Big Crumbs Amex rebate down to 1.4%

A common method people have used to meet minimum credit card spend to qualify for signup bonuses is to buy American Express gift cards via Big Crumbs in order to put big charges on their cards and get 1.6% cash back in the process.  Unfortunately, the cash back rate has now dropped to 1.4%.

Fortunately, there are a few other good options if you are working on meeting minimum spend for the Chase Ink Bold or any American Express business card with OPEN Savings:

Ink Bold

Option 1: Buy Visa gift cards at Staples via Ultimate Rewards Mall

As I reported yesterday in the post “Inking Money” you can buy $100 Visa gift cards (with a $5.95 service fee) at Staples via the Ultimate Rewards Mall in order to get a total of 9 points per dollar.  The extra points earned when doing this (above the 1 point normally earned for credit card spend) are worth $11.18 according to the Fair Trading Price of Ultimate Rewards points.  After subtracting out the $5.95 service fee, you gain $5.23 (in the form of points).  In other words, this is like a 5.23% rebate!

Option 2: Buy Visa gift cards in person

Another option with the Ink Bold is to buy $200 Visa gift cards with a $6.95 service fee at any office superstore such as Staples, OfficeMax, or Office Depot.  Since the Ink Bold gives 5 points per dollar for office supplies, this approach returns 1035 points, or 935 more than would be earned for non-bonus purchases.  The Fair Trading Price of those 935 points is $12.24.  After subtracting out the $6.95 service fee, you gain $5.29 (in points).  This amounts to a 2.6% rebate.

American Express with OPEN Savings

As I reported in the post “Turn your Amex into Visa and Save $,” American Express OPEN savings give 5% back for purchases of $100 or more at OfficeMax.  So, it is possible to buy $200 Visa cards at OfficeMax with a $6.95 fee and you will get $10.35 back.  In other words, this is like a 1.7% rebate.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. For those near Kroger you can buy Amex giftcard for $500, cost $5.95, earns 1000 Kroger points = $1 off/gal gasoline up to 35 gal. Potential saving of $29 or 5.8% rebate.

  2. these long convoluted calculations dont state the fact that POINTS ARE NOT CASH, whether they are kroger points MR points or UR points. They can be assigned a value but unless they can be traded for CASH they are still just points, not worth the time, effort and fees.
    You can flush the money you paid in fees buying a card, not to mention gas and time to go to the store and get them, then you still have to spend the cards as there is no way to cash them in…so more gas and time.
    unless you have a CC bonus required spend to meet, your just chasing your tail on this scheme…..even 2% would only be $20 on a thousand bucks of gift cards, which would be used up in gas buying and spending them.

  3. I know this is an old post, but is it possible to have an endless loop going?

    e.g. buy 1k amex, get 1.4% back —> use 1k amex to buy another 1k amex, get 1.4% back —-> repeat to infinity.

    Will this be shut down by amex or in some other way not possible?

    • CaptainCool: I don’t think Amex will let you buy Amex gift cards with Amex gift cards. However, there might be a neat loop if you can use the Amex gift card to buy Vanilla reload cards and use those to reload a reloadable Mastercard or Visa…

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