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,, 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:


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:


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