Whenever I mention Simon Mall gift cards, I get asked about corporate accounts. Simon Mall offers discounts and higher purchase limits for corporate accountholders. At my local mall, corporate accountholders can buy up to 24 gift cards for $3.95 with a credit card. Those who purchase 24 – 99 gift cards pay a discounted rate of $3.50. These rates used to be a lot lower, but this is what I was quoted recently. Corporate accounts are meant for small and large businesses alike, which offer their employees gift cards as performance incentives. At my local Simon Mall, these tend to be local car dealerships. Not only do they pay a lower fee for large visa gift card purchases, but they also have larger purchase limits. So should we all sign up for corporate accounts to score these discounts and higher purchase limits? No.
I’ve been buying gift cards at my local Simon Mall for over three years now and I’ve built up a friendly rapport with my reps. They know about my blog and even the manager is ok with my gift card purchases. However, early on I was warned against opening a corporate account. My rep explained that while they’re ok with “gamers” buying up to $10,000 worth of gift cards every day for churning purposes, that is not how they want their corporate accounts to be utilized. In fact, they wanted me pretty early on not to apply for a corporate account because they know I’m merely churning gift cards for miles and that is not the intended use of their discounted gift cards.
This echoes what a reader I met at the Chicago Seminars a few years ago told me. In fact, he heard through a friend of his that Simon Mall’s corporate headquarters is aware of our activities. They’re fine with it as long as we don’t try to take advantage of the corporate discount. Why? I’m guessing it’s not much of a money maker for them. Not to mention there are probably compliance issues that arise from these large gift card purchases. So it’s probably why they prefer to keep “gamers” in a separate lane.
Regardless of the reason, I’m going to abide by my local Simon Mall’s request not to take advantage of the corporate Visa gift card discount. Sure, I have an actual business and could justify large gift card purchases. But we all know I’m not buying Visa gift cards for my non-existent employees, so why risk destroying that relationship? Nowadays, I mostly buy my gift cards online anyway since its cheaper. When Simon Mall has their annual Visa gift card sale, I really take advantage and stock up. Between Visa gift card deals online and at office supply stores, plus the occasional Amex Offers credit, I’m good on MS sources and don’t really need to do more.
So should you sign up for a Simon Mall corporate account to get discounts on Visa gift cards? I would not recommend it. Simon Mall has been great when it comes to tolerating “gamers” as they call us. Let’s not ruin that relationship by getting into corporate account territory – something they’ve asked us time and again not to do.
I want to hear from you: Do you have a Simon Mall corporate account? Have you received any warnings about using it for manufactured spending?