(Massive Clawbacks) Is Amex Delaying 12X Hilton Honors Payouts? Data Points Needed

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Amex Delaying 12X Hilton Honors Payouts

Is Amex Delaying 12X Hilton Honors Payouts? Data Points Needed

Update: I have multiple reports of Amex posting and then clawing back the frozen points. They are leaving only the base points for the purchase for some people or nothing at all.  So no 6X normal bonus or the 12X increased bonus.  It is better than a shutdown for the people that hit the promo hard but it is still a poke in the eye that cost people 10’s to 100’s of thousands of points.  If you have been targeted so far I assume all future purchases will be scrutinized. 

There have been a few posts in our MtM Diamond group about issues with Hilton Honors points not paying out from the 12X promo.  After seeing this I reached out to a few friends that I know that were hitting the promo pretty hard for some more data points.  I also found some interesting info on Twitter. I wanted to compile all of that info here and ask for others to share their data points so we can figure out what is going on.  Is Amex delaying 12X Hilton Honors payouts or are they actually denying points?  Has Amex RAT been involved in this etc.?

Amex Delaying 12X Hilton Honors Payouts

Background Info

If you remember a few months back American Express make some limited time adjustments to their cards.  This was in an effort to help people during the pandemic.  Spending patterns had changed and travel perks were pretty much unusable.  One of the changes was that Hilton Surpass cards would earn 12X at grocery stores for a limited time.  Benjy wrote about why he was excited about this offer, even though it didn’t quite sit atop the grocery spend perch.

At the time we wondered if Amex would use this as an opportunity to catch big spenders.  Would they look at racking up hundreds of thousands of Hilton Honors points as gaming? How much would be too much and how far would they take the enforcement?  With Amex you just never know.

Data Points

Here are some of the data points I gathered on both sides.

Points Posted
  • 80K+ points posted a few days after statement settled
  • 48K+ points posted a few days after statement settled
Points Did Not Post
  • 300K+ did not post but it has been less than a week
  • 300K+ points have not posted in over 30 days
  • 150K+ points have not posted in over 3 weeks

There was also a report of a shutdown but this came from a friend of a friend so I am not sure how reliable that is. All of these points showed as earned on their statement they just never hit their Hilton accounts. While searching for data points I found this interesting comment:

Danh goes on to say that the points have been held for 60 days or for two statements.  None of my data points have hit the 60 day mark yet.  But if this has been happening for months now maybe it is just a normal delay for larger payouts.  It is still worrisome either way.

Is Amex Delaying 12X Hilton Honors Payouts Final Thoughts

Share your data points in the comments.  How many points were on the statement, did they post to your account, if not how long has it been? Hopefully this is just Amex delaying 12X Hilton Honors payouts and not something more.  Share your thoughts on it below.

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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118 COMMENTS

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118 COMMENTS

  1. Any updates? Now that the promotion is over will Amex be upfront about what they are doing? I haven’t had any points for any purchases post since May. I’ve checked my Hilton account to see if points posted and then clawed back, but no credit card activity at all is shown.

    • They’re almost never up front about what they are doing. Sometimes they have told people about clawbacks with specific Amex Offers, but I don’t think they have on normal purchases. My guess is they’ll never say anything publicly.

      • I went on chat with them last week and could not get much of any answer so was given a direct number to call. After researching they said my account was being reviewed. They also stated about 80% of my points were taken back but still have not seen any movement on my account. The review started July 8 so not sure when I will hear anything.

        • How many points are they holding? I am not waiting on 300k+ like some people are (they are probably SOL), but I am pretty disappointed in the low number I have on hold. I signed up for this card because of the grocery bonus, totally bait and switch for them not to honor.

  2. Chase was much smarter when they put limits on most items. I think Amex should pay out. All items were purchased at a grocery store and not Simon Mall or GCM. Amex said 12x at Grocery stores. Amex should pay up and learn from this lesson. I can see how a family of 5 would have a grocery bill of $500 per week, or how one is buying at a grocery store for a food bank, or similar. $80,000 in a month is a big stretch on food, but again, Amex did not set the max or the occulsion.

