Top 5 Amex Credit Card Hacks That ACTUALLY Work

Over the past few years of using American Express credit cards, I’ve learned a lot of things, including some really valuable and interesting hacks that I’m surprised more people out there don’t know about yet. These hacks can do things like increase your credit limits, earn you more membership rewards points, get you better welcome bonuses, and really just make your American Express experience even better for your wallet. So I’ve got five hacks that I want to talk about today, and as always, we’re just going to get right into it here. 

1.  Getting a Higher Welcome Bonus

Let’s get started with hack number one, which is going to be something that’s really important to understand when you’re applying for a new American Express card, and that is getting a higher welcome bonus. So welcome bonuses are really the one single way to get the most value out of any credit card because your return on spending with a bonus can be much higher than any normal cashback rate. Now sometimes, with different issuers, they’ll let you get a certain credit card more than once over the years, which means you can earn multiple sign-up bonuses, but you might just have to wait maybe 48 months or more to be eligible for that. 

But American Express is a bit unique because they basically have a rule that says you’re only able to get one welcome bonus per card in your lifetime. So, for example, you can get one bonus for the Amex Gold card and one bonus for the Amex Platinum card. You can’t get a bonus for the Amex Gold today; you’ll have to wait 48 months and then sign up again and get another bonus. And because of this once-per-lifetime rule and the fact that welcome bonuses give us a lot of value, we want to try to optimize for this by getting the best offer available. That way, we’re not leaving any value on the table. This is actually the mistake that I made when I signed up for my Amex Gold card a few years ago. 

I went over to the main Amex website where I signed up for the first offer I saw and got 60,000 membership rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months. Now that’s not bad for a welcome bonus because if I value those 60,000 points conservatively at one cent per point, that means the bonus is worth $600. And when we do the math, that’s going to be a 15% return on spend when I’m working towards that $4,000 requirement and 15% back beats any credit card out there earning the standard one to 5% back. 

But pretty soon after I signed up, I realized that I should have looked around a bit more because other people were talking about the offers that they got, and those offers were a lot higher. Now, as of the writing of this blog in early January 2023, we have plenty of data points that show American Express is offering some people 75,000 points for the same $4,000 of spending in six months or even as high as 90,000 points for those same requirements too. That $75k offer is equal to at least 18.75% return on spend, and the $90k offer is like getting at least 22.5% return on spend. So it’s definitely worth a shot to go for these offers if you can.

Let’s quickly go over how people are getting these offers because, actually, it’s a pretty easy hack. But again, it’s an important one for maximizing value. Now, the first way is simply to do a little bit of research and look around at what offers other people are talking about on YouTube, Reddit, or other different credit card blogs. Then, once you see what offers are out there, go over to AMX’s website to see what they’re offering for you. If your offer is just not what others are getting, then what some people like to do is try back again at a different time of the day or maybe try again with a different internet browser until they see something better. Another way is to use someone else’s referral link or an affiliate link to lead you to an AMX signup page. So you could use a friend’s referral link, a referral link from the credit community discord, or even an affiliate link from any one of the YouTube channels out there that talk about credit cards. 

And a third way to get better welcome bonus offers for AMX cards is actually through a site owned by American Express called Rezi. Now if we go over to Rezi and then click at the top here on exclusive US offers from AMX and then scroll down, we can see a bit of a different offer currently available for something like the AMX goal. So right here it says 75,000 points, but then they also say you can get 20% back at restaurants for your first year for a maximum of $250 back as a statement credit. And that can actually completely offset your $250 annual fee if you use up that entire credit. So, bottom line, don’t just jump at the first AMX welcome bonus offer that you see on their public website, be patient and look around to see what other types of offers people are getting, and then also try searching around and using different links to help you get the most value possible when you sign up for an American Express card. 

