One of the biggest advantage of keeping American Express Credit Cards is the various offers where it provides a statement credit for purchase at specific merchant (either in-store or online) or for travel related activity such as hotels or airlines purchase. American Express has a dedicated website for information regarding this offers which can be found here. While some of the "deals" would be directly related to you as you might be shopping at that merchant anyways, there will be times where there are offers which you would feel are not useful to you.
In reality some of these non-relevant or non-useful offers might have a potential to make some free money or earn free miles/points if you are willing to put little effort. Let's look at couple of these offers to see how can you walk away with either "free money" or earn miles/points for free using these AMEX offers!
Buca di Beppo - Get a one-time $15 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to make a single purchase of $50 or more in-restaurant at Buca di Beppo by 8/17/2014.
Buca di Beppo is an Italian dining restaurant chain which currently has an offer on Amex for earning $15 statement credit for spend of $50 or more. You could get this offer added by using the Twitter Tag #AmexBucadiBeppo on your Twitter Synced Amex Account. Now lets see how to make money on this offer!
1. Buy a gift card of $50 in the store with your synced amex card. You will get $15 back as statement credit. So, total out of pocket cost is $35
2. Sell this gift card to "cardpool" which pays 75% of the card value ($37.5).
3. Topcashback typically provides 4% cash back for sell transactions at cardpool website (The cash back is limited up to the purchase of $1k in buy/sell gift card). Thus you would earn $37.5 x 0.04 = $1.5 cashback!
Thus looking at above, you would earn a cool profit of $37.5 (from cardpool) + $1.5 (from Topcashback) + $15 (Amex statement credit) - $50 (purchase cost) = $4 profit while earning 50 points/miles for spend on your American Express card. If you have 4 American Express Cards with this offer loaded you could make $16 of profit while earning the points/miles at the same time.
Best Buy - Get a one-time $25 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to spend a total of $250 or more at Best Buy by 9/2/2014 (In store or Online).
Most of the folks would have something to be bought at BestBuy. But buying something of $250 or more might not be something they would have planned. You could get this offer added by using the Twitter Tag #AmexBestBuy on your Twitter Synced Amex Account. It should be noted that most BestBuy stores do sell generic visa gift cards which are pin-enabled in the denomination of $200 and has a purchase fee of $5.95. These Visa gift cards could be used in any other store and thus a potentially lucrative option. Let's see some math here.
1. Buy a $200 visa gift card and $45 BestBuy gift card. Your total cost would be $200 + $5.95 + $45 = $250.95. You will get back the statement credit of $25.
2. Sell the BestBuy gift card to "cardpool" if you do not have any use of it, which sells at 89% of the card value ($40.05).
3. Topcashback will provide 4% cash back for selling BestBuy gift card. $40.05 x 0.04 = $1.6
Doing the final tally we have $200 (visa gift card) + $40.05 (from cardpool) + $1.6 (from Topcashback) + $25 (Amex statement credit) - $250.95 (cost of purchase) = $15.7 profit while earning 250 points/miles on Amex Credit Card Spend.
Hopefully this will help you to look at the American Express offers from a different perspective going forward!
In a previous article on "Raising miles at Walmart" I had shown how you could you potentially reduce the fee portion of Visa/MasterCard to even less than "zero". In that article the focus was on "Raise" as that was one of the gift card site where you could easily find the Walmart gift card at 2 to 2.5 % discount. Since then I have seen similar discounts offered by Cardpool as well as Ebay although I prefer Cardpool because of ease of use. The important thing to note is if the "gift card resale" site you are about to use provides any cash-back rebates through any rebates portal. Cardpool is also one of the Gift Card Resale site which provides cash-back through bunch of portals, one of which is TopCashBack. You could also check out other rebate portals and a good place to start your search for best rebate portal would be to search for the merchant at "Cashbackholic". Make sure you read through the terms of the cash-back portal as each one of them operate differently and have some limits of minimum amount of rebate you need to accrue before it becomes payable.
Walmart gift card at Cardpool:
Cardpool consistently provides the Walmart gift card at 2.5% discount in addition to 2% cash-back rebate going through TopCashBack ( Note: The rebate is only available until you reach $1k in purchases so make sure you read the terms through). You can combine upto 4 walmart gift card to make a purchase of Visa/MasterCard. A purchase of $200 in Walmart gift card would cost $195 and provide a rebate of $3.9 (2% of $195). Thus you get a $200 Walmart gift card at a cost $191.1 out of pocket cost thus having a discount of $8.9. Considering that a $200 Visa/MasterCard gift card costs $6.88 in fees you would still be ahead by $2.02 on this one. So by going through this route you would have purchased 195 points/miles and made a small profit of $2.02 as well on your credit card spend.
Walmart gift card at Ebay:
Another approach is to purchase the Walmart gift card from Ebay. Generally you would be able to find "Buy it now" deals for 2.5% discount and on top of it you would get 2% back from Ebay bucks. As you can see that you would save almost similar amount of money as you do from Cardpool but there are few problems you should be award of as mentioned below:
So, go ahead and accumulate those miles without any fees and enjoy your award travel.
(Note: If you open your TopCashBack account using above mentioned links, I would get a small referral bonus. I do appreciate your support. Thanks.)
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on 3 aspects: