I always wondered why everyone was so excited about Amex Offers. It seemed like a good way to save a couple of bucks here and there, but I never seemed to get any offers that I’d actually use. After seeing this post by Loophole Travel, it started to make a lot of sense. The beauty of Amex offers is being able to stack these deals. This can mean a few things which I’ll go into shortly along with a real-life example.
Stacking Amex Offers
If you have multiple American Express credit cards, you may notice you’re getting the same Amex Offer on multiple cards. Offers like this are what we’re looking for if the store allows either of the following:
- Payment across multiple credit cards and/or gift cards
- Purchase of gift cards that can later be combined into one
Since it is more rare for an online merchant to allow multiple credit cards (I’ve only seen this on jcrew.com), Amex Offers tend to work best when multiple gift cards can be used or combined into one. However, you need to make sure that the Amex Offer will be valid for the purchase of gift cards. Some offers will state this directly in the terms.
To stack the Amex Offers across multiple cards, you need to activate it on all of your American Express cards. Then use the multiple cards to meet the threshold to get your statement credit from Amex. This will make more sense in the example at the end.
Find a Cash Back Portal
I’m a big fan of points and miles shopping portals. However, if I’m stacking deals, I’m generally trying to get my cost down to as low as possible and I tend to value cash back in these scenarios. I use Ebates the most; I’ve received almost $900 cash back since joining in 2008! Try to time your purchase when Ebates is having a promotion to get some serious cash back.
Find Coupon Codes
Depending on what you’re buying, you may be able to find a coupon code to get an additional percentage off your purchase. Ebates is usually pretty good about listing them but I also search on retailmenot.com. One advantage of using Ebates over points and miles shopping portals is that you can use any coupon code you find with Ebates; points and miles shopping portals require only codes found on their sites. I usually risk it and use whatever code I find. I haven’t had a problem not getting my points yet, but there is always the risk…
Putting It All Together: eBags Example
Last month, I had an Amex Offer from eBags on three of my American Express credit cards. The deal was to spend $75 or more and get $15 back. This deal is great since eBags will let you combine gift cards easily through their online chat. eBags sells a wide array of luggage but the real appeal of eBags Amex Offers is that they sell Bose products. It’s hard to get a discount on Bose headphones without getting creative. Since I recently broke my headphones on a flight, I decided to buy the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones that retail for $349.
1. I bought two $75 eBags gift cards with two of my American Express cards. Note: Ebates no longer pays out for gift card purchases so you do not need to connect through Ebates until the final purchase. These gift card purchases activated the Amex Offer. You can do this with as many Amex Offers as you have access to (before exceeding the price of what you’re buying). When using eBags, choose the print option (vs. email) to get your gift card number immediately.
2. I chatted with eBags to combine my gift cards. This was super easy and took about 5 minutes.
3. eBags usually has a coupon for 25-30% off. These do not work for Bose products but will help decrease your cost if you are actually buying luggage.
4. I then connected through Ebates which was having a 3x cash back promotion. Since eBags is usually 6% cash back, I was able to get 18% cash back on my purchase!
5. Back on the eBags site, I checked out using $150 in gift cards and $199 on a third American Express card. This activated the Amex Offer so I earned a third $15 statement credit.
- Total spent: $150 (buying two gift cards) + $199 = $349
- Total savings: $45 (three Amex offers) + $62.82 (18% cash back on $349 from Ebates) = $107.82
- Final cost: $241.18 (~30% savings)
In retrospect, I should’ve bought another gift card with my boyfriend’s Amex to save another $15. I’m still pretty pleased with the price I ended up paying for an amazing pair of headphones.
This is just one example of how to take advantage of Amex Offers. The main thing to keep in mind is that the more Amex credit cards you can use, the better. Also, look for opportunities where gift cards can be purchased and combined. Combine these techniques with cash back portals and coupon codes can result in some pretty awesome deals!