Manufactured Spending

BigCrumbs and TopCashBack Offering No Fees + up to 3% Cash Back on Amex Gift Cards

Cash back on American Express Gift Card

The only thing better than earning lots of points is earning cash on the side. Both Big Crumbs and TopCashBack are offering $0 fee and up to 3% cash back on American Express gift cards. Big Crumbs is offering 2.1%, while TopCashBack is offering 3%. TCB is running it’s promotion through February 15. This is a great way to generate both points and cash, since you’re earning a profit in most cases. Just remember to use the discount codes on each portal’s page in order to get your card fees waived.

Barclay’s RewardsBoost shopping portal is also offering a decent deal at 4 points per $1. Considering this is the equivalent of 6.6% in travel credits for those with a Barclaycard Arrival Card, it’s not a bad deal. This offer doesn’t include the no-fee coupon, so keep that in mind when deciding which portal to use. Some folks on Flyertalk have reported the codes on the TCB and BC sites work on the RewardsBoost portal, but do this at your own discretion.


Personal gift cards can be purchased in increments of upwards of $3,000, with a $3.95 fee per card. In this case the fees are waived, so all you’re paying is the $8.95 shipping fee. Here is how the purchase process works:

  1. Log on to your preferred shopping portal (Big Crumbs, TopCashBack, or Barclay RewardsBoost)
  2. Search for “American Express Gift Cards”
  3. Click through to the Amex gift card site (on TopCashBack, click on “Get Code & Cash Back”)
  4. Select “Consumer gift cards” and “Select a card design”
  5. Select the card amount and quantity (i.e. one for $3,000 and one for $2,000), “add another” and proceed to checkout.
  6. If she $3.95 doesn’t appear  to be waived at check-out, enter the coupon code provided on the portal page.

Be sure to take screenshots in case your cash back isn’t credited. Big Crumbs is usually pretty good about tracking these transactions, though some folks have complained about TopCashBack in the past.

Cashing Out

American Express gift cards can’t be cashed out via ATM or Bluebird like Visa/Mastercard gift cards. However, you still have a few other options:

  1. Amazon Payments (up to $1,000 per month) – send the money to someone you trust will give it back to you.
  2. Vanilla Reloads – Use the Amex gift card to buy Vanilla Reloads at CVS, gas stations, or grocery stores. You will pay $7.90 in fees per $1,000 (or $39.50 per $5,000), but taking the 2.1-3% cash back into account, you are still coming out ahead.


Taking into account the $3.95 card fee (waived on the TCB and Big Crumbs purchases), here are the profits you can expect on the maximum $5,000 gift card purchase:

TopCashBack (3% cash back per $5,000): $141.05

Big Crumbs (2.1% cash back per $5,000): $96.05

Barclay RewardsBoost (4 points per $1 per $5,000): 20,000 points/$200 credit credits (excluding 10% point rebate) at a cost of $16.85


1. Limits. Keep in mind that Big Crumbs limits cash back for personal cards to $5,000 spent per day. Limits on business gift cards are at $75,000 per day. If you purchase gift cards that exceed these amounts, Big Crumbs will not offer you cash back. The only limit imposed by TopCashBack is “10 transactions” per day. Some folks have complained about TopCashBack not tracking purchases in the past. I have never personally experienced this issue, but it seems to be pretty widespread. Be sure to take screenshots so you can have prove in case the cash back doesn’t post.

2. Cancellations. There are also complaints on Flyertalk about transactions being cancelled. In the past, I have stuck to $4,000 per day and that has worked well, though I have received calls from Amex confirming my purchase. As of now, my transaction has not been cancelled, nor have I received a phone call.

3. Moderation. The most important thing is not to overdo it. I’d stick to purchasing under $5,000 per day and if you’re going to repeat this, use a different card.

4. Cash advance fees. Some credit card companies code American Express gift card purchases as cash advances. This means you’ll not only incur fees, but you will not earn points. Check this Flyertalk thread for a list of cards that were recently coded as purchases. The main culprit when it comes to coding these purchases as cash advances seems to be Citi, which is too bad considering most of us have to meet that $10,000 spending requirement on the Citi Executive AAdvantage card.

In any case, this is a pretty great way to generate points if you do it responsibly.

Have you purchased any Amex gift cards through these portals? What has your experience been so far?

Disclosure: The links in this post for TopCashBack, Big Crumbs, and the Barclay Arrival card are my affiliate links, for which I will earn a referral. Regardless of whether you use my links or not, I appreciate your support.

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  1. Definitely this is a big bonus but right now we are in an era of Citi Executive AAdvantage cards. First it was me, then my wife and then it will be my two other kids. Unfortunately the above card is no good for this purpose. Right now vanilla reloads are a blessing from heaven. Without them, I am not sure if I could have achieved 10k every month.

    • Yes, that is definitely the only downside with this offer – that you can’t use your Citi or Amex cards.

      • Citi banks are charged as cash advance, but are american express credit cards also charing this type of purchase as cash advance or what’s the reasoning for can’t using amex cards? Thanks.

  2. I have access to plenty of VR cards at CVS, so I don’t think this is a good option for me, is it?

    • Definitely! When you’re buying VR’s, you’re paying $7.90 out of pocket for every $1,000. When you buy Amex gift cards and then using those to buy VR’s, you’re not only earning miles, you’re earning a profit.

  3. when doing this at the barclay’s rewardboost site, can i use any credit card or must it be a barclays credit card to get the 4 points per $1 spent?

  4. Purchased 2 x $500 AMEX GCs thru Barclays Rewards Boost shopping portal. Total cost: $1008.95 . Took about a week to actually get the cards. Took a few days longer to post at my Barclays account site: shows 2,000 pts for the normal 2% rewards; additionally, rewards site shows some 6,000 pts credited to my account, tho they have not actually posted to my c-c account where I can use them. So it looks like for $8.95 fee, I get some 6000 pts.

    • Many people are reporting issues with Barclays, but it was actually the easiest for me. I placed my order on Saturday and got the cards today.

  5. One nice feature of AMEX GCs is that if you lose them, they will replace them, including the available balance as of the date you reported them. I’ve looked at the terms for some VISA debit cards, and it seems you are SOL if you lose one of their cards.

  6. I’m about to purchase at topback to pay my federal taxes but i see this note: Please note; there is a limit of $500 per gift card, anything higher will not be eligible for cashback.

    guess i have to buy in multiples of $500? above it mentions people buying $3000 cards. my taxes due at $3498.

    • Ignore that warning. For months, people have been ordering over $500 and received cashback. My credits are showing as pending and Michelle at Miles, Points, & Mai Tais had her cashback confirmed with TCB.

  7. CVS in my area don’t take the Amex GC when I buy VR. I’m a bit worry now, any other idea on how to cashing out?

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