American Express Rewards –How to Earn Rewards for Purchases

Q: What is an eligible purchase?

A: Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. 

Q: Where can I see transactions which qualified for additional rewards?

A: To view the transactions that qualified for additional rewards, visit the Bonus Rewards Detail page within your online account at You can view your current or previous statements within Statements & Activities to see the Bonus Details link at the bottom of the page. Rewards can take up to two billing cycles to post to your account.

Q: How do you define a purchase made in the U.S.?

A: When we say United States, or U.S., we mean the 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other [U.S. territories] are included. 

Q: Are purchases made outside the U.S. eligible for additional rewards?

A: International purchases are eligible for base-level rewards. In most cases, purchases made outside the United States are not eligible for additional rewards. Depending upon the Card product, only some purchases in specific travel industry categories – air, hotel, and car rentals – made in certain countries outside the United States are eligible for additional rewards.

Q: How do I find out if my Card has categories where I earn additional rewards?

A: To learn more about how you earn additional rewards on your Card, please refer to your Card Member Agreement. For Membership Rewards® program information, please read the Membership Reward terms and conditions. 

Q: What determines the rewards category in which a merchant falls?

A: We determine if purchases qualify for additional rewards by using merchant codes. Each merchant is typically assigned a code based on what they primarily sell. A purchase will not earn additional rewards if the merchant’s code is not eligible. For example, purchases made at a restaurant located within a hotel may be recognized as a purchase at a hotel, not a restaurant. In

this case you would not earn additional rewards for restaurant purchases. 

Q: Are there instances when I may not earn additional rewards even though the purchase is in an eligible category?

A: In some cases, you may not receive additional rewards if you make a purchase with a third party because of the way those third parties process payments. 

For example, in most cases you will not receive additional rewards on a purchase if the merchant submits the purchase using a mobile or wireless card reader (e.g. Square, Intuit Go Payment). Also, for example, in most cases you won't receive additional rewards if you make the purchase:

• using a third-party payment account or digital wallet (e.g. PayPal, Google Wallet)

• with a third-party deal site (e.g. Living Social, Groupon)

• with a third-party travel website (e.g. Expedia, Kayak)*

• through a computer hardware, software or cloud computing reseller or online marketplace

• with a wireless service reseller (e.g. BestBuy, Boost Mobile)

• at a merchant located within another establishment (e.g., a restaurant located inside a hotel where the restaurant is coded as a hotel, and not as a restaurant)   

*This does not apply to Cards where you earn additional rewards on travel as a category.

Q: I think I should have earned additional rewards on a purchase, what should I do?

A: If you have questions about whether you should have received additional rewards, please call the number on the back of your Card. 

Q: Are the additional rewards categories the same as the spend categories on my online statement or Year End Summary?

A: The spend categories on your online statement and Year End Summary are not the same as the categories where you can earn additional rewards. They might be similar in some cases but they won’t match exactly. Some types of merchants aren’t included in additional rewards categories, and other merchants may be eligible for additional rewards even if they appear in a different category on your online statement or Year End Summary. See specific sections of this website for more information. 

Category: Business card

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