What’s Going on With the Amex Membership Rewards Shopping Portal?

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A week or so ago I tried to make a purchase using the Amex Membership Rewards online shopping portal, but I couldn’t find it.  I was in a rush so I chalked it up to either user error or a temporary glitch, and hadn’t thought of it much since then until I received a related email today.  After doing a little bit of research, it seems that the problem is much larger than user error on my part or a temporary glitch.

According to this Flyertalk thread, Amex customer service representatives have been sharing different messages with customers about why the shopping portal is down.  The answers given range from a technical problem to permanent discontinuation.  It has been gone for a couple weeks now, so regardless of the reason, this doesn’t seem very temporary.  The most comment message from Amex seems to be that it is being “reviewed” and might return in a similar or different form, or it may not return at all.

This is very bad news.  Admittedly, I use the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal more than the Amex portal these days, but it was still good to have some options and competition.  Amex also usually had a higher points payout on some merchants, such as Apple, so they were my portal of choice for those purchases.  Almost every hotel and airline has a shopping portal, so I am not sure why Amex would discontinue having theirs.  I’m sure they have their reasons, but I have no idea as to what they are.  Online shopping portals are a huge part of how my family (and many others) earn miles and points, so to see Amex bail out on having theirs without any real notice or explanation is very disconcerting.  I would hate to think what it would be like if others followed suit.  Chase, please don’t do that.

I will try to get some official info from Amex, but it is likely I wouldn’t be able to dig up much more than what has already been shared.  If I learn anything official or helpful I will be sure to share that info.  What do you think about the Amex portal disappearing?  Had you even noticed it was gone?

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  1. I also saw that it was gone. I’ve used it in the past only for Apple as the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal usually had pretty good deals. I find Chase to be much quicker to post the portal points (within one billing cycle) than AMEX, and in general, AMEX has not kept up with Chase with tranfer partners and offers, so I’m not losing any sleep over this.

  2. As a Singapore Air elite I was a big user of the AMEX shopping portal as it was the only way, here in the states, to get a bonus on spending that I could transfer to my FF account. I really wish they would bring it back!!!

  3. the higher ups at chase must be smiling. They are pulling more and more people away. I still use my AMEX PRG more than the Chase SP, but that could change. If it wasn’t for the 15k bonus on $30k spend I would ditch the AMEX. I think AMEX is getting very close to the tipping/decision point where they either go all in or give up. It’s obvious that Chase has gone in big, they have UA and got CO to pull out of MR.

    I think all AMEX needs to do is get a better US xfer partner than DL. It’s not going to be UA, so maybe US or AA if they play hardball? Even AS would be a huge benefit and maybe easier to obtain

  4. I noticed it was down yesterday when trying to buy something from The Container Store; I thought it was just me. I really hope it’s not gone for good.

  5. I have noticed its been down for quite some time and the cause totally baffles me. EVERYONE has one of these portals…why would MR be any different? I have actually been using the MR portal quite a bit, but may well start using my Chase Sapphire card more if they discontinue the portal. It’s all just weird!

  6. The most enraging part about this (besides the fact that I missed out on 3k worth of points from one trip I booked last week) is the fact that Amex DID NOT NOTIFY ANYONE that they were going to make this change that has serious implication on the customers that use it.

    And worse, that they can’t even give a straightforward answer once they did it. I’ve had the Amex Platinum for under a year now, and have up until now recommended it to everyone and justified the high fee because of its perks. However, with this being the final straw (combined with not being able to secure restaurant/concert reservations like advertised, United Airlines dropping them from the program, other annoying things), I can’t say I can recommend this to anyone now.

    Amex is, unfortunately, losing value in a “death by 1000 cuts” approach. Customers will catch on to this, and will take their business elsewhere.

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