There are many reasons why it may make senseHold a lot of credit cards. I'd argue that American Express cards are some of the most compelling to hold onto, and that's largely thanks to the Amex Offers program, which allows you to save money and earn bonus points on purchases at all types of retailers.
In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at how exactly the Amex Offers program works. I should say up front that Chase has a similar program by the name ofJob opportunities, although it's not quite as convincing.
In this post:
What is the Amex Offers program?
The Amex Offers program allows US-issued American Express cards to receive statements or bonus Membership Rewards points for purchases at select retailers. The types of retailers cover most industries from shopping to restaurants to travel.
The list of participating retailers is always changing, and if you really take advantage of this program, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.
Amex is believed to be running this program to target cardholders by encouraging them to use Amex cards more often and by encouraging them to visit the Amex website frequently. In addition, in most cases, the retailers also participate in order to generate additional business from cardholders.
Which American Express cards have Amex offers?
Almost all US-issued American Express cards have access to the Amex Offers program. This contains:
- Personal and Business Amex Cards
- Credit Cards and Charge Cards
- Amex cards thisEarn Amex Membership Rewards points
- Co-branded Amex cards as issued in partnership withDelta,Hilton,Marriott, etc.
Note that different Amex cards 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: Using Amex Offers
To access Amex Offers, log into your American Express account (either through the website or mobile app), then scroll down. There you will see a section labeled "Amex Offers and Benefits" which will display all the offers available for your account.
You can view Amex offers in the order American Express displays them, or you can filter them based on a variety of categories including:
- Expires soon
- cash back
- Additional Rewards
- In stock
In general, there are three types of Amex offers:
- Some Amex offers are for a fixed value credit after you've made a purchase for a certain amount (e.g. spend $100 and get $25 back).
- Some Amex offers are valid for a certain number of bonus Membership Rewards points after purchasing a certain amount (e.g. 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 (e.g. earn 5x bonus points for the first $1,000 spent).
In all cases, you must register for Amex offers in order to qualify, so be sure to click the "Activate Offer" button on the offers that interest you (although I suggest reading the section below on maximizing Amex to read offers beforehand).
You can also click the arrow to the left of each offer for more details on exactly how the offers work. Each offer comes with a few terms and conditions that you should read:
- Some retailers have geographic restrictions on where purchases can be made
- Some retailers have restrictions on the type of purchases, with the exception of gift cards and partner products
- Some retailers allow you to reach spending limits 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 you to shop online
Once registered, you may wish to purchase directly from a retailer, following the terms and conditions set out with the offer. Shortly after you make a qualifying purchase, you should receive an email confirming that the offer has been redeemed.
If the offer is a statement credit, you'll often find that the credit comes within days, even though the terms indicate it will take longer.
Tips: Maximize value with Amex deals
While the above is an overview of how the Amex Offers program works, I wanted to share some general tips to really maximize the value of Amex Offers as this is a little nuanced.
Here are some other recommendations, in no particular order:
Sign up early for Amex Offers promotions
If you see an offer from Amex Offers that you think you might take advantage of, register immediately. While all offers have end dates, in some cases there is a cap on the number of people who can register. Sign up asap because once you're registered, you're guaranteed to have the offer even if you don't buy anything for a while. Otherwise, the offer may disappear from your account before the expiry date.
Keep your Amex listings under 100 overall
A maximum of 100 Amex offers will be displayed for each American Express account. Be sure to add as many Amex deals to your cards as you can, even if you don't think you'll take advantage of them. By keeping the number of new deals below 100, you will most likely see new offers.
For example, if you are on 100 Amex offers and sign up for 10, there is a good chance that if you log out and then back in, 10 more offers will appear. This is the easiest way to get access to the best possible deals.
Carefully choose the card you add Amex offers to
You can only add an Amex Offers promotion to one card in your profile. Once the offer is added to a map, it disappears from other maps. Therefore, you should choose the card on which you register very carefully.
In particular, use the card that maximizes your rewards beyond what Amex Offers offers. Suppose there is an offer from Amex Offers for a hotel stay and you see the offer on the following two cards:
- TheAmex Platinkarteoffers 1x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on hotels, which I estimate to be a 1.7% return
- TheAmex Greencardoffers 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on hotels, which I estimate to be a 5.1% return
Because the Amex Green Card offers a much better return on hotel spend, you should register for the offer on this card so you can maximize the offer and maximize your rewards. If you see an offer that is available on multiple cards, always choose the card that offers the best rewards for spending at that retailer.
Stack Amex deals with shopping portal bonuses
Use of online shopping portalsis one of the best ways to maximize your online spending. Only forgo through a portal like Rakuten, you can collect bonus points or bonus cashback. This is essentially a double dip opportunity, and it's perfectly legitimate:
- First register for the desired Amex Offers promotion
- Then go to the online shopping portal with the biggest bonus at the retailer you are considering
- Then pay for your purchase using the card on which your Amex Offers promotion is registered
- Then you will get both the Amex Offers reward and the shopping portal reward
Think creatively with Amex Offers traders
It often pays to be creative with Amex Offers traders. For example, you may sometimes see Amex deals for department stores where you might not otherwise shop. However, keep in mind that many department stores sell third-party products at the same prices you would find elsewhere. This includes things like skincare, cologne, candles, shoes, etc.
Even if you would normally buy a product from a different retailer, it might be worth switching retailers to maximize your rewards.
Choose Membership Rewards points over cash
In some cases, you'll see two versions of Amex deals on different maps. If you see this, one version is offering a statement credit and another is offering Membership Rewards points. For example, you may see the following two options:
- Spend $250 or more and get $50 back
- Spend $250 or more and earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points
You'll see time and time again that with this option, a Membership Rewards point is valued at one cent. In the example above, you can choose to earn a $50 credit or 5,000 Membership Rewards bonus points.
Personally, I'd highly recommend earning Amex points, assuming you're looking to maximize travel over the long term. IWertMembership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so the points offer is 70% more valuable to me.
Have as many Amex cards as possible
Amex Offers is one reason to have as many American Express cards as possible. The more cards you have, the more Amex deals are available to you. That's one reason I think there's great value in thatCollection with no annual fee Amex cards, HowAmex Blue Business Plus.
It doesn't cost anything to hold on to themLong-term credit card ownership 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 specific Amex Offers offer to one of your cards, authorized card users can also register. In other words, you and your authorized users may be able to register for the same deal.
This is one reasonIt might pay off to have multiple authorized userson your credit cards, especially if there's no annual fee to add them.
If possible, split payments across multiple cards
Let me explain this with an example. Suppose you and your spouse both see the above offer back for $100 when you spend $500 or more at Virgin Hotels. Let's say you book an eligible hotel and the bill is over $1,000. Upon checking out, you could each pay $500 with your respective card, and then you would both receive a $100 credit (assuming you both registered, etc.).
While not all online retailers allow you to split purchases, retailers typically do, and this can allow you to maximize rewards.
When many people think of the main advantages of Amex cards, the Amex offer program is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. It's often overlooked, however, and it saves me hundreds of dollars a year and also earns me lots of bonus Membership Rewards points.
With a little creativity and effort, this is a great program worth using. These deals cover more than the annual fees of some of my Amex cards and even allow me to "make money" on some cards with no annual fee.
What is your experience with the Amex Offers program?