What’s the bloody point? American Express Gift Card…

So I’m standing in a safeway, at the register. There’s an American Express $100 gift card. You pay $105 for it ($5 fee), and get a $100 gift card that can be used anywhere..

Maybe it’s a culture gap thing. I have only been in the US for 4 years.. But wouldnt it be better to just give someone $105?

What’s the bloody point?

Comments (14)

  1. bobbles says:

    Or $100 and a nice card to go along with it 🙂

  2. dxoigmn says:

    What if you’re one of the millions of Americans who live off their credit cards? Seems like a great way to give someone money while charging it to the credit card instead of hard cash. Granted, one shouldn’t be gifting if they don’t have the income but many still do regardless.

  3. Garry Trinder says:

    Big Brother would like to know how your friends will spend your moneys 😉

  4. Well for someone that’s only been here four year – your first tip when asking about someone’s customs is you needed rudely ask “What’s the bloody point?”

    Christmas, Hanukah & Kwanzaa are all celebrated at the same time, and Americans tend to give “many” presents. While choosing a gift takes some forethought, giving money tends to show that the giver took NO time in choosing the gift.

    Gift certificates (marginally) show that you took some time in picking out a gift – and for many “busy” people is an actual incentive to go out and actually shop for themselves.

    An American phrase you should learn: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  5. tzagotta says:

    I would never pay $105 for a $100 gift card. American Express is like that – I think it is pretty stupid.

  6. undisclosed says:

    There are a few things that are remarkably difficult to buy with cash (often travel related).

  7. Alex says:


    you can lose cash, and its lost. you lose an AMEX gift card, its insured, and AMEX will replace it.

  8. aa says:

    "An American phrase you should learn: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth."

    an interesting phrase indeed, one that would even had relevance, had he actually got it as gift, which is obviously not the case.


    it’s not an American phrase.


    Hanukah is not necessarily celebrated at the same time as Christmas.

    way to reinforce the egocentric Christian-American stereotype.

  9. Mike G says:

    A friend of mine works in the company that provides the software for this product. He says that in the UK the charge will be more like £20 rather than $5!!!

  10. Angela says:

    There are tons of benefits to giving a gift card like American Express or VISA – mostly because they are secure!  If you lose it, you can replace it.  Try doing that with cash.  Plus, do you always know what someone wants as a gift?  Both of these also have gift cards good at just malls.  If I give my grandchildren money, they could spend it on things they shouldnt.  But a mall gift card means they can spend it at anyplace in the malls that take VISA or American Express.  That’s almost everywhere!

    Like anything else, you have to be aware of what the fees and charges are.  But for me, its worth the extra $4 or $5 to know I’m giving a gift that can’t be "lost" and must be used to buy legitimate purchases.  Its a convenience – like valet parking or gift wrapping services.  You get what you pay for.

  11. Sha says:

    The main reason to spend the extra $5 is because you can get their names embossed on the card if you order it online (instead of picking it up at Safeway)…..it shows more forethought on your part, makes your gift card special and if you are purchasing for young kids, they think its cool to have a "credit card" with their name on it.

  12. cxc says:


    Just what we need, more kids thinking it "cool" to use credit cards.

  13. KSD says:

    Wow. Still disapproving of the colonies, huh? Oh well. At least your not speaking Deutsch right now. Moving on…

    Although Big Brother most definitely wants to know what your spending, that $5 US your spending provides security as others have mentioned. Plus, as Blake Handler stated, it shows a bit more thought was put into the gift as seen by the recipient.

    "Hanukah is not necessarily celebrated at the same time as Christmas." Semantics. The celebration of lights generally falls somewhere near Christmas.

    Lastly, American culture is heavily dependent on plastic cards to spend their money. Its purely a physiological issue, but they do it none the less. You dont feel like your spending when using plastic.  The credit companies know this and make use of it.

    An American saying "No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." – H. L. Mencken

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