American Express has these coupons/promotions that you can add to your cards called AMEX Offers. They basically give you a discount for spending a certain amount of money at a specific store. It is important to read the fine print on these AMEX offers because they’ll often exclude certain purchases as eligible.
HP AMEX Offer
Most recently, there was an AMEX offer for HP. The offer was spend $250 get $50 back. The offer didn’t exclude gift cards so you’d be able to buy a $250 gift card for $200. I was able to add this offer to all of my cards as well as my wife’s cards. To make things better, the United Shopping Portal was offering 4 miles/$1 spent at HP (compared to the usual 2 miles/$1). I purchased four $250 e-gift cards putting each transaction on a different card. Two of the four orders went through without a problem, but the other two got sent to fraud protection at AMEX. It wouldn’t let me verify the charges on my phones so I had to call AMEX to clear them.
I was then able to sell the $250 gift cards for $205 to a gift card exchange. In the end, here is what I earned on each HP transactions:
- 250 MR or SPG (depending on the credit/charge card)
- 1,000 United miles
- and $5
Not bad considering I didn’t even have to leave my house to get these points. I still have the AMEX offer on one more card. I’m waiting to see if there’s another increased portal bonus before I buy another HP gift card.
Update 7/28/2016: I used my final AMEX offer to purchase another HP gift card and used the eBates portal, which was offering 15% cash back. This works out to be $37.50 plus the $5 from selling to the exchange. Total profit for this last transaction: $42.50 + 250 SPG points.