Amex Offers multi-tab trick still not dead, but deader than before

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This is a quick update to Nick’s post yesterday: Not totally dead: Some Amex Offers still loadable to multiple cards.  In that post, he documented the results of some experiments I had run when trying to load Amex Offers to multiple cards in my name via the multi-tab trick (see Nick’s post for an explanation).

I had reported to Nick (and he had posted) that the following offers worked with the multi-tab trick:

  • Tripfuel
  • Shutterfly
  • Wayfair
  • Staples 2X
  • Amazon 3X
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Martha Stewart Wine
  • BJs
  • Cole Haan
  • Pier 1
  • McCafe
  • Kimpton

And that the following offers would not sync to both cards via the multi-tab trick:

  • Crate & Barrel
  • Staples $5 back
  • THE PENINSULA HOTELS-NYC+BEVERLY HILLS

New Offers?

This morning, two new offers appeared on most of my accounts (Touch of Modern, Tervis Tumbler) and I was unable to load either of them to more than one card.  This seemed to support the theory that new offers don’t work, but old offers do.  Yesterday we also had a counter-example in which I couldn’t get the Crate & Barrel offer to load to two cards.  Strangely, I now see the offer was loaded to both cards despite the fact that I got an error yesterday.

So, I was starting to feel good about the “new offer” theory until I re-checked my other results…

Disappearing Offers

Yesterday, before reporting my results to Nick, I had carefully logged out of Amex and logged into both the current and old interface to double check that the offers that I thought were loaded to two cards really were.  And, yes, they appeared to be on both cards.

Today, I looked again, and the results had changed.  Of the list of offers that seemed to work yesterday, I got weird results today (the following results were consistent across the new and old interface):

  • These are still on both cards:
    • Staples 2X
    • Amazon 3x
    • Kimpton
  • These are missing from BOTH cards:
    • Kindle
    • Martha Stewart
    • BJs
    • Pier 1
  • These are only on ONE card:
    • Tripfuel
    • Wayfair
    • Cole Haan
    • McCafe

What’s going on?  I don’t know, but it seems like we can’t assume that just because an offer appeared to get loaded to multiple cards that it really did.  And with the Crate & Barrel example, we can’t assume that an error really means that it failed.  Hmmph.

Terms & Conditions?

In response to Nick’s post, a few readers suggested correlating the results with the terms & conditions.  Different offers use different wording to say that you can only use the offer once.  I dug through the terms of all of the above offers and found 6 variations:

  • “per American Express® Card”
  • “per Card Member”
  • “per American Express Card online account.”
  • “per American Express® online account”
  • “per household”
  • “per person”

It would all make sense if the multi-tab trick worked with some of these terms, but not with others, but that’s not what I found.  Using just the limited set of data from above, I found the following:

  • per American Express® Card: Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t
  • per Card Member: Doesn’t work
  • per American Express Card online account.: Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t
  • per American Express® online account: Doesn’t work
  • per household.: Doesn’t work
  • per person.: Doesn’t work

The newest offers all seem to use the “per Card Member” limit, and they do indeed seem to be coded to allow being loaded to only one card per member.  Other than that, I couldn’t find a reliable pattern.

Anyone’s Guess

Does Amex always intend to limit offers to one per person, but they just haven’t quite gotten it right yet?  Or, does Amex intend to allow for some offers to be usable across cards and others not?  I have no idea.  What do you think?

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