Maximizing Amex Offers with Gift Card Purchases

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With many of the Amex Offers you can actually purchase a gift card and that will trigger the same statement credit as if you purchased an item online or in-store. Ultimately, American Express just sees the final purchase price and does not know exactly what was purchased. The only exceptions are typically when you are purchasing a gift card online from a 3rd party site. In those situations American Express doesn’t recognize the purchase as the same merchant so it will not trigger the statement credit. This “thinking outside of the box” allows you to fully maximize your statement credits!

Purchasing a gift card will give you a few advantages:

  • It will allow you to make a future purchase post the expiration date of the deal.
  • It will allow you to be flexible with the purchase price. You do not need to hit the promotion amount in a single transaction and can instead spread the gift card over multiple transactions.
  • If you return the item you will not have to worry about losing the statement credit. You will just need to comply with the merchants return policy and will probably just receive a gift card back for the purchase amount.
  • Many gift cards can actually be used at other stores!
  • Sometimes the promotions are only valid for online purchases or in-store purchase. Purchasing a gift card allows you to then make your purchase anyway you want, online or in-store!

A few examples of maximizing gift card purchases with Amex Offers…

  • There is currently an Amex Offers at Newegg.com where if you spend $200 you’ll receive a $25 statement credit. While this is a great offer for those that shop at Newegg.com often, you can still take advantage if there is not a single item on the site you’d like to purchase. Newegg.com sells many gift cards to other merchants, including many travel merchants! For example, you can purchase a $200 Hyatt gift card or American Airlines gift card and that will trigger the statement credit!
  • There is a Hyatt Place promotion where if you spend $150 you’ll receive a $50 statement credit. Let’s say you have an upcoming stay at a Hyatt Place, but it is not going to come even close to $150 total. You can instead purchase a Hyatt gift card at the Hyatt Place hotel and then use that gift card for your stay. You can then use the remainder of the gift card for another stay later on. Or, if you are looking to stay at a Hyatt Resort, you can walk into a Hyatt Place hotel (even if you are not a guest there) and purchase a $150 Hyatt gift card. You can then use that gift card at any Hyatt property at any point as there is no expiration date on the card.
  • Recently there was a promotion with Uber where if you spent $10 you’d get a $10 statement credit. The problem was if your ride came out to less than $10 it would not trigger the statement credit and this ride had to be done by December 31, 2014. Instead, you could purchase a gift card at Uber.com and use that gift card for a later date post the expiration date of the Amex Offer. You could then use that gift card for rides of any dollar amount. The gift card purchase still triggered the statement credit.

In my “Amex Offers” tab I always include tips for every promotion that will include whether or not gift card purchases will work. This will help you determine the best way to maximize your statement credit if you have no intention of shopping at that merchant by the expiration date. Most of what I include is based on my own personal experience, experience from blog readers, and experience from other blogs I read. So always feel free to share your experience with what works and what does not work so I can update the page accordingly to help all blog readers!

Enjoy your free money and let me know if you have any questions!

Comments

  1. Hello,
    Have you verified the Hyatt Place credit will work if you purchase a Hyatt gift card? The “terms” specifically exclude physical and e-gift cards. I’d like to make (reasonably) sure before I purchase.
    Thank you.

    • @FEV – I personally have not tried it as I tried to register to late and enrollment was already met. A big lesson learned. However, MANY people have verified that it does work.

  2. @FEV Yes, it works. I went to a local Hyatt Place and purchased a $300 GC and asked them to split it on 2 cards. I got the email right away and about a week later, the credits posted.

  3. I went to my local Hyatt Place and purchased a gift card. It looks to have coded as “restaurant” on my account, and has not triggered a credit. Perhaps this is due to some choice made on the register by the person at the desk, but beware!

    • @Vicente – Absolutely worthwhile! If the representative that picks up the phone cannot help ask to speak to the department that handles Amex Offers directly. There is a team that does this and just insist on speaking to them, if needed.

  4. Time to update the offers… some expired on the 17th, and you don’t have the Hilton $50 off $250 thru 4/5? Or the DirecTV $100 off $100 on Small Business Cards (sort of an Amex Sync offer…) offers listed…

  5. When the gas price is so low right now, my car can no longer fill over $30 to get the $5 credit.
    Do you know if the credit will be triggered if I buy the gas card at Shell?

    • @sheila – I faced the same problem! Unfortunately purchasing a $5 shell gift card will NOT trigger the statement credit.

  6. Ok, now I get it. Until I followed a link to this post, my thoughts on the ~50 offers on each of my 5 Amex cards were — “what’s the big deal, I don’t want to buy crap from all those merchants?”

    Thanks for the post.

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