American Express Gift Cards

    Overall Satisfaction Rating

    Based on 122 ratings out of 361 reviews

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

I redeemed miles for a $250 American Express Gift card under the understanding that I could use it online, specifically with PayPal. However, I have not been able to link the card to my PayPal account. I have been on the phone for at least 4 hours between AE and PP. Then I tried to use it a Canadian website, same thing. The error message says that the card was declined by the issuer.

I have talked to at least 5 incompetent people in AE and they all tell me different things. Finally I talked to a "senior" person who was the most incompetent of all. He said that my PayPal account is setup in Singapore (I am in Ontario Canada) and that if I want to use it, I could go to a store. The whole idea of the prepaid card was to use it online. Now I am stuck with a $250 that nobody wants to accept.

This seems to be an inside job from the reviews I'm reading on this site and other sites. I had this SERVE card for 2 years with no problem that I noticed. Well last Friday I received my direct deposit and almost immediately all of my $461 were person to person debited. Called AMEX serve immediately and they started what they call a fraud investigation and I would receive a call in 48 hours. Never received the call. I then received an email saying I violated their service agreement and my account has been permanently closed!! WTF!?

I called today about this "investigation" only to be told it's been declined and I'm not getting my money back. I'm in tears because now my car is in jeopardy of being repossessed. They do not care at all, telling me to file a police report. What is the police going to do. The so called supervisor was clearly reading from script and could careless. Do not get this card and if you have it, get all your money off of it and cut it up. This is the worst day of my life with no recourse.

I have found this card cannot be used at 99% of the places that I normally use - gas stations, grocery stores, department stores, etc. Additionally, I was unable to get cash from the card at numerous ATM machines. This card created so many inconveniences and wasted time and driving all over the place. It's even difficult trying to find business that accept this card through an on-line search. Never again.

I purchased a $75.00 prepaid American Express gift card for my son. When my son tried to use the card he was told by the cashier that the card was never activated when purchased. I have been in contact with Amex numerous times to resolve this situation. Each time I have been in contact Amex has thwarted my efforts to recoup my money. I sent Amex clear photocopies of the gift card and receipts. Several times they claimed the copies were illegible. I followed up with very clear color copies included in the attached documentation. Amex is giving me the big runaround after attempting to recoup my money. Please help. I have exhausted my options with Amex. I have uploaded documentation and receipts.

So I bought a $250 gift card to pay for my house rents because apparently I had issues with my credit card at the time. And I turned out paying to the bad guys who started by debiting $20 when I discovered and called customer service to have my card blocked to prevent access to my card which I was assured. Only then did I seat back to relax when I checked 3 days later and discovered more money had been taken out to the point of a negative balance as the lady (with a horrible accent) I spoke to didn't do anything to prevent access to card which I was totally shocked and dismayed at such a lack in work ethics and record irresponsibility of AMEX.

Called in immediately and was given the usual response to fax in front and back of card, drivers license, purchase receipt and brief description and that I will be contacted within a few days or call back to check in. I did all these and wasn't even given a case number and when I called back, first thing was asking for a case number which I wasn't given to begin with. I had to start explaining from scratch to all the support guys I called which I find absoeffinglutely outrageous!

Up to a month now, still nothing done and ironically the responses I get each time I called indirectly accusing me as though I didn't call to initially report the case and keep getting different responses each time, typical of their customer service - "unfortunately your card has no balance", "re-fax your documents", "the resolution team will examine your case..." all of which never makes sense and worst of all why do you keep saying, "Your call is being recorded for quality purposes" when you never and can't access the information or refer to previous conversation to go through the validity of the caller's claims. Never am I going to be using such a crappy company with sketchy service. BE ADVISED AND TELL YOUR LOVED ONES TO STAY CLEAR!!

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This is literally the 2nd AMEX gift card that I have received in the last 5 years that I cannot use. I called up 2 months ago because this last one expired. The person on the phone said - "yes there is $100 still on the card. Fax us the front and back of the card along with your driver's license and they will issue you a new gift card." 2 months later, NOTHING BACK! So I call again - 877 axp gift. They are now telling me the card was never funded!! Do you really think someone just gave me a gift card and didn't fund it? This is the absolute worst department to deal with. I will NEVER buy another gift card from AMEX ever again. I am so disgusted. This is total FRAUD!!

