American Express Prepaid Card – $25 x 3 Bonus, No Promo Code Required

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Update: In addition to reader reports, I just received my own multiple $25 bonus gift cards as shown below. $25 bonus on loading $200 per card is back for month of August!

AMEX now has their own reloadable prepaid card, creatively named the American Express® Prepaid Card. Features:

  • no credit check,
  • no monthly fees,
  • no upfront purchase fees,
  • no inactivity fees,
  • and no overdraft fees if you try to spend more than what is on the card

You can load the card for free via online bank transfer, and it ships fee via USPS 1st class mail. In fact, this card is likely better than most other prepaid cards on the market that are branded by Suze Orman, reality TV stars, or music moguls.

Right now, if you reach the 2nd page of the card application process (click on “Get your card now”) they will offer you a bonus $25 gift card for loading $200 onto the card, no promotional code required. (They may ask you to log in if you have an American Express account, or you can switch to Incognito/Private Browsing mode/clear cookies and they won’t ask you.) You should see this in the top right corner:

Offer is available to all, non-targeted. Expires 8/31/12. $50 or more must be loaded at the time of initial purchase. “Limit one $25 gift card per new Card user named on a Card.” You are allowed 3 prepaid cards per person, so that’s a potential bonus of $75 if you have 3 different names on each as these are designed to help manage spending for a family or household.

Other than that, I would just use the prepaid cards to pay for your usual purchases. I would avoid anything that might be returned or disputed as you don’t have the same rights as a consumer credit card. (I personally just paid the cell phone bill.) Sometimes websites put a temporary hold of $1 on a card, so you can’t spend all of it at once. Remember to use split tender transactions to get rid of low dollar amounts. You even get one free ATM withdrawal per month if you can find an ATM that doesn’t charge a fee on their end. Fine print quoted below:

Offer expires on August 31, 2012. To receive a $25 American Express® Gift Card (‘Gift Card’), you must load $200 or more at the time you order an American Express Prepaid Card (‘Card’). Card orders must be received by 11:59 PM ET August 31, 2012. Limit of one $25 Gift Card per new Card user named on a Card. Offer valid for all new Card orders with a single $200 load, including additional/supplemental accounts associated with an existing Card purchaser’s account. Card must be active when offer is fulfilled. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit one (1) offer per Card. After qualifying for this offer, please allow 6 weeks for the $25 Gift Card to be mailed to the Card purchaser. American Express reserves the right to refuse or to delay the delivery of Gift Card if it has determined or suspects that fraud has been committed in connection with the Card or this offer. American Express reserves the right to terminate the offer at any time if it determines, in its sole discretion, that causes beyond its control have destroyed or severely undermined the integrity, administration, security, and/or feasibility of the offer. Gift Card terms and conditions apply.

From the American Express Prepaid Card FAQ:

How many Cards can I order?
An adult over the age of 18 may order and manage up to three American Express Prepaid Cards in total (including if one is purchased for him/herself). Each American Express Prepaid Card User can have only one Card in his or her name.

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.”

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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  1. when you say ‘You are allowed 3 prepaid cards per person, so that’s a potential bonus of $75 for trying out their new product’

    is that limit of 3 for 1 amex credit card or we need 3 amex credit cards?

  2. @hem – You don’t need any American Express credit cards at all. I think one of the aims of this card is to make an AmEx “more accessible” to everyone. You will need to supply your name and SSN on the application, but you can get 3 of these AmEx prepaid cards per person (identified by unique SSN/bank account).

  3. oh ok got it. thanks much for info. Sorry missed it earlier.

