How I’m rocking the soon-to-expire awesome Amex Offers

Amex Offers have been wonderfully generous this holiday season.  Most offers are targeted: they’re available through some Amex cards, but not others.  However, if you have a lot of Amex cards (regular cards, authorized user cards, Serve cards, and Bluebird cards) it is likely that you have had a chance to enroll in many of these offers.

For background details on Amex Offers, please see: Complete Guide to Amex Offers.

Below are the awesome Amex Offers that I’m most excited about.  Here’s how I plan to tackle each one…

Sam’s Club: Spend $100+, Get 20% Back Up to $250 (Exp 1-31-17)

amexoffer-sams-club-spend-100-get-20pct-up-to-250-exp-1-31-17

This has to be one of the best Amex Offers I’ve ever seen.  I was able to load this offer onto 9 separate cards.  The offer states that all spend must be in a single transaction, but people have found that multiple transactions on the same day (and within a short amount of time, I suppose) also trigger the credit.  So, my approach has been to buy three $500 MasterCard gift cards with each Amex card.  I’ve had to pay at the customer service counter and each card is purchased separately, but it has worked to trigger the full $250 back.

I pay just under $5 per gift card in fees, so my total spend per Amex card is just shy of $1515, and I get $250 back.  That’s a profit of $235 per Amex card.  With 9 cards enrolled, my profit is approximately 9 x $235 = $2,115!!!!

Staples.com: Spend $100, Get $20 (Exp 12-31-16)

amexoffer-staples-spend-100-get-20-exp-12-31-16

I have 20 Amex cards enrolled in this online-only offer.  Luckily Staples.com offers a wide variety of gift cards.  I plan to split my purchases across the following:

  • $100 Visa for $106.95.  After $20 back, that’s a 13% discount on money that can be spent almost anywhere.  Pretty good.
  • $100 Target e-gift cards for $100 each.  20% off.
  • $100 Whole Foods e-gift cards for $100 each.  20% off.

If I flew Southwest often I’d definitely consider their gift cards.  And I would get Hyatt gift cards, if it wasn’t for this common occurrence: $1,000 Hyatt gift card hacked… Twice.

Office Depot / OfficeMax: Spend $100, Get $20 (Exp 12-31-16)

office-depot

I didn’t have this offer on any of my cards.

If I did have this offer, I would probably use each enrolled Amex card to buy a $200 Five Back Visa card or a Dining Everywhere Visa card in-store at Office Depot.

NewEgg: Spend $200, Get $25 (Exp 12-31-16)

amexoffer-newegg-spend-200-get-25-exp-12-31-16

I have 17 cards enrolled in this offer.

Normally I don’t get too excited by an Amex Offer that is less than 20% off, but Newegg.com has an attractive (to me) option: $200 Vanilla eGift for $209.95. newegg-virtual-visa

After the $25 rebate, the $200 eGift Visa will cost $184.95.  That’s only a 7.525% discount on money, but it represents a solid $15 profit per enrolled Amex card.  I’ll follow up later this week with details about how I hope to easily liquidate these.

BestBuy: Spend $250, Get $25 (Exp 12-31-16)

amexoffer-bestbuy-spend-250-get-25-exp-12-31-16-b

I have this offer on 9 of my Amex cards.

If they’re in-stock, I may use this in-store to buy multiple $200 Visa cards for $206.95 each, and split the transactions across Amex cards to try to get as close to $250 spend per card as possible.  Since this offer is, at best, a 10% rebate, this approach would net at most a 6.5% discount on money.

Honestly I’m not convinced it’s worth my time.  Unless a reader suggests a better approach I’ll probably sit out this deal.  If I actually wanted to buy something at Best Buy, though, it would be a different story.

Sears: Spend $50, Get $10 (Exp 12-31-16)

sears-amex-offers-spend-50-get-10

I have this offer on all 21 of my Amex cards.  My plan is to go through a cash back portal with each Amex card to reload existing Sears gift cards that I have, $50 at a time.  I will then do a combination of approaches:

Lowes: Spend $50, Get $10 (Exp 12-31-16)

lowes-amex-offer

I have all 21 of my Amex cards enrolled in this offer.  I used one to buy a $50 physical Lowes gift card online as an experiment for the Frequent Miler Laboratory.  Note that while my experiment appears to be successful (I got the $10 back from Amex and TopCashBack shows cash back pending), others have reported that portals have failed to pay out.

With the rest of my enrolled Amex cards, I’ll do the following:

  • Buy merchant gift cards as presents.  By paying $50 at a time at checkout, I’ll get 20% back for these purchases.
  • Buy multiple $200 Visa Gift Cards.  I’ll ask the cashier to split tender so that I’ll pay for these cards $50 at a time.  If I buy one $200 Visa gift card with four Amex cards, I’ll get $40 back!  That’s well worth up to $7 in fees.

