Reaping Their Rewards: Somers Couple Regains Lost Credit Card Points

A Somers couple with thousands of dollars in American Express reward points almost lost it all before reaching out to NBC Connecticut Responds.

Tina and Wayne Wegrzyn racked up more than 150,000 points on their American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card. They’d been cardholders since 1991.

The couple wanted to apply 152,000 reward points, valued at about $1,000, to their $2,300 bill in January. While Tina said she’s always experienced great customer service with American Express, this situation became anything but positive.

Tina said an American Express representative told her the points could not be used to pay the balance.

“When they told me that, I got upset,” she said.

In the heat of the moment, Tina closed the account and the agent told her all of those earned points were gone.

“If you voluntarily cancel your enrollment in the program… all points in your program account will be immediately forfeited,” according to the American Express Membership Rewards Program Terms and Conditions, which is available on the website.

Tina said she didn’t know she would lose her points by closing the account and called American Express about getting her points back, but was unsuccessful.

An American Express spokesperson told NBC Connecticut Responds that cardholders can use points to pay for most purchases, but not for account balances, fees or interest.

Tina said one of her other credit cards does let her apply points to her statement, so it appears she got confused about the American Express policy.

After NBC Connecticut Responds explained what happened to the company, American Express agreed to reinstate all of the Wegrzyns' points if they opened a new account.

American Express thanked NBC Connecticut for bringing the issue to its attention.

"We're glad that we were able to resolve this issue for our card member,” A spokesperson said.

Cardholders who are unsure of the terms and conditions of their cards and rewards programs should check the company’s website. A copy may also be included with the monthly bill.

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