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Seven Reasons to Buy Everything With Your American Express Card

Let me just start by saying that this really works for me. You may disagree. But by following these 2 rules I’ve never gone wrong. Rule #1: I only spend what I can pay off each month. Rule #2: NEVER deviate from rule #1. With that said, here are the seven reasons why I love to use my American Express on everything.

  1. Reward points: I like to use my American Express so I can cash in my reward points for clothing store gift cards. Many store cards also offer reward points, so look into your favorite stores and see what their programs are like.  I once had a roommate who paid for her tuition on an L.L. Bean card to earn points!
  2. Extended warranty:  When I moved into my new house several years ago, I bought my refrigerator, washer and dryer at Best Buy. They were offering a zero percent interest for one year, so instead of using my trusty AmEx, I opted for the ability to pay over the course of the year. Thirteen months (one month out of warranty) later the handle on the freezer door snapped off, and the lint catcher in the dryer broke! It would cost over $200 to replace. I managed to talk them down to $60, but both would have been covered for an additional year if I had used my AmEx. Lesson learned.
  3. Buyer protection plan: If within the first three months of buying something it gets lost, damaged or stolen, AmEx will reimburse the amount purchased. Some examples of when I’ve used this benefit: three-year old’s knee on my husband’s kindle, stolen hard drive during a local move, jewelry broken after one month of use. They will also cover some purchases if a store doesn’t accept returns. Of course, this benefit has limits, and you may be required to provide proof of loss, but it is a benefit that has come in handy.
  4. Ability to contest charges: Every month, I go online and I make sure all of my charges are purchases we made. When I was charged $900 more than I was supposed to have been by a dentist, I contested the amount. I did try to resolve the issue with the dentist first, but they looked at me and actually laughed about giving me a refund. I contested the charges with AmEx. I provided my proof of argument, and the dentist was given a certain amount of time to provide proof for their side. After investigation I was credited the $900. If I had paid cash I would have been out all of that money.
  5. Easy returns in stores: Most stores now have the ability to look up receipts with the credit card used. I oftentimes buy extra toys or home improvement supplies when there is a good deal only to lose the receipt and have leftovers. Credit card lookup is a quick and easy way to make a return.
  6. Makes my monthly and yearly budget easy: AmEx itemizes everything online, and it is very easy to manipulate the data. I can see exactly where I’m spending and adjust my budget accordingly.
  7. Travel perks:  AmEx will provide extra insurance coverage when renting a car.  If you are fortunate enough to get a great deal on their platinum card, you can get into airport lounges for free.

There you have it, the main reasons I charge everything on my AmEx. Remember, if used wisely, by paying the balance in full every month to avoid interest charge, credit cards can be a great benefit. Start by investigating what perks you would use, and what benefits provide the best return on investment.

This has been a guest post by Kate from Ladera Ranch, CA
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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19 thoughts on “Seven Reasons to Buy Everything With Your American Express Card”

  1. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I just recently switched to AMEX about 6 months ago and we love it!  I just booked us a hotel for 4 days and was able to pay for half of it with our rewards points (260.00). We pay annually 150.00 so its already been worth it and we still have 6 months to go in the year.  Oh also just saved 30.00 with the entertainment book for Six Flags tickets, and 30.00 for and exhibit on Groupon so I cant wait for this vacation!!    

  2. Anonymous says:

    We use an airline miles card for all of our purchases and bill paying. After having our debit cards stolen and cloned (separate instances), we thought it would be wiser to use somehing with protection for us. We pay it off in full every month, so no finance charges, and the benefits are amazing.

    It’s refreshing to see an article like this on a money-saving site. It’s nice to see an alternative to Dave Ramsey / cash only, because sometimes that rhetoric gets old.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree with your two rules. Critical to make this your way of spending.

    I find that some gas stations don’t take AMEX. I also get a higher % cash back on other cards for certain types of purchases. I use a mastercard specifically for groceries because it’s a much higher cash back.

    • Amanda Silvia says:

      Yes, I have been using my Chase Rewards card to pay for groceries lately since this quarter they are offering 5% cash back.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This all sounds great, until you hear that people spend on average 30% MORE with a credit card than with cash!  Cash leaving your hands is much harder than swiping a card!

    • Amanda Silvia says:

      Yes, but I don’t like to carry more than $60 in cash at any time.  I’m just afraid of being robbed while carrying $200!  It would be much easier to cancel a few credit cards and lose a few (physical) dollars than to lose a ton of money if I were robbed!

    • That’s why credit cards aren’t good for those who can’t control themselves! But for those who do, that are wise and careful, it’s wonderful! I and my husband do not spend more because of using credit. We have a budget and that’s that. We stick to it and we have earned many free flights (flights that were already planned,not just because of free flight) as a result. It has saved us ooodles of money on our travel!!!

    • Anonymous says:

       And people carrying cash are way more likely to be robbed and lose it all. I’d much rather not put myself at risk of being robbed by paying for all purchases in cash.

  5. Paul Ray says:

    Something you can add to this. If you have Foursquare on your smartphones, you can sync it with your Amex card and get more savings from their check ins. You can see which stores will give you a $5 refund of charges just for checking in.  Small Business specials are all over the place at Christmas time.

  6. Stephanie Adams says:

    My family and I also use our Amex for everything! We have flown for free on our benefits many times over the years. However, I just want to mention a side note about #4. While contesting a charge here and there will not harm anything if you do it too many times it can lower your credit. It is not much, but every point of credit counts in my book. Other than that swipe away and pay off in full every month.

  7. We do this also!  It’s a great way to go.  I agree with everything you said.  Also, if it’s a Costco AMEX, you get amazing Costco perks as well.

  8. Love my Amex.  Just cut up every other card I have except one Visa with a local bank that is rarely used.  I use the convenience checks with that Visa as the deposit for vacation rentals, which I do not expect to have used unless there would be a problem.  The best tip about the Amex is that I now buy Safeway gift cards to buy gas, therefore doubling my rewards both to get my gas price-per-gallon lower and the rewards on the Amex.  I do pay $79 annually, and for the past two years have been refunded $400. That’s a decent deal for me.  I have always feared things getting out of hand with credit cards, so I am mindful of Rule #1 amd #2!

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s also better to use credit cads to make purchase online, at stores, and the gas pump if you use a card and not to use you debit credit card from your bank except your banks atm. You have better protection and the money isn’t automatically withdrawn from your account.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We use our (standard green) Amex card for just about everything and we do get a lot of rewards points, which we always use to get the $500 Home Depot cards (which should tell you something about how much we put on that card every month – yikes!).

    As othe’s have stated, there are some merchants, usually the smaller ones, that don’t accept it because they are charged a fee when people use it.  I don’t claim to be an expert on business practices, but if Amex wants merchants to offer the use of their card, then maybe they ought to get rid of those fees!

  11. SarahD says:

    We have two credit cards – an American Express Blue which debits cashback directly to our bill. We spend enough to make the reward scheme worthwhile and one of the most lucrative ones out there for us.

    But if we spent a little less, our Amazon Rewards Visa would be a better card – as it is, it is superior to use it for our Amazon and restaurant purchases.

    No rewards card is best if you carry a balance though. They tend to have slightly higher interest rates. So only use them if you pay off the balance.

    Also, be wary of American Express cards with fees. Our standard Blue card has no fee. But they are constantly trying to get us to “upgrade” to a card with a yearly fee, but better rewards. However, when you do the math, the fee is never worth it. Always read the small print with American Express cards to look for the fee.

    Also, like Txhmgbrd says, if you use American Express you just about have to have a second card like a Visa because some merchants don’t accept them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    we use our american express like stated above, however, due to their raising their fees a lot of small businesses we frequent, especially restaurants have stopped accepting it. we eat quite often at a little town buffet and a seafood restaurant and now neither accept it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    wow, I had no idea! I always think “CREDIT CARDS ARE BAD!” but I can see how with responsible use they can be a very good way to protect your investments. Nice article!

  14. Jacqueline says:

    I absolutely agree! I love American Express! I love their extended warranty program.  Easy returns- when stores refuse make a return for you, you can dispute it with American Express.  I remember one time I purchased some clothes at Motherhood and tried to return them unworn just 3 days after their 30 day return policy and they said ‘no’ so I called Amex and they were happy to refund the money.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Motherhood has the most AWFUL return policy.  Seriously.  I can’t believe you got a refund through AmEx