Update: Some of the credit card offers and benefits below have expired. Please click here to see the best offers currently available.
Amex just came out with yet another awesome Amex Offer: Spend $200+ at AT&T, Get 2,000 Membership Rewards (there is also a Spend $200+, Get $20 variation). This offer is repeatable 3 times, so it is an easy 6,000 Membership Rewards points per targeted card for AT&T customers. At the current Reasonable Redemption Value of 1.82 cents per point, those 6,000 points are arguably worth $109 or more towards flights when transferred to airline partners and used for valuable awards. Even better, if you have a Business Platinum card that still qualifies for the 50% pay with points rebate (offer expired), those 6,000 points are easily worth $120 in flights.
I am an AT&T customer and I have this offer on three cards, so I’ll earn 18,000 Membership Rewards points by paying my AT&T bills $200 at a time. That’s worth $360 in flights if I use my Business Platinum pay with points 50% rebate (offer expired). Pretty sweet.
Then there was the recent Spend $50, Get $10 Back OfficeMax/Office Depot offer. I had this offer on 7 cards, so I took those 7 cards to Office Depot and bought a $350 Amazon gift card. I paid $50 at a time in order to trigger the $10 back on each of my cards. In the end, I got a $350 Amazon gift for $280 — 20% off. I’ll take 20% off anything at Amazon, any day.
And, don’t forget the highly targeted Bloomingdale’s offer which initially offered $75 back on $200 spend (37.5% off) and then added another $30 back on $150 spend (20% off). These offers can be easily stacked with portal rewards, coupons, and sales to buy stuff at Bloomingdale’s at a fantastic discount.
Going back in time a bit, I’ll remind you of one of the best ever Amex Offers (in my opinion): Spend $100+, Get 20% Back at Sam’s Club. The thing that made this deal incredible was that they capped the 20% back at $250. It was therefore possible to buy $1,250 worth of gift cards at Sam’s Club for 20% off. If you bought Visa gift cards, you could still easily clear over $200 with each Amex card enrolled in that offer even after accounting for card activation and liquidation fees.
How to get targeted
Every time we publish details about a great Amex Offer, people ask why they weren’t targeted. Or, they ask, “How can I get targeted in the future?”
We don’t know the secret sauce Amex uses to target people or cards, but there are several things you can do to greatly increase your chances.
1. Get every type of Amex card
Amex treats consumer cards and small business cards very differently. They also treat cards that earn Membership Rewards points differently from those that earn other types of rewards. Frequently offers are available for one type, but not another.
The Spend $50, Get $10 OfficeMax offer was targeted only to Amex business cards. And the Spend $200, Get 2K Membership Rewards points AT&T offer was even more highly targeted only to business Membership Rewards cards. True, there was also a $20 cash back variety available to other Amex business cards, but I’ll take 2K Membership Rewards points over $20 any day.
Similarly, there have been many offers targeted only to Membership Rewards cards (consumer or business). Often these offers take the form of bonus Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. A good example is the Whole Foods offer we recently published:
It’s possible, or even likely, that there are additional types of Amex cards that are uniquely targeted to offers, but at the least I’d argue that it makes sense to have at least one of each of these:
- Consumer Membership Rewards cards.
- Consumer Non-Membership-Rewards cards.
- Business Membership Rewards cards
- Options with no annual fee include:
Blue for BusinessUpdate: This offer has expired and/or is not currently available through Frequent Miler
- Options with no annual fee include:
- Business Non-Membership-Rewards cards
- Options with no annual fee include: SimplyCash Plus
Above, I listed only Amex cards with no annual fees, but there are many excellent cards with fees too. See our Best Offers page for details. Note too that Amex limits cardholders to 4 or 5 primary credit card accounts. Charge cards (such as Amex Platinum cards, Premier Rewards Gold, Business Gold Rewards, etc.) are not similarly restricted, but as far as I know they all have annual fees.
2. Get lots of Amex cards
You don’t have to get new Amex accounts in order to get additional Amex cards. With Amex, every authorized user card has its own card number and is independently eligible for Amex Offers. With most Amex card accounts you can add authorized user cards for free. Even Platinum cardholders can request up to 99 authorized user Gold Cards for no additional fee.
Another way to get lots of free Amex cards is through Bluebird and Serve prepaid cards. Bluebird is completely free, and Serve is completely free if you live in Texas, New York, or Vermont, or the fee can be waived on certain Serve cards with a $500 deposit each month.
You can have both a Bluebird and a Serve card, and you can freely add four sub-accounts to each for a total of 10 prepaid cards. These cards don’t tend to get the best targeted offers, but they are eligible for Twitter and other self-enrolling offers.
For more about Serve, see: Complete guide to the many flavors of Serve. Which is Best? And you can find information about both cards here: Complete guide to Bluebird and Serve.
3. Enroll quickly and, when possible, automatically
The best Amex Offers have limited enrollment. If you don’t add the offers to your account in time, you may lose out.
Offers available through Twitter can be automatically added to your cards, but it does take a bit of prep work to do so. See “Complete guide to Amex Offers” for details.
Targeted offers appear in your Amex online account and must be added manually. New offers can appear at any time, so your best bet is to check your account daily and/or subscribe to blogs like this one so that you’ll be alerted when desirable new offers have been spotted.
4. Consider creating separate online accounts for each card
Once you add an offer to a card, you cannot add it to any other Amex card within the same online account unless you first do the multi-tab trick (open every card account in a separate tab and then proceed to add the offer to each card).
As Miles per Day has pointed out, Amex sometimes rolls out offers over time. At any given time, you may see an offer on just one of your cards, but if you’re patient it may show up on other cards later (hours or days later). The problem is that if you already added the offer to the first card, it won’t show up on any other cards within the same account. One solution is to setup a separate online account for every card.
Personally, I think it would be more work than it’s worth to setup and monitor so many online accounts, so I’m not going to bother with this suggestion. But, if maximizing Amex Offer opportunities is your primary goal, you may want to consider it.
Note: There is an alternative to setting up separate log-in accounts. If you added an offer to one card and want to get that offer on other cards, you can simply remove the first card from your online account. Then, when you log-in again, the offer may be present on your other cards. After adding the offer to your other cards, you can add the original card back to your account.
Amex Offers can be amazingly lucrative. To maximize your chances of getting in on all of the best offers, you should:
- Get every type of Amex card
- Get lots of Amex cards (via authorized user and employee cards)
- Enroll quickly and, when possible, automatically
- Consider creating separate online accounts for each card
For additional details about Amex Offers, please see: Complete guide to Amex Offers.