(Full credit goes to Doctor of Credit for this post. Below is my experience with this offer.)
Yesterday, Doctor of Credit re-posted a great hack on how to apply for the American Express Business Platinum Card with a 100,000 point offer. I highly recommend reading his post here (and following his blog in general) but here is how this offer works.
American Express routinely sends out targeted mailers with unique RSVP codes to certain customers trying to entice them to apply for the Business Platinum card with a 100,000 point offer after spending $10,000 in 3 months. If you don’t receive a mailer with a unique code, the general consensus was you could not apply for this offer until it was determined that American Express might extend this offer to you as a courtesy if you called even if you never actually received any targeted mailer.
You can call the application phone number (1-800-971-6736), indicate you had a mailer and simply misplaced it or think it might be expired and if you are lucky, the American Express agent might still extend you the offer as a courtesy. I have never received any offers or mailers for any business cards from American Express so I was eager to try this. Here is my experience applying for this offer yesterday.
I called the number above and after selecting option #1 to apply for a credit card, I was connected to a friendly agent and here is our conservation almost verbatim.
Agent: Thank you for calling American Express. Did you receive a mailer with an offer for a card that you would like to apply for today?
Me: I did receive a mailer but I think I lost it and it might have been expired anyway but is there any way you can check for me?
Agent: Sure, what is your name and address?
Me: My name and address is…
Agent: Hmm, I don’t see anything on your account but as a courtesy there is an offer for the Business Platinum card that you can apply for. The offer is for 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in 3 months.
Me: That’s a great offer – I’d love to apply for it!
I proceeded to fill out the application with the agent on the phone and 15 minutes later, I was approved! I double checked that I would earn the 100,000 points if I met the minimum spend requirement and he was absolutely confident I would as that offer was attached to the application. For me, I think this is arguably one of the strongest offers of the year even with the $450 annual fee:
- 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points are worth $1,500 to me based on a value of 1.5 cents per point. I frequently transfer points to British Airways to take advantage of domestic & Caribbean flights (since the amount of miles required is based on distance) but 100,000 points can cover a roundtrip business class flight to Europe which is worth closer to $4k-$5k.
- One of the perks of the cards is a $200 airline fee credit every calendar year. And even though it is technically not allowed, you can buy airline gift cards (for certain airlines and in certain amounts) and that counts toward using the credit. Since it is based on a calendar year basis, I can use this in 2014, 2015 and early 2016 before I have to pay my next annual fee of $450 as I will cancel this card in Jan 2016.
- This card comes with lounge access at Delta Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges, Airspace Lounges and comes with a membership for Priority Pass Select which has a large network of lounges across the globe.
- Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (American Express will reimburse you the cost of those programs)
- Other perks such as Starwood Gold status, elite rental car status with Hertz, Avis & National, free wifi globally with Boingo and more.
The benefits above can conservatively be valued at $2,200 dollars to me ($1,500 worth of points, $600 of airline gift cards, $100 Global Entry credit) and this doesn’t even place any sort of value on lounge access, elite status etc. which does offer value to me since I travel enough to make use of the lounges and rental car elite status. So even factoring in the $450 annual fee for the first year, I still come out ahead with $1,750 in value! There aren’t too many cards (if any) that can offer this type of value for signing up.
That said, I do want to point out this card isn’t for everyone:
- This is a business card so you are suppose to have a business. The rep will ask for your Federal Tax Number (EIN) and while you may get away with it by just giving your social security number, I would not feel comfortable trying that while applying by phone. If this offer was online, I would try that if you didn’t have an EIN. Others may not agree with this approach but this is what I am comfortable doing.
- Along those lines, this hack might cross some people’s ethical boundary since they never received any sort of offer and it is disingenuous to pretend you had a targeted offer to begin with. This approach doesn’t bother me personally because I asked Amex to check my account for offers, they confirmed they saw none and they still wanted to make me a courtesy offer for it when there was absolutely no obligation to. Again, others might view this differently.
- You can not apply for this card if you currently have or had a Business Platinum card in the past 12 months.
- You need to spend $10,000 in 3 months which is a lot for many people and a lot more than I normally spend over 3 months. I’ll prepay some large bills (insurance, utilities) but I’ll need to use some manufacturerd spending techniques to hit this spend requirement.
In closing, this is a great offer and a great discovery by Doctor of Credit. It might take a few agents who will extend you this courtesy offer (I got lucky on the first try but be prepared to HUCA) but I think it is well worth the effort. Who else is getting in on this offer?