Amex’s Christmas promotions unwrapped

Yesterday I ran a post about earning double Avios when you shop at Sainsbury’s. Amex is (if you register via the link I gave) offering double Membership Rewards points on all purchases until 31 December.

If you have a BA Amex, you will have had an email from Amex yesterday with links to various other shopping promotions. It was all a bit confusing, though, so I have ploughed through it all and picked out what I consider to be the most interesting bits.

This link (deleted as now dead) shows the shopping deals available with a British Airways American Express. Annoyingly, you need to register your card for the double Avios deals, otherwise you will not receive the double points. You are looking at:

Cash discounts at Hobbs, White Company, Urban Outfitters, Kurt Geiger, Aquascutum, Aspinal, Anthropologie, Heals, Furniture Village, World Duty Free, Heathrow Express (no better than the usual 10% though), Radisson Blu hotels, Millennium Hotels

Double Avios at Nike Store, House of Fraser, Monsoon, Accessorize, Boodles, Hackett, Fenwick, Kiddicare, Carphone Warehouse, thetrainline.com

20% off gift cards for Waterstone’s and HMV.

The latter two deals are especially interesting if you were planning to buy a Kindle, an ipad or any similar bit of kit this Christmas. Waterstone’s now sells Kindles, and HMV sells ipads and various other tablets (see their website).

It is very difficult to get a discount on an ipad – even at Heathrow you only save about 5%. The chance to get 20% off by buying a huge pile of HMV giftcards is tempting.

This would also be a decent way of laundering some cash through any Amex card where you were trying to meet a minimum spend requirement. Buy HMV gift cards or evouchers at a 20% discount, buy some ipads and sell them on ebay – at the very worst, you would come out quits as they should sell easily for a 10% discount. You then pay ebay, postage and Paypal fees.

This is obviously a very advanced game, however, and you should be 100% certain of what you are doing before you try it.

Meanwhile ….

Over at this link is the full list of offers available to holders of American Express Platinum, Preferred Rewards Gold and Green charge cards.

Most of the offers are the same as for the BA cards. The main additions are:

  • The Sainsbury’s promotion we discussed yesterday
  • A Virgin Atlantic deal that I will post separately so that it is seen by Virgin flyers who may have passed this thread by
  • Double MR points at Argos, Morrison’s Cellar and Co-Op Food stores
  • 20% off a 3-day Hertz rental

Click on the link above if you want to know more.

Double Amex MR points when you book Virgin Atlantic flights
360 Avios for £3 with Lemon Popsicles and Strawberry Milkshakes!
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Comments

  1. Hi

    Trying to get HMV vouchers but it wont accept my log in amex details. Is this because i dont have a BA Amex card? I have a gold preferred and an SPG amex. Thanks

    • Gold Preferred should be OK as that offer also shows on the general Amex offers page. Did you use the link I marked ‘Over at this link’, ie the 2nd one for general Amex card holders?

      • yes i used the second link, i also tried to go through the email they sent me but keep getting the message “log in not allowed”. Cannot find a number to call them either on the link.

        • Eshaq Choudhury says:

          Thats the customer service number. 08448428200.

          Both links are the same i.e. http://amex.svmeurope.co.uk/

          I placed an order and used my amex gold card. After the order page, it said login not allowed and presented the login page.

          I went ahead and logged in and it showed my order. I called them anyway and they said it has gone through. Also checked my account on the amex website and it is under pending transactions so it looks like it went through.

  2. In the email I received yesterday, there was also an offer of 1500 MR points by taking out an insurance with Admiral as a new customer. I took out a single trip travel insurance in the UK that cost me £3.16. There doesn’t appear to be any minimum spend requirement so hopefully I’ll get 1500 MR at about 0.21p per point.

    The T&C can be found in this direct link to the offer: https://enroll.amexnetwork.com/GB/en/COPYUK2012AugustAdmiralInsuranceMR/

    • Singing Dwarf says:

      The Ts&Cs on that page state that “To qualify for this offer American Express Cardmembers need to register their Cardnumber and confirmation details in the fields below between 27 August and 30 October 2012.”

  3. It would probably be wise to point out the (slight) risk with buying large amounts of vouchers. If the company were to go into administration, you could end up with nothing. A few years ago I would have thought this was a very tiny risk, but since Comet and similar stores going under, it’s quite feasible.

