Friday, March 25, 2016

Attention American Express cardholders: Save 10% off your cell phone and/or cable bill (read for more details!)

This is NOT sponsored content.  I just came across this offer and thought I should share it with my readers in case someone can benefit from it.

So a Slickdeals user posted an alert about some American Express cards offering a 10% off rebate off your cable bill (up to $30 total) to some customers of some cable companies in some states  (read the post that I'm linking to for more details or check your own American Express account to see if you have and qualify for the offer).  I don't have cable so I don't care about that one (but you might!)

However, some of you might also have an offer to get 10% off your cell phone bill  (again, it's limited to some cell phone providers, read the post on Slickdeals for more details) if you switch your method of payment to your American Express card.  I think most of us have a cell phone bill these days so that could come in handy for several of you, potentially.  Lucky for me, AT&T is one of the providers for this offer and I also had the offer in my Amex account.

Here is the catch: it's not 10% your bill forever, it's 10% your bill through 6/30/16, up to a total of $30 back.  The (up to) $30 will appear as a statement credit on your Amex by 9/30/16.  So the maximum you will save is $30, period.

Still, it's $30 that could come in handy, right?  And if you're like me and have been paying your bill out of your checking account and don't carry a balance on American Express, your cell phone bill could be earning you Rewards on Amex, every month. True, only 1% back but again, better than nothing.  If you carry a balance on your card, don't sign up for it!  You'll end up paying interest to "save" $30, which is stupid.

So I checked my American Express and I had both offers (cable AND cell phone).  Again, we're not cable customers (well, we get cable internet but that doesn't count and our provider isn't one of the ones listed anyway), but we are AT&T Wireless customers and I'd set up our account to debit our checking account directly. I'm not sure why I didn't switch to getting it billed to a credit card sooner, but better late than never, right?

Even without reading the small print, I can pretty much guarantee that the 10% only applies to true monthly charges, not the billed monthly charges... in other words, you won't get 10% back on the various fees and taxes that your provider charges you.

So I looked at our account and picked our December cell phone bill since it was one that was most representative or what our monthly bill usually is.  We paid $167.10 total but our true monthly charges for service was only $134.49. The rest was various fees and taxes.

Here is the breakdown for the $134.49. We have a family-style bucket plan with 4 lines.

  • My smart phone $49.49 - mine is the "main" account so it gets charged more and I have an international plan added to it so I pay less when calling my family, which is almost never so I should really drop it, come to think of it or start calling my mom every month, which is really what I should be doing because person-to-person connections are important but I neglect those.
  • "Home Phone": $20 (dumb phone, billed as additional line). I'm emphatically keeping that line since it's the number I give to 99.9% of people but we don't man it.  I haven't even checked any messages on it for at least a month. The phone stays off.  The voicemail message basically says "if I didn't ask you to leave me a message, don't leave me one and this number is on the do not call list and I will report you if you leave an unsolicited message. Want to know how many telemarketer calls I get on that line?  None. That will probably ramp up with the presidential elections because for some stupid reason, stupid political men can bother us with their ridiculous lies at any time, and we can't do anything about it, grrrr.)
  • Our son's smart phone: $25 (billed as additional line)
  • Greg's smart phone (still under contract so we don't get the $15 discount on that one, billed as additional line): $40

10% of $134.49 is $13.45. Our next payment is schedule for April 17 so we will earn $13.45 for that payment, then $13.45 for the May 17 payment, and then $3.10 for the June 17 payment, which all adds up to $30.

Then we will also earn 1% back of $167.10 in American Express Rewards (or whatever our bill ends up being but it's always at least that) from now on.  So $1.67 every month or $20.04 per year.  We didn't earn any rewards at all for it before so it's all gravy!  Basically, I will have "made" $50 from Amex this year just by switching my bill to it instead of letting them deduct the money from my checking account, which I don't like doing in the first place anyway...  I really should look into charging my mortgage to one of our credit cards too but with several cards getting cancelled because they were "compromised" through no fault of our own, I'm not going to tempt fate with the mortgage.  One missed payment could mean a world of trouble.  I'm not adventurous, that way!

Anyhoo, I hope you can take advantage of this offer as well :)

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