You know what I like most about banks and credit card companies? They spend a crazy amount of money to acquire new customers (or steal customers away from other banks). Back in January, I posted how we can all make some free cash off Citibank by taking advantage of their 0% balance transfer deal. Now, thanks to Johns Wu over at Bankaholic.com (he’s the real life coworker of Ms Danielle), I’ve come across another way for us to make some free money off the banks. This time, the target is American Express.
Free Round Trip Airplane Ticket or $250 Gift Certificate
Here’s the deal; apply and get approved for the American Express Business Gold Rewards Credit Card and Amex will credit your account with 25,000 points, which is enough for one free domestic round-trip airplane ticket.
Although this is a business credit card, it is perfectly fine for individuals to sign-up. Simply put your personal name as your business name and leave the “Federal Tax ID” form blank, and they’ll assume that you are a sole proprietorship. I did this and I was approved instantly.
Alternatively, you can cash in your 25,000 points for a $250 rewards gift certificate. See membershiprewards.com to see a full list of gift certificates that you can get. If you’re ambitious, 25,000 points can get you a Southwest Airlines round-trip voucher which sells for $350-$400 on eBay.
What’s The Catch?
You will need to make at least one purchase before the 25,000 points is credited to your account. I would use it to buy lunch or dinner (nothing quite like flashing a Gold Amex at a fancy restaurant). Being a high-end Gold Card, the Amex carries a pretty hefty $125 annual fee. However, the fee for the first year is waived. So, you can apply for the American Express Business Gold Rewards Credit Card, charge lunch on it, cash in the 25,000 points to get your round-trip domestic plane ticket or $250 Gift Certificate, and then cancel the card. It won’t cost you anything and you’ll come out ahead by at least $250! Alternatively, you can keep the card and become an Amex customer, which is the entire goal of the promotion.
Limited Time Offer
I don’t know how long Amex will run this promotion for so if you want to take advantage of it, you should apply right away. This offer is good for U.S. customers only.
On anther note, I was at my bank today and noticed they have a free iPod promotion. If you transfer your account to TD Canada Trust, they will give you a free iPod. This offer is good for Canadian customers only.
Spending $250 (or more) to acquire one new customer. Banks and credit card companies must have the highest customer acquisition cost of any industry. Good thing they have a lot of money!