I write a lot about opportunities to “double dip” through online shopping malls. The typical double dip I write about involves going through an online shopping mall and buying merchant gift cards in order to get points or cash back for the purchase, and then going through the online mall again to buy items using your gift cards. In this way, you will earn double the points or cash back that you would have earned by buying items directly through the online mall. While I strongly believe this is an awesome way to get extra points and/or cash back, I do want to point out some risks:
No Credit Card Protection for purchases
A reader pointed this out recently and it is definitely worth noting. Many credit cards offer multiple forms of purchase protection such as extended warranties and return protection. If you buy items with gift cards, though, you will lose all of these protections.
Many online retailers will allow points to be given for the purchase of gift cards or for purchases using gift cards, but not for both. Make sure to read the Terms and Conditions for whatever retailer you are looking to buy from to see what their terms are for the shopping mall you plan to use.
Some online retailers refuse to give points for the purchase or use of gift cards. Again, read the Terms and Conditions carefully.
When shopping through a bank’s portal, such as Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall, you will run into trouble if you need to contact them for help. If your problem is that you didn’t get credit for the purchase of gift cards, then you can contact Chase and they can lookup the transaction (as long as you used a Chase credit card). If, however, the problem is that you didn’t get credit for a purchase made with gift cards, Chase will not have a record of the transaction and will not be able to help you.
Don’t be discouraged
I’ve listed dangers here to make sure you are fully aware of them before double dipping. Don’t forget, though, that there are huge benefits to double dipping as well. In just the last 3 or 4 months, I’ve earned over 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points through tricks like these. And, that doesn’t even count the points and cash back earned from other shopping portals.
If you want to learn about which stores allow double dipping, or you have your own experiences to share, please visit the Gift Card Churning conversation on MilePoint.