Bet You Didn’t Know: Never miss an Amex Sync deal with OffersBot

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate

 

UPDATE: As of April 2015 Twitter has disabled the auto-retweeting feature of Offersbot. However, Offersbot is still monitoring and reporting on new Amex Offers that appear. You can use this to create your own Amex Offers Twitterbot by following the instructions in this pair of posts: “Automatically Register for Only the Amex Offers You Want” and “3 ways to automate multiple Twitter accounts for Amex Offers.”

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One day last month I woke up to find one of Frequent Miler’s QuickDeals in my mailbox announcing that American Express had released a new Sync Offer for $20 off purchases of $100 or more at Staples.

Now, if you’re like me and you enjoy manufacturing spend, then a money-off deal at Staples is like finding a PS4 under the Christmas tree. Or an Xbox One. Or a Wii. Wait, is Wii even a thing anymore? I don’t know and the cool kids won’t tell me because I’m too old. Sigh.

So I jumped out of bed, signed into my Twitter account, and eagerly fired off the #AmexStaples tweet. But a few moments later, my face soured at the response…

amex sync

Sigh again. I was once again a victim of Pacific coast time. Not even awake before the deal had come and gone. I trudged away from my computer and grumpily went to make coffee. Nothing ruins my morning more than missing out on a deal before I’ve even had my coffee.

It’s not easy being on top of every one of the constantly appearing Amex Sync Offers. Not only can the offers reach their maximum participants quickly, but you also have to be super organized. (In fact, if you want a laugh about a certain idiot who recently was not super organized, venture on over to Travel Codex and read about “The Devil’s Advocate and The Gift Card Crusade of Doom.”)

The Options

Given that I’ve recently missed out twice on some great Amex Sync deals, I became determined to find a solution to my West Coast infirmity and my lack of attention to detail.

Greg has previously written about using TweetDeck to create an Amex Sync Machine. While that’s an excellent approach for syncing up multiple Amex cards with one simple tweet and avoiding the possibility of accidentally missing one of your accounts, it still requires that you manually tweet the related Amex hashtag before the offer has reached its maximum number of participants. In the case of my Staples miss, TweetDeck wouldn’t have helped as the offer was already full by the time I woke up to tweet.

Another approach is to use SyncAssist created by our friend Seth who writes the blog Wandering Aramean. Seth’s Travel Tools are both varied and awesome and I love finding helpful new search apps over at his site. His SyncAssist tool is designed to fire out new Amex hashtags as they appear, which would have gotten me the Staples offer I coveted. But the free version of SyncAssist can only be connected to one Twitter account at a time, which means you can only have it handle one Amex account. Paid versions of SyncAssist do allow multiple accounts and that’s great, but I’m greedy. I want them all for free. Hey, I live in Los Angeles. What did you expect?

Introducing OffersBot

Sigh a third time. I was ready to give up on my search. But then, just last week, a new tool emerged that aims to solve all my Amex Sync problems (and yes, I like to pretend they made it just for me). OffersBot is an automated Twitter tool that automatically tweets out Sync hashtags as Amex releases them. It’s completely free and you can sync up as many Twitter accounts as you’d like.

OffersBot is super easy to use. Simply go to their website at offersbot.io and click on the “Link Twitter Account” button.

amex sync

Then on the following screen, click on the “Authorize app” button to authorize the OffersBot app to use your Twitter account.

amex sync

That’s it. You’ve now put OffersBot in charge of automatically tweeting out new Amex Sync hashtags as they appear. Do this for each of your synced Twitter accounts and you’ll be sure to never miss another Sync deal.

OffersBot actively monitors the @AmexOffers profile, and as soon as it detects anyone successfully trying a new Sync hashtag, it adds that new hashtag to its list and tweets it out on your behalf. There’s no waiting for an actual person to load up OffersBot with the newest hashtags — it’s all automated. That means you’ll always have the latest Twitter Sync deal immediately, often even before Amex itself has tweeted about it.

If that were all Offersbot did, that’d be pretty good. But there’s an extra bonus, and this is the really cool part. Once you’ve authorized OffersBot, the app will review all your past tweets to determine which Amex hashtags you’ve already activated, and then will automatically tweet all the remaining currently active hashtags without any further prompting from you. So within a few minutes of signing up, you’re guaranteed to have every single Amex Sync Offer on your card that’s available via Twitter.

amex sync

What about privacy concerns?

