Maximize your Daily Getaways

As I’m sure you’ve read from many other blogs already, the fifth week of Daily Getaways is now viewable.  There are some pretty sweet deals coming too!  With each of these deals, you can save an additional 10% by using an American Express card, but you can do even better!  As long as each deal you want is $500 or less, follow this recipe to maximize points and cash back:

Buy $500 Amex gift cards

Chase Ink

If you have a Chase Ink card, find an Office Depot store that carries $500 prepaid American Express cards and buy however many you need.  Yes, you will be charged a $4.95 fee, but the 5X points you earn in office supply stores way more than makes up for that!

Chase Freedom

If you have a Chase Freedom card, make sure you are registered for this quarter’s 5X grocery bonus.  Then find a grocery store that carries $500 prepaid American Express cards and buy however many you need.

Blue Cash Preferred

If you have a Blue Cash Preferred card, find a grocery store that carries $500 prepaid American Express cards and buy however many you need.  You will get 6% cash back!

Register your Amex gift cards

You won’t be able to use your cards online unless you do this step.  Call Amex at 866-207-7970 to register the cards.

Use your Amex gift cards to pay for Daily Getaways

The hard part is beating out everyone else who competes for the same getaways.  Using your Amex gift card should be the easy part now that they’ve fixed the date issue that stymied me before.  Good luck!

CAUTION: A reader has alerted me to the fact that Daily Getaways adds a $1 extra charge to the Amex gift card.  Presumably this is used to verify the card and will be reversed out later.  However, if you attempt to purchase a Getaway for exactly $500 (or however much is left on your card), the transaction will likely fail because of this additional $1 charge.

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    • David: By “groceries” I mean stores that are certain to be categorized as grocery stores: Kroger, Win Dixie, etc.

      sil: Yes, after registering the amex gc, you can use it to make purchases on amazon. Yes, you can (probably) use it for Amazon Payments as well. I haven’t tried that yet.

  1. I googled Chase Freedom Q&A, and it seems it does say Target and Walmart.
    But the questions is, is it only valid for groceries purchase or gift card included?


    A. Merchants in the Grocery store category include supermarkets as well as smaller grocery stores and most convenience stores. Please note that some merchants that sell grocery items are not included in the Grocery store category; for example, smaller merchants such as drugstores and merchants that specialize in only a few grocery items, as well as larger stores that sell a wide variety of goods, such as warehouse clubs and discount stores.

    • David: I believe that as long as Chase categorizes the merchant as a grocery store, then anything you buy there will get 5X. I don’t have a Freedom card, though, so it would be great if someone with first hand knowledge can chime in…

  2. @ David: I don’t have the specific language, but Target and Wal-Mart are limited to groceries in the Chase Freedom terms. In the list of eligable stores, they both have asterisks next to them, and the language noted by the asterisk at the bottom stated eligable for grocery items only. How/if they enforce it I do not know / haven’t tried.

  3. Regarding the Chase Freedom card isn’t there a $1,500 maximum for the amount of money you can spend at a grocery store and receive 5% points? you will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent here this quarter.

    Regarding 5% cash back with the inc bold? Is the 5% bonus unlimited or is there a cap?

  4. @Kevin – Yes, for Chase Freedom there’s a $1,500 cap per card. There are visa/mc versions so you could possibly have 1 of each.
    The Ink Bold has a $50,000 annual cap for some categories, office supplies included.

  5. For the Chase Freedom 5% on groceries, I can personally confirm Walmart, and a reader confirmed Target. I wrote a post on this a few weeks ago.

  6. I have a Chase Ink Bold Mastercard and am unable to find anything about the extra 5x for things like office supply store purchases anywhere. I do see 2x for purchases at Staples, but not the extra 5x. Can you help me find out if my card offers that? Thx.

    • Jimmy: Thanks for the reminder!

      Marty: I think you’re looking at the Ultimate Rewards Mall. This is different. This is a built-in benefit of the Ink Bold. The confusing part is that if you got your Ink Bold before a certain date in November 2011, then you do not have this benefit. If you got it recently, then you do. Your best bet is to call or send a secure message to Chase and ask them what bonus categories apply to your Ink Bold

  7. Hi,

    I tried to buy the visa giftcards at the grocery store last night but they said pay by cash or debit only =( maybe thats only in CA though….

    • Tisha: Yeah, I’m beginning to think that most places won’t accept credit cards as payment for fill-able cards (where you pick how much money goes on them). You should be fine buying $100 or $200 fixed amount Visa cards though.

  8. Hi,
    I just want to make a correction to your post. There is a difference between gift card & pre-paid card. Gift Card is a card that you can use like cash, already loaded with amount you paid for plus fee, but you cannot re-load & re-use. Pre-paid card is a card you need to load the amount you wish by yourself & they are re-usable. If you purchased $500 Amex pre-paid from Office Depot, you will NOT get 5x points (500×5=2500) because it is not gift card. You can only load pre-paid card with cash or debit.

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