February 2, 2014

How to Leverage American Express Offers

One of the best features of being an American Express cardmember is free money.  Do I have your attention?

Last year, Amex launched their offers program where you can add an offer in a variety of ways to your card.  You can add them from your phone, (using their app) via social media (Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook) or the website.  Here's how it works:

  • Search for a compelling offer
  • Add an offer to your card account
  • Meet the required spend on the card
  • Receive a statement credit based on the offer

I log in to my Amex account every couple of weeks and check the offers.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "offers for you."  You can't miss it.

If the offer is for a place I frequent (i.e. Chevron for gas) then I just spend as normal and get a surprise later.  If the offer is at a retailer where I don't frequent (i.e. Costco.com) then I will make the purchase immediately using one of the techniques below.  Doing this, I received $265 in statement credits from this program in 2013.

You can actually double dip these offers in couple of different ways.
  1. Sync an offer with your account and go through one of the airline online shopping portals.  You'll receive the miles for the purchase through the shopping portal as well as the statement credit from American Express.
  2. Buy a gift card.  I did this in December and bought gift cards from Zappos, West Elm and Costco.  I met the minimum spend required to receive the statement credit and received the gift cards which I'll spend as needed throughout the year.
Offers vary by card, but there are some good ones right now.  For example:

  • FTD - 25% off - great for Valentine's Day 
  • 1800Flowers.com - $15 credit after spending $50
  • Scopp NYC - $100 credit after spending $450
  • Blue Nile - $50 credit after spending $250
  • Panera - $5 credit after spending $15

This is a great benefit.  Hopefully Amex will continue to build the program out throughout 2014 and add additional merchants and more offers!

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