Preparing for 100 miles per dollar

Recently 1-800-Flowers reappeared as an Amex Offer:

1800Flowers_AmexOfferJan2015

Unlike many Amex offers, this one is not available for signup through social media channels such as Twitter or Facebook.  Instead, you have to receive the offer under the “Amex Offers For You” tab on your online Amex account.

With these “Amex Offers For You” offers, you’re only supposed to be able to signup one card for each promotion.  If you click the “Save Offer” button next to an offer, that offer will disappear from other cards that you have linked to the same online account.  Luckily there’s an easy workaround:

  • For each Amex card that has the offer, open your Amex account in a separate tab in your browser.
  • In each tab, select one Amex credit card to view and select the “Amex Offers For You” tab.  Make sure the offer in question is visible, but do not yet click “Save Offer”
  • Only once you have the offer showing in each tab for each credit card should you then go back to each tab and click “Save Offer”.
  • More details can be found here: Maximizing Amex Sync offers. Part 1: sync multiple cards.

Why should we care about this Amex offer?

With 1800Flowers, it’s possible to stack multiple deals in order to get fantastically large rewards for ordering flowers or gifts.  Sometimes it can be worth doing even if you don’t value the flowers or gifts at all.

This Amex offer could be a great opportunity because I’d like to do the following:

  1. Go through Discover Deals or Savings Star to 1800Flowers for 20% cash back.
  2. Buy a $50 gift card and pay with an Amex card registered to the offer shown above.  Repeat for each registered Amex card.
  3. Wait for the next 1800Flowers promo offering 1500 miles per $30 or larger order (I’m hoping to see this offer return before Valentine’s Day… We’ll see)
  4. Make sure to enroll in the 1800Flowers Passport program to get free shipping and handling on all orders.
  5. Place orders $30 at a time (that’s the minimum required for the 1500 mile offer) and use gift cards as much as possible (1800Flowers.com only allows one gift card per order)

This would be awesome because gift cards would be at least half off ($15 back from Amex + $10 back from an online portal).  And, when paying with an Amex business card, you would get an additional 5% back thanks to OPEN Savings.

Then, when buying items from 1800Flowers, one could get up to 50 miles per dollar (if the 1500 mile promo returns).  Since the dollars spent would be with gift cards bought at half price (or less), the total earnings would approach 100 miles per dollar

Earnings would be slightly less than 100X because the gift cards could not be used in full on each $30 order.  For example, the first $30 order would use $30 of a $50 gift card, but then the next order would use the $20 balance.  The $10 remainder would have to go on a credit card.  You cannot use more than one gift card per order. 

You could optimize the final $10 by using a registered Amex card for which you have not yet earned the $15 credit.  The $50 spend requirement is cumulative, so if you use the Amex card for five $10 charges, you’ll get $15 back.

Why gift cards?

You might wonder why bother with gift cards?  Why not just shop through a portal to 1800Flowers, apply a promo code to earn miles, and then pay with a registered Amex credit card?  The reason is that you cannot earn portal rewards and promo miles on the same order.  I’ve tried many times and each time the portal rewards were later clawed back.  Please see: 1800Flowers portal claw back.

By buying gift cards, it’s possible to stack all three opportunities: earn portal rewards and Amex rebates when buying gift cards, then earn promo miles when ordering gifts and paying with gift cards.

One big snag

1800Flowers seems to have stopped offering gift cards online.  They still have a link at the bottom of each page for gift cards (here), but the website doesn’t show the ability to buy them.  This is strange because I’ve bought them in the past and even saw the ability to buy them as recently as January 14th.  Now, the same page I bought from before shows the gift card as unavailable:

1800Flowers_giftcard_not_available

Hopefully the ability will return soon!