The biggest downside to any Twitter app is that you’re giving a third-party open access to your Twitter account. When you don’t know that third-party very well, that can be a major leap of faith. So after trying OffersBot and finding it to be as good as advertised, I reached out via e-mail to the creators to find out a little more about them.

amex sync

Kevin Rose and Justin Fly are the software developers behind Uetin, LLC, the Florida company that built OffersBot. As a member of the manufactured spending and points & miles community, Kevin faced the same difficulty I did in keeping track of all the Sync offers on his 5 Amex branded cards. So he built a local application to track the Amex Offers account and send tweets from his own account. From there, he realized it could be easily deployed as an app for everyone.

I asked Kevin about the privacy issue and he was understandably forthright about my concerns. I’ll quote his response in full…

“Privacy is a big deal with us. We’ve laid out our commitment on our main page and are 100% behind it and never plan to change it. No human ever has access to the oauth tokens required to read or take actions on any account we are granted access to. In addition, we make no attempts to hide who we are. Our whois information is not blocked and our company information is easily accessible by searching “Uetin” at search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ ByName. Our company is fully behind the privacy and security of our users.”

This all sounds good and Kevin honestly seems like a decent guy to me. But to be frank, I’ve never met him. I’ve only talked to him by e-mail. For all I know he could have a grand plan to take over the world’s Twitter accounts one-by-one and use them to force the planet to trend #kevinrocks or #donttreadonjustin or whatever his heart desires, thereby bringing humanity to its knees. The fact is, there’s no way to know for sure.

But there’s a very simple solution to this. There’s no reason to ever use your real Twitter account for any of your Amex Sync tweeting. If you’re actively syncing more than one Amex card, you need a separate Twitter account for each card anyway. So just create a fresh Twitter account (which doesn’t need followers or to follow anyone) for every one of your Amex cards, link them to each card, and then give OffersBot access to only those Twitter accounts. That way you’ve protected yourself against OffersBot ever going crazy and telling everyone you know how much you #luvkimkardashian.

So if you want to be certain that your Amex cards are synced and ready to go before heading out for your holiday shopping, give OffersBot a shot, and many thanks to Kevin and Justin for their great work!

(Disclosure: I received no compensation whatsoever for this post and have absolutely no financial interest in OffersBot or Uetin, LLC. Which is too bad, because I think these guys are pretty smart and I’d like to get in on some of that money. I also have no personal or business connection to either Kevin or Justin aside from the e-mails we exchanged discussing OffersBot as I’ve outlined in this post.)
 

Did you know that OffersBot could automatically sync every Amex Twitter Sync Offer hashtag to your card?

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Other Recent Posts From The “Bet You Didn’t Know” Series:

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Find all the “Bet You Didn’t Know” posts here.

About Devils Advocate

The Devil's Advocate learned the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs while flying more than 200,000 miles a year as a TV producer and director for World Wrestling Entertainment (and yes, of course it’s all real). He now splits his time between New York and Los Angeles and loathes New York winters only slightly less than Los Angeles traffic.

More articles by Devils Advocate »

Pingbacks

  1. […] Enroll in this Amex Offer by linking your Amex card to your Twitter account (here) and Tweet #AmexNewegg.  You may also find this offer when you log into your Amex account under “Offers for You”.  Or, enroll automatically with OffersBot (see “Bet You Didn’t Know: Never miss an Amex Sync deal with OffersBot”). […]

Comments

  1. Most companies don’t like bots, so this will probably be short lived. But I usually hate them too. All you have to do is miss an EBay auction in the last second to understand why. Sounds like someone trying to sway the odds in their favor. Thanks for sharing, though!

  2. Nice of them to give it all away for free. Though that does make me wonder why you think there’s money to get in on with the tool. 😉

    And, FWIW, SyncAssist will retro-register you for all the active promos, too.

  3. There is a downside to such tools as this one. It will add offers mostly to people who won’t use them, while people who really want to use them will have a higher chance of missing out since there is a limited number of offers released by Amex.
    I hope that people use this tool responsibly and not sign up for every available offer.

  4. Is it possible to configure settings to detect only specific offers and tweet only those when detected? I don’t want to add all the offers that I never use.

    • That’s a great idea. What would your idea be for filtering? The big issue for us is the system is completely automated so we’d need to figure out how to analyze and filter based on some standard.

