Portals less woe-full, Gas discounts, no 6% cash back at Safeway, Amex gift cards 3% cash back, and more

A number of miscellaneous updates today…

Portal woes no more?

At the beginning of the month, I posted “Portal woes” where I wrote about people waiting for portal points to post for Amex gift cards bought through the Barclaycard portal, and Kohl’s purchases to post through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.  In that post I optimistically wrote “my best guess is that portal payouts are simply delayed.”  Now, in the past couple of days I’ve heard from many people that their points have finally posted.  If you’re still waiting for yours, hang in there, there’s a good chance those points will appear soon.

BP and Speedway discounts from Kmart

This offer has been around for quite a while, but I’ve never written about it before because I didn’t know how widespread it was or how long it would last.  I still don’t know how long this will last, but I do now know how widespread it is.  Thanks to a reader for pointing me to this PDF:

KmartSave30Cents

When you spend $50 or more at Kmart (at the locations listed in the PDF), you’ll receive a coupon for 30 cents off per gallon on gas at either BP or Speedway.  And, this does work when purchasing gift cards at Kmart.

With Speedway, at least, you can use up to 3 of these coupons with one fill up (so, up to 90 cents per gallon savings).  And, the maximum discount is for 15 gallons of gas.  Also at Speedway you have to pay at the register first before pumping gas in order to apply the coupon(s).  I find that irritating.

Many people have been using Sears, Lands End, and Kmart gift cards in-store at Kmart to buy other gift cards (including gas station gift cards) to get these coupons.  Note though that many Kmart stores no longer allow buying gift cards with gift cards.  Also note that if they do allow it, it will likely require a manager override, which will irritate the heck out of the half dozen people in line behind you.

5% cash back at Chevron with Discover

In the category of probably too late to be considered better late than never: A reader has alerted me to this offer for Discover Cardholders:

DiscoverChevron5pct

Get a 5% cashback bonus at Chevron and Texaco with your Discover card.  You must sign up.  And, you must make all purchases by March 31.  This offer is limited to $250 in purchases, so at best it is worth an added $12.50 in cash back.  I probably wouldn’t have posted this if I had done the math before writing the rest of this copy.  Sorry.

Amex not awarding grocery bonus for gift card purchases at Safeway?

A reader alerted me to a troubling new finding.  He says that he and two other friends have experienced this same issue.  When using the Blue Cash Preferred card at Safeway to buy gift cards, he reports getting the usual 1% cash back, but not the 5% cash back bonus that is usually awarded for grocery purchases with that card.  He says, however, that purchases in which gift cards and “a lot of groceries” were combined did still result in the 5% bonus (6% overall cash back).  No word yet on whether this affects other Amex cards (e.g. “Old” Blue Cash) or other grocery stores.  Developing… This offer has expired

Amex gift cards 3% cash back is still alive

As I reported in this Quick Deals post, the cash back site BeFrugal is currently offering 3% cash back when you click through to buy American Express gift cards.  I recently placed a $6K business card order and used code SYNCGIFT for fee free cards.  The correct rebate amount has now shown up within my BeFrugal account as tracking appropriately.  Note that the “Estimated Confirm Date” for my cash back is 5/17/2014, so it will be a while before I actually get my hands on that cash.  If you want to sign up for BeFrugal, consider using my referral link on my Sign-Up Links page. Once you make your first purchase through BeFrugal, I’ll get $5 and then I’ll be rich.

Yes TopCashBack now offers 5% at Staples…

A number of readers have pointed out to me that TopCashBack has raised their Staples rebate back up to 5%.  Well, that’s nice, but the same rate has long been available through ShopDiscover and uPromise.  ShopDiscover cash back is sometimes worth much more than its stated value (see  “Rediscovering Discover Rewards”).  And, I’ve had great success in always getting cash back via the uPromise portal and Staples regardless of what I’ve bought or how I’ve paid.   So, personally, I don’t see any advantage of going with TopCashBack in this case.

Last updated on May 3rd, 2017

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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Mileage Update
Guest

Nice to see the 3% cash back still going for AMEX GC.

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

Wow! Just looked at my Amex statement-Same thing happened to me at a Tom Thumb (Safeway brand in DFW). Purchased a $100 Amazon GC, only received 1% cashback.

DonT
Guest
DonT

@Brendan: did you buy anything else?

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

Nope, I usually do gift cards in seperate transactions to it’s easier to split out for budgeting purposes…guess I won’t be doing that anymore!

Dan
Guest
Dan

Brendan – What type of AMEX was it?

