Credit Cards

Get up to 9x at Darden Food Group with Amex Offers ( Olive Garden, Capital Grille, Etc )

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I was perusing my Amex Offers this morning when I stumbled upon a few select restaurants that had targeted 5x earn rates. Then it hit me…these restaurants are all a part of Darden Food Group. Personally, I had offers for Olive Garden, Capital Grille, Cheddar’s, Yard House, and Seasons 52 on multiple cards. Best part…my Amex Gold was targeted meaning I could actually earn up to 9x since that cards earns unlimited 4x points on dining. Remember that Amex Green gets 3x so you could score an easy 8x on dining via that route as well.

Amex Offers and why I keep 6 Amex cards.

We have an entire post dedicated to Amex Offers, how they work, and why you can easily earn back your annual fee in statement credits or points. You can read it here.

Here are the 6 American Express Cards that I keep and links to their current offers, why we have them in our wallet, and recommend your consideration. Amex Offers are incredibly valuable for any member and how we earn back tons of points and credit every year, but also remember that you can earn referral bonuses on each and every card you carry ( go here  ). It’s how we earn over 500k points a year without spending a dime.

Things to keep in mind:

  • US Only
  • Valid in store and via the app
  • 3rd party apps are excluded as are gift cards and e-gift cards purchased via app or online

Each of the offers I’ve been targeted for are capped at 5000 points and expire 11/30/2020; however, physical gift cards are not excluded in the terms and conditions only those purchased online.

Note that Darden gift cards are redeemable at any of their restaurants so conceivably you could purchase $1k of gift cards at each of these restaurants and use them at any of the other restaurants.  This may be helpful if you’re planning a large party in the future, or to sell them online and earn 9x points on $5k of spend.

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My Darden offers

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Full terms and conditions from the Olive Garden offer:

ENROLLMENT/ELIGIBLE CARDS: Must first add offer to Card and then use same Card to redeem. Only U.S.-issued American Express® Cards that are enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program at the time of purchase are eligible. Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member across all American Express offer channels. Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. Your enrollment does not extend to any other Cards that may be linked to the same Membership Rewards program account (such as Additional Cards). Offer is non-transferable. ELIGIBLE PURCHASES: Offer valid for purchases made online at olivegarden.com, in-restaurant, via phone, or through the merchant mobile app. Excludes orders placed through third party delivery services, bulk gift card orders, gift cards and e-gift cards purchased online or via the merchant mobile app, corporate sales, authorized retailers, transactions at international locations and via international versions of the website, and Pasta Pass. Purchases may fall outside of the offer period in some cases due to a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction (for example, the purchase date for online orders may be the shipping date). If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the additional points. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you may not receive the additional Membership Rewards points if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party. EARNING POINTS: You will receive 5 additional Membership Rewards points per eligible dollar spent using your enrolled American Express Card in accordance with the terms of this offer. Limit of 5,000 additional Membership Rewards points per Card Member. The enrolled Card account must be active, not be past due, canceled or have a returned payment outstanding to receive the additional Membership Rewards points. Any additional points you receive through this offer are in addition to the points you would normally receive for purchases charged to your Card, but the number of additional points you receive will be based on the purchase price after any credit or other discount is applied. When we calculate the additional points benefit for Amex EveryDay® Card products, points awarded under this offer will not be included. Additional points will be credited to your Membership Rewards program account within 90 days after 11/30/2020, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. We may not credit additional points to, or we may take away additional points that have been credited to, your program account if the qualifying purchase is returned/cancelled. Terms and conditions for the Membership Rewards program apply. Visit membershiprewards.com/terms for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice. The value of Membership Rewards points varies according to how you choose to use them. To learn more, go to www.membershiprewards.com/pointsinfo. By adding an offer to a Card, you agree that American Express may send you communications about the offer. Bonus ID: B6J6 POID: K135:0001

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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