What’s with all the crap promotions lately?

As I look out onto the barren fields where credit card crops once grew, I mourn the loss of Chase (with the 5/24 rule). Of Citi (when they shut down so many peeps’ accounts). And definitely of AMEX (1 bonus per lifetime? Um, OK). Barclays and Bank of America are both one-card wonders (Arrival for sign-up bonus and Alaska Visa, respectively).

I don’t know about you, but I’ve received a lot of terrible offers lately. Here are the best of the worst.



25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points?! No way?

AMEX sent a thick matte envelope with an offer for 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card.


They even made sure to include the points-earning lingo!

But, you can get double that from CardMatch:


The CardMatch offer is for 50K points

All I did was enter my info and a plethora of great AMEX offers came up.


The 100K offer is still available, too

You can also still get 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points on the AMEX Platinum Card on CardMatch. And the minimum spend is only $1,000 within the first 3 months.

Considering you can only get an AMEX sign-up bonus ONCE PER LIFETIME, you should always hold out for the best and highest offers.

For the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold, it’s been as high as 75,000 points to sign-up. But I love that AMEX sent me a lot of nice paper to tell me about a crappy offer. I took those pics above and tossed that nice promotional mailer (into recycling).


This one was so bad, I didn’t even snap a pic. Straight to da garbage!

The offer was for 7,500 bonus Aviosafter spending $7,500.

I got a hearty laugh out of that one. It was basically for 2X Avios on all spending, but you had to spend that amount or more.

Random picture to break up text to give you a small visual break

Random picture to break up text and give you a small visual break

For $7,500 in spend, I could do much better. I can get 5X Avios points for spending on the Chase Ink Plus card. Or 2X with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Or… lots of other ways. Meeting the minimum spending on better cards, perhaps?

This offer was worth exactly nothing.

But, it was a nice reminder to cancel the Chase British Airways card. I called them right after and closed it because the annual fee was about to be charged. And you should cancel this card, too.

I confirmed with the rep I could sign-up for the card again and earn 100,000 more Avios. And considering I will probably only get one more Chase card until they start the 5/24 rule for all cards, including co-branded and business card, I’m so torn about which one will be my last hurrah.


Check this Reddit thread for more info. But I got the offer, too.

0% APR to charge a Carnival cruise to my Barclaycard. “Promotional team really killing it.” Lolerz.

US Bank

This one is actually kind of OK.


250 Club Carlson Gold points, eh?

What got me was how badly US Bank wanted to give me more credit on my US Bank Club Carlson Visa (notice it’s the no annual fee version because I downgraded that ish).  They emailed and mailed about it several times before I finally looked into it.

There was no hard pull involved, and it’ll help my debt-to-credit ratio. So I finally took the bait and did it.

As a “bonus,” I got 250 Club Carlson Gold points. That’s worth… $1? I guess I’ll take it, but couldn’t this have been automated?

Just curious… has anyone else been hunted down by US Bank about this?

Bottom line

There have been a few more pretty terrible offers I can’t even remember. And of course a few good ones thrown in here and there (which you’ve read about on BoardingArea).

I was struck by how the marketing machines behind these huge companies think sending these offers to customers is a good idea. Of course, they’re hoping un-savvy customers will think they’re actually good offers.

For some reason I love hearing about terrible offers. It’s the points equivalent of watching FAIL videos on YouTube.

Anyhoozers, have you gotten any bad promotions lately in your accounts, email, or snail mail? Oddly enough, I’d love to hear about them.

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BEST Current Credit Card Deals

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Your your looking for something for free? Seems to be this “entitlement” “crap” is coming to an end and I for one am glad of it. I earn my miles/points the hard way I fly and spend my way to points and status. Lifetime on an airline, and a hotel , approaching second hotel lifetime.

    Try it but then bloggers won’t have anything to write about. I for one applaud revenue based rewards, status based on actual nights stayed in a hotel. thats real loyalty.

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