I would not even rate them with one star. They are pretty bad at helping customers. They don't have a standard answer, kept giving me different answers each time. Hold times were long but I am pretty sure they don't know what they are doing over there. I lost my gift card without even opening the package and they kept insisting that I need to have the package in order for them to look up the card number. Then they said the receipt with which the card was purchased would suffice. I gave them all the numbers on the receipt but they couldn't find any information. They apparently don't know what number to look for exactly. They did not even provide any case number but asked for it when I called in for update.

Now they asked me to fax the receipt and identification information along with the proof of residence to the resolution department and boom they denied after the fax was received. When I asked to talk to the resolution department the answer I got was "they will not talk to you." What kind company doesn't want to talk to their customer. Maybe it was a gift card so they did not feel liable but the cardholder car rental insurance department is worse than that. It feels like they are all about business and no customer care.

I placed an order online for some items and used my $3000 American Express gift card. The order didn't go through because the shoes I wanted were sold out. Nordstrom wrote an immediate email to me telling me the shoes I wanted were sold out. However when I went to use the gift card for another purchase 3 days later the website is saying "0" balance. American Express is "holding" the money for the order. When you call the number on the gift card you reach someone in India. My calls to representatives for the Platinum and Gold cards (both of which we have) were not helpful. They tell you, "You can only call India." NO one from American Express in the US backs these cards. If you want to lose money- buy a gift card. Don't do it! They do not refund money.

I got an American Express gift card for $100 as a holiday gift. I tried to use it to make a purchase online (a donation), and the first purchase on PayPal went off just fine. However, there was a $1 service charge put in which I then had to look up online what that meant (it would be helpful if there was an explanation of that on the Amex website). According to what I found online it appeared the charge would eventually clear. So then I tried to use the rest of the balance on another website (another donation) and it was denied. However, the amount I tried to charge was on the card, so my balance was now 0$ but none of the money went where it was supposed to, now it was just in holding. It took about a week and a half for it to clear. Then I tried the purchase again with no luck. I even tried doing one less dollar to account for the 1$ service fee. No luck.

I waited another week and a half and went back to the PayPal site I used the first time. Again I tried and it didn't work. Finally after I waited for the charge to clear yet again, I was able to get rid of the remaining $49 (with $1 still on the card which was in holding and there's no way to use it now). Such a frustrating experience and I would never want one of these gift cards again, nor would I purchase one for another person.

I had 6.34 dollars on the card. I went to put it towards a payment and they wouldn't let the payment go through. Then they charged me a dollar every time I tried to have the payment go through. I will never get another American Express Gift Card. I want them to return the money they took from the card.

I purchased 8 American Express Gift Cards at CVS. After giving these out as gifts I was notified by a recipient that the card was declined. I checked all 8 of the cards on Amex Gift Card website and only 3 of the 8 were showing activated. I immediately contacted Amex Gift Card customer service. Was told I could not return the non-activated cards to CVS and that I would have to fax a copy of front/back of each card -- my receipt, copy of my driver license and a detail of what had occurred. Was told by a supervisor that after this info was reviewed that the cards would then be activated within 24 hours. After 48 hours and the cards still not showing activated. I called again and was told that my copy of DL was not readable. No one had bothered to call me and tell me this. I had to call them.

So I enlarged my DL (they couldn't even explain why they needed this other than it was a policy) and re-faxed it. Well 5 days later and cards still not working. So I called again! I'm now told that they are reissuing the cards and will be mailed by USPS within 10 days and they cannot provide any type of tracking #. Their customer service is horrible. They are not in the US (in India) so you have to speak with a foreigner with a horrible accent. I can only hope to actually receive new cards in the mail.

