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Corporate Gift Cards and Amex Offers
I cover quite a few of the better Amex Offers here on Miles to Memories and also over at Frequent Miler’s Quick Deals. As part of my coverage, I often post the “Key Terms” for everyone to see. Sometimes I analyze the terms in my posts and sometimes I don’t. You definitely should be reading and analyzing the terms for yourself before taking advantage of any deal and most of you do!
One of the common things we see in the terms of these offers (such as yesterday’s Walmart Amex Offer) is a phrase that goes something like this, “Excludes corporate gift cards.” This confuses people because they often don’t know what it means. Generally one or two people will comment that gift cards are excluded and I have to explain that isn’t the case. Since I have had this interaction quite a few times, I thought it was time to explain what exactly corporate gift cards are.
Corporate Gift Cards
While consumers have uses for gift cards like giving gifts for special occasions or using them for their own personal purchases, businesses have a need too. Sometimes they give gift cards to customers as awards or gifts and other times it is as an incentive for employees who do well or reach a goal.
As you can imagine, businesses often have deep pockets and many of the largest retailers want their business. For that reason most of the largest brands have corporate gift card programs. Companies like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, Lowe’s & Home Depot all have some version of this. Here are how they describe their programs.
Best Buy: Give exciting and effective rewards to your top performers with Best Buy gift cards, and find more inspiring ways to attract and retain customers.
Target: Put Target gift cards to work for your business.
Walmart: Rewards employees and customers.
Amazon: You can now customize Amazon Gift Cards with your company logo and message to create a personalized reward for your customers and employees.
Lowe’s: Giving a Lowe’s Gift Card is great for thanking employees for a job well done, for service awards and safety incentives, and for showing appreciation to customers.
Home Depot: Use The Home Depot Corporate Gift Card to help build strong business relationships with customers and employees
Why Are Corporate Gift Cards Excluded?
While I can’t answer this question with absolute certainty, my guess is these purchases are excluded for a couple of reasons. First, Amex Offers is generally a consumer and small business program and thus the companies may not want big businesses coming in and getting credits. Also, corporate programs require a special account and are most likely processed a different way than normal purchases. This means they simply may not trigger the credit.
Finally, American Express and their merchant partners probably exclude corporate gift cards because they are already discounted! For example, Best Buy starts discounting corporate gift cards when a business purchases $5,000 or more. The discount scales as the purchase amount gets higher. This is pretty much the case with all of the corporate gift card programs.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you see “Excludes corporate gift cards” in the terms, then you should be fine as long as you are purchasing regular old gift cards from their consumer facing website or store. Keep in mind that Amex Offers often exclude “gift cards” or “electronic gift cards” as well, which is a whole different story. Like I said before, make sure to read the terms carefully for every deal.
Hopefully this post helped to explain what corporate gift cards are, why they are generally excluded from Amex Offers and why that language by itself shouldn’t affect your statement credits when purchasing gift cards with an Amex Offer. Happy shopping!
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