I have to admit that I write a lot about how American Express and its Rewards Abuse Team (RAT) gets overly aggressive when penalizing those they feel are “gaming the system.”
While the people who get caught up in their traps sometimes deserve it for pushing the limits of what’s considered acceptable, I took a step back and thought about it.
If I wasn’t writing about all of these “shutdowns” and “clawbacks” by AMEX for the website, would I even know they existed? Probably not.
That’s because I tend to play things conservatively and act more like the tortoise than the hare.
For the average customer, American Express has done plenty of things to make them happy since the pandemic struck.
- They added monthly credits for streaming and wireless phone charges
- And let you use your hotel credits for supermarket purchases
- Along with bringing back the Small Business “Shop Small” offer early to support local businesses
- Finally, AMEX has added a temporary $30 monthly PayPal credit for personal and business Platinum cardholders
If you’re Mr. Average AMEX Cardholder, you’d rightly think that American Express has done plenty of things over the past year to make your card more valuable during the pandemic.
To strengthen the case that AMEX is doing a lot to keep customers happy, they released new AMEX offers to people who have the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy co-brand hotel cards.
This offer for $10 back per month for spending $10 or more at U.S. Restaurants was on my Marriott Bonvoy AMEX (Formerly known as the SPG AMEX.)
This better offer for $20 back per month for spending $20 or more at U.S. Restaurants was offered on my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX.
The Marriott Cards aren’t the only ones getting the AMEX Offer love. Like the $10 one from my AMEX Bonvoy, this offer showed up on my Hilton Surpass AMEX.
The best thing about the offers from Marriott and Hilton AMEX cards is that they’re not exclusive. You can sign up for the credits with both a Hilton card and a Marriott card.
How do these offers affect the card’s value?
The Hilton Surpass has a $95 annual fee. If I use the offer every month, I’ll make back $110. That’s a keeper.
The AMEX Bonvoy card also has a $95 annual fee and I’ll make back $110 in credits in addition to the free night certificate good for a room night valued at up to 35,000 points.
The Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX has a $450 annual fee. I can earn $220 back with the dining credits. There’s another $300 credit to be used at Marriott Hotels and a free night good for a room up to 50,000 points.
For all of these cards, the addition of a monthly dining credit pays you back more than the annual fee. Unlike most AMEX credits, which are difficult to use, there should be no problem getting the full value.
Constantly reading about how American Express is cracking down on this way to earn points and using any reason to shut down accounts, you forget everything else that the bank is doing to keep customers. They’ve constantly added value to almost every card in their portfolio during the COVID pandemic. These new dining credits are just one more thing they’re doing to keep customers from thinking their AMEX cards aren’t worth paying the annual fee.
This won’t keep me from pointing out when AMEX goes overboard. As with most long-term relationships, you have to take the bad with the good and for now, there are more good things coming from American Express.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary