You can get a quick, free and easy 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points by registering for their Extended Payment Option for you cards that earn Membership Rewards points. The Extended Payment Option enables you to pay for pay interest charges on “eligible charges” and pay for them over time instead of the entire balance of your card being due each payment cycle. This could be helpful if you are using the card to manage cash flow and have a spike. However, even if you pay off your entire balance every month, you can still sign up for this option and net the free 5,000 Membership Rewards points.
The link to sign up isn’t working right now due to “American Express modifying [their] systems.” According to their website, they expect this “interruption” to “continue over the next week.” Your best bet, if you don’t want to wait the week, is to call them at 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276) and ask them to apply Bonus ID 5670, 5671, or 5688. These codes are printed right on the web page, so it does not appear to be targeted and everyone should be eligible.
Incidentally, I plan on using my “found” 5,000 points to transfer to Best Western so that I can transfer those to US Airways and score Grand Slam hit 26. The fact that this promo was unexpected keeps me from feeling bad about about the 1:5 ratio associated with doing that :).
HT: Jared at Online Travel Review.
Update: My phone call resulted in a transfer to platinum customer service from the answering agent, who could not enroll me in Pay Over Time (apparently another name for the same product). Customer service asked me to share my screen and go through the registration with them so they could see the issue I outlined above. I let them watch me click the link (nothing more) and am now waiting on a return phone call. I will update this post as the story unfolds.
Update 2: They never called me back. This is an unexpected turn of events for American Express. However, the link now seems to work. The only thing is, when I clicked it and signed up (successfully), I didn’t get the 5,000 points added. Maybe it’s not instant (though most things with AmEx are pretty instant). I’ll show a bit more patience before calling again.