  4. I called and this promo code will not work unless the offer is sent directly to you via email. Good Luck!

  5. They always say that. 🙂

  6. Are you saying that the free $25 gift card will come anyway? Is there a way for them to check if one has not been given the offer by direct email? Also when I asked about the offer, I was asked if I received the offer by email and I said no….do you think that the operator would then flag my order? What are your suggestions? Thanks for the heads-up and help!! 🙂

  7. I’m just saying what I said in the post – that in the past people have gotten promotions that were not specifically sent or targeted to them, even if it was said not to have been targeted to them. If AmEx really wanted to restrict this, they could simply reject your credit card number when you enter it on their enrollment page. That said, it may indeed be targeted, that’s just how these offers go. You win some, you lose some, at least in this case you aren’t risking any money but a little time and effort. These prepaid cards look like they might be useful anyway when signing up for free trials and such anyway where you want a credit card number with limited “liability”.

  8. There’s an option to fund with cash… how the heck does that work??

  9. I see — you buy a “MoneyPak” at a drug store/gas station type place with cash, and then add the funds to your Amex online. There’s a fee to buy the thing, but Amex is temporarily offering to refund the fee… I think I’ll go with bank transfer anyway.

  10. There is a banner for this promotion when you log into your Amex account. I just funded it right away via bank transfer. Put in the promo code and it took. Never got an email for this that I remember. You will need to confirm 2 small deposits to your bank account in a couple of days. Figure if I fund right away they may send the bonus card right away.

  11. “Get up to three Cards

    Because you can order up to three Cards, you have the choice of giving them to the people you choose or keeping one for yourself. So you have the freedom to manage your own spending or use it to provide money to the other people in your life.”

    I wonder if you need to send the other 2 to someone other than yourself?

  12. Probably a stupid question, but how do I order three cards? Do I need to go back and fill out the application each time?

  13. Got 1 $25 prepaid card, but it didn’t give me a discount at the end. Does that mean I will not get a gift card?

  14. Ordered 1, decided not to risk 3 incase the bonus is only for targeted customers. I always seem to have a problem using up prepaid cards like this. They always end up with like $2.17 left or something, and then I never have a transaction that small to use up the last couple bucks.

  15. Here is a screenshot of the offer:

    @MAC – Thanks for the info, many times these are banner ads when you log in and it’s good to know you can say you saw it there.

    @Andy – Yes, you can go back and order up to 3. I don’t think you need to send it to anyone, it could just be for your kids that live with you.

    @Shey – You don’t get a discount, you load the prepaid card with $@5 and get an additional $25 gift card sent to you 6-10 weeks later.

    @Stephen – You should just use it when you buy something for more than $25, and say you want a “split transaction”. Spend $25 all at once that way, and put the change on a credit card. You can even do it for the $2.17 left on a card. It’s pretty common to ask for nowadays, especially at a bigger store like Target.

  16. Green Lantern says

    I use up cards like this by purchasing an Amazon e-gift certificate for a custom amount.

  17. @Jonathan – I should have said I saw a banner for the prepaid product when logging in to my account. Did not see this promo. There is a very long thread on Slickdeals discussing this promo in case anyone is interested:

  18. Under the FAQ’s on their site, to the question on the number of cards, it states:

    An adult over the age of 18 may order and manage up to three American Express Prepaid Cards in total (including if one is purchased for him/herself). Each American Express Prepaid Card User can have only one Card in his or her name.

    So if I read that right, the second or third card must be purchased for another person’s use (i.e., family member, kids, etc). So not sure how easy to get the bonus multiple times.

  19. Just to give it a shot I tried last time. In last Dec promotion I applied 4 cards all by me as purchaser to two on my name and two on my wife. I got only one gift card last time. This time i applied one my wife as purchaser. Lets see how it goes. Also i never got promotion email neither last time or nor now.

  20. Do they do a credit check?

  21. No credit checks, says very clearly on the product page.

  22. I did this the last time around and signed up for 3 accounts. I got a gift card for the first prepaid card but had to call in to get the second two.

  23. yea but cheapo did u get an invite email from amex?

  24. @Stephen, when you’re paying by credit card, just tell the cashier that you’re splitting it on two cards. Pay with the card with the low remaining amount, it will go through for that amount and will give you the remaining balance to pay. At this point, you can pay with your regular card and cover the rest! That way, nothing goes to waste!

