(UPDATE: I resolved this issue using Amex’s Twitter customer service portal, AskAmex. Please read my follow-up post about how to use this option.) In the spring, the SPG Amex bonus briefly increased to 35,000 Starpoints after meeting minimum spend. I have no particular loyalty to Starwood. In fact, I ditched the chain for Hilton several years ago after a customer service failure. However, 35,000 Starpoints is a lot of points, especially with a waived annual fee in the first year. So, I picked up the card before the bonus expired.
The minimum spend on this card seemed fairly reasonable. $3,000 in the first 3 months netted 25,000 points. An additional $2,000 within the first 6 months earned an additional 10,000.
With some home improvement and a vacation already scheduled, hitting the $5,000 proved no problem. In fact, I met the minimum spend by May. But three months later, we have a small problem…
My SPG Amex Bonus is AWOL
That’s right. My SPG account statement shows the minimum spend, but no bonus Starpoints. (My only SPG activity during this period is credit card spend. Yes, a small baby at home really does crimp your travel plans sometimes.)
The card T&Cs tell you to allow 8-12 weeks for bonus points to post. In reality, I don’t recall sign-up bonuses ever taking that long. Usually, it takes a few days, maybe a week. Truth be told, I should have checked on this earlier, but I’ve had a lot going on this summer and had no immediate need for the points. Yesterday, though, I finally called Amex to follow up. The answer?
Technical Difficulties, But We Fixed the Glitch
After bypassing Amex’s irritating interactive voice response system, I reached a helpful agent. She checked my account and confirmed that I had met all requirements for the full bonus. The problem was that a “number of accounts” were affected by a glitch that prevented the bonus from posting. I don’t know how many accounts this affects, but I suspect a decent number. The agent even mentioned receiving a large number of calls about the issue. So, if you find yourself in the same boat, now you know why the points are missing.
The good news? According to the agent, they fixed the glitch, and the points should post “soon”. She didn’t define “soon”, but said she escalated the issue. She also said I’d receive a letter explaining the specific issue with an apology.
Frankly, the delay means nothing to me, since I had no immediate needs for the points. Nevertheless, 3 months is a pretty crazy wait. If I had an immediate need for the points, I’d certainly be annoyed. I’m very curious to see the explanation. If the glitch affected your account, the good news is it should be fixed soon. I’ll put up a follow-up post if the letter reveals anything interesting.