Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fishing for Miles - Macy's eGift Card Purchases - This Might be Huge but It Won't Be

Travel with Grant posted today about a new targeted American Express Offers for You.  He monitors these well so he is a good person to follow regularly.

My mind is a little twisted, but I get real excited when these come out.  How can we game this?  Let's try to figure this out.

I will tell you ahead of time that this is pure speculation and honestly I think it is far more likely to fail than work, but there is nothing to lose other than time and sanity.  The upside potential is fantastic so let's get to work.

The Offer - $20 off of $100 at Macy's - Targeted

Macys AMEX Offer

So AMEX is offering a highly targeted offer for $20 off $100 at Macy's.   Therefore we can buy $100 gift cards for $80.

Macy's eGift Cards

As far as I can tell, Macy's eGift cards are sold by Macy' so they should be eligible for the $20 offer.  Update: I bought one gift card for a test and I received the AMEX congradulatory email.

Shopping Portal

Discover Deals is offering a whopping 10% cashback on Macy's purchases.  That 10% turns into 20% after 13 months if you are enrolled in Discover's Doubling program.

Don't have Discover?  Use United shopping portal.  They are offering a 8x United miles at Macy's, that is if they can ever get their flight computer system to work.

Selling the Gift Card

SaveYa is currently buying eGift Cards at 79% value.  If this stays the same (that's a big if), you will break even if you assume your points/cashback/miles are worth 1% to get it back to 80%.

According to Noah (and my testing), Macy's excepts digital codes so this should work.  Breakeven on the sale.

Plenti Points

Don't forget your Plenti points.  This has huge potential to earn vast amounts of Plenti points to buy nothing with it.  That is if you get them for gift card purchases, not sure about that.  Seriously, though, don't do this for Plenti points, but add in your number if you have one.  Might as well.
Update: 0 Plenti points pending for this transaction :(

This Won't Work

After all this effort, I realize that this isn't likely to work.  The shopping portals explicitly exclude gift card purchases.  Normally that doesn't mean anything, but the evidence backs it up.  Check out Frequent Miler's Lab where a few people have posted fails for gift card purchases.

That being said, it's been a few years and maybe it will work, but it won't work.You can try to increase your chances of success by buying a small item in addition, but that probably won't work either.

You won't lose anything by trying, but don't expect a happy result.  Enjoy your points fishing!