Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Amex Offers - Fairway Groceries

My father went to college in Manhattan at the uptown university. As an undergraduate, he and his roommates would sometimes shop at the bigger grocery store, Fairway.

It had a large retail footprint (relative to other Manhattan groceries) and had the brands he grew up with.

However, where we live today, that college Fairway location (and others in Manhattan) were very far, so we had to settle for other markets, such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods which were within walking distance.

Unfortunately, those options often didn't carry the brands that my father wanted. He could only do so much "private label" or "smaller brands" when it came to his regular food.

Sure, he could get by with Trader Joe's cereal or unbranded produce from time to time, but for his regular consumption, he wanted his trusted Dorito's, Hotpockets or Heinz Ketchup - especially when they were cheaper than the small batch, local companies that couldn't mass manufacture to scale.

So when Fairway started expanding into different Manhattan markets, my family was quite excited. We have been shopping at Fairway pretty frequently.

Then a few weeks ago, American Express started offering $15 off any $75 Fairway purchase when registering your Amex cards and using it at Fairway.

Similar to Small Business Saturday, the more Amex cards you had to register, the more frequently you could take advantage of this offer. We had the offer appear on 8 of our family's Amex cards plus 4 of the Amex Serve cards we have. So 12 cards x $15 savings = $180 of free groceries.

The offer, however, would expire on June 30, 2015, so we didn't have much time to shop for $900 worth of groceries to unlock the $180 in rebates.

Of course, we could have just overstocked on Tostito's with Lime for the rest of 2015. But my father knew that we had another way to lock in our savings without overcrowding our small Manhattan kitchen like a snack food hoarder... the Fairway Gift Card.

By "pre-paying" $75 of grocery spend, we'd get $15 back on each gift card we purchased. Since we knew that we'd eventually go through all 12 of these gift cards over the next several months, we weren't actually spending more than we would have normally - just pushing that spend forward to June. As long as we didn't lose any of the gift cards or let them expire (they don't expire), we'd be just fine.

At the end of the day, you may wonder why we'd go through so much trouble to save $180, but if you've learned anything about my family, we're really good at math, and (as I'm learning in school) even little numbers really add up.

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