GST/VAT refunds reduce AMEX Points....why!

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Tallfont

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I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this.

I recently returned from a Europe trip where a few relatively expensive purchases were made. Some of these were made on the AMEX Platinum Charge and some on a CitiBank Mastercard.

On the final EU departure point (LHR) I dutifully went through the hassle of queuing up to register for the tax refund. I thought that I would put the refunds all back to AMEX as that had had the biggest "hit" during the trip.

All sorted and sure enough the refunds started rolling back into the AMEX 5-6 days later with the last one (from a different company) taking about six weeks.

I just noticed at the weekend that as the GST/VAT refunds have hit the AMEX account my MR points have taken a similar reduction. As some of the charges were not even made on the AMEX I find this rather annoying.
Using that logic everytime we make a payment then the points would be reversed and we would never get any!

I am overseas again but plan on calling them when next back in Australia.

Tallfont
 

woodborer

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That's why I get my refund into a transaction account.

From memory, they are not processed as though you are making a payment. They are processed effectively as a purchase with a negative amount.
 

lilkid28

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Yes, same thing happened to my card on ANZ Travel. Will make future refunds all to Citibank debit card.
 

Coops1

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never put a refund back on a points earn card, unless they make you use the same card you purchased it from. RIP points :(
 

djchuckles

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Refunds always reduce points - I always put tax claims into my debit card/current account for this exact reason
 

MathNerd

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One of the golden rules of point collecting (harvesting?) is to:
  • Make purchases on the highest point earning card for the particular transaction (for example, if buying groceries from a supermarket, use an AmEx Platinum Edge as opposed to any other type of AmEx card or MasterCard/Visa).
  • If you do go through a refund/"negative purchase" process, funnel the transaction through cash OR your bank's usual debit card (crossing your fingers you are served by a junior employee who doesn't check that the refund must go back to the original payment method).
  • It takes a while to develop the mental stamina and dedication to do this for daily transactions, but the rewards (pardon the pun) are really there for the taking.
 

odysseus

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It makes sense. It's a partial refund of the purchase price, not a cash deposit, so is processed correctly. They're not going to reconcile each credit against each purchase though, so if you put more back it's just treated as a greater refund.
 

JFi

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I did this once with TRS. I called up Amex and told them it's a tax refund and they credited all the points back to my account. As others have said, now I process it back to my debit / bank account.
 

kyle

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My TRS refunds always go to a bank account.
 

liuyz

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I did this once with TRS. I called up Amex and told them it's a tax refund and they credited all the points back to my account. As others have said, now I process it back to my debit / bank account.

My experience with TRS is similar. Call up and get points credited.

TRS or any tax refund are processed as a reverse of a transaction, even though there was no initial 'purchase'. I think this is not right way to do it. AMEX need to update their IT system.

Refund should be something with your initial purchase, with a initial transaction id, then reverse the status against the transaction id. If there is no purchase transaction id in the first place. Then there is no concept of 'refund' here.

TRS is really a credit through the 'reverse purchase' channel. The word 'refund' in use is confusing things.

Rule is
1/ take refund with bank card or debit card if possible.
2/ don't tap on the POS machine, do insert and select saving/cheque account, this will save the time to get the credit land into your account. (sometime this is instant like deposit)
 

woodborer

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Refund should be something with your initial purchase, with a initial transaction id, then reverse the status against the transaction id. If there is no purchase transaction id in the first place. Then there is no concept of 'refund' here.

TRS is really a credit through the 'reverse purchase' channel. The word 'refund' in use is confusing things.

TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme) is a refund. They are refunding the GST. It is not confusing at all.
 
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twiningb

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TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme) is a refund. They are refunding the GST. It is not confusing at all.
This.

Note that they refund a total amount across what may be multiple purchases using different payment methods, so I don't think there's any requirement to refund it to a credit card and I have always taken it to my bank account. It's not like returning a specific item to the seller for a refund, under which circumstances they expect to refund to the original payment method.
 

JohnK

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TRS refunds go to 28 Degrees or debit card.
 

Isochronous

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This is why I always refund to the debit card linked to my bank account and never to CC.
 

theblank

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A merchant cant deposit money to a credit card. Its always processed as a "purchase refund" therefore negative points always.
 

opusman

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TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme) is a refund. They are refunding the GST. It is not confusing at all.

@liuyz is referring to the way the payment is processed, not semantics surrounding the name of the government scheme. When money goes from a merchant to a cardholder's card it can be in one of two ways, a full or partial "refund" of a prior charge, or as a "reverse purchase" which gives rise to a totally independent transaction. Only the original merchant can initiate the first type of transaction.
 

liuyz

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Why would or should Amex have to do that.....just don’t use your Amex for the refund. Pretty simple.

Exactly. As I suggested. Use debit card and avoid the credit channel to receive fund quicker. But this is just a workaround, while the root cause is still in their system.
 
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