Shopping Portals

TopCashBack Offers 1.5% Cash Back on American Express Gift Cards!

TopCashBack is once again offering cash back on American Express gift cards! 1.5% to be exact. Earlier this month, every shopping portal removed American Express gift cards from the lineup. It was a pretty big deal, since it knocked down $10,000 in monthly profitable manufactured spending. AAnyway there’s no telling how long this will last. So if you’ve got some spending requirements to knock out, this is the time to do it. If you’re not currently a TopCashBack member, consider using my referral link to join. I’ll earn a $10 referral when you sign up and make a purchase.

TopCashBack Amex Gift cards

This is perfect timing for me, as I’m wrapping up my $82,000 spending challenge. This just about takes care of it. If you just picked up the 70,000 point version of the Ink Plus card, hopefully this offer will still be around by the time your card gets in so you can knock out the $5,000 spend easily.

If you’re just using this as an opportunity to generate extra cash, you might want to pair it with the Fidelity American Express card, which offers 2% cash back on all spending. The Barclay Arrival Plus is also a great option, as it earns 2.2% in travel credits. Either way, this is a good way to get a large chunk of spending done. The only cards you shouldn’t use are those issued by Citi. That’s because they code Amex gift card purchases as cash advances. In my experience, keeping orders at $4,000 or less ensures they won’t get canceled. It’s not a guarantee, but it has worked for me in the past.

If you’re going to use the TopCashBack portal to order American Express gift cards, be sure to take screenshots of the entire transaction. In case it isn’t tracked. I’ve never had a problem with tracking, but a lot of folks who use TopCashBack have, so it’s always best to be safe. Keep in mind that Amex gift cards are not PIN-enabled, so the only way to unload them is via Google Wallet (which tacks on about 3% in fees) or by using them to purchase PIN-enabled Visa or Mastercard gift cards. Another option is to use them to load American Express for Target cards, though this can be a hit or miss depending on the cashier you’re dealing with.

HT: Howie at Frugal Travel Guy

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  1. How long does it usually take to get paid by TCB? I’ve not used the portals yet because I heard it takes 6-8months to get paid…which in the big pictures seems like a long wait for a fairly small amount of cash back.

    • It can take 3 months, though there have been times I’ve gotten paid in two.

    • Mine processed in about 8 weeks. At first it listed four weeks; after that passed with no payout, it listed 14-16. But it’s actually been processed and is en route to my bank account now, about eight weeks later.

  2. Are there any cards you should worry about this with, other than Citi, showing up as advances? I’m thinking about using my Carlson card.

  3. if you’re only getting 1.5% CB then why bother if you pay 3% to Google Wallet? i’m fairly new to this game and have only been playing with Visa gift cards so is there a piece of this puzzle that I’m missing? thanks for your advice 🙂

    • That’s just an option if AFT doesn’t work out. Though paying 1.5% to meet spending requirements without stepping out of the house isn’t too shabby.

      • but aren’t you also paying to use AFT? $3 loads and withdrawal fees if no access to a fee-free ATM? not to mention that you can only take out $400 per month…. still feel like I’m missing something here

        • You can withdraw $400 per day. On a $3,000 order you’re earning $45 cash back. The fees total $52.90:
          – $12.90 in Amex gift card fees
          – $9 in AFT load fees
          – $21 in AFT ATM fees
          – $10 in Costco ATM fees

          On a regular point earning card, that’s a $2.63 per 1,000 points. That’s cheaper than buying Simon Mall gift cards. Use an Arrival Plus and you’re earning $66 in travel credits for $7.90.

          • my AFT T&Cs says withdraws are capped at $200/week….has anyone else seen that or am I mis-reading it?

          • thats 8 trips to Costco. if you hadn’t sworn off Walmart/Bluebird then would you rather buy 6 SM GCs @ $2.95/$1k and make 1 trip to the BB kiosk?

          • If it wasn’t such a hassle, I would keep buying SM gift cards. However, the process of buying them (filling out paperwork on every purchase) and then going to Walmart, dealing with broken kiosks, standing in long lines, is just too time consuming for me. However, considering I have access to four AFT’s and can load/unload several thousand dollars at a time with relative ease, it makes those Target and Costco trips worthwhile.

          • makes sense. i’m still brand-new and the kiosk worked perfectly my first attempt with SM GCs so I’m sure there will come a time when I reach that frustration level with Walmart/BB. but until then…how much triggers paperwork on the SM GCs? most I’ve bought at 1 time is $2k.

  4. You said that $4,000 or less is generally a safe amount to keep orders from getting canceled. Do you mean $4,000 including the fees? Or, do you mean $4,000 of face value on the gift cards, not including the fees (e.g. a total of $4,017)?

  5. I looked at the Top Cash website this morning and the special is still there. I’m a little tentative to buy it right now because they might’ve not pulled the special out just yet. But the info is still there. Hopefully it’s there to stay!

  6. Hello,

    I’ve signed up for TopCashBack using your link. Thanks for the referral.

    Does anyone know, if I use my Arrival + to buy Rail Europe CGs through the TopcashBack website, will that transaction be coded as travel related, allowing me to redeem Arrival + points for that transaction?

    This is potentially a great deal because TopCashBack is offering 3% cash back on Rail Europe CGs, combined with the Arrival + travel redemption, this could be a great deal. But only if such a transaction is coded by Arrival + as travel…

    The reason I’m asking is because I used my Arrival + to pay for my stay at a IHG Hotel using points + cash and for my astonishment, that transaction was NOT coded as travel. It was coded as Buying/Shopping services, Clubs, so I wasn’t able to redeem arrival + points for that.


    • Thanks Gisele! If Rail Europe is typically coded as a travel purchase, then going through TCB will not make a difference. I checked this Flyertalk thread and Rail Europe passes purchased via Travelocity count as travel purchases. TCB is currently offering upwards of 7% cash back at Travelocity.

  7. For those who aren’t aware TCB used to pay 3%, just recently in fact so you might want to wait. They’re low right now probably because they know people are hungry as hell and will eat anything and 1.5% is to the bone. If you use GW to liquidate you break even essentially but you gain miles and points. This is not a game to make $$ but to gain miles and points as cheaply as possible, free is better.

    • Wanted to clarify above, if you wait and do get the 3%, that’s when using GW will have you at break even, not at 1.5%

    • GW?

      • I’m guessing that’s Google Wallet. You use a credit card (or possibly an Amex gift card) to load a Google Wallet account. When this feature was first rolled out, it had a promotional 0% fee. Then, after two weeks, they raised it to the usual 2.9% fee, where it stands now.

        • Yes, Google Wallet, thanks bmau09.

          • Amazon local register is another avenue and they have a much lower promo rate than GW, like 1.75% but be warned people have reported numerous shutdowns/closures of accounts for liquidating gift cards and credit cards in your own name for that matter. ALR specifically states business purposes only, so they will e-mail you asking for business data, income, etc. Not sure if GW will crack down or has.

          • That’s mainly why I’m steering away from promoting it as an unload option. Even GW isn’t something I’d recommend as an unloading tool, just a back up if AFT doesn’t work out.

    • I agree with you Kent: Free is better and this is definitely only for those who want to meet a spending requirement quickly and with relatively minor cost.

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