  25. Has anyone gotten the second $25? Do you know how long it takes to receive it? I got the first card a few days ago.

  26. Did not work for me. I ordered the three cards and afterwards called AmEx customer service and they said I didn’t qualify for the promotion since I didn’t get an email for it.

  27. How long did it take after the card gets funded to receive the $25 gift card?

  28. Please disregard, found the answer in one of the posts. 6 – 8 weeks. Anyways, is one of my favorite sites online! woohooo!!!!

  29. Didnt work for me : ( Ordered one and just got one in the mail.

  30. Was a lot of work & non-sense to open and fund all 3. 4/4/12 and no bonuses yet… Keeping my fingers crossed… Thanks for the blog Johnathan !

  31. I didn’t get my bonus either 🙁

  32. PAtricia Rodriguez says

    I did one of there back in November. I did not receive an email about it, but i still got the gift card. The gift card arrived some weeks after the prepaid card did. It also arrived in a plain white envelope addressed to me. I almost through it away.

  33. Filled out this offer just to get the credit card. Works. Decent free prepaid card with self-defined limits.

  34. I ordered these within a few days of you posting the offer information. All went well with the application process and the money was put onto the cards. I have now waited ten weeks to receive the promotional cards so it was time to call. The advisor told me that I did not qualify for the card and that because I did not receive an email with the code I would not receive the promotion. I am not going to argue with him over something so minor, especially since the promotion was not clearly stated on their own advertisement, but it does make me wonder if the code worked for more than just the moderator.

  35. Well got an email today telling me I did not qualify for the $25 bonus (no reason given).

    “Thank you for ordering the American Express® Prepaid Card. Unfortunately you are not eligible for the promotion entered with your order and we are unable to send you a $25 bonus Gift Card. We hope this does not cause you any inconvenience.”

    There was a come-on for a $50 bonus if I setup direct deposit to the prepaid card, no friggin way! And an offer for a refund check if I called the number on the back (x 3 of course).

    This offer followed my rule of thumb exactly, the more time & effort it takes to setup and qualify for a promotion, the less likely you will actually get the bonus – my bad for ignoring my own advice!!!

    Oh well. It was a huge time waster to setup 3 accounts, logons, passwords, wait & confirm test deposits, etc. I’ll use them 3 times for gas and in the garbage they go!!!

  36. Same thing happened for me. The prepaid card worked, but I got an email today saying I am not eligible for the bonus card… but I can take advantage of a different $50 promotion… if I am willing to direct deposit my paycheck onto the prepaid card. No thanks, AmEx.

  37. Barry Einstein says

    This turned out to be an Amex marketing SCAM

    They are now turning around and deny the promised $25 Bonus to everyone that applied and bought into their deal

    They are now trying to get these folks to do Direct Deposit with another promise of a bonus

    After this- I would not trust them in the least to honor their promises

    Here is what they emailed everyone today:

    Thank you for ordering the American Express® Prepaid Card. Unfortunately you are not eligible for the promotion entered with your order and we are unable to send you a $25 bonus Gift Card. We hope this does not cause you any inconvenience.

    If you would like to redeem the balance on your Card, you can call us to request a refund check. Or you can take advantage of another valuable promotion that includes a $50 bonus1 — please see below for more details.

    Sign up for direct deposit and get a $50 bonus.
    Now you can get all or part of your paycheck automatically loaded onto your American Express Prepaid Card with direct deposit through your employer. Your money is available on payday, and it can be replaced at no charge if your Card is lost or stolen.

    Plus, you’ll receive a $50 credit to your Card1 after you make two direct deposits of $250 or
    more — per paycheck — by July 31, 2012. So sign up today.

  38. Well, maybe scam is a strong word for AMEX, perhaps it was targeted (although I am no fan of them right now).

    Just burns me all the time wasted and personal info given (like my kids birthdays & SSN (which I made up and promptly forgot) and the time on the phone getting the cards activated when the info didn’t match.

    I’d encourage everyone just to ask for a refund check in protest so they won’t collect their credit card processing fees – but more of a time wasting hassle on our part.

