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American Express just sent me a lovely email offering 20,000 Membership Rewards when adding an authorized user and having them spend $2,000 within six months.
- Add an authorized user to a targeted American Express card and have them spend $2,000 on that card in six months to earn 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards, or
- Add an authorized user to a targeted American Express card and have them spend $2,000 on that card in six months to earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards.
- Offer ends September 7, 2021.
- Add one or more new Additional Card Members to your account through this email and you can earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points after each Additional Card Member spends $2000 or more in eligible purchases on their Card within their first 6 months of Card Membership starting from the date on which the Additional Card Member is added.
- The maximum you can earn as part of this offer is 20,000 Membership Rewards points.
- Additional Cards can be added at different times but must be added by September 7th, 2021 to be eligible for this offer.
- Purchases made by other Additional Card Members on your Account will not count toward the $2000 purchase requirement.
- Purchases made by eligible Additional Card Members will not be combined to satisfy the $2000 purchase requirement.
- Your purchases as the Basic Card Member will not count toward the $2000 purchase requirement.
- In rare instances, the Additional Card Member’s period to spend $2000 may be shorter than 6 months if there is a delay in receiving their Card. Also, purchases may fall outside of the 6 month period in some cases, such as a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date they made the transaction. (For example, if they buy goods online, the purchase date may be the date the goods are shipped).
- The 20,000 Membership Rewards points will be applied 8-12 weeks after the Threshold Amount is met.
- If we in our sole discretion determine that you or your Additional Card Members have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with this offer in any way or intend to do so (for example, if you added one or more Additional Cards to obtain an offer(s)that we did not intend for you; or if you or your Additional Card Members cancel or return purchases made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you and your Additional Card Members may have with us.
The content of the email from Amex suggests that this is being targeted at Platinum cardholders, but keep an eye on your emails just in case they’re sending out similar offers on other cards.
Earning 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards after $2,000 of spend is a great return as that’s a return of 10x per dollar in addition to the standard points you’d earn.
Note that when adding authorized users on a vanilla Platinum card (i.e. rather than a Schwab, Morgan Stanley, etc.) there’s a $175 fee for up to three authorized users. However, you can add an authorized user with a Gold card which comes with no fee and there’s nothing in the terms suggesting that’s not allowed in order to earn the 20,000 bonus points. Something to bear in mind is that the Gold card received as an authorized user on a Platinum card doesn’t get Platinum benefits, nor does the card earn 4x at grocery stores. Still, no fee and 20,000 Membership Rewards after $2,000 of spend is still worthwhile.
The offer is due to end on September 7, 2021. That means that if you add the authorized user in September, they’d have until the beginning of March 2022 to complete the spend. That could be particularly useful if you’re not anticipating high spending now, but are more likely to have higher organic spend at the end of the year due to the holidays, or if you’re working on other signup bonuses right now and so don’t want to immediately divert $2,000 of spend for this offer. Then again, with six months to complete the spend that’s only $333.33 which should be achievable for most people.
Update: As per comments from Jason and Bob below, it looks like there’s more than one version of this offer being sent out by Amex, so be sure to check the terms of your offer closely if you’re targeted. If you use Gmail, you might need to click ‘[Message clipped] View entire message’ at the bottom of the email to view the full terms. With their offers, it specifically states that they’ll earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards per authorized user who spends $2,000 which is less enticing as that’s only 2.5 bonus Membership Rewards per dollar. The wording for my offer is different, so it might be that there are even more versions of this going out.