2. Tripling your Credit Limit

Now for AMX hack number two, I wanted to talk about another really important hack that can actually help your credit score and increase your spending power at the same time. That effectively triples your credit limit. Now, this hack will not apply to AMX cards that are more heavily charged cards without a set credit limit, like the AMX Platinum and the AMX Gold. But this is a great tip for those of you who have any normal AMX credit cards that do have a credit limit. So the hack is pretty simple, but once your new AMX card has been open for at least 60 days on the 61st day or later, you can request a credit limit increase of up to three times what you were originally given. So if you had a $4,000 limit, you can go ahead and request a limit of $12,000 by just logging into your American Express account and requesting it there. The best part is that there will be no hard credit pull. 

So there’s really no downside to doing this. Now the two main reasons why this hack can actually be useful for many people are that, number one, with a higher credit limit, you’re going to have more spending power. So maybe you need to make a larger one-time purchase, like furniture or a computer, and you only have a smaller credit limit. Getting that increase is going to help out big time. And number two, having a higher credit limit helps out a lot with credit utilization because, as long as your average spending and the balance on your card remain relatively consistent, a higher limit is going to equal a lower utilization than what you would have had before, and a lower utilization can actually have a positive effect on your credit score over time. 

There are going to be certain limitations in place that you’ll want to look into for this hack. So, for example, if you already have a $20,000 credit limit, you probably won’t get approved for something like a $60,000 limit. If your income remains constant and you have other credit cards open, but you use your own discretion, a credit limit increase of up to three times is very reasonable to expect and relatively easy to obtain after you’ve had your Amex card open for at least 61 days. 

3. Getting More Value from Amex Offers

Now next year for Amex hack number three, this is sort of going to be a two-part thing because the first part is something that I know many people already use, but the second part is really helping me out a ton lately and has made this hack way better, and that is getting more value from Amex offers.  So you can find Amex offers when you go ahead and log into your American Express account, either on your phone or on your computer. These are really a great way to put some extra money or points back into your pocket. I’ve seen offers for getting things like big statement credits at retailers. We’re getting extra point multipliers for certain spending categories, but depending on your spending habits and how much you shop, these offers could potentially be worth hundreds of dollars if you take advantage of them. All you have to do is just scroll through and then click on add to card, but I’ll be honest from my own experience looking through and then adding these offers can be a bit time-consuming because Amex literally has hundreds of them available at any time. 

You’re actually limited to how many will be shown to you until you add them to your card. And plus, you also have to remember what offers you have on what cards so that you use the right one when you’re going to make a purchase. So what I’ve been doing recently is using an app and an extension called Card Pointers, which really made this the perfect hack to include here in this blog. Now card pointers are meant to help you get organized with your credit cards by telling you which cards to use in different spending categories to get the most value. But one of the coolest free features that I use all the time now is the ability to log in to my Amex account and then instantly add all of those Amex offers with just one click. 

That way, now I don’t have to spend time finding each one and then adding it manually. And then there’s the really cool part: these offers sync with the Chrome and Safari extensions that card pointers have, so whenever I go shopping online, I get a little pop-up telling me which card to use based on what earns me the most points and what offers I’ve actually added because there are literally hundreds of Amex offers out there that I’d have to keep track of without this. So basically this just saves me a ton of time and makes everything super organized with all the credit cards and the offers that I have. Now like I said, that feature of adding offers comes free with card pointers, but there’s also going to be a pro version that has a ton of other useful things that I can’t fit into this blog. 

4. Earn Membership Rewards Points with Rakuten

And now next for Amex hack number four here, we’re going to go over one that you can combine with those Amex offers to get even more value. And that is to earn membership rewards points with Rakuten. 

For anyone not familiar, Rakuten is one of the most popular cash-back shopping portals out there because, basically, they drive traffic to those retail websites by offering a little bit of extra cashback for you. When you click on their link to go to a website that you want to buy something from, you can actually earn an extra 510, or even 15% or more, for basically no extra effort. But the hack here that many American Express customers have started to take advantage of is that they can go ahead and choose to earn their Rakuten cashback in the form of Amex membership rewards points if they opt into that in their account settings.