Another option for half off gift cards

Another way to get 1800Flowers gift cards at half price is to buy from sites like Groupon or Amazon Local.  In fact, Amazon Local currently lists $30 gift credits for 1800Baskets for half price:

1800Baskets_AmazonLocal

1800Baskets is part of 1800Flowers, so the $30 credit can be used at 1800Flowers.com.  Unfortunately, there are a couple of pesky little details:

    • Limit 2 vouchers per purchaser
    • Voucher cannot be combined with any other coupons or promotions

That second point is the deal breaker.  Sometimes they don’t have the certificates coded correctly and it is possible to apply promo codes in addition to using this gift credit, but most of the time it doesn’t work.  I tested the above promotion and used the gift credit to send a box of fruit to Food Gatherers (see “How to feed the hungry and fly for free”).  I tried to apply a few different promo codes in order to earn miles but had not luck.  This was displayed each time:

1800Flowers_promo_code_not_eligible

So, you can’t earn huge numbers of miles when using these Amazon Local deals, but you can get fantastic savings.  Here’s what I did:

  • I went through TopCashBack to Amazon Local for 6% cash back
  • I bought a $30 gift credit for $15
  • I went through Discover Deals to 1800Flowers for 20% cash back to place my $30 order

If all goes well, I should get:

  • 90 cents from TopCashBack
  • $6 from Discover Deals

So, my total cost for a $30 order will be: $15 – $6 – $0.90 = $8.10.  That’s a 73% discount!

See also:

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. Worth it to use the Amazon local deal to sign up for Passport if I’m not already enrolled? I might try that. Thanks for the post!

  2. I have been checking the 1-800-Flowers website for gift cards for a week or so, and the gift card purchase option has been missing since I started.

  3. I don’t see a way of contacting you directly FM, other than just leaving a comment…
    So, I’ll leave this right here, since it has to do with maximizing miles per purchase.

    According to evreward portal, purchases on Safeway are worth:

    American 650 miles
    Delta 400 miles
    Marriott Rewards 750 points
    Southwest 550 points
    US Airways 400 miles

    Holy jackpot of awards, batman! Check it out.

      • All very true but it was still the easiest 650 miles I’ve made today. My $50 purchase went far at 13 miles per $. And now I don’t even need to go to the grocery store, my groceries will be delivered to me. Win-win. 🙂

        • I’ve certainly done it more than once. Just create a new account with Safeway (different email address etc).

        • Thanks for the tip, Glenn! I’ll give it a shot.

          Do you think it would work with a different email, different CC but same delivery address?

  4. Thanks for your ongoing tracking of this deal. From time-to-time, it can get really good, especially if you value the 800Flowers products at all. You didn’t mention the ShopYourWay Rewards connection this time, for any amount beyond what you’d put on your AMEX or gift cards. Too bad it’s dropped to 20% (from 40%), but its definitely worth checking.

    Can 800Flowers gift card be purchase via the 1-800-Flowers phone number?

    Gisele – those Safeway points are per-order, so really just $5-10 in value per order. Not bad on a percentage basis if you place a small groceries order. But says for new customers only, so I assume you can only get the points once.

    • Yes, I think you can order the gift cards over the phone, but then you won’t get the portal rewards. I don’t see any point in that. I didn’t want to over-complicate the post with the SYWR part, but you’re right. If you run out of synched Amex cards, that’s a great next option.

  5. I am not clear on how it equates to 100 miles per dollar. I thought you were using an Amex card for the first portion. Am I missing something about the portal value and how it is paid out in points/value?

    • Suppose you get 1500 points for a $30 order
      Suppose you got a gift card for half price (portal rebate + Amex Offers rebate)
      Then you would have really paid $15 and received 1500 points. 1500 points / $15 = 100 points per dollar

      • Am I the only one who realizes that 100 miles per dollar = 1 cent per mile? That’s not a very good price now is it? I mean, to your point that you’d consider doing this without caring about the flowers.

        • Since points are worth over 1.5 cents each when used towards Wanna Get Away fares AND points count towards the Companion Pass, yes 1 cent per mile is very good.

  6. “The $50 spend requirement is cumulative” – I looked closely at the Amex offer and I don’t see where it says “cumulative” or something similar. I always assumed the minimum spend must be met on a single purchase. Have I been doing it the hard way all this time? Are all Amex offers cumulative?

    • When they are not cumulative, they are explicit about that. For example, the current Waldorf Astoria offer says “Get a 1X $100 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to make a single purchase of $500+ on all charges to your room”

  7. If you go through the Discover Deals site, do you have to use your Discover card to get the cashback? I was under the impression for the portal, you had to pay with your Discover.

