can somebody explain to me why I need 3500

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can somebody explain to me why I need 3500

Postby Money card » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:09 pm

points in order to get a American Express gift card for 25.00? now that houilhans isn't in partner with Discover or American express. I was thinking about getting a gift card, the 3rd membership rewards account mgr explained to me that I need to have 3500, not 2500 points to get a 25.00 gift card from their company. Jen was her name

isn't at citibank, Hsbc and capitol 1, 2500 points buys you a 25.00 gift card?

I would think with American Express charging 100% annual fees on their premium credit cards that all we would need is 1500 points to get a 25.00 gift card.

does anybody know how many points are needed to get a 25.00 gift card using
strictly blue and the optima platinum credit cards?


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Postby DarrellEW » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:39 am

Pretty much every CC that uses a "points" system instead of cashback is likely to have redemption options like that. Citi ThankYou points are notorious for having awful redemption options.

In the AmEx Membership Rewards system, the best use of their points is on flights and hotels, where you can get the full value of the points or better.

If you want an American Express card that isn't on the points system, the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are both cashback instead.

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Postby Money card » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:54 am

But what I don't understand is why do I need 3500 points to get a 25.00 gift card when American express charges annual fees?

why isn't it 1500 for a 25.00 gift card? what points are needed for the optima and Blue for a 25.00 gift card?

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Postby DarrellEW » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:20 pm

First of all, which card are you saying has the 3,500 points to $25 Amex gift card redemption option?

Both the Optima and Blue use the American Express Membership Rewards program, which requires 5,000 pts for a $25 Amex gift card, or 2,500 pts for $25 gift cards to various stores (Old Navy, Bath & Body, Gap, etc). You can see their listing of gift cards here: http://www.membershiprewards.com/catalog/search/?N=11700000&mrnavlink=breadcrumb:Gift%20Cards

Annual fees and rewards don't necessarily always go hand-in-hand. Some of the best reward cards out there right now don't have annual fees, and some cards with no rewards do have annual fees. Most annual fee cards carry other benefits in addition to rewards, like certain travel privileges and better return/warranty options.

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Postby Money card » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:24 pm

It's my green card. that's what Jennifer said, I would assume, while asking questions that in front of her she would have all my information such as account number, date of birth, social security, membership year and my card level which would be green.

she told me in order to get a American express gift card I need 3500 points to get a 25.00 gift card.

now visas and mastercards are a different company from American express. if a customer has any bank card that's a credit card, is their redemption 2500 points for a 25.00 gift card or does it vary by bank?

Thanks for all your help Darrellew

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Postby DarrellEW » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:24 am

That's strange, because from what I can tell, the Amex Green is part of the Membership Rewards program which would have the redemption options I listed in my last post (5,000 pts for $25 Amex GC). If you have any stores that you visit frequently, it would be much better to redeem for their gift cards (2,500 pts for $25 GC), so check that link I posted to see if there are any stores you'd want.

What do you mean by a "bank card?"

I think some of the confusion is surrounding American Express. When you talk about Visa and Mastercard, they are payment companies, which are used by banks (Citi, Chase, Cap One, etc) to process their credit cards. Discover and American Express serve as both the bank and the payment company (although there are some Amex cards through other banks as well).

Anyways, all banks have different cards with different redemption options. Even within American Express they have the cards that use Membership Rewards points like the Green and the other two you mentioned, and then they also have the cashback cards, like Blue Cash, which get you a straight up 1% or 3% or whatever cashback with no need to redeem for gift cards or anything, you just get the money back on your statement when you hit a certain level.

Citi, Capital One, Chase and all the others typically offer both varieties as well, for either points or cashback. A lot of the points cards will have redemption options like 3,500 pts for a $25 GC, but that's to entice you to go for higher levels (perhaps they have 10,000 pts for $100 GC) or to redeem for merchandise/travel/etc.

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:32 am

Wish it were different but that is how most, but not all, point programs work. When redeeming for lower value gift cards you have to pay more points. The most prevalent example of this is the Bank of America WorldPoints.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred



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