Amex Offers are one of the main things that I love about the American Express family of cards. I have saved/earned so much money and thousands of points over the years because of them and not just by spending money I wasn’t already. There have been some amazing deals (my favorite was the $150 back on $150 spend with AT&T) and Amex continues to roll out some strong ones, especially those that allow you to earn 20 and even 30 Membership Reward points per dollar on the threshold!
Sometimes Amex Offers Could Cost You MORE Money
But, sometimes you really need to do your homework before you just grab that Amex Offer and go spend. Here is just one instance of what happened to me recently and can hopefully remind us all to do our checking before we just assume that a “great” offer in terms of the numbers is really a great offer.
TicketCity Amex Offer
I was looking for some tickets to a baseball game for someone and they had wanted some really decent seats. I found some great seats at less than face value and then remembered the TicketCity Amex Offer in my account. It was for spend $250+, receive $75 back. It is a pretty strong offer! But, like other ticket resale sites, TicketCity has fees and they just about equal that $75!
I checked various ticket resale sites to compare to the tickets I found on TicketCity. I checked the same exact seats on each site that had them. TicketCity was $398 after the fees and before the $75 that the buyer would receive back using the Amex Offer. So, the final cost for those seats from TicketCity was $323.
On StubHub, I found the same exact seats for a total of $252 – all fees included! Not only that, but anyone could buy StubHub gift cards at an office supply store or on eBay from PayPal Digital Gifts and use a Chase Ink card for another 5 points per dollar – basically getting at least $12 back or more like $18-24 in travel value with the Chase Ultimate Reward points and their partners! That would mean an easy final cost of $240, at the high end.
That meant that the difference between TicketCity and Stubhub for the same exact seats came to TicketCity costing $71 more with straight cash ($83 more if you include the 5% back with the Chase Ink/gift card route). And that is using a pretty generous Amex Offer for TicketCity!
While I am sure there are situations where that TicketCity offer could help, in this case, this Amex Offer would have cost more money if it had been used rather than searching around first.
Amex Offers can be amazing money savers but do not always assume that just because an Amex Offer is a good one that it can save you more money than if you do some casual searching around at competitor sites (of the retailer).
Have you found any Amex Offers that would have cost more to use than if you had searched someplace else?