Best options for buying $500 Visa gift cards

Recently, Visa and MasterCard gift cards became great tools for earning points and miles thanks to the new ability to assign PINs (see “Gift card PINs“).  It’s now possible to buy gift cards and cash them out easily by loading them to your Bluebird card or other means.  In other words, buying debit gift cards is now like buying cash and paying with a credit card.  One can earn points and miles and pay only the fee associated with the gift card (if any).

Size Matters:  When buying gift cards in order to earn points & miles, the best cards are those with the lowest net cost as a percentage of card value.  High value gift cards tend to have the lowest fees (as a percentage of their value) and they are easier to deal with.  For example, a Bluebird card can be loaded up to $1000 per day at Walmart (via “Swipe Reloads”) for free.  With $100 gift cards, you would have to do 10 swipes to get to $1000.  With $500 gift cards, it takes only 2 swipes.  And, while $1000 gift cards exist (at least, they used to!), they’re very hard to find.  So, currently, $500 gift cards are the sweet spot to look for.

Visa vs. MasterCard: While it is now possible to set PINs with both Visa and MasterCard gift cards, people have reported more issues in trying to use MasterCards with PINs than Visa gift cards.  Until that changes, I’d recommend favoring Visa gift cards whenever you have the choice.

Here is a roundup of the best options I know of for buying $500 gift cards:

GiftCardMall.com

large sample

UPDATE: Since this was written, cash back at GiftCardMall via TopCashBack has dropped to .5%.

Until recently, GiftCardMall offered $1000 Visa gift cards which were perfect for loading to Bluebird.  Sadly, they recently lowered the top Visa gift card amount to $500 and they raised their fees slightly.  Even with those changes, though, GiftCardMall can be a good deal, especially when you start your purchase from a cash back portal.

TopCashBack offers .5% cash back for GiftCardMall Visa purchases.  If you click through from TopCashBack to GiftCardMall and buy two $500 Visa cards with standard non-trackable delivery, your credit card will be charged $1,015.38.  If all goes well, you’ll get back $5 from TopCashBack, so your net cost will be $10.38 which is a net fee of 1%.

Note that GiftCardMall sends the Visa gift cards in one envelope and sends activation codes in another.  I think that this helps make delivery of the cards more secure and so I would be willing to accept non-trackable delivery.  If you prefer trackable delivery, the total price goes up by $2.

Pros:

  • Pay with any credit card accepted by GiftCardMall. 
  • With GiftCardMall gift cards, you do not need to set the PIN in advance.  Simply use the last four digits of the card number a the PIN.

Cons:

  • Your purchase through TopCashBack (or any portal) may not track correctly, so you might not get paid.
  • GiftCardMall often holds up orders as they investigate them.  This can be a hassle.
  • It’s not hard, but you do need to activate the cards online once you receive them.
  • It’s unclear whether any credit card companies would treat these purchases as cash advances.  I’ve never heard of this happening with GiftCardMall, but the possibility does exist (especially with Citibank cards).

 

OneVanilla Prepaid Cards

OneVanilla

Certain OneVanilla cards can be loaded up to $500 with only a $4.95 fee each.  This is $1 cheaper than most competitors.  $500 OneVanilla cards can be found at certain gas stations, drug stores, and grocery stores.  In my experience you can use these cards without ever setting up a PIN. The card simply uses the first PIN you type in.

Pros:

  • Pay with any credit card accepted by the store.  If your credit card earns bonus points at the store visited, then you should earn bonus points for these purchases as well.
  • Banks will generally treat these purchases as store purchases so you do not have to fear the purchase counting as a cash advance.
  • No need to set the PIN in advance.

Cons:

  • The $4.95 fee amounts to approximately 1% of the card’s value. This is not a bad price, but it is more than the options presented above.

 

 

Reader Experiences

Have you found any better deals than those listed above for $500 gift cards?  Have you had any experiences to add to (or contradict) what I wrote?  Please comment below.

