Manufactured Spending

Get Free Points + Cash for Buying $200 Visa Gift Cards from Staples

I’ve written about Visa gift cards as an alternative for loading Bluebird now that Vanilla Reloads are dead. In the past, I’ve purchased these from Gift Card Mall via Extrabux and TopCashBack. Now there is an even better deal if you have an Ink card. Staples is currently offering $200 Visa gift cards online. These cards have a $6.95 fee and while that sounds high, using your Ink card earns you 1,000 points (at 5 points per $1). At this rate, it’s cheaper to buy these $200 gift cards at Staples than it is to buy Visa gift cards at CVS or a grocery store (especially if you don’t have a card that earns a category bonus). If you were to convert the 1,000 points to cash, you’d end up with $10, which leaves you with a $3.05 profit. I know, don’t quit your day jobs yet.

As Omar at Travel Summary points out, you can increase your profits further by shopping via Swabucks, which is currently offering 6 points per $1 at Staples. According to Omar, the 1200 Swagbucks earned per $200 Visa gift card is worth $12 in Paypal credit. Taking this into account, you are essentially earning $5.05 + 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points for every $200 gift card purchase.

I did a quick search on Cashbackaholic and Cashbackmonitor and this is currently the highest portal payout. Aside from this, Discover and Upromise are offering 5% cash back at Staples.

This is a pretty great deal and just as soon as I’m done wrapping up this post, I’ll be stocking up on Visa gift cards. There’s nothing as rewarding these days as earning both points and cash. With my limited travel schedule, I like that I’ll have the flexibility to redeem my Ultimate Rewards points from this promotion via statement credits if United or Hyatt (my go-to transfer partners) end up announcing yet another devaluation before I can redeem them.

Disclosure: I may earn referral credit if you use the Swagbucks link in this post. If you decide to use my link, be sure to enter code “FreeGiftCards” at registration for 50 extra Swabucks.

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  1. This is an amazing deal. You should definitely go all out while it lasts, especially because of a rumor I read:

    Is there anything the frequent flyer community can do to prevent this, or at least reduce the risk of this rumor becoming true? I think for a start, people shouldn’t call Chase en masse asking about the rumor, like people did with the rumor of the CVS memo a month ago.

    • PointChaser

      Ordered $5k last night and will order more today. That’s the great thing about the Ink card: I can always make large purchases and it has (so far) never set off a fraud alert.

      I read the same thing on Hack My Trip. There’s not much we can do, but calling should definitely be avoided. If Chase does go through with it, there are a few other alternatives. I’m writing a post about it for FTG that should go live this afternoon.

  2. This comes just in time for the 60k Ink bold links

  3. MisterChristian

    This is a great deal. The only problem is that Staples only lets you use one gift card for payment per purchase. I bought several $500 amex gift cards to do this, but the dollar figures don’t match up well.

    • PointChaser

      It doesn’t make financial sense to use your Amex gift cards to buy these. Way too expensive. It’s only lucrative if you’re using your Ink Bold/Ink Plus to buy the Visa gift cards online.

      • Even assuming you don’t earn money on the amex gc purchase, wouldn’t you still make $15 cashing out $1000 amex card going through a 5% cash back portal?

        • PointChaser

          I was thinking of Amex serve cards – you do earn points on Amex gc’s. On $1k you’d earn $50, which is good but I’d rather earn points as well. Factor in shipping fees (if you’re past the trial), card fees and unloading expenses on $1k and it adds up. I do $5k at a time only if the payout is above 2%. At the end of the year that’s 120k points plus at least $2,400 before fees are factored in.

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