      Do you have any ideas? We are very open to offering this ability for the concerns raised in this thread.

  5. How can one confirm that the offers have been added to an account. After using OffersBot I checked one account at AMEX under ‘Offers for You’ tab and the additional syncs via OffersBot did not show up.

  6. I guess a starting point for a filter would be the store name. (I think its case sensitive). So, maybe compile a list of stores from past tweets and create check boxes for stores like BestBuy, JCPenney, BBB etc

    • Vin we do agree that this is a good idea. We are discussing it and trying to figure out a usable implementation.

      At this time if someone doesn’t want to auto enroll for all offers they can follow one of the great blogs like this one, manually monitor the offers tab on our website, or follow us on twitter (we tweet about codes as we see them).

  7. Great app! But I’m totally new to Twitter. (I’ve been getting the offers via Amex.com.) If you can please help a newbie: If I have 3 cards under my name (as primary), and my wife has 3 cards (as primary), and we are each au’s on each other’s cards, so there is a total of 12 cards, how many Twitter accounts will I need? Also, can this app be used online (from a computer) or does it need a smartphone? Thanks very much!

    • You would need 12 accounts. If you use gmail, outlook, or a few other provides it can be pretty simple. For both gmail and outloook you can add “+something” to the end of you email for each account like “kevin+ac1@gmail.com”.

      • Thanks for the clear reply. Can you (or FM) direct me to a post that has instructions for a beginner to set up a Twitter account, and set it up for Amex offers? Thanks again!

        • Never mind, I managed to figure it out. However, I am having a problem setting up multiple Twitter accounts, because it needs a mobile phone # to send a code to, and it can’t be reused on multiple accounts. So I deleted the # from the previous account, but after a few times, even that didn’t work. I’m getting this message: Your phone number failed, please try a different number.
          Any suggestions? Thanks.

        • I’ve heard this from other folks, but I’ve never had to provide a mobile number to get a Twitter account set up. I just sign up on the main page via the “New To Twitter” box, and then when Twitter starts going through the “start up” steps (where they want me to follow the NY Times and Ellen DeGeneres or whatever) I simply dump out of all that and go back to twitter.com where they ask me to verify my account via e-mail. When I do it that way, I never need to give them a phone number.

        • Thanks for the reply. I tried your idea, but it didn’t work, as it is asking for a mobile # before the account is set up. Any other ideas?

        • It asks after the 1st screen with email and user name. I’m registering on a computer. It didn’t happen the first few times, only after a few accounts with +1, +2, etc. gmail accounts.

        • So I created about 8 accounts without ever being asked for a phone number; I believe you that you’re getting it but I can’t so being able to find a correct solution is hard.

          One thing that I can think of is using a new private browsing window for each account creation. Open a private browsing tab, create account, then close that window, and restart the process.

          For information on opening a private browsing window based on your browser see http://browsers.about.com/od/faq/tp/Incognito-Browsing.htm

          Please let us know if this works so I can note it for others.

        • Kevin,
          Thanks for the tip. I managed to do it a different way: I signed up through the app on my phone; no problem whatsoever.
          Now I have a different question for you: I signed up all the Amex cards that apear on Amex.com. Now I want to sign up my Serve cards. This should work right? My question is, how do I know which offers are actually saved to these cards, as there is no website to check? Thanks again.

  8. Question:
    Is there any disadvantage to signing up for ALL the offers? (ie will this limit future targeted offers etc etc?)

    I”m more for signing up only for the offers I know I can use. The disadvantage, though, is missing out on the popular ones. I wish I had some feedback on how to help on the ideas of filtering.

    Also – frequentmiler – I love your blog (compared to the may other travel blogs I read)

    • We as a company have no data points on this since we’ve only been running for a short period. Once we get an idea related to this we’ll make it public.

      However, their are other tools (noted in the article) that have been doing this for some time now. I have not seen any reports out of them that indicate that it affects future targeted offers.

      I personally believe targeted offers are based around marketing data (such as spend amounts and stores spent at).

  9. I have few cards with amex logo like Citi aadvantage amexa, serve, bluebird. How do I link them in one twitter or amex offers facebook account?

    I have citiaadvantage amex on amex offers FB but found no option to add other amex cards.

    Thanks

  10. Like Dave, I wonder if there could be any downside to signing up for all the offers (for example, could it cause you to be less likely to qualify for some of the more targeted AMEX offers)?

