Flying the airlines used to be the traditional way of collecting miles on airlines for that dream trip, but thanks to the advent of "mileage earning" credit cards (where you earn miles/points based on spend on the credit card) it has become easier than ever to earn those miles to redeem for your dream vacation trip or that future trip which you have been planning for a while. With the help of credit cards, some effort from your end and lot of available techniques you could rack up those miles for your "award travel redemption". Some of these techniques are:
Let's see few methods which you can follow to generate the miles/points on the credit card of your choice by "Buying/Selling gift cards".
Method 1: Buy gift card online for merchants that awards points/miles for their gift card purchase and exchanging those gift card in store for more valuable gift card.
A common example where above method is used is Sears. Sears usually awards miles/points for purchase of their physical gift cards through various portals. For example if you earn 10 miles/$ spend ( or 10% Cash-back) on purchase of sears gift cards through the portal, later on which you can use to purchase Visa/MasterCard in the store (provided the store sells those and cashier is fine doing it). You could also use Sears gift card to buy other merchant gift cards such as Amazon or Shell (provided they are available and cashier is fine doing it). Purchasing $1k of Sears gift card would generate 10k miles/points ( or $100 cash-back) which could help you for that future trip.
Method 2: Buy gift cards online at discounted rate and sell these gift cards at minimal loss on "gift card exchange sites".
A common example of these would be to Buy gift cards online on Ebay when Ebay bonuses it by giving percentage discount of 8% or more or 4X or greater bonus Ebay Bucks. These could be then sold to various gift card re-sellers. You could scan through "giftcardgranny" for the resell value you would get before you buy the gift card on Ebay so that you know your profit/loss before hand.
Method 3: Buy discounted gifts cards online for merchants that allow buying Visa/MasterCard or other better value merchant gifts card in-store or online using their gift cards.
Again Sears would qualify here for in-store gift card purchase using Sears gift card. There are other stores which would allow you to do that. A useful place to browse for this is at Frequent Miler Laboratory. Walmart used to allow using their gift cards to purchase Visa/MasterCard online, but no longer does that.
Hope these data helps you to get going in your miles quest for the upcoming trip.
I wrote before on how easy it is to meet the minimum spend requirement using MoneyPak and AMEX Serve Card. Now of-course with the onset and availability of Pin based Visa/Mastercard we have new ways on meeting the minimum spend to get that new credit card sign-up bonus. Below are few possible ways on meeting your spend requirement with minimal cost to you.
Method 1: Using BlueBird AMEX Card:
Using BlueBird Debit is by far the best way to run-up the spend meet of up to $5k/month easily. The method involves buying Visa Gift Card at stores which allow you to buy using a credit card. You can also use credit cards which bonuses specific category of purchase like grocery (Blue Cash Preferred with 6x), grocery+drug store+gas (ThankYou Preferred for 1st year with 5x) or Office Stores (Ink Bold or Ink Plus with 5x), that would increase your earning potential tremendously . The method involves setting up the pin on your Visa gift card, going to your nearest Walmart and loading the BlueBird Debit Card with the Visa gift card at any of the Money-Center Kiosk or customer service counter. You can load $1k/day upto $5/month on the card. You cannot have more than one BlueBird Card, but of-course if you have spouse you can have a card on her name as well and thus increase the amount of available loading to $10k/month.
Method 2: Buying Money Orders at Walmart and other stores which accept Visa Gift Cards:
You can use Visa Gift Cards to buy Money Orders at lot of places including Walmart. Since most places which has this service requires a pin-based debit card you should be good to purchase Money Orders using Visa Gift Cards. You can make these money orders on your spouse name which can be deposited in his/her account or if you are renting a house you can make money order on your land-lord's name as well for your rental payment.
Method 3: Buying Green Dot MoneyPak:
You can still find MoneyPak with $0 fee at many pharmacy stores which will allow you to make the purchase using a Visa Gift Card with pin. This is of-course is YMMV but can help to liquidate the Visa Gift Card by eventually using MoneyPak to load to variety of prepaid cards including MyGreenDot which allows free MoneyPass ATM withdrawal's and a great way of meeting minimum spend. Of-course the incentive of using Visa Gift Card for buying MoneyPak is that Visa Gift Cards are available in wide variety of stores and thus you can use a credit card which bonuses your purchase of Visa Gift Card and thus multiply your points/cash-back earned.
P.S. You can of-course meet your minimum spend requirement with $0 cost or make even a profit by purchasing Visa Gift Card online from giftcardmall through cash back portals like BigCrumbs and TopCashBack. FrequentMiler has a wonderful article on this which would be of your interest.
Disclosure: I do not earn any commission on above credit card links but I do earn a referral bonus if you use my BigCrumbs or TopCashBack links.
CREDIT CARD SPEND USING MONEYPAK
A Picture is worth 1000 words! For limited time you can purchase the MoneyPak reload for $0 fee. This presents a lucrative opportunity to meet minimum spend requirement or even earn miles/points on your credit card by buying MoneyPak using your credit card. The $0 fee reload pack are available currently till December 31st 2012 and you can load any amount from $0 to $500. You can purchase them at various pharmacy stores which allows you to buy them using your credit card (YMMV). Below are some details on methods of liquidating MoneyPak once you are able to get hold of them.
Method-1: Pay miniscule cash withdrawal fee for liquidating MoneyPak
Before I describe this method, I would like to warn you to exercise CAUTION when using this method because AMEX might not like your activity and could put you on Financial Review or close your account. So, do proceed with caution. Here are the details:
Note: None of the links above earn me any referral bonus. Thanks for reading!
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on below 3 aspects of travel:
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