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American Express / Costco / rebate scam

1 FL, United States Review updated:

COSTCO offers an American Express card service that gives 3% back on purchases at their gas station. I applied for it and was approved. The ONLY reason I had to do that was to get the 3% rebate on my gas purchases. For one year, I went out of my way (about a mile) to fill up EXCLUSIVELY at COSTCO, because I wanted that 3% rebate at the end of the year.

Eleven months after I started this program, I got a letter from American Express telling me that my account was being cancelled, even though I always paid my balance and did not owe anything. I called them up and asked if I was still going to get my 3% rebate. The person I spoke to said "Yes, you will be getting a check in the mail." I waited a couple of months and still no check. I called them up again and this time the person I spoke to said "No." The reason she gave was, basically, that American Express didn't have to give me the money if it didn't feel like it. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she put me on hold. She got back to me after leaving me waiting on the phone about 10 minutes. She came back with a convoluted scheme that said I would not get a check but credit and I could later on use that credit to get a direct rebate. OK, I said I'll take it.

About a month later, I get a letter from American Express telling me that my rebate is being prepared and will be send to me in the near future. That was 2 months ago. It has now been 6 months since they cancelled my account and STILL not one penny from American Express.

I have complained to COSTCO-- they simply pass the buck on to American Express. But, even though COSTCO is aware of this problem (which, actually, amounts to a SCAM), and they agree with my case, they nevertheless CONTINUE to promote this scam to new customers.

Two points: our American government can come down very hard on small operations that use the "Bait and Switch" scam. But when it comes to large corporations, such as AT&T, American Express and COSTCO, our Justice Dept. looks the other way. Also: if you these companies think you owe them the tiniest amount-- even if that claim is contested and highly dubious-- they will pile up fees that will make the amount grow exponentially. But if they owe YOU money, they feel no obligation to compensate you for the loss of interest in the least degree-- you won't even get an apology from them.

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Comments

  • Cp
      12th of May, 2009
    -1 Votes

    If they cancelled your card after 11 months, why was your first question "Do I still get my reward"? I would have asked "Why did you cancel my account?" I find it hard to believe you "always paid my balance and did not owe anything" if they closed the account after 11 months.

    I have the card, I love the card, I ACTUALLY pay my balance in full every month, & I have not had a problem for over 6 years...

  • Di
      23rd of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I pay mine in full every month also, they did the same thing to me even though I have great credit history no lates or defaults they canceled my account saying I had a high debt ratio with todays economy. She said even though your credit history is good the debt ratio was high they had to cancel my account. I just built a house so yea it is going to be high but I still pay my bills and work... So as a result I got a Discover card, Sams club membership and will cancel my Costco Membership.

  • A5
      6th of Oct, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I had another problem with American Express / Costco. I received my rebate check for $245.00 and by mistake let it expire. I went to Costco they said I would have to call American Express and they would reissue it. I called and then it was lets make a deal time. There first offer was to credit me 25% or $61.25. I asked to speak to a supervisor and after a heated discussion for 30 minutes the offer was raised to $122.50. The supervisor said she was being nice to offer me that. When I told her that the money was mine that I earned it she told me it was Costco’s fault. I called Costco and they blamed it on American Express.
    I think it’s just a rip off. Why should a check expire.

  • So
      9th of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    We also have an issue with an expired check from last year, but in our case, we never knew the check was issued. We pay our bills on line, so we either didn't get it, or just didn't open it because it comes with a paper statement. We just found that out after receiving the check this week for this years rebate. Has anyone gotten Am Exp to send a ncw check after one expires? If so, please post how you got them to come through. I've sent them a letter explaining the situation, after a long phone call, asking them to do the right thing, otherwise I'll go to small claims court. Might be a waste of time, but doesn't cost much. The amount in question is over $700.00.

  • Te
      3rd of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    I am reading this because I was wondering if the Costco American Express rebate is a scam. The amount comes out to less than the rebate I received for a card that paid about .75%. The rebate can only be used at Costco--if your Costco membership has not expired--and comes hidden in the back of five pages that come with your statement. I was looking for it, otherwise, I would have put it in the shredding pile. This must happen to a lot of people. They have found a way of seeming to offer a better deal if you use their card, while making it probable that many will not even get the rebate. I am not going to use their card any more and just as soon as I use this rebate, I am canceling my Costco membership.

  • Pi
      15th of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    I've never had a problem with my Costco rebates checks from AMEX, but then again I follow the rules!

  • Co
      20th of Sep, 2015
    0 Votes

    American Express refused to award the promised 5% spent at one of their "Partners" hotel [Grand Hyatt].. Stayed in that Hotel in DC in June '15. In the next statement credit was given for some small purchases, restaurant etc. Called Am. Express in Aug 15 to inquire. After waiting on 2 different reps for a total of about 15 - 20 minutes, she said they had to investigate and promised to call me within 10 days. After 6 weeks I called them. The rep was not cordial. the reason for the no call back is that is just the way they do it!! They declined to honor the 5% credit on the hotel rooms [ 2 rooms for 4 days, over $3500 total] The rep said it did not qualify. I asked why they promote that hotel. Then she went into a lot of technical details, and once said I should have gone online to read up on the fine print details. I did later could not find the related info. So it IS a scam. I will forget about Am Exp. It is a tease.

  • Ja
      9th of Dec, 2015
    0 Votes

    American Express and Costco both screwed my husband and I out of our rebates. They deliberately hide them in the statement so you don't see them, then they expire. How in the hell can they F'ing expire???!!! It's OUR MONEY. Costco has gone down the drain. When they first opened, they were a great deal, now, just a complete rip-off. Their customer service has changed. They make you suffer in line when returning, yet membership services are always open, employees standing around, doing nothing, when they should be helping with returns. The check out lines are way, way, way, way too F'ing long, the people in charge stand around in groups, chit-chatting while the rest of the employees SLAVE. I have not received my rebates year after year after year, because they were not coming to my house. When I told them, they said there was nothing they could do. I said "You must have a way of tracking these?" And they said yeah, it shows that they were cashed. I said then someone else is getting my rebates, because I'm not. Remember, there are two rebates, one from Costco and one from American Express, I was not getting my Costco rebates, they were being stolen. Of course, they said there was nothing they could do for me. What a scam. Now, Costco is parting with Amex and I bet they try and not give any of us our rebates. I am going to file a law suit against them for all of the rebate money we never received from both Costco and American Express. Corporations are out of control, they don't answer to anyone and they just do what ever the hell they want.

  • Fo
      11th of May, 2016
    0 Votes

    I have a Costco True Earnings card and a few years ago stopped getting one of the annual rewards coupons (one from Costco and one from Amex).
    Since I opened the Amex card at Costco I went and checked with Costco where the representative could not affirmatively answer which reward coupon was issued or cashed, but instead they offered to request the duplicate reward coupons from Costco making the disclamer that if it had been issued then I would not receive the coupon.
    A few months later i realized that nothing has happened and decided to call Amex.
    When I called Amex and asked about where my annual coupon is and why I stopped receiving them? Interesting thing. Turns out that because I moved 3 years ago and they had an old address on my account they did not send the coupons to the correct address. Moreover, they must have instructed the post office to not forward that mail otherwise it would be forwarded just like all my other mail. More interesting fact - they did change my address for all the other communication because I kept receiving it the communication from them like policy change notices etc., just not the rewards coupons. The representative on the phone said those coupons for 2014 and 2015 are forfeited because they were not redeemed timely and delivering the coupons to me is not their goal, as long as they mail it to some address where I once lived it is considered satisfactory.

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