      • Hi FM,
        The Discover Deals also has (Exp. 2/15/2015):
        $15 Cashback Bonus® when you spend $50 at 1800Flowers.com
        So, if go thru. this Discover deal, then Buy a $50 gift card and pay with a registered Amex card, do you think it’s possible: $15 back from Discover + $15 back from Amex?

        P.S. Last wk, I went through Discover Deals to 1800Flowers for 20% cash back, paid with a registered Amex card, couple days later, I received a confirmation email from Discover: “You’ve Earned Extra Cashback Bonus!”
        The message: Dear XXX,
        Thank you for using your Discover Card. The Cashback Bonus you’ve earned is currently pending. You’ll see this reward reflected on your statement in 6-8 weeks.

        • I don’t have that particular deal. I have $10 Cashback Bonus when you spend $39.99. This one does not require clicking through from the portal (it is tied to the card) and it is one time use only. Since it is tied to the Discover card, it can’t stack with the $15 back from Amex. I expect your offer works the same way.

        • Thanks FM!
          In my Discover account, two deals: one is you mentioned 20% reward; another one $15 spend $50.
          Both mentioned “use your Discover card”.
          As you said, “you can earn cash back with any form of payment”. In my experience, I’ve tried the 20% reward deal and paid with AMEX card, and indeed, using the Discover card was NOT required, I’ve received the confirmation email from Discover that “The Cashback Bonus you’ve earned is currently pending”. Hence, I’d assume that $15 back spending $50 deal, the Discover card is also NOT required. I’ve tried last night and bought a $50 GC but paid by AMEX card, will let you know if $15 cash back or not by Discover.

    • That’s an interesting catch. The 1-800-Flowers page for GCs doesn’t list Stock Yards along with the other businesses (Cheryls, etc.) their GCs can be used. Nor does the Stock Yard website for GCs list any other eligible stores.

      The FM lab doesn’t list anything at all.

      I’m guessing it worn’t work.

    • That’s a great idea, but I can’t find any info showing if those gift cards would work elsewhere. Might be worth a call to find out. Unfortunately, portal offers for Stockyards aren’t as good as for 1800Flowers

  8. A word of advice to anyone planning on stocking up on discounted 1800Flowers gift cards from LivingSocial, or Groupon: Be careful!

    I can confirm that previous offerings on discounted gift cards for 1800Flowers sold via Groupon are not combinable with Promo Codes [i.e. codes that earn miles]. You’ll get an error message when you try to add a promo code after entering the discounted gift card.

    Had the same experience with using a discounted gift card from 1800flowers purchased via LivingSocial: getting miles was a no-go.

    Haven’t tried buying a gift card from Amazon Local yet, but it appears FrequentMiler did get that deal to work.

    Just avoid buying the discounted 1800Flowers gift cards from Groupon and LivingSocial if you’re wanting to earn miles.

    • Actually you’ll probably have the same issues with Amazon Local. As I said in the post, they usually won’t work with promo codes. In the past though there have been times where they have worked, but that was probably a glitch.

      • I’m confused. Who carries 800flowers egift cards (where you can use AMEX Sync)? I don’t see gift cards on the 800flowers website.

        • Thanks, Greg. Not sure how I missed the obvious “Staples” in there. Ugh. But that would only be 20% off (or 25%? can’t remember if that Staples offer is $20 or $25 off $100). Whereas the 1800Flowers AMEX Offer is 30% off ($15 of $50 – and I’m interested to try your “trick” of getting up to $50 in multiple transactions, as I don’t think I’ve done that on an AMEX offer before). My debate is 30% off via AMEX Offers versus 40% off via ShopYourWayRewards. I’m pretty sure that most (all?) Sears don’t allow using SYWR for gift cards (even merchant cards)? If they did, I’d go that way. But, otherwise, SYWR points are kind of a pain. Thanks again for all your work on this deal.

  9. On Discover you can buy a $30 e-certificate for $20. Do you know if this can be used with the current 1750 promo code for Southwest?

  10. Steven…the 1800flowers website accepted both the discover e-certificate and the RR promo code for me. Will have to wait to see if the promo miles with southwest actually post.

  11. now ebay is selling the $25 gift card for $20 and I’ve verified that it works with RR36, versus the Amazon Local gift card, although they both appear the same (code and pin). In my final order the gift card from Paypal shows as: corporate gift card.

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