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The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

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Established Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@kdm31091 wrote:

@FortifiedHM wrote:
It's hard to imagine amex doesn't know this method.

Amex also needs to know, and I bet they do, that shutting down this will lead to loss of many business as well.

Yes, it's a loophole, but amex is a beneficiary of it too.

The thing is that on some level they want to lose that business. Amex doesn't want people who are exploiting loopholes. They want to advertise travel credits and pay them out to legitimate users and/or pay out as little as possible. This loophole makes it too easy for anyone to use, meaning people who really cannot justify the card are justifying it, coming ahead against the AF, and Amex is losing money.

 

It sucks, but I don't think they will lose any  business they really are concerned about

 


We will have to agree to disagree here. Amex charge card isn't exactly known for being picky on who they approve.

 

Reality is neither of us has Amex balance sheet with regard to gold card in front of us, and neither of us know exactly what amex wants. All we know is amex will do whatever makes them more money.

 

I don't know how many will choose to cancel if this loophole gets closed. heck, I don't even know if I will cancel. But I do know alot of people will be on top of this and do assessment regularly. We shall see what happens.

 

and btw, my delta credit just posted. lol, so at least its still working for delta.

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Message 21 of 82
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

Back to the OP, this workaround has been known for a while.  Anyone that's motivated can find information from multiple sources from previous years - not just the recent holidays. Unless there is a significant reduction of accounts as a result of this, I don't expect AMEX to take any action.  The original TPG link only alleges that the airline had changed the coding to be more accurate, which I don't object to - these are gift cards!  It is unfortunate though, the potential loss of this avenue of redemption does make recouping the $250 travel credit that much more difficult for me as I would have to buy a lot of unnecessary food or merchandise on flights. I do not incur incidental fees like baggage and upgrades - those have been covered by my status.  I had really wanted to upgrade to the Aspire and still may do so, but I opted to get the SPG Luxury (nee today as the Brilliant card) because it doesn't have complicated paths to redeem benefits.

Message 22 of 82
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

I haven't read much on this, but it may not be AA changing any coding or doing anything at all. It could be AMEX relying on more than just an MCC code but using the data from the merchant (Level 3) to identify the actual type of purchase. 

 

This is also how USB was closing accounts when people were buying gift cards with the AR card. Even people who tried to hide GC purchases in between a bunch of groceries were getting caught. 

 

ETA: Chase does the same with the CSR and CIC for me. If I buy a gift card using MPX, it codes based on the type of GC. So, I use the Ink card for Staples GCs and get 5x plus whatever United miles. If I use the CSR to buy a restaurant GC, it codes as dining for 3x, but if I buy a non-category item, I get 1x. And you're buying from the same place.

 

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 23 of 82
Frequent Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@imaximous wrote:

ETA: Chase does the same with the CSR and CIC for me. If I buy a gift card using MPX, it codes based on the type of GC. So, I use the Ink card for Staples GCs and get 5x plus whatever United miles. If I use the CSR to buy a restaurant GC, it codes as dining for 3x, but if I buy a non-category item, I get 1x. And you're buying from the same place.

 


I didn't know about this, thanks for the heads up, kind of cool I guess.  I was never a fan of this type of travel credit, wonder if it is just going to be AA or other airlines follow suite at Amex request.




Message 24 of 82
Super Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@FortifiedHM wrote:

@kdm31091 wrote:

@FortifiedHM wrote:
It's hard to imagine amex doesn't know this method.

Amex also needs to know, and I bet they do, that shutting down this will lead to loss of many business as well.

Yes, it's a loophole, but amex is a beneficiary of it too.

The thing is that on some level they want to lose that business. Amex doesn't want people who are exploiting loopholes. They want to advertise travel credits and pay them out to legitimate users and/or pay out as little as possible. This loophole makes it too easy for anyone to use, meaning people who really cannot justify the card are justifying it, coming ahead against the AF, and Amex is losing money.

 

It sucks, but I don't think they will lose any  business they really are concerned about

 


We will have to agree to disagree here. Amex charge card isn't exactly known for being picky on who they approve.

 

Reality is neither of us has Amex balance sheet with regard to gold card in front of us, and neither of us know exactly what amex wants. All we know is amex will do whatever makes them more money.

 

I don't know how many will choose to cancel if this loophole gets closed. heck, I don't even know if I will cancel. But I do know alot of people will be on top of this and do assessment regularly. We shall see what happens.

 

and btw, my delta credit just posted. lol, so at least its still working for delta.


+1 Amex designed these airline credits to be fairly restrictive so it was supposed to be difficult to redeem them. It has nothing to do with wanting to get rid of customers or whatever. Amex wants to advertise airline credits to get people to signup for credit cards etc but they don't want to actually pay out on those credits. The end result is that Citi and Chase put Amex to shame with their easy to use travel credits. 

;
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Message 25 of 82
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

I just did it a couple of weeks ago and it worked as expected without issue.

 

Amex Reimbursement.png

Message 26 of 82
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

I redeemed $550 worth of AA giftcards in January as well.

The general consensus on FT is that this changed somewhere between the February 3rd and 8th.




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Message 27 of 82
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

So is this for sure a done deal? If so it will definitely play into whether I keep the Gold after this year. Not being able to take advantage of the Dining credits is bad enough, but if I'm no longer able to use the AA GC route either. It severly hampers any ablity to recoup the AF for me.

 

I'll never be able to use $100 worth of inflight purchase, they could at least allow you to apply it towards the cost of a Ticket! 

This is why the AA GC was nice, it at least reduced your ticket price. Basically allowing me a free flight to somehwere close if i so choose, or half off a flight to Vegas!

 

Off topic, does this still work for Delta GC purchase? Might have to change over then, and hope Delta has flights where I go...

Message 28 of 82
Established Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@Janus wrote:

So is this for sure a done deal? If so it will definitely play into whether I keep the Gold after this year. Not being able to take advantage of the Dining credits is bad enough, but if I'm no longer able to use the AA GC route either. It severly hampers any ablity to recoup the AF for me.

 

I'll never be able to use $100 worth of inflight purchase, they could at least allow you to apply it towards the cost of a Ticket! 

This is why the AA GC was nice, it at least reduced your ticket price. Basically allowing me a free flight to somehwere close if i so choose, or half off a flight to Vegas!

 

Off topic, does this still work for Delta GC purchase? Might have to change over then, and hope Delta has flights where I go...


delta GC still works, we shall see how long this will last, lol

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Message 29 of 82
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@budugu wrote:

Amex should simply follow Citi / chase make it travel credit. Infact even if they remove the airline restriction that would be a great thing. That and making points 1c for cash redemption are the two biggest pet peeves I have with them (also forex fee on 95$ cards!)


You mean like this?

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 2.33.34 PM.png

 

I bought two tickets and saw this in my statement. I actually paid for part of one ticket with $150 in gift cards (hence the price diff) and lo and behold...credit.

Message 30 of 82
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