Manufactured Spending

Barclay Rewardsboost and TopCashBack Increase Amex Gift Card Payouts

Update: Here is a link for a free Amex Premium Shipping Plan trial.

Last week I covered the highest cash back portal payouts on American Express Gift Cards at the time. A day after running the post, a reader alerted me that the Barclay Rewardsboost payout had decreased to 2 miles per $1. I’m happy to report it’s back up at 4 miles. Factoring in the 2 miles per $1 earned from the Barclay Arrival Card, that’s 6 miles per $1. If you were to order the maximum $5,000 in American Express gift cards, you would earn $300 in travel credits. Factoring in a cost of $48.45 ($39.50 card fees + $8.95 shipping) along with the added $39.50 to cash out via Visa/OneVanilla cards by way of Bluebird, you’re spending a total of $87.95 to earn $300 in travel credits. You could convert those credits to $150 in cash back statement credits instead.

If this offer becomes available often enough to allow you to place two such orders each month, you’d be looking at around $7,800 in travel credits each year.


Rick, founder of FrugalTravelGuy, notified me yesterday that TopCashBack has increased cash back payouts on Amex gift cards to 3%. This is good news for several reasons. First, if you’re not an Arrival cardholder and missing out on 6% travel rewards/3% cash back from that card, this is a good secondary portal to use.

The one limitation with TCB is that cash back is not awarded on gift cards ordered in increments larger than $500. Amex gift cards can be ordered in increments of up to $3,000 and come with a $3.95 fee – so this really increases the cost of manufactured spending and drives down profit margins. Buying the maximum $5,000 in $500 increments would incur $48.45 in costs ($39.50 card fees + $8.95 shipping).  If you were to cash these out by purchasing Visa/One Vanilla gift cards at a drug store, then loading those onto Bluebird, you’d wrack up another $39.50 in fees. After all the fees involved ($87.95), that $150 cash back generated through this promotion would leave you with a $62.05 profit along with 5,000 miles. This is obviously nothing to scoff at, but going via Barclay’s Rewards Boost saves you more money.

Other Portals

The Alaska Airlines and Delta shopping portals are offering 3 miles per $1, which is nice, but I’d rather get some form of cash to offset the fees I’m paying to earn the miles.

Last time TopCashBack increased their cash back offer to 3%, Big Crumbs topped it with 3.5%. This hasn’t happened yet, but keep an eye out for it. I checked Cashbackholic today and the portal is showing TopCashBack at 2%, which is obviously incorrect. On the other hand, Cashback Monitor is reporting TopCashBack at 3% but leaving out Barclay Rewards Boost completely. So if you’re going to keep an eye out for an increased offer from Big Crumbs or any other portal, check all sources.

Disclosure: TopCashBack pays out a small commission when you use my link to register and earn $10 in rewards.

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  1. Have been ordering 3k custom name GC via TCB forever and always pays out 100% every penny so far. The only one NOT to has been BigCrumbs so I avoid them.

  2. Yep. I get 1x$2000 and 1x$3000 personal each order and even more on biz and always paid 100% via TCB

  3. I read on the Amex gift card website, that you can enroll in the premium shipping plan that gives you unlimited next-day shipping for a year. It has a fee of $99 per year. If you do 12 or more orders per year, then this plan is worth it.

    When going through the Barclays Rewards Boost portal, do you earn miles for buying Amex gift cards in increments of $2,000 or $3,000? It would greatly reduce the fees.

    You should consider going through the Alaska Airlines or Delta shopping portal to buy Amex gift cards. Let’s assume you earn miles for buying $2,000 and $3,000 Amex gift cards, and you use the Fidelity Amex. The fees for the Amex gift cards ($3.95 each) and shipping ($8.95) would be $16.85. Let’s say you buy Visa gift cards at a drug store and load them onto Bluebird, so fees for those would be $49.50. That’s $66.35 in total fees and about $100 cash back from credit card spending, so you’re earning triple miles at a profit.

    • PointChaser

      There’s also currently a free trial for that service. I need to find a link to it and will update this post shortly.

  4. any luck on that free shipping trial?

  5. Barclay RewardsBoost is covered under Bank/Credit Card Points tab. Please check here.

    To view reward rates of all kinds of rewards for a store, just simply visit the store’s page at Cashback Monitor, e,g,

    Hope this helps.

  6. I’m trying to follow your math under the TCB example. I’m not a mathematician but in the second paragraph, second line from the bottom ” profit along with 5,000 miles.” Shouldn’t this be calculated as $5,048.45 x 2(miles per dollar) = 10,096.90 miles?

    • PointChaser

      In that example, I’m not referring to the Arrival card (thought if you were to use the Arrival card, your math would be right). Most other cards (i.e Sapphire Preferred, US Airways MC, etc.) only earn 1 point, so that’s the example I’m using. I realize it can be confusing, but I’m mainly advocating using Arrival for BarclayRewardboost and other cards for TCB.

  7. Hi Ariana,
    Have you tried or are aware of using AMEX GC to buy Visa’s at Simon? I tried yesterday and the lady said that you can’t buy GC with another GC unless is a Simon GC!!! ughh

  8. Looks like AmericanExpress gift cards are gone from Barclay Arrival’s RewardsBoost site. Bummer!

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