    • Signed up for a new Surpass just for the 12x. 2 weeks after my card came in the mail the news was all over the place. I only had 4k of grocery spend. statement date 13th, a very small subset of points posted and clawed back today.

  3. Here’s a scary thought….what if AX does not give credit for grocery purchases and that kills one’s chances of reaching $40k spending for Diamond status

  4. […] Miles to Memories experiences of American Categorical delaying posting factors for Hilton playing cards. On reddit there’s an information factors of factors clawed again even for $2,000 spend. Doctor of Credit experiences clawbacks for Delta and Marriott playing cards as properly. And from knowledge factors that I’ve seen thus far, individuals are affected no matter how a lot spend they placed on their playing cards. […]

  5. My account is in review and I can’t spend on it anywhere while they review the grocery purchases on my Hilton cards. I am worried about the MR as well by the looks of it. While Aamex CSR didn’t say anything about MR or may be he did say but I am waiting for 60,000+ Hilton points ( surpass) and similar amount of MR from gold card spending from May.

    Good luck

  6. My 10k points from May posted including a $500 transaction at 12X. I have a June $300 transaction that is still crediting at 12X.

  7. Got about 300K in mid May, but then nothing after. Should have received about 500k for June statements. Today, receive a 20K+ points, and then a -20k+ points to cancel it out. May points are still there, but no idea it can last for how long.

  8. On Surpass:
    24k points posted in May
    73k points didn’t post in June
    Points from Aspire didn’t post (no MS), but they told me I had some points posted before for hotel stay, which was cancelled, which is true.

  9. My May 10k points posted with no issues, no clawback on a $500 transaction. My $300 organic transaction in June still earns 12X as of 7/04.

  10. Please be careful about suggesting that grocery purchases over $100 are the trigger for clawbacks. That’s probably not right—too many people with normal grocery purchases at that level.

  11. All grocery spending points from June statement credited and clawed back today. Including base points. I had many sub 100 transactions and those were clawed back as well

    • All of this clawback news has my stomach in a knot. Great way to celebrate the 4th. I keep checking my account to see if my points are still there.

  12. May statement:
    Aspire $2k – both 3x and 9x bonus posted.
    Surpass: $6k ish – both 6x and 6x bonus posted.
    June statement:
    Aspire $11k – 3x clawed back except none grocery spend, 9x never even posted.
    Surpass: $3k from No Fee Plan It posted
    It was hard to decipher because I had No Fee Plan it on both cards and it wasn’t clear if the points were posting only for the charges that are paid off.

  13. All miles related to grocery purchase on my Delta card were clawed back, even those with organic spendings. 0x mile, not even the 1x base mile. Total BS.

    • Just found out this was the same for my Bonvoy Brilliant card. 0 miles for grocery purchase. Will cancel card, no point sticking with $450 annual fee with zero perks during pandemic.

      • my brilliant went through in May.. Must be June/July statements they are focusing on. I wouldnt think they even would look at brilliant due to the cap.

  14. I earned 121,523 for June. Points Earned for Eligible Purchases 30,417 and 91,106 as a bonus. My hilton account posted today. 30,417 and then negative 30,417 right after. And no sign of the bonus points. This is a bad sign for sure.

    • Oh no way!!! That’s worst nightmare I did not think they could claw back after points are posted to Hilton or Delta account. Im at 100k May, 55k June, and I’m just another 1k spend away for July to hit my $15k free night, these post have me sweating now. So far no claw back.

