Yesterday afternoon saw one of those crazy moments in the miles and points game.
It started at 3.36pm, when a poster on Flyertalk callyed Richyo said that he had just redeemed 4,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for a £100 Tesco gift card. This was a 2.5p per point value – at least 250% more than you would expect to get from MR on a good day, and 500% more than you usually get for gift card redemptions.
It turns out that someone at Amex had made a big mistake.
Tesco gift cards are a new offering this year from American Express. As an introductory offer, they were meant to be offered at a 16% discount. The £100 card, for instance, should have been reduced from 24,000 points to 20,000.
However, someone somewhere read their instructions wrong. Instead of reducing the price to 20,000, they reduced it by 20,000! You were getting an 84% discount!
The gift cards shot out of stock very quickly. By 4.57pm, just 80 minutes after it was posted on Flyertalk, it was dead. Tesco gift cards disappeared from the Amex website!
I placed a tentative order for £550-worth, for 22,000 Membership Rewards points. I don’t shop at Tesco, but I figured out that this was enough to get myself an ipad 5 when they appear later this year!
Amazingly, as I type this (8pm Wednesday), there are STILL some other products on offer at huge discounts! There is a Dyson DC34 handheld vacuum cleaner, reduced from 38,450 points to 3,990. They sell on ebay for £120.
They are also still offering 12 bottles of red wine from Laithwaites for 2,920 points instead of the usual 19,540!
I have passed on both of these. We don’t drink much red wine at home and becoming a Dyson reseller is too time consuming. By the time you read this these deals might be dead as well.
However, I have an e-mail confirmation for my £550 of Tesco gift cards! Let’s see if Amex choose to deliver.