    I assume most people doing this would almost immediately turn the vouchers into goods, but worth flagging.

    • Yes, definitely some risk, esp for HMV, although it does not seem in short term danger. Waterstones is now owned by a Russian oligarch who bought it for fun, so that is safer.

      • But as you are buying the voucher’s using the amex, would you be covered by purchase protection ?

        • Issue may be that you are buying the vouchers from a third party, which is who you contract with. If SVM supply the vouchers but HMV goes bust, you are relying on Amex goodwill. As the website is Amex branded, though, I assume they would pay up.

        • I am not a specialist here, but I think that Section 75 coverage (which is the area of law that gives you protection) would not apply because the store fulifilled the contract in question, which is to provide you the vouchers. Whether they honour the vouchers is a separate breach of contract. You could obviously make a small claim against the store, but if they’re bust then that doesn’t help.

          As Raffles says, you may be able to rely on Amex’s goodwill.

  4. John smyth says:

    For that admiral insurance the page your link to says you need to have registered your card for the promotion by the end of oct.

    • Yes I did notice that John – I believe that’s a typo and that the real end date is 30 Novemeber.

      The email I received yesterday said:
      “American Express Cardmembers enrolled in the Membership Rewards programme need to register their Card between now and 30 November 2012”,

      The T&C at the link I provided says:
      “An American Express Cardmember, who enrolls for the offer by providing their American Express Card number and confirmation details between 18 September and 30 November 2012”

  5. Such a shame that the HMV airside at T5 Heathrow does’nt stock Ipads. It would have been even cheaper !

  6. mrtibbs1999 says:

    The HMV and Waterstones vouchers will sell on ebay for almost face value. So rather than convert them into ipads etc you are probably better off just flogging them. That is unless you can find something on hot uk deals at either of those stores that you can sell for more than you paid!

    • If you do want an ipad, I would order evouchers and immediately order off the HMV website. Easier than paying postage for paper vouchers then finding your local HMV is out of stock.

  7. After failing to order using my Amex acc which has a Gold & SPG card, I j got my friend to order the vouchers with her Amex Ba card and it worked. So i guess you can only get them if u have a BA amex.

  8. Just be careful if you’re aiming for double MR points at the Coop. Of my 4 local shops, only 2 accept Amex, so maybe just check before you spend an hour doing your shopping!

  9. Sat to Sun UK travel insurance: man of 51 (never thought to lie about my age!) was £3.07.

    Well worth a punt for 1500 MR!

  10. I just purchased the £3.07, hopefully worth 1500MR!

    Thanks for the heads up

  11. Sir Stamford says:

    Taken the plunge and purchased a travel insurance policy from the Admiral website. However, the transaction is coming through as “ROCK INSURANCE SERVICES LTD”. It seems that even though the insurance branding is Admiral, the actual provider is a 3rd party provider. So, don’t know if the MR bonus will post.

  12. Craig Sutherland says:

    Raffles – do you have a list of the current foursquare offers for retail outlets for Amex Plat, as they dont appear to be listed?

    • No. There doesn’t seem to be one. The other ones I have seen discussed are £10 when you spend £10 in Gap, £10 when you spend £50 in Tesco and £5 when you spend £20 in Argos. £5 when you spend £10 in Starbucks (get a gift card).

      I have actually just come back from Harvey Nichols where I did a trial £26 purchase. Not having a smart phone, I checked in 3 miles away in the City using the app running on my wi-fi ipad. In theory it should work! I will head back to buy £25 gift vouchers on all my other Amex cards once I’ve seen it go through OK.

      A lot of the ‘small shops’ promo outlets seem to be loaded on Four Square which makes it very easy to get drunk for free if you’ve got a smartphone!

  13. Raffles,
    Just wondering if your Foursquare credit from Harvey Nichols came through ok.

  14. Also, can you use multiple cards on the Foursquare deals and do the MBNA issued cards work?
    Thanks.

    • According to Flyertalk people who have been running this, MBNA and Lloyds cards work, as do supplementary cards as long as the number is different to the main card.

      You need to open a new FS account with a new email for each card,and check in again at each store.

      I have brought forward my FS post to tomorrow, so we can all go through it together then!

  15. House of Fraser in the City has Spend £50 get £10 back. Get a gift card or use it tomorrow when they start their 2 day sale.
    And HMV Leadenhall Market has Spend £20 get £5 back.

