AmEx for Target: $400/week credit card ATM withdrawals for 1.3%+ in certain cities

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by skynerd, Jul 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    I would like to thank Astrophsx for sharing his discovery of this card at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/16822687-post409.html .

    The "American Express for Target" reloadable prepaid card is being tested in Atlanta, Baltimore (reportedly includes DC and much of Northern Virginia), Chicago, Denver and Miami metropolitan areas.

    Fees:
    Reload: $3, reloadable by Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
    ATM Withdrawal: $2
    Annual: $10 (works out to ~0.1% for depositing 1k every 5 weeks in the scheme discussed below)

    Limits:
    Maximum reload $1000/card/day (based on $3/reload, cheapest fee = 0.3%),
    Maximum reload $5000/person/28 days [Thanks, MyTravels, for the correction.]
    Maximum ATM withdrawals $200/card/week (based on $2/withdrawal, cheapest fee = 1%).
    Maximum cards/person: 2, cannot be opened same day.
    Maximum card value: $2,500

    One application: load $2k into two cards, withdraw $400/week at a no-fee ATM for a cost of ~1.4% + lost interest over a month + your time visiting a no-fee ATM (.3% for deposit + 1% for withdrawals + ~.1% for annual fees = ~1.4%).

    URL's:
    http://www.americanexpress.com/target
    https://www212.americanexpress.com/...toid=844a7f72f2faa210VgnVCM200000d0faad94RCRD
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1100165/

    An unusual feature of this prepaid card is that it is reloadable from other Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards. blase at FlyerTalk reports being able to purchase a $500 card with a British Airways Visa, and sf3895 at milepoint reports being able to reload it with a prepaid Visa card.

    This card is linked to your social security number, so I suspect that, within the limits of financial privacy laws, AmEx might remember everything you do with it forever.

    That said, I would be curious to know if anyone loaded this card from an AmEx gift card purchased via the bigcrumbs 1.6% rebate or bought an AmEx GC via bigcrums using this card.

    Other ideas:
    1. In addition to being rechargeable online, this card can be recharged at participating Target stores, which might make reloads look like ordinary shopping at Target, maybe reducing the chance that a credit card issue would try to reclassify the transaction as a cash advance, or start mysteriously cancelling your AmEx GC orders, etc. Recharging in the store might also make the program look better to management if it seems to pull customers into Target stores. However this is all very speculative.
    2. The relatively low load fee and high maximum value might occasionally have other applications, such as combining or cashing out other gift cards.

    Please feel free to post problems, information and your bright ideas about using this card. I plan to try to summarize by editing this message on an ongoing basis.

    Edited 7/31/2011: Thanks to MyTravels for pointing out that the $10/card annual fee would add about 0.1% to the costs of depositing $1k per card every 5 weeks, and that the maximum reload per person per 28 days in the terms and conditions is $5k, not $4k. I am sorry I don't know a way to change "1.3%+" to "~1.4%" in the thread subject. Also, thanks to BeachMiles for noting "Baltimore test area includes Washington DC and much of Northern Virginia."]

    Edited 8/3/2011: Thanks to blase at FlyerTalk and sf3895 at milepoint for reporting success with buying the card using a mileage earning visa and reloading with a visa gift card, respectively.
     
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  2. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    reserved.
     
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  3. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    Is this any different than the AAA prepaid AmEx? I was think I should try loading money on it at a AAA office rather than over the AmEx website and seeing if that would work out for me, similar to the "adding at target"

    Also, if you are adding to this at target, the CO double miles promotions for retail should work. I know that's a basic example of creative thoughts, but that poped into my head.
     
  4. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    "You cannot access funds from ATMs outside of the United States."​

    "If you make a purchase at an establishment in a foreign currency, it will be converted into US dollars on the date it is processed by us or our agents. Unless a particular rate is required by applicable law, you authorize us to choose a conversion rate that is acceptable to us for that date. Currently, the conversion rate we use for a transaction in a foreign currency is no greater than (a) the highest official conversion rate published by a government agency, or (b) the highest interbank conversion rate identified by us from customary banking sources on the conversion date or the prior business day."​

    Doesn't seem to have an additional foreign transaction fee.
     
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  5. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    Interesting, the AAA card works in international ATMs.

    I only am ragging on it cause I just got my the monthly junk mail form AAA today right before logging on and seeing this thread.
     
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  6. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    Thanks! I had not heard of AAA prepaid AmEx.

    I infer that AAA reloadable AmEx is pretty new, judging by this June 8th article about its "launch": http://www.paymentsjournal.com/Page.aspx?id=5327 . From visiting http://www.americanexpress.com/aaa , which also implies that the card is only available through the "Southern New England" AAA, I see that the card member agreement is different from that of the Target card. In particular, the AAA agreement does not seem to mention loading from non-AmEx credit cards. The Target card currently does, and that makes it much probable that one could earn rewards from loading it, but I have seen no reports of actual results with either the AAA or Target cards.
     
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  7. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    I will check it out at the AAA office next week. I need to stop by there anyway.
     
  8. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    The AAA Prepaid Amex doesn't have any reload fees. But it seems to double as your AAA membership card, so that would seem to prohibit members from other regions from getting one.
     
