Published on May 5th, 2015 | by Chuck15
Amex Offers: $10 Off $200 on Amex Gift Cards, 5% Discount Everywhere
- Spend $200 or more on Amex gift cards at americanexpress.com/gift, pay with your registered Amex card, and receive a $10 statement credit.
This offer does not appear to be available currently via Twitter; it’s popping up in many Amex logins. Check your own login to see if you find it. After checking well, I was able to find it in all of my logins so far, so it may be that this is available to all.
The Fine Print
- Expires 7/31/15
- “American Express may not receive information about your qualifying purchase from merchant until all items from your qualifying purchase have been provided/shipped by merchant” (See more about that here.)
- Excludes logo & gift cheque purchases
- Merchant does not deliver/ship to HI or VT
This offer has been around before and it can be a great deal since you’d be getting 5% off, plus the regular credit card rewards as well. The biggest problem here is that Amex gift cards come with fees attached. After accounting for the fees, the deal would be worthless.
Shipping fee of $8.95
- Activation fee of $3.95
Here’s why it could be useful: If you have the premium shipping plan with Amex, the shipping is free. And you can get a 90-day free trial. Additionally, it’s possible to use a promo code to waive the shipping fee. These codes come and go; currently there’s a code FSMOM available which will waive the shipping fee. (Available until 5/10/15. We’ll try to update this page with other codes as they become available. Please let us know if you see any codes.)
[UPDATE 5/15/15: We’ve now found a code which will waive the $3.95 purchase fee. Use code FPGRAD (found here). Note that you can’t use more than one code per transaction, but if you have the free shipping plan you’ll be able to get the cards shipped for $200 even with no additional fees.]
After deducting the shipping fee, this deal becomes much better. You’ll still lose ~2% on the activation fee which will leave a ‘profit’ of 3%.
Bear in mind, however, that you may be losing by paying with your registered Amex card versus paying with a credit card that earns higher rewards. For example, if I buy a bunch of $200 Amex gift cards on my various Amex Blue Cash cards, and then I use those cards to load REDbird at Target, I’m ending up getting 1% back from the credit card, plus a 3% profit on the Amex Offer, for a total of 4% profit. I could have gotten 2.2% back by loading REDbird with my Arrival card, so I end up just 1.8% ahead.
And remember, there is the hassle of making multiple orders in $200 increments (one order on each registered Amex card).
Here’s a nice little tip which can save you money: When purchasing gift cards in $200 denomination or higher the system requires a $8.95 shipping fee. However, if you purchase under $200 gift card there will be a $2 shipping fee option. If you order, for example, a $195 card, the total will be $200.95 after all fees and should work to trigger the Offer credit. This worked for me in the past.
You’ll need to use the personalized card option to be able to get the $195 denomination. The standard denominations come in $25 increments, only the personalized cards allow this.
With this approach, the total fees would end up ~3% and you can get ~2% back from the portal occasionally. You’ll end up with a profit of 4% on top of your regular Amex credit card points.
Here are a few possible strategies to maximize this offer:
- Wait around for a free activation fee promo code. There aren’t any currently, but they do come around sometimes and if you get the free shipping trial + promo code, you’ll end up with a full 5% discount on top of your regular Amex points.
- Use the free shipping plan with a portal. If you get ~2% back from the portal, that will offset the cost of the activation fees. You can’t use a promo code when going through a portal, but the deal could still be worthwhile since you’ll end up with around 5% profit, plus the regular credit card points.
- Buy $198 gift cards and go through a portal. This is the tip we mentioned before and will yield a total profit of ~4% on top of your regular Amex credit card points.
- Buy Amex e-gift cards. In previous deals, e-gift cards worked to trigger the Offer credit and it’s fair to assume this time will be the same. The e-gift cards don’t have a shipping fee at all and hopefully there’ll be a code which can be used to waive the purchase fee, though none are currently available. This method will yield a full 5% profit. (Note that the portal Terms exclude e-gift cards from earning points/cashback.) Obviously, these electronic gift cards are much harder to use (i.e. you can’t use it to load REDbird), but if you have a way of using them this could be a great option. You could, for example, buy gift cards online in $200 increments for merchants that you shop at anyway. Try GiftCardMall on eBay, Paypal Digital Gifts on eBay, Amazon, Gyft, and many others options which allow you to buy gift cards with an Amex gift card. I just want to add here that while Amex e-gift cards have definitely been around in the past, I can’t seem to find the link to buy Amex e-gift cards. If anyone can find it for use, please comment below. In the previous deal, many people had success ordering 2 $100 Amex gift cards in one order and getting the offer credit.
- Buy large denominations and use the $10 as a nice added bonus. Many people regularly buy Amex gift cards by going through a portal for added rewards. If you have an Amex card that you typically use to pay for the order (unlikely) then you can make your typical large order and consider the $10 Offer credit an added bonus.
Remember that Amex often cancels orders for Amex gift cards arbitrarily. I’ve written before that in my experience they are much easier to approve orders placed when logged in to your Amex account and paying with an Amex card from that account.
For more details on Amex gift cards, we recommend reading FrequentMiler’s guide to Amex gift cards.
Personally, I do think I’ll be taking advantage of this offer and using the cards to load REDbird. I don’t yet know which of the above strategies I’ll use. It’s also worth remembering that REDbird could die at any time so be sure you have a backup strategy to unload the Amex gift cards.
HT: Dee on FrequentMiler
See these posts to learn more about Amex Offers:
- AmEx Offers: An Introduction & Profitable Examples
- How To Sign Up For Multiple American Express Sync Offers
- Amex Offer Credit Not Posting, What to Do?
- How Does American Express Decide Who Receives What AmEx Sync Offer?
- Credit Card Purchase Date and Post Date as it relates to Amex Offers