AmEx Travel Credit - Sellers Beware

Let me just start by saying that I completely understand that this sort of sale is against Amex's terms of conditions and its very much a 'seller/buyer' beware type thing. Its all on me, amex have done nothing wrong.

The story goes that i sold via ozb a $400 amex travel credit to someone at a discounted price. Booked the tickets on his behalf, he transferred me the money for the credit and the extra money required for the flight. All good.

The flight was booked for May last year, got cancelled by qantas due to covid and put down as a credit hold until it could be used.

For some reason, they buyer recently took it upon himself to try and rebook the flight now that restrictions are opening back up, and this was Amex's detail of the phone convo:-

"At the start of this call, we checked to see if Mr X was an authorised third party on your Explorer card account which was used to make the booking, so we could discuss any details with him. He was not authorised and when we challenged this with Mr X, he advised that he did not know you, but that had you sold him your Explorer Travel Credit via an online forum. Mr X then asked for your contact details so he could call you. We did not provide this information as this is against our data protection and security policy and Mr X rang off."

Amex have now contacted me and flagged it as against their terms and:-

"In light of this, we will void the $400 Explorer Travel Credit used as part payment for the booking and your card ending xxx will be billed for $400 instead. Mr X is also aware that the applicable flight tickets cannot be re-used and we have informed Qantas also."

Now, as i said before, i accept this as being par for the course when selling things like this on ozb and other forums, but far out is the buyer stupid or what? All he had to do is msg/email me and i could have organised the rebooking for him. Unfortunately now I am down $400, and he is down the money paid for the credit AND the extra paid for the flights…..

Rant over. Just giving everyone a heads up that maybe you should think twice about selling them, and just book a hotel away instead!


  • damn…

  • +1

    Thanks for sharing. Good reminder to everyone about risks vs rewards.

  • Why didn’t the buyer contact you?

    I’d like to hear their reasons.

    • +1

      Honest mistake maybe? The ticket was in buyer's name and thought the credit was in his name.

    • Yeah, seems very dumb - i got the impression this wasnt their first time buying these credits, and that they were aware of what they were and that they were connected directly to me. He has my phone number, email, obv my ozbargain details. I would have been happy to arrange the new flights on his behalf, but oh well…..

    • +1


  • Actually, this reminds me. I have a “family” Spotify account, and a member of my “family” was removed from the plan for not living at the same address. No idea how they worked it out, and the order “family” members were fine (one lives in QLD, and the rest are in Melbourne). The family member that was removed, lives like 10mins from my house

    • Spotify sometimes asks you or checks app location

    • +6

      haha, i love it how people go through OP's previous post for info/dirt! (i do they same!!)

      Note, this was a different sale and i would still recommend those two buyers!

      • Did they void the other $400 credit you sold?

  • +1

    It seems really unreasonable for Amex to actually charge your account $400 while at the same time voiding the flights

    • Its part of t and c. Nothing is unreasonable. The only thing unreasonable is op doing things illegally.

      • T&C don't allow companies to bypass consumer laws. I'm not saying they have broken them but to me this seems off, they have basically fined the OP $400 and I'm not sure that is right.

        • Its not a fine. Read my other reply.

        • AMEX paid Qantas for part of the flight cost, which is the Travel Credit included with the card

          Customer broke T&Cs and flight credit was voided

          AMEX still owe that $400 to Qantas. It is now from the card, not the credit. AMEX is not Qantas, they did not void the flight. They did however advise Qantas in case it is against Qantas's terms.

          • @trotsky: And Amex will be paid that $400 from the OP, they aren't out of pocket.
            Lets face it, they had the tickets cancelled. Qantas don't care who's name is on the ticket providing they are paid for the said ticket, AMEX are just doing their best to punish the OP and they have gone above and beyond here.

            • @donkcat:

              And Amex will be paid that $400 from the OP, they aren't out of pocket.

              Yes, because they took it off the card

              they have basically fined the OP $400 and I'm not sure that is right.

              No, they took the $400 off the card. They neither instructed Qantas to cancel the flight nor did they take any more than they were owed. You seem to be upset they told Qantas - well, that's one of the benefits of a business relationship like this. Amex picks up one of your customers doing something shady and then says, you best go take a look at their FF account and see what else they've been selling.

              I'm surprised this surprises you. Airlines regularly monitor forums like ozbargain, see exact point balances advertised and then swoop in and lock both parties out of their accounts. This is why you don't sell points or credits online. AMEX are not obliged to let you try it again.

