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Amex RAT Team Cracks Down on “Gaming” With New Terms and Conditions

Amex RAT Team Cracks Down on “Gaming” With New Terms and Conditions
Joe Cortez

New terms and conditions limit how award points can be earned through spending

American Express is issuing a new warning for those trying to “game” the system: gamble at your own risk. Frequent Miler reports the new changes for the credit card issuer are going into effect on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 and are being patrolled by the issuer’s Rewards Abuse Team (RAT).

Under the new terms and conditions, American Express is adding new language targeted at those who “have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with earning or using points.” If American Express (in their sole discretion) determine a cardholder has participated in one of these actions, sanctions can range from taking away points earned through “gaming,” all the way to suspending points earning and redeeming or canceling American Express cards.

The move is the latest attempt to reduce the amount of “gaming” taking place through spending on American Express cards. Previous attempts to curtail targeted spending to earn points included new terms for applications potentially voiding sign-up bonuses collected for “gamed” spending, as well as discounting dollars used to purchase gift cards from sign-up bonus goals.

Other users have reported having their accounts halted by the American Express RAT for financial review over suspected spending abuse. The changes are part of a bigger trend in the credit card industry to curtail and discourage illicit spending towards rewards: Chase instituted a rule preventing individuals from getting new cards after receiving five credit cards in a rolling 24-month period, while Bank of America has also made it difficult to get new cards by limiting how many applications new cardholders can have during a set amount of time.

View Comments (7)


  1. fromfall98

    November 1, 2017 at 6:54 am

    What is considered as “Gaming” / “Abuse” / “Misuse”? ?

  2. edgewood49

    November 1, 2017 at 7:00 am


  3. kb9522

    November 1, 2017 at 10:57 am

    About time these companies do something to protect themselves from these scammers… Because that’s exactly what MS is… a scam.

  4. dmart7

    November 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Like the first comment, I think the author should have included a clear description of what this is all about. It us written as though the readership knows about “gaming”, whereas I suspect very few know. We can surmise – guess – from what is written but it will be hazy at best. Let’s have better writing, please!

  5. Deltahater

    November 2, 2017 at 9:35 am


    Are frequent flyers on mileruns also scammers?

  6. jrpallante

    November 3, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    It is a little disingenuous for banks to market their credit cards based almost exclusively on bonus points, and then feign offense when customers actually accept their offers. I cannot log on to any website without seeing pop-ups encouraging me to sign up for yet another credit card with a bonus of 40K, 50K, 80K. Personally, I follow every opportunity, and I have accumulated 500K in bonus miles alone this year. I am not sure what it would take to run afoul of the “rules,” but all I did was respond to the constant bombardment by multiple banks.

  7. spartacus

    November 9, 2017 at 9:18 am

    If I had a dollar for every Capitol One mailing I received, I could buy a full-fare B ticket to paradise.

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