Free Money and Gifts with Amex Gift Chain

by on December 2, 2011 · 45 comments

in American Express, Shopping

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Amex is running a great new promotion called the Gift Chain, where all you need to do is register your card and then shop online at select retailers and you’ll receive special gifts for purchases $25+ between now and December 21, 2011 (or until supplies last).  I have two Amex charge cards (Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum) and I was able to register both to different email addresses and get 10 gifts for the Premier Rewards and 10 gifts for the second card, though the rules seem to state that it’s a 10 gift max per card member- that does not seem to be the case (at least not for me). This promo is only eligible for legal residents of the 50 US states + DC.

Participating retailers include: American Eagle Outfitters, Bed Bath & Beyond, Blue Nile, Dell, GameStop, J.Crew, Lenovo, Neiman Marcus, Nike, Pottery Barn, REI, Rue La La, Toys”R”Us, vente-privee, Walmart,, Zappos

They don’t tell you what the gifts will be, so I sent Danielle out to do some detective work and shop at 10 retailers to get Christmas gifts for my niece, nephew and other family members (I’m not such a tough boss, right?!) and these were her gift results.  FYI you may not get the same exact gift and almost all purchases were $40 and under (thanks for not breaking the bank too much, Danielle!). To test out the limits of the promo, I also registered my Platinum card and did some shopping and I received gifts for those purchases as well:

Pottery Barn: Four $5 Starbucks giftcards
Neiman Marcus ($150 purchase): $20 American Express giftcard
American Eagle: one year ShopRunner membership
Toys R Us: $20 American Express giftcard
Bed, Bath, and Beyond: $10 American Express giftcard, $5 statement credit (issued by January 8, 2012)
Ruelala: $20 statement credit (issued by January 8, 2012), 500 Membership Rewards Points
Nike: $5 Amex statement credit after return purchase (minimum purchase of $5 before February 29, 2012)
JCrew: $15 statement credit after return purchase  (minimum purchase of $15 before February 29, 2012)
Vente-Privee: For some reason she got double gifts for the RueLaLa and Bed Bath and Beyond purchases so she never got a gift for the last two shopping experiences. I then registered another Amex card with a different email address to see if they’d give me gifts as well and I did indeed receive a $25 Kiehl’s
eGift Card for making a $47 (incl shipping) purchase. This is great, because I also received a $25 statement credit for another Amex/Vente-Privee promotion, so I came out ahead on this one since I will use the Kiehls gift card for another family member’s gift!
Zappos: 500 American Express Membership Rewards points.

She received email confirmation and explanation of each surprise gift within an hour of most purchases. Danielle also had success double-dipping by linking to the vendor’s website via AAdvantage eShopping Mall (you can use any of the eligible shopping portals, but you must use your registered Amex card)-’tis the season for racking up tons of points! Supplies are limited and there is a 10 gift limit (per Amex credit card registered) so act fast to cash in.

Please report what gifts you receive so we can build up a comprehensive list of potential gifts. I’d love to see some TPG readers get some of the $500 gifts, though I bet those would only be given out for huge purchases, but you never know!

Official T&C:
*NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR RECEIVE A GIFT. Promotion registration starts: 11/27/11. Eligible transaction start date: 11/28/11. Promotion ends 12/21/11, OR WHILE SUPPLIES OF GIFTS LAST, WHICHEVER IS SOONER. Open to legal residents of the 50 US & DC, 18 and older, who were eligible American Express Consumer or Business Cardmembers prior to 11/27/11. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Corporate and Prepaid Cards including American Express Gift Cards and SERVE Cards are not eligible. Open to the first 250,000 registrations received. Registration is required, regardless of method of entry. Void where prohibited. Gift values range from $2.00 – $500 and vary depending on retailer selected (whether entering via purchase or non-purchase method). 1-yr ShopRunner membership is good for free 2-day shipping on purchases made at participating online retailers (terms apply). Individuals entering via non-purchase method will be required to select a participating retailer. Limit 10 gifts per person/registered Card for the entire Promotion. For instructions on how to enter without purchase, gift details for each participating retailer and odds of receiving specific gifts, see the Official Rules at Sponsor: American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Chris

    Penfed Amex WILL work — PenFed sent an email yesterday announcing the promotion. Haven’t tried it yet, but the email from Penfed indicates it is from the Penfed network, not the card issuer, so it may work with other non-Amex issued Amexes also.

