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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 (69)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • BlueLabel says:

    OT (no bits) – after some advice please, If I may… our family of 4 wants to go west coast US for summer hols 2020, so SJC, SFO, LAX or SAN. There is a bit of Biz availability but no F yet (we’re using Rewardflightfinder to track it 😊). Do you think 4 x F seats will be released at some point soon? Or should we book J while we can – it’s still the fizzy end after all!

    • Shoestring says:

      Book J for certainty. I think you can upgrade for the difference later.

      • Kevin C says:

        My advice (with a family of 4) is to book in J. There’s no guarantee F seats will become available. If they do you can upgrade on the phone for the extra Avios and the change fee per person.

    • Jonathan says:

      No chance of getting 4F from LAX or SFO, it’s next to impossible to get 2! SAN has better F availability in general but you’d be lucky if they released 4 together, more likely in dribs & drabs which scuppers things if you’re looking to use 241’s. Upper Deck J on a 747 is a pretty decent way to fly though, especially if on a return leg with no CCR/First Wing.

    • Lyn says:

      I think SAN availability in F is more likely than LAX or SFO, but I’ve only personally seen 1 or 2 seats. I’d be surprised if they ever made 4 seats available at the same time.

      I suspect SJC might be the second easiest, since it is more of a business route than SAN for it’s access to Silicon Valley, but not as obvious a leisure route as SFO or the others.

      • Matt B says:

        If you are struggling for F or even J my personal experience is that LAS has had decent availability whenever I’ve been looking., especially if you need more than 2 seats. We got F out to SAN and also back from LAS over school holidays next summer easily enough. Originally booked J both ways but F came up within a few days.

  • Nick G says:

    I’ve only just got my 1000 Avios for spending £30 at the supermarket offer. It’s took weeks of arguing with Amex. They wanted ME to prove I had used the offer as far as they were concerned I hadn’t. It took a screenshot of my online app showing the offer was redeemed before they would even look into it. Total garbage.

    I have to say rob I’m noticing more and more Amex offers never send an email once redeemed and they rarely post without a call to god knows where these days. I’m less and less impressed with Amex CS these days.

    On a separate note I’ve got a new gold card this week and immediately given a £14k credit limit. Considering our incomes that’s pretty obscene and I can see why if people don’t think enough they can get into an awful mess.

    • Jovanna says:

      I’m finding that I’m having to argue more with Amex. I used Stackry during the summer, which Amex had a 25% off promotion running. It didn’t post. I’m due about 8 quid. Once upon a time they’d credit your account. Amex can see the transaction but they’ve told me to call back after 90 days if it’s still not posted.

      I renewed my Platinum card in August. It went through at £450 but I’m struggling to see the value this year.

    • Terry says:

      I’ve had so many issues with Amex offers this year. GAP £10 back on £30 posted after a month. Google Store £75 on £375 never posted (5 weeks since transaction), Amex says it was done via Google Pay – but that is the only way to pay on Google Store other than PayPal. Papa Johns £5 on £20 hasn’t posted as yet (transaction was done a week ago). No email for any of the 3 transactions.

      Chat quality has gone down, they don’t seem to understand what I am talking about.

      Rob – could you please ask Amex about Google Store?

  • Planning Geek says:

    Off topic.

    Fairly new to IHG. Which is better. Holiday Inn room is £165.

    15, 000 points / 10,000 + £44 / 5,000 + £65

    A little confused as to best value…..

    • Benj says:

      I would go the 15,000 point option there (around £60 worth of points using Rob’s 0.40 valuation I think). The two points + cash options work out roughly similar, and all three options much better than paying the cash price.
      Also remember that anything involving points generally won’t be a qualifying night for Accelerate offers (other than a “use points + cash” offer, which should be triggered by either of your points + cash options).

    • Crafty says:

      15,000 points, because to my mind this is worth £50.

    • Jonathan says:

      With a par points value of 0.4p then your total “cost” is £60, £84 & £85 so use 15k points as you’re getting more than 1p/point value. Only exception would be if you have a generous points & cash bonus available in your Accelerate targets

  • Ed says:

    In the case of brook and wild afaik it’s online only, so all payments are going to be made online and therefore through Stripe

  • David says:

    I raised this issue at the Centurion 20th Birthday Party 2 weeks ago, and they said just call and it will get sorted, but they also said they would try and review so its more seem less.

  • Toto says:

    Bremont – overpriced watches with off the shelf movements dubiously claimed as in-house, that loses 50% off its retail price as soon as you walk out the door….i think i’ll pass

    • Rob says:

      Don’t all watches lose 50%? VAT is 20% (not paid on 2nd hand goods)

      • Toto says:

        Certain Patek, AP or Rolex models trade 2nd hand above retail by over 30% easily.