    Chalk it up to experience, remember my rule above, the more time & effort it takes to setup and qualify for a promotion, the less likely you will actually get the bonus. Got to remember sometimes its not worth chasing every penny!!

  39. American Express has a new offer for everyone. Load $200 onto the card and they will give a complimentary $25 Gift Card. The offer is good for the month of June.

  40. Jon, when you say unique SSN/Bank Account, do you mean this is a pair? Could I order 3 more cards with a different Bank Account?

  41. @J Bunch – I don’t think so, but I’ve never tried.

  42. I applied for this promotion last time around… except the requirement last time was to load up $25 to get a $25 gift card, i think.

    To date, I have still not received the $25 gift card.

  43. The previous $25/$25 bonus offer was targeted, but it was hoped that using the promo code associated with that offer would still get you “in”. However, it appears that wasn’t that case for most people, unfortunately.

    This $25/$200 offer as of 6/4/12 should be visible to everyone, but as always I would recommend saving to PDF the page with the banner (as shown in post).

  44. Can I use these cards at Costco?

  45. Good old American express. They always seem to be giving money away. Like Ryan, I got hosed on the $25/$25 deal, but I’ve loaded my 3 cards up, and am eager to get something from this deal. Any idea of what BofA charges for atm withdrawal?

  46. Also, if you bought AmEx prepaid cards from the last time around, log into your Prepaid account online again, and you may see an offer for $25 for loading an additional $200 on your existing prepaid cards.

  47. I also signed up for one of these cards last time and didn’t get the $25 bonus. If I didn’t shred the card I will try to get the $25 this time by re-loading $200 onto it.

  48. In incognito mode banner is not there, or maybe it is a scam altogether. Please update blog post to reflect that it may not work. You should not help Amex get away with this…

  49. @Jonathan, where did you see that each person (i.e., each unqiue SSN/DoB) could purchase up to 3 cards hence get $75 bonus?

    I ordered one already. Not sure whether I should order two more until I am convinced that I will get 3 bonus if I order three.

    thanks for the alerts. great benefits!

  50. @frank – The banner is indeed there in Incognito mode. You must first click on “GET YOUR CARD NOW”.

    @Andy – Somewhere in the terms it says you can “manage” up to three 3 cards. I’m guessing this is because these cards are designed for teens/children and managing their spending. See fine print on initial page:

    “Limit of one $25 Gift Card per new Card User named on a Card. Offer valid for all new Card orders with a single $200 load, including additional/supplemental accounts associated with an existing Card purchaser’s account.”

  51. Barry Einstein says


    I may try again also it may be insane (insanity = doing the same thing and expecting a different result)

    After refusing to honor their original $25 Free Card deal- they are now trying me again with another $25 Credit if I load the card with $200

    Please note the “fine print” below: (loopholes to avoid paying out that I can drive a truck through)

    “Please allow 6 weeks, after qualifying load, for the $25 Gift Card to be mailed to the Card Purchaser. American Express reserves the right to refuse or to delay payment of the bonus if it has determined or suspects that fraud has been committed in connection with the Card or this offer. Limit three (3) bonuses per Card purchaser – one per Card user, up to three users. American Express reserves the right to terminate the offer if it determines, in its sole discretion that causes beyond its control have destroyed or severely undermined the integrity, administration, security, and/or feasibility of the offer. Offer is subject to cancellation at any time. “

  52. Is it possible to find an ATM that doesn’t charge a Fee?

  53. Here are some: (removed)

  54. @Jonathan,

    Allpoint is only free if your bank is within the Allpoint Network.

  55. @Jared – Hmm… you’re right. “Surcharge-free” should mean that they don’t charge surcharges to anyone, boo. Otherwise Bank of America could call their ATMs surcharge-free… if you have a BofA card.

  56. Washington Mutual was probably the first bank to waive external bank ATM transaction charges over 10 years ago and that motivatd me to open a checking account with them. After that, many banks followed.

