Amex Offers is a unique program from American Express that awards bonus points & statement credits for shopping at specific merchants. In this guide we will talk in great detail about the program, describe how to load offers to your cards and show you many different ways to maximize Amex Offers.
What is Amex Offers?
According to the official FAQ, “Amex Offers is a program that saves you money or earns you points on shopping, dining and more. You can choose offers from brands you love and get discounts in the form of statement credits on your account or as extra points added to your Membership Rewards® account.”
In reality there are many uses for Amex Offers which we will get into. Many of the offers are only good if you frequent a specific merchant often, however others can amount to great discounts and even help with manufacturing spend.
Which cards are eligible?
American Express lists the following cards as eligible for Amex Offers:
- Any valid U.S. American Express personal Card issued by American Express, or Business Card from American Express OPEN®, is eligible to participate in Amex Offers using an americanexpress.com account or through all participating social media channels.
- Any valid American Express Card issued by a licensed third-party financial institution is only eligible for Amex Offers through all participating social channels.
- Any valid American Express Serve® Card and BlueBird® Card are only eligible for Amex Offers on the social channels of Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. (Note: They have added access to some Amex Offers on the Serve & Bluebird apps as well.)
Note that corporate cards and the Target Prepaid REDCard (REDbird) are not eligible for Amex Offers. Authorized user cards are eligible as long as they have a different card number from the main card.
Ways to get a lot of eligible cards
Since it is often possible to load Amex Offers to multiple cards, it can be helpful to have as many American Express cards as possible on hand. Here are a few ways to get additional cards:
Sign up for credit cards
One obvious way to get a lot of Amex cards is to sign up for a lot of cards. There are, of course, limits to how many Amex will let you open though. In fact, Amex limits most people to 4 total credit cards where they are the primary account holder (charge cards and prepaid cards are not counted towards that limit). And, since many cards have annual fees, this is probably not the best way to scale up for Amex Offers.
Add authorized users
For each credit card or charge card account you have, you can add authorized users, often for free. In most cases you will have to provide a valid SSN for that user. Those extra cards can be used for Amex Sync offers.
Sign up for Serve/Bluebird
Serve and Bluebird are very similar prepaid cards issued by American Express. Each person can have only one Bluebird/Serve card, but each Bluebird/Serve account can also have up to 4 subaccounts and these subaccounts are eligble to participate in Amex Offers.
You will not get money back with these offers unless you register first. There are a number of ways to register for most promotions:
- American Express Website: When you log into your Amex account, scroll down to the bottom of the Account Home page and look under “Amex Offers & Benefits”. You will see a few offers and can click “Load More” to see every available offer on that card. Once you’ve added an offer to your account, it will appear under the “Added to Card” section. Don’t do this yet, though! Once you add an offer to your account, the offer will disappear from other credit cards linked to the same Amex log-in. Keep reading to find out how to avoid that problem.
- Mobile Apps: Both the Bluebird and Serve apps have the functionality to load Amex Offers. This app method only works for the Serve & Bluebird cards, not for regular American Express cards.
- Offer Registration Page: Some non-targeted offers have their own registration page. You can see an example of this with the recent Discover L.A. Hotels promotion.
- Sync card to Facebook: You can go to this page and “Connect with Facebook”. You can connect one Amex card to one Facebook account. Once connected, go to the Amex Sync Facebook page to add offers to your card.
- Sync card to Twitter: You can go to this page and “Connect with Twitter”. You can connect one Amex card to one Twitter account. Once connected, go to Twitter and tweet the hashtag for each promotion you’re interested in (you can find a full list on this SlickDeals wiki). Examples: #AmexAmazon, #AmexBP, etc.
Note that not all promotions are available through all channels. Also note that you cannot register for the same promotion twice through different channels if they are tied to the same Amex card.
How to Load Each Type of Card
There are two types of Amex Offers, targeted and non-targeted. Lets breakdown how to load each type of offer to each type of card.
It used to be more rare to see targeted offers, however American Express has really increased their frequency lately. Additionally, they have started adding regional offers as well such as this one for New York Restaurant Week.
Targeted offers can only be loaded to your account in the following ways:
- Personal or Business Cards issued by American Express: Load on the Amex website as described above.
- American Express cards issued by another bank: Not eligible for targeted offers.
- American Express Serve or Bluebird cards: Load via their respective mobile apps and/or websites.
Non-targeted offers can be loaded to your American Express cards in a variety of ways. In addition to the ways mentioned below, some offers have their own unique registration pages. A good example of this was the recent Discover L.A. Hotels promotion.
