I’m Really Lovin’ American Express

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Over this past year, I’ve actually made money just by having an American Express credit card – well four of them! American Express has run some amazing promotions where in total I’ve received $822.50 back in statement credits and gift cards. This has paid for the yearly fee of all four cards, while also putting additional cash in my pocket! Just another great perk of these credit cards!

Clearly American Express does not just give away money, so these promotions did take some time and effort, but it was totally worth it. Let’s take a look at this past year and see how this was done.

The four promotions that I have taken part in include:

  • Link, Like, Love Promotion: $40 statement credit for a Starwood stay (there are many other participating merchants as well)
  • Small Business Saturday: $25 statement credit for spending $25 at a participating merchant
  • Gift Chain Promotion: Varying gifts including gift cards, statement credits, Membership Reward points just for purchasing $25+ items at an online participating merchant (which could include the a merchant gift card)
  • Mix-n-Match Promotion: $50 statement credit for spending $200+ at two or more participating NYC merchants

Here are the 4 cards the have made me very happy so far and the extra money earned:

  • Card 1: Starwood American Express (Mrs. Deals) – $65 annual fee waived the first year
    • Link, Like, Love Promotion: $40 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Small Business Saturday: $25 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Gift Chain Promotion: $29.50 statement credit, $180 worth of American Express gift cards, $8 in Dunkin Donuts gift cards, and $20 in Starbucks gift cards = $296.50 (all for purchasing $225 worth of Pottery Barn gift cards which will be used anyways)
    • Mix-n-Match Promotion: $50 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • TOTAL MADE: $411.50
  • Card 2: Starwood American Express (Mr. Deals) – $65 annual fee waived the first year
    • Link, Like, Love Promotion: $40 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Small Business Saturday: $25 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Gift Chain Promotion: $60 statement credit, $16 in Dunkin Donuts gift cards, and $20 in Starbucks gift cards = $96.00 (all for purchasing $250 worth of Pottery Barn gift cards which will be used anyways)
    • Mix-n-Match Promotion: $50 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • TOTAL MADE: $211.00
  • Card 3: The NEW Business Gold Rewards Card(R) from American Express OPEN – $175 annual fee waived the first year
    • Link, Like, Love Promotion: none (did not have the card at this time)
    • Small Business Saturday: $25 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Gift Chain Promotion: $25 statement credit, $8 in Dunkin Donuts gift cards, and $40 worth of American Express gift cards = $73.00 (all for purchasing $200 worth of REI gift cards which will be used anyways)
    • Mix-n-Match Promotion: $50 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • TOTAL MADE: $125
  • Card 4: American Express Hilton HHonors – no annual fee
    • Link, Like, Love Promotion: none (did not have a need)
    • Small Business Saturday: $25 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • Gift Chain Promotion: none (did not have a need for additional gift cards)
    • Mix-n-Match Promotion: $50 statement credit (would have had this purchase anyways)
    • TOTAL MADE: $75

UPDATE: I recently realized that my Macy’s and Bloomingdale cards are also Amex so was able to get an additional $100 statement credit with the Mix-n-Match promotion!

Since all these cards were opened this year, we spent nothing on the annual fees, but ultimately will be spending $305/year for these four cards (assuming we keep them all). However, in just about 8 months, I’ve made a total of $822.50 with these four credit cards ($922.50 once you add in the Macys and Bloomies)! Pretty good ROI in my opinion! Now, on top of this money made (and yes, I do consider it money made as I received it back in statement credits, Amex gift cards, and Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards which I go to anyways), I also earned a total of 195,000 points as sign up bonuses. And on top of that, I earned a slew of points just for making these purchases.

While I originally was planning on closing the American Express Gold Business card when the year is up (due to the pretty high fee), I actually might consider keeping it I can make the yearly fee back in these various promotions. I like this card as it gives 3x points on all airfare, so do not want to get rid of it too quickly. Side note: If you are interested in this card, I would recommend waiting until there is a better sign up bonus – right now there is nothing! These promotions also might motivate me to jump on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, the annual fee is only $95 and if I can make that back plus more it might be a good investment (not to mention the waived baggage fees)!

Overall, these promotions that American Express has had (and I believe they will continue to have) are definitely something to take into consideration when applying for a new credit card and weighing out the pros/cons. Most people just look at the sign on bonus, the program itself, and some other perks (waived baggage fees, car insurance, etc.), but these additional statement credit promotions should not be overlooked. As you can tell, I am a HUGE fan!

I’ve highlighted the benefits and bonuses of these cards on this page here.

Disclosure: Some of the credit card offers are affiliate links where I get paid commission if apply and get approved. I will only list the best credit card offers even if they are not my links. These are credit cards that I personally think are extremely beneficial for free travel, while also being a great money maker!!

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Comments

  1. Most people don’t know but it does not have to be AmEx-issued AmEx cards to take advantage of these promos.

    The AmEx’s from Bank of America and Citi also can be used.

    • @Parag – I just realized that my Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s cards are Amex. Glad they made that change a year or two ago! Two more Costco purchases on my way!

    • @Isquared – The Link, Like, Love promotion is tied to Facebook. There are actually MANY promotions to take part in and register for. For example, currently there is a promotion where you’ll get a $50 statement credit for a $250+ stay at an InterContinental hotel. There are also non-travel related promotions, i.e., $10 statement credit when you spend $50 or more at The Cheesecake Factory.

      You can view the promotion here: https://apps.facebook.com/amexlinklikelove/?ref=ts

    • @Abby – there are many ways I find out about promotions, which include: constantly reading blogs, searching on flyertalk and milepoint, and signing up to receive email from many many merchants!

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