    After the financial crisis, almost all banks began to nickel and dime customers. Washington Mutual was sold to Chase, who charges fees heavily. To my knowledge, TD Bank does not charge ATM fee for non-TD Bank withdrawal — I am not 100% sure. Please check with TD Bank before you use it. I will check, too.

  57. How is this different than Serve? It seems odd that American Express would operate two different brands of prepaid cards.

  58. @Jonathan, aside from a few small credit unions, I think most ATMs charge fees. This company, FreeATMsNYC generated a lot of press for ad-based ATMs, but so far they only have one ATM. By the way, did you get the emails I sent you?

  59. Did anybody sign up without creating an account (logging in) first? How do you verify two deposits to your funding account? I’ve got the email asking to verify and I can see the deposits in my bank account, but where to enter them?

  60. @Vlad: I have the same question. The email I received is as follows:
    Dear Customer,

    Thank you for enrolling your bank account as a funding source for the Card.

    In order to verify the bank account you enrolled, we recently sent two small deposits to that account. Please check your online bank statement for two deposits from “American Express Prepaid Card” and then verify your account by following these steps:
    1.Log in to your existing account online, or create a new account.
    2.After logging in, you will automatically come to a deposit verification screen.
    3.Input the two deposit amounts and click “Submit.”

    We cannot process any “Load Funds” transactions from this bank account until you complete these account verification steps.

    For questions please call 1-866-207-7970 to speak with a Customer Service Representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    American Express Customer Service

    I did not see a deposit verification screen. So, I guess they are not ready and we need to wait for a day or two???

  61. you have to create an account – they will ask for the Order No., your bday, your First and Last name – create username & password then you should get to the page asking for funds verification.

  62. Missllq, where are they asking for the order number? I’ve created two accounts already and never was asked for any order number? Can you share the link where I should start from? I assume there are multiple ways to create AmEx accounts. I’m starting from the original link in this post, but maybe this is wrong since I already applied for the card.

  63. I just called AmEx CS. The resolution is to start from, not the original link.

  64. I see some McDonald’s with atms that charge 99 cents. I think some credit unions also have low atm fees. I have a question though…if I have $225 on the card, can I withdraw $225? What happens to the atm fee?

  65. Andrew – I believe the $25 will come on a separate card.

  66. Ok thanks. I’m still wondering if I can withdraw the full $200 because the atm would still have to be paid. Also, if I were to use it to purchase things, lets say I still have $12.34 on it and I do not know the balance. If I make a purchase of $15.00, will the cashier swipe it for that amount and then I pay the difference? Or do I have to tell them to charge $12.34 on the card and that I’ll pay the difference.

  67. Andrew, I’m pretty sure merchant has no way of getting this information (unused credit), otherwise it’d be serious security hole. Merchant enters the amount they want to charge and operator either approves or declines it.

  68. Andrew, I called Amex re this card yesterday and while on hold there was a repeated recording that addressed your question. Can’t recall the exact wording but basically said that you would pay the difference first of the amount between the $12.34 left on the card and the 15 due . After that is paid , pay the balance with the remaining 12.34 on the card.

  69. @Andrew – No you will not be able to withdraw the full $200 unless you find a truly free atm, the ATM will take $2-$5, but since few ATMs in this county dispense bills less than $20s, you will be stuck with $15-$18 left on the card.

    @Andrew @Vlad – Yes, Merchants are required to print or display (or both) remaining balance on Prepaid Cards Only (Not Debit or Credit Cards). This was instituted about a year ago, and goes into full effect at the end of this month. Most chain merchants will have no problem with this, they will run the full amount, if it is denied the “Balance Response” will tell them how much to run, and they can split the transaction. This may be harder for smaller merchants.

  70. Like Kevin said before, they may not give you any sort of promotional item unless they solicited you.

    Be warned. I have three of these cards and never received any sort of promotional gift. It may work for some, but do not assume it will work for you.

