Earn more points by using American Express at supermarkets to buy gift cards for bonus points

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: January 24, 2018
UPDATED: January 24, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: American Express Membership Rewards

Your local supermarket or petrol station can be a brilliant source of gift cards that can be used to pay for purchases at other retailers.

If you have an American Express Platinum Edge card, the deal is even sweeter, where you’ll be able to buy a gift card from a major supermarket or petrol station, and earn up to 3 Membership Rewards points on every dollar, rather than the 1 point you would have earned if you paid the retailer – or no points if they don’t accept American Express.

Using a gift card can also help you avoid credit card surcharges that apply at some retailers, plus it will count towards meeting the minimum spend to trigger sign-up bonuses on credit cards.

This guide introduces the supermarkets and petrol stations that offer bonuses, a list of the gift cards they sell, and a list of known gift cards that you can purchase to earn bonus points per $ on spend.

Supermarkets qualifying for bonus points with the American Express Platinum Edge

Supermarkets qualifying for bonus points with American Express - 3 points per $1
Countdown and Countdown Online
Farro Fresh
FreshChoice
New World
Nosh
PAK’nSAVE
SuperValue

Petrol stations qualifying for bonus points with the American Express Platinum Edge

Petrol stations qualifying for bonus points with American Express - 2 points per $
BP
Caltex
GAS
Gull
Mobil
Shell
Z

While I know that Countdown, New World, Pak ‘n Save, BP, Z, Mobil, and Caltex definitely have gift card racks, I am not sure about the other retailers – please let us know in the comments which of the others do.

Note that there are some fuel station gift card retailers in the list below, so you can boost your fuel earn to 3 points per $ on the Platinum Edge by buying fuel station gift cards from the supermarket to use for payment at the pump.

Gift cards that are known to be available

Here’s the latest list – if you have any more to add, let me know in the comments!

We’ve also added a column that identifies whether you can earn any extra bonus points using these cards with the retailer, either directly or via an online shopping mall.

RetailerBonus Points in-store/online, or via online shopping mall
1-day.co.nz
Apple App Store & iTunes
Apple iTunesAirpoints Dollars, Qantas Points, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles
Apple Music
Babycity
Bendon Lingerie
Books Gift Card
Caltex StarCash
Countdown
EB Games
Event Cinemas
Facebook Game Card
Farmers
Gardening Gift Card
Google Play
GrabOne
Hair Health and Beauty Gift Card
Hammer Hardware
Hoyts and Berkeley Cinemas
Hunting & Fishing
JacquiEAirpoints Dollars
Jay Jays
JB Hi-Fi
Just JeansAirpoints Dollars
Kathmandu
KoboAirpoints Dollars
Mitre 10Airpoints Dollars
Movie Gift Card
New WorldFly Buys, Airpoints Dollars
Nintendo eShop
Noel LeemingFly Buys
Paper PlusFly Buys
Pharmacy Gift Card
Playstation Store
Postie
Repco
Restaurant Gift Card
Rockshop
SmiggleAirpoints Dollars
Spotify
Steam
Stirling Sports
Subway
The Warehouse
Ticketmaster
Torpedo7Fly Buys
Toyworld
V8 Superdrive
Warehouse Stationery
Xbox

If a fee is needed for a gift card, or gift cards for a retailer have disappeared, please let us know in the comments.

Example of how using a gift card can benefit you

Gift cards can be a way of effectively enabling payment by American Express for higher points earn where the retailer doesn’t accept them, or avoiding credit card surcharges.

As an example, many restaurants only accept Visa and Mastercard, so you wouldn’t be able to earn any Membership Rewards points for purchases in store or online.

By buying Restaurant Gift Cards at the supermarket you can earn 3 points per dollar, and use these at over 700 establishments across New Zealand.

This means that if you purchased dinner for four using a Restaurant Gift Card, and that dinner cost $200, you’d earn 600 Membership Rewards points, instead of nothing.

A few words of caution

The key thing to remember with gift cards is that they are a case of ‘use it or lose it’ – you can’t get any balance back from them; and any balance left when the card expires is forfeited.

If, for example you buy a $100 gift card and only spend $85 on it and find there’s nothing you want to spend the final $15 on, or you’ve forgotten about the card, then the ‘value’ you receive out of the Membership Rewards points might not be worth it.

So, make sure you only buy cards you’re going to use, and keep track of them!

Summing up

A little bit of forward planning, research and a small amount of extra legwork (not too much if you do it in conjunction with your regular shopping), can see you rapidly increasing your points earn.

I’ve heard a few stories of ‘wins’ with people using strategies to generate huge amounts of points when buying larger items. If you’ve got one we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Earn more points by using American Express at supermarkets to buy gift cards for bonus points was last modified: January 24th, 2018 by Daniel Kinnoch
Earn more points by using American Express at supermarkets to buy gift cards for bonus points was last modified: January 24th, 2018 by Daniel Kinnoch