              • @trotsky: "They neither instructed Qantas to cancel the flight nor did they take any more than they were owed"

                I don't see how the breach of t&c with Amex would be against the t&c of Qantas. So I think full well that Amex instructed Qantas to cancel the tickets because Amex are the client of Qantas (in this case)

      • +3

        So what are they charging the OP $400 for if the travel booking/credit/whatever is now void? I understand either cancelling the credit or billing OP $400 for the credit, but not both.

        Can't what to see what happens when OP instigates a charge-back against the credit card provider itself.

        • So what happened is, op has 400 dollar credit, which was sold and then used for booking with Qantas.

          So amex then voided the 400 credit, meaning there is still that 400 already used on the Qantas booking. So this was then charged to op.

          If op had not used the credit, then there would have been no transaction with Qantas and voiding the original credit would have sufficed.

          But in this case, it has been used (for a booking on 3rd party/qantas). So amex is within their right as per their tnc.

          I doubt op would do that, since they know they were in the wrong. Sure they can try but amex may cancel the relationship.

          • @mbck: The issue is Amex have punished the OP twice, they have both voided the used $400 credit (this makes sense) and charged it to the OP. But they have then gone a step further and contacted Qantas to basically tear up the flights or applicable flight credits. That is unreasonable as AMEX recouped their out of pocket expense (the $400) but then issued their own penalty in the way of cancelling the flights/credit (which they were paid for). If I were the OP I would contact consumer affairs to see if this is above board.
            Just because it's in their T&C doesn't mean it voids consumer laws, for example if they fined him $100k would you think that is ok because it was in their t&c?

            • @donkcat: They charged op, because op has used the credit.

              Amex voided the original credit, and because op has used the credit at Qantas, this is then charged to op. These are 2 separate things.

              Amex didn't recoup its 400 by voiding the credit. The 400 has already been used by op (or rather the buyer).

              As I mentioned before, if op didn't use the credit, they would not have been liable for this charge.

              And since the credit was used fraudulently, they have to let the 3rd party (qantas) know, that their products/services were bought fraudulently.

              If op does go down that route, I do want them to update this thread though, I am interested to hear what the financial ombudsman would say.

              • @mbck: You need to look at how much was Amex out of pocket. They were out of pocket the $400 credit (all though truth be known they would have a commercial arrangement with Qantas that might mean their out of pocket is $300 etc rather than $400). So they caught the OP breaking the T&C, so they have voided the credit and charged the OP the $400 for the Qants flights instead. No problems here, they are recouping their money from breaking the t&c.

                The issue is that Amex have then contacted Qantas and had the credit/tickets cancelled in what you claim is a fraudulent purchase. But it's not a fraudulent purchase if the OP has had to pay for the value of the tickets, it just becomes a regular purchase. Now even worse it's not just $400 lost, it's the additional money above the travel credit paid that is lost too. Now they cynic in me says that Qantas have probably fully or partially refunded AMEX the flights. It seems AMEX have had their cake and ate it too.

                • @donkcat: Ok it's good you've seen my points. I'm glad I can show the 400 credit and 400 charge are separate and it was within amex's rights to do what they did.

                  I think the points of amex having commercial agreements, etc is a moot point. That is not within the transaction of op and amex. I mean are you going to complain coles is charging you 5 bucks for something, when they're probably getting it for 10c?

                  Considering the original 400 was used fraudulently, it's fair to say the Qantas transaction was also illegal. Hence why amex has to inform Qantas and subsequently cancelled.

                  The argument of extra dollars wasted is moot as well, because the whole transaction is illegal.

                  The point of amex being refunded by Qantas is equally moot as this is a transaction between Qantas and amex.

                  • @mbck: You keep saying it's illegal, it's not illegal, it's not against the law to break a companies t&c, so lets take this illegal nonsense out of the equation.

                    It's not a fraudulent transaction the moment AMEX have billed the OP for the $400. They should have either cancelled the flight/credit with Qantas or bill the OP the $400 travel credit, it is not reasonable to do both as it's a double punishment.

                    It's not a moot point if Qantas refunded AMEX. If Qantas have refunded AMEX the $800 or what ever the ticket value was but then AMEX have fully charged the OP the $800 then that is quite relevant as the OP has paid for a service not received.

                    • @donkcat: Well, I suppose its not illegal in the sense that you will be jailed per se, but it is illegal in the sense of a commercial contract.

                      It is a fraudulent transaction, because op used the credit against the tnc. Which means any transaction linked to it must be voided due to the illegal (commercially speaking) nature of it. The whole thing is illegal. Not just a part, but the whole thing.

