How Amazon & Amex Saved Me 30% on a Southwest Airlines Gift Card

Written by on July 7, 2017 in Online Shopping, Travel Deals

Amazon and American Express have teamed up for an awesome promotion right now in honor of Amazon’s annual Prime Day. Targeted Amex Membership Rewards members can save big on selected items — including Southwest Airlines gift cards!

Thanks to a post on I read on the venerable One Mille at a Time, I learned targeted Amex Membership Rewards members can save $30 off a qualifying purchase of at least $60 when redeeming as little as one Membership Rewards point and using promo code “AMEX17PRIME” at checkout.

The deal is good through July 11 or until 100,000 customers take advantage of the special. (In other words: hurry up and use it.)

There are, of course, exclusions galore (“some digital goods, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items, AmazonFresh, or orders containing Pre-order items. Please also note that currently you may not use one-click to purchase products using Shop with Points”).

With that in mind, I poked around for physical gift cards I could somehow use (more on that below). I added some gift cards to my shopping cart and applied the promo code. I discovered that Starbucks gift cards were eligible for the discount. Then I searched for airline gift cards.

I hit pay dirt with a $100 Southwest gift card. Plus, the card qualified for free same-day delivery, thanks to my Prime membership. I ordered the gift card around noon and it was on my doorstep around dinner time!

I selected my American Express Platinum card as the payment method and applied a penny’s worth of Membership Rewards points. That one Membership Reward point saved me $30.01! ($30 discount + $0.01 redemption = $30.01 savings)

Redeem one cent's worth of American Express Membership Rewards points on during their Prime Day 2017 Deal.

(As a little aside: I love Amazon, American Express, and Membership Rewards. BUT redeeming American Express Membership Rewards points for Amazon purchases is generally a bad deal. NerdWallet‘s Erin El Issa points out (no pun intended) the valuation of Membership Rewards points on Amazon redemptions is about 0.7 cents per. You can redeem them for — at worst — a full penny each when transferring between Membership Rewards and their airline partners. A special like this, though, is a special exception ;-))

How Will You Know If You’re Not Targeted?

How will you know if your account isn’t one of the lucky ones? You’ll probably see something like this:

Amazon promo code AMEX17PRIME not available for purchase.

I have two Amazon accounts: one for business and one for personal use. My business account was not targeted by my personal account worked just fine.

A $100 Southwest Airlines gift card, purchased on Amazon during an American Express Membership Rewards promotion.

Three Ways to Use a Southwest Airlines Gift Card

Take a Trip!

Southwest often runs great specials. Depending on your home airport and destination, $100 gift card might pay for an entire roundtrip — or at least cover most of the cost. Saving $30 on top of a great deal makes a even sweeter!

Because gift cards are treated like cash by airlines, you still earn full segment credit and Rapid Rewards points! (Discounted gift cards would be excellent to use for a Southwest status challenge.)

Resell the Gift Card for a Small Profit

Want to make a few bucks? Some gift card merchants are currently buying Southwest Airlines gift cards for 77% of their face value. If you buy a $100 Southwest gift card for $69.99 and flip it to for $77, you net a $7.01 profit.

Seven bucks won’t pay your mortgage or rent. But it might cover a cheap lunch or happy hour special somewhere!

Gift it to Someone

Is there a Southwest lover (or LUVer, as it were) in your family, circle of friends, or client rolodex? Get a head start your holiday shopping and gift them your discounted Southwest gift card.

Regardless, all three of the above ideas are great methods to save money while knocking out some minimum spend requirements!

Did You Take Advantage of the Prime Day Special? Were You Targeted?

Tell us below if you took advantage of this great offer — or if you weren’t targeted. If you were, what did you score yourself?


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About the Author

About the Author: Chris Carley is a writer, media consultant, voice over artist, dog owner, husband, and recently became a dad! He loves talking all things points and miles. You'll likely find him in an airport lounge while on a trip that involves the most circuitous route possible leading to his ultimate destination. .


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