One of the benefits of the American Express cards are free travelers checks at corporate owned Amex Travel Service Centers. Seems simple enough to walk into the one on Michigan Ave. right after having my head looked at this weekend and collecting my 20,000 Delta miles.
As I understand it, the purchase of travelers checks with an American Express co-branded card like and SPG Personal, Hilton Honors, or SPG Business Amex card will be treated as a purchase, not a cash advance. So if I buy $1,000 worth of travelers checks with my SPG card, in theory, I will earn 1,000 SPG points. I’ve got three cards that qualify. The regular Amex cards don’t work I guess. The blue, green, gold cards etc. If someone has different info, let us know. And I have gotten mixed reports about the Citi Amex card.
Here is the rub as they say: How much is abusing the system?
Now, I’m not the first guy to do this deal, as it has been on Flyertalk for years now. The scuttlebutt is that if you ask for more than $3K you have to fill out a form with name, address etc and show your drivers license. I can fill out forms, and I have a drivers license. I’m just a little ole country boy in the big city for a couple days and not sure what to ask for.
I do plan on leaving with at least 2,000 SPG points and that is another free weekend night.
UPDATE Amex Travelers Checks:
Look at the names of the travel agencies. If they are privately held they are probably not going to sell you money orders for free.
Example: Pull up 49684 zip code. In my area, none of these are official (my word) travel centers. You can tell by the name.
Now pull up 10011 zip code New York. I’m guessing the first 6 are official and the last two not. Also look to see if the location offers Financial Services. Seems to me the ones that do are probably your winners.
Use some common sense here. $1,000 per eligible card per week seems to be OK from what I have read. More than that will cause you problems, and may kill the goose that is laying the golden egg.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49