We all love getting new credit cards and offers. Thats why we read these blogs and pursue this hobby. But sometimes we may see an offer that looks a little too good to be true. This offer may only be on one or two blogs, but not others. As your parents probably taught you when you were young, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
A month ago, I received personalized offer from American Express for a 75,000 point bonus on the American Express Business Gold card, upon completing a $10,000 minimum spending requirement in a 3-month period after approval. (My offer was further broken down to 50,000 points for the first $5,000 spent in 3 months, and another 25,000 points for the next $5,000 spent in the same time period, but I would definitely go for the Gold – pun intended!) This offer came directly from American Express with an official offer code.
A week or two later, I saw a post on a travel blog that mentioned a 75,000 point bonus on this same card, but with only a total of $5,000 minimum spending requirement in 3 months to get the full bonus. Wow! That seemed almost too good to be true! The online application link was down (clue #1), but I decided to call American Express to investigate further, because if this actually was real, it was an offer that I would love to get!
The American Express representative told me, in part:
No, thats not a real offer, it is a Spam/Phishing scheme. Consider yourself lucky that the application site was down, because if you applied, you would have had all of your information stolen, and you would not get the credit card. I don’t think we’ve ever offered that many points for that low of a spending requirement on that card.
The representative also told me that hundreds of people have called in trying to apply for that offer due to the lack of ability to apply online.
So there you have it. According to American Express, this offer was NOT real. So the lesson going forward is this: if only one or two blogs are posting about an offer, and it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if nothing else, definitely do some due diligence before applying and putting all of your personal information out there.
Have any of you had similar experiences applying for credit card offers which you later found to be non-existent? Or did anyone have any luck in actually getting this 75,000 point offer for only the $5,000 minimum spend?
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.