      • Worst nightmare? I did a ton of spending for donations to food banks for charity during pandemic. Even checked with Amex about what I was doing and they ok’ going over credit limit. Plan was for right off spend and redeem points at high end Hilton’s for over 1 cent per point. Did away with other charity for the year? I got 3k worth of points at restaurants only to point. Not a single point for all of my spending. This is complete BS and cards will be cancelled

        • That’s horrible slapped in the face for doing good. I truly wonder if this is not borderline lawsuit? If you have legitimate spending that does not violate the terms how can they offer something and rip it back. AMEX is basically stealing they lure you in to use their card you accept their offer then they steal their offer back, I would submit dispute all of the grocery charges before cancelling. Even those who purchased GCs of the terms say no I can understand but if its not covered within their terms they have no right to claw back. Regardless if we charge $500 of food or $500 on any GC (store or visa) doesn’t AMEX still earn a swipe % fee off the charged amount?

      • yeah, previously thought so too that no claw-back on co-branded pts / miles after posting, but P2 had pts deducted from last yr for a resort booking that didn’t stay; the bad part is that they wrongly deducted the pts wherein they never awarded; appears that they can now do whatever, right or wrong

        • My points have not been clawed back yet but with all of this bad news I’m thinking to. Book some rooms far in to future with points to the them up & refund the rooms later. With hopes AMEX can not touch them after you book points as payment. Or who knows what happens at that point, would our Hilton accounts go in to a negative status? If so keep modifying the room dates until you can actual stay there and cancel AMEX & Hilton with a negative balance and reopen a new account later when the dust settles.

  15. Today, July 4, I had points activity in my Hilton account for the first time since mid April. Although I can’t get the numbers to match exactly, AS OF NOW, it appears they deleted all grocery transactions with a spend above $100. Restaurant and gas posted correctly for my June statement.

  16. Any DP where people getting June’s points/miles but not May’s? trying to see if “flagged” once, miles/points from subsequent statements will also be held hostage.

  17. After reading all the comments, I’m glad I canceled my Hilton card so I wouldn’t be tempted to take advantage of this limited offer. It’s just not worth the trouble with Amex sometimes.

    • It is coming to that point with Amex. Is it worth the effort since you never quite know where you stand etc.

  18. I have a buddy that buys Starbucks daily spending upwards of $200 a month directly by CC or cash. I asked how many free coffee do you earn monthly with your star rewards account, reply “I don’t mess with that junk it’s waste of time” myself I go to Starbucks now & then but I look for super discounted GC, deals, stack them with star reward bonus days, etc and earn 3 free coffee after buying 1 on a GC I paid $3 for :). Fast forward 3 months still without a no star rewards the same person ask me how can I travel for free. All I can do is facepalm myself as I shaking my head saying you would not understand and walk away.

    • My account is in review and I can’t spend on it anywhere while they review the grocery purchases on my Hilton cards. I am worried about the MR as well by the looks of it. While Aamex CSR didn’t say anything about MR or may be he did say but I am waiting for 60,000+ Hilton points ( surpass) and similar amount of MR from gold card spending from May.

      Good luck

  19. Ok, I called Amex yesterday and they said my Delta miles are pending because of bonus category spending needs further review. I spent more than 10k at grocery stores with my Delta card, been more than 5 weeks from my last statement and nothing posted. The current statement does not include any grocery purchase but the miles are also on hold.
    I presume this goes with my Marriott points as well, which I only spend less than 5k at grocery stores also in the previous month.
    FYI

    • Yep my Bonvoy points are also impacted despite the low limit on bonus spend there and I didn’t even hit said limit on May statement.

      • Whats funny is my Bonvoy points posted right away and I even hit the cap on 7,500 spend on that card. There seems to be no rhyme or reason, some low points that don’t go through right away and some high amounts that are going through.

        • I agree it is weird. The only thing I can think of is my spend on Hilton caused Bonvoy to be blocked as well. Volume seems to be only one factor in whatever is going on.

  20. Mark – will you be doing a summary/follow-up post to let us know what you’ve found from these DP’s + Reddit Etc.?

    • From what I have been able to tell so far it seems like anything up to 150-160K has post pretty normally. Anything above that has been held. No one has hit the 60 day mark (when it is rumored the points should post). Hopefully we will start to see some of those data points in the next few weeks and I will do a post once we see that.