                      It's not a double punishment, because op has used the credit with Qantas. And since their 400 credit was voided, the 400 already used must be repaid to amex.

                      And since the transaction was voided, Qantas was informed.

                      It's not a moot point if Qantas refunded AMEX. If Qantas have refunded AMEX the $800 or what ever the ticket value was but then AMEX have fully charged the OP the $800 then that is quite relevant as the OP has paid for a service not received.

                      That is a moot point because op acted against the tnc. Whatever relationship amex has with Qantas or any other 3rd party, it doesn't cover anything. That contract is between them and not op.

                      Service is not received because op acted against the tnc. The tnc is there for a reason, to ensure fair use of service/product. The credit is supposed to be used by the owner of the credit and not to be sold. That's fair. Op broke this, and amex has the right to fix the problem in a fair way.

                      They voided the 400 credit because op broke the tnc. And because op already used the 400, this was charged against them. And because the transaction was against the tnc, the whole thing is voided, allowing them to let Qantas know.

                      I can't make it simpler than that. Anyways I think I've made my points clear and I can't break it down anymore than this.


                      • @mbck: " Well, I suppose its not illegal in the sense that you will be jailed per se, but it is illegal in the sense of a commercial contract."

                        Which means it's not Illegal, it's a breach of terms and conditions, nothing illegal about it.

                        You are really missing the point, if the OP is reimbursed AMEX the money from breaking the t&c then it's not a fraudulent transaction with Qantas, there was an attempt at deception, the OP was caught, the OP was subsequently asked to pay back the travel credit in which case they should have been entitled to receive the service they have actually ended up paying for. You argue but they breached the t&c, yes they have which is why they have forgone their travel credit but that doesn't at all mean they should have their flights cancelled as they have paid fully for the flights.

                        In fact if we look at their terms and conditions
                        " The Travel Credit must be used in good faith and cannot be sold or otherwise transferred for value. The Travel Credit may be forfeited if we reasonably determine that you are seeking payment, compensation or other value for your Travel Credit."

                        It mentions nothing about cancelling the booking, this may not even be covered by their t&c.

            • @donkcat: Slightly annoyed that they contacted Qantas - sure, get the $400 off me, but im surprised they went the extra step - amex have their money, qantas have been paid. I guess just bad luck with the covid delay putting so many flights on hold

              • @JuryWheel: They have a multi-million dollar business relationship with Qantas. For all we know it may be part of the agreement.

      • +2

        Yep, totally reasonable action by them - iwas actually lucky they didnt cancel my credit card, ban me for the future AND take all my amex points with them!! $400 was a best case scenario in some ways.

  • That's the problem of collusion with randoms - a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    One of the biggest heists of all time, the 1978 Lufthansa heist [briefly covered in the Goodfellas movie] was successful at the time, but the guy whose job it was to take the delivery van to an interstate wrecking yard and have it destroyed [thus disposing of the evidence], instead parked it in front of a fire hydrant in front of his girlfriends' place, where it was immediately found by the cops, who then knew which group of criminals to start investigating.

    Then the mafia boss got angry [and had the "this was your one job" idiot killed], then got nervous about someone else making a deal with the cops who were now investigating and had basically anyone else connected with the heist killed. About a dozen people all up, from memory.

    • Wow! Are you suggesting OP has Mr X knocked off? So drastic!

      • +3

        And make it look like an accident so they can claim the AmEx complimentary travel insurance.

        "Hello, I'd like to make a claim on a life insurance policy. My own. Yes, I'll hold".

  • It can’t be that simple, when Qantas cancelled the flight, the travel agent, Amex, received a refund.
    Did Amex hold the $400 voucher amount as a credit and refund the extra amount paid to your card or did they hold the total amount as a credit?

    They should have refunded the extra amount you paid over the voucher value and you should pass that onto the buyer.
    At that point Qantas wouldnt give a toss about any of it, they cancelled the flight and refunded the money to Amex.

    What Amex must’ve done is rebooked the flight then discovered the passenger wasn’t eligible for the voucher.

    Qantas have that free cancellation policy don’t they?
    So Qantas should just cancel the flight and return the money. Which is a voucher and the excess amount.
    Amex won’t be $400 down so they can’t charge you that. Some idiot at Amex has got all confused and thinks you owe them.

    They can only cancel your voucher and your credit card.

    Lodge a complaint with Amex and tell them you will report it to AFCA.
    The investigation will cost Amex more than $400 so they may just give you the $400 back. They might cancel your credit card though.

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