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American Express Membership Rewards Shopping Portal Issues

by on July 9, 2012 · 26 comments

in American Express, Shopping

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Numerous TPG readers have emailed me about the American Express shopping portal no longer working. For those unaware, the portal gives extra American Express Membership Rewards points for online shopping with lots of different retailers. Sadly, I’ve also tried to access the portal at americanexpress.com/earn, and indeed I am also having the same issues and keep getting this error when I try to click through to specific merchant categories:

Error that the shopping portal is down

Another reader sent me an anonymous tip that Amex is discontinuing the site all together, which I find hard to believe. I decided to call customer service myself and I was told that the the only information they had was that the portal was “down until further notice.”

Earlier last week I emailed my contacts at American Express to get clarification and see whether Membership Rewards is indeed discontinuing their shopping portal and I was told the portal was simply undergoing maintenance for 24 hours. It’s been several days and the site is still down, but I’m still holding out hope that it will be up and running again soon.

Shopping portals are an amazing way to rack up points, so I highly recommending checking out one of these other portals while the Amex site is down until “further notice”. I’ll report back, hopefully when the site is back up and running again!
Air Canada: Aeroplan EStore
American: AAdvantageEshopping.com
Amtrak: Amtrak Guest Rewards
British Airways: BA Miles Estore
Chase: Ultimate Rewards Shopping
Choice Rewards: Choice Privileges Mall
Citi: Thank You Shopping
Delta: Skymilesshopping.com
Discover: ShopDiscover
Frontier: Early Returns Mall
Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines eMarket
Hilton HHonors: Hilton HHonors Earnings Mall
Marriott Rewards: Shop My Way
Mastercard: Mastercard Marketplace
Priority Club: Priority Club Shopping
Southwest: Rapid Rewards Shopping
United: Mileageplusshopping.com
US Airways: Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
Virgin America: Elevate Shopping
Virgin Atlantic: Shops Away

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • nemme

    I called customer service last week and they didn’t have any information. I asked if people were calling and they said I was the first. I made a formal complaint.

  • Dean

    I called Amex and after complaining got escalated to a supervisor who told me the same thing: Amex is discontinuing the earn hub portal.

  • Nickfromct

    I called and was also told it was down “until further notice”. I hope it comes back with the 6 MR points per dollar spent at Apple, I have a Macbook I need to order.

  • Pensguin68

    If it is being discontinued, this looks like another step down for Membership Rewards in the battle against Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Zj

    Kick in the chiclets… I was about to earn 5x points on a $2,000 purchase… This could be the final straw.

  • NMB

    I’ve tried calling three times in the past week or so and not been able to get a clear answer. If AMEX does get rid of this aspect of the program, and if Chase had a sweet sign-up bonus right now I would be VERY tempted to downgrade my platinum card and dive in with Chase.

  • Bigr3dbears

    Bad news is that Amex Shopping Mall (in it’s current form) seems to be discontinued.

    Good news is that you don’t need to worry about not receiving points on recently placed orders. There are numerous reports that you should call in and Amex agents will manually credit points.

  • PointsNeedyCAM

    What a headache! Finally registered my nephews’ platinum AMEX card (additonal on my account) so he could order a PowerMac Laptop for college– at 6X the points value on June 29, 2012.

    The site went down the next day June 30, 2012– the last day of the offer. ARGH!!

    That was at least 16,000 Membership Award Points I needed to help me pay off my Delta Transfer promo.

  • PointsNeedyCAM

    I meant to type 6,000 points– not 16,000 points.

  • Obrero

    I would be very surprised (and mildly depressed) if this earning portal were closed. I am not thrilled (again) with Amex’s lack of communication. Let’s not worry about customers trying to use the portal eh – we’ll just close it for a bit and not give any of our customer service reps any info. Ha.

    Hopefully they are just updating it so one can actually figure out if points have posted correctly. Right now it’s impossible to reconcile points with small purchases.