So the way this works is that your cashback will be converted into MR points at a rate of one cent per point. So if you clicked on a Rakuten offer to earn 10% back and then you made a $100 purchase, normally you’d earn $10 in cashback. But with the MR point hack, that $10 and cashback will be converted into 1000 Amex points, which will be deposited into your linked Amex account once per quarter. And after those 1000 points are in your Amex account, you can take them and then redeem them for more than one cent per point by using transfer partners. So maybe now you get closer to two cents per point or even more. 

In a scenario like that, the initial 10% back that you earn from Rakuten goes from being worth $10 in cashback into $20 worth of points towards travel, which means that it’s really like you got 20% back on your purchase through Rakuten in the first place. Now, what I like to do and what many other credit card optimizers do is sort of double- or triple-dip this cashback to get some really crazy earnings rates. So here’s how the earnings would stack up for a $50 purchase made on Under using everything at our disposal if we added an offer to our Amex Platinum card. 

We get 10% back by going through Rakuten, which is equal to $5 back normally. But since we’re earning Amex MR points, that $5 back is going to convert into 500 MR points. Then we’d get a base 1X point per dollar under the “everything else” category on the Amex Platinum, which would give us an additional 50 MR points. And finally, since we actually added an Amex offer using card pointers from our last hack, we can see that on the pop-up here, it tells us we’re going to get a $10 statement credit back for this purchase of $50. So all in all, that $50 purchase goes down to $40 with that credit. And if we value those 550 MR points that we earned at 2 cents per point, that would be an additional $11 cashback. And that brings our net cost down to just $29, which means that we save $21. And $21 divided by that initial $50 purchase is effectively an insane 42% back. 

Now, that example is assuming a few things, including that your MR points are worth 2 cents per point, which I’ve explained in other videos is not always the case. But the point here is that with all these things combined, you can save a lot of money, especially around the holidays when you might be doing more shopping than usual. And the Rakuten rates are even higher. And also, even if you’re using an American Express credit card that doesn’t earn MR points, you should still be using Rakuten to earn some normal cashback because that can still boost your overall credit card earnings. But what if you’re using credit cards that earn you MR points and you want to turn those points into cash back instead? Usually American Express does not have the best cashout options because MR points are only worth 0.6 cents per point for a statement credit. So you’re losing value because we always want to get at least one cent per point. But luckily, there’s a popular strategy to help get around this that I plan to take advantage of in the future.

5. Getting a Higher Cashout Rate on the Charles Schwab MX Platinum Card

which is the fifth hack for this blog. And that is getting a higher cashout rate on the Charles Schwab MX Platinum card. Now getting this card assumes that the MX Platinum is a card that makes financial sense for you to get, which is just not going to be the case for everyone because the Platinum card does have a $695 annual fee. But if you have the option to go for the Schwab version of this card, I think there’s a really good argument to have it.

First of all, the Schwab Platinum is pretty much the exact same thing as the regular Vanilla MX Platinum card. The Schwab version, on the other hand, allows you to transfer your MX membership rewards points to your Schwab Broker’s account at a rate of 1.1 cents per point. That means that if you got a 100,000-point welcome bonus on the Schwab Platinum card, instead of it being worth only $600 by cashing it out on the regular Platinum for a statement credit, the Schwab Platinum makes those same 100,000 points worth $1,100. So, if you have all of those MR point-earning cards and are saving up those points but aren’t planning on traveling much anytime soon, you now have a decent option for cashing out, and you can even put those points to use by investing after you cash them out. 

You can just cash out the points by moving them from your MX account into your Schwab brokerage account and then moving that out to any other bank account. Basically, this is a nice fallback option to have, and it guarantees you a higher floor value for your MX points at that 1.1 cent per point rate. So I plan to eventually transition over from my regular MX Platinum card to the Schwab version at some point, maybe next year, because I just got a retention offer bonus on my regular Platinum card this year. But I think this is something that other people can look into as well. There’s not much else to it, and I think that if you have any MX cards that earn membership rewards points, you really want to make sure you’re getting as much value as possible. 

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