American Express is currently running a new promotion called the Gift Chain, where you register your card, shop at selected online retailers, and you receive special gifts for purchases greater than $25 (up to 10 gifts per card).
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, YoYo.com, Zappos.
Essentially, it is a sweepstakes, with a really good chance of snagging something. There is a limited pool of gifts, and you have no way of knowing if the primary gift pool has been exhausted yet.
I purchased a $25 REI gift card, hoping to get a $15 statement credit. I did. I received a statement credit of $15.
Pay $25 and get $15 back. That is a 60% savings. Score! Free money! Yahoo.
But not so fast. The statement credit is for making an additional purchase at REI, of $15 or more. So its not a 60% rebate, but adding the additional $15 you get a $40 spend and $15 back. That is only a 37.50% rebate.
Still good, but I think that the people and bloggers who are all over this deal will have somewhat higher expectations than they get. Of the retailers participating in the promotion, REI is the only one I’ve shopped at, and sparingly because a lot of their stuff is pricy.