Hit your credit card sign-up bonus by buying FEE-FREE Amex gift cards

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(EDIT:  A reader report in March 2015 suggests that gift card purchases are no longer earning points.  This was only one incident but be aware!)

I have written before about the range of American Express gift cards. They were not, to be honest, fantastic value.

However, they are now looking VERY INTERESTING if you have a spending target to hit on a new credit card. And if you don’t have a card with a spend target to hit, this might be a good time to apply for one!

Here is the official site for Amex gift cards.

American Express is currently offering gift cards with NO purchase fee and NO delivery fee. You can buy up to five cards per order which means a maximum of (5 x £100 gift cards) £500 you can spend at a time.

You need to use promotional code VAL1 to get the purchase fee and postage deducted.

The offer runs until 31st March.  You can find full details on the cardmemberoffers.co.uk website here.

Amex Gift Card

Without the fees, you are effectively buying Amex gift cards for face value. The standard fee plus postage on a £100 gift card is £3.95 so this is a substantial saving.

Amex accepts Amex plus Visa and MasterCard for the purchase of these cards. The payment almost certainly goes through as a ‘purchase’ rather than a cash advance, because Amex would need to disclose it otherwise.

The most obvious use of this promotion is to bring forward spending in order to hit a time-limited sign-up bonus on a new credit card.  If you recently took out a new card to boost your Avios collection before the devaluation on April 28th, this is a good way of getting the points in your account faster.

The cards can be used for normal spending at almost everywhere in the UK that accepts Amex cards. If you end up with a small residual balance of a few pounds, the easy way to cash it out is to buy an Amazon gift certificate (via the Head for Points affiliate link if you like!) and add it to your Amazon account as a credit against future purchases.  Amex will also refund the balance of a gift card by cheque or bank transfer if you make a formal request.

Note that Amex gift cards can only be used in the UK. They can be used for physical and online transactions but you cannot use them to obtain cash from an ATM. You need to use up the balance on the card within 12 months otherwise a £1.50 monthly fee will kick in.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. I did as Stuart suggests in his 9.55am post. Worked a treat so thank you Stuart. Was on the phone about half an hour (in work time, oops). 5x£100 credit to current account will take 3 weeks they said.
    BTW Raffles, love HFP, thank youuuuu

    • Hilly – did you buy them and then ring up to get them paid into you bank a/c all on the same day pls?

      If I do this, I’d have to make sure the money was back in bank a/c before Amex bill is due to be paid – so want to check I’m doing it right! TIA.

      • Ignore first sentence. Just done a dummy run and see that they get posted to you – thought maybe you got emailed codes. Apologies for being dim, this is my first “toe in the water” exercise in reaching an Amex spend.

        • No codes emailed, they send physical cards which you then activate at home (very quick and easy).

          I suppose you could do this within one statement period but you would need to make the order the day your statement switched over, activate the cards as soon as they arrive (which can take about a week after ordering) and call up for the redemption to bank (which can take up to three weeks). It would be very tight and require everything work right on time. I’m not sure I’d recommend it on that timeframe but maybe other people have experience with this.

        • Thanks, Stuart.

  2. Not that easy. Banks and shops are not obliged to accept them.

    Even if they do it can be a lot of hassle for the minimal reward, unlike the Olympic 50ps.

  3. Hi,

    Are the Amex gift cards accepted in Sainsbury’s?


  4. If Sainsburys accept Amex then i cannot see why they wouldnt be accepted?

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