  71. Hi! Like some readers above I also wanted you to be aware that this American Express gift card promotion you mentioned was not honored for the general public. I just contacted them because I never received free $25 cards for loading/using my prepaid ones with the coupon code you mentioned. I was told the promotion was “leaked on social networks” and the code was never supposed to be used by non-AMEX card holders. I’m writing their consumer department but wanted you to be aware that I got this code off your post.


  72. Yes, we have established that the previous code was targeted and I warned in the post back then that it may not be honored but it was worth a shot because you don’t lose any value either way.

    “You win some, you lose some, at least in this case you aren’t risking any money but a little time and effort.”

    I agree that in my opinion, it should have been honored, but they didn’t. Really, I don’t see why especially if they were going to run THIS promo anyway!

    In any case, this current promotion (no promo code required) has been confirmed directly with American Express to be open to all. I will be doing it myself.


    To use up any remaining amount on these cards, you must ask for something called a “split transaction”. If your card has $5.64 left on it and your total due is $20.21, just ask for a “split transaction” and charge $5.64 on the first one, and the remaining balance on your regular card. I’ve done it many times to use up gift cards, usually at a Target or Wal-mart and not a small mom and pop.

  73. I just verified my bank account as well. You just have to click on “Learn More” instead of “Get your card now” and then click on the orange Login button on the top right.

    Too bad the verification deposits get taken back. 🙁

  74. Hey,

    American Express has a network of atm’s. There is a locator here:

    Those should be fee free to withdraw from your AmEx card, correct?

  75. @Tysen – I don’t think so, those are just ATMs where your AmEx is accepted and you’ll be able to withdraw cash. Fees still apply in most cases.

  76. hello.? can you get cash back with the amex prepaid,when you buy something in the store.will they charge you fee.

  77. @Tysen

    Use Allpoint Network ATMs to get the cash surcharge-free. This is the network salary prepaid card companies recommend for workers to get their salary fee-free (free aside from the companies’ own fees, that is…).



    There is no cashback and there are no fees for making purchases.

  78. @VHD I believe allpoint ATMs are only free for cardholders of member institutions.

  79. @Deymond

    I want to slap myself right now. My job place had recommended Allpoint ATMs, but I hadn’t even bothered to read that disclaimer to realize it wouldn’t be accessible by non-members.

    Meh, I guess there really is no free way to get your the cash.

  80. The one thing I was worried about is on the front page that it says the card must be active when bonus card is sent, which is 6 weeks after opening. I was worried they would de-activate the card if you weren’t using it enough, but turns out it has to go a year without transactions before they de-activate it. I guess that means don’t just spend the $200 and then close the card; you have to wait until you get the bonus card.

    Really what I wanted to post about was this tidbit from the user agreement!
    “The Card is not intended for use for gambling or adult entertainment purchases, which you agree not to make with the Card.”

  81. Awesome. My workplace has surcharge-free deposit-taking ATMs, so I got the $200 card and re-deposited the cash to my credit union savings account in about 30 seconds. Easy bonus 🙂

  82. @Dan, where do you work???

  83. Hi, how do I get the last $1 used up? I charged $100, and then tried another $100, but it failed, so I had to do $99 instead. I believe the $1 charge is just hanging there as a test charge. Is there any way I can get to use that money by using it to pay my cell phone?

  84. thank Vlad. I was able to verify small deposit through link.

  85. What is the $1 hold for?

  86. @Jonathan
    Can people who used the promotion in June use it again? ;p

  87. Hmm, Amex mailed my credit card to my po box, but will not for gift card?? not compromising my privacy for 25 bucks

  88. I just went directly to the Amex website, clicked on prepaid cards and the promotion is right there. I think I’ll just order one and not press my luck.

  89. @Jonathan,

    The fine print reads like one $25 gift card per person… where did you find the 3 cards per person limit?

  90. This is my first time trying the offer. I called AMEX and they said that I can purchase three cards under my name and get $75. The promotion is available for all, you can even google “amex prepaid” and it is on the Ad links.

  91. From the American Express Prepaid Card FAQ:

    How many Cards can I order?
    An adult over the age of 18 may order and manage up to three American Express Prepaid Cards in total (including if one is purchased for him/herself). Each American Express Prepaid Card User can have only one Card in his or her name.