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

Blue Cash Preferred

Corky
Guest
Corky

Is it Barclay’s or Kohl’s points that are posting?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Both

Tong
Guest
Tong

I just signed up for BeFrugal using your link. One question before I make a purchase of AX gift card. Does it have a limit for the gift card purchase? I know that TopCashBack limits the cashback to $500.00. Thanks.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thanks! No limit that I’m aware of. I bought two $3K cards and it appears to have tracked correctly (although there is always some small chance that it won’t get confirmed)

Troy Miles
Guest

I discovered a website (GIIFT) that allows you to redeem your points and value instantly and gives you direct access to the best deals and promotional offers. You can manage all your cards and programs in one place.

iahphx
Guest
iahphx

Thanks for the Kmart heads up. For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been getting free gas with the Giant/Stop&Shop-Shell gift card promo, but that program is now entering hiatus again. I do redeem Sears gift cards at Sears (acquired through Citi Thank You) for other gift cards, which include BP gas. It’s slightly out of my way, but if I could do the same at Kmart and grab an extra 30 cents/gallon off my gas, it would probably be worth my while. But it sounds like it’s not as easy to swap gift cards for gift cards at Kmart, so I’m wondering if I should bother. If I do try it, does the cashier just hand you a BP coupon when you spend $50? Is it one per transaction? So if I want 3 gas coupons, I’d need to ring up 3 $50 gift cards separately?

FrequentMiler
Guest

The coupon automatically prints out along with the receipt. I believe you only get one per transaction so yes you would have to ring up 3 separately. Sounds very painful to me!

Lively
Guest
Lively

My Kmart has the $0.30 BP promotion, but only sells Shell Gas GCs. Go figure.

Josh
Guest

ShopAtHome offers 7% cash back at Staples for everything except stamps and “promotional products”. I don’t know what constitutes a promotional product, since I have bought clearance items and daily deal products at Staples and still received 7% cash back.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Awesome, thanks! I didn’t know about that. The extra 2% can go a long way to offsetting fees when buying $100 Visa gcs. I’ll have to test that

Papas
Guest
Papas

Has anyone successfully received 7%cashback buying $100 Visa GC at staples.com going thru shopathome portal and paying with staples gc’s.?

SamOH
Guest
SamOH

Yes….I bought 2x$100 using staples GC few days ago and just got an email today saying “You’ve got cash” confirming my cash back amount of $14.96 !

Papas
Guest
Papas

Great….thanks.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I have not seen any way to use more than one 30 cent discount coupon at BP’s in my area. Has anyone been successful in stacking the BP coupons?

cyclops
Guest
cyclops

So the best way to buy Visa GCs from Staples in then online (7% fees – 5% portal bonus -1% visa savings edge -5% INK bonus = 4% profit) rather than in-store (3.5% fees – 1% visa savings edge -5% INK bonus = 2.5% profit?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Yes, but it sounds like ShopAtHome might be even better. It’s worth a test anyway. Keep in mind that Visa Savings Edge discount requires $200+ spend, so you would have to buy at least 2 cards at a time. Also keep in mind that dealing with $100 Visa gcs that have to be activated is more of a pain than $200 ones that are activated in-store.

Michelle S (Miles, Points, and Mai Tais)
Guest

My husband had trouble with his Amex BCP 6% in December originally posting as 1%. He called and they took care of it. That said, I’ve been doing a lot at Safeway on my Amex card this month for #milemadness and this is kind of scary.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Yikes

al613
Guest
al613

speedway coupon says 1 coupon per purchase (3 per fill up)

FrequentMiler
Guest

Yes, I think this means that you get one coupon per kmart purchase and can use hp to 3 per fill up. I’ve used 3 in the past, so I know that works.

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

“Randalls” for Tom Thumb worked fine with 6% on my BCP. BC regular came in at 1% for the $6500 with 5% categories active yet.

I see that my last statement has a mix of Tom Thumb and Randalls, so it will be interesting to see if those are treated any differently. Same store, so I have no idea why the difference!

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

Apparently you cannot use greater than or less than signs on this site in comments… Meant to say BC regular card came in correctly with 1% for grocery within my first $6500 on the card. It would have been .5% if it was incorrect, so hoping to see 5% on grocery next week when statement hits.

Ian
Guest
Ian

Still missing over 100k UR points from Kohl’s from Feb…..

Larry Ordway
Guest
Larry Ordway

FYI, if anybody cares, TCB matches the highest cash back of another sit. They just matched the 3% at BeFrugal for me.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thanks Larry. What is the process for getting them to do a match?

ted
Guest
ted

in order to receive the .30 catalina printout at kmart I think you need to provide your shop reward number or phone number

Mike
Guest
Mike

I’m still waiting on 4x Barclays points from a 3k purchase on 2/12.

lindy
Guest
lindy

potentially devastating news for those of us with the old AmEx blue. thanks for the alert.

