"Enhancements" to MR earn on Platinum Card, Reserve & Centurian

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It is something that you can't always determine... Generally speaking it is based on the merchant code that applies to the place and the term 'restaurant' and 'cafe' are usually used interchangeably. This differs however where somewhere might have a merchant code as a pub but serves food. In this case you will get one point.

One way to check if you are planning to go to a particular place is to check the Amex merchant listing on their website. If you go to the page for your card, you'll find some links where it explains the points earn. This includes a list of eating places that earn 3 points, along with some accommodation/travel providers.

Thanks for that
 

Keith009

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About $1000 to $1500 just on the Amex including McDonald's, KFC (some don't take Amex) and Grill'd.

I hate cooking so my monthly spend on food also tends to be on the high side, approx 2k per month. Easily adds up considering we eat out on nights I'm meant to 'cook', weekends etc. Maccas only features at 3am after too many good drops and I don't know any better!

The place I get coffee from near work is also 'restaurant.' :D
 

k3nnis

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Wow Keith $2000 a month is certainly high compared to me! That's 6000 MR a month just for food.

I hate cooking so my monthly spend on food also tends to be on the high side, approx 2k per month. Easily adds up considering we eat out on nights I'm meant to 'cook', weekends etc. Maccas only features at 3am after too many good drops and I don't know any better!

The place I get coffee from near work is also 'restaurant.' :D
 

anat0l

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An odd side effect of the new points scheme is that I've had to put in quite a few transactions this month with US Airways ;) and as a result of being charged in US Dollars have been getting 2 points per dollar spent.

Needless to say it's only 0.5 more points per dollar than the old earning scheme; it only so happens in this case that the absolute difference it is making is stacking up.
 

Chicken

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I cannot believe how low American Express had gone. Even Citibank is nowhere as bad as this. They are really driving me to the edge.

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Dear Mr. Chicken,

I received a reply from our Membership Rewards Team today.

As per their reply, the 2x points are not applicable on your Platinum Reserve Credit Card. The charge from 'Hotelclub Pty Limited' falls under retail category and not travel or dining; therefore, it is not eligible for the bonus points.

In order to discuss the matter further, please contact our Membership Rewards Team directly at 1800 059 388 or +612 9271 4011 (from overseas) and one of our specialists will assist you accordingly.

We regret any inconvenience caused and look forward to assisting you.

Sincerely,

xx_
Email Servicing Team
American Express Digital Services

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Please advise what exactly they 'retail'? I cannot see they actually retail any goods on Book Cheap Hotels Deals, Budget & Luxury Accommodation | HotelClub . All I see are hotel rooms and nothing else.

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Dear Mr. Chicken,

The Membership Rewards points earning structure on your Platinum Reserve Credit Card is as follows.

- 3 points per dollar spent at tens of thousands of restaurants in Australia (Please visit Merchant Geo)
- 2 points per dollar spent at Airlines, accommodation, major cruise and tour operators paid directly or through travel agencies. Spend in foreign currency, both overseas and online.
- 1 points per dollar spent everywhere else, excluding the providers below.
- 0.5 points per dollar spent on utilities, which are gas, water and electricity providers. Insurance (except insurances offered by American Express); Telecommunications providers, which includes goods and services purchased from phone, mobile and internet service providers; Government, bodies including the Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, federal/state and local government bodies.

Mr. Chicken, your transaction of $120.95 from 'Hotelclub Pty Limited' (billed on 13/10/12) didn't fall under the category of travel or dining; therefore, it is not eligible for 2x or 3x points. It falls under the category of transactions which are eligible for 1 point per dollar spent and these transactions are basically classified as retail transactions.

If you wish to discuss the matter further, please contact our Membership Rewards Team directly at 1800 059 388 or +612 9271 4011 (from overseas) and one of our specialists will assist you accordingly.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and look forward to assisting you.

