American Express had good news for shoppers a few months ago when it announced that it was no longer going to charge monthly maintenance fees or dormancy fees on gift cards that previously were imposed after one year. That truly was a bold and welcome move, considering other gift card issuers continue to charge as much as $2.95 a month after a year, thus depleting the card’s value.
What American Express didn’t say so loudly, is that it will continue to charge other rather high fees associated with buying the card.
There is a purchase fee of $3.95, and a shipping fee of $5.95. Considering the card could have been sent for a mere 44 cents first class, the nearly six dollar shipping fee is exorbitant. On their least expensive $25 gift card, it costs you nearly $10 in fees to buy it, thus in essence reducing the value of the card by 40%.
In the holiday spirit, however, AMEX is making a special offer via email:
Our NEW American Express Gift Cards for the holidays make great gifts this season. As a special offer to you, they are FEE-FREE through 1/31/10. Don’t delay! Order online by December 22 11am EST to ensure your Gift Cards are delivered before December 25.
American Express Gift Cards are 100% Gift, 0% fees:
• No fees after purchase
• No customer service fees
• No lost value
While you will save the $3.95 purchase fee when entering the coupon code EMDECCM, it appears the $5.95 shipping fee still applies.
Ho, ho, ho.