Published on May 12th, 2015 | by Chuck54
Sam’s Club: Gift Cards Gone AWOL, Credits Posting & More
We’ve written a lot about the Sam’s Club Amex Offer. To that end, we keep updating the post: All You Need to Know About the Sam’s Club Amex Offer.
A few interesting things came up recently.
Sam’s Gift Cards are Shipping & Credits posting
Many people have been holding off on making their Sam’s Club gift card orders out of concern that they may not work to trigger the offer credit. Previously, no Sam’s gift card credits had posted simply because Sam’s wasn’t shipping out the Sam’s gift card orders. There was apparently a back-order on the cards, possibly due to the influx of orders.
While other gift cards, including Visa/Mastercard gift cards were being processed quickly, and their offer credits posting quickly, the Sam’s gift cards were simply not being shipped.
Just in the past day or two, lots of us are getting shipping confirmation emails and the gift cards should come soon. We can also confirm that orders of Sam’s Club gift cards did trigger the automatic $20 Amex offer credit (1, 2, 3, 4).
CONFIRMED, we should get the credits for Sam’s gift card purchases automatically.
Problem is the gift cards are nowhere to be found…
Gift Cards Gone AWOL
Okay, this isn’t exactly true. You can find Sam’s gift cards here.
BUT the minimum gift card available is now $50. There used to be a $10, $20, and $40 card available as well.
Fascinating that deal-hunters can make a dent in a company the size of Sam’s.
Originally, I believe the option for the lower denomination cards was showing as ‘sold out’. Now it simply not pulling up as an option. My guess is that they’ll eventually add it back after the Amex Offer is over. For now they want to force us to order at least $50, which is $10 more than the $40 cards we want to split between two Amex cards.
It’s still possible that they will put the lower denominations back, perhaps they ran out and need to restock.
Visa/Mastercard/Amex Gift Cards
We originally reported that the best option for prepaid gift cards was the $50 Mastercard selling for $52.38. This is now sold out. The $50 Visa gift card is also sold out. Fortunately, there are still a few other options available:
- $50 Amex gift card for $54.64
- $100 Mastercard gift card for $103.88
- $100 Visa gift card for $105.94
- $100 Mastercard gift card for $105.38 (in case the cheaper one sells out)
It’s very interesting that they’re only limiting the availability of Sam’s gift cards. They seem to be happier about the Visa/MC/Amex gift cards being available. They do make a few dollars on the activation fee, but on the flip side they don’t have the money locked up in their store.
Currently, the options for gift cards would be:
- $50 or $100 Visa/Mastercard/Amex gift card
- $50 Sam’s gift card
- Third-party gift cards
Third-party gift cards, in particular, are getting more interesting due to the newer limits on the Sam’s and Mastercard gift cards. Remember, they have some top brands like Southwest and Starbucks, plus many restaurant options. There’s also a possibility of buying some of their discounted gift cards and reselling them.
Should you rush?
Given that the Visa/Mastercard gift cards are going fast, should you rush to make all your orders now?
My guess is that with a little flexibility you should be okay, even if you wait a month or two. It’s quite possible that some of the gift cards which are currently unavailable may be restocked, and there should always be something that you can buy to get a great value from.
That being said, it can’t hurt much to place orders now, especially if you had Sam’s gift cards in mind. You’re really just locking an additional $10 into the gift card, which isn’t too bad.
Some mentioned that they would buy Sam’s gift cards online and then use a few of those gift cards together to purchase prepaid cards at Sam’s in-store or online. The advantage with this idea is that you can buy a higher denomination Visa/MC gift card split between multiple Sam’s gift cards.
I don’t believe this will work. In Walmart this doesn’t work, not in-store and not online. As for using them at Sam’s itself, we were only able to find a data point indicating that it won’t work in-store, but I’d guess that it won’t work online either. Much of the Sam’s and Walmart checkout system appears to run the same, e.g. you can use Walmart and Sam’s gift cards interchangeably and there’s a max of 4 gift cards which can be used in one order on both websites. [UPDATE: See this post.]
Unloadable via REDbird?
A reader pointed out that the terms for the Mastercard gift cards state:
At the time of purchase, give the Gift Card to the cashier and sign the receipt or push “credit” on the keypad. Although it states “debit” on the front of the Gift Card, no PIN will be provided with the Gift Card, and therefore your purchase will be declined if you push “debit.”
This would mean that these cards would not work to load REDbird at Target. I’m a little skeptical about this and I’m hopeful that it will work; any 4-digits would be the PIN. It is interesting, however, that the Visa gift cards don’t explicitly say this disclaimer while the Mastercard gift cards do.
It’s something to keep in mind when purchasing the Mastercard gift cards and it may be worth going for the Visa cards instead if they’re available, despite the added $2 purchase fee. There’s a better chance that those will work with REDbird.
Neither the Visa nor the Mastercard would be a great option for loading Serve at Walmart since Vanilla gift cards and all Mastercard gift cards don’t work well at Walmart as debit cards. They usually default as a credit card and won’t allow you to enter the PIN. It’s quite possible that they can be used to load Serve at Family Dollar, but Family Dollar has its own share of issues with all Serve debit card loads.
UPDATE: Multiple readers confirmed that these cards unload just fine in Target. One reader mentions having success at Walmart as well.