Amex Forfeited Rewards Policy
One of the worst parts (okay actually THE worst part) of being a scatterbrained miles and points person is the occasional late fee for missing a payment date. I usually encounter this issue with my new card accounts and either forget to set it to autopay or forget that autopay takes one to two billing cycles to apply. Late fees, while awful are customary and to be expected when you've missed a payment, but I recently encountered another penalty from Amex that I was completely unaware of, the “Amex Forfeited Rewards Policy”. I missed a payment due date on my new Hilton Aspire Card and was shocked to see that Amex denies bonus points you otherwise would have earned for any billing period in which you fail to make the minimum payment by the due date. WOW, way to kick a girl when she's down, no points and extra fees!
This policy (aka penalty) is applicable to all types of rewards cards and “Welcome Offer” Bonuses as well. (That would really be a nightmare.)
Here's the Policy from Amex:
When you will forfeit Points
If the Minimum Payment Due is not paid by the
Closing Date of the billing period in which it is
due, you will forfeit the Points you received for
eligible purchases during that billing period. For
example, if your billing period closes January 15
and the minimum payment for that billing period
is due on February 10, and you do not make
that minimum payment due by the close of your
next billing period on February 15, then you will
not earn Points for spend in the billing period
ending February 15.
You may reinstate those Points within the next
12 billing periods if your Card Account is not
past due and you pay a $35 fee.
Amex Forfeited Rewards Policy: Getting Points Reinstated
Once your Card account is current, you can reinstate forfeited points through your online account by going to the “Summary” tab, or you can chat with one of our Customer Care Professionals.
Points must be reinstated within 12 months (6 months for Corporate Cards) of them being forfeited. There is a $35 fee for each billing period and each Card account for which you reinstate points.
For more information, see the program Terms and Conditions.
In order to avoid this outcome in the future I've gotten into the habit of signing up for autopay at the same time that I register the card for online access. For more practical solutions like this check out Simple Tips to Avoid these Costly Miles and Points Mistakes.