Sincerely,

xx_
Email Servicing Team
American Express Digital Services
 
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myturn

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that is pretty bad.. thanks for the heads up. Maybe Flight Centre is a retail outlet as well
 
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wiz

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Posts
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As per their reply, the 2x points are not applicable on your Platinum Reserve Credit Card. The charge from 'Hotelclub Pty Limited' falls under retail category and not travel or dining; therefore, it is not eligible for the bonus points.
Do you think the ACCC might be interested to hear about this?

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My new travel blog: www.vacationkickbacks.com
 

haydensydney

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That's shocking. Wouldn't Hotelclub be considered a travel agency? If you look at the list of acceptable travel agencies (here) there are a heap of online travel services.

What a terrible decision by Amex and certainly indicates poor implementation.
 

Moopere

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I'd ring them on the number provided.

The email CSR is not answering your real question. Your question basically relates to how it is possible that an accommodation aggregator (hotelclub) could be classified as 'retail' instead of as 'accommodation/travel'. The Amex CSR is not addressing this at all, they are simply stating that because hotelclub is categorised by Amex as a retailer then you only get 1 point / $.

A phone call should fix that up I'd imagine.

The thought occurs however that hidden behind the scenes in the backoffice is Amex making paid options available to merchants. Perhaps being classified as accommodation/travel costs the merchant more than being classified as retail?

In any event, this new system is so convoluted and would require far more time than I have available to track and keep Amex 'honest' - so I'd have to give it up for that reason alone.
 

kyle

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Mr. Chicken, your transaction of $120.95 from 'Hotelclub Pty Limited' (billed on 13/10/12) didn't fall under the category of travel or dining; therefore, it is not eligible for 2x or 3x points. It falls under the category of transactions which are eligible for 1 point per dollar spent and these transactions are basically classified as retail transactions.

If I get such a reply, I would definitely be escalating the issue and tell the customer service person to look up 'travel agency' in the dictionary!
 

Chicken

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I'd ring them on the number provided.

I just called them to see what's going on. (I have been using the e-mail function as I have been overseas, just arrived back into nice sunny cool Sydney weather this arvo, thank god!).

1: The CSR credited the extra point to my account (appeared on Internet banking immediately).

2: She advised that the industry code for Hotel Club is currently as retail, not travel industry.

3: She will submit a request to have Hotel Club reviewed, but it is subject to Hotel Club agreeing to be re-classified as travel industry.

4: If Hotel Club does not agree to be changed, then there is nothing they can do, and we will NOT get the bonus as travel expenses, so do NOT expect to get the bonus automatically. To ensure you will get the bonus point, check AmEx web site before paying.

5: She admits point 4 is very inconvenient (read: stupid).

Seriously, I am so p*ssed off about this, I posted this right after I got off the plane. Yes, I am having a rant!
 

wiz

Member
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Jun 7, 2006
Posts
144
If Hotel Club does not agree to be changed, then there is nothing they can do, and we will NOT get the bonus as travel expenses, so do NOT expect to get the bonus automatically. To ensure you will get the bonus point, check AmEx web site before paying.
This is American Express' problem, not ours. Regardless of what merchant agreement they have with Hotel Club, American Express advertises double reward points for travel and accommodation purchases. Since it could be easily implied that hotels fall under the classification of travel, the offer of double MR points should be interpreted under the Competition and Consumer Act and not based on their own arbitrary classifications. A way around this would be to advertise the card to promote double MR points at selected travel agencies only, but I'm afraid it seems AMEX want to have their cake, and eat it too...

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wiz

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You could take the 'false advertising' route...?
Well, one could certainly argue that it is misleading. And the same thing also applies to restaurants. There might be inconsistencies between who gets three points and who doesn't, based on their merchant agreement. It only takes one person to complain to the ACCC, and it could be time for AMEX to be taken to the cleaners (again).

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My new travel blog: www.vacationkickbacks.com
 
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