Rookie Mistake: How My “Trick” To Receive More Amex Offers Backfired

I’ve written about AMEX offers countless times. In fact, I just published an article about saving $1000 using Amex offers in the last 24 hours.

Though that article was joyous to write, the results from this article are similar to Bachelorette nation this past week…unexpected! I (unknowingly) made a mistake/discovery and I hope you learn from my lesson.

BACKGROUND

Let’s start from the beginning…nearly a year ago, I shared with you a trick to get more Amex Offers to appear on your card.

To recap the trick, I ran experiments and noticed that American Express limits the number of AVAILABLE Amex offers to 100 per card. So, the “trick” is to simply add a bunch of available Amex offers to a card and new available offers will appear.

MY MISTAKE, YOUR GAIN

I think this incident can be best explained with what happened to me.

Let’s focus on two American Express cards that I have, the American Express Gold Card [READ MORE] and the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card [READ MORE].

Personally, the only time I use my Marriott card is when I am stay at Marriott hotels. Recognizing that I have not been traveling, this card doesn’t see the light of day.

Additionally, if the same offer is available on two (or more cards), once you add an available offer to one card, it disappears from your other Amex cards. Understanding this, I generally add offers that I trust I’m never going to use to my Marriott card. I do this for two reasons:

  • it removes the offer (aka “clutter”) from other cards and;
  • it decreases the number of offers on other cards even further

SO WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS…

I wanted to make a purchase from Dell Computers and I had two different Amex offers. The offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Card was:

The offer on the American Express Gold card was:

For simplicity, let’s say that I am buying a $1000 computer. Clearly, I’d rather receive a 10% credit and ultimately pay $900 and receive Bonvoy points than to receive an extra point (thus 2 Amex MR points total) for the purchase.

So I quickly added the 10% credit Amex offer to my Marriott card and made the purchase.

It’s worth noting that when I initially logged into my account, I had coincidentally noticed that the number of offers on my Marriott card was 100 but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. Then I added the 10% credit offer and quickly logged out to make the purchase.

Generally, when you make a purchase and utilize an Amex offer, you immediately receive an email saying “Congratulations, you’ve redeemed an Amex offer.” However, this time I didn’t receive an email.

I logged back into my Amex account just to make sure that I had added the offer (even though I was sure I had) and noticed I could not find the 10% credit offer on the “available” tab, “added to card” tab, or “savings” tab.

I also noticed that my “added to card” tab was still at 100.

My theory is that American Express limits the number of “added to card” offers to 100 per card too.

Unfortunately, you have to wait for offers to expire once they are applied to your “added to card” tab and you can’t delete them. Thus when I added my 10% credit offer, it disappeared into the web abyss never to be seen again.

FINAL STAMP

I’ve been using this trick for years but encountered something that had never happened to me.

Fortunately, I was able to edit the order and apply a different credit card (my Gold card), so not all was lost and this time I did receive an email.

I definitely would have enjoyed 10% off instead of Amex Membership Rewards points and as unexpected and embarrassing as this is, I hope you laugh and learn from my mistakes. This will ultimately make you even more of a points guru!

Were you aware of this trick (and limit)?

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