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American Express appears to be targeting select cardholders (possibly just those who hold its Membership Rewards business cards) with offers of bonus points for hitting predetermined spending targets. We’ve seen this kind of offer from Amex in the not-too-distant past and there’s every likelihood that there are various versions of these offers out in the wild.
The only one of my Amex cards to have been targeted for a spending bonus is card_name (review) and as the terms of my offer make specific reference to the fact that it has been targeted to a business card, it’s possible that only holders of Amex’s business cards will see this offer (or a variant) appearing in their accounts.
My targeted offer
Get 2,000 Membership Rewards® Membership Rewards® points by using your enrolled Business Card to spend a minimum of $8,000+ in one or more eligible transactions, up to 3 times during the offer term. Once you add the offer to your eligible Card, you will have 90 days to spend $8,000 or more.
- Must first add offer to an eligible Card and then use same Card to redeem.
- Once you save the offer to your eligible Card, you will have 90 days to redeem.
- Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member.
- Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. After you enroll an eligible Card, you will not be able to enroll a second eligible Card that you may have.
- Your enrollment does not extend to any other Cards that may be linked to the same Membership Rewards program account (such as Additional Cards).
- An “eligible purchase” means a purchase made with your enrolled Card within 90 days upon saving the offer to your Card in accordance with these terms.
- Each time you make one or more eligible transactions totaling at least $8,000+, you will receive 2,000 Membership Rewards® additional Membership Rewards points, up to 3 times.
- Cash advances, balance transfers, other fees and charges such as interest, annual fees and foreign currency conversion fees are not eligible transactions and do not qualify for this offer.
- Additional points will be credited to your Membership Rewards program account within 90 days after the offer end date, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase.
- Amex Offers are dynamic and personalized, so the offers you see may change. If you navigate away from this page and later return, you may see a different offer.
Full terms and conditions can be found alongside your targeted offer.
The first thing that I noticed about my offer is that it appears to have an extraordinarily long end date (for an Amex offer) so I can’t help but wonder if there’s a typo in there and that the offer actually has to be added to my card by the end of December this year.
The second thing that I noticed is that it’s not exactly a very generous offer.
I value Membership Rewards Points at 1.5 cents each (based on the value that I know that I can get out of them with relative ease) so effectively, Amex is offering me an incentive worth just $30 to put $8,000 of spending on to card_name (up to 3 times).
Considering that this is a card that I use almost exclusively for unbonused spending only, that’s a very high spending target for me and one that I’m unlikely to reach (or attempt to reach) when the carrot being offered is that small.
We saw similar offers to this one published in September last year (although those offers weren’t restricted to business cards), and as the nature of those offers varied significantly, it’s probably reasonable to assume that the same will be the case this time around.
These are the kinds of offers we saw last year:
- Spend $1,500+, get 1,000 Membership Reward points, up to 3 times
- Spend $2,000+, 1,000 Membership Reward points, up to 3 times
- Spend $6,000+, get 3,000 Membership Reward points, up to 3 times
- Spend $9,500+, get 5,000 Membership Reward points, up to 3 times
Essentially, these are the kind of offers that should be viewed as nice bonuses if you can hit the target with organic spending (i.e you don’t go out of your way to earn the bonus), and offers that are best ignored if your spending levels on your targeted card would not otherwise be as high as the offer requires – the payoffs are (mostly) not high enough to warrant diverting spending from cards that will earn a better rate of return.
American Express is targeting select Membership Rewards cards for offers that give cardholders bonus points for hitting preset spending targets within a 90-day window.
Based on the offer that I’ve been targeted for, it’s likely that most of the offers being published will not be lucrative enough to justify putting additional spending on cards that wouldn’t otherwise have seen that spending, but if you’re in the fortunate position of being able to earn the extra points with organic spending alone, the extra points will probably be a nice added bonus.
Have you been targeted for an offer like this? If yes, let us know which of your cards has been targeted and what your offer is in the comments.
Featured image courtesy of American Express