Amex Platinum Bonus Earn categories

By djtech | Nov 19, 2018, 06:45 PM
The amex platinum charge offers 2 points per dollar on airfare, accomodation and foreign transactions. What does the accomodation part mean? Do I have to book the hotel direct from Amex travel or hotel website? Can I use this to settle incidentals, breakfast costs, etc?
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By ChrisCh | Nov 19, 2018, 07:00 PM
Hi djtech, when every AMEX transaction is processed, there's a 'merchant category' attached to it, so long story short, payments made at hotels in Australia (either in-person, online, through travel agents etc.) trigger the 2/$1 earn rate (and on the entire folio charge, not just the 'room rate' component): basically, anything you pay at a hotel earns double points. Overseas, all transactions earn points at the 2/$1 rate, regardless of category, so the separate hotel rate is only relevant in Australia, if that makes sense!

Unfortunately, this does also mean that dining at most hotel restaurants provides double points rather than triple points as at other 'standalone' restaurants, because the transaction is processed by the hotel, so it flags as accommodation rather than dining.

On the plus side (and generally speaking, not always the case), cafes, bars, take-away shops and fast food outlets also normally give points at the 3/$1 restaurant rate - so this isn't limited to fine dining or sit-down restaurants, as such.

(This all changes from mid-April, of course, but for now, that's how it works.)
Last edited by ChrisCh at Nov 19, 2018, 07.02 PM.
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By Greg84 | Nov 19, 2018, 08:59 PM
I’ve had a number of large spends at pubs - drinks & food for my staff functions. I’d say 2 out of 3 I’m only getting 1 point per dollar due to the merchant category coming through as the bottle shop...very frustrating & this year has probably cost me 25k points...so does depend on what category they put them under.
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By ChrisCh | Nov 20, 2018, 10:38 AM
I’ve had a number of large spends at pubs - drinks & food for my staff functions. I’d say 2 out of 3 I’m only getting 1 point per dollar due to the merchant category coming through as the bottle shop...very frustrating & this year has probably cost me 25k points...so does depend on what category they put them under.

Perhaps give AMEX a call and ask if they can fix that up?

I know in the past I've had instances where standalone restaurants were categorised as "grocery stores" which didn't trigger the triple points, and was able to get them credited.
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By Greg84 | Nov 20, 2018, 07:53 PM
I’ve had a number of large spends at pubs - drinks & food for my staff functions. I’d say 2 out of 3 I’m only getting 1 point per dollar due to the merchant category coming through as the bottle shop...very frustrating & this year has probably cost me 25k points...so does depend on what category they put them under.

Perhaps give AMEX a call and ask if they can fix that up?

I know in the past I've had instances where standalone restaurants were categorised as "grocery stores" which didn't trigger the triple points, and was able to get them credited.

That’s good news - I’ll give it a try. Thanks Chris
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