See: Extreme Stacking the Lowe’s Amex Offer: 20% off Amazon, Delta, Disney, StubHub, and more.

lowes-visa-gift-cards

Harry & David: Send $75, Get $20 (Exp 12-31-16)

amexoffer-harryanddavid-spend-75-get-20-exp-12-31-16

I have 9 Amex cards enrolled in this offer.  The trick here is that the offer applies not only to Harry & David, but also to the entire line of 1-800-Flowers brands.  My plan is to go through the best available portal to 1-800-Flowers, 1-800-Baskets, Cheryl’s, etc (at the time of this writing BeFrugal is offering 20% cash back at 1-800-Baskets and Cheryls.com) and buy $75 physical gift cards.  As a proved in recent experiment, this will trigger the $20 back from the Amex Offer.  By combining the portal and the Amex Offer, I can buy 1-800-Flowers gift cards for 47% off.

Later, I’ll use those gift cards to buy presents at a huge discount, or to effectively buy miles cheaply.  More details can be found here:

Macy’s Spend $100, Get $15 (Exp 12-30-16)

macys-amex-offer

With so many opportunities to buy gift cards at 20% off, I may sit out this 15% deal.  On the other hand, I do shop at Macy’s occasionally, so 15% off gift cards may be worth doing.  I haven’t yet decided!

Courtyard by Marriott: Spend $100, Get 2,000 Membership Rewards points (Exp 12-31-16)

amexoffer-spend-100-get-2000-mr-points-exp-12-31-16

Sadly, I only have this offer on one of my Amex cards.  In the past, I’ve been able to go in person to a Courtyard by Marriott front desk and buy a Marriott gift card in order to trigger similar Amex Offers.  Now that Business Platinum cardholders can redeem points for 2 cents value each towards many flights, this rebate is effectively 40% towards flights!  I’ll definitely buy a $100 gift card if I remember to swing by my local Courtyard with my Amex card in-hand.

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. I bought MC gift cards and some store gift cards at Staples a few weeks ago on different AmEx cards however the rebate didn’t post. The terms state no GC purchases. Are you positive this would/should work?

  2. There’s another great offer that expires at the end of the month – save $50 off $250 at Hilton hotels. Using four cards to split up my bill of about $1100, thus saving $200.

  3. The Courtyard Marriott offer says that it is for room rate and room charges, and that reservations must be made online, by phone, or with the app. I question whether buying gift cards would trigger it.

  4. Do you know if the Sams club offer applies to the membership fee also? Meaning $100, I’ll get $20 back. Then I can benefit similar to you :).

  5. I’m still a bit new at all of this, so please forgive the ‘noobish’ nature of this question. Are these offers targeted to Amex cards with annual fees (or some other parameter, Platinum, etc.)?

    I currently have two Amex cards (both with no fee). I did see the Sears offer (and used it), but I don’t see any offers for Lowes, Sams Club, or any of the others. Do I need a different Amex card for these offers?

    Thanks for any and all advice.

    • It’s likely that those other offers you didn’t see have already reached their maximum number of users. Or you could have just not been targeted. Doesn’t matter about annual fees. I’ve got a no AF BlueSky card and no AF HHonors card and both regularly get targeted for good Amex offers.

    • No, I haven’t seen any evidence that suggests that cards with annual fees or high annual fees get any better offers. Sometimes offers are only for business cards though.

      Many offers are highly targeted and it’s therefore not surprising that you wouldn’t find them if you only have two cards. Order some authorized user cards (even add yourself as an AU) in order to get more qualifying cards so that you have a better chance of getting some of these offers.

      Also, as Ben wrote, many of these offers “sell out” quickly. That is, they have a limit to how many people can enroll. So, as soon as you see a blog post about “New Amex Offers” for things like Staples, OfficeMax, etc., jump on those right away before they’re gone.

    • I’ve found my best card for AMEX offers is the Premier Rewards Gold as it gets targeted for offers that my other cards haven’t e.g. I got the Courtyard offer on that card but not, understandably, on my Hilton & SPG cards.

      Similarly, it also gets quite a lot of airline offers and AMEX Travel offers, along with lots of other offers for bonus Membership Rewards that you don’t get on cards like the Delta, Hilton & SPG ones.

      I don’t have the Blue Cash card though, so that might be a better option if you want a lower fee card (not sure if that gets as many offers though).

      • Well, the Marriott offer since its for MR points is only going to be on cards that earn MR points, so Platinum, Gold, Green, Everyday etc. Not SPG or Blue Cash or SimplyCash or whatever. Others you can’t tell ahead of time but read the comments when the deal comes up (weeks ago in many cases here) and see what others are finding. Or just look through all of your cards and see.

  6. Isn’t there a physical VGC option at Newegg that is cheaper? Looking forward to hearing how you’re going to liquidate eVGC. Maybe GCM?

