American Express has an AMEX offer for their prepaid gift cards – spend $200 or more and get $10 back. The deal isn’t great (actually, it’s awful) considering you have to pay $3.95 card activation fee and $8.95 shipping fee. It’s certainly not a moneymaker for the average shopper and only makes sense if you were planning to buy these gift cards anyway. The $10 back helps defray the cost of the activation and shipping fee.
That said, FPT Gift Box is all about “The FPT (5+2) Model” – buying and selling gift cards to raise money to help sick kids. You can stack the AMEX offer with other deals/discount and turn this offer into a moneymaker. My goal is to make a few hundred dollars profit from this AMEX offer and earn a few miles/points along the way.
Let’s see how I did it.
Waiving the Activation and Shipping Fees
Today, TopCashback has a 2.25% cashback offer for American Express business gift cards. This used to be a lucrative offer which I’ve used to purchase over $100k of gift cards back when they allowed cashback for denominations up to $3k and you could load a AMEX RedCard with AMEX gift cards. Nowadays, shopping portals (including TopCashback) cap the cashback for only $200 or less gift cards.
The $4.50 from the 2.25% cashback is more than enough to cover the activation fee. I could also use a promo code to waive the activation fee, but then the purchase wouldn’t qualify for the cashback.
As for the shipping fee, I happen to have the AMEX premium shipping plan because I used to order so many of these gift cards, so next day shipping is free for me. (See Frequent Miler’s post to learn how to get a 3-month free trial).
So with both activation and shipping fee waived, this really is a money maker. I can make $10.55 from this offer plus earn points or cashback for using an American Express credit card to pay!
Well, $10.55 isn’t much but if you have 30 American Express credit cards like me (I manage 4 people’s accounts), then it’s $316.5 plus a lot of points/cashback. That’s enough to send three kids to Disneyland!
So here we go:
Step 1: Add the AMEX offer to each card
In order to get the $10 back, I need to sync the AMEX offer to all 30 of my American Express credit cards. I hadn’t finish creating Twitter accounts for all my cards yet, so couldn’t do the Twitter Sync method. I did the browser tab method instead – log in to each user’s account, open a new tab for each card, then add all the offers. With 5 login accounts and 30 cards, the process took about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Use TopCashback
Use TopCashback to link to the American Express gift cards website.
Step 3: Purchase a $200 business gift card
Select $200 and add to cart. There’s also an option to personalize the card which I like because it’s easier to buy other gift cards if the card has my name on it. During checkout, use an American Express credit card that has the synced AMEX offer to pay.
Step 3: Repeat the above steps 29 more times!!
In this line of business, I’m used to doing repetitive tasks and have gotten quite efficient at it! It took me less than an hour to place all 30 orders. Within a minute after each order, I get a confirmation email from American Express that I’ve used the AMEX offer. That means the $10 credit should show up on my account in a few days. I received a total of 30 emails that look like this:
TopCashback also sent me an email confirmation that my orders tracked and I’ll be receiving $4.50 per order.
Here’s the math for 30 x $200 American Express gift cards:
- TopCashback (2.25%): 30 x $200 x 0.0225 = $135
- AMEX offer: 30 x $10 = $300
- Credit card points/cashback
- AMEX Blue cashback (1%): 10 cards x $203.95 x 0.01 = $20.40
- AMEX Gold/Platinum Membership Rewards: 7 cards x $203.95 = 1427 points
- AMEX SPG: 13 cards x $203.95 = 2651
- Total profit: $135 + $300 + $20.40 + $21.41* + $53.02* = $529.83 →That’s 8.8% “cashback” on $6,000 worth of gift cards!
* Estimated value of points using 1.5 cents/MR points and 2 cents/SPG points
In a few weeks, I’ll follow up with Part 2 – how I use/liquidate the $6,000 American Express gift cards. I’m fairly confident I will break even or make a small profit using those cards to buy other gift cards for resell. With about $600 worth of free money/miles/points, it’s enough to send a sick child and his/her entire family to Disneyland!
That’s what “The FPT (5+2) Model” is all about – turning limited resources into abundance and blessings!
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