Maximizing Amex Offers: The Complete Guide
There are many reasons why it may be a good idea to keep a large number of credit cards. I would say American Express cards are some of the best to keep, and that is in large part thanks to the Amex Offers program, which can save you money and earn you bonus points for purchases from any. kinds of retailers.
In this article, I wanted to take a closer look at how exactly the Amex Offers program works. I have to say up front that Chase has a similar program named Chase Offers, although it is not quite as convincing.
What is the Amex Offers Program?
With the Amex offers program, holders of American Express cards issued in the United States can receive statement credits or bonus membership reward points for making purchases at select retailers. The types of retailers cover most industries, from shopping to restaurants to travel.
The list of participating retailers is constantly changing, and if you really take advantage of this program it can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Presumably, Amex runs this program as a way to engage cardholders, both by encouraging them to use Amex cards more and by encouraging them to frequently check the Amex website. Additionally, in most cases, retailers also participate, in order to generate additional business from cardholders.
Which American Express cards have Amex offers?
Virtually all American Express cards issued in the United States have access to the Amex offer program. This includes:
Note that different Amex cards will have access to different Amex offers. In my experience, cards that earn Membership Rewards points often have the most generous offers, while co-branded cards often have lucrative Amex offers specific to that brand.
Tutorial: how to use Amex offers
To access Amex offers, log into your American Express account (via website or mobile app), then scroll down. There you will see a section called âAmex Offers and Benefits,â which will display all of the offers available on your account.
You can view Amex offers in the order in which American Express chooses to display them, or you can choose to filter them based on various categories, including:
- Soon expired
- Cash back
- To eat
- Additional rewards
- At the store
- In line
- To travel
Broadly speaking, there are three types of Amex offers:
- Some Amex offers are for a fixed value statement credit after making a purchase of a certain amount (e.g. spend $ 100 and get $ 25 back)
- Some Amex offers are for a certain number of Membership Rewards bonus points after making a purchase of a certain amount (eg spend $ 100 and get 2,500 bonus Amex points).
- Some Amex offers are for a certain number of bonus points per dollar spent, up to a certain limit (for example, earn 5x bonus points on the first $ 1000 spent)
In all cases, you will need to sign up for Amex offers in order to be eligible. So you will need to click on the âActivate Offerâ button for the offers you are interested in (although I suggest you read the section below on Optimizing Amex Offers before doing so).
You can also tap the arrow to the left of each offer for more details on how the offers work exactly. There are quite a few terms associated with each offer, so you’ll want to read them:
- Some retailers have geographic restrictions on where purchases can be made
- Some retailers have restrictions on the type of qualifying purchases, excluding gift cards and partner products
- Some retailers allow you to meet spending thresholds across multiple transactions, while others require purchases to be made in a single transaction.
- Some retailers allow you to shop in-store, while others require online shopping
Once registered, you will want to make a purchase directly from a retailer, following the terms set out with the offer. Shortly after making a qualifying purchase, you should receive an email confirming that the offer has been redeemed.
If the offer is for statement credit, you will often find that the credit is posted within days, even if conditions indicate it will take longer.
Tips: Maximize Value with Amex Offers
While the above is an overview of how the Amex deals program works, I wanted to provide some general tips for really maximizing the value of Amex deals, as there is a bit of nuance to doing so.
In no particular order, here are some other recommendations:
Register early for promotions from Amex offers
If you see an Amex offer that you think you can take advantage of, sign up immediately. While all offers have end dates, in some cases there is a limit on the number of people who can register. Sign up as soon as you can, because once signed up you are guaranteed to get the offer, even if you don’t make a purchase for a while. Otherwise, you risk seeing the offer disappear from your account before the expiration date.
Keep your Amex bid total below 100
Any given American Express account will display at most 100 Amex offers. Add absolutely as many Amex offers as possible to your cards, even if you don’t plan on using them. By keeping the number of new offers below 100, you are more likely to see new offers.
For example, if you are at 100 Amex deals and sign up for 10, chances are 10 more deals will appear after you log out and then log back in. It’s the easiest way to access the best deals possible.