  92. Wow! Good to know. Does this help people who want to improve their credit by paying in cash?

  93. . . meaning you have to purchase the card in cash to buy it.

  94. Thanks for the info

    I see, so a person buys one card for him/herself and two cards for others and is allowed to manage all three cards…

  95. missliquidl says

    I did the June promo and only signed up for 1 card (got my $25 giftcard). It looks like i have to order a new card to get the $25, not just reload the same card.

  96. I’m about to press “Agree and Submit.” I didn’t actually type in any promo codes. Did I do everything correctly? I might hold off until tomorrow just to make sure I’ve filled out the forms accurately to get the $25 giftcard.

  97. Anyone else who bought a AmEx Prepaid card receive this targeted offer in their e-mail box? (only valid for e-mail recipients)

    “Get a $50 Bonus to your Card1 after your first two direct deposits of at least $250 each — but hurry, this offer ends on September 30, 2012.”

  98. @Jonathan
    I got it today too. Updated my Direct Deposit.

  99. @Jonathan

    I’ve received the offer too. It’s too bad my job doesn’t offer direct deposit else I’d take advantage of it.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested, I believe I found a sure way to get the cash back fee-free. It’s a bit roundabout, though.

    Basically, I just sign up for another AMEX prepaid card called ‘Serve’, then load the card using the AMEX prepaid one. Normally, it costs a fee, of course, but it turns out the Serve card is waiving all credit card fees until March 2013.

    So sign up for the Serve card, use the AMEX card to load the Serve card, then withdraw the money to your bank from the serve card. I’ve tested this out already (and withdrawn roughly $245 to my bank account) with no incurred fees.

    I’m sure many of you have this card already as it was an article on MoneyBlog previously, but for those of you who don’t this, this is an easy, fee-free way to get your money back.

  100. I think I’ll test if the direct deposit can be simulated with an online bank ACH transfer. I doubt they can tell the difference, especially if I do it twice two weeks apart.

    The Serve withdrawal method should work for everyone, good idea, I think they have a limit though – something like $100 per day, $250 per month.

  101. Do you recommend that we cancel the AmEx prepaid card after receiving the bonus? Will this allow us to register (as a new customer) for another prepaid card the next time they have a special or will AmEx recognize that you’ve bought and closed one before? Thanks!

  102. @Jonathan

    Regarding the below offer:
    “Get a $50 Bonus to your Card after your first two direct deposits of at least $250 each — but hurry, this offer ends on September 30, 2012.”

    The Terms & Conditions say:
    “Limit three (3) bonuses per Card purchaser — one per Card user, up to three users.”

    How do we get the 3 bonuses. Do we have to setup Direct Deposit to other peoples’ cards that we purchased earlier in June to get the extra 2 bonuses in addition to one for own AmEx Prepaid card?

  103. @Isabella – I don’t know if they’ll recognize it, but they do seem to be doing ongoing promos like the direct deposit one mentioned above.

    @Andy – I read that as each card could get the $50 bonus if they do the DDs. As they give each card a unique account number and routing number like a bank account, and what I did is try to link them (multiple) with my Ally checking account for online transfers. The test deposits showed up fine, and I linked then, but it appears Ally was not able to “yank” the test deposits back. I hope this doesn’t mean they’ll cancel the link before I can make my 2nd $250 direct deposit transfer. We’ll see if it works.

  104. @Jonathan

    Thanks for your response.

    The T&C also say:
    (iii) your Card and your direct deposit instructions must be active and in effect at the time the bonus is fulfilled. Please allow 6 weeks after qualifying deposit for the $50 Gift Card to be mailed to the Card purchaser.

    Does this mean that in reality, we have to keep on making direct deposits for 6 more weeks (after the 2 required ones) in order to satisfy this (iii) condition and received the $50 gift cards?

