Thank You, American Express

American Express just ran a promotion called The Gift Chain. I saw it referenced on several of the financial blogs that I read. Most of them noted that American Express was giving statement credits and gift cards if you made $25 purchases at several different online stores. But My Dollar Plan and Bargaineering noted that one could also enter the contest by mail, and one could enter up to 10 times.

So I wrote my name and address on 10 cards and mailed them near the first of the month, not really expecting to see anything back or thinking that I might miss the deadline, since I was mailing them late. But in the last couple of days, I’ve been receiving emails with my prizes, and here’s my haul:

  • 1x A 1-year ShopRunner membership (I think just about everyone who entered got this one first. It doesn’t seem all that valuable.)
  • 3x $2 statement credit
  • 1x $4.50 statement credit
  • 3x $5 statement credit
  • A $10 gift card, along with a $10 gift card to 3 friends on Facebook (I don’t know how this works exactly, since it seemed to write on my friends wall when I picked them)
  • And finally, and most exciting for my wife, we got a $100 gift card to Pottery Barn

So just by mailing in 10 cards, we got $25.50 in statement credit and $110 in gift cards. Quite a deal! Thanks, American Express!

Credit Card Benefits

For all the bad raps that credit card get, I think it’s worth noting when they really provide extra benefits. I’ve had two such incidents within the past year.

First, I bought my wife a charm last year, using our American Express. While my wife was on a bus, the charm got caught on a hook and the charm was pulled off. She couldn’t find it. I called American Express, and their Purchase Protection coverage applied, since the loss was within 90 days of the purchase. I gave all the details over the phone, signed the paper that AmEx mailed to me, and within 2 weeks, I had a full reimbursement on the card for the purchase. No hassle.

Just last month, we had to have a service call on our refrigerator from Sears. We’ve had the the fridge about 16 months, and the Sears warranty is only good for a year. As it turns out, we had purchased the fridge using our Citi credit card, and their Extended Warranty coverage applied. I faxed in copies of our statement (from 16 months ago, good thing we keep copies) and a copy of the receipt (good thing we keep receipts), along with the Sears warranty statement and service receipt. Within 10 days, we received a check in the mail to cover the full amount of the service call. No hassle.

Thank you, American Express and Citi. I’ll never forget to check the extra benefits provided by the credit cards we use.