Published on November 18th, 2015 | by Chuck39
Amex Gift Card + Promo Code Working for Small Gift Card Purchases
As we know, it used to be possible to get cashback from the portal when buying Amex gift cards in high denominations. That stopped a few months ago and they only pay out now on denominations of $200 or less. We still don’t know if the high denominations on the portal will come back or not.
Another development that happened a while back is that the portal stopped paying out when a promo code is used. There are ubiquitous promo codes available to waive either the shipping fees or the purchase fee. When using a promo code, the portal cashback gets invalidated.
Promo Codes on Low Denominations
An interesting development came to light. It seems that the $200 cards are still triggering portal cashback. I made a $198 Amex gift card order going through the Topcashback portal and it triggered the 1.5% cashback and already reached payable. A few readers mentioned the same in the comments of a previous post.
I tried with Befrugal and it’s now pending; I’m optimistic it will come through as payable. [Update 12/2/15: While the Topcashback paid out, the Befrugal got clawed back.]
It appears that Amex has the $200- denominations coded separately and they thus offer cashback on those and not the higher cards. Likewise, they are not coded for promo codes to negate cashback.
Note: The official terms don’t mention this distinction and exclude all gift card orders to which a promo code was applied. In the event that something goes wrong with the tracking of the cashback, you won’t be able to file a missing cashback claims since it’s excluded in the terms.
Promo Codes and Fees
- Shipping fee of $8.95 If you have the premium shipping plan with Amex, the shipping is free. And you can get a 90-day free trial. Also, code: EARLYFSC will work until 11/31/15 to waive the shipping fee.
- Purchase fee of $3.95 Until 2/28/16 you can use code: EMSVCA to waive this fee.
Only one promo code can be applied per order.
While interesting, this development doesn’t have much practical use since it only affects the low-denomination cards and it’s not worth the hassle to deal with so many small cards for such a small gain. Even if you’d pay no fees at all on the Amex gift cards, you’ll only end up with a $3 or $4 gain per Amex card – not worth it in my opinion. If high-dollar gift cards come back, I’m sure they’ll be coded not to work with the portals, as has been the case in the past.
The main use for this will be under the current $10 off $200 on Amex gift cards, see $10 Off $200 on Amex Gift Cards, 5% Discount Everywhere Until Year’s End for more details on how to maximize this offer.
If you have the Amex free shipping plan, you can use a promo code to waive the purchase fee and get the gift cards completely fee-free and net the $10 from the Amex Offer, plus the $3 or $4 from the portal. Still not the deal of the century, but the $13-14 gain makes the hassle of dealing with multiple small cards more worthwhile, versus a $10 gain.
If you don’t have the free shipping plan, you can sign up for it; each unique login should be able to get another free 3 months and you can use any credit card to pay, even an Amex which is associated with a different login. Alternatively, you can order personalized $198 gift cards and pay the $2 shipping fee – not as good but it still may be worthwhile.