I received a $250 Amex Gift Card from my work. I let it sit for about 5 months in the packaging along with the gift receipt. When the holidays came up I decided it was time to use it. I go to use it at a local store and it shows the balance is only $52. I immediately call Amex Gift Card customer service and am connected to someone in another country whom I can barely understand. It's obvious the customer service representatives (I have spoken to several during my still ongoing ordeal), read from some sort of script and are only allowed to say about 10 different responses. Completely useless. Anyhow, during my conversation it was revealed my card was used by a known fraudulent merchant that they have had issues with in the past.

It took some digging for me to finally get "Victor" to admit that. He at first told me the merchant's name, and then the address. He told me the address was in the US and when I tried to look up the merchant and address, they did not exist. I knew it was not a valid address immediately. He was unable to even give me a city or state. He then admitted it was a known fraudulent merchant whom they have had issues with in the past. In my opinion this should have been sufficient evidence to refund the gift card, but it was not. I had to fax in my ID, front and back of gift card itself, front and back of packaging, and the gift receipt. In about 10 days they mail me a response, which basically says the receipt would not suffice because it is not the original purchase receipt. Why would they require the original receipt when it is a GIFT CARD, which is usually given as a GIFT and I had the GIFT receipt. I don't think people usually buy GIFT cards for themselves?

I had to call for the third time and the customer representative kept having to put me on hold so he could go talk to "the people that handle the issue". I was not allowed to talk directly to these people which was absolutely ridiculous. I had to stay on hold while he played messenger. Unacceptable. Basically I was given the same response. Without the original purchase receipt they could not do anything, regardless if they knew there had been fraudulent activity/security breach. So in a nutshell, American Express will do nothing even if they acknowledge there is fraud. They put sole responsibility on the consumer.

GIFT CARDS tend to be given as GIFTS, so it is highly unlikely that the recipient would have access to an original purchase receipt, AND a GIFT receipt will not suffice. Completely illogical. Furthermore, how many gift givers really keep the receipts for months on end? American Express is one of the richest companies in the world and somehow still manages to be the worst company I have ever dealt with. Ultimately they still got paid and have proven they don't care if the consumer takes the hit.

Never buy these cards. Like others have said they start charging maintenance fees and will eat your entire balance over time. Because you know, they have to send magic elves to come polish the cards for you at night.

I was gifted two $500 American Express Gift Cards for a house warming present to help with some home improvement. I opened one of the cards and used it. No problem to purchase some painting supplies from Lowes for $115. The card didn't get used for a while and sat in my room with the other gift card still in the package. 2 months later, I tried to used the gift card today and found that it had a balance of $0. Looked into it and saw there was a transaction from "BARNES BROTHERS PRODUCT 28 FAIRMONT S CAMBRIDGE 840 - Partial Purchase", which I did not make.

I called the 800 number and it turns out that they have had issues with this specific account. To get the money back on that card I need to send them the original gift card receipt (who keeps these), an ID, the scanned gift card, and a letter stating why I'm sending this information to some fax number. I am going to try this but definitely not holding my breath. Luckily my family kept the original receipts. The card was purchased from Walgreens BTW. So I figured maybe the info got stolen when I used it from Lowes, who knows...

Then I opened the other card, brand new from the sealed envelope, trying to make the purchase and come to find out it has $5 left on it!!! Brand new right out of the box. Three transactions totaling $455 were made with it online, before I even opened it up. I called the 800 number again and was told by the foreigners that there was nothing I could do... Not giving up I spoke with their supervisor with the same response... Not giving up again I spoke with their supervisor who informed me to fax the same info for the other card and they will get back to me within 10 business days. I'm perturbed to say the least that AMEX has such a janky gift card program, but reluctantly I am going to fax them all the info they want and hope for the best. But honestly I probably lost $900. NEVER BUY AMEX GIFT CARDS!!!

Got a gift card for a client, it was hacked and AMEX knows it was fraud. They told me they were aware of a security breach, but still needed me to send 5 documents. One of the 5 were a copy of the receipt, which I told them I did not have. So they said they would be fine with a credit card receipt from my credit provider. 15 days later I am told they need the copy of the receipt from the original purchase. Told them I did not have it and they are telling me tough **. I don't understand how you can make your clients take a financial hit when you could not put the right security measures in place.

