Amex / Foursquare 2013 … what I’ve discovered so far!

So, how is the American Express / Foursquare 2013 promotion going for you so far?!

(See here for details of the current deals if you are new to this.)

On Wednesday I picked up 6 x £50 gift cards in Harrods, and on Thursday I got 3 x £50 in House of Fraser.


I learnt a few things:


I probably made a mistake in Harrods by buying 6 separate £50 cards with my 6 Amex’s.  A comment on Flyertalk said that the Harrods tills cannot process more than 4 gift cards when you redeem them, so I can’t use all 6 at once on that basis.  The only workaround would be to buy a £200 gift card using 4 x £50 gift cards and then redeem that!

I’ve already had Foursquare notifications for the BA Amex and Amex Platinum transactions.  I got nothing for the Lloyds TSB cards but that is par for the course.  I have always got cashback on the Lloyds cards before even without receiving notifications.

The T&C’s in the original email on this promotion said that only Harrods Knightsbridge was included.  This presumably means that purchases at Heathrow do not count, neither do online purchases.

Harrods gift cards cannot be used at Heathrow according to their website, but they can be used on the website and at all bars and restaurants in the Knightsbridge store.

You cannot double up on Harrods Rewards points.  Whilst they will swipe your Harrods Rewards card when buying a gift card, it does not earn points.  You will earn points when you spend it.  However, as you need 500 points (£500 of spend) to earn any rewards, it is not worth it if you don’t plan to visit the store again this year.

House of Fraser

For House of Fraser, I went to the Victoria store.  This is the store that time forgot – I can only assume they are tied into a lease they can’t escape.  It never has any customers (at least outside lunchtime during the week) and only about 1 in 10 tills is manned.  A large part of the basement has been sublet to Gap.

Looking at the receipts, the House of Fraser gift cards are valid for two years.  This gives me confidence to buy another 3 gift cards – there is no risk of not being able to spend £300 in 2 years, even if it all goes on cosmetics for my wife!

House of Fraser gift cards can be used on their website.  Yesterday, I used £53.99 of my new balance to buy a new smart cover for my ipad.  For some reason, House of Fraser is discounting their remaining ipad smart covers by 10%, so if you want one then take a look online.  Quidco cashback is also available.

You cannot buy gift cards online to trigger the bonus – the website confirms that they go through as ‘Voucher Express’ and are delivered by a third party.  It is not clear if other purchases will trigger the Foursquare bonus.

Comments elsewhere have focussed on the fact that the Oxford Street flagship store does not offer the ‘special’ on Foursquare.  However, people have successfully ‘checked in’ at Victoria Street and spent the £50 at Oxford Street and got Foursquare notifications.

The Victoria House of Fraser has a fantastic off-licence on the top floor!  There is a surprisingly decent selection of premium wine, spirits and a very wide range of champagne.  The champagne seemed a little pricey, but only because supermarkets are so aggressive these days.  Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2008 was £21, which was only £1 above Laithwaites.

I did not check if you can earn Recognition points in their loyalty scheme for buying the gift cards – I have enough points balances to juggle as it is!

Other offers

The other current deals are (ending 28th February):

  • GAP – Spend £50, Get £25
  • Banana Republic – Spend £50, Get £25
  • Carphone Warehouse – Spend £25, Get £10

Plus the three older offers which are still running:

  • Starbucks – Spend £10, Get £5 (to 13 February)
  • Pizza Hut – Spend £30, Get £15 (to 6 March)
  • Shell – Spend £50, Get £15 (to 18 April)

I am deliberately giving these a miss, though!  I can’t do everything ….

PS.  I have added ‘Foursquare’ to the Categories list in the right-hand margin, so you can now easily find all the FS posts on the site with one click

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  1. Darn, been topping up slowly at Starbucks as my wife goes there, and was going to do final 2 topups today, but special already gone today 🙁 Got 2 more in yesterday, so was still live then, but didn’t have all my cards with me.

  2. ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    Hi Raffles,

    Can you update us on the date in which the credits were posted to your card after your purchases on the Wednesday & Thursday. I have completed 4 transactions @ House of Fraser so it would be good to see when the credits are expected to appears.


    • On my Plat, I have HOF transactions dated 7th and 8th and credits dated 10th and 12th.

      It will be slower on MBNA and Lloyds cards.

  3. where2travel says:

    The special for Gap doesn’t show up on my Foursquare app anymore. I logged in and unlocked the deal last week when it was showing. Does anyone know if I can I still make the purchase now?

  4. magarathea says:

    HOF have a 14 day return period policy for most purchases. Does anyone know what would happen if you purchased an item using Foursquare/AMex, received a £25 Amex credit then returned the item to HOF for a credit card refund?

    • In theory the FS credit is taken away. Whether it is or not will depend on how the refund is processed, I think. I reckon it would actually stay.

  5. Why it is 23? Spend 50 get 8?

  6. If Gap and Banana Republic are the same company, yet you can only get one statement credit per retailer/special, can one definitely take advantage of the GAP AND Banana Republic offers using the same Amex card? Has anyone tried this?

    • Can confirm that you can get both the Gap and Banana Republic offers on the same Amex card. Just bought 11x of each. Yes, we buy a lot of clothes!

      • Great, David, thanks for the reply and confirmation. I figured that must be the case, but better safe than sorry.

