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Sam’s Club Amex Offer Update – New Shipping Fees on Many Cards
I totally understand when a company makes slight changes when the response to a promotion isn’t quite what was expected. I’m sure that is what happened with the recent Sam’s Club Amex Offer. $20 off $20 or more sounds like a decent promotion to the company, but to us it means $20 in free money.
Even though I understand some changes may have been needed, Sam’s Club has now crossed a line in my opinion. It started when they removed the lower denomination Sam’s Club gift cards from their site. You used to be able to purchase $10 & $20 cards, but those disappeared last week.
Sam’s Club Gift Card Denominations
Did they run out of stock? Well I ordered one $20 gift card on the first day of the promotion and received it already. It is just a generic card that can have any amount loaded onto it. Sam’s Club removed the lower denominations, because people were getting free money and they didn’t like it.
So now the lowest denomination is $50. Since you can pay with two credit cards, this means that you spend $10 out of pocket to get $50 in credit. An 80% discount on everything at Sam’s Club and Walmart is pretty good. Luckily I used up the remainder of my 22 cards the other day to purchase $50 Sam’s Club gift cards. I was a little annoyed they didn’t have $20 cards, but life goes on.
Shipping Fees on Gift Cards
Then this morning I received a comment from Sarah on a previous post about the deal. She said that when she went to checkout for the $50 Sam’s Club gift card there was a SHIPPING FEE. What? A company is charging a shipping fee on their own gift cards? Then I went and looked. Not only are they charging a shipping fee, but the cost is $5.55 to ship a gift card. Wow!
Then I started to look at other cards. While many merchant gift cards still have free shipping, Sam’s Club has instituted a shipping charge on their Visa, Mastercard and American Express gift cards as well and it is $5.99 per card. Clearly they are trying to eliminate all of the sweet spots of this promo which is about as consumer unfriendly as you can get.
Best Options Now
I think the best options now are merchant gift cards with free shipping. Since Sam’s Club & Visa/MC/Amex gift cards have shipping fees that cost between $5-$6 per card, that simply isn’t a viable option anymore. Thankfully they do have a wide range of both physical and eGift cards for many merchants.
I really dislike companies who change the rules and don’t value their customers. This could have been a way to gain new customers from Costco, but instead Sam’s Club is messing with people. The terms of the promotion could have easily excluded gift cards, but they didn’t. Now the company is trying to punish those customers who decided to take full advantage of the promotion.
Hopefully most of you were able to take full advantage of your Amex Offers before this change? What do you think? Is Sam’s Club wrong in doing this or is it just another part of the game? Let me know in the comments.
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