Thoughts on the new Amex / Foursquare deals for February

I must admit, I was a little surprised when – like many of you – I was emailed on Saturday with details of the new Amex / Foursquare promotions that will run in February.  Did they learn nothing when we cleaned out Harvey Nichols before Christmas?!

I posted last week about the Shell deal (£15 off £50 spend) which runs until mid April.

On Saturday, the following deals were announced.  They all run from 1-28 February, and it seems that you will not be able to register until the 1st.

  • Harrods – Spend £50, Get £25
  • House of Fraser – Spend £50, Get £25
  • GAP – Spend £50, Get £25
  • Banana Republic – Spend £50, Get £25
  • Carphone Warehouse – Spend £25, Get £10

The two other current offers continue:

  • Starbucks – Spend £10, Get £5 (to 13 February)
  • Pizza Hut – Spend £30, Get £15 (to 6 March)

To learn how to sign up for these deals, if you haven’t done this before, see this post from last year.

Remember that you don’t need a smartphone to do this.  I downloaded the Foursquare app to my (wi-fi) ipad and was able to ‘check in’ to relevant London stores from the comfort of my house!  If you are too far away to check-in, take your wi-fi ipad to a wi-fi enable coffee shop near Harrods etc and check in from there.

Foursquare

Remember that the key to exploiting these deals is to buy gift cards for exactly £50.  You can then combine them for a larger purchase, and you will have 12-18 months (depending on store) to use them.  Remember that you can even use gift cards in sales, so you may get an effective double discount!

Remember that you can register EVERY MBNA, Lloyds and Amex-issued Amex card you have.  Even supplementary cards count separately, as long as the account number is different to the main card.  You will need a new Foursquare account for each card, and don’t forget to register and sync each card with each store.

We have six qualifying Amex cards – 2 x BA Amex, 1 Lloyds Amex with a supplementary and 1 Platinum Amex with a supplementary card.  That means £150 of free stuff from Harrods and £150 of free stuff from House of Fraser.  (I’m not into GAP or Banana Republic, although I could buy some £50 gift cards to use as birthday gifts.)

The £25 credit goes back to your statement quickly – within a couple of days for an Amex-issued Amex and a bit longer for an MBNA or Lloyds card.

Since these deals run to the end of February – and since Amex has also promised that Debenhams and Fenwick / Bentalls will be launching deals later on – it may be worth getting some extra supplementary cards ordered.  It is also another good reason to get the SPG Amex before the 20,000 point bonus expires on 1st February.

(PS.  I am happy to answer questions about Harrods stock for non-locals, as we live fairly close and my daughters school is two minutes away, so we are in there on a regular basis!)

Old bonus Clubcard points deals which are still running ...
My £20.12 fling at the Holiday Inn Stratford City
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Comments

  1. PS. Here is the policy of Harrods and House of Fraser on gift cards.

    The House of Fraser website confirms that:
    a) you can top-up a gift card instead of buying a new one every time and
    b) gift cards can be used online

    This could be handy for someone who can do a day-trip to a store to stock up on gift cards but wants to order online from home at some point in the future.

    The Harrods website says that gift cards can be used on the website but only at the Knightsbridge store – so presumably NOT at Heathrow etc. Not sure if that means you can’t buy them at Heathrow either.

    It is NOT clear if HOF or harrods.com online purchases count for this promo. In the past, some online retailers did work OK (eg Tesco) and some did not.

  2. Morning Raffles. Just curious … i took up the offer on Gaps during the last promo (spend £10 and get £10 back). Do you think we’re still allow to get the new deal on Gaps (spend £50 and get £25 back) … same retailer but different offers? Thanks. Kim

  3. Does anyone know whether Harrods is likely to work with the T5 store at LHR? I know that some airport outlets are excluded from other deals. I’ve got a flight on the 2nd which will be the only time I can get to Harrods whilst the promotion is on. Thanks

    • Let’s wait and see what the rules say when you register for the offer. Could go either way. However, the email sent by Amex did say “a £25 statement credit on one transaction of £50 or more at Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, valid from 1 – 28 February 2013″

  4. Does the Pizza Hut offer work with Pizza Hut Delivery?

    • Don’t know. It could depend on if the charge was processed in-store or centrally. If you rang a Pizza Hut ‘real’ store to order then presumably it would as it would go through on the usual credit card equipment.

  5. Morning All,

    Thanks for the info, looking forward to cashing in on them.

    I managed six cards at Harvey Nichols. Went to the Oxo Tower for lunch afterwards and forgot I could use the vouchers!

