AmEx Gift Card Cash Back Portals are Back

I noticed today while I was surfing the internet. I saw a banner ad of Topcashback. It said that they offer 1.5% cash back on American Express gift card purchases. I jumped to the site and made sure that the deal was back. I also checked the terms. It says “Please note that the use of a American Express® Gift Cards & Business Gift Cards promotional/coupon code not posted and approved by TopCashback, may affect your eligibility for cashback.” It is slightly different from the previous one. (between the times of cash back rate reduced and right before Topcashback stopped offering cash back on AmEx GC purchases. see details here.)

1.5 percent cash back on amex gift cardEither or hasn’t update the change, but BeFrugal also resumed the offer. Unlike the term at Topcashback, BeFrugal clearly says “Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied.” So, you’d better not use any coupon or promo codes even if you purchase through Topcashback.

I checked other portals with some hopes of a better cash back rate. Here are the results.

  • Big Crumbs 1.5%
  • Simply Best Coupons 0.75%

These are all I could find for now. None of portals has coupon codes. Except for BeFrugal, the terms about coupon codes are vague. However, as long as BeFrugal says “no cash back if you use coupons,” I won’t use coupons. BeFrugal is my faviorite, and I trust the most.


Can’t Find Cash Back Portals for American Express Gift Card

amex gc cash back comparisonRecently, the rate of cash back for the purchase of American Express Gift Cards got lower. (see details here) But now I found it worse than ever. In the last few months, the cash back rate for AmEx GCs were between 2% and 3%. Last night, before buying AmEx GC, I went to to see which portal offer the best rate. As you see, 2.1% from Befrugal was the best. I was hoping for a better rate, but there was no choice. The amount of the previous AmEx GC was nearly zero. And although 2.1% was not really great deal, but I could still save money with it.

However, there was a problem. I couldn’t find a page of AmEx GCs at Then I went to TopCashBack, that offers 2.0% (according to cashbackmonitor). Same here, there was no page or link at TopCashBack. I checked some other portals. I didn’t check all of them, but I could manage to find a few portals that offered cash back, Simply Best Coupons, Ebates, and Mr. Rebates. The rate was merely 1%. The only consolation was that Simply Best Coupons had a promo code to waive a purchase fee of $3.95.

In July and August, I purchased four AmEx GCs with a promo code which is not posted on the portal site. As a result, all pending cash back ($175.50 in total) was cancelled. (see details here)

amex gc cash back portalsToday, I checked cashbackmonitor. As you see, all travel reward portals have gone, and there are only seven cash back portals. 1% is the highest, and promo code to waive a purchase fee can be found ONLY at Simply Best Coupons.

Is 1% cash back still worthwhile? It depends on face value of AmEx GC you buy. Say you buy $1000 AmEx GC with AmEx Blue Cash credit card. You can waive a purchase fee of $3.95 at Simply Best Coupons.

  • Purchase fee $0
  • Shipping -$8.95
  • 1% cash back from credit card +$10.09
  • 1% cash back from portal +$10.00
  • Total profit is $11.14

The profit is only 1.11% of $1000. This isn’t great. However, if you buy $5000 AmEx GC, total profit is $91.14. It’s 1.82% of $5000. Not bad. If you enroll in Premium Shipping Plan (see details here), shipping cost may be calculated less. So, you can manage to get close to 2% discount.

Just a few months ago, I had already enrolled in Premium Shipping Plan. I usually order 3 or 4 AmEx GCs per month. So, shipping cost is calculated less than $3 each order. After considering all of these calculations, I placed an order of $2000 AmEx GC. Simply Best Coupons already posted a pending cash back.

I hope Befrugal or TopCashBack offer cash back for AmEx GCs again, but for now Simply Best Coupons with a promo code is the best option for purchasing American Express Gift Cards. Click here to visit Simply Best Coupons and don’t forget to use promo code when you purchase AmEx GCs.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs Everyday

amex blue cash credit cardThe two credit cards from American Express, Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday, both offer bonus cash back on the purchase at grocery stores and gas stations. Preferred charges an annual fee of $75, and Everyday has no annual fee.



  • 6% cash back at grocery stores (up to $6000 per year in purchases, 1% after that)
  • 3% cash back at gas stations and selected department stores
  • 1% cash back on any other purchases


  • 3% cash back at grocery stores (up to $6000 per year in purchases, 1% after that)
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and selected department stores
  • 1% cash back on any other purchases

The limits only apply on purchases at grocery stores. Cash back at gas stations and department stores are unlimited. Let’s say that you use two cards at grocery stores only. When you spend $2500 a year, cash back from two cards are:

  • Preferred $2500 x 0.06 – $75 (annual fee) = $75
  • Everyday $2500 x 0.03 = $75

So, if you spend more than $2500 a year (or $208.33 a month), you’d better choose Preferred over Everyday. After you have spent $6000 at grocery stores, you can still earn 1% cash back. You can track your spending on each category online account page. The picture is how statement looks like when grocery purchases has exceeded $6000. There are two lines for U.S. Supermarkets, and one is follow by “1%”.

amex blue cash reward statement

What to Do when reaching $6000 limit

Until next year, My AmEx Blue Cash Preferred offers only 1% cash back at grocery stores. You can use another card that offer cash back more than 1%. For example, 2% Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa, 2% US Bank Cash+ Visa, etc. Or you may apply for another AmEx Blue Cash card. But maybe you don’t want to have many credit cards, or don’t have credit score good enough to get approved of new credit cards. For those people, there is a way to continue to get bonus cash back at grocery stores with the same AmEx Blue Cash even after you have spent $6000 at grocery store. The key item is American Express Gift Card.