  • Craig Chu

    FYI I went to the Babies R Us site and my gift was a 1-year Shoprunner membership instead.

  • Anonymous

    Good to know- I updated the post

  • Jon

    Also, if people don’t want to spend $25+ 10x per card, you can mail entries in (one entry per envelope, entries must be handwritten). Details are in the full terms & conditions.

  • Parag

    Thanks for doing this. Really helpful! I was wondering what the gifts were!

  • Jay

    Sad to report, it seems like the best rewards are gone already- the slickdeals thread is already over 180 pgs long. Earlier this week, it seems like the best route is to buy $25 GCs at Walmart for 1 gift each. My wife and I’s haul:

    shareable $50 amex GC for me and 3 friends
    shareable $25 amex GC for me and 3 friends
    shareable $10 amex GC for me and 3 friends
    2 one-year Shoprunner memberships
    $5 statement credit on next purchase at Walmart
    $15 statement credit on next purchase at Walmart
    1 gift of 4x$5 starbucks GC
    $25 statement credit
    4 gifts of $10 walmart GCs
    5 gifts of $5 statement credit
    2 gifts of shareable $2 dunkin donuts GC

    total ~$470 in gifts with purchase of $500 in Walmart GC, not a bad haul and fun :)

  • PJ

    did you buy 25 waltmart gift card and every purchase with a card you get 25 AMEX gift card ? how many cards do you need to buy more walmart cards ?

  • n/a

    Spent $50 at, got the 1 yr Shoprunner ‘ship.
    Read over at Mommypoints this morning that a majority of people were getting Shoprunner at Walmart, but other (better) prizes from other sites. For those of us who like to link through mileage portals for our online shopping, I think Shoprunner would be useless to us.

  • Modernhaus

    Purchased from Zappos, received $5 statement credit UPON RETURN PURCHASE, only at Zappos, and only if I pay with my American Express card, prior to Feb 29th. Not impressed. A simple $5 statement credit would have felt much more like a “gift”

  • CupcakeCity

    Spent $30 at RueLaLa, got a ShopRunner Year Membership

    Spent $26 at J. Crew, didn’t get any gift

    Spent $38 at Vente-Privee and awaiting results…

  • Steelsnow

    Just a note, J Crew is also 10 points per $ spend tomorrow thru Ultimate Rewards wall for a pretty nice double dip… Also some additional discounts at J Crew with promo code ‘gifts’. More info over at Frequent Miler:

  • PJ

    oooops: i got 2 Shoprunner’s so far after 3 X 25 GC try at Walmart… much riskier than messing around with stock market lol

    the $ 25 credit for supporting Small Business was certainly much more rewarding

  • PJ

    i assume we can not cancel gc purchases at walmart can we ?

  • Chiefmbh

    FYI, every card will get at least one shop runner account. I spent $750 for gift cards at Walmart and received $570 in gift cards and statement credits. Walmart is basically out of good gifts now so avoid them if possible.

  • CupcakeCity

    Vente-Privee yielded a $5 statement credit (not bad when combined with $20 statement credit already from Vente-Privee…)

  • Trent Swanson

    12:30 EST 12/2

    Toys r us: Shoprunner

    Anybody tried to sign up for Shoprunner via email link? Appears that either 1) Password validation is failing or 2) (likely) require you to provide Credit Card number so they can auto-bill you after trial period.

    Amazon already offers the same service for a longer trial period

  • em

    I “triple-dipped” with this promo: gift chain, Ebates, and miles for my Delta Amex. In 3 purchases, I’ve gotten a $20 statement credit, a $10 statement credit, a $5 Godiva card, and a Shoprunner membership.

  • em

    I “triple-dipped” with this promo: gift chain, Ebates, and miles for my Delta Amex. In 3 purchases, I’ve gotten a $20 statement credit, a $10 statement credit, a $5 Godiva card, and a Shoprunner membership.

  • em

    sorry! meant 4 purchases.

  • Jay

    Not sure I understand your question. each transaction was my buying a $25 walmart GC using a card I had registered (10 transactions on one card for me, 10 for my wife). Each transaction then resulted in 1 gift (which might be actually multiple GCs).

    Sorry, it’s pretty confusing! Even the Amex CSRs were baffled at all the weird shareable gifts.

  • Jasher

    Just bought a $30 item at Zappos and 10 minutes later got an email for a $10 Amex Gift Card.

