Posted by Chuck on October 31, 2016
AmEx Offers

Published on October 31st, 2016 | by Chuck

95

Amex Offers: My Trip to Sam’s Club

Update: It seems making multiple transactions in the same day is no longer working to trigger the offer (e.g it’ll just count your first transaction). See comments for more.

TL;DR

TL;DR

1) Most people say you can only buy one variable-load Visa/MC gc per transaction. (No personal data point here.)

2) You can not buy a Visa/MC together with a Sam’s gift card in a single transaction. The system requires Visa/MC to be separate from all else, so you have to decide if you want to go the $1250 Sam’s/merchant gc route or the $500 Visa/MC route.  Should be able to mix Sam’s and merchant gc, although I personally did all Sam’s. Also note, fixed-value Visa/MC gc process like merchant gc and can combine with other items.

3) The ordinary registers can not issue Sam’s gift cards in denominations of more than $500. It should be possible to buy $1k gc at the customer service desk, and this will also work to trigger the offer credit. Others had success buying $1k at the regular register, however.

4) You can buy at least eight Sam’s gift cards in one transaction at a regular cash register. (I did seven $500 and one $250.)

5) You can split-tender between at least three Amex cards (e.g. a $3,750 purchase). I suspect the actual limit is four cards, as it is at Walmart, but I didn’t try that.

6) If cashier does something wrong and completely cancels the transaction, that Sam’s gc is now dead. Get a new one to start over the new transaction.

7) The main gc rack will have merchant/Visa/MC/Sam’s gc. You can also find Sam’s gc near many cash registers.

8) Readers note an alternative to buying $500 VGC or Sam’s gc is to buy $200 V/MC gc. Six of them will cost around $1240, and can all be purchased in a single transaction.

9) A few pics at the end of the post.

Background

Original PostAmex Offers: 20% Back at Sam’s Club! [Targeted]

The 20% off Sam’s offer has tremendous potential for maximizing with gift cards. The gift card options are buying Sam’s gift cards (which are interchangeable with Walmart gift cards), $500 Visa/MC gift cards, and third-party merchant gift cards to various restaurants, Disney, Southwest, etc.

Hopefully, many of you got free Sam’s membership from Amex, recently.

The best current deal on Sam’s membership is this $25 Groupon + $5 back for new members, or this is a $10 Sam’s gc deal for those who’s membership recently expired. (The Groupon link contains our affiliate link; we appreciate when you use our links.)

My Trip to Sam’s

I got the 20% Sam’s offer on five cards. My plan was to buy one $500 Visa/MC gc and a $750 Sam’s gift card per transaction, and repeat five times. There is one big rack with third-party gift cards (pics below) which also has Visa/MC and Sam’s gift cards. I took five Sam’s gift cards and five $500 MC gc to the checkout line.

When my turn came, I handed the cashier one Sam’s gift card and asked him to put $750 on it. He didn’t know what to do, and we ended up having to cancel that transaction. We got help from the supervisor there, but she couldn’t get the card to load properly. In the end, it turned out that once the card had been scanned in a cancelled transaction, that card is now ‘dead,’ and can’t be used again.

I handed a new Sam’s card to the supervisor and requested to load $750 on the card, but the system didn’t allow more than $500. We did $500, and then I gave a MC gc to the supervisor, but the system requires processing Visa/MC in a separate transaction from all other purchases. (I remember this from experience at Walmart, as well.)

Change of plans: let’s do this all Sam’s gift cards, without any Visa/MC mixed in.

I handed the other three Sam’s gift cards to the cashier and loaded $500 on each. Now I was up to $2k. The supervisor was able to grab another Sam’s gc from a rack nearby after I clarified that it doesn’t matter to me which design is showing on the Sam’s gift card.

The supervisor was easily able to split the $2,500 purchase onto two credit cards. And I got two reassuring emails from Amex congratulating me for using the two offer. 

Two Amex cards down, three to go. 

I mentioned to the supervisor that I wanted to buy more gift cards, but that I’d go to the back of the line so others don’t have to wait any longer. (I said this because I expected to need the supervisor’s help the next time around too, and didn’t want to look shady.) Luckily, the supervisor told me she’d take me herself on a different aisle. It seems there was a cashier-in-training there, and this was a perfect opportunity for the new cashier to learn the ins-and-outs of activating gift cards.

We headed over to the other checkout lane, and I quickly grabbed eight more Sam’s gift cards, seven of one design and one card of another design, and asked the supervisor to load $500 on seven cards and $250 on the last one.

After gift card #4 she started getting worried that we might run into a system limit on the number of gift cards which can be purchased in a single transaction. But I prodded her to keep trying, and we were able to activate all eight cards, $3,750 total, in a single transaction. I proceeded to split the payment with three Amex cards, $1,250 on each.

Merchant Gift Cards

Not only does Sam’s carry third-party gift cards, they discount most of them as well. Southwest, Disney, iTunes, and Starbucks are 4% off, and there are tons of restaurants also discounted around 4%. Some have higher discounts, like Papa John’s and Coldstone which have a whopping 20% discount. And this is all before accounting for the 20% Amex Offer discount.

An advantage of the merchant gift cards is that – I’d guess – those just scan simply using the bar code, same as if you were buying ketchup or mayonnaise, versus Visa/MC/Sam’s gc which have a special process to activate and some cashiers might not know what to do.

The downside of merchant gc is that you’ll have to deal with way more cards, both at checkout and when using them, since the denominations are small ($50 or less).

On the way out, I took some pics. Due to some odd looks I was getting, I limited myself to a few. You can also check out this Milestomemories post for some more pics.

sams-1 sams-2 sams-3

Final Thoughts

This has been one of the most profitable Amex Offers I’ve gotten. Sam/Walmart gift cards can be sold for 90.5%. I may have profited more from some other Amex deals, but this was probably the highest profit-per-Amex-card I’ve ever gotten!

