At the beginning of 2021, American Express loaded several AMEX Offers into the accounts of people who held a co-branded AMEX card. The offers varied, depending on if you held a personal or business AMEX card, and what level of card you had.
Since February, I’ve logged into my T-Mobile account once every month and paid $10 with the AMEX Delta Gold SkyMiles Business card.
Immediately after making the payment each month, I received this email:
Then I went to my phone and loaded several payments onto my Starbucks account. $10 from the Marriott Bonvoy AMEX and the Hilton Surpass cards and $20 from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX. I received this message each month after the reloads:
In case you’re wondering, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card has a $99 annual fee. Not taking any other benefit of the card into account, I made $10 this year just for keeping the card and paying $10 towards my cell phone bill each month.
The same goes for the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Surpass cards, each with $95 annual fees. I received $110 back from both cards this year. For the Bonvoy Brilliant card, I received $220 in credits back. Given that card has a $450 annual fee, it also provides a $300 Marriott credit and a free night at a Marriott Bonvoy property up to 50,000 points. So that’s getting $520 in credits plus a free night for $450. I was going to spend the money at Starbucks anyway and we easily used the $300 when we paid cash for a weekly rate (when we only stayed 5 days.)
We only flew on one Delta flight and even they didn’t honor the early boarding the card was supposed to provide. However, I’m not mad about it because we still got our free checked bag and I didn’t pay anything to keep the card.
We never stayed at a Hilton hotel all year but charging $10 the card every month kept my Hilton Honors account active.
While I usually find value in holding AMEX co-brand cards for Delta, Hilton and Marriott for the benefits the card provides, for 2021 it was truly a no-brainer to hold onto the cards. AMEX was paying me to keep the cards open with an easily redeemable monthly credit worth more than the annual fee.
Let’s see what happens in 2022.
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