Amex Gift Card Portal Update – The News Doesn’t Look Good

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amex gift cards portal update

More American Express Gift Card Portal Data Points

Yesterday I covered how Top Cashback had a one day offer of 2.25% on Amex Gift cards which was all but ruined by new language limiting cashback to denominations of $200 or less. In yesterday’s post I theorized that this language would make its way to other portals. Unfortunately, the news this morning isn’t good.

I have found that some portals have removed American Express gift cards (probably temporarily) and others have now updated the language. Here is a quick run down of the major portals and where they stand as of 5am ET on 8/21 regarding cashback on Amex gift cards.

  • Top Cashback – Cashback not available on denominations over $200.
  • Simply Best Coupons – Cashback not available on denominations over $200
  • BeFrugal – American Express gift cards are not currently listed on the portal.
  • Mr. Rebates –  Cash Back not available on gift card denominations over $2,000.
  • Ebates – Cash Back is not available on gift card denominations over $2,000
  • Lucky Rewards – Denominations over $2000 are not eligible.
  • Extra Rebates – Denominations over $2K are not eligible for ExtraRebate.

Analysis

As you can see, Simpy Best Coupons has now added the new language and BeFrugal has temporarily removed the cards from their site. My guess is that they will alter the terms before putting them back up. To me, these two are the biggest to look at, because other than Top Cashback, they are the portals that most often run increased cashback promotions. The other portals with $2,000 still listed are smaller and probably haven’t updated their terms. Ebates seems to be the sole outlier.

If I was going to purchase an American Express gift card through any portal where the old terms remained, I would make sure to take a timestamped screenshot to be able to prove that their site was showing the old terms at the time of purchase. What could happen is that their affiliate links will not pay out and thus they won’t pay you. If you have to challenge a payout, then you will need some sort of proof.

Will It Come Back

The one thing to remember is that American Express has tweaked their gift card portal program several times over the years. You used to be able to get up to 4% back at times before they pulled the cards from portals completely late last year. Of course they did eventually come back, so this latest change could only be temporary. We will see.

Conclusion

I think it is safe to say that the days of 2% or more back on high denomination Amex gift cards are probably over for now. As of the time this post is published, the highest cashback rate you can get is 1% through a portal that still has the old terms. Probably not worth it for that amount, but if you do decide to buy, be prudent and cover yourself.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. These things come and these things go, all we have to do is stay one step ahead of them and take advantage of the offer as long as we can. What will be the next best thing?

  2. BeFrugal is posted at 2.2% but the T&C have been updated…nothing over $200 gets it.

    Terms & Exclusions for American Express Gift Cards and Business Gift Card:

    2.2% Cash Back on Business Gift Cards
    1.5% Cash Back on Consumer & Mall Gift Cards
    Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied.
    Business Gift Cards or Consumer Gift Cards over $200.00 are not eligible for cash back. (Only Gift Cards with $25, $50, $100, $200 denominations are eligible for cash back.
    Please note: there is a $10,000 limit on Consumer Gift Cards and $100,000 limit on Business Gift Cards per 14 days.
    Cash back not valid on PrePaid Card or PASS card order.

    Learn more about BeFrugal.com Cash Back

  3. Not only did TopCashback stiff me on $140 in hotel room rebates last winter in Colombia, but they did it slow with weeks of emails back and forth.

  4. Slightly off topic maybe but just a heads-up…

    I purchased some (the personalized kind) before the drop in rebates. Took them to a Vons location in Southern California to purchase Visa GCs — as I had done several times before. The guy working the checkout got squirrely when I told him to put $500 each on two VGCs. No kidding — he started sweating and panicked a bit. He then *yelled* clear across five check aisles to the manager, “Can this guy buy $1000 in gift cards and use a credit card?” Thanks, dude. Subtle. (But at least he thought it was credit card!) Manager yelled “No!” and came over explained (loudly) that debit cards with a pin and cash are the only tender acceptable for gift cards.

    Tried again the next night — completely different staff. Walked up a six-pack of soda and two VGCs. Checker rang them up (in fact, he seemed excited to punch in $500 on two GCs). I scanned my AXGC, showed him my ID — and the register wouldn’t accept the AXGC. Tried it again, no go. It appeared as though the system will not accept credit or non-debit cards.

    This checker got a manager, who said, “Eh, bro, you can’t be using no gift cards to purchase other gift cards. Only debit cards or cash.” I told him it was a debit card (a debit gift card…) He snickered and said, “Eh, no, it ain’t, bro.” So I shrugged, the cashier asked if I still wanted the soda, I declined and left.

    That store – and chain – lost a $1018 sale that night, plus future grocery sales my family and I would do there when we stop by to pick up other GCs as part of my MS.

    So it seems that Vons and Pavilions might be off the preferred list…

  5. For what it’s worth, Delta Shopping still has the old terms until 8/31 according to the website. Worth an extra 1 point per dollar so makes it worthwhile (if they pay).

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