Last updated on November 4th, 2013

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Kevin @ Rent Your Credit
Guest

In my area you can no longer earn Kroger fuel points for variable Visa cards. Sucks 🙁 Change went in on 5/1.

ablazinob
Guest
ablazinob

Buy amex gift cards through topcashback then thru giftcardmall

FrequentMiler
Guest

ablazinob: Yes, that’s a good approach. You can also use those Amex gift cards to buy visa gcs from grocery stores & elsewhere.
Sil: The 10% discount at OfficeMax for Amex business cards is only for online orders over $250. Since they don’t sell Visa gcs online, it wouldn’t work. But, you can do this: 1) Buy >$250 worth of OfficeMax gcs online; and 2) use those gcs to buy Visa gcs in-store. Some stores won’t allow it, but some do.
Kevin / Gene: I guess I’ll have to check my Kroger again. Hopefully this is not a systemwide change.

Sil
Guest
Sil

I have the AMEX business gold open card. It states that you can get 10% discount with purchases from Officemax. Would Visa Gift cards be counted as purchases? Would AMEX know that it was a Visa GC purchase ?

Gene
Guest
Gene

I did NOT earn Kroger fuel points for ATL purchase of US Bank gift card on 4/29.

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

Chase Gift Cards require you to pay with a Chase credit card in my experience.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Nicholas: Thanks for the tip. Has anyone had success buying Chase gift cards with a non-Chase credit card?
Randy: thanks
David: I haven’t tried buying gcs from Chase, so I don’t know. I assumed that they would accept any Visa or MasterCard for payment, but I could certainly be wrong

Randy
Guest
Randy

Also, Wal Mart sells a Visa variable GC up to $500 for a $4.94 fee. I’ve used them several times, however, I usually go through Kroger per your first option above. I have received fuel points and continue to do so (Houston area).

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

I noticed a sign posted in our Kroger about variable load gift cards not offering fuel points too, but when I went to check out I still got the points. Bummer if this stops working soon!!

auf
Guest
auf

I have a Chase Sapphire….seems like being the GCs from Chase is the best bet for manufactured spend

David
Guest
David

FM,

can you clarify if Chase GC requires ONLY Chase CC. Your post on it makes it sound like other Bank cards would work too. My experience along with others have been Chase only. Can you confirm either way?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

chase gift cards state in the faq. no pin!

Is the card a credit card? Back to the top
No, but since there is no PIN with the card, select “credit” rather than the “debit” or “ATM” if you are prompted by a merchant’s terminal .

MrWho
Guest
MrWho

@Randy
I heard that some WMs let you buy VISA GCs (but not MC GCs) with a CCs. It is probably useful for the Citi 5x on groceries if you don’t care for fuel points or gotten enough fuel points for the month because it’s $1 cheaper.

@Curtis
Let us enjoy while it lasts…it seems the loophole is getting closed due to abuse…but I heard that a promo (4x fuel points on some GCs) may be affecting some areas not earning 1x points on VISA/MC GCs.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

OneVanilla cards state on the back that it can take 24 hrs for the funds to show up. Has anyone had this happen?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Daniel: My OneVanilla cards have worked fine within 20 minutes of purchase (I haven’t tested a quicker turnaround than that).

MrWho
Guest
MrWho

@Daniel
Where are you getting the information?

“3. Debit or Credit?
A merchant may ask you if your Card purchase is “Debit” or “Credit.” You have two choices. In both instances, your purchase will be subtracted directly from the remaining balance on your Card.

If you choose credit: Select “Credit” and sign the receipt if required. For some small dollar purchases and when you pay at the gas pump, you may not need to provide a signature.

If you choose debit: Select “Debit” and you must enter your PIN. “PIN” means a four (4) digit personal identification number that you can select by calling us at 1.866.466.0079.”

https://www.chasewebgiftpurchase.com/index.cfm?pageid=g07&%%sessiontoken%%

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
David
Guest
David

Does anyone know if there are limits to how many orders you can place with the same Chase card? I know there is a 2.5K limit per order. but is there a limit of orders per CC? like 1 order per month per CC?

Anyone?

CJ
Guest
CJ

Wait we’re still good on $3k Amex GCs using the workaround right? (on my phone so I can’t check right now).

MrWho
Guest
MrWho

@Daniel
Please provide the direct link where it says “chase gift cards state in the faq. no pin!” since the T&C states exactly the opposite of what you said.

