Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 ….

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (67)

  • Clairw says:

    V helpful- thanks. Good to know about the House of Fraser vouchers having a 2 year expiry- that’s my MIL’s Christmas pressie sorted- she asks for HoF vouchers EVERY year! How do I link more than one card to my foursquare account?

    • Raffles says:

      You need a new FS account for each card, needs a different email and date of birth

      • Jamjaw says:

        Does not need a different D.O.B – just different email address… Or so I have found. £100 O2 top up vouchers bought yesterday for my giffgaff mobile. Reduces monthly cost to £7.50 rather than £12. Might get some more this week as likely to stay on giffgaff for ages as earning £500 per month for sim distribution at the moment!

        • magarathea says:

          Are you sure you do not need a different DOB for each FS account?

          • Raffles says:

            No, technically you don’t. But why take the risk of them closing down your accounts because they are clearly duplicates?

          • Trevor says:

            I guess the chances of having them closed is extremely slim, and it would take somebody manually checking each account to look at similarities for them to decide they are duplicates – I can’t see them putting in that much effort! But since the D.O.B is fairly irrelevant, changed if worried.

            The most important thing to change is your email address, and since gmail allows many changes, this is ideal. Although pointed out previously, I thought I’d refresh the memory for some:

            You can place a “.” anywhere in your gmail address and it will still come to you, i.e. [email protected] is the same as [email protected], [email protected] and even [email protected]. Importantly, the difference is ignored by gmail, but considered a unique address by any other site, so you can use a number of combinations.

            Also, you can add a “+…” after your name, so [email protected] is the same as [email protected] or [email protected] etc. In this way you can uniquely identify each gmail address with a card used to sync your FS account to help you keep track – handy!

            Note that all websites should allow the “.” while some websites don’t allow the use of the “+”, but luckily for our purposes, Foursquare does 🙂

          • zhyoo says:

            How do i change the D.O.B in foursquare? I can’t find the DOB option in my profile, So I have to put a different first name like Tony_Amex_Gold, Tony_Amex_BA to recognize the card which was linked to foursquare accounts.

          • Raffles says:

            You can’t change it. If you did them all the same, don’t worry – you are just at slightly more risk of Foursquare noticing and shutting you down.

            Pangalactic was talking about using different email addresses linked per card, ie getting a [email protected] email, [email protected] address, to keep track.

            It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you must write down somewhere the credit card, email address on FS and password on FS used on each account. Then keep a note of which deals you have checked in against each card, and which ones you have actually made a purchase. Otherwise you will get massively confused, especially in 3 months time when a new set of deals launch and you’ve forgotten all the data you used.

          • zhyoo says:

            Thank you so much for your advise Raffles.
            I created several accounts with different emails long time a ago, because of the Topguset and Hilton offer, and updated the profile picture with my different card picture so that I can easily to recognize.

  • Mr Bridge says:

    I would ask at harrods if they can combine your gift cards,most stores can: if not buy a £200 gift card and pay with 4*£50 cards., how much is afternoon tea at harrods now??

  • Cmcbugg says:

    I had the problem in Harrords where the till would only accept 5 gift cards in one transaction. Although it took a while to sort out, I gave the cashier all 6 gift cards and let them deal with it. They did that buy swapping 4 cards for a bigger one themselves, so I didn’t have to do anything extra except wait.

  • Cmcbugg says:

    Just realised I’d been checking into the HoF in Victoria but shopping in Oxford Street. Maybe that explains why I never got the foursquare notifications for HoF. Luckily the Amex credits did work.

  • Dh says:

    Where do you buy gift cards in Harrods? Are they the credit card type so that you can load several transactions to the same card?

    • Raffles says:

      Every till sells them, so about 200 places! (Unless you want more than £10,000 on it, then you need to go to customer services!)

      I tried to top one up but the cashier didn’t know how or if she could, presumably it is possible?

  • John says:

    You can get recognition points too at HofF when redeeming vouchers. I did it last weekend…..

  • Jason says:

    Does anyone know if I can check if I have correct Amex number synced

  • Nv says:

    How do you know which HOF is participating? , looking at Thurrock lakeside or Bluewaters shopping malls. Didn’t see any specials when I checked in Thurrock last week .