Sunday Reader Question: How Can I Get In On Targeted Offers?

by on April 15, 2012 · 5 comments

in Sunday Reader Questions

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This week, I got an email from TPG reader Gene asking a question that is on a lot of people’s minds:

“Can you address the question of “targeting” and why some people are and some are not targeted for big credit card bonuses or discounts like the latest Amex promotion with hotel gift cards at the reduced level of 9600 points. I am sure you have other readers like myself who have not been recipients of this ‘targeting’ and yet like myself, spend a substantial amount with Amex each month (about $20,000-$30,000 average per month for me). Yet I get nothing. I have contacted Amex numerous times and they are totally brain dead with their responses.”

While most people toss out snail mail credit card offers, I always open them with as much fervor as someone trying to get Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Credit card companies, airlines, hotels (and pretty much any other company) know that word spreads instantly in the internet age, so they’ve resorted to running niche targeted promotions, often via US Mail, to protect themselves in the case that the promotion goes viral. Why do they do this? There are a lot of reasons, but mostly to generate revenue among a target population. After all, marketing budget may not be able to handle everyone getting in on the offer, but they perhaps want to entice a certain population to spend/stay/fly more.

There’s not a whole lot you can do to be considered for targeted promotions, but I have two pieces of advice:

1) Make sure you are signed up to receive marketing emails. I know we are accustomed to opting out of emails, but I always read my credit card/airline/hotel emails, because once in a while a great deal comes through.

To change your email preferences with American Express, login -> Profile & Preferences -> Update Contact Information -> General Marketing Email Preferences. Make sure you have the “New Card & Credit Offers” tab under American Express Services checked off.

Amex email preferences page

2) Always ask to be considered for a targeted offer. While most companies will shut you down if you ask to be included, it never hurts to ask. Sometimes you might even be targeted, but never received the notification so I always try to sign up anyway – can’t hurt.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Jt Gonzales

    While I was reading flyer talk last week this discussion came up. One of the consistent themes was people who used the AMEX concierge 5 or more times a year for restaurant reservations got the restaurant gift cards. Those who used it for other things (movie tickets, sports tickets etc) got other offers as well. Those who have never used the concierge never got the offers.

  • tassojunior

    #1- Don’t already be a good customer.

    Targeting is usually done to people a company desires to get as customers. Not to already good ones. Chase & AmEx csr’s have already confirmed this to me.

    I have 3 rental apartments with which I share a mail slot. All three tenants are upper middle income. None of the 3 have credit cards to speak of. I have about 20. They get the big targeted promos. I get none even though whenever I phone Chase to move a credit line for a new card they tell me what an especially valued customer I am.

    OTOH I get almost daily promos from Discover, who I don’t use, promising O% for years, etc.

  • Webazoid

    I remembering signup online to opt out of mailings. My junk mail started to decrease. Forgot site. Could this also limit credit card offers?

  • Dan

    Targeted offers for good customers make no sense :) The whole point of targeting a customer is to influence behavior. If they’re already spending big time on your card, why waste money on them?

    I’m getting enough love from Chase such that I don’t have to beg for targeted offers. But I’m keeping minimum spend on my AmEx and Citi products to see what offers I will get to entice more spending out of me. At card renewal, I got “4 bonus miles per dollar spent up to 20,000 bonus miles.” Not bad.

    I did get a targeted offer from Chase, which I’ve written about before. It was nothing special, just a pre-approval for the Ink classic with 25k UR points on first spend. Not huge, but definitely good. I got the points and closed it in favor of the new Ink Bold I got approved for last week :)

  • RJ


    you might want to take down the photo of your account since it has your last digits of your CC listed…


Print This Page