MrWho
Guest
MrWho

@David
I’ve been reading that there are inconsistencies for how many orders you can place on a particular Chase CC card.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

the faq link at the bottom of the page
FAQ’s about the Chase Visa® Gift Card (the “card”)

6. Is the card a credit card? Back to the top
No, but since there is no PIN with the card, select “credit” rather than the “debit” or “ATM” if you are prompted by a merchant’s terminal

https://www.chasewebgiftpurchase.com/index.cfm?pageid=g04&CFID=1&CFTOKEN=A5B9511145AB1ADDBCD9FA4B9FC43243&CFSEQ=1

S Brown
Guest
S Brown

I bought nine $500 gift cards thru the Chase site about a month ago and when I tried to do so again last week my credit card was declined due to something like “too many uses recently.” So I just used a different Chase card and it went through fine. Anyone know the rule? Will I never be able to use these cards to purchase the gift cards again, or is there a limit of just once per 30 days, or what?

Sunnie
Guest
Sunnie

Sorry to ask the same thing again – how do I get Walmart to load my Bluebird card from my $1000 Visa gift card without charging me a fee? They insist it will incur a $3.00 fee. is it worth it?
And my $2000 Amex GC – any possibility of putting it on Bluebird? Otherwise….?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Sunnie: As long as you go to Walmart in person to load Bluebird there is no fee. No, you can’t load your Amex GC to Bluebird unless you use it to buy Visa GCs and then use those to load Bluebird.
Bored Russian: The main point is to manufacture spend. Let’s say you need to meet minimum spend on a new credit card signup: you can buy Visa gift cards and transfer their value to Bluebird, then use that money to pay bills that you can’t otherwise pay by credit card (mortgage, rent, credit card bills, etc.) or simply transfer the money back to your checking account.

Bored Russian
Guest
Bored Russian

I don’t get the point of buying gift cards with fee unless you get double points or some other perks. Unless you get cash back thru portals. Why?

thepointstraveler
Guest

@Daniel & @mrwho- Chase cards come with pin but Chase never updated the FAQ. Take a look at section 3 of the terms and conditions https://www.chasewebgiftpurchase.com/index.cfm?pageid=g07&%%sessiontoken%%

@S Brown – limit is $2,600 per Chase credit card in a 30 day rolling period. However, some people aren’t having it reset after 30.

DonT
Guest
DonT

Do purchases of Chase gift cards with Chase credit cards esrn UR points?

Andy
Guest
Andy

I’ve been noticing that at Office Depot in Houston area, most of the visa gift card (100 and up) are not stocked very well, or all gone.

Anyone noticing the same trend?

thepointstraveler
Guest

@ DonT – Yes they do.

Chad
Guest
Chad

Just to confirm, Can you load a chase visa gift card onto bluebird at a walmart kiosk?

thepointstraveler
Guest

@Chad – yes you can. I have loaded many of them both at the kiosks and with cashiers

MrWho
Guest
MrWho

@thepointstraveler
Thanks. Just wanted to see where the information came from, and Daniel is right. It’s there. However, FAQ, which is not lawfully bound can not supersede the T&C, which is lawfully bound. Hope the FAQ page gets updated, so the “confusion” for the others disappear.

Elenor
Guest
Elenor

I’ve been picking up AMEX gift cards (only $200s, alas) at OD or Staples with my Ink Bold, and then going to Costco (I go every week at least) and moving that $$ onto a Costco Cash Card (free at Customer Service). Apparently I CAN use the AMEX GC for food purchases inside Costco, but the Costco gas station doesn’t accept them — so I need the Cash Card to pump gas. (I had ordered a couple of Costco cards directly from Costco (in Minnesota!) to meet minimum spend, but it’s better at 5 points/office supply store. Ordered by mail before I knew I could use the AMEX GCs to TRF $$ to Costco.)

I have found, however, that I cannot go directly from OD/Staples to Costco — it does seem to take longer than an hour or two for the AMEX card to be usable at Costco.

TheDapperChurner
Guest
TheDapperChurner

Was it necessary to post this again? This topic has already been covered on this blog in detail. I’m going to assume that there was nothing else to blog about, or you want to make sure that the deals get killed.