Thankfully, I got a supervisor who had no problem with the high-value transactions and split-tenders that I was doing. That’s probably the biggest question mark of this deal. Best of luck to everyone at your local Sam’s Club!

Updates

  • Readers in the comments to this post note that you can buy multiple $200 Visa/MC gift cards in a single transaction without a hitch. In retrospect, that might be the easiest route for me since those should scan easily in the system which any cashier can do. Just buy six $200 cards per Amex card and done. You do need to have a liquidation method, though, for all these Visa/MC gift cards, and the Sam’s gift card route might be more attractive to some.
  • Also note that a couple of data points in the comments indicate that the single-transaction requirement is not being enforced so if you buy less than $1250 in a transaction it could make sense to make a second purchase and hope for the best.



95
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jy
Jy

Do you need a Sam’s club membership to buy gift cards in store?

TYRONE
TYRONE

Of course you do. What makes you think otherwise?

William Charles

Because you can use them in store without a membership I’d guess

Iz
Iz

Nice post, but 2 corrections (at least based on my experience):
1 – Cashiers can sell/activate SC GCs up to $1,000.
2 – What you wrote about MC GCs is true for variable load cards. However, fixed amount $200 cards are considered a regular item, and can be bought along with other items, or multiple cards at once (I got 6 in one transaction).

Alex
Alex

Can one buy 2 or 3 MC variable gift cards in one transaction at the customer service?

Debbie
Debbie

No. the variable loads have to be rung up separate. I was just there

Brion
Brion

I purchased Sams GCs at the customer service desk and can confirm it triggers the Amex Offer. Got the notification before I left the store.

loveflying
loveflying

Can you buy VGCs by using the Sam’s GC?

Tim
Tim

I am an authorized user on my step mother’s Amex account who passed away 2 months ago. Her account is still open and I see some great offers when I log into the account. I would like to take advantage of these offers with my au card but worry that I may be doing something illegal.

Elias
Elias

WTF

lz80521
lz80521

Bought fixed 200 MCGCs on Saturday. Received notifications a few sec later. Credit posted today. Super easy $250s.

Animesh
Animesh

So you bought 6 MC GCs in single transaction?

lz80521
lz80521

Yes.

Josh
Josh

Do you know if the fixed value $200 MCGCs can be used at Wal-Mart to buy MOs? I have this offer on 3 of my amex cards, but don’t have a use for that much in gift card, so I’m hoping I can use them to buy MOs. Thanks.

Mahi
Mahi

DP from FT: 2 variable MCGC bought in 2 separate transaction triggers statement credit for each in one card… so it looks like cumulative..

SteveX
SteveX

Can anyone else confirm this??

Found post you referenced..
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27415289-post193.html

Looks valid, but no statement pic, etc.. anyone have a second dp.. doesnt seem like it matches terms, but who knows..

lumangoy
lumangoy

same user tried another transaction today and no credit:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27418874-post223.html

Jeremy
Jeremy

Will the giftcard resellers have issues with us selling the card as a Walmart card even though it’s actually a Sam’s Club giftcard? I know saveya has mentioned this before.

Brian
Brian

GiftCardZen is paying out 90.3 with electronic submission specifically for Sam’s.

CtownBin
CtownBin

Watch out though, I expect that rate to drop pretty soon because of this deal… if there are people who have, say, 6 AMEX cards with this offer and are planning to buy a whopping $7,500 in Sam’s Club GCs with the plan on selling them at 90%, they could be in for a rude awakening if the rate dives. There is some pretty serious risk involved.

Seems much wiser to just buy 6 $200 fixed MC GCs, no??

Mark O
Mark O

Bought a $500 Vanilla MC and I am unable to unload onto a Money Order at the post office. Just wanted to add it in case someone was thinking of going that route….not sure if this is a known issue with the vanilla one master cards or not. Tried 2 different post offices 2 hours apart and no luck.

TYRONE
TYRONE

Vanilla MC can’t buy money order. Vanilla Visa can, but not at Walmart.

Alex
Alex

I used a Vanilla MC at a supermarket successfully to buy a MO.

arch
arch

Also having issues with the one vanilla prepaid mastercard, never a problem before. Tried different grocery stores, finally unloaded at USPO. Got 3 more to unload so I am sad to see your data point about USPO. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Nic
Nic

How much is the fee per $200 mc gc?

Mimi
Mimi

6.95

Mimi
Mimi

Brian is correct, it’s 6.48 for the fixed $200 MCvanillas at SC, the $6.95 was fee for the fixed $200 MCusb at Staples. I bought them all yesterday so I got confused with the fees. My apologies.

Brian
Brian

only really makes a difference if you are calculating cpp. did not see your post as I had the page open for awhile.

Brian
Brian

$6.48

Alex
Alex

Does buying MC gift cards earn 2% at Sam’s?

Jamie
Jamie

Can you buy more than one of the one of the $500 VGC’s in a single transaction?

iahphx
iahphx

Has anyone tried to upgrade to a “Sam’s Plus” membership (which seems to cost an extra $45) but gives you $10 back for every $500 in purchases? If you have 3 or more AMEX offers and max them out, it would seem like a moneymaker. Assuming gift card purchases count (I don’t see any language which says they don’t).

TYRONE
TYRONE

I have a Plus membership and I tried, but unfortunately they don’t count. Then I found their T&C http://www.samsclub.com/sams/pagedetails/content.jsp?pageName=cash-rewards&xid=hdr_account_cash-rewards

PN
PN

Sam’s clubs around me don’t allow buying sams club gift cards with a credit card. WTH!

Back to Top ↑