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.”
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…
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.”)
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?
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.
Then on the following screen, click on the “Authorize app” button to authorize the OffersBot app to use your Twitter account.
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.
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.
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.)
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Last updated on December 20th, 2018