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Update 13 April: Amex has backtracked on the 15 April launch date for the Grubhub Seamless offer.
We’ve been hearing quite a bit from various airlines and hoteliers detailing what measures they’re taking to help out their guests but we have been hearing comparatively little from the credit card industry.
Up until now, the only really major announcement we’ve had has been from American Express when it revealed that it has increased the period given to cardholders in which they can earn the welcome bonuses that their credit cards offer. The other major credit card companies have been mostly silent.
Now, as Citi and Chase remain rather quiet, American Express has confirmed more measures that it’s taking to make life a little easier for its customers.
All American Express Credit Cards
If you hold an American Express credit card you should be seeing (or will soon be seeing) a lot more Amex offers that provide discounts or credits in the following areas:
- Home essentials
- Food delivery and takeout
- Digital entertainment
- Business services
Presumably, these are the kind of offers Amex is referring to:
I don’t think I’m seeing any particularly new offers in my American Express account right now (I’m pretty sure that at least 3 of the offers shown above have been around for a while) but Amex says that “hundreds” of new offers are being loaded so, presumably, we should start seeing these new offers imminently.
Amex Membership Rewards Credit Cards
American Express is currently running three promotions for Membership Rewards cardholders:
- Get 20% off products sold and shipped by Amazon.com when Card Members use Membership Rewards points at checkout through April 20, 2020, up to $50 total savings over the course of the campaign.
- Card Members can make their Membership Rewards points go 30% further sitewide when they shop with Membership Rewards points on the “Amex Shop” site through May 26, 2020.
- Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on all spend with Grubhub and Seamless starting at a date TBC (possibly end of April)
The Amazon offer is a notable standout offer here as you should be able to use just a single Membership Reward point to earn the full discount.
The Amex Shop offer isn’t one that I’d recommend as cardholders are not being offered much more than 0.7 cents of value per point they use but, having said that, these aren’t normal conditions so if you have a large Membership Rewards balance and you’re trying to preserve cash, this may be worth considering.
The Grub Hub and Seamless offers look interesting…especially for Amex Gold Card holders who already earn 4 Membership Rewards points on dining and get a $10 monthly statement credit for spending at Grubhub and Seamless (amongst others).
American Express Cobrand Card Members
This isn’t really new information as Amex’s cobrand partners have mostly already announced these measures, but I thought I’d add it in for the sake of completeness. Here’s what Amex has said:
We are working with our partners to extend Card Member benefits, such as airline companion certificates and hotel free night awards, so our mutual customers will have more time to enjoy these benefits.
American Express only issues credit cards for one airline – Delta – so the airline benefits that Amex is helping to extend include Delta SkyMiles Gold Card $100 flight credits, Delta SkyMiles Platinum & Reserve Card companion certificates, and the Sky Club passes that come with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Cards (more details here)
As far as the hotels go, American Express issues Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy credit cards so Hilton’s announcement that its free night certificates would be getting their expiration dates extended and Marriott’s announcement that its free night awards wouldn’t expire until 2021 were both following discussions with Amex.
Amex appears to be trying to help its cardholders where it can and that’s something that should be applauded.
It’s very nice to hear that new (and appropriate) Amex offers can be expected and that Amex has been working with its cobrand p[artners to make sure that credit card holders aren’t left paying for benefits that they cannot use.
What we now need to see is Amex announcing measures to deal with some of the travel benefits that come with its own (Membership Rewards) credit cards that are of little use right now. Benefits like the Uber credit and the airline fee credit that the Platinum Card offers, for example, aren’t of much use to cardholders who cannot fly or, in some cases, even leave home – an innovative way to use those credits would be very welcome.
What do you think of Amex’s response to the crisis so far?