Data shows Amex Offers are taking longer than usual to post — here’s why you shouldn’t worry

Feb 18, 2021

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At the beginning of the year, American Express made waves in the credit card industry by launching a slew of new offers for cardmembers. This was initially centered primarily on its top-tier Platinum Card® from American Express, but in early February, Amex added even more statement credits across its cobranded cards with Delta, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for customers.

For starters, many of the offers had very specific terms that limited their utility, and some card members were unaware that they couldn’t be stacked (e.g. making a $100 purchase at Home Depot via PayPal would only trigger the $30 monthly PayPal credit, not both).

Read more: Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers

However, the biggest concern that we’ve heard here at TPG is how long it’s taking for these statement credits to actually post to card members’ accounts after making eligible purchases.

In an effort to put actual data behind these reports, we launched a survey to our TPG Lounge and editorial staff members, asking them to quantify just how long it took from the date of purchase for various offers to arrive. And the results showed one, unmistakable trend: inconsistency.

For some, an expected statement credit posted within a couple of days. For others, it took a week and a half. And these disparities were for offers at the exact same store.

Here is a summary of the data for some top offers as of the time of publication (note that the survey is still open if you’d like to share your own data points). Eligibility for these offers is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming   

Offer Average wait time Range of wait times
PayPal ($30 monthly credit) 4.2 days 1 – 30 days
Home Depot ($50 back after spending $50, up to 2x) 6.71 days 2 – 15 days
Best Buy ($50 back after spending $50, up to 2x) 6.86 days 1 – 21 days
Wine Insiders ($30 back after spending $30, up to 2x) 4.36 days 1 – 10 days
GoldBelly ($50 after spending $100, up to 3x) 7.17 days 1 – 13 days
Home Chef ($50 after spending $50, up to 3x) 7.63 days 1 – 12 days
Instacart ($50 after spending $250, up to 2x) 4 days 1 – 8 days
OVERALL AVERAGE 5.94 days

As you can see, card members are reporting that it’s taking nearly 6 days (on average) from the date of purchase for a statement credit to hit their account — with huge variations among the individual data points.

Of course, these numbers only apply to statement credits that have successfully posted to readers’ Amex accounts. Some wrote in to describe even longer wait times for still-outstanding transactions.

On Feb. 17, one reader indicated that a Jan. 21 purchase from Wine Insiders still hadn’t triggered the credit — a delay of 27 days (and counting). Another reported that a February PayPal purchase was still outstanding after 14 days — which is actually two days shorter than the 17 days it’s been since my own PayPal transaction.

Now, it’s important to note that none of this is at odds with the terms of the offers, as most of them say that the credits will arrive within 90 days of the end date of the offer. For example, here’s the specific verbiage for the Best Buy offer:

“Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 90 days after 6/30/2021, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase.”

That said, this is common language for just about any Amex Offer — and in reality, they tend to arrive much faster.

As a point of comparison, I went back through the activity on my Amex Platinum for last year and found that I made 57 purchases that were eligible for either statement credits or bonus points via Amex Offers. Some were from the limited-time perks announced in May 2020, while others were normal targeted bonuses or discounts.

Related: These Amex Offers will help you save money and make life easier right now

On average, these hit my account 1.98 days after the purchase. In addition, 95% of them (54 of the 57) posted within three days — with the other three arriving 4, 5 and 7 days later, respectively.

On the other hand, the eight offers I’ve utilized thus far in 2021 have taken an average of 5.75 days to post. This includes individual data points of 8 and 12 days — and it doesn’t even take into account the fact that I’m still waiting on my second Best Buy credit (12 days at the time of publication) and my February PayPal credit (17 days).

So what’s happening with these offers?

We reached out to a spokesperson from American Express, who said that these bonuses “tend to show up on a card member’s account within days of purchase” but also pointed out that they can take up to 90 days — which matches the aforementioned terms. She went on to add the following:

“We are aware that these bonuses may be taking longer than usual to show up, but card members can rest assured they will be fulfilled per the offer terms. If a card member has not received their statement credit or bonus within a few weeks of making an eligible purchase, they can message us in the Amex app, online on www.americanexpress.com, or by phone, to check the status.”

A few TPG readers have already utilized this suggestion, including one who used the chat feature in the app and was told the offer “had processed and just needed to wait 5-7 days from that point” — adding that it was “much better than waiting unknowingly.”

Despite these issues, these offers still represent some real savings at popular merchants. I (for one) took the opportunity to outfit my entire house with LED bulbs by pairing the Home Depot offers with my January PayPal credit — spending the equivalent of just 1.4 cents per bulb.

Just be sure to add the offers to your card(s) prior to making the purchase, and double-check to see if an online shopping portal can offer even more rewards on the transaction.

Featured photo by My Agency/Shutterstock

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