  • Gavinmac

    I just bought a $73 shirt at Zappos. Used a $25 coupon code that Zappos sent me a few weeks ago as an unsolicited apology when I ordered something that they determined was out of stock.

    So today’s charge for the shirt on my AMEX was $48. Got an email from AMEX a few minutes later saying that I got a gift from Zappos of 5,000 membership rewards points. Five thousand. That’s pretty good. I’m a member of the Zappos “VIP” club so I’m not sure if that factored in.

  • Alexander Onishchenko

    promotion didnt work out good for me – did it yesterday, got shoprunner, and $2 statement credits by purchasing walmart gift cards. after 4th $2 credit – I stopped.

  • Alexander Onishchenko

    probably it matters what card you use – I used SPG amex.

  • Ryan

    Walmart is all out of the main gifts. Try the other retailers they have better ones….

  • theblakefish

    Does Wal-Mart gas station count for fuel?

  • PJ

    lucky you :) I bet you did VERY WELL on the support Small business Satruday.
    today 2 shoprunners for me for all 3X25 walmart GC on 3 different cards

    luckily I stopped at 3 to peek at the “gift” first

  • PJ

    funny or not: on the support small bunisess Sat event. CITI AMEX people claimed they dont know anything as TPG said. while I cud registered the CITI AMEX card also authorized users’s card numbers

    Did not try that CITIAMEX neither cards held by AUs

  • Ryan Gaines

    Do NOT buy Walmart stuff anymore. They are all out of their prizes so you will ONLY get a $2 Statement credit. Try Nike or some other stores.

    I just won this from Nike

    Congratulations! You just received the following gift for shopping at, courtesy of The Gift Chain from American Express:

    10,000 Membership Rewards Points. All terms and conditions of the Membership Rewards program apply, available at Allow 8-12 weeks following promotion end date (12/28/11) for Membership Rewards Gift fulfillment.

  • Ryan Gaines

    It might, but they are all out of there good prizes at this time. You will get a Rollover Gift which is either:

    1-yr ShopRunner Membership good for free 2-day shipping on purchases made at select online retailers


    $2 statement credit

  • All

    i wish this could be posted earlier..

  • Emailbrianjohns

    The entire list of possible gifts for each retailer is posted in the rules online at: Also, you don’t apparently have to make a purchase to get a gift but they’ll likely be all gone from many retailers by that time….

  • Emailbrianjohns


  • Petra

    I would be wary about registering twice as mentioned in the original post.

    “If it is discovered that you have registered or attempted to register more than once or have attempted to register/participate multiple times using multiple identities or email addresses, all of your entries will be declared null and void, and any Gift you might have been entitled to receive will not be distributed.”

  • Jana

    Neiman Marcus $28 – ShopRunner ( already came in handy)
    Zappos $26 – $10 Amex Gift Card
    REI – $20 Statement Credit
    Zappos $52 – $5 Godiva Gift Card

  • Jasher

    +Bed Bath and Beyond $50 item (Costco Amex) — ShopRunner
    +Bed Bath and Beyond $40 item (SPG Amex) — ShopRunner

  • Anonymous

    Zappos – $5 Statement Credit (on a $300 purchase)
    Zappos – $20 Statement Credit (on a $50 purchase)


  • Pamela

    I didn’t shop anywhere. I decided to do the “no purchase necessary option” and mailed in 20 envelopes for my two cards.
    I got:$40 worth of Amex Giftcards and $56 worth of statement credits. (and this is only for 14 gifts, I still haven’t gotten emails for 6 of them yet.) Two gifts were obviously Shoprunner subscriptions but that’s to be expected. Pretty good for $0.44 x 20 worth of stamps!

  • Megan921

    Hi Pamela, how long after you mailed did you receive your gift notifications?

  • Megan921

    PS – mine were:
    Rue la la – shop runner
    Walmart – $2 statement credit
    Zappos – $5 statement credit
    Zappos – $20 statement credit
    Jcrew – $2 dunkin donuts gift card and 3 to share

    Mailed in my other 5 so that’s why I was curious how long it took for the mail-ins. Thanks!

  • Miriam Abrams

    You can “like” them on facebook and get a free membership for 1 year, I just did this and was successful

  • Miriam Abrams

    I got the credit on our 2 Citi Amex cards.

  • Miriam Abrams

    Only 1 day left for this deal!
    Anyone got any good GC’s or credit in the last couple of days?

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