Update: My potential 100k mistake

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Update: My potential 100k mistake

Man oh man, it never hurts to ask, and it never hurts to also have a long standing relationship. In case you missed it, I made a rookie mistake and missed my min spend on the Hilton Surpass card by ~$30 and never received my 100k bonus. I waited, waited some more, reached out, waited more, and finally followed up…twice. In the end, it worked out really well – my potential 100k mistake was just that – potential. American Express did me a huge one and credited me the 100k from the sign up. I have to say…Amex is securing me as a customer and building loyalty. It was my mistake, but they forgave it and didn’t hold it against me. Hopefully this incentives other people who have made similar follies to follow up and ask…It never hurts.


My Potential 100k point mistake

Earlier in the year I signed up for the American Express Hilton Surpass 100k offer. It was a 100k bonus HHonors after $3k spend and the annual fee wasn’t waived. AHHHHH the annual fee wasn’t waived…this is a big thing to remember because I had been tracking my payments. This was an extremely busy time during the year for me: I was filming a movie, traveling constantly, and also in the process of moving and completing a renovation. It was hectic. A little brainfart may have cost me 100k bonus points. This the story of my potential Amex 100k point mistake!

I contacted Amex in September to ask about the points

I had an extensive discussion with them via online chat in regards to the offer and it was THEN that I realized what I had done. The mistake I made was that I had counted the annual fee in my spend – I was $30 short of $3k. This is clearly stated in the terms and is consistent across the board, but I just forgot to exclude it. I applied in April, hit the $3k in early July, and kept looking for the bonus points. I couldn’t believe it – I knew the terms and it was my fault. The rep could not have been nicer. He submitted a claim and told me that if it were up to him he would just give me the points, but his hands were tied because of the offer terms.

It’s December and I’ve never heard a response – so I called.

After 40 mins on the phone and providing my Application Reference number I was given a Marketing Case ID Number. If this ever happens to you, please write both of these down. If I didn’t have my application reference number I would never have gotten this far. I spent 40 mins on the phone speaking to a rep and she said there was no bonus offer ever associated with my account!!!OMG!!!! What was happening – things were getting worse! BUT THEN I REMEMBERED I HAD MY APP REF #. It wasn’t until after the I provided the Application Reference number that she located it. PHEW! She said there were no updates. I asked if I could speak with Marketing. Nope. Ok. I thanked her for her time and she wished me luck.


Yep, I HUCA’d. I explained the situation and provided the case ID. This rep was also able to pull up the online chat I had back in September and could see the claim had been filed with marketing. He put me on hold for 10 minutes. He came back with the same news! NO UPDATES. ARGH!!!!! I asked him if there was any way of speaking with marketing, and got the same response. He did, however, say he would speak to his manager. BACK ON HOLD.

He came back 5 minutes later and said I should have a response by Friday as they put an extra note on it. He said he really hoped they honored the points. I also mentioned that I’d like it to mention on the account that I realized that it was my error, but was hoping that my long history with Amex ( over 14 years now ) and how much I valued our relationship would convince to overlook the error and award me the points. He told me not to worry and people make mistakes – again a super nice rep.

I’ll let you know how it ends – but fingers crossed.

Annual fees never count towards a spend requirement. I was silly enough not even think to look for it, just to pay attention to my cumulative spend. I’ve been accustomed to fees being waived the first year, unless it’s a $450 super premium card, that I just didn’t think twice about it. I saw the cumulative spend over $3k and stopped spending on it. I had a lot on my plate and made a mistake. I’m really hoping that my history with Amex and the spend I consistently put on other cards is enough for them to do me this solid. But we shall see.

Hopefully this will be a lesson to every one reading this! My potential loss is your gain.

 Affiliate link via Card Ratings

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


  • Christian January 9, 2017

    I really hope that it works out for you, but apparently it’s exceedingly rare for the marketing department to agree to pretty much anything in the customer’s favor, as two separate supervisors have informed me. I’ve been engaged in a situation with Amex where I got a biz card offer for 100k last year. I applied and was approved. About a week later, without having spent any money on the card yet, I got a 150k offer in the mail, so of course I called to see if they would honor the higher offer. They took the code and said yes. Awesome. Then when I called back a few weeks later about something else, they said “New offer? What new offer? Yours is only for 100k.” I’ve been fighting with them ever since on this one, which started in early October and I keep getting promised a call back, but never, not once, have gotten a call. The last time I called on the week before last, I was told that the marketing department had refused my claim, but hadn’t bothered to actually inform me. After complaining and arguing vociferously, I was told that a supervisor on site would review the tape in person and get back to me. 3 guesses what happened? That’s right, nothing. Someone get me a syringe! I’m beginning to wonder if Amex actually has a policy to never call the customer back. I guess I’ll bother them again in a day or two…
    Anyway, good luck, but these can be incredibly tough. Free warning from somebody who’s been there.

    • Miles January 10, 2017

      Hey Christian – thanks for the account of your experience. I hope it gets resolved in a positive way. My points actually were credited, but I did have to call a few times and also get a case id number. It was only after the last series of calls did it get resolved, and I’ms sure it helped that I’ve been a cardmember in good standing for 15 years. Good luck!!

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