        Bremont is one of the worst brands for value retention if thats important to you, 50% is conservative.
        If you really want a Bremont…better off going to authorised resellers like goldsmiths / ernest jones rather than boutiques…where you are likely to get at least 20-25% discount off RRP.

        • Czechoslovakia says:

          NOT Ernest Jones, please! Bought 5 watches in their sale. Four turned up used, marked, and bits of packaging or warranty cards missing. Except one, which had the warranty card stamped by an EJ branch 2 years prior. Had to do a chargeback on 1 which went “missing” during their returns process. One of the watches was covered in dried on sweat, and none had their tags. The fifth got “lost” by their courier, DX. Goldsmith’s are great though…

        • Yuff says:

          If you know which Rolex to buy, stainless steel sport model, they have tended to rise in value.
          The one my wife gave me for a big birthday 3 years ago has tripled in value, although it took a long time to search one out. If you know what you are looking for it’s quite easy to increase the value.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Had my Rolex for 10yrs. Worth at least the same now, if not more than when I bought it. Sadly, when I bought it smart phones weren’t as prevalent making the watch somewhat redundant now.

        Now cars… There is a way to lose money quickly.

      • Charlieface says:

        What’s wrong with a Casio or Sekonda? Sorry excuse my ignorance/unfashionableness

    • Chris says:

      Agree with the watches. I bought two wallets, two ties, and a little bracelet for gifts, think total came to £530, but paid £130 with the cash back. I was going to return them if I didn’t get the cash back, so called complained, and got my £400 a month or two ago…

  • N says:

    OT – ruse to get exit row seats on BA on the at-airport check on screens didn’t work this morning. Did OLCI yesterday, and when I put my passport into the machine it just spat out my boarding pass before I got a chance to do anything. Is there a work-around?

    • Shoestring says:

      drat – the workaround is just going to the check in agent and asking for an exit row seat, obvs some queuing involved

      did you by chance print or save the pdf of your BP when you checked in online? that crystallises your seat

      • N says:

        will have to resort to queuing!

        i hadn’t printed or downloaded. same thing happened on two different PNRs, so I think this is a change in the system…

  • Billy says:

    O/T I had my yesterday flight 1200 flight from Faro to GTW cancelled due to the pilots strike. I was able to be rebooked later on for a different flight with BA on the same day but at 1930. Can I claim compensation for food and travel for the extra time delayed btw 1200 – 1930?

    • Shoestring says:

      yes on the food & drink (£25 per person, per meal, no booze)

      travel? why are there extra travel costs?

      • Billy says:

        Sorry I meant onward to travel to the airport I.e train and taxi. 14 days notice was given but I’m not claiming for the flight just the incidentals. Probably won’t make a difference now as I’ve stupidly misplaced the receipts. Are bank statements acceptable as proof or has to be receipts?


        • Shoestring says:

          was it a different airport? in which case you can get your extra travel costs refunded under duty of care

          they’ll probably say receipts only but you’d probably win if you could still provide good proof of expenditure ie bank statement with date & place

          • Billy says:

            Original inbound was from Faro to Gatwick 1200 which was cancelled. I then called up after the strike was called off and got it reinstated for Faro to LHR at 1930 as the Faro to Gatwick was not available at the time I called up to get it reinstated.

          • Shoestring says:

            different London airports is one area where BA can play tricky as they try to treat LHR, City and Gatwick as ‘London’ airports & initially often say you are responsible for your own transport if they switch airports on you (particularly ridiculous if you have a parked car waiting to get picked up!)

            regardless, they always cave if you insist, they want you to take public transport which is why they apply a £50 limit on taxis, lack of receipt a problem, though

          • Lady London says:

            BA has to cave on the transport. It’s written in EU261.

    • Rob says:

      No, not if it was cancelled 14+ days ago and the rebook was 19.30.

      If your flight was only cancelled yesterday then you are due compensation.

      • Shoestring says:

        there’s no 14 day rule for duty of care

      • Lady London says:

        Has there been definitive info on whether a flight cancelled or landing delayed over 3 hours, not notified min. 14 days ahead, IS eligible for compensation part of EU261?

        My feeling is that this pilots strike ase would not end up as ‘within BA’s control’. So duty of care yes, but is anyone sure compo also applies on this one?

        • Shoestring says:

          re: possible not-14-days’ notice, cancelled flight compo due to pilots’ strike – it hasn’t been tested or reported back on over at FT

          I also think it fails & not worth pursuing – one for Bott & Co

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