  105. Maybe, seems like you’d have to check that kind of thing manually, as people’s direct deposits aren’t necessarily regular, they could be once a month, biweekly, or based on part-time work. I’m not going to put too much effort into it, just set up a few recurring deposits.

  106. I tried to link my AMEX prepaid card w/ my PNC account for ACH transfers. I was able to successfully link using the trial deposit method. Then, a day later, PNC suspended the link saying that they don’t allow links with that type of account.

  107. @Joe

    I linked my Chase checking account with the three AmEx Prepaid cards that I bought in June. Today the linking got completed using trial deposits. I have initiated the $250 transfers out from Chase and into the three AmEx’es.

    Do you have any other bank account? I suspect that PNC must have tried to send 2 and pull 1 trial deposit. AmEx does not allow pull-out that’s why PNC might have suspended. Otherwise, there is no way for them to know what “type of account” it is.

    Chase probably worked because Chase only does two push’es and does not pull the money back out. Just leaves it there.

  108. @Jonathan
    I added the AmEx Prepaid cards to my Chase Account for online transfers. All went well. The first transfer of $250 each also went through fine.
    Today Chase has “rejected” those accounts as not eligible for external transfers. Now I have done one transfer each for $250, not sure what to do about the 2nd transfer. Any ideas? I wouldn’t want to miss out on the three $50 gift cards!

  109. Hmm… looks like it’s easier to do the real direct deposit thing if you can. Otherwise, maybe just set up another $250 transfer from another bank? That’ll still be another ACH deposit into the card, maybe it’ll count.

  110. Applicants will need to be patient. Amex shipped my prepaid cards June 21, and I received my bonus cards approximately August 10.

  111. you mentioned you get 1 free withdrawal. Does that mean that I can deposit $200 and pull out $200 from an ATM that doesnt charge a fee and get away with $200 + the $25 bonus gift card?

  112. @Alex – Yes.

  113. If we used this card for at least 6 months to a year. can we get a regular card like we want to. How long does it take to have a regular amex..?

  114. OK – so I get that I can purchase 3 cards (1 for me and 2 for my kids) and get a bonus on each of them.

    Could my wife also purchase 3 (1 for her and 2 for the kids) and get 3 bonuses? Or does each purchaser AND each user have to be unique?

    If users also have to be unique – do they require a SS# for the users or can I get around this by using a different name on the card (such as one with my middle initial and one without . . .)

  115. Update on method. Just received a nastygram from serve warning me of violation of their user agreement. Turns out this activity is prohibited and will result in termination: “(8) Provide yourself or Authorized Users a cash advance from your credit card;” It appears that they want me to instead send the money to someone, rather than taking it from the prepaid card and then doing the withdrawal.

  116. Another update: just spoke with serve rep and she told me that once this behavior is detected (funding and using the funds repeatedly, no matter how), the account will be closed. Defeats the purpose of letting people fund with a credit card, in my opinion. Build it and they will come…

  117. In response to your answer to Alex… Where can I find a fee free ATM to withdrawal the $200?

  118. I don’t know of any online search directory of fee-free ATMs, although they do exist. Usually they are found at credit unions or small local banks. I’m lazy and just spend the gift card with my normal spending instead of looking for one of these ATMs and maybe wasting a few dollars in gas as I don’t know of any near me.

  119. Hey, they never sent me the $25. I ordered in august. So i called today and they credited $25 to each of my 5 cards. You better check up with them on this promotion.

  120. Just as an update, I received my $25 gift card in the mail two weeks ago.

  121. I noticed someone say they end up wit a couple of dollars and change and never buy anything small enough to use the rest of the funds.

    DO WHAT I DO, WHEN I SHOP I TAKE ANY SMALL AMOUNT GIFT CARDS WITH ME AND USE AS MANY AS IT TAKES TO COMPLETE A SINGLE PURCHASE. The store clerks can make most instore card system take multiple credit/debit cards to complete a single transaction.

    Note, some small businesses will not allow you to do this because they get charged a fee each time they process a card. Larger merchants and grocers generally do not pay as much attention (never in my case) to this as a sole proprietor will.

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