I signed up for the credit card offer, Amex. So where is my $50 credit?

After receiving her first Delta American Express Gold Card, Anita Livanec is wondering if Amex can add two plus two — or $50 plus $50.

Livanec was offered a $100 credit for signing up for the Delta American Express Gold Card and 30,000 miles after making $1,000 of purchases with the card. But when she responded to the offer, she was issued only a $50 credit. Livanec wants to know: Where’s the other $50 she was promised?

Livanec’s case underscores the importance of keeping documentation, such as screenshots with dates, of any offer to which you respond. Without it, you have no leverage if the company making the offer refuses to honor it.

When Livanec’s application for the Delta Gold Card was approved, she was issued a temporary card number, which she used to book two tickets to Savannah, Ga. Livanec’s first statement from American Express for the Gold Card should have contained a $100 credit. But the credit was only $50.

Says Livanec, “I feel like this was a bait-and-switch scam.”

Livanec contacted Delta to inform them that the credit in her statement was the wrong amount. Delta’s representative told her she would have to call American Express. Livanec then called and chatted with Amex employees, who told her to call Delta and that the offer to which she responded was not the current promotion for the Delta Gold Card. She also emailed an Amex executive, who did not respond to her inquiry.

“All of my calls seemed very unimportant to them,” says Livanec. “I’ve read all of the fine print and I can’t understand why I’m not getting the full $100 statement credit. The offer I used is still on Delta’s website! And yet they tell me that’s not the current offer available.”

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Livanec then contacted our advocates for help with her case, and we reached out to American Express on her behalf. (Contact information for American Express and Delta is available on our website.)

So what was up with the missing $50 credit?

A problem with Livanec’s case is that because Livanec didn’t save any screenshots or other documentation of the offer that day or of her application for the card, we don’t know the actual terms of the offer to which she responded, leaving us — and her — without leverage against American Express.

After our advocates contacted Amex, Livanec heard from an Amex employee who told her that the screenshots Livanec had submitted to support her claim weren’t for the day she actually signed up for the card — which Livanec acknowledged to us. This discrepancy notwithstanding, Amex’s employee told Livanec that the company would offer her an additional $50 credit as “a gesture of good customer service.”

But three weeks later, Livanec was still waiting for the credit. She tried to call the Amex employee to whom she had spoken, but could only reach her voicemail. Nor could she reach anyone at American Express by email to request that the company honor this promise. “I’m losing hope of ever getting my credit and feel totally scammed,” claims Livanec.

And our advocates had no better luck than Livanec. Nobody at American Express responded to our contacts.

While we don’t know if Livanec will ever receive her credit, we can warn other consumers to retain all documentation when responding to an offer. Otherwise, you may not receive whatever the company promised you — and, like Livanec, you may find your situation classified as a Case Dismissed.

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Update: Livanec has informed us that she has received the credit from American Express.

Jennifer Finger

Jennifer is the founder of KeenReader, an Internet-based freelance editing operation, as well as a certified public accountant. She is a senior writer for Elliott.org.

  • Ben

    I’ve been very disappointed in Amex lately, enough that I closed two of my three cards and I am considering closing the third before the next annual fee. Other issuers have surpassed Amex in terms of customer service, rewards, and card benefits.

    It’s a shame, because my first credit card when I turned 18 was an Amex and I’ve been pretty loyal over the years. Hopefully they’ll figure out that they way they are treating customers like me and Anita is ruining all of the goodwill and reputation they’ve built up over the years.

  • AAGK

    I wonder how she will feel about that $50 when Amex closes her card in a month.

  • Koholaz

    I closed my Delta Amex card when it jacked up the rate considerable about 15 minutes after I received it. Never even used it.

  • The Original Joe S

    They’re stupid. My aunt was a millionairess; inherited from her late husband. Stupids wouldn’t give her an Unamerican Distress card because they said she had no income. Morons! She had MONEY! Adios, Unamerican Distress!

  • cscasi

    Why should her card be closed in a month?

  • cscasi

    Do you mean the finance charge rate? Not sure why that would happen. However, if you do not carry a balance, then there should be no issue, whatever the rate is.

  • joycexyz

    And, or course, she was a woman.

  • The Original Joe S

    Last I checked…….

  • Carchar

    The only reason I kept my Amex card, after bad service, was because of Costco. Happily, I no longer have to keep it.

  • AAGK

    Depends how she uses it but people need to put more thought into their financial products than using the some small bonus as the yardstick. They would be better off forgoing every little bonus. It’s more effective to build wealth by being more selective. I’m a huge Amex fan so I try not to annoy them.

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