I am a new Sprint customer. I made the switch from AT&T on September 26, 2015 based on the promotion. The promotion was "payoff" of any termination fee to be incurred. During October, I relocated BUT I made the change in Sprint system. However, American Express maintained the old address (which have new people in the home) but I notified them on November 11 of the address change. The card was to be received between the dates of November 10-13. Anyhow, I spoke with a supervisor at American Express on November 11 who promised to REISSUE the card and send it via UPS. I called AE on November 24 for a status.

Their inexperienced, ignorant "I'm going to get paid whether you get your card or not" Customer Service Representative confirmed that it was mailed out on November 17. I would have to wait for UPS to deliver it. No tracking information available. I called again on November 28 and another AE Supervisor informed me that the card was not reissued. It now leaves Sprint, their customer, in an awkward position. As far as I am concerned, AE are not fulfilling their contractual obligation to Sprint, leaving Sprint not fulfilling their obligation to me, their customer. American Express fails to be the quality business that is so represented by their many marketing tools.

I rec'd 2 gift cards from my employer and when I tried to use them in Curacao they were not accepted. Since I had to activate them I was concerned about them and sure enough when I checked the balance not even 30 days later there had been 2 debts already taken one for $1 and then for $399.00. I was horrified so I called American Express and was told the payments were pending for 8 days. I explained these were not my purchases and please stop this transaction from taking place. I was told I would have to handle this from the vendor which was non profit organization I had never heard of. Foundation for the Global.

I called multiple times and only received a voice mail. I emailed them from their information from the website. NO response. I called American Express back for help and explained this was not going anywhere. NO help. They continued to tell me they could not do anything about it. This is truly FRAUD. American Express should be responsible and do something about this. I will spread this news to everyone to be cautious about purchasing American Express Gift Cards. I know I will never as I would not like this to happen to anyone else!

I've always liked the idea of a gift card over cash and so I tried to order a generous gift card for a star employee for her wedding, paying a little extra for next-day delivery in time for the wedding and honeymoon. After I ordered it (and charged it to my business platinum card) I read some pretty bad reviews here and was concerned that my employee might 1) lose it and not be able to replace it; or 2) be charged some kind of monthly fee. I had also not realized that the card cannot be used outside of the US and because this was a wedding gift where it might logically be used on the honeymoon (outside of US), I had second thoughts.

When I called to cancel it, the person on the other end of the phone tried very strenuously to talk me out of it. She told me it had already gone out. When I insisted she said I could void it, but that the couple would still get the card in the mail. I ultimately decided to go ahead and let the order stand, so that it would be received before the honeymoon trip, and I would explain and apologize about restrictions. But it would still be a nice and timely gift.

Two days went by. Then I received a message about a fraud alert. When I returned the call, I got voicemail. I called again later (not sure if I would have ever received a call back), I was told that AmEx suspected fraud. So I answered all the questions and they told me it had been reinstated and that the gift card would go out in two days. Not only was that too late, but of course I felt angry because I'd been told it had gone out. I completely understand about the prevalence of fraud, but the experience should have been handled better. I wasn't treated with respect, and I honestly think the customer service outsourcing has gone a bit too far. The people I spoke to sounded like robots and the entire stupid experience undermined my confidence in the American Express brand. If this is how they treat cardholders looking to spend thousands of dollars, then I can take my business elsewhere.

These cards are a rip off. I was given two cards - $700 total. They sat in my cabinet for 9 months. When I went to use them, they were with a balance of zero. Amex allowed a third party to register them. Who knew you had to do this? Their response was better luck next time.

First off, this is a gift card from American Express... a company that is known for their customer service which is the reason I choose them. Secondly, their customer service for gift cards is overseas and their representatives read from a script and are incompetent. They can barely handle simple questions on their own. I use the word "they" because it was not the first time I encountered this with American Express and secondary services. Also, they have "American" in their name and they outsource to India? Just a thought..

