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Amex Offers: What They Are and How to Maximize

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If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are familiar with American Express – and probably have an Amex card or two. Today we’re going to discuss a very valuable feature of American Express cards that truly set them apart from the competition: Amex offers.

AMEX Offers

What are Amex Offers?

Amex offers are optional offers that you can sign up for and use on all your American Express cards. They offer bonuses for shopping at specific retailers. The bonuses can be in the form of cash back or bonus points/miles, depending on the card and the offer.

Amex offers must be manually added to each card account. Offers that are available to you will show up in a “Amex Offers and Benefits” section of your American Express online account. These offers are targeted, meaning you won’t necessarily get the same offers as I will on my own cards.

How do Amex Offers Work?AMEX offer example

You can browse available offers in the Benefits section of your Amex online account. Here you will see every offer that is available for that specific card. If you have multiple Amex cards, you may find that there are different offers on different cards. Here’s the basic process of using an Amex offer:

  1. Locate the offer you want to use on your account
  2. Click “Add to Card”
  3. Check the terms of the offer for specifics
  4. Follow the terms and make your transaction at the qualifying retailer using the card with the Amex offer attached
  5. If you followed the terms correctly, you should get an email from Amex almost immediately
  6. Get your cashback credit or bonus points automatically, typically within a few days (it can technically take up to 90 days, but it’s usually less than a week)

Now that you know the basic process, let’s move on to how to maximize Amex offers.

How to Maximize Amex Offers

Maximize Amex Offers

The basics of American Express offers are quite simple, but there are a few things you can do to maximize your savings with these offers.

amex offers

  • Check frequently – new offers are added all the time
  • Read the fine print – some offers have specific terms that must be followed
  • Add to multiple cards – if you have the same offer on multiple cards, you can add it to several at the same time by using the multiple tab trick
  • Use the old interface – If you’re using multiple Amex cards, you may wish to use the old Amex interface
  • Stack the deal – combine Amex offers with cashback sites, sale pricing and other promotions
  • Don’t wait to save offers – some good Amex offers have a limited number of enrollments, and once that number is reached the offer will be pulled from all accounts that it’s not already added to. Don’t snooze on good offers! (Note: once an offer is added to your card, it won’t be removed until it expires)
  • Buy gift cards to lock in savings – if you see a good offer for a merchant you shop at but don’t have an immediate need to make a purchase there, consider buying a gift card for that merchant, which should trigger the Amex offer

You can find more information in the official Amex Offers FAQ.

Credit Card Retention Offers: How to Save Money on Annual Fees

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Many of the best credit cards on the market come with annual fees. Some are reasonable  at $99 a year or less. Others are more staggering – $450, $550 or more. Whenever these lofty annual fees post to our statements, we must decide – is the card worth keeping? Should I cancel it? Well, there may be a third option: credit card retention offers.

credit card retention offers

What are Credit Card Retention Offers?

In short, retention offers are a credit card issuer’s way to keep you as a customer. They may consist of bonus points, waived fees, cash credits, etc.

Retention offers almost always require you to call in and talk to a rep. Specific offers will vary, and sometimes you may not be offered anything at all.

In some cases, credit card issuers will simply wave the annual fee if you call in and ask. Other times they will offer you bonus points, a partial refund of the annual fee, or some other sort of olive branch to keep you on board.

For example, on a card with a $99 annual fee, you may be offered a full refund ($99), a partial refund ($50), a bonus offer with no requirements (3,000 points), or a bonus offer with a spend requirement (10,000 points after spending $1,000 in the next 2 months).

You can actually check to see what other people have received as retention offers by heading over to FlyerTalk. Here are some helpful links:

How Do I Get a Retention Offer?

It may seem silly, but often times getting a credit card retention offer involves nothing more than calling in and asking nicely.

The retention department exists to keep you as a customer – it cost a lot to obtain your business, so they are often willing to throw some bonus points your way to keep you as a cardholder. Simply calling in and asking for bonus points or a waived annual fee works surprisingly often.

