Today we have a Reader Case concerning an American Express card product offered in Canada, the (rather expensive) Aeroplan Reserve card which had a special tier upgrade promotion in 2021.
The reader has met all spend thresholds required for the campaign, making him eligible for an upgrade to the next tier level but Amex/Air Canada can’t seem to figure it out for four months now.
Our reader has asked for advice on how to handle the matter and eventually decided to cancel the card on the last day of the grace period as nothing was moving in the right direction.
Considering the card comes with a C$599 annual fee it’s understandable that one expects the customer service and offers attached to the card to work flawlessly but it seems Amex has dropped the ball here as ever so often.
The reader describes the situation:
I applied for the Aeroplan Reserve card in December 2020 and paid the annual fee. The initial offer included a 95K sign-up bonus.
Then sometime in mid-2021 there was a nice offer for card members to bump the status by one level when meeting a certain spend threshold ($10k for me).
There were two offers depending on if you were an existing cardholder or a new cardholder. New customers had longer to meet the spend. I had until Oct 22nd to complete it which I did. Since then no word from them despite multiple requests from my side.
The offer page with the T&C is still live (offer/registration is long over by now):
These are the T&C for the offer:
The following terms and conditions apply to the Advance your Status Offer (the “Offer”) that will take place from July 1, 2021 to October 15, 2021 (“Offer Period”):
To qualify for this offer you must; (1) register for the Offer by October 15, 2021 and (2) have acquired an American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card or American Express Business Reserve Card prior to January 1, 2021 and (3) have at least $10,000 in qualifying net purchases (the “eligible minimum spend requirements”) charged to your account during the Offer period and subsequently posted to your account by October 22, 2021. Supplementary Card purchases associated with the Offer are qualifying purchases and count towards the total combined spend threshold. The end date of October 15, 2021 is only applicable to the Advance your Status Offer and does not apply to other bonus point offers which are subject to different spend and Offer end dates.
The following do not qualify as eligible purchases: Cash Advances, Balance Transfers, Convenience Cheques, fees, interest and payments. Refunds, rebates or credits on the account will cancel this Offer if the “eligible minimum spend requirements” are not met over the Offer Period.
The higher Aeroplan Elite Status or Bonus Status Qualifying Miles, Bonus Status Qualifying Segments and Bonus Status Qualifying Dollars will be awarded by January 31, 2022.
Depending on your Aeroplan Elite Status level as of November 30, 2021, and provided the “eligible minimum spend requirements” are met by October 15, 2021, the following Offer conditions apply:
- Members with no Elite Status on November 30, 2021 will earn Elite 25K Status valid through December 31, 2022.
- Members with Elite 25K Status on November 30, 2021 will earn Elite 35K Status valid through December 31, 2022.
- Members with Elite 35K Status on November 30, 2021 will earn Elite 50K Status valid through December 31, 2022.
- Members with Elite 50K Status on November 30, 2021 will earn Elite 75K Status valid through December 31, 2022.
- Members with Elite 75K Status on November 30, 2021 will earn Super Elite valid through December 31, 2022.
- Super Elite members on November 30, 2021 will receive a 25,000 Bonus Status Qualifying Miles, 25 Bonus Status Qualifying Segments and $3,000 Bonus Status Qualifying Dollars in January 2022 to give them a head start toward their 2023 Elite status.
American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card or American Express®* Aeroplan® Business Reserve Card account must be open and in good standing on the date by which the offer is awarded. This Offer is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash. Supplementary Cardmembers are not eligible for the Advance your status offer. The Aeroplan member and the Basic Cardmember of the eligible American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card or American Express®* Aeroplan® Business Reserve Card account must be the same person. This Offer may be withdrawn or changed without prior notice at any time. This Offer may be revoked if you appear to be manipulating or abusing it, or are engaged in any suspicious or fraudulent activity, as determined by American Express, Air Canada or Aeroplan in its sole discretion. If you are found to be gaming this offer, Aeroplan or Air Canada have the sole right to revoke the Aeroplan Elite Status earned during the Offer period.
This Offer will be in addition to any other offers available and subject to the respective Spend requirements and Offer end dates.
Since he mentioned in the initial email that he’s also Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Gold which SIA has extended for another year I recommended dumping Amex/AC for the time being. They have taken up too much time and I wouldn’t be confident the status upgrade would be processed early enough to make up for the 600 bucks this card costs per year.
Based on your advice I have called American Express tonight and canceled this card. $599 was refunded to my account. I doubt they will still process this status bump as the card is no longer active so it was a complete waste to put $10k additional spend on this card. Nevertheless, I got my money back, better to invest it in another card product such as the Platinum Card.
During the call, I outlined my issue to the representative and it was clear that I’m not happy. I was advised to file a complaint with Amex about the matter. I let you know if I hear anything back.
It’s pretty clear that the customer was wronged here. He met all the requirements of the special offer and yet Amex has strung him along for several months.
Having Star Alliance Gold with another carrier will give the reader sufficient benefits on his flights which are right now mostly within North America. He also mentioned he generated several hundred thousand Aeroplan miles with credit cards of various issuers and that there are ample opportunities to redeem for Business Class tickets at decent mileage rates. Even better, chop the card up and chuck it in the trash where it belongs!
I recently had my run-ins with Amex as well and after a while, it gets super frustrating to the point where you simply don’t want to deal with the whole issue anymore.
I’m not sure what’s going on with American Express for the last year or so. I never had as many problems with them in the past compared to the last 12 months and it seems that it’s the same in Canada as well.
The offer for which the reader registered as a customer of their premier cards is clear cut. Why on earth they are not able to get this matter sorted and finally upgrade the account from 35K to 50K as promised is inexcusable.
Amex has a one-month grace period after each membership year during which the customer can cancel or downgrade the card and receive a full refund. Utilizing these extra 30 days to see if they finally get their act together was my first advice but after that, it’s off to the chopping block.