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.
In a previous article on "Raising miles at Walmart" I had shown how you could you potentially reduce the fee portion of Visa/MasterCard to even less than "zero". In that article the focus was on "Raise" as that was one of the gift card site where you could easily find the Walmart gift card at 2 to 2.5 % discount. Since then I have seen similar discounts offered by Cardpool as well as Ebay although I prefer Cardpool because of ease of use. The important thing to note is if the "gift card resale" site you are about to use provides any cash-back rebates through any rebates portal. Cardpool is also one of the Gift Card Resale site which provides cash-back through bunch of portals, one of which is TopCashBack. You could also check out other rebate portals and a good place to start your search for best rebate portal would be to search for the merchant at "Cashbackholic". Make sure you read through the terms of the cash-back portal as each one of them operate differently and have some limits of minimum amount of rebate you need to accrue before it becomes payable.
Walmart gift card at Cardpool:
Cardpool consistently provides the Walmart gift card at 2.5% discount in addition to 2% cash-back rebate going through TopCashBack ( Note: The rebate is only available until you reach $1k in purchases so make sure you read the terms through). You can combine upto 4 walmart gift card to make a purchase of Visa/MasterCard. A purchase of $200 in Walmart gift card would cost $195 and provide a rebate of $3.9 (2% of $195). Thus you get a $200 Walmart gift card at a cost $191.1 out of pocket cost thus having a discount of $8.9. Considering that a $200 Visa/MasterCard gift card costs $6.88 in fees you would still be ahead by $2.02 on this one. So by going through this route you would have purchased 195 points/miles and made a small profit of $2.02 as well on your credit card spend.
Walmart gift card at Ebay:
Another approach is to purchase the Walmart gift card from Ebay. Generally you would be able to find "Buy it now" deals for 2.5% discount and on top of it you would get 2% back from Ebay bucks. As you can see that you would save almost similar amount of money as you do from Cardpool but there are few problems you should be award of as mentioned below:
So, go ahead and accumulate those miles without any fees and enjoy your award travel.
(Note: If you open your TopCashBack account using above mentioned links, I would get a small referral bonus. I do appreciate your support. Thanks.)
We all want to maximize the % of cash back on our day to day shopping, specially at stores for which the gift cards are easily available. Assuming you can get one of the Cash Back Card which gives quarterly rotating category bonus of 5% such as Discover IT credit card or Chase Freedom credit card or American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card which gives 6% cash-back on stand-alone super markets or grocery stores (limited to max $6k/year) you can easily get atleast 5% or 6% off of your gift card purchase from the stores included in above categories. The interesting twist here is if you can find a store which falls in 5% or 6% cash-back category and sells the Ebay/MasterCard/Visa gift card you can further stretch your dollars to easily get a total discount of anywhere from 7% to 20% on the final merchant gift card which you can eventually use for your actual purchase. Below are couple of ways on how to get this to work!
Buying merchant gift cards using Ebay gift cards:
Note: You will need to have a PayPal account or create one for this to work.
Purchase using MasterCard/Visa Prepaid card:
If Ebay seems to be too limited in scope or lot of hassle you have another option below.
Put above techniques to use to get great discount even before you hit your store, but before you go make sure you already have 5% or 6% cash-back credit card at your disposal.
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on 3 aspects: