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Current Cash Back Portal Payouts on American Express Gift Cards

Cash back on American Express Gift Card

Update 4/21: Barclay Rewards Boost has increased the Amex Gift Card payout back up to 4 miles per $1, while TopCashBack is up to 3%.

Update 4/16: It appears the payout from the Barclay Rewards Boost portal has decreased to 2 points per $1 spent. Combined with the Arrival card, this can still be lucrative at 4 points per $1, but converting the 4 points to cash would result in just 2% cash back.

Since the Vanilla Reload shut down, I’ve gone straight to Plan B. That will involve buying American Express gift cards through a shopping portal and using those to buy Visa gift cards (instead of Vanilla Reloads) to offset purchase fees. You can buy up to $5,000 worth of personal gift cards per day, every 14 days. Be sure to check this Flyertalk thread before placing your order to ensure the credit card you’re using does not process these as a cash advance. Cash advances come with fees and do not points or miles, defeating the purpose of this exercise.

Currently, American Express is offering codes that waive the card fees altogether. If you’re going through a shopping portal, it’s important to use the codes provided by the portal, otherwise you may forfeit the points. Below are the portals you can go through, the cash back amount you’ll earn:

Barclay Rewardsboost – 4 miles per $1

Use your Barclay Arrival Plus Card to purchase American Express gift cards through the Barclay Rewardsboost site and you’ll get a combined 6 miles per $1 (or 6% back in travel credits) back on your purchase. If you order the daily maximum of $5,000, you’re looking at 30,000 miles, which can be redeemed for a whopping $300 in travel credits. The way these work is you simply charge travel expenses to your card (i.e. hotels, airfare, car rental) and then request statement credits to cover those expenses. Each mile is worth 1 cent in credits, and you’ll get 10% of your redeemed miles back.

Ordering just $10,000 worth of American Express gift cards every month at 6 miles per $1 amounts to $7,200 worth of travel credits each year. It’s like getting the sign-up bonus from the Arrival card 15 times over.

HT to Michelle for sharing the 4 mile/$1 offer from the Barclay Rewards Boost portal.

TopCashBack – 2%

TopCashBack is currently offering the second highest cash back offer at 2% cash back on consumer and business cards. The down side is that TopCashBack is that this offer is only good on $500 gift cards. In the past, TCB has paid out on gift cards in larger increments as well as cancelled orders. However, recently when I requested cash for my purchase, I was alerted that TCB would be much more vigilant about only paying out cash back on eligible purchases.

Big Crumbs – 1.2%

This isn’t the highest cash back offer, but there are two factors that give Big Crumbs an advantage over the other portals: 1. Big Crumbs is far less prone to tracking issues than, say, TopCashBack. 2. Big Crumbs occasionally runs promotions offering upwards of 3.5% cash back along with purchase fee waiver codes. The fact that you also earn 0.2% cash back from the people you refer is a plus.

Despite being more reliable, I’m not going with Big Crumbs unless they at least match TopCashBack. I’m not worried about tracking issues with other sites, as I’ve made it a habit to take screenshots from click-through to purchase no matter which portal I’m using.

Ebates -1%

I’ve used eBates for other cash back offers and have generally had a pleasant experience. If they do up their offer past 1%, I’m happy to switch over as I’ve never had a tracking issue with them before. Ebates also has a pretty generous referral system, with bonuses paid out based on the number of referrals.

Mr. Rebates – 1%

I’ve never used Mr. Rebates to purchase American Express gift cards and wouldn’t use it now at just 1%. Again, it’s good to be aware of the cash back portal options and to check them frequently for higher offers. It’s worth noting that if you refer friends to Mr. Rebates, you will get 20% of their cash back.

BeFrugal – 1%

Recently, BeFrugal was offering 3% cash back on American Express gift cards, which is now down to 1%. This is a portal worth checking the next time you place an order for American Express gift cards, as the cash back amount may bounce back up to 3%.

Cash back portals not only make manufactured spending affordable, at times it’s downright profitable. While you are limited to just $5,000 every two weeks, in a year that amounts to 120,000 points/miles and a few thousand dollars in profit. Use the points to cover airfare/hotels and use the cash back to splurge while you’re gallivanting through whatever amazing city previously seemed out of reach.

Note: Keep in mind that there are some issues related to ordering gift cards. Orders can get cancelled for various reasons, which are outlined in the Flyertalk thread.

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Ariana Arghandewal

37 Comments

  1. Be VERY careful with BigCrumbs. I have been burned by them on the larger custom AMEX gift cards. Never on TCB.

    • Thanks Rene! I’ve had the opposite experience, so it’s good for newbies to know the pluses/minuses.

  2. I’m with you on Plan B but thinking I will just buy the Visa GC with my CC and avoid the extra step of AMEX GC (and miss out on the cash back). My plan to keep it simple will be to either buy $500 VGC at CVS (mine still lets me buy these on CC) or buy $100 GC at OD with my Ink card.

    Then plan to unload those at WM loading on BB or buying MO. I guess wading into these uncharted waters is the best way to see what’s easier but thinking that $500 VGC will be easier (in terms of swiping multiple cards) at WM than $100 ones? And I have found that there are quite a few bills that I can pay through Evolve with debit cards as well. Those 2 methods combined with AP will be my 3 main MS doings from hereon I think… Any input (or advice) would be greatly appreciated and as always, thanks for the great info on your blog!