Non-Targeted offers can only be loaded to your account in the following ways:
- Personal or Business Cards issued by American Express: American Express website, Twitter, Facebook.
- American Express cards issued by another bank: Twitter, Facebook.
- American Express Serve or Bluebird cards: Respective mobile apps and/or websites, Twitter, Facebook.
Registering multiple Amex cards
If you have more than one Amex card and want to register for the same promotion with each card, there are several ways to do that:
- Multiple Browser Tabs
- Multiple Amex sign-ons
- Multiple Twitter accounts (or Facebook)
- Sync, register, un-sync, repeat
- Multiple channels
Of these options, the “Multiple Tabs” option is generally the quickest, so we will start there.
Multiple Browser Tabs
Open your American Express account in multiple tabs on the same browser. Within each tab, pick a different credit card and navigate to the “Amex Offers & Benefits” section. Once all browser tabs show a different credit card, but the same offer, then go one by one to each tab and click “Add to Card”. This needs to be done fairly quickly or else you will get an error message.
If you somehow loaded an offer to one card, but forgot to do the multiple browser trick, you will notice that it disappears from all of the other cards on the same Amex login. Luckily there is a somewhat complicated way to get the offers back if this happens. For more info, see: Amex Offers: How to Make an Offer Magically Reappear.
Multiple Amex Sign-ons
You can also create a separate American Express sign-in for each of your cards. This can get quite confusing and time consuming as well.
Multiple Twitter Accounts
It is also possible to create a Twitter account for each of your American Express cards. (This works with Facebook too, but Twitter is the easiest.) Some people use a specific username and then add the last four digits of their card number. For example, “FrequentMiler52345” could be a Twitter account linked to an American Express card ending in 52345. To register, you can use the gmail trick to create multiple aliases that all come to the same email address.
Sometimes it can be difficult when trying to create multiple Twitter accounts at the same time since they track your IP and device. Often after creating 1 or 2 accounts Twitter will require that you use a phone number to verify the account. If you run out of phone numbers there are a few tricks that can be used to get around this verification. For more information see: Strategies for Registering Multiple Twitter Accounts for Amex Offers & Getting Around Phone Verification.
Once you have a Twitter account setup for each Amex card, make sure to sync the corresponding card to its account and don’t forget to Tweet the appropriate hashtags when trying to enroll in each promotion. Offersbot and SyncAssist were services that automatically tweeted offers from your accounts, but they have been shutdown by Twitter.
There may be a new way to automatically sync Amex Offers. For more information see: How I Automated My Twitter Accounts to Sync With Amex Offers.
Sync, register, un-sync, repeat
You can sync a card to your Twitter account, tweet out the hashtag and then unsync it. You would then repeat for each Amex card. You may have to change up your tweets slightly each time to avoid getting the message “Whoops! You already tweeted that!”
Another option for registering multiple cards, is to sync each card with a different social network. For example, if you have 3 Amex cards, you could sync one with Twitter, one with Facebook, and use the American Express website for the third. The problem with this approach is that not all offers appear everywhere.
Maximizing Your Savings
Now that we have talked about how to register offers to your various eligible cards, we can talk about maximizing your savings with Amex Offers.
Buying Merchandise & Store Gift Cards
One of the best uses for Amex Offers is to purchase merchandise you already need. Since Amex Offers can be combined with coupons, store sales and portal cashback, they provide a fantastic way to save on everyday purchases.
If you don’t have a need for a particular merchant’s products right away, you can normally buy their gift cards for use later. For example, when Whole Foods had a $10 off $75 deal, it was possible to purchase one of their gift cards in $75 increments.
See: Maximizing Amex Offers: Extreme Savings for an example of stacking the best deal, portal cashback and an Amex Offer to achieve an almost 40% overall discount.
What if you don’t shop at a particular store? Thankfully by utilizing one of three “shop elsewhere” techniques you can still take advantage of many Amex Offers.
Buy gift cards in-store
If a store with a good Amex Offer sells gift cards to other merchants, then it’s pretty easy to get achieve savings even if you intend to shop elsewhere. Here are a couple of examples of recent Amex Offers in which this would work:
- Best Buy, spend $250, get $25 back (Expired): Many Best Buy stores sell Amazon Kindle and even Visa gift cards in-store. This will only give you 10% off, but that’s better than nothing! Also keep in mind that gift card purchases should qualify for My Best Buy points.
- Lowe’s, spend $50, get $10 back (Expired): Lowe’s sells a huge variety of merchant gift cards spread across a wide range of categories. Since $50 is a very common value, this recent deal made it incredibly easy to purchase gift cards at a 20% discount.
