AMEX 0.5% cashback claim is not accurate

I have an Amex card which gives 0.5% of spend as Cashback. I have always found it impossible to agree with the monthly figure they award and recently decided to investigate.

I now know that the Cashback is anywhere between 0.4% and 0.5% (I assume averaging 0.45%). This is because they round down twice. The round down to the whole pound, calculate 0.5%, and then round down to the nearest pence. 
For example a spend of  between £9.00 - £9.99 would generate 4p cashback, whereas a spend of £10 would generate 5p.
If you had 10 purchases of £9.99 you would get 40p cashback, but 0.5% of £99.90 (the total spend) is 50p.
I have another card offering the same cashback and I have no difficulty in agreeing the monthly figure because it is a stright 0.5% of the total spend on any month

I believe their claim of giving 0.5% cashback is at best misleading and at worst a lie. I have asked them to comment but as yet they haven't.

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Comments

  • Asghar
    Asghar Posts: 433
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    edited 29 April 2022 at 10:56AM
    American Express calculate the cashback on each individual transaction, not on the total amount spent in the month.
    For every two whole pounds you spend each time, you are getting 1p cashback.
    For a £8 transaction you will get 4p cashback and with a £9.50 transaction you still get only the 4p cashback. The £1.50 is wasted unless you spend another 50p at the same time to make it another whole two pounds.
    The cashback for each transaction is listed in your account.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,924
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    joonee said:
    I believe their claim of giving 0.5% cashback is at best misleading and at worst a lie. I have asked them to comment but as yet they haven't.
    They'll probably just direct you to the clear and simple explanation in their Ts & Cs:

    https://icm.aexp-static.com/Internet/internationalcardshop/en_gb/pdf/platinum-cashback-everyday-credit-card/Plat-CB-everyday-TandC.pdf

    Cashback is calculated on the amount of the purchase and then rounded down to the nearest full pence. 

    For example, if you make a purchase of £25.99, if Cashback is earned at the rate of 0.5% (0.5% of £25.99, i.e. 12.995p, rounded down to the nearest full pence) 12p Cashback will accrue.

  • joonee
    joonee Posts: 13
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    It's calculated on £25 because it round down to whole pounds.  0.5% of £25 is 12.5p and so rounded down to 12p. If the spend had been £26 - £26.99 the cash back would be 13p
  • joonee
    joonee Posts: 13
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    My my point is that you only get 0.5% casback if your spend is an even number of whole pounds.   A spend of £1.99 will give 0p. A spend of £2 will give 1p as will a spend of £3.99. In my opinion it is misleading to claim that the cash back is 0.5%.
    Another card which gives 0.5% cash back is both simpler and clearer because it is a straight 0.5% of the total spend in the month. My post was to alert you to this fact. 
    Amex does stipulate the amount earned in any month in the monthly statement but it is far from clear because the figure isn't derived from the spend that month. They also explain the calculation but not at the top level and you have to dive down twice to find it.
    i think Amex is misleading customers and I am choosing not to use them very often.
    i have now received a reply from them and they admit that it is not obvious and are considering updating their literature. I wait to see what happens with interest.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,924
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    joonee said:
    It's calculated on £25 because it round down to whole pounds.  0.5% of £25 is 12.5p and so rounded down to 12p.
    No, that's not how the calculation works - there is no rounding of the transaction value but solely of the cashback, as shown in their example (which clearly explains that they use 0.5% of £25.99 = 12.995p before the rounding is applied), although it's something of a moot point as the end result is the same....
  • joonee
    joonee Posts: 13
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    I disagree. This what they say -note 'every full £1' i.e. they round down twice
    After the first three months of Cardmembership you’ll earn up to 1% cashback, depending on how much you spend on the Card  within your Cardmembership year
    Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% on purchases
    Spend over £10,001 and receive 1% cashback on purchases
    As long as you spend a minimum of £3,000 in a year, every full £1 you spend on purchases qualifies for cashback
  • joonee
    joonee Posts: 13
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    Ashgar, I agree with your statement which is why I think the claim of 0.5% is misleading. The true figure is likely to average at 0.45%. Thanks
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,924
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    joonee said:
    I disagree. This what they say -note 'every full £1' i.e. they round down twice
    After the first three months of Cardmembership you’ll earn up to 1% cashback, depending on how much you spend on the Card  within your Cardmembership year
    Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% on purchases
    Spend over £10,001 and receive 1% cashback on purchases
    As long as you spend a minimum of £3,000 in a year, every full £1 you spend on purchases qualifies for cashback
    Disagree if you like but I was just quoting from their published calculation method, and as I say, it's a pointless debate when the end result of their method and yours is the same!
  • ZeroSum
    ZeroSum Posts: 982
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    It should be advertised as upto 0.5%


  • MACKEM99
    MACKEM99 Posts: 855
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    Are we not talking about a few pence 
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