Choose carefully the card on which you add the Amex offers
You can only add an Amex Offers promotion to one card in your profile. Once the offer is added to a card, it will disappear on other cards. Therefore, you will have to choose very carefully which card you register on.
In particular, use the card which maximizes your rewards beyond the Amex offer itself. For example, suppose there is an Amex Offers for a hotel stay and you see the offer on the following two cards:
- The Amex Platinum card offers 1x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in hotels, which I assess at a return of 1.7%
- The Amex Green Card offers 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in hotels, which I assess at a return of 5.1%
Since the Amex Green Card offers a much better return on hotel expenses, you should sign up for the offer on this card, so that you can maximize the offer and maximize your rewards. If you see an offer available on more than one card, always choose the card that offers the best rewards for spending with that retailer.
Stack Amex Deals with Shopping Portal Bonuses
Using online shopping portals is one of the best ways to maximize your online spending. Just by going through a portal like Rakuten, you can earn bonus points or bonus cash back. This is essentially a way of double dip, and it is perfectly legitimate:
- Register first for the Amex Offers promotion you want
- Then go to the online shopping portal offering the biggest bonus with the retailer you are considering
- Then pay for your purchase with the card on which your Amex Offers promotion is registered
- Then you will earn both the Amex Offers Reward and the Shopping Portal Reward
Think creatively with Amex Offers retailers
It often pays to be creative with Amex Offers retailers. For example, sometimes you may see Amex offers for department stores that you otherwise would not be able to shop at. However, keep in mind that many department stores sell third-party products at the same prices you find elsewhere. This includes things like skin care, cologne, candles, shoes, etc.
Even if you usually buy a product from another retailer, it might be worth switching retailers to maximize your rewards.
Prefer Membership Rewards points to cash
In some cases, you will see two versions of Amex offers on different cards. When you see this, one version will offer statement credit and another will offer Membership Rewards points. For example, you can see the following two options:
- Spend $ 250 or more, get $ 50 back
- Spend $ 250 or more, get 5,000 Membership Rewards points
You will always see that with this option, a Membership Rewards point is worth a cent. In the example above, you can choose to earn a bonus of $ 50 or 5,000 Membership Rewards points.
Personally, I would highly recommend earning Amex points, assuming you’re looking to maximize travel in the long run. I rate Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so for me the points offer is 70% more attractive.
Have as many Amex cards as possible
The Amex offers are one of the reasons to have as many American Express cards as possible. The more cards you have, the more access you will have to a variety of Amex offers. This is one reason why I think there is great value in buying Amex cards with no annual fee, like the Amex Blue Business Plus.
It doesn’t cost anything to hang on, having long term credit cards can help your credit score, and you can even make money with Amex offers.
Get more Amex deals by adding authorized users
While you can only add a given Amex offers offer to any of your cards, authorized credit card users can also sign up. In other words, you and your Authorized Users can potentially sign up for the same offer.
This is one reason it can pay off to have multiple authorized users on your credit cards, especially if there is no annual fee to add them.
Spread payments across multiple cards when possible
Let me explain this in the form of an example. Suppose you and your spouse both see the above offer for $ 100 off when you spend more than $ 500 at Virgin hotels. Suppose you book an eligible hotel and the bill exceeds $ 1,000. Upon checkout, you could each pay $ 500 with your respective card, and then both of you would earn a $ 100 credit on your statement (assuming both of you are registered, etc.).
While not all online retailers allow you to split purchases, in-person retailers generally will, which can allow you to maximize rewards.
At the end of the line
When many people think about the main benefits of Amex cards, the Amex offer program is probably not the first thing that comes to their mind. However, it is often overlooked and saves me hundreds of dollars a year and also earns me lots of Membership Rewards bonus points.
With a little creativity and effort, this is an awesome program worth using. These offers cover more than the annual fee for some of my Amex cards and even allow me to “earn” money on some cards with no annual fee.
What has been your experience with the Amex offers program?