Did you join the Amex MR / Tesco madness yesterday?!

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.

Amex Membership Rewards

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.

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  1. I missed the Tesco deal as I decided to go out into the garden for once. Annoyingly I had logged into the site earlier to look at things. Still think I might have got more value from flights though. But keep up the blog, it’s excellent stuff.

    • Without rubbing it in, no you wouldn’t! You were getting 2.5p per point in Tesco gift cards, which is as good as cash if you shop at Tesco. And you can buy miles or points in almost all of the MR transfer partners for a lot less than that.

  2. Thanks Raffles… I ordered the Le Creuset pan and Dyson as soon as I saw your post this morning!

    What are the delivery charges?

  3. Motellgamzol says:

    Dear raffles
    I am really sorry for having made that comment. I read your blog with interest every day. I was frustrated.

  4. Trickster says:

    My Dyson order is still showing as in progress. Le Crusset completed on Wed night.

  5. My Dyson order also still showing in progress at this moment in time.

  6. Surprisingly 😉 I happened to be reading Flyertalk at the time.

    I dithered for about 20 minutes or so, then ordered £850 worth of (£50) Tesco vouchers on my account and another £1400 worth on the wife’s.

    My £850 are showing as completed but the £1400 are still “in progress” as of today.

    There’s a good argument for NOT posting things like this to blogs as when it suddenly ends up in everyone’s inbox at the same time the “glitches” soon die. This is a perfect example of that.

    I’ll lay my money on Amex honouring this, rather than having to face 100s of trading standards cases.

    Their losses on this are mere peanuts in the big scheme of things.

    Lastly, as someone mentioned earlier Raffles does provide this site for free for us and we should all be very grateful.

    If you missed out, don’t be too disappointed, this deal is OK but it’s certainly not “deal of the century” by any stretch of the imagination.

  7. I love miles and points says:

    I am one of the thousands who read and rarely, if ever, comment on blog or forum posts. I have read your blog avidly since i first discoved it a few weeks back and have beem meaning to say thank you for some time. Motellgamzol’s comment was the incentive i needed. News of mistakes etc are inevitably time sensitive and unless one is a full time 24 hr 365 day a week writer or part of a large team inevitably some will be missed or moted elsewhere first. Your forte is analysis with a uk emphasis and I, for one, am very grateful that you take the time you do to enlighten us. People are very quick to complain and tardy in saying thanks. So a belated thanks from me

  8. My Dysons are still ‘in progress’ as of this morning.

    I note that the glitch items have now all re-appeared at the correct ‘prices’.

  9. John O'Sullivan says:

    I’ve been looking for an explanation of the crazy offer (thanks, it makes sense now). I signed up for a gold preferred rewards card last august and got 20,000 free points once I’d spent £2,000. Plan was to exchange points for a free kindle for my daughter. Had 26,500 points when I by chance spotted the offer. £550 worth of gift cards on way, showing as completed on my MR account.

  10. Two boxes of Red Wine just arrived courtesy of Amex and Raffles! Cheers!

    I missed the Tesco gift cards, but my two Dyson orders are showing as pending still.

    I’m guessing that Laithwaites probably have a much larger inventory available to fulfil the large order volume generated by this mis-price than whoever is shipping the Dysons.

  11. Various reports of gift cards arriving today for those that managed to get in on it!

  12. seenoevil says:

    I actually found the ‘glitch’ by chance when looking through my account, initially ordered a couple of Tesco cards and then about 10 minutes later went back in and ordered another few (every little helps…). Got the first 2 cards through the post yesterday am hoping batch 2 comes off as well. The first order showed as completed the following day, as of this morning my second batch still shows as In Progress. Not sure what this means for people whose orders are still ‘In Progress’. Fingers crossed.

  13. I spotted the deal on the rewards site and just thought it was a good deal and didn’t realise it was an error. I bought £2000 of giftcards for 80,000 miles. All my giftcards arrived yesterday by post in a nice thick padded envelope. Very happy! Also got a case of red wine for 2,920 points.
    Credit to Amex for honouring now that I understand it was an error!

    • Mine are still showing as ‘In Progress’, presumably (hopefully) just awaiting new stock.

      • I tested the cards out at Tesco today and there is no restriction on using the tesco gift cards to buy other gift cards in store! So this amazing deal can be ‘swapped’ in store for loads of other gift cards (eg itunes, house of fraser, etc etc). Not wanting to sound greedy or ungrateful, but I’m really wishing i’d used all 200,000 points on tesco gift cards.

  14. Scott Nelson says:

    Just a quick update:

    2x Le Creuset – shown as completed – not yet delivered
    8x Dyson – shown as in progress – 3 delivered!

    Looks like they’re all going to come through.

    I have distribution set up, so no problem at all to shift them!

    Winner! Thanks again Raffles

  15. Anyone know where the Dysons come from? Is the del AA branded?