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January 14, 2012


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Amex Terms and conditions: Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of American Express Travelers Cheques, purchases or reloading of American Express prepaid cards or purchases of other cash equivalents.

Do the Gift cards you buy fall in the category of "cash equivalents"?

The gift cards do not count as a cash equivalent since they are reported as a grocery store purchase. They can not see inside of the transaction only the results and location.

perfect!! I think I just found my new credit card! thanks.

actually one more question. What about Visa/Mastercard gift card purchases? Do these get reported as grocery store purchase and not "cash equivalents"

If you buy them at a grocery store.

But, those usually have activation fees of close to 10% (last one I saw was an extra $4.95 for a $50 gift card) so you lose all benefit

While I first came here to poke a little fun at my own Chase rep - I showed him a few important things during the signup that he didn't know about, and he told me Chase includes benefits that so far I have NOT received - I learned some great stuff for myself. Now I'm going to have to test out the cash back bonuses on my card this week! Thanks!

Haha. Got to love it. I recently received my Chase Freedom. Really only signed up because of the $200 cash for signing up. I have another credit card I use. However, you put it as one of the best cash back credit cards so I might have to give it a chance!

Thanks for posting. I wasn't aware that this worked (hopefully Amex doesn't read your blog!)

I don't usually get excited about credit cards, but I'm gonna look into this card.

SB and Peter, it really matters on how much cash back you are willing to settle for (my minimum is 3%) to decide if buying visa/mc gift cards is worth it. At my grocery store, you can buy them from $50-500 and in order for me to get at least 3% NET cash back, I need to get a gift card for just under $200. I usually get 1 per month to cover a couple of bills (phones, tv, internet, etc)

My biggest problem with the Amex BC Preferred is they don't count Fred Meyer stores as "grocery" stores. After trying to resolve it with Amex (they said to call Fred Meyer) and with Fred Meyer (they said to call Amex), I was considering just shopping at a different store for groceries. But when I compared prices, the difference at all of the other grocery stores in the area was more than the 5% different in rewards. I just figured out the solution to this problem the other day:

Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger, who also owns lots of other grocery chains. Locally in Portland, they own the QFC chain. So, I went to QFC and made a test purchase, verified online that QFC IS coded as a grocery store, and then I bought Fred Meyer gift certificates from them. So, I'll get the rightful 6% for my groceries now. Requires an extra step, but its worth it to get to shop at the grocery store that I want to and get the correct % back.

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