If you have the new Amex Gold personal card, you’re probably well aware that puchases at US Restaurants earn 4 Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar. You’re also probably aware that Amex has had issues with correctly identifying US Restaurant transactions and awarding 4x MR points. There have been many reports of cardholders earning only 1x points on certain US Restaurant charges.
We encountered this issue with 3 US Restaurant charges on our Amex Gold card. We want all Middle Age Miles readers to get all of the points that they’ve earned, so we wanted to go through the process we used to successfully get our 4x MR points on these charges.
If you have US Restaurant charges on your Amex Gold card that didn’t earn 4x, follow this guide and get your points! We certainly don’t want to leave any points on the table.
Step 1 – Identifying the Charges that Didn’t Earn 4x
To identify whether your US Restaurant charges correctly earned 4x or not, you’ll want to log in to your Amex online account and select Statements & Activity from the main menu. From there, you can use the drop-down box to either select a statement, or enter a custom date range.
PRO TIP: Selecting “Recent Activity” will not show whether you’ve earned 4x, but you can enter a custom date range to pick up your recent activity and see your points earning for transactions that are at least a few days old.
There, you can easily see the bonus points earning for each of your transactions:
As you can see here, we had 3 US Restaurant charges that didn’t earn 4x points:
- Nov 10 – Knife Steakhouse – $140.00
- Nov 5 – Shake Shack – $11.98
- Nov 3 – Homegrown Tap – $100.40
These charges added up to $252.38, which meant that we were missing somewhere around 757 MR points (the correct number was actually 756; we’ll probably write an article in the future to show you exactly how Amex calculates points-earning). These points were “only” worth about $11 (at our baseline value of 1.5 cents per MR point), but we wanted to go through the process to hopefully help readers who may have more points at stake.
Note the “TST*” designation on our Knife Steakhouse and Homegrown Tap charges. “TST*” means that these restaurants use the Toast payment system. It seems to be a widespread issue that restaurants using Toast or Square processors have not been getting 4x MR points on Amex Gold. Thus, if you see or suspect that one of these processing systems is being used, you might want to save yourself trouble and use a different card that has restaurants as a bonus category. In this situation, we’re now typically using our Citi Prestige card, which earns 5x ThankYou Points at restaurants.
Step 2 – Contacting Amex and Asking for Additional MR Points
In our case, we decided to contact Amex by Chat to ask them to issue us points to make up the difference. In our Chat session, we basically wanted to do four things, in a very polite way:
- Identify the issue – we had charges at US Restaurants on our Amex Gold card that should have earned 4x MR points but didn’t;
- Specifically identify the transactions, by date, merchant name and amount;
- Identify the total amount of charges, and the total number of MR points we believed were missing (3x the amount of the charges); and
- Nicely ask for courtesy MR points from Amex to make up the difference.
We initiated a Chat session on 12/19/2018 regarding our issue. The Chat session lasted 8 minutes. I’ve inserted our entire Chat here if you want to read the details:
As you can see, the Amex chat rep said that he would escalate the issue (to the Membership Rewards team) and that they would call me with a resolution within 3-5 business days.
Step 3 – Watch Your Membership Rewards Account for the Points (and perhaps get a call or two from Amex)
Our Chat request was successful. Amex issued 756 MR points to our account within a few weeks.
First, we received 36 MR points on 12/27/2018 (for the Shake Shack charge). This was 8 calendar days and 4 business days after our Chat.
Then, we received the other 720 MR points on 1/11/2019 (for the Knife Steakhouse and Homegrown Tap charges that were processed through a Toast system). This was 23 calendar days and 14 business days after our Chat.
So the Amex Membership Rewards team didn’t exactly reach a resolution within 3-5 business days as promised, but they gave us the full number of points within a reasonable time frame. Success!
In addition, someone from Amex called me on 12/27/18 (when the first set of additional points posted), 1/11/19 (second set of points posted), and again on 1/14/19. I didn’t answer any of these calls (it was from an “800” number and I try to avoid spam calls), but the Amex rep left a voice mail and invited me to call back. I also received a letter from Amex dated 1/14/19 inviting me to call so they could inform me of the resolution of my inquiry. Although I didn’t follow up on these messages, I very much appreciated the contacts.
So, there you have it. If you’ve been shorted on 4x MR points-earning at US Restaurants, go through this process, and we expect that Amex will make you whole. We have read a number of reports about cardholders being able to successfully get their 4x points by contacting Amex. A phone call to the Amex Gold customer service number, 1-800-327-2177, would probably also work to start the process and ask for courtesy points.
Some reports have stated that Amex is using this type of customer feedback to continually update its database of US Restaurants that should code as 4x. Hopefully this will reduce the number of issues going forward. So, if you go through the process we’ve outlined here, you may be helping others in the future as well as helping yourself now.
We hope this article is helpful to you so you can receive all of the points you’ve rightfully earned, and eventually use them to travel the world! If you go through this process, best of luck!
Have you had experience with contacting Amex to get 4x MR points on US Restaurant purchases? Were you successful? Please let us know in the Comments!
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