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Platinum foreign dining credit in Japan

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  • JosephH

    Has anyone any experience of this? It seems a bit odd, when you select ‘Japan’ on https://www.americanexpress.com/en-gb/benefits/diningbenefit/ it’s just listing one “restaurant” which is pocket concierge, and clicking the link takes to some kind of general Japan restaurant portal which seems to list far more restaurants than you’d really expect to be included in the offer.

    I’ve now asked Amex chat about this twice, without getting a straight answer. (First time they told me I could phone to get the offer added to my card, second time they gave me a different pocket concierge link which showed zero restaurants.)

    aseftel

    I looked at it out of curiosity. It looks like part of the service is that you give your payment details to Pocket Concierge and then there is no bill to worry about at the restaurant – it’s all handled by them. Conceivably therefore it is the case that any transaction with them will trigger it.

    https://help.pocket-concierge.jp/hc/en-us/articles/360000052881-How-do-I-complete-my-payment-and-what-do-I-do-when-I-am-leaving-the-restaurant-Pocket-Experience-

    JosephH

    Thanks aseftel – that’s an interesting twist I hadn’t noticed.

    If that’s the case then I reckon there’s about 882 restaurants in Japan you can use the offer at – amex claim there’s “over 1400 restaurants” in the offer globally – that would only leave 500 restaurants in total between the other 19 countries! From a quick check there’s over 100 in Canada and a few other countries, so if it’s right then Amex’s 1400 seems like it’d be off be at least a few hundred in our favour. Not that I’m complaining if that’s the case, it’s more surprising!

    meta

    I’ve used Pocket Concierge in Japan before. It’s very straightforward and it includes 800+ restaurants. They take a refundable upfront payment to offer you a booking service for restaurants that you can’t book online. You give credit card details and once they confirm it’s charged.

    It’s very good and with this offer you can get into many 1-star Michelin sushi restaurants. This is actually the best offer on the foreign list. Just do it if you can get to Japan. Amex doesn’t know what they signed up for or they do, but figured that while Japan is closed let it stay on the list.

    JosephH

    So as an update, the pocket concierge part worked very well. My card was immediately charged when I made the booking for the two fixed price menus, and then on the night we were able to just leave the restaurant and the costs of drinks was charged by pocket concierge later than night (some restaurants apparently expect you to settle extras like drinks directly with them – which would then not trigger the amex credit, but apparently it should be mentioned on the restaurant page or confirmation email if that’s the case).

    The second charge triggered a push notification to the amex iPhone app saying I’d used the ‘Abroad Dining Platinum Benefit’.

    However 2 weeks later the credits haven’t actually arrived. I suspect I might end up having to chase via customer support, but I’ll give them another few weeks first.

    One interesting point I’d not previously spotted is that Amex acquired Pocket Concierge in 2019, which probably goes a long way towards explaining why they decided to have the offer work in this slightly unusual way in Japan!

    peckishpassport

    I noticed this morning that Pocket Concierge/Japan doesn’t appear on the Amex Dining Collection list anymore.

    And I booked two restaurants yesterday in the hope of redeeming the £150 dining abroad credit!

    Gavin454

    I noticed this morning that Pocket Concierge/Japan doesn’t appear on the Amex Dining Collection list anymore.

    And I booked two restaurants yesterday in the hope of redeeming the £150 dining abroad credit!

    That’s a shame! I was looking forward to using it on my trip in January/February.

    Hopefully they’ll add some restaurants individually for Japan, because currently there are none.

    KJC

    It’s still on the dining benefit website but because of the weird setup of pre-payment I thought I’d make 100% sure that it works ok triggering the £150 benefit. After chatting to Amex through the app they said “we are currently experiencing a fulfilment issue with the dining inventory in Japan. We currently cannot track the eligible spend at restaurants in this location, so no credits can be issued to CM upon dining”.

    Massive shame as me and the partner were hoping to use 2 x £150 credits in Japan soon! I recommended they remove it from the website asap. I would’ve been pretty annoyed if I hadn’t checked with them first and was on the hook for £300.

    meta

    Brighton will apply the credit manually if you call them after transaction posts in full.

    Harrods

    Has this been fixed?

    marcolau

    Has this been fixed?

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    PeteM

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    Sorry, I am probably being stupid, but how can you tell if a restaurant on Pocket Concierge works this way, please?

    Stephen

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    Sorry, I am probably being stupid, but how can you tell if a restaurant on Pocket Concierge works this way, please?

    Hey Pete,

    Did you have any luck with this?

    I’m going to Japan in March so was hoping to use £150 this year and another £150 in 2023.

    How quickly do they charge the card?

    Thanks, Stephen

    PeteM

    Not yet, just landed in Tokyo today. Haven’t properly looked at it as off to Okinawa now, but any further pointers from those in the know would be appreciated 🙂

    Harrods

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    Sorry, I am probably being stupid, but how can you tell if a restaurant on Pocket Concierge works this way, please?

    Hey Pete,

    Did you have any luck with this?

    I’m going to Japan in March so was hoping to use £150 this year and another £150 in 2023.

    How quickly do they charge the card?

    Thanks, Stephen

    Had the same idea – pre booked a resto for Feb in Tokyo via PC, payment is immediate and have been credited…

    Stephen

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    Sorry, I am probably being stupid, but how can you tell if a restaurant on Pocket Concierge works this way, please?

    Hey Pete,

    Did you have any luck with this?

    I’m going to Japan in March so was hoping to use £150 this year and another £150 in 2023.

    How quickly do they charge the card?

    Thanks, Stephen

    Had the same idea – pre booked a resto for Feb in Tokyo via PC, payment is immediate and have been credited…

    Perfect, thank you!

    How do you know if the restaurant takes payment immediately or at a later date?

    Harrods

    Yes, it’s fixed now, but the credit only applies to pre-paid bookings via Pocket Concierge.

    The offering was suspended briefly earlier as it appears that there were problems at Pocket Concierge, with some restaurants don’t do pre-paid bookings whilst some do, causing confusion and issues on whether the charges were eligible for the credits.

    Sorry, I am probably being stupid, but how can you tell if a restaurant on Pocket Concierge works this way, please?

    Hey Pete,

    Did you have any luck with this?

    I’m going to Japan in March so was hoping to use £150 this year and another £150 in 2023.

    How quickly do they charge the card?

    Thanks, Stephen

    Had the same idea – pre booked a resto for Feb in Tokyo via PC, payment is immediate and have been credited…

    Perfect, thank you!

    How do you know if the restaurant takes payment immediately or at a later date?

    the whole premise of pocket concierge is to pay in advance im sure…

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