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Amex Auto Purchasing Program: How it works

Unlock competitive pricing and rebates when you buy your car through Amex

Summary

The American Express Auto Purchasing Program is a platform for Amex cardholders to buy a new or used car – it offers competitive pricing and the opportunity to make at least a partial payment with your Amex card.

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If you have an American Express card and are looking to get a new car, check out the American Express Auto Purchasing Program. The site is designed as a perk for all Amex cardholders, and it’s loaded with potential savings in the form of discounts, competitive pricing and rebates. Plus, dealers on the platform will all accept an American Express card for at least $2,000 of your payment – meaning you can rack up great rewards along the way.

What is the American Express Auto Purchasing Program?

The American Express Auto Purchasing Program is a platform on which Amex cardholders can buy a new or used car. The site has a network of dealers who offer competitive pricing, benefits and the ability to pay in part (or completely) with an American Express card.

The Amex Auto Purchasing Program website is powered by TrueCar, which shows users fair pricing based on what customers actually paid for a vehicle. Amex cardholders can search for new or used vehicles (by make) in their ZIP codes, then filter down to specific features they are looking for, such as mileage and color.

If you buy a car through the Amex Auto Purchasing Program, you can also report it on the site to see if you qualify for additional benefits that can save you more money, such as repair expense reimbursement.

How the Amex Auto Purchasing Program works

To buy a car through the Amex Auto Purchasing Program, start your search on the website. Just input information about your preferred vehicle and location into the search bar.

For a new car search, you’ll first get a results page with the market average price. Then, you can answer follow-up questions about your personal information to narrow down to the best result. For a used car, you’ll be directed to a more traditional search results page, where you can filter results by year, mileage and more. And the website highlights competitive prices to show you if you’re getting a good deal.

Once you select the new or used vehicle that best suits your needs, you’ll be prompted to provide contact information. Keep in mind that filling out this information will lead to calls from the dealership, so you should only request a TruePrice (for used vehicles) or member pricing (for new vehicles) once you’re sure you’ve selected the car you want.

After you express interest in a vehicle, dealers will contact you directly regarding cars that meet your qualifications.

Benefits of using the Amex Auto Purchasing Program

So, what is the benefit of finding a car this way? There are several perks that come with buying a car through the Amex Auto Purchasing Program:

You’ll get points or cash back

While it can be difficult to pay in full for a car with a credit card, the Amex Auto Purchasing Program guarantees you can charge at least $2,000 of the cost to your Amex. That can be a huge plus, as it will earn you plenty of cash back or points with the right card. Plus, if you’re trying to meet a spend requirement for an introductory bonus, this type of large purchase can be a great way to get there.

You’ll enjoy savings

Beyond competitive pricing you’ll get through TrueCar, you might qualify for repair expense or auto deductible reimbursement  if you report your purchase on the Amex Auto Purchasing Program website. American Express claims this can save you $2,000 or more. When you use this method to buy a car, you can be sure you’re getting a good deal without having to negotiate at the dealership.

The research is done for you

TrueCar is a common resource for car shoppers, and the site claims that more than one-third of car buyers interact with its network. With such a wide variety of users and a comprehensive database, TrueCar is a great place to start when researching what people actually pay for the car you want. That way, you can trust you’re paying a fair price.

Drawbacks of using the Amex Auto Purchasing Program

You’ll have limited negotiation opportunities

While buying a car through American Express has plenty of potential benefits, it might not be the best choice for everyone. If you are a pro negotiator focused on getting the best deal when you buy a new car, you might be able to find a better price on your own.

You’ll receive selective offers

Since the Amex Auto Purchasing Program only displays results that accept American Express cards for partial payment, you aren’t getting a full picture of the available prices. And, while TrueCar is great for finding a good deal, it’s always possible there is a better deal from another source.

Deciding which American Express card to use

If you decide to buy a car through American Express, it’s important to choose the right card for your partial or full payment. You want to get top-notch rewards without taking on more than you can pay off.

First, you should keep in mind that many of American Express’ most popular cards are charge cards, which means you must pay your balance in full each billing cycle. If you’re charging a car down payment to your card hoping to have more time to pay down the balance, you’ll want to put the cost on a credit card instead.

If you’re focused on maximizing your rewards, choose your American Express card with the highest rate on general purchases, since this won’t fall into any major bonus category. Flat-rate cards that offer cash back on every purchase can be particularly rewarding for large purchases.

Best American Express cards for Amex Auto Purchasing Program

CardRewards rateWelcome bonus
The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year)
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travelamextravel.com
  • 2X points on prepaid car rentals made through American Express Travel
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • Terms apply
80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
American Express Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

  • 4X points on restaurants worldwide and on U.S. Uber Eats purchases
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points)
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • Terms apply
60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first first 6 months
American Express Cash Magnet

American Express Cash Magnet® Card*

  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and at supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
$300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
American Express Blue Cash Everyday

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 3% cash back on U.S. online retailer purchases on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
Earn up to $250: Earn 20% back (up to $150 in statement credits) on purchases with PayPal merchants in the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in the first six months of card membership

Bottom line

The American Express Auto Purchasing Program offers a great database of competitive prices to check out when you start your next car search. Plus, you’ll be able to use an Amex card to cover part of your purchase so you can rack up some hefty points or cash back from the transaction.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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