A Bit Of Fun: How Many Membership Rewards Points Can I Earn Through Amex Offers?

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Over the weekend, I was stuck on hold waiting for a customer services representative at a utility company to take my call and I found myself browsing through my American Express account to stave off the boredom. As I scrolled through my Amex Offers hoping to find a deal I could turn into easy points, I was struck by how many bonus points some of the retailers were offering, and I started to wonder how many points I could pick up if I triggered every fixed-points offer I had been targeted for and how much it would cost…so I checked!

Yes, I was bored…but I thought it might be fun to see how many Amex points I could hypothetically pick up if I spent the bare minimum to trigger each offer.

To be clear, these are the types of Amex offers I was looking at:

a screenshot of a website

I ignored offers like this one…

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…because they’re too open-ended and, technically, my wallet (and my borrowing power) would be the only limiting factor to the number of points I could earn – this may be a silly and pointless exercise but that doesn’t mean that I can’t take it seriously đŸ™‚

Anyway…

Assuming I spend exactly the right amount of money to trigger the points being offered by each retailer, the offers I’ve been targeted for (across all my Membership Rewards cards) would allow me to earn 152,500 points.

My total outlay for those points would be $7,484 so, as I value Membership Rewards Points at 1.5 cents each, I’m effectively being offered a rebate of $2,287.50 which is equivalent to a little over 30% of my outlay.

The 30% rebate figure probably isn’t really meaningful in a real-life scenario as it’s incredibly unlikely that I (or anyone else) would be spending exactly the right amount of money (and no more) to trigger each offer..but it’s still pretty interesting. Even if I was to spend $1,000 more than the offers required, the rebate would still be around 27% and that strikes me as impressive (assuming I actually want/need whatever it is that I’m buying – it’s pretty meaningless otherwise).

Just before this exercise was brought to a sudden halt by the voice of a customer services agent at the other end of the phone line, I worked out one last metric – the cost per point assuming the goods being purchased are valued at $0.

152,500 points at $7,484 equates to approximately 5 cents per point and, if nothing else, that proves that it’s rarely a good idea to trigger an Amex Offer for the points alone – the cost of acquisition is far too high. If, however, you have a way of selling on whatever it is you’re buying without incurring a significant loss, that’s a whole other story đŸ™‚

Bottom Line

This was a mostly pointless exercise to kill some time but it did confirm two things for me:

  • If you don’t spend much more than you absolutely have to when triggering an Amex offer the percentage rebates can be very good indeed.
  • Using Amex Offers to generate points if you don’t actually need the items being purchased (and have no way of selling them on) is a very bad idea.

Have you ever been bored enough to work out how may hypothetical Membership Rewards Points (or any other currency) you could earn?