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Amex’s Christmas promotions unwrapped

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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.

Comments (48)

  • Johnny5a says:

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

  • Daniel says:

    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…)

    • Raffles says:

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

      • Daniel says:

        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.

        • Johnny5a says:

          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?

          • Johnny5a says:

            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.

          • Raffles says:

            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.

  • AC says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • Cliff says:

    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.