Best options for buying Gift of College gift cards

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Gift of College gift cards

Gift of College gift cards are available in-store and online.  These gift cards can be a great way to earn credit card rewards while saving for college or when paying student loans.  To learn about how this works, please see: Miles for College.

This post covers the most rewarding options for buying Gift of College gift cards…

Gift of College Gift Cards Availability

Gift of College gift cards are currently available through the following stores and websites…

Online (not recommended):

Please note that current online options have very high fees as a percentage of the maximum total value of the card.  These are not recommended for earning rewards.

In-Store:

  • H-E-B Texas Grocery
  • Fred’s Pharmacy (located in the Southeast)
  • Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us
  • Best Buy (coming soon)

With in-store purchases, you can load each card up to $500 with a fee of $5.95 on each card. This results in a 1.19% fee. Since many credit cards offer rewards that are worth much more than 1.19%, in-store purchases can make a lot of sense.

 

Grocery Stores

Gift of College Gift Cards are currently available for purchase at the H-E-B Texas Grocery.  Hopefully the cards will roll out to more grocery stores in the near future.

When buying these gift cards in-store, it is always best to load $500 to each card purchased.  In this way, you’ll minimize the gift card fee as a percentage of the total amount spent.  As long as you pay with a rewards credit card that offers better than 1.2% value in rewards, you’ll come out ahead.

Most rewarding credit card options for grocery store gift card purchases:

Drugstores

Gift of College Gift Cards are currently available for purchase at Fred’s Pharmacy (located in the Southeast).  Hopefully the cards will roll out to more drugstores in the near future.

When buying these gift cards in-store, it is always best to load $500 to each card purchased.  In this way, you’ll minimize the gift card fee as a percentage of the total amount spent.  As long as you pay with a rewards credit card that offers better than 1.2% value in rewards, you’ll come out ahead.

Most rewarding credit card options for drugstore gift card purchases:

Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us

Gift of College gift cardsGift of College Gift Cards are currently available for purchase nationwide at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores.  Make sure to check for gift cards in various aisles, the electronics department, and near each check-out register.

When buying these gift cards in-store, it is always best to load $500 to each card purchased.  In this way, you’ll minimize the gift card fee as a percentage of the total amount spent.  As long as you pay with a rewards credit card that offers better than 1.2% value in rewards, you’ll come out ahead.

Most rewarding credit card options for Toys “R” Us gift card purchases:

Best Buy

Gift of College Gift Cards are expected to be available nationwide at Best Buy stores sometime in 2017.

When buying these gift cards in-store, it is always best to load $500 to each card purchased.  In this way, you’ll minimize the gift card fee as a percentage of the total amount spent.  As long as you pay with a rewards credit card that offers better than 1.2% value in rewards, you’ll come out ahead.

Most rewarding credit card options for Best Buy gift card purchases:

  • US Bank Cash+: This card lets you choose two 5% cash back categories each quarter for up to $2,000 spend per quarter. Get 5% cash back at Best Buy by selecting electronics stores.
  • Huntington Voice: Earn 3% cash back on your choice from a number of categories for up to $2,000 spend per quarter. Choose Electronics Stores to get 3% cash back at Best Buy.
  • Discover It Miles: In the first year of card ownership, this card earns 3% cash back.  After the first year, you would do better with a 2% everywhere card such as the Citi Double Cash card.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: Earns 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. When paired with premium card (such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve), points can be redeemed for much more value.
  • The Blue Business Plus Credit Card: This card has no annual fee and offers 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar for all spend, up to $50,000 annually.
  • More great options can be found here

Comments

  1. Would a good card for this be Starwood Amex and then get 5000 bonus when you reach 20k and transfer ? Same question for using Plastiq for mortgage .

    Thx !

    • Yes that’s a very good option in my opinion for buying Gift of College gift cards. I consider SPG to be one of the best cards for non-bonus spend. With Plastiq, the 2.5% fee means that you would be essentially paying 2.5 cents per SPG point. I wouldn’t normally advise that unless you know that you’ll get more than that much value

  2. In your list of best options for Grocery Stores (thinking HEB) I did not see Chase Freedom listed at all. If used during the quarter which offers 5% back am assuming that it would be a good option for Gift of College gift cards during that time period.

  3. Can someone please confirm that you do get 2x MR points with Amex Blue Bus Plus CC? Because in the terms/conditions: exclude buying/reloading prepaid cards.

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