Is Amex's $25 offer on a 'Macy's Wine Shop' purchase worth the effort?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available.
Earlier this year, American Express added a seemingly generous promo to the Amex Offers platform, giving cardmembers an opportunity to get $30 off a $30 purchase through Wine Insiders.
Plenty of very good bottles of wine can be had for $30 or less, but what seemed like a great deal on the surface led to a maze of terms and conditions, and some creative language that likely left many customers — including myself — in the lurch.
While customers were directed to make a purchase on the "Wine Insiders" website, a company called Hemispheres, LLC is actually running things behind the scenes — just as it is for a relative newcomer, the Macy's Wine Shop (yes, the department store chain).
Given the challenges I experienced earlier this year, as I outlined in this post, I was skeptical when a similar Amex Offer popped up this week, but I decided to give it a go — if anything, so I could give you an idea of what to expect.
$25 off Macy's Wine
This week, we noticed an Amex Offer for $25 back on up to three $30-plus purchases from Macy's Wine Shop, offering a grand total of up to $75 in statement credits.
Since I learned my lesson last time around, I read the terms and conditions and clicked the "Redeem Now" button to begin my order. I was careful to only add wines to my cart from the initial page, and checked to confirm that the url didn't change when I selected the option to sort pricing from low to high.
Feeling confident that my order would be eligible, I clicked the "Add to Cart" button under the cheapest sauvignon blanc I could find and clicked through to make my purchase.
On the checkout page, there was a note reminding me not to redeem a voucher or enter a promo code — you'll need to pay the advertised price in order to be eligible for $25 back from Amex.
I followed the instructions to a T, which seemed to pay off. I immediately received an email confirming that I had used the Amex Offer — I've never had an issue receiving credit in cases where one of these emails came through, so I imagine I'll be good to go.
Is it a good deal?
You'll only get free shipping if you order at least six bottles — smaller orders come along with an extra $15 charge. Still, I figured I might be able to buy one bottle, and if the order totaled $30 after taxes and shipping, I'd walk away with a roughly $5 bottle of wine.
Sadly, Macy's was on to my strategy — a pop up made it clear that I needed to order at least three at a time.
It seemed the best I'd be able to do was a three-bottle order for $52.05 after shipping and tax — just over $9 per bottle after the Amex Offer credits to my account.
If you're ordering a larger quantity in one transaction, it might make sense to go hunting for a promo code — with a 12-bottle Llama Dorada purchase, "SUMMER20" takes $26.38 off, besting Amex.
In this case, you'd still come out ahead by breaking the order up into multiple transactions and utilizing the Amex Offer, though.
As for the bottle price, I did find evidence of a far lower rate on Wine Insiders, but my sauvignon blanc isn't available on that Hemispheres site anymore. It was $5 cheaper when it was available there, though, so I'm a bit less optimistic that I scored an incredible deal on my three bottles of wine.
Ultimately, $9 is a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a bottle — I've purchased plenty of wine in that price range on a whim, and if I happen to luck out with Llama Dorada, I'll have two extra bottles to enjoy, too.
If you're planning to make your own purchase, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, avoid entering a promo code and begin your purchase with the "Redeem Now" link. If you don't check all of those boxes — plus a few more — your order might not qualify, wiping out any potential savings from this latest Amex deal.