February 10, 2012
A reader contacted me yesterday asking about the best way to meet minimum spend on her American Express business card. She has $1000 left to spend and wants to buy Walmart gift cards. Of course she could simply go to Walmart to buy them, but she’d like to save money and/or earn points too. So, what is the best option? Here’s the best approach I can think of:
Step 1: Look for discounted Walmart cards
Go to GiftCardGranny.com and search for Walmart. You may want to uncheck the box on the left that shows Ebay Auctions since these are not final prices. As of the time of this writing, there are many cards available for anywhere from 2% to 5% off their face value.
Step 2: See if any of the discount cards qualify for additional cash back
Before buying the cards found in step 1, check to see if you can earn cash back by going through a cash back shopping portal:
- Through ShopAtHome, the following offers are available:
- CardPool.com offers .8% cash back
- GiftCertificates.com offers 3% cash back
- GiftCards.com offers 3.5% cash back
- Through FatWallet, you can get 1% cash back for purchases made at PlasticJungle
- Through eBay, you always get 2% back in the form of eBay bucks.
Step 3 (optional): Buy bank gift cards in order to buy the Walmart cards
Through the American Express OPEN Savings program, purchases of more than $100 at OfficeMax result in a 5% rebate! So, you can go to OfficeMax and buy $200 Visa gift cards. Once you account for the $6.95 fee per card, you end up with a savings of 1.7%. You can now use these Visa gift cards to buy the discounted Walmart cards you found in steps 1 and 2.
NOTE: Only do this step if the gift cards you intend to buy are each $200 or less! If they cost more, it probably won’t be possible to use the Visa cards to purchase the Walmart cards. Another option is to go through Big Crumbs in order to buy an American Express gift card in a larger denomination. Through Big Crumbs you will get 1.4% back, but you will have to pay Amex a service fee and shipping. Truthfully, unless you buy a very large denomination card from Amex (in order to minimize the % loss due to shipping and fees), this option is probably not worth the effort.
Add it up
Through the 3 steps above, it may be possible to save as much as 5% in step 1, 3.5% in step 2, and 1.7% in step 3 for a total savings of 10.2%! This would amount to about $100 in savings!
In this post I detailed how to go about getting Walmart gift cards with as big of a discount as possible. There are, however, many other ways to meet the minimum spend on your credit cards. For some examples, please see “Top ten ways to spend a lot of money and get most of it back.”
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