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The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

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Valued Contributor

The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

Currently this is only affects AA if it pans out. I suspect that Amex may have had a hand in it as they are the card processor after all.

I’ve never been a big fan of TPG but why would they go as far as contacting American Airlines about the issue.
I understand Amex is probably well aware of the workaround by now thanks to all these blogs. But there’s no point in drawing even more attention to it in the offchance it was just a fluke.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/potential-change-american-airlines-gift-cards-amex-airline-fee-credit/...




Total Revolving Limits $219,300

FICO 8 scores 04/2019
EX-778
TU-714
EQ-716
Message 1 of 91
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

Pretty sure AMEX knew but didn't do anything about it it's not a well-hidden secret.

Message 2 of 91
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@simplynoir wrote:

Pretty sure AMEX knew but didn't do anything about it it's not a well-hidden secret.


I’m 100% positive they do know. It becomes a matter of how many cardholders know about it and are using it to get things to change.

 

amex expects breakage in the credits, if there wasn’t enough breakage it may have prompted a change on this very well know “secret” 





Total Revolving Limits $219,300

FICO 8 scores 04/2019
EX-778
TU-714
EQ-716
Message 3 of 91
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

Enough blogs mention this "workaround" in my opinion for it to be a non-issue as the true purpose of this. I doubt that's the real reason they stopped that loophole if indeed they finally got around to fixing it.

Message 4 of 91
Established Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

I wouldn't be surprised if they "fix" this, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't - after all, the travel credit for the CSR and now even the Citi Prestige are not restricted as such and can be used for airline tickets. With the ability to use the Amex credit for gift cards "on the low", it's like an under the table way for Amex to be competitive with the CSR and Prestige's travel credit, yet without actually making it so clear that everyone will be aware of the possibility. Basically it gives solid utility for the credit but still saves Amex a lot of money because a lot of consumers will not even be aware that you can use it for a gift card.
Chase UR: Amex MR:Citi TY:
Cash back:Travel:
Debit: + DCU savings acct for 5.12% APY for $1k
Message 5 of 91
Super Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@simplynoir wrote:

Enough blogs mention this "workaround" in my opinion for it to be a non-issue as the true purpose of this. I doubt that's the real reason they stopped that loophole if indeed they finally got around to fixing it.


Oh I wholly disagree with this. I believe the blogs and media are the very reason this loophole was shutdown. There was an absurd number of articles this year in December and Jan about airline giftcards. Amex knew about this all along but the people do it were just a small percentage of people and it wasn't worth it for amex to bother fixing this. However, with the bloggers pushing these cards and spelling out exactly what to do to get giftcard credits etc etc it started costing amex a whole lot more money where even the most basic credit card user stumbled across these blogs or an article based on a blog and started doing it. Its clear that when soo many people start maximizing the airline credit in this way it throws Amex's plans out of whack because the credit is designed in a way where most people wouldn't be able to maximize it (e.g., having to select a specific airline, only able to use the credit on certain purchases etc) and so when too many people started doing it then it cost amex too much money and it seems like they took action. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 6 of 91
Super Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?


@f4phantom2500 wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if they "fix" this, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they didn't - after all, the travel credit for the CSR and now even the Citi Prestige are not restricted as such and can be used for airline tickets. With the ability to use the Amex credit for gift cards "on the low", it's like an under the table way for Amex to be competitive with the CSR and Prestige's travel credit, yet without actually making it so clear that everyone will be aware of the possibility. Basically it gives solid utility for the credit but still saves Amex a lot of money because a lot of consumers will not even be aware that you can use it for a gift card.

Honestly if they have limited my ability to use airline credits then I'm going to have to reevaluate all my amex cards with that feature and quite a few of them will likely have to be closed. All the plats will go because of this and maybe even the Aspire will get tossed now. Heck I will still have to look at the amex gold card and make a judgement and I really liked that card. With Chase and Citi stepping up with travel credits I'm disappointed that Amex is going the opposite direction. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 7 of 91
Regular Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

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!)

Message 8 of 91
Super 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!)


Yea in the end these type of games with the airline credits are going to cost amex business, because citi and chase make it much easier to use travel credits on their premium cards, especially with Amex increasing the AF on some of their premium cards and the prestige stepping up when it comes to airfare.  

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
Goal Score: 800 (Achieved!) In garden until Sepetember 2019
Message 9 of 91
Valued Contributor

Re: The end to Amex Airline GC workaround ?

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.
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