Can I buy a gift card to make use of an AMEX offer deals? Will purchasing a gift card trigger the offer credit?
That depends on, like everything else in life. Some offers allow it and some do not. The terms will often differentiate between physical gift cards and e-gift Cards. Read the fine print of the offer terms carefully, if it doesn’t specify a gift card exclusion, then you should be fine. If it says that e-gift cards are excluded, then physical gift cards will not work.
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In Store VS Online
There is an important distinction to keep in mind which is the difference between in-store offers and online offers. Some offers are valid in-store only, and some are online only. Many are valid both in-store and online.
When taking advantage of an offer in-store, gift cards are rarely excluded. Since the charge is running over the same checkout system as all other goods sold at the store, the system usually won’t be able to differentiate between gift cards and other goods, and they will all trigger the offer credit. This won’t make a difference whether you are purchasing store’s own gift cards or a third-party gift card. Even cash-like gift cards, such as a Visa Gift Card, will usually work.
For Example, if there is an Amex offer to get $30 off $100 at Walmart stores, then it shouldn’t make a difference whether you purchase $100 of products in Walmart of $100 of gift cards at Walmart. And it shouldn’t really matter if it’s $100 of Walmart Gift Cards, Starbucks Gift Cards, or Visa Gift Cards! If you do bump into an offer which ahs terms excluding gift cards in-store, then it might be that their checkouts code gift cards separately, and thus the offer credit won’t come. Regardless of the reason, if the term disallows gift cards, and the offer credit doesn’t post automatically, then you won’t be able to follow up with Amex to get the credit.
Physical Gift Cards
We occasionally see an online offer that excludes all gift cards, even the physical variety. Such an exclusion can be for one of two reasons. Sometimes it might be the gift cards are processed through a third-party processor, not the retailer itself, and thus the offer credit won’t work. In other cases, the reason might be that the retailer has gift cards coded differently than ordinary goods in the checkout, and the offer credit is coded to only trigger ordinary goods.
The more common scenario we see in an e-gift card exclusion. The terms indicate that e-gift cards will not be eligible for the offer but physical gift cards are eligible. We will occasionally see an offer that excludes all gift cards, even the physical variety. Such an exclusion can be for one of two reasons. Sometimes it might be the gift cards are processed through a third-party processor, not the retailer itself, and thus the offer credit will not work. In other cases, the reason might be that the retailer has gift cards coded differently than ordinary goods in the checkout, and the offer credit is coded to only trigger for ordinary goods.
We should note that even when the terms do exclude gift cards or e-gift cards, that this doesn’t always mean that it won’t work. A common example of this is Amex Offers at hotels. They will often exclude gift cards in the terms, but, in practice, if you buy a gift card at the hotel desk it will work to trigger the offer credit. Similarly, some online offers might exclude gift cards, yet they will work anyways! The best thing to do would test it out. If there is no obvious reason for it not to work. If might be worth giving it a shot and seeing for yourself. You should know immediately whether it works or not since Amex usually sends out an instant confirmation email. Another option is to search around on blog comments or forums such as Slickdeals to see if people are having success with gift cards. Always take a look at the URL on the checkout screen. If it looks different than the regular checkout goods, it is likely that it won’t trigger the offer credit. It might be, for example, that gift cards are processed under unique code and will be excluded. Or they might be processed by a third-party vendor and not the merchant themselves as in the Cashstar example mentioned above. Check out our full list of credit card promotions and gift card deals!