  21. My statement generated on June 17th and shows 56,424 points but they have yet to show up in my Hilton account. It generally takes 2 or 3 days but if they don’t show up by Monday or Tuesday next week then something is going on here.

  22. I have 360k points pending from a statement closing on 6/10 that still haven’t posted. My p2 had 160k points post earlier in the month so if there is a cut off for delayed points it’s above 160k.

  23. Statement closed almost 2 weeks ago, with over 1M points pending from most recent statement. Called yesterday to see if any general information about why the delay in the transfer to Hilton might be happening, was transferred and told my account was flagged and has been for weeks. I’ll probably write about the situation later today on my blog. Seeing others data points is somewhat comforting, but the whole deal isn’t good.

      • I called Amex this morning and was told my points were pending and they are going to expedite them and they should show up in 24 to 48 hours. Im skeptical that will actually happen.

          • 24 then 48 hours later, still no points have posted. I called and spoke to a couple other CSRs, one wanted to transfer me to Hilton but I don’t think the issue is on their end. I am just going to wait it out, im a few thousand away from the Free Night Cert. Hopefully they post on the next statement.

          • @Anthony don’t hold your breath on next statement as my second Bonvoy one (after hold) has come and gone and neither the points from May nor the June statements have posted. And remember there is a hard cap on Bonvoy spend. Vihn of Miles per Day posted on twitter he got nothing after his second Hilton statement either.

      • Another DP.
        I too have an account with a large point total being held up for 10 days now from last statement. We stayed at a Hilton over the weekend and Amex transferred points to Hilton for that stay. I went on chat with Hilton and the increase in my account is exactly the amount transferred from Amex for my stay. It seems my account is active for all Hilton stays but they are withholding grocery and restaurant spend. Also during the time period, I was awarded my free night certificate for 60K in spend.

        • Do you mean you got the HH points for the stay (you got directly from Hilton) or did your statement close and you got the points for using your AMeX to pay for your stay?

          • On my may 14-June 14th statement, I have a load of restaurant and grocery spend that has not posted to my HH account. My Amex statement shows I earned the points. My current cycle June 15th- July 15th. I have grocery, restaurant, and hotel stay (Hilton 6/20-6/22). My Hilton points increased by 9,1324K points. I went on chat with Hilton and they said the 9k points were awarded from Amex due to my Hilton stay. Amex paid out Hilton points for a stay prior to ending the statement but held all points from previous statement.

    • Since this is a limited promo, are you still plugging along on getting the 12x, or are you stopping due to the points not posting to your Hilton account? Thanks

      • I have stopped since my points have been held up. There is talk of no points being awarded for MS and possible cancelling of accounts. Since they pay 3x for purchases from Gift card services ( besides Simon), I don’t see why they should do that. If one decided to buy a bunch of gift cards from a grocery store isn’t it Amex who is held to figure out what was purchased? A gift card is an actual product that is sold at a grocery store and one should not have credit screwed up for buying a legal product that was offered for sale. To be clear my statements when purchased from Giftcardmall shows up as “gift cards” as the purchase. There is nothing in question as to what was purchased. They should pay 3x points if anyone did MS at grocery stores.

        • lol, 3x? if so though still better nothing, could have at least used a 2x earning cards or CFU’s 1.5 pt for spend to be ahead

          • Well I’m sure we would have all done things a little different if we knew the current situation would be occurring. That sort of goes without saying. Since we are, I would take 3x over nothing if all was gift card spend is what I’m saying

  24. From what I have seen here and on Facebook I think the cutoff may be 150K points on a statement period. Anything above is being held back (hopefully posts in 60 days) but anything below has posted as normal.

    • Not that simple for sure there have been data points on Reddit that run counter to the 150k cutoff. I don’t have time to search for them all but this one was in the churrning discussion thread for 6/17

      “Counter DP : Did MS full $15k on Hilton Surpass at grocery store. 13.5k in this statement period closing 6/16, 163k HH points posted today.”

      I have also seen a few 200k+ DPs that posted.