    Anyway just wanted to mention that I checked in to Harvey Nichols the night before we visited from home; over 60 miles away. So I don’t think FourSquare are checking geo-location data at check in time, at least for these offers.

    Enjoy,
    Adey

  6. Dear raffles,
    I think I am doing something wrong. I have 4square app on myniphone. I presume I can only download one app.
    When I register another card do I need to have a separate app on another device. .
    Do I register my card at the retailer site or on the app?
    Many thanks
    Findli

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You can log out from the app if you go into ‘Settings’. You will need a new foursquare account for each card with a new email address to go with it. Sign in to each account to load the cards one at a time. It’s a bit of faff but well worth it for the rewards!

      • And keep a written note of a) the password, b) log-in, c) card linked to that FS account, d) which deals you have synced it for, e) which deals you have actually used. It will make your life a lot easier, especially in 3 months time when they launch new deals and you’ve totally forgotten all the log-ins you set up for all your different Amex cards!

        • I also set my first name on foursquare to something related to the card it was synced to eg BenBA, BenGold or BenMBNA. Made it a lot easier to remember which credit card to use after I logged into a specific 4S account.

      • Brilliant !!!
        Many thanks

  7. Just a quick one, but when you say…..”On Saturday, the following deals were announced”…..where did the announcement come from ?

    • Paulradcliffe says:

      Amex have been sending out emails. Unclear if this is to people who are foursquare sync’d or general.

    • Emailed to BA Amex cardholders

      • That would explain why I didn’t get the email. I was getting worried as I never seem to get any emails about the specials you post, even though I opt in for all comms. Heck, I still get paper statements on my Platinum card even though opted in for paperless, so definitely feel there are some errors there. Never seem to get transfer bonuses either or Amex Travel bonuses :(

        Thanks to you though, I still keep informed. Thanks for another heads-up!

        • You have definitely opted in FOR EACH CARD? On the website, after logging in, you need to go to ‘Profile and Preferences’ and then ‘Marketing Preferences’. After you’ve done it for the first card, you need to click ‘View Another Card’ and then do the same process again, for all your cards.

          • Every marketing option has “yes” selected, and comms is set to email, yet I get nothing. As I said, I still get paper statements too, regardless of that setting. At least I have you to thank for keeping me in the loop though, and to be honest, not too bothered right now as about to cancel the card – have my 50k + 25k bonus MR and the cost is just not worth it to me. And to be honest, I have consistently received bad service too, so pretty unimpressed. We won’t be pushing all our cards through the latest Foursquare deals anyway as less lucrative than before, and since my wife’s referred Plat is about to arrive, mine can go!

  8. Some pretty good deals although not quite as good as the 100% cashback deals from last year so maybe AMEX have learnt something!

    If anyone got vouchers from the spend £50 get £25 cashback Carphone Warehouse AMEX / X-Box deal last year then combining it with this deal will mean you’re well on the way to a cheap ipad.

    I did the Shell deal yesterday although having to buy overpriced items from the mini mart to make up the £50 diluted the benefit slightly! I found the easiest way to check-in from home is to use your laptop to find the place on the foursquare map, press the Save button on the top right, then on the mobile app that place will appear in a list on the ‘Me’ tab clicking it will allow you to check in.

  9. Two questions from me:

    1) Do we know when the ongoing promotions are dilineated? I’ve had the Starbucks promotion on both my Amex cards, but I’m not sure whether I can do it again now.
    2) Do any of the shops involved this time sell third party gift cards?

  10. Hmmmm – I didn’t get the email referred to, however I’m not precious! I’ll happily use & share this info for everyone to benefit.
    Thanks again for the heads up :-D

  11. I also think that you can spend GAP gift cards at Banana Republic and vice versa, so if there if something big in particular you are looking for, and you dont have as many AmEx cards as Raffles, then you could get the cards from both and spend them all in one shop.

  12. I think they’ve learnt a bit in that there are no 100% free options this time around ;-)

    Overall not a bad spread, but once I’ve done Shell with my SPG card I’ll be cancelling it to get a partial fee refund and allow 6 months to elapse ready for another churn! Still leaves me with 6 Amex cards ;-)

  13. The Harrods offer is good as they have a great wine shop under the food hall.

    Not quite as good as the Harvey Nics offer before xmas. House of Fraser and Banana Republic could be useful.

    The shop small promo in November was great, went to quite a few pubs around New Fulham road to take advantage.

    • Agree the HN one was particularly good as it was totally free cash :P If they do Shop Small again I really hope they expand it outside London – for those of us in the regions it was totally useless!!

