Manufactured Spending

Simon Mall Visa Gift Cards $1 Off Through October: Worth It?

Simon Mall is offering $1 off Visa gift cards through the end of October. Every year, a promotion like this comes around and I miss out on it because they inexplicably don’t advertise it via email. So I have to give a special shoutout to @depplif for letting me know about this promotion on Twitter. Anyway, while $1 off might not seem like much, it adds up substantially on thousands of dollars worth of gift card purchases. I may have semi-retired from heavy manufactured spending, but this promotion is too good to pass up. 

Simon Mall Visa Gift Cards
Simon Mall Visa Gift Cards

Simon Mall $1 off Promo vs. 1.25% Cash Back at Giftcards.com

One of the best ways to off-set manufactured spending fees is to use a cash back portal like Yazing to purchase MasterCard gift cards from giftcards.com. At 1.25% cash back, a ~$2500 gift card order would cost $42.20 and generate $31.25 cash back. Total out of pocket cost comes to $10.95, which is a bargain. So how does it stack up against the Simon Mall offer?

Buying $2500 worth of Visa gift cards from Simon Mall would cost $14.75. That’s obviously more costly than the giftcards.com route. So why would you even bother with Visa gift cards from Simon Mall? Diversifying spending is a crucial part of staying under the banks’ radar. Taking advantage of this Simon Mall promotion not only saves you a bit of cash but it also helps focus spending away from one very conspicuous manufactured spending source.

Simon Mall $1 off Promo vs. 5X Office Supply Store Bonus

Those of us with an Ink Plus card (or any credit card that offers 5x points at office supply stores) periodically buy gift cards at office supply stores to generate low-cost credit card spending. Visa gift cards sell for $8.95 per $300 and generate 1,544.75 points. Earning 1,500 points via Simon Mall’s $1 off promotion would cost $8.85. The office supply store promotion ends up being cheaper. 

Final Thoughts

Churning Simon Mall Visa gift cards is more expensive than some of the other options out there. You’re going to incur higher fees, even with the $1 off. That being said, it can still be a worthwhile way to meet large spending requirements and diversifying spend. If you’re manufacturing spend for cash back, it’s still profitable. On a $9,500 purchase, you’ll save $19 in fees. Charging this purchase to a 2% cash back card would earn you a total of $135.06 in profit. If you’re in Year 1 of the Discover It Miles Card, you can earn a $230.62 profit for every $9,500 Visa gift card purchase. 

Of course, you’ll have to contend with Walmart’s new drawn-out electronic reporting process. It has taken me upwards of an hour to liquidate $10,000 worth of Visa gift cards in a single visit. Totally worth $230 (or $135 for that matter), but it does test your patience. I definitely wouldn’t just do it for the miles. 😉

Are you all stocking up on Visa gift cards during Simon Mall’s $1 off promotion?

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7 Comments

  1. Wow, surprised by this post…. Reads like you’ve been enjoying your new full time position — and perhaps haven’t been paying as much attention as before to developments in the ms space. The Simon news has been “out” and widely discussed for about a week. (google it. 🙂 )

    Also, surprised by the quaint reference to buying the $300 Visa Gift cards at Staples — especially since Staples & OD/OM have repeatedly had the free (as in no fee) $200 MC and V GC’s in store…. (no rebates to mess with either — yes, remember you used to cover those deals.)

    Oh sure, we’ve had the clueless rumor mongers saying such free (literally) in-store deals for GC’s were an indicator that a. Staples and/or OD were clearing out all gc stock forever and/or b. that Staples was going bankrupt (and needed to pull a Sears — e.g. inflate revenue appearances) Except now they’ve done these no fee gc deals several times. (and for several months, I’ve maxed out my Ink Cash Office Supply bonuses….. ( a lot for me, anyway)

    Maybe these “free deals” for V or MC GC’s will dry up in the coming season…. and THEN forking over 3% for the on-line $300 VGC’s might make sense….. but for now, needlessly expensive.

  2. I am not seeing these numbers. Simon is still showing $3.95 per $500 gift card. I see Topcashback showing a 0.75% rebate for visa cards.

    What am I missing here.

  3. @John. The Simon deal is in office at the mall not online. You must also tell them when it office you want the promotional fee. To answer your TCB .75 question go to Yazing and you’ll find your answer. Cheers!

  4. Simon Mall says they no longer sell that. Maybe you can get it in their stores.

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