American Express is currently offering gift cards with no fees for the holidays. Typically, Amex gift cards can cost between $3.95 and $6.95 per card, so the offer is particularly good for those of us who want to buy gift card in lower denominations (thus raising the effective percentage fee) and for those of us who are just generally terrible at buying actual gifts for friends and family.
But perhaps the best part of these no-fee gift cards is that they can be used to meet the minimum spending requirements for a credit card sign-up bonus, meet spending thresholds, or just keep earning points on your rewards or airline miles cards. You can use any credit card to purchase the gift cards, which can be valued at $20 all the way up to $3,000.
One drawback is that ordering the gift cards from the Amex website will still cost you a few bucks in shipping charges — and when you’re trying to earn points without paying for them, these charges can eat into your winnings.
How to Buy
American Express is offering no fees on gift card purchases made between now and Jan 31, 2014. Simply input promo code HOLIDAYCC4 when you checkout on the Amex website.
A Word of Caution
If you are trying to use Amex gift cards to meet the minimum spend on a new credit card, beware that some card issuers treat gift card purchases as cash advances, which can come with hefty fees and won’t earn points or count towards your spend. According to The Points Guy, issuers Chase and Citi are most likely to code gift card purchases as cash advances, while Amex likely will not. He recommends buying a card in a small denomination then checking how it’s reflected on your balance before going for any big purchases.
With the fees removed, Amex gift cards can be a great way to meet minimum spending requirements, continue to earn points without paying for them, or simply buy solid gifts for your loved ones (all while continuing to earn points, of course).