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  9. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    It seems the T&C's have already changed (max reload now listed as $5,000)

    T&C's
    The amount of each load must be at least $.01 US and cannot be more than $1,000 US. You may not load more than $1,000 US to your Card in a 24 hour period. The maximum balance of Available Funds loaded to any one of your Cards at any time is $2,500 US. You may not load more than $5,000 US to your Card(s) during any twenty-eight (28) day period. This maximum balance of Available Funds and monthly loading limit may be changed subject to our risk management guidelines. We may change these amounts at any time for legal, risk management or security purposes. Maximum load amounts per transaction by Funding Sources may vary and may be changed at any time at our sole discretion. You will not receive any interest on the funds loaded on your Card. Any funds loaded on your Card are NOT insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The ability to reload funds at certain Target store locations in certain states may be restricted.

    To get cash, use the “withdrawal from checking” option at a participating ATM. Subject to the amount of Available Funds on your Card, you may use the Card to obtain up to $200 US per week, plus any fees assessed.
     
  10. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    duplicate
     
  11. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    This was previously stated as $400/wk. I wonder how they will handle frequently changing T&Cs for people who have already bought the card. Some people would be pretty ticked off to shell out $10 for the card and then have the limits of a feature cut in half. (Edited to add: I might have misunderstood this earlier. I'm not certain whether the original T&Cs were for $200 or $400 per card.)

    And how is a week defined? Sat - Sun? Any 7-day period? If cash is withdrawn on Friday, can more cash be withdrawn on Monday?

    I see that the AAA Prepaid Amex offers purchase protection but the Amex for Target does not:


    If an eligible purchase accidently breaks or is stolen, don’t worry. You can be reimbursed—up to 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $1,000 for each occurrence and up to $50,000 per Cardmember account per calendar year.​
     
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  12. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    Although frequent changes to a program that is being "tested" would not surprise me, I do not believe that there have been changes in the casses MyTravels and SC Flyer mention. In particular, if you look under "BUYING AND SETTING UP YOUR CARD" (their capitalization), you should see "You can open only one Card per day and maximum of two Cards per person" (my bold).
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I can't think of any examples of no-fee ATM machines any longer. My principal bank, First Republic, reimburses me for all ATM fees incurred, so I really don't bother looking for no-fee machines - but I really can't remember one in ages that didn't ask me to consent to a fee.

    Does anyone know of one in Midtown?
     
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  14. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Most Credit Union had foreign transaction free ATM's & AllPoint claims not to either
     
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  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Nice. They purport to have one 0.69 miles from my house. I'll check it out.
     
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  16. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    The only change that I pointed out was that the maximum reload is listed as $5000/person/28 days while your original post has $4000/person/28 days. Either there was change or a typo..
     
  17. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    I am sorry for not having read your message carefully enough before responding. I will try to be better about this in the future. I did not save the terms and conditions when I originally posted, but I have done so now. Most likely the original figure was my mistake. In any case, I have corrected my original posting here and on FlyerTalk. Thank you for catching this.

    By the way, I also corrected my original posting to reflect the fact that the $10/card/year annual fee would work out to an additional 0.1% for someone withdrawing the maximum $200/card/week. Thanks to MyTravels catching that too. [Edited 12/31/2011: I had originally credited the wrong person for this. Sorry again.]
     
  18. FlashBack
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    FlashBack Silver Member

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    5k, you might want to check again. You might want to get the info straight before starting a thread. It is nice you give credit to someone who didn't even know what card they were talking about.
     
  19. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    No worries, welcome to MP and thanks for trying to be a positive contributor!!
     
  20. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    I noticed the Baltimore test area includes Washington DC and much of Northern Virginia. :)
     
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  21. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    Security tip: use an incorrect PIN if you're going to test ATM's to try to find one that is fee free. When I declined an ATM's initial offer to look up my balance, and then just asked to make a withdrawal, many ATM's took me to the screen that asks the additional withdrawal fee apparently before doing anything that would reveal that my PIN was incorrect.

    This might not always be so. For example, I used my real PIN at 7-11 and declined the transaction when the machine told me it want to charge me $2.95, and my bank activity now shows a withdrawal followed by a matching deposit.

    By the way, my ATM at work is apparently fee free (I actually did a withdrawal). I have not yet tried local ATM's identified by allpointnetwork or moneypass.
     
  22. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    For those curious I checked out the AAA office today, they told me everything about the prepaid amex was done on the website and not in the office. (If i looked less like a programmer and more like an old person it could have been a different story, but they seemed to think 'This guy should figure this batman out on his computer')
     
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  23. FlashBack
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    FlashBack Silver Member

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    What are you talking about? Regulations require ATM’s to disclose the fee ahead of time. If you don’t agree to the fee just hit cancel. No need to play these games!!!
     
  24. skynerd

    skynerd Active Member

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    I was referring to criminals stealing your PIN, although using an incorrect PIN should also protect you from the scenario where you find a no-fee ATM, so the ATM just goes ahead and tries the withdrawal, but you actually don't want the transaction to go through in any case, perhaps because your bank charges its own internal fee for "foreign" ATM's, or you just don't want to withdraw any money right then.

    Come to think of it, a more important risk mitigation would be use an ATM card from a near empty bank account that you never use, if you happen to have one.
     
  25. I picked up my card last night. I had to show my ID and I had to enter my personal information. (Glad I have Life Lock):) They are mailing me my pin number. Today I was able to load the card with a prepaid visa card (left over from coins). When I get the pin, I will attempt a withdrawal.
     

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