It’s now been about a year and a half since I took the plunge and decided to apply for the Platinum Card from American Express. Since then, I’ve been making use of plenty of the card’s perks, from the included credits to the hotel status and airport lounge access — in addition to some of the limited-time benefits Amex added when travel halted. Among the other ways I’ve been working to recoup that steep $550 annual fee is through Amex Offers. These targeted deals allow cardholders to score extra Membership Rewards (MR) points, statement credits, and other benefits from select retailers. In fact, to date, I’ve saved more than $800 just thanks to these offers.
So how have I been taking advantage of these promotions? Here are some of the Amex Offers I’ve been able to use since obtaining my card:
Regular Amex Offers
As much as I love the used Sony camera I purchased when I first started on YouTube, it does have some limitations. That’s why I started thinking that perhaps subsidizing its efforts with a GoPro might come in handy when traveling and covering events for the Disney fan site Laughing Place. Luckily for me, Amex had a GoPro offer pop-up just before Thanksgiving 2019.
This particular deal was a $60 statement credit when you spent more than $300 on the GoPro site. After doing some research, I originally resolved to buy the Hero 7 Black and a few accessories, which totaled to about $370. However, on Black Friday, GoPro decided to put what was then their newest camera, the Hero 8 Black, on sale as part of a bundle with some of the other accessories I had my eye on. The cost? $350. So not only did I get the newest camera and essentials for less than I planned on spending for the prior model but then saved another $60 after the fact — Pretty. Darn. Sweet.
Wine Country Gift Baskets
I’ll admit that I’ve never really known what to get my mother for Christmas. But, as someone I know has a sweet tooth, chocolates and other dessert-rich gift baskets have been my go-to in recent years. Given that trend, when I saw I had an Amex Offer for Wine Country Gift Baskets, I decided to take a look.
Sure enough, within a few minutes of browsing, I found a Godiva chocolate basket that I thought she would enjoy. The fact that it was priced right at the $100 minimum I needed to trigger my $30 statement credit was pure coincidence. A couple of days after the big day, my credit had posted and my mom says she loved her tasty gift.
Amazon (double dip)
Every once in a while, you may notice that there are two Amex Offers for the same retailer. For example, I currently see two for Olive Garden — one offering extra Membership Rewards points and the other boasting cashback. In theory, these two can be redeemed at the same time, making the deal even sweeter.
That’s kind of what happened to me recently on Amazon. While it wasn’t a traditional Amex Offer, I was targeted for a promotion where I got $30 off a purchase of $60 or more. The catch is that I needed to pay for at least part of the transaction using points — which isn’t a great deal since the site only values your MR points at 0.6¢. Luckily, I was able to use exactly 1 MR point and trigger the offer, immediately knocking $30 off of my transaction. On top of that, I still had a regular Amex Offer for an extra 4 MR points per dollar spent on Amazon, making for a fantastic double dip.
Last year, conveniently just before we took a business road trip to Dallas, an Amex Offer popped up, allowing me to earn $60 back on Hilton Curio Collection bookings where I spent… well I actually can’t remember the exact amount, but I believe it was between $200 and $300. What’s interesting about this type of deal is that it forces you to choose between earning 5x points by booking via Amex Travel and earning the cashback by booking directly with the hotel. Further complicating matters, The Highland (where we ultimately chose to stay) was featured in the Amex Hotel Collection, which includes some bonus perks and credits.
In the end, after running some numbers, we decided it made more sense to book with Hilton and use this Amex Offer in the process. Overall, I think this was the correct choice, but part of me wishes I didn’t have to make such decisions in the first place. Alas, that’s just how it goes sometimes — and it’s hard to complain about free money.
Finally, while I’ve been loving my Sam’s Club membership since I obtained it, it was actually Amex that convinced me to sign-up for the warehouse club in the first place. After I noticed that I had an offer for $25 back on a $45 membership from American Express, I decided it was time to give it a try. As it turns out, there are actually more lucrative new membership offers that pop up from time to time outside of the world of Amex. But, I was happy enough with this deal to take advantage and it’s turned out pretty well.