You can purchase AmEx GCs online, at their website But you shouldn’t go to the site directly. You have to go through online shopping portal sites. A rate of cash back for the purchase of AmEx GCs varies from portal to portal. However, most of the time, either Befrugal or TopCashBack offers the highest rate between 2% and 3%. A purchase fee of AmEx GC is $3.95 regardless of value of gift card. There are some different shipping options and costs, but say you purchase $1000 AmEx GC with cheapest shipping option. A purchase Fee and shipping cost $3.95+$8.95=12.90. You have to spend $12.90 for $1000 cash equivalent item, but credit card reward’s 1% cash back covers most of it. So, cash back from the portal will remain! It means that you always get 2% to 3% discount every time you use AmEx GC.


American Express Blue Cash Preferred and Everyday are both great credit cards for grocery store purchases. To offset an annual fee of Preferred ($75), you need to spend $2500 annually at grocery store. (if you use the cards only at grocery stores) As a rough indication, if you spend less than $2500 a year, choose Everyday. If you spend more than $2500 a year, choose Preferred. In my opinion, $2500 is just a little amount. It is $208.33 per month. Even if you don’t buy foods at grocery stores, some grocery stores sell gift cards. You can buy merchant or Visa/MasterCard gift cards to get full 6% bonus cash back ($360) easily.

Use Coupon No Cash Back from BeFrugal on AmEx Gift Cards

Today, I logged in my BeFrugal account and noticed that my Total Balance got significantly lower than yesterday. I checked Cash Back Activity and found out that all pending cash back on AmEx gift cards looked cancelled. I made three orders in July, and one of orders was actually cancelled by American Express. Because I tried to use AmEx Serve for the purchase of the gift card. BeFrugal shows this transaction like this (picture below).

cash back on amex gc cancelled

But today, I got the same one on the other two orders, which weren’t cancelled. The orders had completed. I received the cards and used up already. I remembered that BeFrugal described the following in terms of AmEx GC.

If you choose to apply a coupon or deal that is not posted on, we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back on your purchase.

I used a coupon code to waive a purchase fee on all orders. Although I read terms, I assumed that I would earn cash back because other retailers paid before even when I used a coupon that was not on BeFrugal. And today, the terms have updated like this

Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied

is befrugal going to cancel this order tooI made an order a few days ago in August. Cash Back is pending now, and I don’t see the sign of cancel. But I guess  it will be cancelled later. Now that terms is very clear, I won’t use the code that waives a purchase fee of only $3.95. Pay a purchase fee and I will earn cash back which is guaranteed by BeFrugal. This is still a good deal, and I feel comfortable because there is no need to worry about cancellation of cash back.

I wish BeFrugal updated terms eariler, but I can’t blame them. Last month, they said “we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back” and they had to cancel my cash back. Nothing is wrong with them. It is all my fault. Befrugal describes terms on every merchants in a detailed way. This is why I continue to use Befrugal, and it is my favorite free online shopping portal!

Serve Can’t Redeem AmEx GC Offer

American Express Serve is a reloadable prepaid card. One of its benefits is that you can sync up with Amex offers. Currently, there is an offer of $10 statement credit on the purchase of $200 or more American Express gift cards online. (expires on 07/30/2014)

amex offer on 200 or more amex gc

The offer was able to add to my Serve card, but you can’t redeem the offer because American Express doesn’t accept prepaid cards as payment for purchases of AmEx GCs.

After I had placed an order, I received an email from AmEx network. It said:

Thank you for using your synced American Express® Card

ending in xxxxx at AMEX GIFT CARDS!

Look out for a statement credit within 90 days.

Soon after, I received another email from AmEx. It said, “Your Card order cannot be completed.” Here are the details.

Thank you for placing your order for prepaid American Express Card(s). Unfortunately, we cannot fulfill order #1114xxxx at this time.

Your order was not fulfilled for the following reasons: At this time we do not accept gift cards as a form of payment.

It’s not big deal, but money I tried to use for AmEx GC has been on hold for a long time. It’s been three days after the check-out. The money is still on hold.

serve cant buy amex gc

And here is how the page at (online shopping portal) show this transaction.

cash back from befrugal on amex gc

I kind of knew that AmEx wouldn’t accept prepaid cards for the purchase of AmEx GCs. However, Serve synced with this offer. So I thought it would be worth a try. I missed one thing. I didn’t expect Serve kept the money on hold for so long time. You’d better not try to use prepaid cards for AmEx GCs.