Buy gift cards online
Some merchants sell gift cards to other merchants online. And, some Amex Offers are valid online only. Here are a few examples of recent Amex Offers in which you could buy gift cards online:
- Staples.com, spend $100, get $25 back (Expired, valid online only): Staples sells a large variety of gift cards online. When buying a $100 gift card online you would receive a $25 statement credit. That amounts to a 25% savings.
- Newegg.com, spend $200, get $25 back (Expired, valid online only): Newegg sells a wide variety of gift cards online. This deal amounted to a 12.5% discount which is decent. It is especially nice since the $200 purchase requirement is a round number, making it fairly easy to hit on the nose.
Buy & upgrade
Sometimes, the best way to get the gift card you really want is to buy a merchant’s gift card and then use that gift card to “upgrade” to a different one. Here is an example of a recent Amex Offer in which this could be done:
- Walmart.com, spend $15, get $5 back (valid online only): Buy a $15 Walmart gift card online, then take it in-store to get the gift card(s) you really want or to combine multiple Walmart gift cards into one card.
Make sure to check the Frequent Miler Laboratory for information about which merchants allow buying gift cards with gift cards.
Get Points & Cashback for Free without Shopping
Sometimes it is also possible to find ways to buy things (usually gift cards) to get Amex statement credits and sell or liquidate those things so as to get most of your money back. The benefits of doing this can include:
- Earn a profit
- Earn points & miles from your Amex credit cards, and from online shopping portals.
- Increase credit card spend to meet sign-up bonus requirements, or to earn bonuses from high spend.
There are three main ways of doing this which we will talk about.
Buy & sell merchant gift cards
Online gift card resellers will buy merchant gift cards for a percentage of their value in order to sell them to someone else. Depending on the merchant, you can get upwards of 90% of the face value of gift cards from resellers. A good tool to use to find the payouts is GiftCardWiki.com. They compare the payouts from all of the major gift card resellers in one place.
The basic idea of this method is to use Amex Offers to acquire the gift cards at a discount and then sell them for more than you paid. At the very least you will have manufactured some spend and earned some credit card rewards.
Things to look for:
- Most gift card resellers require gift card values of $20 or more.
- Some resellers pay less for e-gift cards than they do for physical gift cards.
- For some merchants, many resellers will not purchase e-gift cards.
- Read the Amex Offer terms carefully. Some promos explicitly exclude gift cards, but those exclusions are rarely enforced.
Also, keep in mind that things can go wrong. Resellers can change their payout amounts without notice. Gift cards can get lost in the mail, etc. So, buying and reselling gift cards does incur some risk.
For more information about this method along with a few examples of recent deals see: Get Points & Cash for Free
Buy & liquidate Visa/Mastercard gift cards
Sometimes you can find Amex Offers for stores that sell pin-enabled Visa/Mastercard gift cards. Once purchased it may be possible to load these to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart or liquidate them in a variety of other ways.
There are three main ways you can buy & liquidate Visa/Mastercard gift card with Amex Offers:
1. Buy MasterCard/Visa gift card in-store from merchant: For example, in the past Amex ran an Officemax promo for $10 back from a $50 purchase. Officemax sells Visa gift cards in-store in a variety of denominations, but the best deal is generally a $200 card for $206.95. While there are many variations on how to take advantage of a deal like that, a simple approach was to go in-store with four synced Amex cards and ask to split the purchase evenly across them. This way, you would have earned $40 back from the $206.95 purchase, for a total profit of $33.05 across four cards.
2. Buy MasterCard/Visa gift card online from merchant: Very few merchants sell Visa or MasterCard gift cards online. Two that do are Staples and Walmart. At Staples.com, for example, you can buy a $100 Visa gift card for $106.95. With recent promos such as $25 off $100 at Staples.com, your total cost for this gift card would be $81.95. That’s a quick $18.05 profit.
3. Buy merchant gift cards and use to buy MasterCard/Visa gift cards in-store: This approach is tricky because few stores will let you buy gift cards with gift cards. And, of those where the register will allow it, not all cashiers will allow it.
The terms of most Amex Offers state that the credit should post within 90 days, however in reality it normally posts within a few days. If you have not received a credit, verify that you properly saved the offer to your card and then contact American Express.
For more, see: Amex Offer Not Posting, What to Do?
- Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 1: sync multiple cards
- Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 2: extreme savings
- Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 3: shopping elsewhere
- Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 4: forget shopping, get points and cash for free
- More free cash from Amex via Serve subaccounts
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Never miss an Amex Sync deal with OffersBot
- Frequent Miler Laboratory
- Amex Offers Official FAQ