Today, I received Fuel Rewards Network rewards a week earlier than expected. Currently, FRN has a back-to-school promotion. Through Sep 14th, you can earn double rewards on its shopping portal. I purchased $2000 AmEx GCs on Aug 14th. A base reward is 5¢/gal discount every $50 purchase, and this gets double. So, 2000/50*5*2=$4/gal discount was posted to my FRN account. Since you can redeem FRN reward for up to 20 gallon, $4/gal is worth $80, which is like 4% cash back. This was great. I wish I could earn another one during the promotion, but AmEx GC link had disappeared on FRN online mall at the same time as other shopping portals stopped Amex GC cash back offer. (See details here)
On Sep 2nd, I made AmEx GC purchase through “Simply Best Coupons”, which offers 1% cash back and a promo code to waive a purchase fee. Since then, Simply Best Coupons had been the best portal for AmEx GC purchase, but that has been gone, too. All you can find in the website is a promo code that waives a purchase fee.
Here are the today’s screenshots of Cashbackholic.com and Cashbackmonitor.com.
There are much fewer portals, and most of them are not famous or reputable sites. The picture on the right is the page of AmEx GC at ExtraBux.com. This is obviously an error. 80% cash back is just impossible!
It seems that AmEx GC deal has been dead, and $99 I paid for Premium Shipping Plan just a few month ago will be wasted until the deal is back. It may not be going to be back forever, though.
I was using AmEx GCs for purchases where my credit cards doesn’t offer bonus cash back. For example, Costco. The only AmEx credit card I have is Blue Cash Preferred. Since Costco is not in “Grocery Stores” category but “Wholesale Clubs”category, there is no bonus. Cash back from Blue Cash Preferred is only 1%. And cash back at grocery stores is 1%, anyway because I have already spent $6000 at grocery stores this year.
AmEx GC purchased through the portals had given me around 2% to 4% discount. I can’t find a way to get 4% discount, but around 2% is easily obtained in the other ways. Here are some ways I came up with.
Apply “Citi Double Cash Card”
Earn 1% cash back when you purchase, and another 1% when you pay the bill. It is simply 2% cash back on all purchases. Since Citi Double Cash is not AmEx (Visa or MasterCard, not sure which one), I can’t use at Costco warehouses, but I can use it online to buy a Costco gift card and use it in warehouses.
Apply “Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card”
Another 2%-cash-back credit card. Since this card is AmEx, I can use it directly in Costco warehouses.
Load “AmEx for Target” with grocery-stores-bonus credit cards
I have never done this before, and it is not verified. According to Visa Supplier Locator, Target is categorized as Grocery Stores. Using Visa credit cards such as “US Bank Cash+” and “BankAmericard Cash Rewards” (both cards offer 2% cash back on grocery purchases) to load AmEx for Target may give you 2% cash back. As a rule of AmEx for Target, the maximum amount per load is $1000, and it is charged $3. If the transaction is eligible for 2% cash back, you will earn $20-$3=$17 each load. So, you get 1.7%-discounted AmEx prepaid card. This doesn’t work AmEx Blue Cash cards. That is because AmEx doesn’t consider Target as “Grocery Stores”, but “Superstores”. It is clearly stated in their website.
Currently, I don’t have any of these credit cards. Now that AmEx GCs deal is dead, I definitely need one of them, especially “Citi Double Cash Card” or “Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card”. After doing some more research, I will apply at least one of them.