  7. In conjunction with my wife we have just used our nine (!) Amex cards of different types at both Harrods and HoF, confident that we will find a worthwhile way of spending the resulting sum in both places. It was effortless in HoF. One kind woman at a quiet cosmetics till did it all, and on realizing what I was up to (after card two) advised not constantly topping up, but just buying the card to the full value, and she would charge £50 blocks to each of our cards to pay for it. Very quick and easy.

    Horrids was another story altogether. For a start, the first eight tills I tried on the ground floor didn’t have any gift cards. Eventually I went to the concierge area on the 2nd floor, where they were well used to FS customers doing this. But each card had to be used to buy another card, and it took nearly twenty minutes. Charming, polite service, but one hell of a faff!

    So, be prepared to take serious time if you want to use the Horrids option!!

  8. Cardiffmatch says:

    After a v successful trip to house of Fraser last weekend, we’ve just churned through our cards at Harrods this afternoon. Not one notification via 4S as yet – for direct Amex cards or otherwise!

    i will update if and when the statement credits appear…

    • Michael Christie says:

      When did your hof credits appear on your Amex statement as mines are yet to appear from last Sundays trip where wife and I did 5 each.

      • Michael Christie says:

        Panic over….all 10 amex credits of £25 applied to cards….mbna showded up first on sunday then rest of amex today…..great first venture into foursquare !!

        • cardiffmatch says:

          Glad it worked out! Sorry not to have replied sooner, I only spotted your reply earlier. Ours took a couple of days – spent the cash on Sat and the credit appeared on Tuesday.

          Neither the transactions nor the credits from this weekend at Harrods have appeared on our statements yet…

        • Seems Amex are slower with the refunds on these this time around, as a few people are worried. Earlier in the month I received the Starbucks refunds 2 days after the transaction posted, as was previously the norm. Now hoever, I, like other people, are curious as to where the refunds are. Harrod’s is 6 days and counting…

        • cardiffmatch says:

          Thanks Trevor – whilst I still don’t have any sight of the credit, it’s helpful to know that others have been waiting longer than me!

        • Just had my Harrods credits through – took 7 days

        • cardiffmatch says:

          Thanks Marcel. Ours have also arrived today, even though we had no notifications on any of our accounts.

        • Luckily mine came through today too – a bunch of refund on various cards from various dates, and the oldest from more than 9 days ago, though Harrod’s was 9 days from spend to visible refund – Whew! Seems Amex have had a bit of a backlog.

  9. Not sure if something has changed, but when I used Foursquare before Christmas every transaction tracked as it should have done- I’ve used a a few different cards recently and whilst I get the FS notification the credit has yet to show on the statements.

  10. I’ve checked in at both Carphone Warehouse and a Shell garage, but no link to a special appears on my phone. Both locations have specials on the foursquare website but not on my phone, can anyone assist ?

  11. Oddly one of my MBNA issued Amex cards has had notification received for all four purchases I’ve made (Gap, Banana Republic, Harrods, HoF), but the other card had none, despite me following the same process for each one. Anyone else with MBNA have this happen and have you seen the cash come through anyway?

    • I only have 1 mbna card. Confirmations have been inconsistent yet I have always got the refund.

      • Update – refunds just came through today on both MBNA cards, timeframe was the same as with my Amex-issued cards.

  12. 10 cards at Harrods – 10 at Gap – 5 at shell. All got notifications (shock horror). No credits as yet (2 working days and counting…)

  13. chappers says:

    As an avid reader of your blog, I joined Amex a few weeks ago and have “saved” a decent amount… by spending 🙂

    In my quest for yet more Amex offers I stumbled across another website that lists offers for Amex & Foursquare as well as non Amex deals which may be of interest to some folk.

    Enjoy NYC!

  14. Bit of feedback after a shopping trek around London yesterday.

    HofF – topped up existing gift card using two new Amex cards.
    Banana Republic – bonus discount. I was genuinely dithering over a jacket that was was £130 and the sales assistant said that if I came back today there was 20% off or she’d give me 15% off on the spot as a new customer. I think this is the email signup bonus that you aren’t meant to be able to use with gift card purchases. Get the right person and it seems that you can.

    Harrods – one purchase for a £100 gift that they happily split across two cards (no need for gift cards). Another £50 purchase down in the wine section with no problems.

    Gap – gift cards split across three cards with no problems. They confirmed that the Banana Republic card could not be used in Gap stores.

    Carphone Warehouse only real problem of the day. One iTunes card no issues. Asked about a CW gift card which they did but it’s in the form of a printed out credit note – fine for me but not as a present. They also thought that they might be able to do gift cards for Sainsburys, Debenhams and Next. I said that I’d take a Sainsburys one as it was nearby but the till wouldn’t put it through. Sales assistant thought that it might be a Xmas thing that had been discontinued.

  15. This might be really cheeky but –

    I had the BA PP Amex, took advantage of all the Foursquare offers and duly received my refund.

    Coincidentally, I recently asked Amex to downgrade me to the BA basic card and they sent me a replacement card with a different account number.

    Could I conceivably get another round of FS offers by treating this as a “new” card and linking it to a new FS account? Has anyone tried this in the past?

  16. I purchased Harrod’s Gift Cards using my Lloyds TSB and Gold Card on the 5th of February. My Gold Card credit was applied within a few days. I have yet to see any credit on the Lloyds Amex Card. I emailed cardservices but have still not heard back! Any suggestions?