Amex gift cards double or nothing, bye bye Amazon Payments, and a sign of what’s to come

Hoopla Doopla says “no way”

Last week I published a Quick Deal about the cash back portal Hoopla Doopla: “An obvious portal price mistake: 40% cash back for Amex gift cards. Who’s in?”  Their site showed a ridiculously high 40% cash back rate for Amex gift cards.  Since this followed right on the heels of Amex pulling their gift cards out of all portals, there was no doubt in my mind that it was a mistake.  In the Quick Deal I wrote “I think the chance of this being honored is very close to zero.”

As it turns out, Hoopla Doopla took the unusual step of proactively emailing customers who had clicked through to Amex gift cards.  They wrote:

It has been brought to our attention that on Thursday, September 4th, an internet message board post had stated that our website, www.hoopladoopla.com, was offering 40% cash back on American Express Gift Card purchases. While this offering was indeed on our website, the post on the message board did NOT state the terms and conditions of the offer, which was that “Cash back is paid only on media buys.” (See screenshot of our site below.)

We received numerous orders on American Express Gift Cards throughout the day in which we were not paid any commissions, due to the fact that the gift cards purchased did not meet the terms and conditions listed on our website.

We are deeply sorry to inform any of you who were misled by this offer. For your convenience and understanding of future purchases, we list any Terms and Conditions of our merchants on our site.

To avoid any further confusion in this matter, we have temporarily deactivated American Express Gift Cards from our website directory.

It’s true that the terms on their site said “media buys only”, but that just reinforced in my mind that this was a messed up entry on their portal since the Amex gift card site doesn’t sell anything one would consider a media buy.

Anyway, people have been asking me about next steps.  I don’t think there are any next steps here.  Those of us who purchased Amex gift cards gambled on an extreme long shot and lost.  It’s time to move on.

In the meantime, we can be amused by the fact that the cash back portal ExtraBux has come out with an offer twice as good:

Extrabux_Amexgc_80pct

Note that this ExtraBux offer is also restricted to “Media Buy”… whatever that is.  No, I don’t plan to go for this one.  Double nothing is still… nothing.

Amazon Payments bids adieu

For years, Amazon Payments has been the easiest way to increase credit card spend, for free.  The trick has been simply to sign up for an Amazon Payments account and send $1000 per month to a friend, who would then use Amazon Payments to send $1000 per month to another friend, and so on, until the circle completes with a $1000 payment back to you.  Each person in the loop uses a rewards earning credit card to make the payment and voilà, you have $12,000 per person, per year, of additional credit card spend for free.

Sadly, the whole deal comes to an end on October 13th.

Rite Aid says no more credit cards for Green Dot products

It was already the case that many Rite Aid stores didn’t allow credit cards to be used for purchasing gift cards and reload cards, but now they seem to have made it official, at least with respect to Green Dot products.  I’ve heard from readers who have recently found this to be the case, and I found this sign in my local Rite Aid:

RiteAidNoGreenDot

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. FM – did you notice that the circled text in the screenshot hoopla doopla provided did not match the text in the screenshot you posted to quickdeals (they added the word “only”)? i.e. they fraudulently modified their own T&C

    I’m hoping someone takes them to task for altering their “T&C” in their mass email to everyone.

  2. According to Wikipedia: Media buying, a sub function of advertising management, is the procurement of media real estate at an optimal placement and price. The main task of media buying lies within the negotiation of price and placement to ensure the best possible value can be secured for an advertisement. The type of people who negotiate the price of these advertisements are labeled \Media Buyers\ in the workplace. Increasingly, the job of a Media Buyer online is being done in real-time with advanced algorithms.
    .
    Seems like buying advertisements on the AMEX GC website will yield the 40-80% cash back…

    • Yes, I believe that “media buys” means buying advertising space or time in some media (newspaper, online, tv, radio, etc.). Amex has something called Amex Publishing that might be where they sell media. Or, the restriction might be from something else entirely. Who knows.

  3. RIP AP! This really means the death of MS for hobby mile collectors like me. Unless you go out of the way like FM and few others in FT, it is not going to be easy anymore for MS. I don’t see any new ways of MS in the horizon, will be glad if I am wrong.

  4. Did Rite Aid stop selling Pay Pal cards? I’ve not been able to find them and was told that green dot replaced them at my local store?

  5. The Phoenix MS meetup should now have black limo hearses pick up all the attendees and then Marathon Man can go all Johnny Cash and finish our burial at the Kimpton while reading an “I told you so scripture”

  6. Right and that memorial speech from MM would last about a year if his manifestos on FT are any indication. At least under your scenario we would all be dead and wouldn’t have to hear it.

  7. So I go in to my Rite Aid where I am somewhat of a homey and I see the sign and snicker……must have been a Freudian slip but I picked up two Moneypaks and then before I saw they were stuck together my friendly cashier said $1009.90 and before I knew it the SPG card had slid thru and unfortunately he didn’t even call for the manager (as we’re homey’s also)……….Go with the flow baby and when she stops singing then I’ll start humming a new tune…………and to think I needed CPR……….I am ashamed of my lack of faith…….who’s ready for a MS trip to Hong Kong?

  8. More things to come (eg. in progress) include shake out over with the IHG program. First, the new big win has a few key misleading takeaways….. eg, the definition of the free nights. (e.g., at the discretion of IHG to tell you AFTER the promotion is over — and it won’t be anywhere.)

    and now they’re taking away the steroids. (as per Bart L) That is, those who sign up for promo codes they weren’t targeted for directly risk losing EVERYTHING.

  9. With regards to extrabux–I lost nearly $80 in cash back from them. After I made the purchase, they put it in their “pending” category for like 8 weeks and then it disappeared. I contacted customer service and they put it back in the “pending” category. It disappeared again after 6 weeks. I sent a screenshot of my purchases and everything and all they told me was that the vendor couldn’t verify that I clicked through the site, so there was nothing they can do. It was my first try….never again with extrabux.

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