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Your Questions Answered
Last week I began a series of posts answering questions from readers. Now that I am back in town, I will do my best to continue to answer as many of the questions as possible. If I haven’t answered your question yet then please be patient. If it is something that is highly unique to you, feel free to email me. To ask a question yourself, leave a comment over on this original post.
Here are the previous posts from this round of questions:
- Will Sharing Restricted (Taxable) ThankYou Points with Another Account Remove the Restrictions?
- Q&A – My Thoughts on a Possible Chase UR Devaluation Given Recent Negative Changes & Multiple Staples Rewards Accounts
- Creatively Bridging AAdvantage One-Way Awards & How Hyatt Calculates the Expiration Date on their Credit Card Free Night Certificates
- Can You Earn Miles Across Multiple Dining Programs & Shopping Portal Best Practices & Troubleshooting
Lets move on to today’s questions.
Our first question is from David:
I’ve read some contradictory info out there in internet land, as whether cards of authorized user’s are entitled to their own Amex Offers. What’s your experience with and knowledge of this?
Also, I’ve created multiple Serve sub accounts, but have yet to get them ‘on board’ for Amex Offers. Is the best (or only) way to get the sub accounts in on the action, to link each card with twitter account.Thanks so much!
American Express Authorized Users & Amex Offers
This is a great question, because there seems to be a lot of misinformation about Amex Offers out there. First off, we need to look at the three main types of American Express cards eligible for Amex Offers:
- American Express issued credit cards
- American Express Bluebird/Serve prepaid cards
- 3rd party issued American Express cards
American Express Issued Credit Cards: The authorized user cards on these accounts each have their own number and thus each one is eligible for its own Amex Offers.
Serve/Bluebird: These cards don’t have authorized users, but they do have family/sub accounts. Each of the family/sub cards has its own number as well, so each one of those is eligible for its own Amex Offers.
3rd Party Issued Amex: These cards are issued by other banks like US Bank, Citi and Bank of America. Some examples are the Fidelity Amex or the US Bank Flexperks Amex. In most cases, the authorized user cards on these accounts have the same number as the main card and thus are NOT eligible for their own Amex Offers.
Basically every unique American Express card number is eligible. If your authorized card has a unique number then it gets its own offers and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t have its own offers. The offers are tied to the account number. Plain and simple.
Guide to Amex Offers
The second part of your question pertains to syncing with Twitter. I do believe that is the easiest way for to go for Serve cards overall. I have helped to write The Complete Guide to Amex Offers over on Frequent Miler. It really is a complete source to this program and will show you all of your options and avenues to maximize this awesome program.
Our second question is from Jeffrey:
When looking at a recent Amex Offer I read the following: “For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you will not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it.”
I like to use portals(topcashback) when making my purchases. Would you suggest not using a portal when attempting to take advantage of an AMEX deal? that is basically what the above states.
However, with the most recent AMEX checkout deal ($10 credit), it seems I was being awarded my portal bonus and AMEX bonuses. I did 4 transactions at newegg.com, I have received four $10 credits, and at TOPcashback my purchases are pending(payable up to 8 weeks). So, perhaps they are not 100% confirmed but I think they surely will be. Also, they are not going to reverse the $10 credits after posting them.
In short, do you have experience using a portal + AMEX deals and having success with both?
Amex Offers & Portals
There are a couple of great questions here. First off, lets talk about the language you mention. This is pretty typical on Amex Offers and it makes perfect sense. American Express uses computers to recognize your transaction and to issue your credit. If you go through an electronic wallet such as Apple Pay or a mobile card reader, the purchase often codes differently. (It doesn’t look the same on Amex’s side.)
When you are using a shopping portal, you are still doing business directly with a merchant. The language you cite is not talking about portals at all. The way a portal works is it sends you over to the merchant and the merchant then processes the transaction. On the credit card side, the payment is processed the same whether you go through a portal or if you go directly to the website.
The portal receives a kickback from the merchant for referring you to them and in turn they share some of that with you. Beyond that they don’t have anything to do with the transaction and your charge remains between you, the merchant and American Express.
The Amex Checkout Deal & Amex Offers Are Different
As for the Amex Checkout deal, that wasn’t an Amex Offer. It was a completely separate deal that was triggered for using the American Express payment solution. Again, portals should and did work fine. Basically the American Express computers were looking to see if you used Amex Express Checkout at a specific merchant and if you did then they issued a credit.
So to sum it all up, I ALWAYS use shopping portals when shopping online as long as they are available. Over the past few years I have participated in dozens (maybe over 100) Amex Offers online and have always received my portal cashback just like normal. It is a fantastic way to double dip and enjoy even more savings! Thanks Jeffrey!
I know the content this week has been a little heavy on the Amex Offers, but these are two very good questions that I felt many people might be wondering about. Hopefully after this week everyone has a better understanding of Amex Offers, has their Twitter accounts setup and is ready for the next big deal to come down the pipeline!
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.