You may be familiar with the new benefits of the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, which now includes a $100 statement credit for a designated airline of your choosing. This benefit applies to previous and current cardholders, so it’s a generous chance at getting $100 “free” for your preferred airline.
While the terms and conditions of this offer specifically say it can’t be used for purchasing gift cards, many users report success on this front, as have I in the past.
This week, I attempted to purchase (2) $50 American Airlines gift cards, via their online purchasing system. You have two methods for getting these cards – a physical mailing, where you’ll pay a shipping fee, or a virtual delivery to your email which is free, but isn’t active for 72 hours. I purchased 2 cards using the virtual option.
Interestingly, I saw (3) $50 pending charges on my American Express online account. Confused as to why there were three charges – and concerned maybe I had hit the purchase button twice at one point to trigger two sales – I was worried, though figured I’d wait a few days and see if it fell off. When it came time for the gift cards to become fully active, I attempted to use them on a reservation I had held, but received an error message:
“We are sorry but we have encountered a problem activating your American Airlines Gift Card. Please contact the sender of this card to advise them you were unable to retrieve your gift. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Uh oh. I contacted American Airlines to see what was the problem and received this reply from one of their representatives:
Thank you for your email. I show that both purchases were stopped on the day of purchase. You were not charged for either card. We were and are still having a connectivity issue with our virtual gift cards. We stopped most of the virtual cards on the date of purchase due to our site issue. I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your patience in this matter. We do appreciate you choosing American Airlines.
It looks like American has since stopped the sale of these virtual cards, with the following notice now on their site: “We apologize for the inconvenience, but at this time we are not able to process any virtual gift card orders. If you would like purchase a plastic gift card you may still do so. We appreciate your business.”
So, if you’re looking to use your American Express Premier Rewards Gold $100 credit for an airline this week on an American Airlines gift card, you won’t be able to until the system is back up.
Just an FYI…
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