An excellent way to earn extra points or cash back is to shop through an online portal for American Express gift cards. It has long been possible to earn portal payouts even when using promo codes to get the cards fee-free (or shipping-free). Today, though, the portal BigCrumbs has sent out emails to many members saying that Amex will no longer pay out when promo codes are used. Here is the text of the email:
We wanted our members to be aware of some recent changes within the American Express Gift Card program. As some of you may have noticed, whenever a coupon was used to waive the service fee, American Express deducted the amount from your cash back total. In order to stay within their budget, American Express informed us that promotional codes and coupons will no longer be accepted and will void any cash back if used. Please be aware that this change will go into effect immediately.
BUT WAIT! We didn’t want to just show up in your inbox with bad news. Therefore, we are offering 3% cash back on your American Express Gift Card purchase for a limited time. Shop now to earn more!
I don’t know if Amex will really enforce these new rules, but I think that the safe thing to do is to avoid using promo codes until we learn more. If you buy Amex gift cards often, I recommend subscribing to the premium shipping plan and buying cards with high denominations so that the card fees are small as a percentage of total value.
For more about Amex gift cards, please see: Everything you ever wanted to know about Amex gift cards
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Last updated on September 29th, 2014