Amex has recently been on a roll — I already wrote about a great offer where you can earn double points with Amazon. Now it seems like other vendors are signing up with Amex to try to take some of the business away from Amazon, and they’re Target and BestBuy. Each of the merchandisers have rolled out their own 2x points.
The interesting part is that these offers are not available for in-store purchases, they’re only available on the .com versions of the vendors. I think this is a smart strategy for Target and BestBuy because in a sense they know that they can’t compete with Amazon in the overall marketplace, but in order to bolster their on-line businesses they’re trying to get free exposure.
Is it a good deal?
Double points/miles are always great, but ultimately is it a good deal? That actually depends on a few factors:
- What are your typical redemption rates?
- Do you have a Target Red Card?
- Do you have Best Buy rewards credit cards?
- Product Selection & Preference
I actually don’t have the answer on the last point, as I very rarely shop at Best Buy and their FAQ about the rewards seems super lengthy and involves multiple tiers, etc. But, here’s a link in case you’re looking for some extra reading.
As I wrote about it here and here, you should be targeting about 2cent/point redemption rate. In this case, with double the points you’re getting about 4% off your purchase. For Amazon, if you’re not using their own Amazon card that’s a great reward. It’s even better if you’re able to redeem points for first class, where you can get high single digits awards, double them and you’re looking at 10-20% off. And, considering that if you have Prime you can get free shipping essentially on anything this is a great deal
If you have a Red Card you get 5% off your purchases. So you’re stuck in the dilemma of putting your spend on Amex or your Red Card. Target doesn’t offer free shipping, at least not without some threshold levels, so this is an associated cost that directly diminishes the value of this proposition already. At this point I’d say that an average person, when shopping on Target’s website, is better off using the Red Card than an Amex card even with double the points promotion
Product Selection (and preference)
I absolutely love Amazon, we have Prime Now in our city and we buy everything from diapers, to yogurt to milk to whatever on Amazon. There just isn’t that much selection at Target or Best Buy, and I usually have to travel to suburbia to actually go to one of those stores so I automatically ignore them. So for me, even though I may be getting an extra 1% off on my purchases if I shopped at Target the simple convenience of not stepping a foot in their store is completely worth using my Amex Card on Amazon.