Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Here at TPG, we spend a lot of time focusing on redeeming points for free flights and hotels, but the savviest points experts are the ones who know how to take advantage of every deal and save money — even when they’re not traveling.
One of the best options for saving money and even earning some bonus points on a wide variety of purchases is by taking advantage of offers on American Express credit cards. Today, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to enroll in and redeem these extra discounts.
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What are Amex Offers?
All American Express credit cards, including core ones such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and cobranded cards such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card come with access to Amex Offers. You’ll see all the Amex Offers available to you if you scroll down to “Amex Offers & Benefits” on your online account page or click on the “Offers” tab on the Amex app.
These offers come from a wide variety of merchants, including travel providers, restaurants, clothing and jewelry stores and much more. Generally speaking, Amex Offers come in one of three forms:
- Spend $X, get Y number of bonus points
- Spend $X, get $Y back
- Get additional points for each dollar you spend at a select merchant
These offers are targeted, both to the individual cardholder and to the specific card as well. You can tell this right away because each of your cards should have a different number of offers available. My Amex Platinum card currently has 100 offers available for me to select.
Based on my experience and a number of data points I’ve seen online, it appears that Amex sometimes targets the most valuable offers (the most points, the largest discounts or the easiest merchants to redeem at) to its core Membership Rewards-earning cards such as the Platinum or the American Express® Gold Card.
There isn’t anything you can do if your account isn’t targeted, so let this serve as a reminder to check all your cards so you don’t miss out on great offers.
Enrolling and redeeming
Although each offer is slightly different depending on the merchant, all Amex Offers start with some version of the following terms and conditions:
ENROLLMENT/ELIGIBLE CARDS: Enrollment limited. Must first add offer to Card and then use same Card to redeem. Only U.S.-issued American Express® Cards that are enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program at the time of purchase are eligible. Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member across all American Express offer channels. Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. Your enrollment does not extend to any other Cards that may be linked to the same Membership Rewards program account (such as Additional Cards). Offer is non-transferable.
Credit cards come with a lot of fine print that most of us don’t bother reading, but this is one time when it’s really worth breaking out the glasses, putting on a pot of coffee and sitting down to study the terms.
There are a few important things to know:
Enrollment is limited
Even though the offer might be showing on your account, Amex may have a quota for how many people can enroll in this offer. Once that limit is reached, you may not be able to register. If you think there’s any chance you’ll use this offer, go ahead and add it to your card. Nothing happens if you end up not using the offer, but you lock in the ability to do so later.
You must add an offer and then use the same card to redeem
If you have multiple Amex cards, keep track of which card each offer was added to. I currently have three different versions of the Platinum card. If I add an Amex Offer to my Schwab Platinum card, I won’t be able to redeem it if I use my personal Amex Platinum. You can start a very simple spreadsheet to track which card you’ve enrolled in which offer, or you can go back to your card on the Amex website and click “Added to Card” to check.
One offer per cardmember across all American Express offer channels
Even though the terms have always read this way, it used to be possible to add an Amex Offer to multiple cards and receive the credit as many times as you were targeted. Amex has begun cracking down on this practice, so even if you are able to add the offer to multiple cards, the system will likely only give you credit the first time you use it. You won’t have any luck calling in and asking Amex to manually credit the second card either, so it’s best not to get greedy. Stick to a single card.
You should carefully pick the card to which you add an offer. I always try to load my offers onto my Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express to earn 2x Membership Rewards points on my first $50,000 of purchases per calendar year (then 1x). Sometimes I’ll opt for a Bonvoy card instead so I can earn Marriott points (especially if the offer relates to a Marriott property). You can also leverage Amex Offers to help meet your minimum spending requirement on a new credit card.
The rest of the terms and conditions repeat this point a number of times until you have it clear: One Amex Offer per account, period.
On top of these general terms, a specific offer will have a few terms worth being aware of. Each offer has an expiration date and many travel offers have geographical restrictions (only valid in Mexico, only valid inside the U.S., etc.)
You’re often required to purchase directly from the merchant to receive the offer. In this case, you’ll only receive the $100 rebate if you book via hilton.com, on the Hilton app, or by calling Hilton’s direct number. Making a $500+ booking through hotels.com won’t earn you any discount.
Some offers even require you to purchase through a unique American Express link, so it really pays to do your homework before you make a purchase.
Many merchants exclude certain items, such as gift cards or promotional items, from the offer. You also have to be careful about how your transaction is processed, as Amex will only give you the cash rebate or bonus points if it receives information that appropriately identifies your transaction.
For instance, many TPG readers (and staffers) have reported trouble triggering the recent credit for Wine Insiders on the Amex Platinum card. Affiliate links, such as online shopping portals, and promo codes at checkout may sometimes disqualify an Amex Offer.
Here’s what an Amex Offer for Sunglass Hut specifies:
If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the statement credit. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you may not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it.
Most offers allow up to 90 days from the transaction before your points or cash will post to your account. But you should get an email almost instantly after the transaction posts, confirming that you triggered the offer.
Evaluating and stacking Amex Offers
Amex Offers can be a great way to save money on purchases you were already planning to make, but just because something is on sale, that doesn’t automatically make it a good deal. I would love to save $75 on my annual Wall Street Journal subscription, but no matter how much you discount it, I don’t need to be spending a penny at Tapper’s Jewelry.
Amex Offers can be a great deal on their own, but you can double- or even triple-dip to get a much better return. You can use Amex Offers in addition to online shopping portals to earn extra cash back or bonus miles on your purchase. You can also leverage credit card bonus categories, like pairing a Hilton Aspire card with the Hilton Amex Offer to earn bonus points in addition to cash back.
However, as noted previously, the terms of the offer may state additional stacking — such as through online portals, promo codes, etc. — could disqualify you from triggering the Amex Offer. Read the terms carefully.
You can even stack Amex Offers with other Amex perks, such as the annual statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue and Dell that come with the Platinum Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, respectively.
Even though Chase has joined the competition with Chase Offers, Amex is far and away the leader for this kind of program. We often talk about how to justify paying the annual fee on a new credit card, especially for Amex’s impressive lineup of premium cards. One way to recoup those fees is by taking advantage of Amex Offers. By redeeming these offers, you could entirely offset the fee on some expensive, yet highly rewarding cards. As long as you don’t spend money unnecessarily, Amex Offers can be an incredible tool to save money on purchases you were already planning to make.
Additional reporting by Chris Dong.
Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy
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