Best options for buying Gift of College gift cards (now at Cumberland Farms!)

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Gift of College gift cards are now available at Cumberland Farms. This is great news for those in the northeast or Florida, especially if you have a credit card that earns bonus rewards at gas stations.
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: Frequent Miler’s 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 now offers a BUY IN-STORE LOCATOR. Note that this locator only shows stores that may sell the cards. Whether or not the cards are in-stock cannot be found online.

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

In-Store (up to $500):

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 $5.95 gift card fee as a percentage of the total amount spent. This results in a 1.19% fee. As long as you pay with a rewards credit card that offers better than 1.2% value in rewards, you’ll come out ahead.

In-Store (but not recommended due to low maximums):

  • Barnes & Noble: $25-$200
  • Target: $50 and $100

Note that while the above stores are now selling Gift of College gift cards, the low maximum values mean that each card’s $5.95 fee is a large percentage of the overall transaction. As a result, these offer poor value unless you happen to have a credit card that offers a very large bonus at these stores.

Online (not recommended):

  • GiftOfCollege.com
  • Also available through a few 529 Plan websites. Check your plan’s website to see if they sell these gift cards and to compare fees.

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.

Credit Card Info

Does the store accept credit cards for the purchase of Gift of College gift cards?

Many stores do accept credit cards for the purchase of 3rd party gift cards, but the decision is usually left to the store manager. As a result, some of the stores that carry Gift of College gift cards won’t be useful for earning rewards if they don’t accept credit cards for the purchase.

Credit Card Bonus Categories

Grocery Stores

Gift of College Gift Cards are currently available for purchase at multiple grocery store chains:

Many credit cards offer bonus points at grocery stores. Here are some of the best options:

Gas Stations

Gift of College Gift Cards are currently available for purchase at the following stores that are known to code as gas stations:

Many credit cards offer bonus points at gas stations, but you won’t earn a bonus for those that limit bonuses to “pay at the pump”. Here are some of the best options:

  • Ducks Unlimited Visa from First Bankcard: Earn 5% back at gas stations & sporting goods stores
  • Amex Business Gold: Earn 4X Membership Rewards on the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from the following categories: ⚬ US purchases at restaurants ⚬ Airfare purchased directly from airlines ⚬ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ U.S. purchases at gas stations ⚬ U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 4X applies to first $150,000 in combined purchases in your two categories each calendar year, 1X point per dollar thereafter and on other purchases. Terms apply.
  • Citi Premier: Earn 3X ThankYou points per dollar at gas stations.
  • Amex EveryDay Preferred: Offers up to 3X Membership Rewards at gas stations: Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar at US gas stations plus a 50% bonus each billing period in which you make 30 or more purchases.
  • Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard: Earn 2% on dining plus 3% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter).  With Business Advantage Relationship Rewards Platinum Honors status (which requires $100K in savings and investments across Bank of America and Merrill Edge), you’ll get a 75% bonus on rewards.  This translates to 5.25% cash back within your chosen category of spend.
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors: You can get up to a 75% bonus through your banking relationship with Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge. This makes it possible to earn up to: 3.5% at grocery stores and 5.25% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter; and 1.75% cash back everywhere else.
  • More great options can be found here

More info

To learn more about how to earn miles when saving for college (or paying student loans), please see: Frequent Miler’s Miles for College.

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