Maximizing the 2017 AmEx Offer

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Spend $50 or more, get $10 back. Expires 1/1/2018.
(click to enlarge)
American Express is back with a $10 back on $50 offer at This offer is a true AmEx Offer (as opposed to similar promo-code based offers in 2016) so it enables some creative stacking which can take discounts beyond 40% off.

The deal is good through 1/1/2018 so it'll be around for a while. This gives us the opportunity to lock in the 20% savings this deal offers then stack it with promo codes and portal cashback for maximum savings.

How to best utilize this offer depends on how many AmEx cards you have access to. If you've got just a few you're probably best off just taking the 20% off and trying to stack it with a free shipping promo code.

For a primer on AmEx Offers see this post from Frequent Miler

But if you've got access to a lot of AmEx cards (I've got around 20) there's a potential to get some seriously good discounts on wine. Here's how I'm playing it...

Step 1: Bite the bullet and sign up for StewardShip

StewardShip is's equivalent of Amazon Prime whereby all of your orders are shipped for a flat $49 annual fee. The nice thing about this is that you can ship one bottle or many and it's included in the annual fee.

You can also ship bottles to friends as gifts or to yourself while on vacation so it can be quite nice.

For purposes of maximizing this deal it's vital though because you only get one promo code per order and you want to use that towards a discount rather than 1 cent shipping.

Tip: You can pay for StewardShip with Gift Certificates, so you might want to skip to Step 2...

Step 2: Buy $50 Gift Certificates

The essence of the deal is that you get $10 back on a $50 purchase for a 20% discount. We want to lock that in without overshoot, so for each AmEx card you have, buy a $50 Gift Certificate.

You may want/need to create a secondary account where you buy these from. In my case my primary account has an existing balance so if I try to buy a new Gift Certificate the system tries to use that balance. To work around this I create a new account (this just requires a new email address) where I buy the Gift Certificates from.

When you order a Gift Certificate the eCode should arrive in a couple hours during business hours. Then redundantly they ship out physical codes.

Step 3: Apply the Gift Certificates to Your Primary Account

The way handles the application of Gift Certificates is quite unique. Their system says you can only apply 2 Gift Certificates per order. But in practice that's not the case.

Here's what I do...

Add $100+ worth of wine to your cart. Then proceed to checking out.

On the right side of the page you should see an option to enter Gift Card Code (two codes maximum). This isn't strictly true as we'll see below...

In their system, once you enter a Gift Card Code it's inextricably linked to the account you associate it with. We'll use this to our advantage when placing orders.

If you run into a message saying "You've entered the maximum number of gift cards allowed (two) per order." a workaround is to clear your cookies or open an incognito browser window to add additional Gift Certificates to your account. Repeat as necessary to bump up the balance on the account you have StewardShip on.

Step 4: Shop through a portal

Shopping portals offer a way to get cashback/travel rewards when shopping online. Cashback for typically hovers in the 5-10% range.

To find the best current cashback available, consult Cashback Monitor:

Step 5: Use a promo code

The nice thing about having free shipping through StewardShip is that you can apply your one precious promo code towards a juicy discount.

Right now there are a couple of tasty promo codes I see out there:

EBATES20 for $20 off $100+ orders (probably best to shop through the eBates portal for this one)
SEPTNEW for $20 of $100+ orders

Update (9/10/2017): Looks like EBATES20 is only working once per account and SEPTNEW isn't working for existing accounts.

20% on top of 20% gives us a true 40+% discount when stacked with a portal.

Both of these purport to be for new customers only (which is problematic when combined with our approach of placing multiple orders with a single account). But they seem to be working for existing customers.

Google for promo codes and find the option that works best for you.

Step 6: Place your orders

Depending on the promo code you're working with you'll need to place multiple orders. But that's okay since you've got StewardShip.

The nice thing about stacking $20 off $100 (for example) with 20% off Gift Certificates is that it's a true 40% off (plus whatever you can get through a portal). This creates some substantial savings.

From here you just need to decide what to order. For me I'm likely to buy wines from reliably outstanding producers that make good wine every vintage.

Even with's relatively jacked up pricing, with discounts like these you can buy some terrific wines at unbeatable prices. offers different wines in each state. Ping me if you're interested in some recommendations for your state.

Questions or comments?

Let me know on Twitter: @RobertDwyer
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