Posted by Chuck on May 12, 2015
AmEx Offers

Published on May 12th, 2015 | by Chuck

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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.

Developing.

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:

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.

Best Options

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.

More Options

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.



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Max
Max

Another option is $100 Anne Geddes Vanilla Mastercard Gift Card with $ 3.88 purchases fee instead of $ 5.38 on regular Mastercards and use it somewhere else. I bought lots of its $ 50s for $ 52.38 but it`s out of stock right now. It`s like 35% off !

Ben
Ben

I loaded the $50 at Walmart no issues

Chris L
Chris L

I just got a confirmation email that my Sam’s gift card shipped.

Ben
Ben

Hi Chuck, I read somewhere that Sams Club will only accept 4 gift cards + 2 credit cards to pay for an order online. Do you, or anyone else, have any idea if an in-store purchase is limited to 4 gift cards? This is important in figuring out my strategy of buying Sams Club gift cards.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

I’d like to see the actual gift cards. I don’t think they are actually pre-printed with certain fixed amounts or are they? That’d tell us whether this was a move to increase profit while demand is running them around or simply an out of stock issue.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

I think my next move is going to be wait and see what the cards look like. If they are showing fixed amounts, I am going to buy up the $50 ones. If they aren’t marked fixed, I may wait and see if Sam’s backs off their increments since this is likely an intentional move.

RJ
RJ

They are not fixed amounts. They are loaded with $20. Just got one yesterday (via UPS Next day for a $20 gift card). I have 7 more on the way (all with different fed ex tracking numbers). What a waste of shipping! No wonder they removed the small denominations!

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Ahhh. Well now that makes sense. Sounds to me like they have a highly manual and costly process for sending these out. I think we just flooded them exposing a hole in their efficiency which means I highly doubt they’ll be coming back.

I don’t mind the extra $10, but I have an odd number of Amex cards to fulfill this offer which means one of these orders would essentially be $20 off $50. That irks me. :-/ I’ll have to look at the third party gift cards.

Glenn
Glenn

Get one more AU. As long as it arrives before the #AmexSamsClub is pulled on twitter you’ll have your solution!

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Glenn… yeah actually I’m full up, it’s my lonely amex plat biz charge card makes for the odd number and AU’s on that are expensive. 🙁

Glenn
Glenn

psst. You can get more than one AU for the EXACT SAME PERSON.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Serious? They don’t check SSN uniqueness on activation? If so I’m all over it.

JB
JB

“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”
That’s the same b/s I got on Saturday at my local Simon Mall when I bought a $500 VGC. Fortunately it’s a regular Metabank GC and the last 4 worked flawlessly at Target.
Re the Sams Club gig I’ll just wait a month or two. There’s plenty of time to utilize the Amex offer.

Glenn
Glenn

So okay, Sams Club gift cards probably can’t be used to purchase VGCs. But can they be used to purchase other gift cards? Like say iTunes gift cards or Google Play or whatever.

Jamie
Jamie

I got the Anne Geddes $50 Vanilla Mastercard Gift Card from Sam’s Club and loaded it to REDbird at Target yesterday. I’d gone to the website to register a PIN for the card beforehand and it said if I pressed “Debit” during the transaction I could punch in any 4 digits I want and the PIN would be set to that. There was no place to set it in the website, just a button for clearing the PIN. The transaction went through and loaded my REDbird with no problems.

Sam
Sam

I can also contribute a data point for successfully loading several Anne Gedde Vanilla MC GC’s to RB. Used last 4 digits of card number without any issues.

Elliot
Elliot

At Walmart customer service you can transfer the balance from one gift card to another to consolidate – if you’re concerned about the 4 gift card limit, this is an easy way around it. I plan to transfer about twenty $20 gift cards from this promo onto one.

Dan
Dan

I wish Home Depot let you do this! Right now the only way is to buy something you don’t want then return it. Waste of everyones time

Alice
Alice

I don’t have Sam’s Club membership but do shop at Walmart. I bought the $50 Sam’s Club card + $5 non-member fee. I paid $20 on each of two AMEX cards, and paid the remainder with a discounted Walmart gift card from Cardpool (discounted value plus portal cashback). Helped take the sting out of the $5 non-member fee.

Charlie
Charlie

I am sure this question has been answered, but will the third party gc’s via email trigger the Amex credit? Thanks

bob
bob

do the “gift of membership” cards work as a gift card? I was thinking I’ve read before that they do, but I would like to hear someone confirm it.

chuck
chuck

Anyone who loaded mc GC on redbird does the GC have to be activated before,or do I just take it out of the he package and hit up the target?please help?

Lea
Lea

Anyone have any luck getting befrugel or any other cash back sites to give cash back on Sam’s Club gift cards? Or Third Party gift cards?

MH
MH

Will the Vanilla MC GC load onto a regular Serve card? I have 4 Amex to use and thinking of getting either 4 $200 cards or 4 $100 cards and splitting the payments.

I only have an Amex Serve.

Greg
Greg

Too bad! It looks like Sam’s Club added shipping charges to physical Gift Card purchases, such as Sam’s Club Gift Card. 🙁

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

I would love to be a fly on the wall in the room where these clowns that run the e-commerce sites for walmart and sam’s club are meeting. First they yank the smaller denomination gift cards, now they add shipping…. why don’t they just charge $80 for a $50 gift card? It’s not like we don’t see what’s going on here. I have to say my past experience with walmart.com has indicated it’s the worst experience in the world and now Samsclub.com has taken the cake with the price and stock manipulation. I’d understand better if they yanked the $50 cards completely while they catch up on shipping, but instead they just jack up the price with shipping fees on their OWN gift cards which is absolutely obnoxious considering the margin they already make on them. They still won’t ship cards on time, they are just trying to make even more money in a demand crunch. That’s an opportunistic ebay seller move, not an under appreciated ecommerce site that wants repeat business.

I figured when they yanked the smaller denomination cards bad things were coming and I hit it hard instead of waiting for them to reverse course. I imagine this latest move will trigger more of the same from anyone thinking of waiting on this deal. Can’t wait to see what BS they pull out next.

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