(Update) My Double Failure With American Express Authorized User Bonuses

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Lego Man

Amex Authorized User Bonus Not Posting

American Express has been our favorite lender around here this year, no doubt. Well, maybe not for Joe, if you listen to the podcast you know he is tired talking about them. Yes, they have been that good! They have been jacking up welcome offers, sending out no lifetime language offers like they are going out of style and have been offering some great authorized user (AU) bonuses. I recently took advantage of a few of these but ran into issues with my Amex authorized user bonus not posting. Or, at least not posting properly for some of it. Let’s take a look at what happened.

Update 7/22/22: I have some good news finally. My second attempt on the Authorized User bonus on my wife’s personal Amex Platinum posted today. So it appears that even though the links we shared showed she had the offer it required clicking through the email link one to work. Getting 20K for $4K in spend isn’t as good as the original $2K in spend I thought I would have to do it is still solid. I still haven’t received the missing 20,000 Hilton Honors points though.

Stacking Offers On Top Of Offers With The Amex Surpass

The Amex Surpass is one of my favorite cards for sure. I may have stopped chasing the World of Hyatt $15K free night spend but the Surpass is one I still go after.

After our Facebook Group moderator, Ryan, got an amazing retention offer on his Surpass card a few months back we all decided to reach out. Many of the Miles to Memories team were able to get the offer on their card, even if they were nowhere near their annual fee date. The offer was for 60,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months.

This worked out perfectly since I was still working on my spend to unlock the $15,000 free night certificate you can earn each by spending $15K calendar year with the card. It got even better though. Amex targeted me with an authorized user bonus offer. I could add up to 4 AUs and earn 10,000 points on each card after spending $1,000. The really cool thing is all of these offers would stack. I was only around $3,000 away from the free night spend too.

  • 60,000 points for the retention offer
  • 40,000 points for the authorized user offers (which would count towards the retention offer requirement)
  • 24,000 points for the $4,000 in spend in a 6X earning category (dining, grocery, gas)
  • That is an amazing total of 124,000 points on just $4,000 in spend PLUS I would unlock the $15K free night certificate

Hilton Pool

Authorized User Bonus Error

That was how it was supposed to play out at least. I finished the spend and my points didn’t post right away like they normally do. I chalked this up to it being a co-branded card versus a Membership Rewards earning card. My plan was to wait until the next statement cut before I start to worry. When the statement finally came out I noticed everything looked in order, it showed 40,000 points for the authorized user bonuses.  But when I went to my Hilton account it showed that I was only earning 5,000 points per AU and only 20,000 points posted to my account.

Amex Authorized User Bonus Not Posting

Amex Authorized User Bonus Not Posting

There is a disconnect somewhere between Hilton and Amex. I haven’t pursued anything yet and I don’t know that 20,000 Hilton points are really worth the investment of time that would probably be required to correct it. I still hit on everything else so I think I’ll take my 100K win and go home.

Amex Platinum Authorized User Offer

My wife’s personal Amex Platinum has been quite the earner the past year. She got it by upgrading from an Amex Gold that came with a massive offer that netted her 225K points overall.  She has also been targeted for Authorized User offers on and off a few times now, netting 40K points overall.

There have been some hiccups with the AU offers at times though. I think part of this may be that you get notification in the Amex Offers section of your account before the offer comes in the mail. We assume the mail one is a new offer, when it isn’t, and we would get an error when applying.

We also update a post every month or so with links people can try for these offers. They will often work before a person sees anything in the mail or online. I tried such a link a month or so ago for both of our accounts and her Amex Platinum was once again targeted. I figured this was another 20K in easy points. We added a new authorized user card and got to spending.

Houston, We Have A Problem

Once the $2K in spend was done we waited for the points to post. These usually come within a day or two of the spend settling to your account (whatever purchase pushes you over the threshold). Well, a few weeks went by, and nothing. I figured maybe it would come on the statement, nope. Okay, maybe once we pay the balance…snake eyes again. At this point it appears that something happened in Amex’s back end. I reached out via chat and they were not able to see any offer attached. Well, damn. With all of the points Amex has showered on us this year I was gonna lick my wounds and move on.

Wouldn’t you know it, of course she received an email saying she could earn 20K points by adding an AU on the very same card just this week. I am guessing this is American Express catching up to what the link was showing last month. I must be a sucker for punishment because I said let’s give it another try. My thought was getting 20K for $4K in spend isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either. Let’s hope it posts this time around! I guess the first bonus could post at some point in the future too, since Amex is known to have delays, but I am not counting on it.

Amex Authorized User Bonus Not Posting

Amex Authorized User Bonus Not Posting: Final Thoughts

The lesson learned here, the lesson of life really, is you win some and you lose some. During normal times I would probably chase these two offers down a bit more. The 20,000 Membership Rewards points and 20,000 Hilton Honors points are worth $300-$400 to me, which is no small amount. This is not a normal year though. With everything Amex has been dishing out, in a good way, I am okay taking a few lumps and not rocking the boat too much.  You have to know when the juice is worth the squeeze and I have enough lemonade to last a while right now.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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10 COMMENTS

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10 COMMENTS

    • If on a business card they won’t but on a personal card Chase will often include them. You can have them removed before applying but probably not worth the hoops for many

  1. Do you need to keep the card open for 12 months after adding an AU and getting bonus? I am about 8 months into a amex plat and planning to cancel after 12 months and now I received add a user to get 20K MR

  2. We’ve had AU offers on our Gold, Platinum and Bonvoy cards this year. Plus, PoT offers for the Platinum cards. All bonuses have been posted after achieving the spend requirements – the Bonvoy points posted after the end of the statement period, while MR points post within a few days. One thing you mention is the overlap between online vs mailer offers. The terms of the Gold and Platinum offers limit you to one AU bonus per account so you may be applying more than once for the same offer. Still, I’ve always found it’s best to get onto Amex via Chat and ask about any missing points. They are generally good about fixing any issues even if it takes some offline research after your chat session.

    • Yeah I have wondered that. Was able to get the Platinum one twice already and getting a 3rd may just be pressing my luck for sure.

  3. I talked with a rep who said that with co-branded cards, bonuses can take 8 to 12 weeks to post. Not great but better than nothing.

  4. Heh! I spent a half hour on the phone Wednesday and almost TWO hours on the phone yesterday (!) with Amex after getting a Pay Over Time offer in the US Snail Mail. It said I could use a Q code, call or do online.

    Online failed and said I had already used the offer, which I had got out the mailbox 15 minutes earlier. (I obvs had not) So I called some lady on the other side of the planet. She’s the one that answered the phone. Had a tough time and gave up. Yesterday though was a real marathon. Called and got transferred three times to different people.

    They could see the offer existed. They could see my account existed. But they could not find the offer on my account. They kept asking what email I had gotten so obviously they were no help.

    FINALLY (I do not mind phone calling) I called the number on my card itself instead of the number attached to the offer. 15 minutes later, I had 20K points.

    Now I am waiting on a new AU card to show up and that will theoretically get me another 20k points.

    AMEX is crazy and sometimes tough to deal with but if you get the right person, they can make things work.

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