Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

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CarefulBuilder14
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Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:27 am

I have three Amex cards:

Blue Cash Everyday (no AF)
EveryDay Preferred ($95 AF)
Premier Rewards Gold ($175 AF this year, $195 next year)

In terms of earning ordinary rewards, EDP is the MR heavyweight. PRG reigns in the airfare category and has some little extras, but it and BCE are mostly just for offers and credits.

I decided I'd keep close track of the credits I get, and see how long it takes to offset each AF. I welcome others to post their results, if they want.

A few rules, though:

Try to identify not just the nominal value of the offer, but also the economic value to you. For example: Say you get an offer of "Spend $50, get $10 back" at Merchant A you can easily use, but you can get an identical (or very similar) good or service at Merchant B for $45 with no particular inconvenience. In that case, the offer would only really count for $5 of value (since $40 is only $5 less than $45).

If an offer ends up nominally saving you $15, but a different (*non-Amex*) card you'd happily use could have saved you $10, then only count $5 of economic value.

Similarly, if using an offer involves a little inconvenience or is for something you might not otherwise get, then show a reduced economic value.

While it would be nice to offset the AFs on both EDP and PRG with their respective credits, I won't consider it a failure if I don't. Between signup bonuses and earned MRs, I know I'm in good shape. It would just be kind of neat to have the offer values exceed the AFs.

I'll crunch the numbers for my cards tomorrow, but examples would be:
EDP. Ticketmaster Amex Checkout. $10 nominal, $10 economic. (No discount, since I needed tickets and was going to use EDP, anyway.)
EDP. Sam's Club $20 off $20+. $20 nominal, $15 economic. (I got some stuff online I could have gotten at Costco for slightly less and without a shipping fee.)
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when


Gamma
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Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby Gamma » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:23 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I have three Amex cards:

Blue Cash Everyday (no AF)
EveryDay Preferred ($95 AF)
Premier Rewards Gold ($175 AF this year, $195 next year)

In terms of earning ordinary rewards, EDP is the MR heavyweight. PRG reigns in the airfare category and has some little extras, but it and BCE are mostly just for offers and credits.

I decided I'd keep close track of the credits I get, and see how long it takes to offset each AF. I welcome others to post their results, if they want.

A few rules, though:

Try to identify not just the nominal value of the offer, but also the economic value to you. For example: Say you get an offer of "Spend $50, get $10 back" at Merchant A you can easily use, but you can get an identical (or very similar) good or service at Merchant B for $45 with no particular inconvenience. In that case, the offer would only really count for $5 of value (since $40 is only $5 less than $45).

If an offer ends up nominally saving you $15, but a different (*non-Amex*) card you'd happily use could have saved you $10, then only count $5 of economic value.

Similarly, if using an offer involves a little inconvenience or is for something you might not otherwise get, then show a reduced economic value.

While it would be nice to offset the AFs on both EDP and PRG with their respective credits, I won't consider it a failure if I don't. Between signup bonuses and earned MRs, I know I'm in good shape. It would just be kind of neat to have the offer values exceed the AFs.

I'll crunch the numbers for my cards tomorrow, but examples would be:
EDP. Ticketmaster Amex Checkout. $10 nominal, $10 economic. (No discount, since I needed tickets and was going to use EDP, anyway.)
EDP. Sam's Club $20 off $20+. $20 nominal, $15 economic. (I got some stuff online I could have gotten at Costco for slightly less and without a shipping fee.)

Have you had the any of those cards for more than 1 year? If so, you can see how much you've saved with just offers alone and see if it's worth keeping. Also, do you have authorized users? I take complete advantage of offers adding my family members and having them make purchases to satisfy spending requirement. So far since March, I've been saving either 20%-50% on just gas alone with using offers to purchase gas gift cards and I could really use that savings here ($4/gal here) :(

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:23 pm

I've had BCE and PRG for about a year, but wasn't very attuned to the offers most of the time. My start date will be May 2015, when I started looking more regularly for offers and paid my first Amex AF (for EDP).

No AUs at the moment.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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CarefulBuilder14
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
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Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:37 pm

Starting May 2015:
EDP: -$95
PRG: -$175
BCE: $0

BCE. $5 off $5+ at iTunes. $5 economic.
BCE. $15 off $79+ at Walmart.com. $15 economic.
EDP. $20 off $20+ at Samsclub.com. $15 economic.
EDP. Checkout at Ticketmaster. $10 economic.
EDP. Checkout at Newegg. $5 economic.
PRG. $50 off $200 at Brooks Bros. $50 economic.
PRG. $5 off $5 at Google. $3 economic.

So, after 3 months:
EDP: -$65.
PRG: -$122.
BCE: +$20.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:06 pm

EDP $5 off $25+ ExxonMobil. $4 economic, since Freedom also covers gas.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Gamma
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Posts: 464
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby Gamma » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:32 pm

Why not take advantage of the offers you use on one card with your other cards? Also, those savings within 3 months seem pretty good.
Edit: You can also take advantage of the Amex checkout offer with newegg on your other cards ordering a $10 e-gift card. I did that and got the credit.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:54 pm

Gamma wrote:Why not take advantage of the offers you use on one card with your other cards? Also, those savings within 3 months seem pretty good.
Edit: You can also take advantage of the Amex checkout offer with newegg on your other cards ordering a $10 e-gift card. I did that and got the credit.

I'll try using Newegg Checkout again with the other cards. ExxonMobil I have on PRG, too. The others have been limited to one card each.

I could have gotten ExxonMobil on BCE, too, but I was testing the tabbed browser trick and only needed it twice at most since I get some gas at Costco.

ETA: Got more Newegg email gift cards. Assuming I get the $10 in each case, and value each at $8, I'll be at:
EDP: -$61
PRG: -$114
BCE: +$28
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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CarefulBuilder14
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Posts: 3754
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:30 pm

All credits have posted, including Newegg Checkout for all three cards.

Apart from another ExxonMobil offer, nothing looks good except for maybe Sports Authority. I'll need to wait for more good ones to roll in.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
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Posts: 3754
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:45 pm

Bad news. It looks like Amex Offers and the Barclaycard portal no longer stack. At least, the trick didn't work last time I tried. It was only a matter of time until they fixed this.

This favors use of my double-rewards Discover in some cases.


Edit: Nope, it still works. It just took longer. :D

So Sports Authority $10 off $50+ knocks an economic $2 off EDP. It would be higher, but Discover is just such a great alternative.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
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Posts: 3754
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Re: Amex Offers vs. AFs Challenge

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:03 pm

BCE $40 off $200+ at Zappos. $40 economic.
EDP 1k bonus MRs for $50+ at Whole Foods. $15 economic. Saved it on PRG for later, too.

BCE: +$68
PRG: -$114
EDP: -$44
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when



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