There’s currently a Just4U deal at Safeway stores for $15 off the purchase of $100 or more in American Express Gift Cards. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t take them up on this deal, as cashing out Amex GCs is nowhere near as easy as using American Express Credit Card/Visa/MC (no Pin option for these cards).
I would normally pass on a deal like this–but I was told that this card receives fuel points, and currently my Vons has 4x fuel points on Gift Cards:
And, verified by me this morning, the purchase of this Amex GC counts for this promotion. I’m unsure how long this 4x glitch will last–but the last time I earned fuel points at Vons for prepaid cards the loophole was closed in less than a month.
I value 2,000 Fuel points at $24, since I can use 1,000 at Vons Fuel stations for $1 off a gallon. If your vehicle takes more than the 12 gallons I fill up with those could be worth even more to you. That means for me this deal netted 1,000 miles (at 2x), and a $33 total “profit.” With my Time, at my T-Rate, and my gas I’m looking at a -$27.05 cost for the 1,000 miles.
The deal only works if your Just4U has the following offer:
So check for the offer, and link it to your card first.
Use Extreme Caution
Because these are Amex Gift Cards, and not Visa/MC cashing them out is not as straightforward. Caution should be used in buying in on this deal because of this. Remember the Float Rule: if you had no way to cash this card out would you have trouble significantly making your credit card payment?
This is a one time deal–so your costs to drive to the store, and costs to cash out the Amex could be high. If you end up having to spend the Amex card for normal spending you’re really just shifting the spend–so the miles could also be negligable.
This one is a very YMMV situation, if you don’t have the $15 off coupon in your Just4U then the deal is lukewarm at best. And if you’re not able to use $1 off a gallon (and limited to $.10 or $.20 at a non-safeway gas station) then the fuel points probably won’t save you over just visiting a less expensive gas station, and shouldn’t be counted as profit.
Again, this one isn’t for everyone–but it worked for me so I wanted to share. If you’re already going to take advantage of the current Safeway promo–you might have luck adding this to your purchases.
– Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I’ll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.