Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Saving Money with Amex Offers

Most Novembers, my father is planning for the American Express promotion known as Small Business Saturday (where we can get free/discounted items bought from small merchants). Here's a recap on the past few years:

- 2014 - 3 x $10 per card
- 2013 - $10 per card
- 2012 - $25 per card

In years past, we were able to save or donate hundreds of dollars each Saturday after Thanksgiving.

This year, however, the promotion is severely limited.

But when God closes a door, He opens a window. As such, the powers-that-be at American Express have increased promotions under their Amex Offers program which are very compelling for people willing to pre-pay for services/goods they will need later on.

After clicking on our AmericanExpress.com accounts and scrolling down to the Amex Offers section, we found some great deals, including $15 off $60 at Amazon (saving 25%) and $10 of $20 at Uber (saving 50%).

My parents were lucky enough to receive the Amex Offer on all 21 of the cards they manage. However, we didn't have anything specific we needed to purchase. Nor did we have any $20 Uber rides in our immediate future.

But we were pretty confident that over the course of the next few months, we'd buy something from Amazon and take Uber rides, so we purchased some gift cards to lock in the savings now.

Of course, the major risk is that we would not buy anything from Amazon or take an Uber in the future, essentially throwing away $60 to save $15 (or $20 to save $10), but we didn't think those downside scenarios were likely. Plus, by having "store credit," we could use it for purchases or rides that were below the respective $60 and $20 spending thresholds.

Per usual, as soon as the purchase is made, American Express sends a confirmation email so you know they're tracking the transaction.

However, it seems that Uber is no longer offering Gift Cards/Certificates, so more to come if this plan is viable or not. They may have disabled this feature so that it actually encourages Uber ride activity instead of people like my father hording Uber credits.

Well, now I'm going to go audit all our past Uber routes to make sure the drivers didn't take the long way to overcharge us.

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