  3. I used your Barclay Rewards Booster link and found Amex GC for 4 miles/dollar. When I clicked it to buy, I was directed to login. But after I logged in and then went to the shopping portal, I couldn’t find Amex GC any more. Do you know what’s going on? Thanks.

    • Finding the Amex Gift Card store on the Barclay RewardBooster portal is tricky. Type in “American Express Giftcards” (exactly) into the search tool and it should come up.

      • I searched “American Express Giftcards” in the link you gave out and found it. But after I was redirected to login page then the portal, the same search returned no results. 🙁

    • I had the same problem. Because I have a US Air CC, the sign-in automatically sends me to the US Air shopping portal. I inquired and they said I could not shop on the Barclaycardrewardsboost portal. The US air portal does not have the Amex GC 4X offer.

  4. Please add a postscript to your post, immediately, that recommends reading through the entire Flyertalk thread on this subject. There are a ton of things that can go wrong and deny the purchaser the cashback from the portal: little things like the address of the gift card not matching the address of the credit card. It would be a very unhappy situation if someone makes a large purchase of Amex GCs, and then doesn’t get the cashback: liquidation could be a challenge. This is the type of thing that makes people on Flyertalk livid: giving newbies only part of the story, and then they make financial mistakes that can put them in financial jeopardy. Please, for the sake of your uninitiated readers, inform them fully of the downsides of this method.

    • Livvy, that is all outlined on the FT page I linked to. I’ll update the post with a disclosure, though.

      • Thank you so much. It really is to protect those who don’t realize how much detail is involved in getting cash back from the portals. Thank you for displaying your responsibility to the community.

  5. Buy Amex Gift Cards using Barclays Reward Boost and make 300$
    Then use the AMex gift cards to order VIsa Gift Cards using 1% additional cashback on GiftCardMall. Make money and lots of points.

    • How do you get the 1% at GiftCardMall? Link in from another site like Barclay’s Reward Boost?

  6. ok, so newbie comment, are you taking these VGC and loading them into your BB? Can you buy MO at WM with Amex? or Just VGC?

    • I just loaded my first $500 VGC to BB at WM today! Actually loaded my first two (to make $1000) and it was the first time the Moneycenter cashier had ever seen a BB (new WM but sadly no Kate). She called the manager over, they did one swipe with each card and I was out of there within minutes. Of course it wasn’t as easy as scratching off lotto tickets (i.e. VR) but it was less painful than I thought it was going to be. No PIN was necessary…

      • It’s usually pretty easy. The painful part is finding parking and braving the long lines.

    • You can either load the Visa gift cards onto Bluebird or use them to buy a money order at Walmart. You can’t use Amex gift cards to buy money orders, but you can use them to buy Visa gift cards. It’s an extra step, but taking the cash back into account, you still come out ahead.

  7. Good article but unless payouts boost I’d rather have double or triple points with a credit card. Also get travel protections that way.

    • Keep in mind you’re paying out of pocket to earn those points. With cash back portals, you’re often earning a profit while also earning miles.

  8. I find it easier going out to the Simon Mall, getting the Visa Gift card, taking the to Kroger’s getting a MO, and paying the bill ans enjoy the points…

  9. any idea why I can’t get to the Barclays rewardsboost site? I can get to the portal, but as soon as I login, it takes me to my accounts page…… I sent them an email……. I must be challenged!! hahahaha

    • When you’re logged into your account, scroll down slightly. There should be a Barclay Rewardsboost link on the right ride of the page.

    • Another reader reported a similar issue. Let me know what you hear back.

  10. Why not link to a few of the usual cash back monitoring sites like Cashback Monitor or Cashbackholic so people can look for themselves – but I guess then you can’t push your own links?

    Pimping really changes how people act…

    • And how long would that blog post be? Two lines? I’m not forcing anyone to use my links and those $5 referral credits aren’t making me rich. Thank you for the blogging tips.

  11. I can only see 2 miles per dollar for the amex gift cards through the reward booster site.. 🙁 tried everything but not able to see 4 miles/dollar

  12. when I log into Barclay Award Boost site the AmEx card offer is only 2 points/$1. Am I overlooking something? Thanks. Jack

  13. Amex gift cards are no longer on the boost portal, They were there last night, gone today

  14. I’ve been doing this to MS about 2 weeks. For those of you who have been doing it longer: have you seen this Barclaycard Rewads Boost/Amex gift card option disappear before? How long before it came back?

    • In the short time I’ve had my Arrival card, I haven’t seen it disappear. All’s not lost. You can still earn 4% cash back through Lucky Rewards and BeFrugal.

  15. How are you liquidating 10k in GCs per month? Unless you have a LOT of bills that can’t be paid with a CC, this doesnt seem like a value winning proposition, because if you CANT liquidate that much in AMEX GCs or even VCGs, then you are stuck with 10k of credit debt that will be charged an interest fee.

    I am sincerely interested to know how you are doing it, because this might be my new goto method of MS if I cant really liquidate that much in a month.

    • Mainly via Amex for Target, but you can also do it via Amazon Payments and Google Wallet.

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