The story started like this. Several weeks ago, my fiancee ordered a gift card for $100. We waited a week or two for delivery and then never received a response from the deliverer. That is when I started to get worried so I we called and asked them to confirm delivery address. We were put on hold 3 times for simple questions like to confirm the order number. By this point it sounded like the representative was reading from a script. We were basically told it was used and there was nothing they can do.

We asked to speak to a supervisor and asked questions like what was the tracking number, when it was delivered, and where was it used. They did not have a tracking number which is strange because they charged $6 for delivery fee. Personally, I know for a fact that for $6 at USPS you get a tracking number using priority mail when you send a flat envelope. In conclusion, we will never use Amex gift cards again and as a almost 13 years Amex credit card holder, I have begun to question their quality.

Lost my Amex gift card a little over a week ago. They asked me for the number, I did not know it. Piece of advice is write the card number down when you get it or take a picture with your smartphone to avoid the mess. Luckily I had the casing, it came in so I still had hope. However, what a long arduous process it is to get a replacement sent. They need to research (and all their customer service people have a thick foreign accent). Meanwhile I faxed my license, utility bill and the case it came in. Guess I will follow up in a few days to see if there is any hope. Should not take this long. Yes it was my fault that I lost it, but wow, what an annoying process this is.

Rec'd a gift card after joining Sprint 2 years ago. Card had a date that we have not arrived at so I put in my wallet and saved. Went to use it the other day and it had $0 balance. Got on line and found out over the last two years they have deducted $3 a month for service fees because I did not use it. The date on the front said it still was good. In small print on the back it states the $3 charge stipulation. God Bless America and its new way of ripping people off. They got $50 from Sprint and $50 from me. And thanks for the customer service rep located in God knows where who knew 4 English words. You certainly have covered all base for screwing people.

I bought a prepaid American Express card at Walmart. When I got home I went to register it and it made me provide picture proof of a social security number and driver's license. I called them and the first time they said they would bypass it and transfer us and never put us through. The second time they said there was nothing that they could do.

VERY ANGRY: First off, I bought the card to pay my monthly Virgin Mobile $35 fee, it didn't work. I spent a long time on the phone with Virgin Mobile, but guess what, the guy talking to me was awesome. He gave me a one time only free month for all the issues this stupid AMEX gift card was giving me. He said "so go try to spend it somewhere else (these cards are non-returnable/refundable.)" Fine, so I lost a set of cosmetic teeth I previously got from IMAKO. These are great, very great temporary solution to teeth issues. Anyways, since they cost $34.95, I thought perfect I'll just get online like I did the first time and order them using this gift card. I clicked the tag for gift cards, entered the AMEX info. It looked like it was trying to process but then would just stop and I'm looking at the same screen. I continue to hit "proceed" or "continue" to get my payment to go through. Eventually I got a message saying something to the effect, this is working.

I go online to check the balance on the AMEX card, $11. Every time I hit proceed/continue there was a charge and it appears as this PAYPAL MARK AVS $1.00 with a long reference number. I tried emailing PAYPAL, but because I don't remember my login info, they won't accept an email from me. Per the email they sent (said I had to do some confirmation bs, well I can't because idk my password), so their email says we want to help you but we can't if I don't ask my question from a confirmed account.

I emailed IMAKO, hopefully they will be able to help since their site uses this system, the money has to be somewhere. ln the meantime, I can't smile cause my cosmetic teeth are missing and more so because of what this stupid AMEX card is putting me through. I'M SO upset. That was literally my last money. Needed replacement of teeth for nursing rotations. I won't smile without them. DO NOT EVER BUY AMERICAN EXPRESS GIFT CARD. YOU ARE THROWING YOUR TIME AND MONEY INTO THEIR GREEDY SCAM OF A BUSINESS.

On 15 June 2015 Sprint approval for two $350 dollars AmEx cards that AmEx claims was mailed on 20 June 2015 yet never received. Today 20 July 2015, I get phone call from Sprint executive Dianah, asking if my re-issued cards had come - no I reply. And called AmEx who inform me the cards are not even scheduled to be mailed until after 4 August 2015 - well beyond Sprint's false advertising of 15 days after approval to receive these cards - NOR does Sprint admit to knowing the restrictions and usage fees attached to these cards. Email me for federal court case number as I did file it as class action suit due to nearly 4000 complaints online about Sprint and American Express. 350 thus far have joined in the suit.

