Good afternoon everyone. 2 weeks ago, American Express rolled out a bunch of new AMEX Offers on their American Express Business Platinum Card. Those AMEX Offers included earning 5x Membership Rewards Points on Wireless, Shipping, Advertising, Gas and Office Supply purchases. I added / activated those AMEX Offers and was especially excited about the 5x shipping AMEX Offer since I sell stuff on eBay and ship a few packages every month (mainly USPS and UPS). When my Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card was offering 5x on shipping last year, I racked up a ton of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Since that deal ended a few months ago, I was excited to start using my AMEX Business Platinum to earn 5x Membership Rewards Points on shipping purchases.
AMEX handles these AMEX Business Platinum AMEX Offers slightly differently where you earn the base rate (1x on shipping) and then earn the 4x bonus points later. According to the 5x shipping AMEX Offer terms, eligible purchases are “made in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight shipping services” and the additional bonus points “will be credited to your Membership Rewards program account within 90 days after 6/30/2021.” With that info in mind, I wanted to share the turnaround time for the 5x shipping AMEX Offer.
As an eBay seller, I have been using Pirate Ship for the last few months to get discounted USPS shipping rates (usually 10-30% off compared to retail Post Office prices). Pirate Ship is a free service that easily integrates with eBay or you can manually enter shipping addresses and pay with your credit card. Pirate Ship works great, I’m very surprised that it is free, and I can’t really say enough good things about the service. Anyway, I made a $7.15 Pirate Ship purchase on January 7 and the transaction posted with only 7 points (1x on other purchases). The small print beneath that said that the number of points I earned “may not reflect any promotional offers.” Hmm, interesting.
Fast forward to January 18 (11 days after making my Pirate Ship purchase) and I finally received an email from AMEX with the subject line “Your shipping purchase just qualified for 4X additional points.” Usually, AMEX will send an email instantly whenever a qualifying purchase is made, so I am not sure why the massive delay in sending this email. But better late than never, right?
I then logged into my AMEX account, went to my Membership Rewards Points Summary page and saw the 7 points for the initial purchase and 29 points for the shipping offer. You may assume that AMEX will just multiple the number of points you earned originally by 4 (so I would get 28 bonus points), but that is not correct. The way AMEX calculates the bonus points is that AMEX multiplies the qualifying shipping charge by 5, then subtracts the original number of points you received for the charge, and then rounds your number to the nearest whole number. Here is the math for my purchase:
- $7.15 x 5 = 35.75 MR Points
- 35.75 – 7 = 28.75 MR Points
- 28.75 rounds up to 29 MR Points
If you have multiple qualifying purchases around the same time, it may become very difficult to track your bonus points. As long as the correct number of MR points eventually posts to my account, I am satisfied.
Depending on how you look at the terms of the AMEX Offer, getting the bonus points 8 days after the purchases posts (or 11 days after you receive the email) may seem slow. On the other hand, getting the bonus points several months before 90 days after 6/30/2021 (which would be 9/30/2021) might be considered very fast. That is up to you to decide. If you have any questions about the 5x shipping AMEX Offer or about the American Express Business Platinum Card, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!