New Amex Offer $10 back on $200+ AmEx GC

$10 credit on $200 amex gcThere is new Amex Offer through July 30, 2014. You will get one-time $10 statement credit when you spend the total of $200 or more on American Express Gift Card. The offer is available online only,

I have two American Express cards for Amex Offer. One is Blue Cash Preferred, and the other is Serve. However, you can’t use Serve for the purchase of AmEx GCs. They don’t accept Prepaid Cards as a payment.

Please don’t forget to click a link of shopping portal. As of July 1st 2014, the best rate is BeFrugal’s 3% cash back. Once the rate was down to 2.5%, but it slightly went back up.

American Express Gift Card Portal Rate Down

After the end of promotion for Father’s Day (there was a code to waive a purchase fee through June 16th 2014), a rate of online shopping portal for American Express Gift Card is down on most portals. The highest rate had been 4% cash back from Lucky Rewards, and the rate is now significantly lowered to 1%. Fuel Rewards Network had been 2x, which was equivalent to 4% cash back, and it is now 1x (equivalent to 2%).

2.5 percent cash back on the purchase of amex gcAs of June 20th, the best rate is 2.5% cash back from Until better rates become available, I will keep using BeFrugal for the purchase of AmEx GCs. BeFrugal online portal is very reliable. I had been using for other retailers, and it seems I will use for AmEx GCs for a while. I even respect for their showing cash back terms of each retailers very clearly. None of other portals bother to describe terms and conditions as detailed as BeFrugal does.

To compare the rates of cash back or travel point, you can use these sites

How you use these sites is the same, type a name of retainers and click search and they show lists of available portals and rates. It is better to check on both sites. Because rates are constantly changing, and sometimes they can’t keep up with changes. They may show different rates, miss some portals, etc. In fact, as of today, I can’t find Befrugal on when I searched the rate for AmEx GC. On the other hand, you don’t see ShopDiscover on on the default search result.

I hope the rate will go back to 4% or better soon.

Experiment on Cash Back from Cardpool is one of my favorite online portals. It is very reliable and clear about cash back rules for each retailer. It has over 4000 retailers including some gift card exchange sites such as Cardpool, CardCash, and I have been earning 2% cash back on the purchases of gift cards from them without any problems, but one day I didn’t receive one from Cardpool. Apparently, I reached the limit. Here is the rule of cash back from Cardpool.

  • Terms & Exclusions for Cardpool:
  • 2% Cash Back on Purchase of a Gift Card
  • 4% Cash Back on Sale of A Gift Card to Cardpool
  • Cash Back only available for the first $1000 in transactions from your Cardpool account (this includes all history in your Cardpool account)

I had bought a lot of gift cards from Cardpool before I knew of I haven’t earned the full cash back ($20 to $40) on the total purchases of $1000, but it stopped giving cash back. That means it doesn’t matter if you earned the full cash back, once the total purchases from Cardpool hit $1000, you won’t get cash back from them anymore.

befrugal com cash back from cardpool

I carried out an experiment: If I open a new account at, will I get cash back on the purchase of another $1000? I use a different email address and set a password. That’ it. And then I bought some gift cards from Cardpool through a link of I can’t change my address. I even used the same payment method.

Success! It is still pending, but cash back showed up in my account.

befrugal cash back cardpool has the same rule for cash back. Once it hit the total purchases of $1000, I will open a new account and see if cash back is available on another purchase of $1000. doesn’t have a description about the limit. So, probably cash back from Raise is unlimited.

All you need is a different email address. In this way, you can practically earn unlimited cash back from Cardpool and CardCash.

ABC Gift Cards or CardCash

abc gift cards does not equal cardcashI usually use Gift Card Granny to search discounted gift cards. In Gift Card Granny, you don’t see “” as a seller or buyer, but you see “ABC Gift Cards” instead. ABC Gift Cards and CardCash are both online gift card exchange marketplace, and it seems they are the same company. A gift card that is for sale at ABC is also for sale at CardCash. When you add one card to the cart of ABC, the card will disappear at CardCash, or vise verse. The prices of cards are also the same whether you buy or sell a gift card.

They are the same company. And they share an inventory. It is just they have 2 different web sites.

…….So What?

befrugal cash back cardcashThere is a big difference between two web sites for those who buy gift cards from them. Because offer 2% cash back on the purchase at ONLY is very reputable and reliable online shopping portal. You don’t need to be a credit card holder to use the site. It is free to become a member, you can start earning cash back from Day 1. It has over 4000 merchants and lots of online coupons of each merchant. Cash back info appears on the same day of the purchase, and cash back will be available for you to request after 90 days of the purchase.

Plus, CardCash accepts PayPal as a payment. So, using PayPal Extras MasterCard give you 2X points (1.66% cash back) in addition to cash back from It is just like eBay. eBay accepts PayPal and gives 2% back as eBay Bucks.

Here are other gift card exchange sites and cash back rates which offers

  • Cardpool – up to 4%
  • Raise – up to 2%

Neither Cardpool or Raise accept PayPal, so you can’t get 2X point.

All you have to do is to know – to know ABC has an identical site, CardCash and offer 2% cash back on the purchase at CardCash. This is great. You do not only get discounted gift cards, but also get cash back on the purchase of them!!