  • Glen

    Seems that AMEX’s regular website and the site for the Prepaid Card are experiencing issues today.

  • Rob

    Wow… It just seems like AmEx is making it easier everyday for Chase to take over the premium cards market. First customer service, then sign-on bonuses, then taking away United (and their Club access for Platinums) and now the portal!? With cards having very little selection on category bonuses, this leaves very little room to grow your points…

  • C.L.

    The @AskAmex team has responded by tweeting that the portal is “under review” which makes it seem like they could do away with it. They also might be revamping everything related to MR. Apparently booking travel through AmEx’s own site and paying with an eligible card won’t guarantee 2x MR points–not that I’ve ever booked there, but I found a good hotel deal with Gold Card Benefits, but I was told that as of July 1, I’ll only receive 1 pt/dollar for booking with AmEx Travel online.

  • LionCrown

    I got a similar “currently reviewing” message as well through e-mail. However, the English spoken by the CSR was awful, so it could just be a matter of poor word selection.

  • Dc330

    My Amex contact confirms this site is no more.

  • corys401

    Contacted AmEx via secure message, this was my response:

    “I wish to inform you that we’re experiencing technical difficulties with the Earn page at MembershipRewards.com, and as a result, have disabled it for maintenance.

    Once we are confident that we can deliver the best possible customer experience, we will enable the site and the offers.

    Regrettably, we have not yet been advised of an ETA on when the feature will be available again online. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to restore the Earn feature as soon as possible.

    Your patience and understanding is highly appreciated.”

  • JoseNYC

    I would close my platinum Amex if this shuts down and if we don’t get double points by booking hotels with them. It would be not worth the Annual Fee.

  • ZJ

    The error message shown on the Earn page has updated. Appears to be good news. For several weeks now, upon each login, I’m told of upcoming changes to the account control panel; perhaps this downtime is related. “We’re experiencing technical difficulties with the Earn Points page at MembershipRewards.com, and as a result, have disabled it for maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to restore the Earn feature as soon as possible.”

  • ltapple

    How can a company as big as American Express let an issuse like this go on for so long! I only signed up for the Zync card for the rewards program. I could book all my work travel through the shopping portal and get 2,3 and even 4x’s points. I also purchased many non travel items for the extra points.
    I spoke to customer service today and they just said the hub is “down” and we don’t know when it will be back up or even if it will be back up. In the mean time I am missing the opportunity to earn thousands of points. This stinks!

  • Steve

    I just called Amex membership rewards and they said they had no timeframe as to when the earnings site would be restored. If this has been going on since the end of June, I can’t imagine they’re going to put the site back up. No “technical dificulties” for a company as large as Amex should last more than a week, so this seems like a way to buy time. Why do I pay $450/year for a Platinum card again?

  • NRastro

    I just tried accessing the portal today, and it is still down. I called Membership Rewards customer service, and they implied that it was not coming back. They did say that a lot of policies were getting overhauled, but the rep did not sound optimistic about it coming back. She did have a script, though, that she read to me that suggested a couple of other (lame, low-value) ways to get some points, but that seemed pretty meaningless.

  • Info1

    It’s still not working as of today, Sept. 21. I won’t even bother calling customer service. They always say the same thing.

  • Goerge

    I finally did it, I cancelled, cut up, and destroyed my AMEX Aeorplan card after so many issues with the chip,
    I called numberous times to get this resolved and all I got was a sorry to inconvience you can we give you $100.00 gift card. I only spend about $250,000 a year on it, well Mastercard will now be the beneficiary of my business.

    Im soooo happy, may not get the points I enjoyed but I’m not getting aggravated any more.
    Shame on them and POOR management, I guess merchants probaly had enough of AMEX high interest so they stopped renewing the card for this STUPID CHIP. Good for them….

    Just can’t fiqure AMEX out, all I can say is they now can eat my chips….!

  • Kay B.

    Still down on November 15, 2012. What does “until further notice” mean AMEX? NOT simply the portal undergoing maintenance for 24 hours!

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