How I Earned $3,878 from American Express in 5 Months

Posted by Madison on March 9, 2017

Over the last five months, I picked up 8 new American Express cards. 6 of them earn Membership Rewards (the other two were a Starwood card and a Delta card).

I earned $3,878 from the whirlwind adventure with American Express.

Here’s what it looked like and how it broke down.

American Express Membership Rewards Cards

The applications were part of two bigger application sprees: Huge $5,325+ Credit Card Application Spree and $4,292 Credit Card Application Spree and a short term offer to grab the American Express Platinum 100,000 Point Sign Up Bonus (which only lasted a day).

The six American Express cards I picked up for Membership Rewards (and the sign up bonus at the time):

  1. American Express Platinum Business (100k)
  2. Business Green Rewards Card (5k)
  3. Platinum Card (100k)
  4. American Express Every Day Credit Card (10k)
  5. American Express Platinum Schwab (40k)
  6. Ameriprise Gold Card (25k)

Total Value

I earned 280,000 Membership Rewards points in sign up bonuses across the six cards. The required spending and bonus point offers generated an additional 42,308 points. Cashing out 322,308 points at 1.25% (using the Schwab card) is worth $4028.85.

Annual Fees. I paid $1350 in annual fees. Yikes! $450 each for the Platinum, Schwab and Business Platinum cards. However, as you’ll see below, this is really just prepaid travel.

Airline Credits. I earned $1200 in airline credits from the same three cards ($200 each for 2 years).

Total Value. Subtract $150 for the net I owe on annual fees after offsetting them with travel credits and the total is $3,878.85.

More Details on American Express

Active Cards. You can have 5 American Express credit cards and an unlimited number of charge cards active at one time.

Application Rules. To consolidate inquiries on my credit report I bunched the applications. You can apply for 1 credit card and multiple charge cards on one day. You can usually apply for 2 credit cards within 90 days, although that rule isn’t always enforced.

Once Per Lifetime Bonus Rules. American Express allows one signup bonus per lifetime on each card.

Maximizing Membership Rewards Points and More Offers

50% Airline Bonus. You may be wondering why I’m not redeeming the points for the 50% airline bonus (5 extra points for every 10 points you redeem) on the business platinum card. Considering I now have $1,200 in airline gift cards and travel credits (plus $1,000 in annual travel credits from our Citi Prestige cards), (and the Delta miles and more AA miles than I can count) I actually can’t redeem those fast enough.

Schwab Multiplier. The Schwab card offers a 1.25 rate on deposits to your brokerage account. This multiplier gives you additional cash for your points and an easy way to transfer the points to your checking account.

Meeting Spending Requirements. I used Plastiq to Pay Mortgage or Rent with a Credit Card to meet some of the spending requirements.

Stacking More Offers. I’m not done earning yet with these cards! Uber credits worth $200 will be added on March 30 to the Platinum cards. In addition, I used these cards to take advantage of the Amazon $25 Off When You Spend $50 and various Amex offers.

Current Sign Up Bonuses

While I highlighted what I did to maximize earnings on this set of cards at the time, sign up bonuses frequently change. The current sign up bonus on the personal Platinum card is 40,000 points and the Business Platinum card is 75,000 points. However it’s also worth noting that the Platinum card will increase the annual fee to $550 on March 30.

There are also other cards that have larger sign up bonuses currently: The Premier Rewards Gold card (25k), Business Gold Rewards (50k) and the Blue for Business (25k).

I always make sure to look for the largest sign up bonus on the day I submit the application since offers change all the time.

You can find and compare all current credit card offers in our credit card directory.

How many American Express Membership Rewards points have you earned?

If you're looking for a new credit card, be sure to check out our credit card directory!

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