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Amex confirms it WILL pay £45 cashback on Economist subscriptions via the Avios offer

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Last week we covered a new offer from Avios and The Economist magazine, which allowed you to earn up to 18,000 Avios for taking out a subscription.

Many of you took up our suggestion that this offer was a good deal when combined with the £45 cashback which American Express has offered to many cardholders.

If you put the two offers together, you were getting 52 weeks of The Economist and 15,000 to 18,000 Avios for an average of around 0.9p per point.

The cashback never turned up, however.

A few readers called American Express to chase up their £45.

They were all given the same story which I had never heard before in years of covering Amex offers. The cashback wasn’t going to be paid because they hadn’t applied via the link in the T&C’s to the Amex offer.

This sounded like nonsense to me.

This has never, ever, been a problem for American Express cashback offers in the past. Whilst a website link is often provided, it isn’t necessary to use it.

With the Dell cashback offers on the Business cards, for example, you are encouraged to click through to In truth, the cashback appears irrespective of whether you use the Dell consumer site, the trade site or Dell Outlet.

It is also worth noting that the offer terms do NOT say that you must access the The Economist website via the link in the offer rules. It simply says ‘Available online at:’ and then gives the URL.

This is no different to how, when HfP reviews an aviation book, we say ‘Available online at Amazon’ and then give our affiliate link. I doubt any reader would assume that it wasn’t available at any other bookshop, online or physical.

As I wrote in our article yesterday, “I am tempted to believe that this is human error rather than Amex policy.”

It turns out I was correct

American Express has been in touch this morning with a statement which implies that it was, after all, human error.

It seems that there had never been any intention to restrict the cashback only to those who used the link in the Amex T&Cs. It isn’t clear why the call centre was telling people otherwise.

Amex told me in a statement:

“The issue is now fully rectified. All affected Cardmembers will receive their credits over the next 5 days. Should a Cardmember not see the remediated credit, they should contact our customer services team who will re-issue the credit.”

What happens if I cancelled my subscription already?

I don’t know.

In theory, you can reapply but I don’t know if you would get the Avios or not. Have you broken some ‘new subscriber’ rule by applying and cancelling last week? You WILL receive the £45 from American Express.

If you didn’t take part in the offer last week ….

The good news for anyone who didn’t get around to applying yet is that you can now be 100% confident that you will receive the 15,000 – 18,000 Avios and the £45 American Express cashback.

Our original Avios / Economist article here has full details of how to apply.

Comments (43)

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  • CarpalTravel says:

    If you are in touch with someone at Amex Rob, can you ask them to sort out their honouring of their sign up bonuses please? Today they have missed their 4th “promise to heave it sorted by” for me and I know others are impacted as well. My formal complaint is being logged on Monday.

    • Benilyn says:

      Have you spoken to them on the phone? To the UK call centre?

    • Reeferman says:

      I’m in the same boat!
      One on-line chat and now 4 phone calls. The latest assuring me it was all sorted.
      Amex has confirmed my application was correctly processed and confirmed the referral link is shown on my account. Yet still only 20k of the 50k sign up bonus (after spending £4k) have appeared!

  • Alex says:

    Thanks, Rob! Much appreciated for sorting this with AMEX!

  • Patrick Cold says:

    Thank you for looking into this Rob, much appreciated.

  • Colin says:

    Great news indeed. Despite the site is full of canny users, ( as opposed to adjusters?). we are obviously still valuable to certain providers.

  • Colin says:

    Abusers. .. not adjusters !

    • Mike says:

      I prefer to think of us a bunch of “adjusters”. We keep adjusting our avios balance upwards !

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    Mmm just reaffirms my view of not signing up beta testing, let it bed in

  • grex9101 says:

    AMEX’s fabled customer service is not what it was. I’ve had a couple of very poor interactions with them in the last year.
    I’ll no longer recommend them on customer service alone.

  • Tony says:

    Hmm, the offer has now disappeared from both the app and web site and is not visible on recently expired list? Does anyone recall what the expiry date was?

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

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