MSing GCs with Amex

Old Oct 29, 19, 12:51 pm
  #1  
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MSing GCs with Amex

I've read a lot of conflicting opinions on this, but hard DPs are tougher to come by. So here is what I have pieced together and assume to be true. If you have additional caveats or conflicting actual DPs, please add those.

Bonus category Spend on existing Amex cards:
Buying GCs at ODOM or Staples seems to work fine to get the 5x bonus on the SimplyCash Biz card.
Likewise buying GCs from Safeway/Kroger works fine to get the 6x Bonus on HH Surpass
In summary, GCs for category bonus points on existing cards don't pose any significant issues.

Amex Offers on existing cards:
Staples $25 offer works fine for $200 VCG purchases. The terms said that the offer was not valid for "bulk gift card purchases" but a single card doesn't trip the "bulk" qualifier.
Also the Spend $1000 get $10 on Simply Cash works fine buying (mostly) GCs.
Summary: GCs can work depending on the terms of the offer, and usually are fine.

Annual Spend Targets on Existing Cards:
HH Surpass has two targets -$15K for FWN and $40K for Diamond status. Multiple DPs I've read show GCs from grocery such as Kroger/Safeway count towards both targets. Which other cards have annual spend targets? I'm thinking some versions of the DL? Maybe the Bonvoy?
Summary: GCs at Grocery count towards both spend targets and category bonus for HH cards, likely others.

Retention offers on existing cards:
same as bonus category spend. Grocery GCs, Staples, ODOM, all seem to work.

and finally
Meeting MSRs for SUBs:
this is the big danger zone obviously. The risk seems to be receiving the bonus, then getting points clawed back months later as Amex determines that one has met the MSR thru GC purchases. I've seen DPs of MR points being clawed back. Cash rewards seems like an obvious candidate for clawbacks too - has this happened?

But Partner rewards such as DL Skymiles, HH points, Bonvoy points seem to be another category entirely. Once those bonuses are earned and transferred to partner, have they ever been successfully clawed back? I haven't seen any DPs to indicate this is possible.

Obviously purchases from GCM, Simon, etc are red flags and should be avoided on SUB MSR on partner cards. And it seems Staples/ODOM is too obvious as well due to the available AND USE of L3 data from those stores. But although an aggressive strategy, it seems that GCs from Grocery Stores (and gas stations) purchased on partner cards to meet MSR have not produced any clawbacks and might be doable. Kroger/King Soopers/City Market family stores are known to NOT produce L3 data. Some reports say that Safeway "can" provide L3, but have not seen DPs that it is actually used like it is at Staples.

Does anyone have DPs to the contrary?
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Old Oct 29, 19, 3:49 pm
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None of this is new news.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by mhdena View Post
None of this is new news.
OK. After taking a 3-4 year hiatus from MSing and missing the Amex points lockdown entirely, it took me several months of reading old and new (and hopefully right and wrong info) and a lot of trial and error to piece this together myself. So maybe it is helpful for someone else who has never seen it in one place - because I sure would've appreciated a better outline on the Amex situation a few months ago.

That said, if any of it is incorrect, I certainly would like to know that as well.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 5:56 pm
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This should probably be added to the Wiki of that master post on Buying Visa / MC GCs, the one from 2013 that no one posts in anymore
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Old Oct 29, 19, 5:58 pm
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And don't forget..

Any AMEX card - whether it AMEX issued or processed through the AMEX network - does not work at Simon for points. Hard stop block.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 1:50 am
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It's well known now that you won't earn anything with Amex at Simon Mall, but what about Simon Mall Online VGCs (run by GCM)? What about GiftCardMall itself?
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Old Nov 8, 19, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by msp3 View Post
It's well known now that you won't earn anything with Amex at Simon Mall, but what about Simon Mall Online VGCs (run by GCM)? What about GiftCardMall itself?
I have read of DPs out there that Amex does not work for Simon no matter where you purchase the cards (on-line via Simon, or through a portal.)

However, with that being said, I do not use on-line for GC purchases so perhaps someone with direct experience can chime in.
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Old Nov 12, 19, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by msp3 View Post
It's well known now that you won't earn anything with Amex at Simon Mall, but what about Simon Mall Online VGCs (run by GCM)? What about GiftCardMall itself?
GCM and GCC still give points but given the Amex crackdown it may not be a good idea to buy at obvious spots like this. With most issuers you’re worried about getting shut down but Amex will clawback and then shut you down.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 7:35 am
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In the past AMEX SimplyCash+ had earned 5X at OM/OD, but early this year I had three separate GC purchases, on different days, with SC+ at OM/OD that earned only 1X. I don't know if OM/OD is coding correctly and earning 5X again.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by I can see for miles View Post
In the past AMEX SimplyCash+ had earned 5X at OM/OD, but early this year I had three separate GC purchases, on different days, with SC+ at OM/OD that earned only 1X. I don't know if OM/OD is coding correctly and earning 5X again.
You are lucky your Amex SC card is giving you 1x at Staples/OM for GC purchases..

I have tested Amex Hilton, Plat and Starwood Amex at OM and Staples and none witl give points with a GC purchase. (I verified this with a test purchase and evaluation of points rewarded).
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Old Nov 16, 19, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
You are lucky your Amex SC card is giving you 1x at Staples/OM for GC purchases..

I have tested Amex Hilton, Plat and Starwood Amex at OM and Staples and none witl give points with a GC purchase. (I verified this with a test purchase and evaluation of points rewarded).
BonVoy Business earned both AMEX Offer statement credit as well as the 2x pts on the net amount from Staples fee-waived Gebit as recently as in August. On top of that it is the ONLY transaction in that statement cycle, so no need to shift data to get to the conclusion.

No idea since then as there is no Staples offer to use.
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Old Nov 17, 19, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
BonVoy Business earned both AMEX Offer statement credit as well as the 2x pts on the net amount from Staples fee-waived Gebit as recently as in August. On top of that it is the ONLY transaction in that statement cycle, so no need to shift data to get to the conclusion.

No idea since then as there is no Staples offer to use.
Yours is the second DP I have seen that indicates that the Amex Business cards may be treated differently than their personal ones.

I don't have their business cards so I will leave my comment to Amex personal cards only, unless someone out there has more information on the former with GC purchases.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 3:34 pm
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Got my full points on BBP for staples VGC purchases. Last month.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by SideShowBob View Post
Got my full points on BBP for staples VGC purchases. Last month.
Good DP to have.
It appears that Amex Business is still a go at Staples and OM.'
Is that also true for SMGCs or are all Amex cards verboten at the mall?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
Good DP to have.
It appears that Amex Business is still a go at Staples and OM.'
Is that also true for SMGCs or are all Amex cards verboten at the mall?
I don't do Simon but I'm pretty sure you won't get any points for it biz or personal.
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