    Also, aren’t there some offers that aren’t available via Twitter? So I’d still have to monitor my online AMEX account for those, correct?

    And I’d be interested if the developer (or anyone) would comment on what you think the likelihood of this being shut down by Twitter.

    Looking forward to trying it out! Thanks.

    • (Developer here)

      I can’t comment on the targeted offers question. Their are other tools that do this and no reports from their tools as such but again I can’t guarantee it as we’ve only been around for a 2 weeks.

      As for being shutdown by Twitter we are acting within Twitter’s API Terms of Service. So I doubt they would take adverse actions without us violating their API TOS.

      As for AMEX I can’t comment; but to say that their are other tools that do the same thing that have been around (noted in this article) for quite some time now.

  11. This is more a question for Kevin Rose since I see him here replying to people. Are you planning to add more feature? Just one thought I had, OfferBot sends a DM asking if I want to enroll in X off and I can reply to enroll or ignore it to not enroll. Something more selective because it seems like this may end up taking a deal away from people for an offer that may not be used by most people.

    • Bushe,

      We are looking into and discussing a few options.

      The easiest thing to do right now if you personally are concerned about this would be to just follow @OffersBot on twitter.

      The system automatically tweets about new offers right as we start to process for our users. You can then chose to enroll your self.

      We are considering filtering based on merchant type or name, and an approval based system using dm’s or text messages.

      • Awesome, this is a great product already. I am not really concerned more just curious but as you get more followers this could be a concern a fill up irrelevant(to the users/consumer) offers quickly.

  12. The bot seems to have stopped tweeting to @amexoffers, it just does the # thing! and then @amexoffers doesn’t respond or acknowledge the tweet. 🙁

  13. I have an indirectly-related question.

    While I know you can’t give me an “official” answer, generally speaking what is the risk of fully “taking advantage of” these Sync offers? I’ve heard of Amex getting upset with “abusers” of some of their cards (points schemes). If I’ve got 4 authorized users on my Amex account and the only activity they have is blatantly securing and fulfilling the bare minimum required for multiple Sync offers, am I running a risk of having Amex shut me down?

    It sounds like this community has a lot more experience with juggling multiple authorized cards to maximize Sync deals and I was hoping someone could help to calm this rookie’s nerves 🙂

  14. I’ve been using the wandr.me tool for awhile (with subscription), but I find that there is often a delay with his tool between when a new offer is released and when it’s tweeted. I missed out on the Staples offer, too, because of this delay, despite having SyncAssist! And I noticed that the Newegg offer hasn’t been registered to any of my cards yet, either. Therefore, I’m going to give OfferBot a try. My one concern is that Twitter/Amex has been known to ban people who tweet an identical tweet to too many accounts simultaneously (SyncAssist varies what it says and tweets at intervals for this reason). I’m hoping OfferBot is similarly intelligent.

    • We do vary it! Actually we’ve borrowed all of Sync Assist’s (that we saw) and tried to add our own.

      If you have ideas for tweet variants send them to support@offersbot.io with the subject “tweet text”, make sure to include #tag where you think the hashtag should be placed.

      (The list isn’t as long as we’d like it to be but we aren’t the most creative people.)

  15. Okay, so I signed up and started linking accounts, and I’m already impressed. OfferBot signed me up for no less than 4 offers that SyncAssist missed, right off the bat. It looks like they do try to vary it up a bit, too, in terms of what they tweet.

    I’m surprised that you don’t have to sign up for the OfferBot website to take advantage of the offer. While I appreciate how streamlined it is, it might be nice to have an option to sign in, so as to keep track of all ones accounts and make sure that each account had been registered for each offer. This is functionality I’d be willing to pay for, within reason.

    To people concerned about signing up for “all the offers” and shutting out people who might want the offer, in my experience, very few of the offers are limited, and those that are disappear almost immediately. 95% of the offers appear to be available to sign up for until they expire, it seems like (case in point: when I first signed up for SyncAssist, registration for every single offer available at that time went smoothly, even old offers.) Since it’s likely to happen only very rarely, I’d much rather risk shutting someone out of a deal I’m not interested in once in a while than risk losing out on a deal I am interested in, which has happened many times.

  16. So I’m curious, is there any way to view added offers on cards that are not directly supported by AmEx, ie Fidelity AmEx, WF Propel, etc etc?

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