* only a guideline and if it’s reasonable to pay more, BA will refund you in full); £25 per person per meal; £50 taxi hotel to airport.

          • Yuff says:

            Thanks shoestring I will be booking the Sofitel 😉

          • alan young says:

            Put our claim re hotel, car hire & meals into BA 5 days ago regarding putting our flight 2 days earlier. Received an email yesterday saying they were transferring the claim into my bank that day. Not bad at all.

          • Lady London says:

            It’s about time thé législation made Airlines pay an extra 10-200% if they denied EU261 and were later found liable.

            It has to start costing them more cash if they incorrectly deny as well as interest on the money owed from as soon as it would have been payable if they had not denied.

            Right now do many passengers give up or are out off by having to flight thé airline even when législation is clear they are liable.

            Until airlines harm themselves by these tactics and not just their passenger, the airlines will keep on doing it.

          • Lady London says:

            Sneaky, sneaky of BA to instructions OTA’s to put that into thé PNR. By doing so, they’re trying to pût that into their contract with the passenger.

            It wont work as EU261 rights come under statute which cannot be overwritten by contract.

            If someone complains to the CAA about this then i think thé fine could be worth about say, £180,000 because BA is inciting its agents to act in a way BA intends to frustrate EU261. The fine being applicable for each OTA BA has instructed in this way?

            BA are you reading this?

        • Lady London says:

          +1. What Shoestring said.

          If you had any choice in which flight you were rebooked on to I believe if you yourself had chosen to go out earlier, you might be liable for your own costs and no compo up to the time of your former flight. However a later flight and if course they must pay duty of care being accomm, food, refreshments non-alcohol, any extra transport costs to and from hôtel, or différent departure airport if relevant. Regardless of how much notice they gave you. And even if the cause of cancellation or delay was one that did not qualify for compo.

          The only thing that could change this as far as i can tell is if a judge creates a precedent in interpreting EU261by a decision that duty of care is not payable in a case with circumstances same as yours. But that would have to be in a higher court to be binding on other cases and so unlikely anyway.

  • Andrew MS says:

    Could the use of aggregators explain why Virgin’s online shopping portal deprives me of my rewards? They accuse me of moving away from the site at the payment stage – which i do not – and I don’t have pop up blockers .

  • Tim says:

    Hello. I’ve lost all my Amex offers but when speaking to AMEX they won’t tell me why. Has anyone else had this?

    • Nick_C says:

      My Amex offers no longer appear using Chrome on Windows 10. But I can see them in the App, using MS Edge on Windows 10, and using Chrome on Android.

      The Amex website also seems very slow these days, regardless of the platform.

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