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

Apr 15, 2012

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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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
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  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.