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Old 06-28-2009, 04:14 AM   #1
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Amex Membership Rewards Points - Any Tips?

I have an American Express card and for years have essentially ignored their membership rewards program, assuming it was nonsense. I don't use it much anyway. They have a 10% off program on until July 12th, so I was thinking I might as well look into it and use the points up if I can find anything I actually want. The problem is that their prices are much higher than I can get elsewhere, with a notable exception: Apple products. Those seem the same just about everywhere owing to Apple's strict price controls. I don't actually need any Apple stuff at the moment and was wondering if anyone had noticed any other manufacturers that may have similar controls and therefore may not be inflated on the Amex site. Thanks.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:31 AM   #2
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Rewards programs really work. My parents used to fly to Aruba yearly on rewards alone, when business was booming and they used the card to move a lot of money.

I used a Mastercard with rewards and eventually spent my accumulated points on a few hundred dollars cash.

Just read the fine print thoroughly.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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i don't like their rewards as much as some others. i use shell(master card) for gas purchases receiving cash back. and i use discover for car maintenance receiving cash or gift certificates.

for anyone that is responsible enough to pay them off each month, i would highly recommend credit cards and their rewards programs.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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I never carry a balance and wasn't even aware the card had a rewards program when I got it in the 90s. Maybe it didn't and they added it later. I know for a long while they just offered useless stuff but now they have real products. Expensive real products, alas, so I'm probably going to ignore the 10% offer and just get it converted to cash.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilian View Post
...so I'm probably going to ignore the 10% offer and just get it converted to cash.
sounds like the best idea. i sometimes use certificates as their value is higher over cash. if i find nothing of value or need, i get the cash.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Since the redemption rate is 20,000 points for $100 and they had a special on Home Depot gift cards at 4,000 points for $50 and I'm building a house it was pretty much a no brainer to just get a bunch of those instead of cash. Normally the gift cards are 5,000 for $50, so still twice as bad to get cash. Guess they really really don't want you redeeming for cash. Even if I hadn't needed the cards I'd be better off getting them and Ebaying them off.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
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1. Do not always pay off your credit card balance.

They make their money on the interest payments and many credit card companies are shedding those who always pay off their card.

I accidentally discovered this when I called AMEX to see if I was safe and was told that my paying off a big balance in a couple payments was a good thing.

Let em have a crumb every now and then.

2. I buy a lot of gasoline at Costco. $30.00 or more every day.
My buddies at the store pushed me, literally by taking the card and going to membership and doing the paperwork for me, to get me a Costco Business American Express Card.
Yes, Costco has their own American Express Cards.

The result is;
The card is my Costco membership card. All fees are included in the Business Membership, which is the same cost as the Executive Membership American Express Card.
So, no stinkin annual fees for me.

BUT

The business card refunds 5% of gas charges....wherever I buy gas. Any station.
Remember, gas is projected to zoom right past $4.00 in the not to distant future.

Plus. I get the cash rewards and discounts the card offers everywhere the card is accepted.

And...their billing and record keeping is excellent.

By the way Your 'business' can be anything from Amway to calling yourself a 'money manager' because you handle investing in your Keogh.

And, having an American Express card makes your credit look pretty darn good.
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