35+% Off Plus Free Shipping from Wine.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

American Express is offering $30 off $100+ orders at Wine.com with code AMEX30. 30% off wine is a compelling proposition because margins on wine are relatively narrow. But with Wine.com you've got to choose your wines wisely and avoid high shipping costs for this deal to make sense. I'll walk you through some tips on how to maximize this deal in this post.

See also: 12 Amazing Buys at Wine.com

Stack it with Free Shipping

This deal is structured differently than most AmEx Sync deals. With most AmEx Sync deals the savings are delivered as a statement credit that posts to your account a couple days after the transaction posts. However with this deal the order is discounted by $30 if it's $100 or more (before taxes and shipping). I suspect that's because Wine.com knows people like to stack multiple coupons and they want to avoid that. Their checkout system only allows one promo code per transaction, so AMEX30 is all you'll get to use for each order.

A common coupon code people use at Wine.com is for free shipping (or $0.01 shipping). To avoid having to choose between free shipping and 30% off, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Steward Ship. That way you'll automatically have free shipping on all orders in your account for a month -and- you'll be able to use the $30 off $100 code.

See also: How to get 13+% off Wine at Whole Foods Market

Avoid Overshoot

Typically, you can get these offers once per AmEx card. So strategically you'll want each order to go over $100 as little as possible. Since you'll have free shipping for a month it shouldn't be a problem to break up your purchases into multiple orders and reach somewhere just over $100 per order, especially if you have a robust assortment of daily-drinkers you can find at reasonable prices to round out each order.

Unfortunately gift cards are excluded from the offer so you can't just stockpile a bunch of Wine.com currency at a discount for future use. And you also can't double dip.

Go Through a Portal

Online shopping portals enable additional points/miles/cashback for purchase on top of and beyond any other discounts you may have finagled.

Check which of your favorite currencies have the best offers right now at Wine.com at Cashback Monitor. Keep in mind that certain travel rewards points like Chase Ultimate Rewards are easily worth more than $0.01 a point when redeemed for international travel in premium cabins.

By starting your shopping through a portal you can effectively get 35%+ off in conjunction with this deal.

Hold if it's Hot

If high temperatures in the next week are more than 80F I'd hold off on shipping until it's cooler. Wine.com makes this easy. So unless you've really got it bad, schedule a shipment for the fall to be safe.

Some Unknowns

Like I said earlier, this deal is unlike normal AmEx Sync deals where you register each AmEx card you might have then the purchase triggers a statement credit.

I'll have to do some experimenting to see how they enforce the "one offer per card" part of the transaction. I kind of doubt that Wine.com is tracking that each AmEx card is only used for this offer once. I suspect they're either not tracking this (and you can effectively use the code as many times as you'd like) -or- they're only allowing the code to be used once per account.

At best, I suspect they're confirming that each order is funded with an AmEx (any AmEx, as qualified by the leading digits on the card). But I could be wrong.

Update: It appears to me that they're not even checking whether an American Express card is used to pay for the transaction. However, they are limiting this offer to once per email address associated with Wine.com.

If you're not that into wine you might be thinking - why would Wine.com enforce a limit on this transaction? Well, 30+% is a tremendous discount on wine. In fact, it might even be illegal in states where selling wine for less than wholesale is prohibited. So if  you can effectively get 35+% off wine it's a really rare opportunity. And wine isn't perishable if stored properly. So this might be just the time to stock up.

If you tinker around with this please share your experiences in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I can't seem to get the Steward Ship free shipping trial. I may have signed up for that in the past. Any workarounds?
A: Try signing up with a different email address. If you use gmail use this "+" trick.

Q: Do I have to activate the offer for my AmEx cards?
A: It doesn't hurt. I did. But it looks like you don't have to. This offer appears to work differently than other AmEx offers. The offer is applied at the time or purchase rather than as a statement credit.

Q: Do I have to use an AmEx card to get this deal?
A: It appears that any type of credit card works so long as you use the code "AMEX30".

Q: Can I stack this with other coupon codes?
A: No, Wine.com only allows one code per transaction. That's why we want to get Steward Ship. Because it's associated with your account and doesn't require a per-order promo code.

Q: Can I buy gift cards?
A: No. If you've got gift cards in your cart the discount isn't triggered.

Q: Once I get Steward Ship can I use this offer again and again for the next month?
A: No. It looks like they're only allowing the code to be redeemed once per email address. (hint!)

Q: How can I use this to get 35% off on a case of wine?
A: The discount is on $100. It's not related to number of bottles. If you want to buy multiple bottles you have to break it up into orders that each is just over $100.

Bottom Line

With free shipping plus 35% off, this offer makes it possible to get some marquee wines at incredible prices from Wine.com. In Massachusetts there is no sales tax on wine, and Wine.com can legally ship here so if you can find wines you like at reasonable prices this can really be a tremendous deal.

Here's one of my favorites from Italy to get you started
2012 Caymus for ~$39 after discounts

If you have questions on this feel free to drop me an email: wellesleywinepress@gmail.com
Or on Twitter: @RobertDwyer


Question of the Day: What are some of the best buys you see at Wine.com right now?


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