Basically, just call in and say that you’re not sure if you’re going to keep your card or not. Mention the annual fee and that you’re unsure if it’s worth keeping. If necessary, compare the card to others you hold – i.e., “My Sapphire Reserve has a better earning rate, so I don’t use this card much any more”.

You will likely be transferred to the retention department. If you aren’t, you may need to be more direct, and say that you wish to cancel the card. Front-line reps rarely handle card cancellations, so if you say those words you will almost certainly be transferred to the retention department.

Most people call in shortly before or shortly after their annual fee posts. Each bank has different rules and best practices, as outlined here. Keep in mind these are basically unwritten rules/guidelines that are subject to change.

Retention Offer Best Practices

  • Be kind and courteous to the reps you speak with
  • Call around the time your annual fee posts
  • Call during business hours (retention reps aren’t available 24/7)
  • Ask for the annual fee to be waived
  • If that doesn’t work, ask for bonus points or courtesy credit
  • If that still doesn’t work, ask to cancel the card
  • If you are still not offered anything, decide whether to keep the card or cancel it right there
  • If you don’t succeed at first, it may be worthwhile to call again and try a different rep

Chase Ink Business Preferred Currently Earning 3x on Plastiq Transactions

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The Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of the best small business credit cards on the market. For the time being, this already excellent card just got even better: Numerous user reports state that the Ink Preferred is currently earning 3x points on all payments made through Plastiq.

The Business Preferred has a 3x earning category that covers expenses including travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone service, and certain advertising expenses. For whatever reason, Plastiq payments are currently coding in this category, resulting in 3x UR points per dollar on ALL Plastiq payments, regardless of the type of bill or expense. For Ink cardholders, this presents a great opportunity to earn a lot of Ultimate Rewards for a relatively low cost.

Chase Ink Business

What Is Plastiq?

Plastiq is an online payment processor that allows you to pay your rent, car payments, income taxes, and other bills with a credit or debit card. You may also be able to pay your mortgage with Plastiq, however you cannot make mortgage payments via Plastiq with a Visa card. Since the Ink Preferred is a Visa, you won’t be able to use it for mortgage payments.

The process is fairly simple: you authorize a credit card payment through Plastiq’s online portal, and they pay the recipient (either via an electronic transfer or a mailed check). The process typically takes about a week, although it may take longer for new recipients that you haven’t paid via Plastiq before.

Plastiq charges a flat 2.5% fee for credit card payments, so it’s typically not worthwhile to use for the purpose of earning credit card rewards.

However, when the value of the points you could earn by using a credit card exceeds the 2.5% that Plastiq charges, that’s when it starts to make sense to pay bills via Plastiq.

The Math

Does it make sense to take advantage of this situation and pay your bills via Plastiq? In this case, absolutely yes!

Plastiq

Ultimate Rewards points are worth $0.01 per point at the bare minimum. That value rises to $0.0125 per point if redeemed for travel via the UR portal. And that value gets even better ($0.02+) when you transfer points to travel partners for redemption. TPG values UR points at 2.2 cents per point, and many other experts peg the value around the 2 cent mark.

So, let’s do some quick calculations, based on $1 spent through Plastiq:

Plastiq processing fee = -$0.025 or -2.5%

3x UR @ $0.01 per point = $0.03 or 3% back

3x UR @ $0.0125 per point = $0.0375 or 3.75% back

3x UR @ $0.02 per point = $0.06 or 6% back

Thus, these payments will result in a return of between 0.5% and 3.5%, depending on how you redeem your points. On a $2,000 rent payment, that’s $10 to $70 worth of value, simply for making a payment that you likely wouldn’t be able to pay via credit card any other way.

Bottom Line

In the end, this deal gets a big THUMBS UP.

For as long as this deal lasts, it presents an easy way to pay bills and earn a very solid return with your Ink Preferred. And since most of these bills can’t be paid with a credit card without using Plastiq, there’s no opportunity cost to consider.

With that said, keep in mind that Plastiq coding this way is likely a mistake – and one that could be corrected at any point in time. For now, it’s a great deal – but don’t necessarily count on it sticking around.

