Bad news for gift card churning

I’ve reported before that it is possible to increase credit card spend by buying and selling discount gift cards.  You can see more in the post “Gift cards: buy low, sell high, get cash back.”  To make many of these deals work, you need to get extra cash back when buying and selling gift cards.  One of the best options has been to go through TopCashBack to PlasticJungle.  Currently, TopCashBack gives 2% back for gift cards bought at PlasticJungle and 4% back for gift cards sold to PlasticJungle.  Another good option is ShopAtHome which offers a flat 2% cash back rate.  These cash back options often go a long way in bridging the difference between buy and sell prices, so that you can come out even and sometimes ahead by doing this.

Now for the bad news.  I received a tip today from a person who wishes to remain anonymous: As of midnight April 12th (Thursday night) PlasticJungle will lower their payout to cash back sites to 1% across the board.  It will be interesting to see if TopCashBack and ShopAtHome instantly lower their rates as well.  I expect they will.

So, if you have gift cards to sell, you might want to hurry!


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Comments

  1. Topcashback already lists that its ending in 1 day.
    Gift Card Sold to Plastic Jungle
    4%
    Ends in 1 Day
    Gift Card Purchased from Plastic Jungle
    2%
    Ends in 1 Day

    Bad news indeed.

  2. Hey FM,

    I would seriously urge people not to go over board with gift card churning. The return could be very nice; however, there are certain variables that gift card churners will eventually encounter.

    1. Gift card buyers (plastic jungle, cardpool, and others) will start frowning upon if you start selling thousands of dollars worth of gift card. In the worst case, they can deny the purchase since they have the right to do so. In such case, you could find another buyer, but there is a limit on keep hopping over.

    2. Even if the gift card buyers are willing to purchase all of your gift cards, you will eventually hit the limit when there are so many gift cards from the same store that the value will eventually drop.

    3. In the extreme case, you could put some of these gift card buyer’s business in jeopardy.

    So be mindful of the business that you are dealing with. They are not some large corporations with tons of cash reserve. I don’t know how big Plastic Jungle, the market leader, is, but if enough people start taking advantage of them and they do not find enough buyers, you are putting them into problems.

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