Chris
Guest
Chris

How do you think Amex knows that you bought a gift card?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Some stores report line item detail with the credit card transactions.

DonT
Guest
DonT

@FM, do you know if there is a list of which retailers line item purchases?

FrequentMiler
Guest

The Visa Supplier Locator shows whether a store gives level 3 enhanced data (go to https://www.visa.com/supplierlocator/search/index.jsp#) but that doesn’t help with Amex

Larry
Guest
Larry

My feb pending points on my amex PRG seems to be properly crediting $1k in gc purchases at a grocery store at 2x. No other purchases. Will be interesting to see my march pending points, where I had several tousands in gcs at safeway.

Blaine
Guest
Blaine

I checked back on my Smith’s (Kroger) purchases for the past few months. Starting in Dec. they didn’t reward me bonus points for grocery store purchases (mostly GCs) Anyone else have this same problem with Smiths/Kroger?

Using the AMEX Blue Preferred.

MM
Guest
MM

Re Amex Blue 6% cash back rewards at grocery stores: it’s hard to align purchases with cash back credits, since Amex statements show previous month’s (not current month’s) purchases in the various categories (6%, 3%, 1%). I’m working with Amex right now to align purchases with cash back credits, which were supposed to reset on/about Jan. 1.

Sal
Guest
Sal

I haven’t received any bonus points from the UR mall in months, and Chase won’t credit them to you unless you actually used your Chase card as payment.

I shop at Gap a lot and they used to pay out but never do anymore. I recently bought gift cards at Kohl’s using the 30% off code and those bonus points haven’t posted either.

suechibana
Guest
suechibana

Has anyone had a bad experience with OneVanilla Card? I bought the card that I paid $504.95, and went to Walmart to buy a money order. It did not work. I came home and went online to put the card #, and the message said details could not found using the card number entered. I called OneVanilla 1-800-770-6408 for help. CSR were the worst I have ever met. To long story short they denied the charge. At first they talked about the card not properly activated. I went to BBB, org for help. Finally COO of OneVanilla dismissed me by saying that I liquidated all the card as soon as I bought at one location all at once. He did not match my receipts and the card. I sent them about 10 receipts because I did not remember when and which CVS I bought that card.
How could I liquidate the card? Even Their system could not find the card number I was given? It happened in December, and I am at loss where to turn now. I already tried the CA government agency that sent me to a Delaware State Bank Commissioner which does not answer me so far. Thank you in advance for your advice.

Robin
Guest
Robin

Shopathome Staples 7% already gone

kjm
Guest
kjm

Can you explain how the shopathome site works so that we receive the 7% cash back? Do I just go to shopathome, bring up staples, buy and they send me a check for cash back?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Yes, go to ShopAtHome, setup an account (if you haven’t already), then find Staples and click through. When you buy something, Staples will pay a commission to ShopAtHome. Eventually (ie in a week or so), ShopAtHome will send you an email saying that you received cash back. It can take quite a while after that, though, to get paid. I can’t remember if ShopAtHome sends money via check or PayPal. Various portals do it differently.

kjm
Guest
kjm

Thank you! And if I sign up with visa savings edge I get an additional 1% cash back? Amazing! Why?

WishyAnand
Guest
WishyAnand

I purchased $6k or so in gift cards from Safeway in December 2013 with my Amex. Initially only got 1 percent back. Called in twice to finally get the additional 5 percent…but they then only gave me that additional 5 percent on the first $2k of gift card purchases! Had to call in twice and fill out a bad review on the feedback e-mail the sent me in early March before finally seeing everything in mid-March 2014. I stopped using the Amex card this year due to this main benefit (for me) being curtailed. FYI in one of the calls they asked me what I spent the $6k on and I said some was on groceries and some was on gift cards, but there was no way for me to figure out the distribution.

DJ
Guest
DJ

You do not get gas rewards coupon on gift card purchases????
Just went to Kmart in my area and purchased $75 of BP gas gift cards; however, I did not get any gas coupon. Can anyone confirm if you can get gas rewards coupon when you purchase gift cards??

trackback

[…] As I’ve reported before, when Shop Your Way Rewards customers spend $50 or more at certain Kmart stores (at the locations listed in this PDF), they’ll receive a coupon for 30 cents off per gallon on gas at either BP or Speedway.  And, this does work when purchasing gift cards at Kmart. With Speedway, the maximum discount is for 15 gallons of gas (and you can use up to 3 of these coupons with one fill up).  That makes each coupon worth up to $4.50 in gas. […]

anne
Guest
anne

It looks like that buying $50 gift card at Kmart does not receive the reward of 30 cents off per gallon for gas purchase anymore. I did one transaction on June 14 and today (June 17) and did not get the coupon.