From the moment I started using miles and points to travel, it was readily apparent that many of the people who love award travel and flight deals really just love deals of any kind. With this in mind, the obsession with Amex Offers made complete sense.
Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of opportunities to earn points or save some cash?
While Chase has toyed with Chase Offers, Bank of America has BankAmerideals and Wells Fargo has some interesting opportunities in is Earn More Mall, Amex Offers from American Express is easily the most popular of the bunch.
Unfortunately, Amex has made some negatives changes to the program recently. Even with these changes, there are still some great opportunities to take advantage of Amex Offers.
Let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of them.
What is the Amex Offers program?
The Amex Offers program allows cardholders to either receive a statement credit or earn bonus Membership Rewards points after making purchases at select merchants.
The offers must be added before you make a purchase and have expiration dates so make sure you add the offer first and use within the stated timeframe.
Some offers require you to hit a specific spend threshold and, once you do so, you’ll receive the statement credit or bonus points. You can often use multiple purchases to hit the threshold but make sure you read the terms before making a purchase.
Amex often partners with hotels and airlines for these kinds of offers and they can be great ways to save on cash fares or hotel stays.
Other Amex Offers allow you to earn bonus points or cash back as you go rather than requiring you to hit a spend threshold. You’ll even find offers that earn 1X or 2X bonus Membership Rewards points over a set period of time.
Cards to take advantage of Amex Offers
Some of the best Amex Offers will be limited so it’s best to add them as soon as you see them. Additionally, some offers are only available to certain types of Amex cards including:
- Personal cards that earn Membership Rewards points
- Co-branded cards that earn Delta SkyMiles, Marriott Rewards points, Hilton points or cash back
- Business cards that earn Membership Rewards points
- Co-branded business cards
We often post when a new travel-related Amex Offer pops up and it’s a good idea to add them right away as there could be a cap on how many people can add the offer. Offers outside of the travel world can be capped as well, so it’s not a bad idea to give your offers a check now and again.
How to add Amex Offers
Amex Offers can be added on the desktop site or the mobile app with no more than a few clicks. If you have the offer on multiple American Express cards, make sure you first select your preferred card before adding the offer.
If you’re on the desktop site, you can scroll down until you see the section labeled “Amex Offers and Benefits”. From there, you will see several offers but, if you want to see all the options, you’ll need to select “View All” just below the last offer that is showing.
Now, you’ll you be able to see every offer available on a particular card.
Remember to check each card, as the offers can vary.
If you’re using the Amex mobile app, select your card then select “Offers” from the menu on the bottom of the screen. Now, you’ll be able to scroll through a bunch of offers. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll have the option to select “Show More” so you can see every offer available to you.
Whether you use desktop or mobile to add Amex offers, make sure you add it to the card that will get you the most bang for your buck as you can only add it to one card.
Stacking with airline and cashback shopping portals
While checking airline and cashback shopping portals might be second nature to some of you, I’ve found that many people don’t know about them or rarely remember to use them.
You might find it easiest to stick with a few cashback and airline options, but you can use Cashback Monitor if you want to see which portal provides the best offer. Since it only takes about 5-10 seconds more to use one, it’s such an easy way to save a little more or earn some bonus points when using Amex Offers.
I particularly enjoy using cashback portals when booking cash rates at hotels. Let’s take a look at an example to see how this could work.
As I write this, I have an Amex Offer that allows me to receive a $60 statement credit if I spend at least $300 with Marriott on the room rate or room charges. I can spend $300 on one stay or spread it across a couple so I can choose how to leverage it.
The 20% rebate is nice, but I can do better. If I use the UPromise shopping portal, I can also get an additional 7% cash back at the moment. With a total of 27% cash back, that takes $300 spent with Marriott down to $219.
As with all Amex Offers, it’s important to read the terms and conditions.
With this offer, the terms state that the offer only valid for stays at participating brands in the U.S. and U.S. territories. In this case, participating brands include:
- JW Marriott
- Autograph Collection
- Renaissance Hotels
- Marriott Hotels
- Delta Hotels
- Gaylord Hotels
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Residence Inn
- SpringHill Suites
- Fairfield Inn by Marriott
- TownePlace Suites
- Moxy Hotels
While Marriott has merged with Starwood, you can see that Starwood brands are not included in this offer. You don’t want to book a stay at a St. Regis only to find out later that the discount didn’t apply!
New restrictions on Amex Offers
For years, we have been able to add many offers to multiple cards. If you think about the example above, this would allow you to add the offer to several cards then pay for a couple nights with each card to maximize the discount.
Unfortunately, American Express has stopped allowing this. Previously, you could use the multi-tab trick to add the same offer to multiple cards. All you had to do was open multiple browser tabs — each with a different Amex card — and add the same offer to each card. Now, you may only receive the statement credit on one of your Amex cards.
While I’m not as obsessed with Amex Offers as some, I know many people are quite upset at this change as it allowed them to save quite a bit of money. I think the ability to add Amex Offers to multiple cards also incentivized people to keep multiple cards from Amex. We’ll see if this causes people to reevaluate which Amex cards they keep.
Authorized users can still get the same offers
If you add an authorized user to an Amex card, they will also be eligible for Amex Offers. Fortunately, you and each of your authorized users will be able to add the same offers.
Keep in mind that American Express now requires social security numbers for your authorized users. While you will be the main account holder, your authorized users will still see the account on their personal credit reports if it’s a personal card — not business cards, though.
Even with the new restrictions on Amex Offers, there’s still plenty of value to be found. As with many things in the miles and points world, it really comes down to your personal situation. If you can take advantage of an offer, go for it!
For non-travel offers, I think it’s pretty obvious that you only want to spend when it can save you money — or earn bonus Membership Rewards points — on a purchase you were already going to make.
The travel offers are what makes things tricky. In many cases, it’s not really a “deal” if you would have booked with miles/points had you not seen the offer. Make sure you don’t get caught up in chasing a deal that you forget to take this into account.
What kind of Amex Offers do you use? How has the new restriction impacted your use of Amex cards?