    • You could do your normal grocery shopping in the foodhall, albeit selection is limited! Or even hit the restaurants instore.

      • Remember to use the Harrods rewards card as well. Going on Saturday stopping via Victoria to have a go on the BA comp

        • Yes, to clarify – with Harrods Rewards, you get the points WHEN YOU BUY THE GIFT CARD and NOT when you redeem it. (Or perhaps both … but I definitely got points when I bought a gift card in December, I just checked my statement.) Make sure you pick one up before your first transaction. However, I think you need to spend £500 to get a voucher.

  14. Tempting.
    Can someone tell me if Harrods gift vouchers are redeemable in the restaurant?

  15. Our house of fraisers in Manchester has a tech store but its a shop in shop. Would they except the HOF gift card?

  16. Is anyone else having issues getting the HOF offer to show on the app?

    • gagravarr says:

      You probably need to wait until the 1st of Feb – the post does say that they’re only valid during February

  17. Another word of advice – don’t leave it until the 28th of Feb to redeem. I did that with the Harvey Nichols, and Foursquare pulled it a day early, so I couldn’t redeem the offer.

  18. LondonLHR says:

    Hi

    Has anyone had the House of Fraser special appear in Foursquare? Any House of Fraser I find doesn’t have the special shown

  19. Daniel (PZE) says:

    House of Fraser on Victoria Street (Westminster – AKA Army and Navy) has an excellent wines and spirits department so I think I’ll be shopping for some decent single malts at £25 discount….

    My daughter’s school is at least 5 minutes from Harrods so that all sounds a bit much effort :)

  20. I am just wondering how as thinking of signing up with Foursquare, how much personal information they ask for. Reading their TERMS & CONDITIONS.

    How easy is it i.e. to sign up for 3 accounts at the same time to use 3 credit cards for the offer? As they say they require truthful info about name, d.o.b. etc.

    I am wondering how you credit card details are linked to the accounts when loading an offer to a credit card and what credit card info they require.

    Thanks for feedback!

    • Make up a date of birth, so they don’t match across FS accounts. Use your real name if you want, or if you’ve got a middle name then do some Middle Name Surname instead of First Name Surname. That’s about the only info they want.

      If you’re on gmail, remember that you can get ‘different’ email addresses by adding in full stops, eg raffles@, r.affles@, ra.ffles@ all get to the same inbox but are seen as different by FS.

      They are not hugely sophisticated at FS – they don’t, for example, seem to use IP tracking to see if people log in from the same computer to different accounts.

      Amex does not share ANY of your personal card information, by the way. It is in the T&C’s when you sync your card.

  21. Does anyone know if buying a giftcard online say, with HoF, would work?

  22. What sort of things are in Harrods food hall? Is it very overpriced compared to everywhere else?

    I’ve never been to Harrods but assume everything is really expensive so I’m wondering if effectivly 50% just brings things back to normal prices.

    • Reverse of a normal supermarket, 90 per cent fresh produce and very little dry stuff (3 or 4 different breakfast cereals max). Pricier than Waitrose but not twice as much, like for like.

      There is a Harrods premium on some stuff – designer stuff is often £5 more than Selfridges, say £85 instead of £80 for a tie. But 80 per cent is a normal department store, with a normally prices book shop, HMV concession, sportswear shop etc etc. Cosmetics etc are same price as Debenhams or Boots.

      • Thanks, not sure the food hall is for me then, I could only make one trip with my 3 cards and £150 worth of fresh stuff will go off before I’d be able to eat it. I’ll check out their online site and see what they have, I assume Harrods gift cards can’t be used at the Harrods HMV.

        • You can use Harrods Gift Cards anywhere in the store, even concessions.

          However, I had a message to say that the DVD / CD concession was taken out late last year. It could be, as I haven’t been into that bit for a while.

          • The message you got appears to be correct, I just rang them and they said HMV was no longer there, I asked if there was anywhere else that sold DVD / CD’s in the store now and was told no.

  23. Edinburghbound says:

    Does anyone know if there is still an Apple concession in Harrods?

  24. cardiffmatch says:

    Thanks Raffles – we had a v successful trip to our local HoF yesterday, armed with our current cards. By sheer coincidence we are in the middle of a card “turnaround” so new ones are in the post which I will be playing with when I return to London in the week!

