American Express Selects U.S. Program Review

American Express Selects logoThis program is very popular overseas, yet I am always surprised to discover how few U.S. cardmembers even know about. In a nutshell, the American Express Selects offers a variety of exclusive opportunities for cardmembers to save money.  I will review with you what I like and dislike about the program.

Dining

As I write this review, nationwide there are 26 different restaurants in the United States with active offers available (this is much less than the 47 available in 2011 when I first reviewed it). If you live in major cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, you will probably find some deals in your area. Speaking of Chicago, strangely enough that’s where 24 out of the 47 are located!

Here are some examples…

  • For Chicagoans that just want some pizza, I actually see several deals available. One of which is at Connies Pizza. Through all of 2011 you can get 20% off any dine-in, pickup, or delivery order by using your American Express card. A pretty good deal but if you have a pizza addiction like me, I suppose that might be a drawback.
  • For New York City, I see Grace’s Trattoria listed and the offer is for a $10 savings if there are 2+ people eating an entrée for lunch or dinner. That deal ran for 6 months from 12/1/10 thru 6/1/11.

What I don’t like about AmEx Selects is that it basically discriminates against everyone living outside the major cities when it comes to restaurant offers. However I did see one “normal” restaurant that is pretty big in the Midwest and that is Ruby Tuesdays…

Roby Tuesdays couponUnfortunately American Express makes it very confusing as to which locations this particular coupon can be used at – they don’t list it under any of the cities. Under the “Locations” tab on the deal’s page, it directs you to the locator on Ruby Tuesdays’ website. I assume that means it likely could be used at all locations but don’t quote me on that.

Verdict? Great for Chicagoans and not-so-much for everyone else.

Shopping

The shopping selection is much better than the restaurant options. As I write this there are 228 American Express Selects shopping partners.

Almost every offer is for online shopping and I would consider the deals comparable to what you would find on your run-of-the-mill coupon sites. That being said, there were several that I have not seen elsewhere like…

  • $5 off $50+ at Target.com
  • $5 off $50+ at Kmart.com

If you used those on orders that were exactly $50, that’s a 10% savings. Then if you stacked them with what you could earn through the AmEx Bonus Points Mall, you could save even more.

Verdict: American Express Selects has a few one-of-kind offers. The rest is similar to what can be found elsewhere.

Entertainment

There were 59 current offers available. Some were very lackluster, like online discounts for booking a “Body Glove Cruise” (why a clothing company is having cruises, I have no idea). However if you are in the right location, there are some nice deals to be had. Here are a few…

Entertainment offers for AmEx Select

As you see, there’s a lot of 2 for 1 deals and ticket discounts.

Verdict: If you happen to live or be on vacation in places the participate, these are some nice offers for sure.

Travel

We all know travel is a strong point when it comes to AmEx credit cards, so it comes as no surprise that they have a nice selection of deals for this category. And unlike the shopping deals which were mostly identical to coupon codes you will find elsewhere, the AmEx Selects US program has savings opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else.

There were 140 when I looked at here are a few random ones to give you an idea of what’s available…

AmEx Selects travel offers

Verdict: This is probably the most useful category out of all the American Express Selects offers because you get some real savings, plus many of these savings can be used by people no matter where they live in the US.

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Written May 2011

 
Comments
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I know this may not be relevant because of the passage of time, but, it appears that the program isn’t even available in the United States.

See: http://offers.amexnetwork.com/slimlanding?campaignID=Cam-0002763&undefined=undefined&lang=en-us

Hi Daniel, that’s an excellent question. AmEx has been using numbered sub-domains for several years now (probably for load balancing) and all of them are 2XX. I believe the 212 you encountered is just a coincidence, because here in SoCal I also receive 2XX which is different than the area codes in my area. But that’s not a weird question at all, you actually have a good eye for noticing that. Of course I am used to seeing their subdomains but no one else on the forum has ever brought it up.

Daniel Tamayo, III

I have a weird follow-up question to your article.
Is there any chance you accessed the Amex site from Chicago or the surrounding suburbs and the site actually tailored the deals available to your geographic location?
I notice when I use the amex site, it is www212 which shows that I am in the 212 area code while accessing the site. Just curious, that’s all.
If so, then it might be worth amending your review to note that the site automatically tailored the deals that were available in your area to your current geographic location. (which doesn’t work so well if you are trying to find deals in an area which you might be visiting in say 8 weeks for vacation so I guess there is a drawback).