    I have got vouchers from HMV and Starbucks yesterday and immediately received notifications on Foursquare. The HMV means a savings of 25% – even better than the 20% given by Amex on their Xmas promotions. But with Foursquare you can only get one £20 voucher.

    Used Harvey Nichols on 6 cards and always worked. You need a foursquare account for every card. I load them all at home in one go and then use later – sometimes even a week later and it still works.

    There is also an offer at Fenwick i think spend £50 get £10 back.
    ThAll of these offers are till 31/12 apart from the Starbucks which is till Feb 2013.

  16. You can’t the HMV 20% off vouchers anymore.

  17. I just bought a pile of HMV vouchers in order to get an iPad, using the “digital code option” which seems to have just appeard about 16 hours ago. Email for voucher codes came through about 4 hours after opening. I’ve now been on the HMV site trying to check out – adding the first two vouchers to my account worked fine, and then it started returning the error “you’ve exceeded the permitted number of vouchers” or similar. Anyone come across this? I can’t find any reference in any T&Cs that you’re only allowed to spend 2 gift vouchers on an HMV account – given that the largest denomination of e-voucher is only £50 that would be a limitation of £100 of gift vouchers. Strange (…and I have a fairly large collection of HMV vouchers which appear unusable now, at least until customer services open tomorrow…)

    • That makes no sense, given you can use unlimited amounts of paper vouchers. I’m sure CS can deal with it.

      • Yeah, I can see two possibilities: one, they discontinued overnight and I guess the cut-off happen in the middle of my order, so I’ll only be billed for the first order; or two, the bug that their shopping basket has (it keeps reducing the order to just one of each denomination) flows right through to the validation process meaning that multiples of each denomination aren’t validated. I’ll report back when I’ve enjoyed all the fun of customer services later on.

        • the HMV e-gift is back but it now says **Please note only one virtual gift card can be used per transaction on hmv.com**

          • Singing Dwarf says:

            Can you add multiples to the e-wallet and then use them to Checkout?

          • the max you can credit to a single e-gift is 1 code max £50, so you can buy say £400 but it’s 8 codes.

          • Looks like Daniel will need to call Amex and ‘have a word’ then, as the wording only appeared overnight.

          • Daniel (PZE) says:

            I’ve just got off the phone with SVM who are aware of the issue. Apparently HMV have just instituted the e-code process because they “ran out” of vouchers, and, on multiple purchases, only the first code of each denomination is being recognised by HMV’s system – basically an issuance/validation problem. So in my case my first £20 code and £50 code validated fine but the rest of the £50s didn’t. They’ve had a number of calls about it already this morning and have HMV working on it.

            Obviously it’s ridiculous that only one virtual gift card can be used at HMV.com – regardless of the potential to go shopping for a hundred iPads then eBay them (to pick a random example…), there are plenty of circumstances where someone might want to buy, say, a £30 gift made up of a £20 and a £10; and it’ll be completely unacceptable if the recipient can’t actually buy a £30 item with their £30 gift.

            Fun fun.

  18. I ordered the HMV vouchers and yesterday got an email to say they have ran out. I had to call twice, an 0844 number to ask for a refund. This has therefore cost me money in time and telephone costs. Not a very clever promo by Amex.

  19. Daniel (PZE) says:

    An update for anyone else who may be following this: the system was finally fixed at the end of last week, after the things I wanted to buy had completely sold out at HMV. In theory SVM are happy to refund; however there are two obstacles. First, they will only issue a refund if I email them a complete list of voucher codes they send me (it seems they can’t obtain this data from their own system). Second, they won’t refund any voucher codes that I validated into my e-wallet on HMV.com – these have not been spent in any sense, just uploaded.

    I’m not particularly concerned about ultimately getting a refund for the vouchers as I’m confident various consumer protections are on my side, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty painful experience. And it means that some Christmas presents that I hoped to get at 20% discount I’ve now had to buy at full price elsewhere. All round, something that Amex might want to look at carefully before next time.

  20. I had the email from SVM at the end of last week staying that the paper vouchers had run out. I have obtained a geographic telephone number for them – 01709 303115.I have taken up there offer of e vouchers, but only after being assured that multiple e vouchers can be used on one transaction.

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