Here’s what to do if American Express doesn’t give you the right number of points for a purchase

Aug 6, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

One of the nice things about rewards credit cards is the slew of different bonus categories. Some cards award bonus points on travel or dining, while cobranded cards may award bonus points on purchases made with the brand the card is affiliated with. For example, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card earns 2 Delta SkyMiles per dollar on dining, at U.S. supermarkets, and on purchases made directly with Delta.

But these bonus points don’t always post properly. Sometimes a merchant may have the wrong purchase code on their credit card terminal. Other times, American Express simply doesn’t post points properly on its end. This happened to me on my recent trip to Milwaukee when I charged a Marriott stay to my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Instead of earning 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on my stay, it was credited as a standard purchase and earned just 2 points per dollar.

This has happened to me multiple times over the years and could have cost me thousands of points. But not all is lost when you miss out on your rightfully earned bonus points. I will show you how to view the number of points each Amex transaction earns and how to ask for the correct number of points when you find an error.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

In This Post

How to see how many points an Amex transaction earned

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card on a wooden table
I almost lost out on a ton of Marriott Bonvoy points when Amex improperly coded a transaction. (Photo by The Points Guy)

Let’s start with the first order of business: auditing your points earning. I always recommend looking through your transactions at the end of each month and checking how many points each purchase earned. Doing this keeps you on top of your points earning and will immediately alert you to any discrepancies. This could put thousands of points in your pocket if you spot a purchase that earned the wrong number of points.

To audit your points earnings, log into the American Express website. Then, select the card you’d like to audit using the card selector tool at the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Picking a card on the Amex website
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

Click the “Statements & Activity button” at the top of the screen.

Click the Statements and Activity button
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

Now, select the statement you’d like to view from the left-hand side of the screen. All transactions will appear at the center of the screen. You’ll see how many points you earned per dollar to the left of the merchant name.

Viewing transactions on your Amex account
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

You can view more details by clicking on the merchant name. In this case, I clicked on the Hotel Metro transaction I put on my Bonvoy Brilliant. This should have earned 6 points per dollar since it’s a Marriott hotel, but instead, it earned 2 points per dollar due to a crediting issue.

Viewing transaction details on the Amex website
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

On the other hand, this hotel stay at the Le Meridien Nice was credited properly and earned 6 points per dollar spent:

Le Meridien Nice transaction details on Amex website
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

Related: Best hotel credit cards of 2021

What to do if your Amex points don’t credit properly

So, you found a transaction that didn’t earn the right number of points. Generally, I’ve found that the Amex chat support tool can help you resolve this issue on a transaction-by-transaction basis. You can find the chat tool on the bottom right-hand corner of the Amex website when you’re logged in.

Chat button on Amex website
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

The trick is to ask nicely and go into the chat armed with the information you need for the agent to identify your charges properly. This includes the name of the merchant, how much you spent and the date of the transaction. Of course, you’ll also want to point out that you did not earn the proper amount of points.

Here’s a sample template:

“Hello! I just looked over my ‘s statement and noticed [number of charges] didn’t earn the right number of points. The transaction is in the [purchase category] bonus category and should have earned [number of points] per dollar, for a total of [number of points] points. The charges are: [charge/date/amount]. Please let me know if this can be corrected — thank you!”

More often than not, the representative will open an investigation into the charges and tell you to follow up in 10 to 15 days.

Amex chat open investigation
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

If the investigation turns out in your favor, you should get the proper amount of points on your next statement.

Resolved Marriott points crediting issue
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

Related: These are the best credit cards for everyday spending

Bottom line

And that’s all there is to it. While the process isn’t super straightforward, it pays to ask to audit your points earning every month and look for earning discrepancies on bonus categories. Improper points crediting happens more than you might think; auditing could put thousands of points back in your pocket.

Feature photo by Maskot/Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.