Special Amex Offers
As I mentioned, due to travel limitations and cardholders not getting as much value from their cards as a result, American Express rolled out some temporary benefits for cardholders in 2020 and early 2021. This included some particularly generous Amex Offers that amounted to free stuff from select top retailers. Since this level of offer is outside of the norm, I’d figured I’d catalog them in their own section.
The first of the special Amex Offers that cardholders began noticing was one from Dell. With the deal reading that cardholders could earn $100 back when they spent $100, it’s understandable that some initially believed there was a typo on the website. In reality, this deal was for real and came in handy as my wife and I tried to stave off quarantine boredom. We ended up using our credit to purchase two games for our Nintendo Switch — with one of them yielding us a bonus gift card we used to buy a third game later on.
Prior to the special offer, I had encountered a Best Buy Amex Offer before. However, considering all of the great deals I’ve mentioned so far, this one might sound a bit underwhelming. One of the first Amex Offers I had the chance to try was a Best Buy one that rewarded me with two extra MR points per dollar spent. Again, not a huge perk in comparison but I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, when the special Amex Offers arrived, they included a Best Buy deal that was far more appealing: earn $50 back when you spent $50. Even better, this could be redeemed twice. Similar to our Dell credit, we used the first of these $50 bonuses on another Switch game, Ring Fit Adventure.
As for the other $50, it went towards something a bit more practical. Since we were moving to a new apartment and would need to purchase our own router, we used our second Best Buy Amex Offer to nab one. Honestly, of all the offers I’ve used too far, this one may just be my favorite — with the possible exception of one we’ll get to in a bit.
Similar to the Best Buy special Amex Offer, this one enabled cardholders to earn $50 back when they spent $50 and could be used twice. Of course, being apartment dwellers, we weren’t sure how much use we’d make of this. After all, as the Mitch Hedberg jokes goes, the Apartment Depot is just a bunch of people standing around in a warehouse saying, “We ain’t gotta fix $*^%!”
In any case, we did eventually realize something we could use at Home Depot and I decided to try a “hack” I’d seen mentioned on Reddit. This suggested that we could simply spend more than $100 to trigger the full $100 back in one shot. We ended up ordering two bar-level stools for our new apartment, which turned our butcher block island into our new kitchen table. Sure enough, the transaction resulted in $100 back, making the pair of chairs just $50. Talk about good timing on Amex’s part!
Another special Amex Offer that helped shake up our boring pandemic-era routine was one from Goldbelly. While it wasn’t quite as nice as the two mentioned above, the ability to save $50 on orders of $100 or more gave us a good excuse to try the service. Moreover, since this deal could be tapped three times, we got to sample all sorts of items (some of which you can read about in my review).
Everything we ended up ordering from Goldbelly — from burgers to hand-pulled noodles to cheesesteaks to crumb cake — was absolutely delicious. Then again, even with the $50 back, Goldbelly can still be pretty pricey. However, by coupling with available coupons and doing a bit of research to make the best pick possible, I think it was worth it.
Last but definitely not least, last year, American Express launched its largest #ShopSmall campaign to date in a bid to help struggling small businesses. As part of this promotion, Amex cardholders could earn $5 back when they spent at least $10 at eligible local and small businesses. Plus, this deal could be used up to 10 times.
Believe me when I tell you that this was one of the easiest offers to use. In fact, as intended, this #ShopSmall deal inspired us to try local places in our community we’d long been meaning to check out but hadn’t yet. Therefore, I really hope some version of this Amex Offer can make a comeback (perhaps on Small Business Saturday?) as I think it’s a great idea and a win-win-win for businesses, cardholders, and Amex.
I should also mention that, currently, cardholders can view as many as 100 available Amex Offers at a time. Plus, with new offers cycling through all the time, you never know what might pop up. Thus, as you can surely tell, I’m really loving these Amex Offers and my Platinum card overall.
Originally published at Money@30.