  25. my 240K points from May hasnt posted. May statement shows the points though. Waiting for June statement to close in the next week. Maybe that 240K will post after June statement. Hilton points would usually post right away when the statement cuts for the month.

  26. Question: once posted to Hilton can AMEX RAT claw back the points as its kind of out of AMEX control at that point?

    Unlike with AMEX plat points they claw back.

    • Not sure what power they have there. I wouldn’t think so but that is a guess on my part since it is a 3rd party holding the points.

  27. My 100k points posted on 29 May, couple days after my statement. Two instalments 25k & 75k (12x bonus) which was about $8,400 spend. This month Im only putting about half the spend hopefully my points will post on 29 Jun.

  28. I earned over 1 mil, and my statement shows the points. Cycle ended on June 12th, and no points posted in Hilton acct yet.

  29. So would it be correct to say that based on the comments, people playing by the rules seem to be getting 12x but people MSing (how else can you be expecting 300k points) might be having problems? Shocker. And let me guess, it’s MSing it’s Home Depot GCs for a home remodel? Sigh.

  30. Semi related, I earned 150k upgrade bonus in May, and points have not posted to account. Amex chat confirmed that I earned bonus. Usually these post relatively quickly (though terms state 6-8 weeks). Not freaking out yet, but more concerned after reading this post.

  31. paper stmt showed 197k pts earned for may (stmt date 22nd) but nothing was posted to hilton acct… didn’t call; hopefully all will post after june 22nd

  32. Mark,

    Same as most others – I just had my statement close 6/16 and it clearly listed the additional 12x credits for groceries (you were already getting 6x so there really is only an additional 6x credits). The total number of points earned posted to my Honors account within 24 hours.

    Based on my experience and other posters it doesn’t appear to be a wide spread problem. Maybe limited to certain stores that didn’t accurately code the spend as “groceries” (as I think everyone knows BJs, Costco grocery purchases don’t code as grocery – not sure about Walmart or Target). That is just a guess to maybe explain it for some people

    • People are reporting that the points show correctly on their Amex statement(they just aren’t showing up in their hilton account), so that seems to rule out an issue with how the purchases were coded.

  33. 220+K did not post at the end of may. When I called Amex at the beginning of June agent confirmed the statement showed the points were earned and should have posted to my Hilton account. After waiting on hold, agent claimed he contacted Hilton representative and was told that despite Amex sending the points Hilton was waiting since it was a large amount and Hilton’s was concerned that Amex might try to get the points back because of returns/charge backs/etc. Told to wait another billing cycle and they should post.

    • So it’s Hilton that is causing the delay, not Amex? I kind of hope that is the case. I don’t mind waiting for the points to post, I just don’t want to have to call Amex about it. I wonder if a call to Hilton is in order?

      200k+ points did not post at statement closing even though I had already paid it off. 125k signup bonus did post very quickly.

      • I don’t buy that it is Hilton. Since the same thing is being seen with Bonvoy and Delta. Unless there is some major coincidence going on with delayed points this is Amex causing it not Hilton.

        • Yeah and given the fact that AMEX RAT has a well-established track record of pulling this sort of crap…makes me even more confident that the issue lies with Amex not Hilton

    • My June cycle closed a few days ago and the PDF of my statement shows another 300+K earned but no sign of those points, or the May points, in my Hilton account. I’m debating if it makes sense to call again or just wait and see what happens. I’m probably not going to use that card anymore for my grocery purchases, but maybe that is what AMEX wants? Scare us into not using it and then award the points in early August (after the 12x promotion is over)?

      • Calling in isn’t going to help you nor is it likely to hurt you but basically you are just going to have to wait this one out and the frontline CSRs cannot do anything and the points will post or whatever else is going to happen will happen when it does. I have already given up all spending on all my Amex cards until the situation is clarified. If Amex wanted to limit this I am not sure why they just didn’t put a limit on it like the Bonvoy cards so maybe this is just an example of the left hand not aware of what the right is doing.

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