Just a quick ‘how the world works’ post since many people seem to not understand. Yesterday, TopCashBack (TCB) dropped cashback from $2000 cards to $200 denom cards only. The reaction from many was to chase around other portals.
That’s not how it works. This is how it works:
- Amex pays Cashback site X
- Cashback site passes along X-Y to customer
- Customer earns Z (X-Y)
TCB does not suddenly decide to kill their own revenue by screwing the customer. They simply have to pass along a cut of whatever they are paid, and if they aren’t paid, they can’t pass it along.
Amex could suddenly decide to cut off TCB from their list of favorites, and only work with obscure sites you’ve hardly heard of. This could come from an internal political decision. However, it is very unlikely to occur in one of the most well known partners.
Ergo, Amex cut the money. If you find a site that hasn’t updated their terms to reflect this one of two things have happened:
- They forgot, or didn’t get the message.
- You missed it in the fine print.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
If you think you ‘scored’ by placing an order with a smaller site and copying the terms and conditions to later coerce them into paying you, what are you really doing? They didn’t get paid by Amex, so you are taking money out of their pockets because they forgot/were traveling/ weren’t aware. Small businesses cannot sustain this outflow demand without inflow. I could see some entrepreneurial young folk setting up a cashback site, and could imagine them enjoying a vacation somewhere, only to wake up to see that all this happened in just a few hours. You’ll either get your payout out of their own pocket, or they will fold, or both.
Last night I watched one blog sending out ‘blow by blow’ updates about the sites who were still offering cashback. Do you think that these sites were changing because they were in deep negotiations with Amex, or because they just heard the news that they were exposed by a rule change?
Now you know how it works, are you still OK with demanding your payout?