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For those of you not familiar with Amex Offers, it’s a program available through most Amex cards, where different cards are eligible for different savings and bonus offers. In many cases the offers can be huge, and more than offset the annual fee on a card.
To view Amex Offers, go to the bottom of the account summary page of any American Express card, where you’ll see all the offers you’re eligible for. These offers come in different forms, including discounts and even in some cases bonus points.
A few new targeted Amex Offers have been loaded, which can save you money on your cell phone, cable, or satellite TV bill. These offers are valid through November 15, 2017, though registration is limited, so you’ll want to register ASAP if eligible. There are a few different versions of the offer out there, so let’s take a look at them.
The first Amex Offer is for 1,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend $100+ on your cable or satellite TV bill. In other words, if your bill were exactly $100, that would be like earning 10x Membership Rewards points, which is awesome. You can use this offer up to three times, for a total of up to 3,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (though each transaction needs to be a minimum of $100). I had this offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Another version of the offer is for 10% back on your cable or satellite TV bill. There’s a limit of $30 in credits, so this is good if you have a big bill. For example, on a $300 bill you’d get $30 back, rather than needing three transactions. I had this offer on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.
Then there are similar offers for cell phone bills, where you can either earn 1,000 bonus points or get 10% back. I had this offer on the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express.
Is taking advantage of this offer worth it (if targeted)?
First of all I should mention that I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me 1,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $17, while 10% back is worth, well, 10% back. So in general if you’re targeted for both offers, the 1,000 bonus points is more valuable if your bill is $100-170, while 10% back is going to be worth more if your bill is less than $100, or more than $170. At least that’s how the math works out based on my valuation, and you can apply your own math based on your points valuation.
But is this the best offer at all? The two best cards for your cell phone and cable bills are the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns Ultimate Rewards points, while the points earned on the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points in conjunction with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Those cards offer 5x Ultimate Rewards points on these purchases, which I value at a return of ~8.5%.
So, does it make sense to take advantage of the Amex Offer?
- Obviously it’s worthwhile if you don’t have one of the Ink Cards
- The 10% return is worth only marginally more the 5x points, in my opinion, so it’s worth it, but it’s a marginal return, and you’ll lose out somewhat if you exceed the $300 limit
- The 10x points is definitely more valuable than the 5x points, but you have to make sure your purchases are in the right increments
- This could be especially worthwhile if your cell phone or cable company lets you put a bill on multiple credit cards — in other words, earn 1,000 bonus points for the first $100 spent, and put the rest on the Ink (does anyone know if cell phone, cable, and satellite TV companies let you do that?)
Were you targeted for one of these Amex Offers, and if so, do you plan on taking advantage of it?