    Just a thought – could you maybe introduce a “Foursquare” category or tag for your blog, to save time in searching for previous posts on this topic? I have to refer back to the instructions and lists fairly frequently in order to make sure I’m doing things right…

  25. Russell Evans says:

    Tried to make two purchases today in HOF for 2 x £50 gift cards one main cardholder and second my OH supplementary card on same BAPP account (different card numbers though). Both cards sync’d to separate Foursquare accounts but only got a notification via the Foursquare app on the main cardholder that the credit was applied. Anyone got experience of this working/not. Hoping the 2 x £25 credits will post!

    • I’ve used Lloyds duo primary and supp cards together and separately, never got a Foursquare confirmation, and once neither transaction credited (see reply below). My Amex Plat normally gets a Foursquare confirmation, but not always, and I think even less frequently with MBNA. I wouldn’t worry about the confirmations – hold the worry for if the refund doesn’t post, which normally it does. So far, out of 63 transactions, 5 didn’t post, 4 were at the same restaurant and 2 of those were credited promptly after a chase.

      Of course not getting £5 on one £5 purchase at a reasonably priced shop is less worrying that missing £25 out of £50 at a pricey place. Let’s hope all goes smoothly tomorrow when I visit HoF and Harrod’s armed with 5 cards!

    • Normally I find it only shows a notification (and even then not always) if you’re logged in to an a/c on your phone at the time of purchase. Sometimes afterwards you can go into the notification tray and refresh it. However in all the transactions to date (around 50 or so of which only 20 or so showed a notification) I’ve only had one not track – I raised a manual query and it posted (twice :D) a week later. You should be fine :)

      • Mark Brackenridge says:

        Alan, I have had one of my HoF purchases not track, can I ask who you raised the query with, was it Amex of Foursquare? Thanks, Mark

        • Hi Mark it was the sync team, there’s a contact form on the Amex Sync website from where you register your card.

        • Hi Mark, it’s definitely Amex you need to ultimately contact, but it depends on what card you use too. I’ve not seen the link on the sync site that Alan refers to, but when I had a purchase not track with my Amex Plat, I contacted Amex directly and they sorted it out quickly. With my LTSB and MBNA cards I was advised by them to email registeredcardsupport@aexp.com and give card and transaction details.

          How long have you waited for the transaction to track/refund though? Since it often takes 2-3 days for a normal transaction to post, it does take another day or 2 for a refund to post with an Amex issued card, and much longer with LTSB. Note that the T&C state that while it should track within days, it could take 2 billing periods to be added to your statement!

  26. cardiffmatch says:

    The only problem I’ve had is that none of the credits on my BAPP card (the main card on the account) have ever gone through normally – I’ve always had to phone up to have them added manually. This is despite the ones on the supplementary card tracking just fine. It’s odd as the shop small promotion tracked fine on both cards, even when paying in the same restaurant at the same time.

    The good news is that Amex have always been happy to do it manually. They’ve looked at their system and confirmed that the card is synced to my Foursquare so we can’t work out what the problem has been.

    • Strange… My “other” promotions have always gone through, and 5 shop small transactions didn’t – 2 of those were primary and supp cards on a Lloyds account, but had same result with an Amex Plat and MBNA – all used together at a restaurant. That accounts for 4, and one other also on Lloyds card at a shop. I’ve had the MBNA and Plat credits applied, but strangely I have emailed Amex twice regarding the other missing Lloyds card transactions and they’ve never even responded!

  27. I had all kinds of fun trying to get this to work on Friday night. Not sure whether it’s the app, my phone’s GPS or more likely my own incompetence. I stood in the Carphone Warehouse nearest to Oxford Street station and it seemed to be convinced that I was in a store further up the road. I therefore decided not to chance it (similar issue with Gap). I then thought I’d correctly loaded the House of Fraser deal but after failing to get a confirmation I checked and it appears that I might have loaded it to a different store (Victoria Street) even though I was standing outside the shop and thought that I had double checked. Managed to get a couple of sale bargains anyway so I won’t be that upset but hopefully MBNA will add the credit. Everything worked perfectly at the Starbucks in Stratford Westfield the day before (although annoyingly the LHR T5 Starbucks isn’t set up to accept the Starbucks card).

    • You can check-in anywhere, anytime. I don’t even have a smartphone! I do it on my ipad at home, often days before I visit the shop. And it all still track fine!

      • To make check-in even easier, while you can’t do it from logging in to the normal webpage, from the mobile webpage you can. So instead of messing around on tablets of phones, you can use your computer if you visit the mobile website at m.foursquare.com – it’s a very limited interface though, doesn’t show the specials, can’t save places to a list, but you can search quickly and easily and if you already know where you are going, simply search and check-in!

