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TPG reader Jaroslav is a travel agent who has a question about whether he can earn Starwood points on his Starwood Amex or not:
“I am travel agent and issuing many air tickets on my Starwood American Express card for clients when they pay me in cash. Could Amex decide to not give me Starwood points for booking this travel? Their terms and conditions say: ‘American Express reserves the right not to award any Starpoints for transactions we determine are not made with the good faith intention of consuming the item charged.'”
Fear not, Jaroslav! The short answer is: no, you should still get your Starwood points for charging travel to your card, even if it is for others. People book travel for other travelers all the time – think about how often the father or mother of a family books their children’s travel, or when a corporate travel office books a company’s employees’ flights and accommodations.
The point of this language in Starwood and Amex’s terms and conditions is to stop people from fraudulently making charges, using the points they earn, and then canceling the travel arrangements, not to stop people from legitimately booking travel for others.
So as long as you’re not doing that, or stealing your clients’ rightful miles or points like this travel agent did, you’re in the clear. I’m just glad you’re being savvy about your business and earning points legitimately on charges that you have to make anyway instead of just using cash and earning no points at all.