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American Express Prepaid – Part One

American Express Prepaid Card

American Express Prepaid Cards – this is the second post in the series on American Express Prepaid cards and how you can earn miles and points by using prepaid cards.

You can read the rest of the series using the links below.  (Links will be active once all posts have been published.)

Part 1 of this series – Comparing American Express Prepaid Cards.
Part 2 of this series – the American Express Prepaid Card – Part One
Part 3 of this series – the American Express Prepaid Card – Part Two
Part 4 of this series – the American Express Bluebird Card
Part 5 of this series – the American Express for Target Card

This post will cover the American Express Prepaid Card, how to get the card and the features. The second part of this post will cover adding funds, fees, and how to maximize your miles and points earning ability.

What is the American Express Prepaid Card? 

American Express defines the American Express Prepaid Card as “a safe, easy way to manage spending every day.”

For the normal person, that would sum it up perfectly. But for the miles and points collector or someone who’s looking for a way to finance their dream vacation, the American Express Prepaid card is a way to make that dream a reality.

How to get an American Express Prepaid Card:

There are two ways you can get an American Express Prepaid Card:

a) You can purchase a temporary card from one of the following retailers: Office Depot, Staples, Walgreens, CVS.

The “cost” of the temporary card is $4.95 plus the dollar amount you choose to load onto the card.  The minimum load amount is $25 with a maximum load of $500.

Once you have your temporary card you then need to order your permanent card.

b) You can order a permanent card online from American Express.

Which method is best? 

You’ll save $4.95 if you skip the temporary card and order the permanent card online.

However, buying a temporary card will allow you to maximize your miles and points.

Maximizing your miles and points by buying the temporary American Express Prepaid Card:

1) Purchase a temporary card from Office Depot or Staples using your Chase Ink (Bold, Classic, or Plus) card and earn 5x Ultimate Rewards Points when making purchases at office supply stores.

A temporary American Express Prepaid Card loaded with $500 will yield 2,524 Ultimate Rewards Points ($500+4.95 x 5).

2) Purchase a temporary card from CVS or Walgreens using your American Express Hilton HHonors card and earn 6x Hilton HHonors Points when making purchases at drugstores.

A temporary American Express Prepaid Card loaded with $500 will yield 3,029 Hilton HHonors Points ($500+4.95 x 6).

Note: The 6x Hilton HHonors Points are only valid for American Express Hilton HHonors cards issued before January 16, 2013.  It’s also been reported that the drugstore benefit will be eliminated in May 2013.

3) Purchase Vanilla Reload/s from CVS or Walgreens using your Chase Freedom card and earn 5% cash back (or 5x Ultimate Rewards Points) for drugstore purchases from January 1 – March 31, 2013.

Thanks to reader Chris – note to self: writing posts at 0′ dark thirty is not a good idea least you forget crucial things like the Chase Freedom card…

4) Purchase Vanilla Reload/s from any participating retailer using a miles and points credit card to meet minimum spending requirements.

If you need to meet a minimum spend for a new credit card, purchasing a temporary American Express Prepaid Card is a good way to do so.

Features of the  American Express Prepaid Card:

  • No credit check – you won’t waste a credit card pull
  • Online account management – you can monitor your balance and view your transactions online
  • Smartphone App – view your account anywhere you have internet access
  • Text alerts – set up text alerts for transactions, low balances, reloads, etc.

Note: Links to prepaid and credit cards are provided as a courtesy. No financial compensation is received.

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Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.  
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining , $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of 3% cash back = an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases your first year.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 6.5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal , 4.5% cash back at drugstores and restaurants, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you can use your points to travel for free.
 

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Comparing American Express Prepaid Cards - Traveling Well For Less | Traveling Well For Less

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jc

Monday 4th of February 2013

Um... Are you not following the news? OD isn't carrying prepaid cards anymore. Game over. The bloggers killed it.

Traveling Well For Less

Monday 4th of February 2013

Hi JC,

All the ODs in my area still had plenty of (50+) variable prepaid cards as mentioned in Part https://www.travelingwellforless.com/2013/02/04/american-express-prepaid-card-part-two/ of this post.

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