  28. I have a platinum card with an additional card to separate expenses, can I use both to £100 of HOF vouchers for £50?

    They:

    - have different card numbers,
    - are both for me (my name / my name a.c.)
    - but are showing as the same amex account when I log into amex.
    - both seem to have synced with different foursquare accounts

    Thank you in advance

  29. thanks for the clarification! I assumed that since it synced it would work but worth double checking!

  30. If you want to maximise your House of Fraser benefits then as Raffles says the giftcards can be used online and both Quidco & TCB give 5% on HOF purchases online.

    The sites say discounted gift cards won’t attract cashback but as these were purchased at full price hopefully they will, my purchase last night has tracked ok, just got to see if they pay out!

    • Nice tip. Has anyone checked into and had success with HoF in Oxford street? I find it doesn’t show the special offer, so while it may track by checking into any HoF and still shopping there, I am a bit wary…

      • I had problems but as Raffles has mentioned you can try to regsiter before leaving home. In my case it was an unplanned trip so I had to do it from the phone and may have accidentally loaded the card for the wrong store. I’ve emailed MBNA to see whether they will apply the credit retrospectively. For anyone with kids there are some clothes bargains to be had in the POP store up on the 5th floor e.g. £8 for trousers that genuinely go for nearer £30 at other times.

      • Victoria shows it OK

        • Yup, I might browse Oxford St as it’s supposed to be their flagship store, but buy voucher sin Victoria to be sure. There are 3 tips on the Oxford St branch listing stating that the Amex check-in special isn’t working there! Any chance you think that vouchers would be accepted at the Forex bureau? A few extra points with Amex is on ething, but 50% free forex is quite another!!!

          • Mmm, just put my mind at rest and called HoF Victoria. Was transferred to the Bureau de Change and told gift vouchers are not accepted :(

      • You don’t actually need to check in to the particular store you are visiting. In fact, for almost all of my offers, I’ve checked in at a different store to where I’ve actually made the purchase and 100% have tracked through (over 30 transactions)

        • But RIch I suspect the offer was also available at those stores that you checked into – right? I’d be delighted to be proven wrong as I’d much prefer to go to Oxford Street rather than trapse over to Victoria but I can’t help but feel that Oxford Street was deliberately excluded.

        • Like RB, and having seen the tips on Foursquare regarding HoF Oxford St, I am wondering if the offer is specifically not valid there, it does say “participating stores”. Glad you’ve had such tracking success. So far I’ve had 60/65 and 3 refunds have been awarded subsequently.

          I missioned all the way to Victoria yesterday and I’d rather that than miss the refund, certainly because the Oxford St store is way better.

          Bare in mind whoever is interested in technology shopping – I was advised at Oxford that all tech had moved to Victoria, yet the tech section in Victoria is all but closed down!

  31. Today is the first time Ive used foursquare, I bought a £50 gift card in HOF today. I first checked in, unlocked and loaded offer and was definitley the correct store (Victoria) so just waiting a few days for the notification of the £25. But should there be any indication in my foursquare account that I have unlocked and loaded offer to card?

    When I look at my account now it is saying I have not unlocked this special.

    • HI Millwall, if you try & load your card again it your Foursquare account should show already loaded.

  32. Hi Mark, thanks for reply, still saying offer is not unlocked on app, when I try and go to load on card again like you said its telling me to check in, and its also saying I am checked in! PC site is saying the offer is ‘unlocked every check in’

    Be interesting to know if anyone else had this happen, maybe Im being stupid.

    Tomorrow will be doing it with Lloyds amex so will compare what happens!

  33. Hi Raffles – further to your “PS. I am happy to answer questions about Harrods stock for non-locals” comment.. I’m looking to buy a fridge freezer soon, any idea if they sell them/how big of a range they have??

    • Annoyingly, I have just come back from Harrods where I did 3 cards. However, I will pop back tomorrow to do the rest and will take a look. They certainly have big kitchen equipment.

    • Harrods has 4 fridge freezers, Miele and Siemens, cheapest £1,600 that I saw. The appliances departments seems to have been cut down aggressively during the recent refurbishments.

  34. Quick update on House of Fraser, Oxford Street. Just had a call from MBNA to confirm that it did work even though my check-in showed up as Victoria Street and I hadn’t received any sort of notifcation via Foursquare. The £25 credit is showing on my credit card account as the 4th February although I think that it only actually appeared this morning (I made the purchase on the 1st). For any future queries for MBNA purchases they confirmed that the registeredcardsupport@aexp.com address should be used.

    My Starbucks credit from 31st January for which I did receive a Foursquare notification is also showing on my card statement as 4th February.