Among the stack of mail the Post Office delivered to me after my long vacation were three $25 American Express Gift Cards.
Back in February I ordered three American Express Prepaid Cards with a targeted promo code publicized on deal site FatWallet. See $75 Bonus From American Express Prepaid Cards. Because too many people not on the targeted list (including me) ordered the cards with the promo code, American Express decided to only give the gift cards to people originally targeted.
I thought I wasted a bit of time on that attempt but I decided to keep the prepaid cards because they look nice and I could find some use for them.
American Express came out with another promotion in May that included customers who already had the prepaid cards. It was $25 in American Express gift card for adding $200 to the prepaid card. I did it on each of my three prepaid cards. Therefore I received three gift cards worth $75.
Because the prepaid cards don’t earn rewards, at a 2% rate, the $600 added to the prepaid cards had an opportunity cost of $600 * 2% = $12. Net net the move earned $75 – $12 = $63. That’s a 10% return on the $600 investment.
What do I do with the prepaid cards and gift cards? I use them at Costco. If a card doesn’t have enough money on it, Costco automatically applies the money on the card and asks for the remainder.
Now American Express is doing a similar promotion again. This time it’s “Order an American Express Prepaid Card, load $200 or more at the time of order, and receive a complimentary $25 Gift Card.” It’s a public promotion available to everybody. If you go to the prepaid website you will see it. Offer expires August 31.