  7. Looks like it will take a while to buy those NewEgg Visa gift cards. My second order was cancelled because I didn’t wait 48 hours. I got this email:

    Our records indicate that the above item(s) was either previously purchased under the same customer account, using the same credit account, or ship to the same address and, with that purchase, the quantity limit for the above item(s) has now been exceeded.

    Unfortunately, we will not be able to fulfill all of this order due to a quantity limit on particular items in the order. The item or items have thus been removed from the order. If the limited quantity item(s) are part of a combo deal, all associated items will be removed as well.

    Please kindly note that our quantity limit restrictions are exercised in the efforts to better distribute our carried merchandise evenly to our extensive customer base.

    Nevertheless, you are absolutely free to replace this order online once the 48-hour Quantity limit period has expired for the above listed item(s).

  8. With the Newegg stacking opportunity only for today, can you give us a sneak preview on how to liquidate the Vanilla egift cards?

  9. Yikessssssssss. There goes all my gratitude for the THREE of ~30 cards I had targeted for Sam’s club. I’ll be using my ~700 ish profit to wipe out nearly all Christmas expenditures.

    If only I was targeted for 9!!! D=
    Congrats!

  10. I must be missing something with adding offers to AU cards online. Do I need to remove them from my primary login and create new logins for each? Currently they just show up as ‘others on my account’ without a way to look at just that card and offers for it.

      • Tried that unsuccessfully. I get the error: “Your Card is already registered for an online account. Please log in using the associated account details.”

        I’m assuming it because I can see it attached as an AU in my main account, but there’s not way to access that card’s ‘account’ and load the offers. I’ll have to call them again.

        • Each card can only be registered with one online account. Separate for each card is fine. All in one account is fine but you can’t do both. You can unregister a card with an account online if you want to change it.

  11. Greg, I just wanted to verify that you personally made 3 consecutive $500 vgc transactions at Sam’s club and got the offer activation for each transaction. Thanks in advance, and as usual you are the best!

  12. and of course i get almost none of these offers on my cards. I even received the promo email with the 20% off sam’s club, click through to find nothing on my account, and then find the html of the email has changed the next day.

    how many people are actually getting these?

  13. FM,

    Have you actually purchased merchant gc at Sears with Sears gc? How about Kmart? In the past when I paid with a Sears gc at Kmart I always needed to hand my card to the cashier as it didn’t work correctly at my end. That was for buying regular merchandise. I never attempted to purchase a gc with a gc.

    • Yes, but it has been a while. I’ll try again soon. In my previous experience, if I bought stuff worth less than $100 I could pay with a physical Sears gift card without handing it to the cashier. $100 and up requires them to enter in a number from the card.

  14. Just a word of caution about reloading Sears gift cards. I tried loading a couple of cards $50 multiple times this weekend and when I got to $150 on one card and $200 on another card, my orders went through — but I never got the money loaded to the card! My credit cards were billed the $50.

    I called Sears and they’re investigating. I suspect I’ll eventually get my money, but this is way more hassle than I want. I’d recommend loading $50 or maybe $100 and spending it in store before loading more. Having multiple Sears GCs to load is probably even a better idea.

  15. Does $200 Vanilla VISA eGift at Newegg.com have PIN?
    What bank is the issuer of the Vanilla VISA eGift card?
    I am just wondering if it is good for money order.

  16. I want to buy something for $500 on Ebay; what’s the best way to maximize if I have a bunch of the Sears deals? Also I have some Newegg deals, but obviously not as lucrative as the Sears offer. I have the 8% bucks offer that expires Dec 15th evening, so I’d prefer to go there. Or I can also buy it at AZ or Newegg for the same price but without the 8% Bucks offer. What would you suggest?

    • I don’t think that Sears sells eBay gift cards so this would be tricky, but you could try the following:
      1. Reload Sears physical gift card $50 at a time online (in order to max out Amex Offer)
      2. In-store at Sears, try to buy $200 Visa or MC gift cards with your Sears gift card. The register will allow it, but most cashiers won’t
      3. Use the Visa/MC gcs to buy what you want on eBay, or look for good deal on eBay gift cards and use Visa/MC gcs to buy into deal

      Personally I wouldn’t risk it

      • That’s the best I could come up with too. Unfortunately most stores by me have closed and those still open don’t allow GC to purchase a visa/MC GC anymore. No big deal, I’ll just skip it this time.

  17. Greg,

    I saw you were laying off the Macy’s because 15% wasn’t worth it – I noticed Ebates has 6% Cash Back (In-Store) on Macy’s. Couldn’t these be stacked to make it 21%?

    I guess the secondary question here is whether registering for In-Store Cash Back through Ebates would somehow throw off the Amex Offer.

    Just an idea…

    • That’s a great idea. I think it would work and I would probably do that if it wasn’t so close to the end of the year. With the holidays I don’t think I’ll have time (or desire) to spend in Macy’s with a bunch of Amex cards.

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