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Change of earnings on Gold Business Charge Card

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  • CharlieUK

    I’ve had an Amex Gold Business Charge Card since 2004. One of the reasons I’ve held onto it is that it has always given me two Membership Rewards for every £1 spent on the card.

    Today I noticed that in September last year the earnings rate was switched to just one 1 MR per £1 spent.

    I just phoned Amex to ask why I wasn’t informed of this change and was told that they’ve now aligned the earnings rates across all their cards and I’ll find it in the terms and conditions.

    I asked to be forwarded a copy of the communication I should have been sent about this change. The agent said he’ll look into it but didn’t give me any confidence that he actually would.

    Does anyone know where I stand on this? I’m assuming such a major change to the terms and conditions should have been made very clear to me.

    Lady London

    Correct.

    You should have been informed with reasonable notice period. Either 60 days (typically) or anything better that was in the terms you either signed up for, as they were at the time (even if new signers after you got different terms than you), or any new set of terms that has been duly notified to you since signup that you accepted by continuing to use the card (assuming they were correctly notified to you before implementation).

    “Duly” would mean things like appropriate notice and any key changes brought to your attention – not just hidden in a lump of new text.

    You’d also have the opportunity to withdraw from the contract or refuse to accept variations depending how significant they are (or dependent on how cumulatively significant they are over time). Practically this means you’d have to cancel the card – but they couldn’t impose changes while you still have it without due notice ie long enough for you to cancel it. You can give them 2 weeks or so to come up with all the above done properly then raise a formal complaint.

    They need to provide the existing rate of points accrual until the above is done. Don’t back down. I’d expect a slug of points as well by way of apology for their inefficiency. I suggest you take the plain basic rewards Amex ready to transfer your points to on closure if you don’t have another Amex to transfer them to

    CharlieUK

    Thank you Lady London for your swift and comprehensive reply. Much appreciated.

    JDB

    This was brought up on here a long time ago by a number of people, so lots of legacy cardholders were notified.

    If you are sure that you were not notified, you need to ask Amex to provide you with evidence that they did in fact notify you of the changes to your T&Cs that were implemented. The burden is on Amex simply to show that they did in fact serve you with such notification with due notice, not that you received such notification. The fact you haven’t noticed any change in the last 8 months or so doesn’t help your case as it demonstrates a tacit acceptance of the new terms.

    If they can prove they sent it, you can’t do anything. If they can’t, you should be compensated.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    CharlieUK

    Thanks JDB. I guess the fact that I didn’t notice the change in the earnings rate may also mean that I missed any communication. I’ve now sent a letter to Amex requesting a copy of the communication I was sent, so will see if they can come up with the evidence.

    orudge

    I received a letter last year informing me that my Amex Gold Business card would only earn 1 MR instead of 2 per £2, and also that the annual fee would increase to £175.

    My earnings changed in October to 1 MR per £1, but every transaction also resulted in a “Double Membership Rewards Offer” effectively taking me back up to 2 MR per £, which lasted until the end of December.

    There’s not really any advantage in me keeping hold of this card (especially with the fee increase) compared with Capital on Tap, so my plan will be to cancel and perhaps reapply for an Amex when next eligible for a signup bonus.

    CharlieUK

    I’ve now had a reply from Amex as follows:

    Although I appreciate since opening your account in 2012 you have been earning double MR points, this may have been a special one-off promotion or agreement at that time. Unfortunately, due to time barring, we will be unable to confirm what offer may have been at the application stage in 2012.

    As the Terms and Conditions were in place long before August 2021, this is not a change to your agreement, instead it is the removal of which ever offer may have been in place. For that reason, no notification of changes was issued, as there has not been any changes to your Terms and Conditions. Unfortunately, as no error has occurred, I am unable to uphold any element of your complaint, nor am I able to reinstate any MR points you feel you have missed out on. However, as I can appreciate that this may have led to some confusion, I will on this occasion be crediting your account with 10,000 MR points as a gesture of goodwill.

    I very much doubt the logic they are using as it seems unlikely I’d have benefited from a ‘special one-off promotion’ for almost 10 years. However, as I don’t have the original terms and conditions, I can’t prove anything.

    I’m inclined to accept the goodwill gesture of 10,000 MR points and leave it there. Like Orudge above, I also have a Capital on Tap card, so may switch over to using this.

    AJA

    I think 10k MR is decent compensation. That is the equivalent of £10k spend on the card since last September – unless you’ve spent more than that you are fairly compensated.

    CharlieUK

    I agree, AJA. I think 10K MR is decent and more than I would have earned in that time period.

    Lady London

    It’s a rubbish lying explanation. I doubt it’s time barred as it’s a continuing contract for which they would be bound to keep records. For one thing, it would be in their own interests to make sure they did keep full records from the beginning..

    Claiming a rate that’s existed continuously for 10 years is a special offer that they now are withdrawing therefore they must “revert” you to a considerably worse “[underlying] rate in your contract, is a sneaky sleight of hand worthy of the best French mobile network providers. If you challenged them on it I think custom and practice that has been in place for 10 years with no communication on anything being temporary,they’d lose as you say.

    I agree with other posters it’s practical to take the 10,000. However so they don’t gain any ground on this and potentially claim something similar on something else in future, I think I’d write to them accepting it as a “practical solution” even though you don’t accept their explanation and in particular, request due notification of any proposed changes to your agreement in future in writing and with the appropriate notice period so that you may decide whether to accept them…. or your own equivalent bla bla.

    So they know they didn’t do a proper job. But they don’t want to admit it because of what that might open the door to.

    CharlieUK

    Thanks Lady London. Your contributions have been invaluable and are a real asset to this forum.

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