3X Membership Rewards Points At Restaurants

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Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Learn more about the special offer here.

Via Gary, American Express is running a targeted promotion whereby selected card holders can earn triple points on dining purchases through the end of the year.3x-Amex-2

All the US-based Membership Rewards cards are potentially eligible, including:

If you have any of the above cards, you’ll want to follow this link to check and see if your account is eligible. American Express is sending out both emails and paper mailers about this promotion, but you may be eligible even if you don’t receive the marketing materials.

If targeted, you’ll be directed to a page like this, which will show which of your accounts is eligible for the promotion. Make sure to click “Enroll” at the bottom of the page to confirm your participation.


You can earn a maximum of 10,000 Membership Rewards through this promotion. So if you have multiple eligible cards, only the first $3,333.33 you spend on dining will receive triple points, regardless of how many cards you use. I imagine that won’t be a problem for most of us 😉

In order to receive the bonus points, the merchant must be coded as a restaurant by American Express. This typically isn’t an issue with dining, though I’ve had instances in the past where a small cafe categorized themselves as a “food store” rather than “restaurant,” so if you’re looking at a major catering purchase or something I might run a test transaction first.

For those interested, the full Terms are as follows:

Offer valid for dining transactions made between 10/1/2014 through 12/31/2014. To receive additional points for a restaurant purchase, the purchase must be at a restaurant located in the United States; when we say United States, or U.S., we mean the 50 states and the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories. For each dollar charged for an eligible purchase as part of this offer, you will receive two additional points at restaurants located in the U.S. You will NOT receive additional rewards for purchases made at a restaurant owned by a U.S. company but located outside the U.S. (e.g. Hard Rock Café in Paris). You also will NOT receive additional rewards at nightclubs, convenience stores, grocery stores, or supermarkets.

To be eligible to receive additional points as part of this offer, you must be the named recipient of this invitation, you must enroll your U.S.- issued American Express® Card for this offer by clicking on the link in the offer invitation email by 12/31/2014, and you must charge your qualifying purchase on your enrolled Card. Purchases made by Additional Card Members on the enrolled Card will also receive the additional points. Your Card must be enrolled in the Offer and in the Membership Rewards® program (“Program”) at the time of purchase. Maximum 10,000 additional points per Program account, regardless of the total amount of purchases made in connection with this offer. Additional points will be credited to your Program account within 6-8 weeks after qualifying charges appear on your billing statement.

In some cases, you may not receive additional rewards if you make a purchase with a third party because of the way those third parties process payments. For example, in most cases you will not receive additional rewards on a purchase if you or the merchant:
• Submits the purchase using a mobile or wireless card reader
• Makes the purchase using a third-party payment account or digital wallet
• Makes the purchase with a third-party deal site
• Makes the purchase with a third-party travel website
• Makes the purchase through a computer hardware, software or cloud computing reseller or online marketplace
• Makes the purchase with a wireless service reseller
• Makes the purchase at a merchant located within another establishment (e.g., a restaurant located inside a hotel where the restaurant is coded as a hotel, and not as a restaurant)

Terms and Conditions for the Membership Rewards program apply. Visitmembershiprewards.com/terms or www.americanexpress.com/rewards-info or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276) for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice. POID: BGQO:0002

Bottom line

I think this is a smart move by American Express. Other banks have been pretty aggressive with introducing new bonus categories, and it’s nice to see some creativity. Ideally Amex would open this promotion up to all cardholders, though I’m crossing my fingers they’re testing new benefits and need a control group.

I wasn’t targeted for this offer, so won’t be changing my spending habits this quarter. This is an especially good deal for those targeted with the American Express EveryDay® Credit Card and American Express EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Dining spend is an easy extra transaction for the EveryDay cards, and the double points on dining is standard on the PRG.

Who else was targeted for this offer? Will this shift your restaurant spending?

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  1. Is anyone actually earning a lot (four figures) each month on dining out? These 2x or 3x on dining don’t seem like they’d net you very many points. To get 10,000 points a month at 3x you’d need to spend over $100 a day eating out.

    If you’re eating at chain places, you’d be better off buying gift cards at an office store and getting 5x.

    Other places, get the diners club and buy a $500 visa at walgreens and get 3x on everything. Yeah lucky when are you going to post about diners club??

  2. @anon – this promo is valid until the end of the year, so it’s a 3 month promotion. Spending $3333 on dining out in 3 months doesn’t seem too crazy if you eat out a lot.

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