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|
Petrol stations qualifying for bonus points with the American Express Platinum Edge
|Petrol stations qualifying for bonus points with American Express - 2 points per $|
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.
|Retailer||Bonus Points in-store/online, or via online shopping mall|
|Apple App Store & iTunes|
|Apple iTunes||Airpoints Dollars, Qantas Points, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles|
|Books Gift Card|
|Facebook Game Card|
|Gardening Gift Card|
|Hair Health and Beauty Gift Card|
|Hoyts and Berkeley Cinemas|
|Hunting & Fishing|
|Just Jeans||Airpoints Dollars|
|Mitre 10||Airpoints Dollars|
|Movie Gift Card|
|New World||Fly Buys, Airpoints Dollars|
|Noel Leeming||Fly Buys|
|Paper Plus||Fly Buys|
|Pharmacy Gift Card|
|Restaurant Gift Card|
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!
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.