I was just about to purchase $2500 worth of gift cards for gifts when I read the reviews on the American Express Gift Cards. I am so happy to have found this site. I feel as if I just dodged a bullet! Thank you ConsumerAffairs.

I purchased a $100 Amex gift card for a friend. I made the purchase at the local post office. When my friend tried to make a purchase, she was told the card had not been properly activate at the post office, although it says "activated" on my receipt. I contacted the PO and they supposedly would take care of it. I had to fax them receipt, front/back image of Amex card, driver license. Weeks passed with no progress with Amex. I contact the customer service number on the back of the card and Amex told me they have no record of any kind about this card number. I faxed them the documents myself - multiple times. Each time Amex claims to never have gotten any documents.

At some point they must have received the receipt because I got a call from the "concern team" in India with an case ID number. I faxed the "missing documents" a couple of more times and each time Amex claims they never received them although on my fax record it says it was sent OK. I faxed from Staples and from efax online. I called back the number from India and got someone on the line and asked for an email address which they reluctantly provided. I emailed the same documents and called back. They received everything in the email but did not want to respond to the email stating that all received OK. Almost 48 hours passed but I did get that email confirmation. However, it is almost 2 weeks later and I have not heard a thing.

Please note that the customer service reached by the number on the back of the card cannot see any updates to a case the "concern" team is working on since latter does not update the computer system. So it is futile to call customer service. Why is Amex allowed to continue this racket? This foolishness is designed to wear people down so they give up and Amex gets to keep all that money from cards that do not work. I will update this post when I contact the "concern" team this coming week. Email address of "concern team" in India is Retail Seller Support.

It's a long drawn-out story but to sum it up, my experience mirrors those of everyone else regarding the Amex Prepaid Gift Cards. They get declined at most places. Even when declined, the funds are still taken (or "held temporarily") from the card, which makes no sense. I have yet to get back a $21 DECLINED amount. When used at a gas station on an outside gas pump, all of your funds will be depleted immediately and held for up to 8 business days. It took 4 for the balance from that to return to my card. I had simply gotten $15 in gas and the remaining funds were then held for 4 days. Sometimes they don't even return those funds, unless you complain. And don't get me started on the "customer service" over in India.

THERE IS HOPE: I contacted a local news station in Utah - KSL Utah - and they want to do a story on this scam Amex is running. Please contact them with your story and be thorough with your information about your experience.

I had a $200 gift card from AmEx. I bought a car battery and discarded the AmEx as it no longer had balance. Lo and behold I had to return the battery and Autozone credited the card I no longer had. I thought, "Well, it's a good thing I registered it! They'll have my info and issue a replacement." Boy, was I wrong. I have logged in 21 hours of phone time, driven to fax machines, drove to store to get receipt, called, faxed, wrote. And I still don't have my money. They say they didn't get the fax. They say my "issue" number doesn't exist. They say my driver's license was too blurry. I give them the name of the supervisor I spoke to and they say, "We do not have a ** here in the company."

So, what are they? Making up names to pass the issue to the next phone slave? Every time I do or send what they ask, they come up with something else. I got so mad I sent them everything they asked for again, a not so nice letter, my first grade report card, my birth certificate, favorite color, my dog's name and my bra size. Still waiting to see what American Slow as Molasses does, but I'm not holding my breath, as I'm too young to die.

We received a $100 gift card from our neighbor as a thank you for some things my husband had done for them. We put it on the side for a few months and decided to use it today. We were told by the cashier that only $50.00 was available???? I called American Express and they told me a purchase was made last month for $49.75. She gave me the name and number of the company (which I never heard of) and told me to contact them for satisfaction. They are not going to care -- they got their money. Can't figure out how this has happened since the card has been in my house in the original packaging and no one has touched it since we received it. Just another ripoff.