Chase Freedom Unlimited (New Offer): Receive 3 Percent Cash Back On Everything Your Purchase For 15 Months

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If you are looking for a credit card that will reward you for using it, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card may be just what you are looking for. This card offers 3 percent cash back (up to $150) on every purchase you make for the entire first year of owning it. After that you will earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on everything you purchase, making this card a great way to earn while you spend.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also offers no annual fee and no interest on purchases for the first 15 months. This is a good option for credit card users looking to pay down another credit card with a balance transfer to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. After the 15-month introductory period, the interest rates will vary from 16.49 to 25.24 percent on remaining balances. Balance transfers to the card are 5 percent of the total with a minimum of $5.

Chase Freedom Unlimited 3% Cash Back

If you are looking to earn even more Cash Back rewards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, you can add another authorized user to the card. When you make a purchase within three months of adding the new user, you will earn $25 in Cash Back rewards to your card. This makes it beneficial to have multiple users on your credit card to help you rack up those Cash Back rewards.

The best part about the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s Cash Back rewards feature is they never expire. For as long as you own and use your card, you will continue holding and earning rewards. Rewards can be used for a variety of options including cash back to your card every month. There is no minimum to cash in your rewards, and you also have the option of depositing the cash right into your personal checking or savings account.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited’s Cash Back rewards can also be used on Amazon by linking your card to your account with the retailer. This will allow you to make purchases with your Cash Back rewards including paying shipping fees and taxes. There is no restriction to using the rewards on the site, offering you plenty of flexibility as you shop.

chase credit card

Gift cards are another option to cash in your Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards. There is an extensive collection of retailers and restaurants to earn gift cards with if you prefer this method of payout for your rewards. In addition, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card extends to travel opportunities, offering flexible ways to pay for travel experiences and competitive rates for cardholders.

If you are already a Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholder, you still have a chance to earn up to $500 a year by referring your friends and family to the card. For each referral that signs up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you will receive $100 up to the maximum $500 per year offered.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card offers plenty of ways to earn rewards by using the card. It is also an ideal credit card for balance transfers and the no annual fee just enhance the benefits of owning this credit card.

Maurices CapitalOne VIP Credit Card

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Maurices VIP Credit Card

  • The MyMaurices VIP Credit Card by (one of the best Capital One credit cards) provides 10% off everyday purchases at Maurices and free shipping when ordering online at Maurices.com
  • Maurices.CapitalOne.com allows a card holder to pay a bill, view card activity, look over or print statements, and manage an account
  • Online access to MyMaurices VIP Credit Card account is free for all cardholders

The Maurices Capital One credit card is open to all legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older.  This credit card is a must have for consumers who frequently shop at Maurices.

Maurices.CapitalOne.com

In order to apply for the Maurices VIP Capital One Credit Card simply visit www.maurices.com/creditcard and click on the apply now tab.  The applicant will be asked to provide their first and last name, residential address, email address, SSN, date of birth, and a variety of financial information (i.e. monthly income, rent or own a home).  Please note after completing the application process and clicking the Submit Application button applicants will receive a response page within 60 seconds

Maurices.CapitalOne.com VIP Credit Card Highlights

  • 10% off purchases (sale items included)
  • Free shipping (no minimum purchase required)
  • Membership comes with a special birthday gift
  • Members will receive 1 point for ever dollar spent
  • 100 Bonus Points for new members
  • Invites to special events
  • First look at new style hitting Maurices

www.maurices.capitalone.com

The MauricesCreditCard loyalty program is provided exclusively by maurices and is subject to the mauricesCreditCard loyalty program terms and conditions. mauricesCreditCard VIP Credit Cardholders are not automatically enrolled in the loyalty program. The loyalty program requires customers to enroll in stores or on maurices.com. Capital One, N.A. is not party to the mauricesCreditCard loyalty program or the terms of the loyalty program. – www.maurices.com/creditcard

Any questions in regards to a maurices VIP Credit Card application can be directed to toll-free 800-701-4135.

Sources

  1. www.maurices.capitalone.com
  2. maurices.capitalonecards.com/apply

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