For those saving for college, helping others save for college, or paying off student loans, Gift of College gift cards are a way to do so with a rewards earning credit card. If you load the card with the maximum $500, the $5.95 purchase fee amounts to 1.19%. Since many credit cards offer substantially larger rewards, this can be a great way to earn points, miles, or cash back. Full details can be found here: Pay student loans or 529 plans with a credit card!
Gift of College gift cards have been available at Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores since November 2016. Now they are starting to appear in other stores:
Gift of College gift cards were expected to appear nationwide in Best Buy stores in the summer of 2017, but they never appeared. Will we ever see them there? I have no idea, but will obviously post to the blog if they do.
Why this Matters
There are a few reasons that I’m excited about Gift of College gift cards appearing in more locations:
- Availability: Not everyone has Toys R Us stores nearby
- Category Bonuses: I’m not aware of any credit cards that offer bonus points for toy stores as a standard perk, but grocery store bonuses are common. Pharmacy bonuses are common with cards that offer rotating category bonuses (e.g. Chase Freedom and Discover It). See: Best Card for Grocery, Gas, Drugstores, Travel, Dining, More…
- Store Rewards: Most stores do not give rewards when buying gift cards, but some do. We don’t yet know if any of the stores listed here will offer such rewards, but we can hope!
- Linked Rewards: Some rewards programs link to credit cards and automatically offer rewards when purchases are made at certain locations. We’ll keep an eye out for these opportunities going forward.