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Forums Payment cards American Express Best ways to frontload Amex spend to trigger vouchers?

  • okl 5 posts

    Hi all,

    In a situation where we need to trigger a voucher fairly soon but got £2k of spend still to do. Annoyingly I just booked a lot of travel onto another card and there isn’t really any big purchase planned soon, but I have sufficient cash that I’d be willing to frontload. None of my utilities accept Amex unfortunately.

    I was thinking of just buying a ton of Amazon or Asda vouchers maybe? Are there any other clever (legal!) ideas that I’m missing here?

    Thank you!

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,299 posts

    Flexible BA flight.

    You don’t need any cash to frontload – just time the charge so it hits on Day 1-2 of your statement period, voucher will hit on Day 5-6 and you’ve got three weeks for the refund to arrive before any money is due.

    sloth 315 posts

    Looking forward to Rob’s imminent admonishment by JDB…

    okl 5 posts

    Flexible BA flight.

    You don’t need any cash to frontload – just time the charge so it hits on Day 1-2 of your statement period, voucher will hit on Day 5-6 and you’ve got three weeks for the refund to arrive before any money is due.

    Thanks Rob – any they won’t crawl back the voucher (I’m sure they won’t), and there are no other issues with that approach?

    zapato1060 720 posts

    Flexible BA flight.

    Would this receive in return a no questions asked refund?

    Scott 257 posts

    I wouldn’t risk spending on a flight I had no intention of taking.

    Why not visit a Coop branch and use Paypoint to load a few grand to your energy account. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that approach.

    Guernsey Globetrotter 611 posts

    I wouldn’t risk spending on a flight I had no intention of taking.

    Why not visit a Coop branch and use Paypoint to load a few grand to your energy account. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that approach.

    Naughty… 😉

    Alex G 465 posts

    Book a fully refundable hotel with Hotels.com

    Cancel, using Rob’s advice above re timing

    Your Amex card will show a negative Avios balance until you generate some further real spend to cover it.

    strickers 723 posts

    I wouldn’t do £2k but a £200 Amazon gift card can be loaded to your account and £200 onto you utilities account provided you’re not about to switch providers. Those should get you some of the way there.

    hw-99 11 posts

    App called JamDonought which lets you purchase all plethora of giftcards. While giving you additional cashback.

    They have all sorts of giftcards you could load up on, to reach spend I loaded up on grocery & Airbnb cards for a future Japan trip.

    Spent well over 2k on Airbnb giftcards over a few months period, never had an issue.

    Cashback + MR points + spend towards voucher.

    Anna 458 posts

    Council tax if they accept Amex or PayPal?

    okl 5 posts

    I wouldn’t do £2k but a £200 Amazon gift card can be loaded to your account and £200 onto you utilities account provided you’re not about to switch providers. Those should get you some of the way there.

    Looks like you can do £1k now on Amazon!

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,244 posts

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    If you can spend £1k via amazon in a resonable anount of time then all well and good.

    If not then don’t tie up your money for a long time.

    okl 5 posts

    I’ll definitely get through £1k over say the next year, assuming my spend is equally spread (and ~5% interest on Gilts) that would make the cost about £25 or 2.5%.

    Buying a hotel and getting the refund a week later is definitely cheaper, but it doesn’t seem “right” to me… But maybe we just go with that. Just don’t feel like chasing refunds!

    Rich_A 92 posts

    Flexible BA flight.

    You don’t need any cash to frontload – just time the charge so it hits on Day 1-2 of your statement period, voucher will hit on Day 5-6 and you’ve got three weeks for the refund to arrive before any money is due.

    Is there not a risk here if the BA transaction is the one that takes you over the line?

    The bonus is ‘attached’ to the transaction that triggers it IIRC, and when you refund it, the bonus is reversed.

    Better to get close to the target, then use a real transaction that you won’t refund?

    yonasl 976 posts

    I recently triggered my voucher a little earlier than I wanted because I had done too many Europcar bookings (kept booking prepaid cars and then cancelling and doing a new booking with a slight different model or time).

    I wasn’t trying to really but Europcar charges you immediately while the cancellations take a few days to refund the money so basically I spend £3,000 in just a few days and then got most of it back the next week.

    Another way is to use hotels.com. Book a place in Cape Town for thousands of pounds for Dec 2023 or similar and cancel a few days before your balance is computed. (Hotel.com refunds usually take 1-5 days to refund the money)

    Pattrickk 4 posts

    Another way is to use hotels.com. Book a place in Cape Town for thousands of pounds for Dec 2023 or similar and cancel a few days before your balance is computed. (Hotel.com refunds usually take 1-5 days to refund the money)

    If you do this please do it to a big chain and not an independent/boutique.

    davefl 1,416 posts

    Rather than top up at amazon, look at the gift cards at the supermarket. Think about upcoming birthday and xmas presents you might want to give.

    Amazon, Uber (& Eats) M&S, Argos, Google Play, are my go to every time I need to spend a few hundred quickly and spend it later. Amazon are valid for 10 years and they’re not likely to go bust. Just a pity none of the supermarket spend qualifies for bonus points.

    You could also look at buying egift cards from a well known cashback site, they take Amex and sell all of the above I mentioned and you’ll get a reliable few percent back as well.

    PeteM 765 posts

    I gather loading your energy account is a great idea too 🙂

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/my-energy-company-wont-refund-my-5000-credit-balance/

    Alex G 465 posts

    Buying a hotel and getting the refund a week later is definitely cheaper, but it doesn’t seem “right” to me… But maybe we just go with that. Just don’t feel like chasing refunds!

    Whatever you are comfortable with.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable buying a full price fully refundable airline ticket, and then cancelling it later. It is not something I have ever done (buying one or cancelling one), and if it caused a voucher to be issued I think that would look suspicious both to Amex and BA. I value my relationship with both of them too highly to jeopardise it.

    However, I ofter book fully refundable hotel rooms, and cancel them later if something better comes along or the price drops. Although I’ve never needed to resort to this to achieve a SUB or trigger a voucher, I would be fairly comfortable about this.

    Reney 791 posts

    I would do a mix of everything:
    – a few hundred amazon
    – my council allows council tax payment via co-op so would probably pay the rest of the year
    – one year of netflix – load it as soon as I get home
    – a bit of apple – again load it as soon as i get home for my icloud and other subscription apps
    – a few hundred on my regular supermarket (with inflation that won’t last long)
    – buy all my christmas gift cards/ presents now
    – ask close family members if they have any big spend coming up to use my card
    – the rest on morrison as petrol station accepts them and can buy other gift cards on them

    if you use a lot of deliveroo, uber or just eat. a month or 2 worth of gift cards is probably not too risky!

    Anna 458 posts

    M & S gift cards are easy to buy online with Amex and come in very handy for those last minute presents or for sending flowers.

    mark2 129 posts

    If you buy Morrison’s gift cards you can use them to buy other gift cards as required, or even spend there including fuel.

    Cranzle 279 posts

    App called JamDonought which lets you purchase all plethora of giftcards. While giving you additional cashback.

    They have all sorts of giftcards you could load up on, to reach spend I loaded up on grocery & Airbnb cards for a future Japan trip.

    Spent well over 2k on Airbnb giftcards over a few months period, never had an issue.

    Cashback + MR points + spend towards voucher.

    Don’t JamDoughnut charge an additional fee when purchasing gift cards using anything other than a debit card?

    davefl 1,416 posts

    @Cranzie Much easier to use TCB gift cards as it’s well respected and credits instantly. Just noticed Airbnb with no expiry cards on there with 7.2% back as opposed to JD which is 5%. Limit £250 each purchase. No fees.

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