Surprise Gifts with American Express Purchases

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American Express just recently came out with another holiday promotion called “the gift chain.” This promotion + the recent Small Business Saturday promotion = me having much love for American Express! The way this promotion works is that with every online purchase with a participating store (up to 10 purchases), you will receive an email letting you know what gift you have received.

Promotion Details:

  1. Register your American Express cards through this link. Each American Express card allows you up to 10 online purchases. You can register multiple AMEX cards if you need to.
  2. Make an online purchase between November 28 – December 21, 2011 at these participating stores: American Eagle, Bed Bath & Beyond, Blue Nile, Dell, Gamestop, J. Crew, Lenovo, Neiman Marcus, Nike, Pottery Barn, REI, RueLaLa, Toys ‘R Us, Vente Privee, Walmart, Yo Yo, and Zappos.
    • Purchase must be of at least $25, which can include shipping and tax
    • Gift card purchases are allowed
    • No special website is needed to access the online shopping store, it is all linked to your American Express card. You can get a better bang for your buck when shopping through an online shopping mall and receive points/miles.
  3. After your purchase of at least $25, you will receive an email from American Express telling you the surprise gift you are receiving.
    • Gifts include: 1-year membership to (seems to be the most common); $25 statement credit; 5,000 Membership Reward points; $20 American Express gift card; $2 Dunkin Donuts gift car; $100 Hilton HHonors Gift Card, etc. There are MANY more potential gifts – you can view them all here.

Thus far I have only made one online purchase and received a Shop Runner membership. I was hoping for something better! This was for a purchase at Bed Bath & Beyond. I am sure I will have more purchases (especially since I am addicted to RueLaLa) so will report back with any other surprise gifts I receive!

Also, as MommyPoints points out, Vente-Prive is giving out a $20 statement credit for your first purchase (for American Express card holders only).  This is another one of those  deal-a-day sites with expensive designer brands. There are not too many deals, so I am not a huge fan of this site! However, I did find a pair of expensive pants discounted to $29 (plus a flat $5.95 shipping fee). With the $20 statement credit, the item will only cost $15 – not too shabby! Also, this online store participates in American Express’s “gift chain” promotion. I have not made the purchase yet, but this $15 item when paid with my AMEX card could potentially result in a $25 statement credit (maybe!) and be a nice free gift for myself. You must be a member of the site, so feel free to register here. This site does have a referral program, so feel free to use your own link and send it to your friends (or find a friend who is already a member)! You will receive a $20 credit for each referral who makes a purchase.



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  1. Looks like you can even do this FREE (it will cost you 1st class stamp):

    Free Participation: To receive a Gift without making a Qualifying Purchase, during the Promotion Period, hand write your name (exactly as it appears when you registered in the Promotion), complete address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number (including area code), email address and name of the Qualifying Merchant Gift Pool in which you would like to participate (while supplies of Gifts in that Qualifying Merchant Gift Pool last) on a piece of paper and mail it in an envelope to: “AMEX Holiday Gift Chain – Free To Participate Request”, P.O. BOX 4900, Fenton, MO 63099 (“Mail-In Request”). Requests must be postmarked by December 21, 2011 and received by December 28, 2011. Limit one (1) request per outer-postmarked envelope. Upon receipt of your request, a Sponsor representative will “participate” for you in the specified Qualifying Merchant Gift Pool and you will be sent an email which will advise you of the Gift that you are eligible to receive and how to claim it Free Participation requests mechanically reproduced or made in any fashion other than as specified herein are void. Any requests received from a Cardmember who has not registered his/her Card by the time the Free Participation request is received will be deemed null and void. If a request does not include the name of a Qualifying Merchant but is otherwise complete, Sponsor will randomly select a Qualifying Merchant Gift Pool into which request will be entered.

  2. i did this the day it came out. had to make 11 purchases to get 10 gifts ( the max). did this on my card and 11 more on my wifes to get 10. YMMV on the number of transactions. I bought $25 walmart gigt cards. This goes until the gifts run out. I ended up with $233 in statment credit, and gift cards , 5000 MR points, and 2 shoprunner memberships for buying $550 in GC’s. People were reporting prizes that were not as good a few days into this ie $5 credits vs $20, $25, or $50 credits and gift cards. Walmart may be dried up by now

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