FrequentMiler
Guest

TheDapperChurner: Things are changing so fast with gift cards that I don’t feel like was posting “again”. I tend to write what’s on my mind each day and identifying the best gift card options is top of mind. I have a list a mile long of things to blog about!
jkl: Yes, you can buy Visa gift cards with Walmart gift cards (you can even do so online with $200 Visa gcs)
Nancy: best way is to get a bluebird card and take the gc to Walmart to do a “swipe reload” to move the money from the gc to bluebird. Your Walmart doesn’t have to have a machine to do this. You can go to a register.

jkl
Guest
jkl

does anyone know if walmart will sell you visa gc paid with a walmart gift card?
thanks in advance

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Question on how to “cash out” a chase gc. No Bluebird or Vanilla reload and local WalMart doesn’t have machine to purchase mo. New to this, so help is appreciated.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

@Bored Russian – agreed…

Also, isn’t this just the same thing worded slightly different than these prior posts?

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2013/04/23/the-hunt-for-perfect-gift-cards-part-2/

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2013/04/18/the-hunt-for-perfect-gift-cards-part-1/

Additionally, in addition to killing off the $1k GCM Visa GCs and partially killing $3k AMEX GCs, I’m pretty sure the prior posts finally caused Kroger to fix the glitch in their system to not award FPs, which is now rolling out one Kroger chain/division/affiliate/region at a time, they clearly do not intend to do so as corp. has been mailing out signs indicating these GCs aren’t eligible for years (certain stores put them up while others don’t bother), so it is clearly a non-intended loophole and repeatedly spelling that out on a public site and rubbing it in the company’s face will only prompt them to fix the loophole faster than they otherwise might and is not a good idea IMHO…

IMHO its pretty clear that if people continue to beat this to death and spell it out repeatedly (like everyone did with VRs at OD, etc., etc.), negative reactions from the parties involved will be guaranteed…

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jeff: I do my best to pick which topics are OK to publish and which are not. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decisions. That’s OK. The gift card opportunities are bound to end soon regardless of what I do, so I feel confident that the best option right now is to share what I know. No, this isn’t the same as prior posts. I don’t think I ever mentioned Chase gift cards before, for example.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Are Chase Gift Cards purchased with a Chase credit card handled as a “purchase” or as a “cash advance”?

AnnD
Guest
AnnD

Winn-Dixie is currently offering double “Fuelperks” for gift card purchases “for Moms, Dads and Grads”. So I’m buying Home Depot gift cards for our current renovation with my “5% rewards on groceries” Visa card, plus getting 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $50 purchase.

Sam
Guest
Sam

FM, stop promoting TopCashback portal, they don`t pay back and your reputation gets ruined.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Sam: Some people have had many issues with TopCashBack (and I’ve reported that fact many times), but most people have used TCB without problems.
Kayla: Thanks for the heads up! GiftCardMall has also disappeared from FatWallet, so they must have pulled out of their affiliate channels altogether (at least for now).

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

Update on TopCashBack. Within the past hour they took away their cash back earning option for GiftCardMall.com. Hopefully this is temporary, but wanted to let you know before the readers come with pitchforks! 🙂

Brett
Guest
Brett

Just noticed TCB stopped paying on giftcardmall too…that will be a disappointment. Better grab more OD visa’s before those disappear too.

Johnnycomeslater
Guest
Johnnycomeslater

dealing with GCM demands a lot a patience. I placed two orders, they initially canceled both, I called them and then they went ahead with one of them. After two weeks, I finally got my gcs. That was my first and last try with them.

Marie
Guest
Marie

FM: I went to threee Walmarts and the machines are out of service. Based on your post #44 and #45, I can load Bluebird with the cash register or the money center, it should be fine and there are not fees involved. Is that right? Many thanks.

Jolly
Guest
Jolly

The problem is finding grocery stores in NYC that sell $500 gift cards.

I’m not sure the 3% fee you pay for buying $200 gift cards at office stores is worth it :/

Jared
Guest
Jared

@Marie

I loaded my BB with the money center and it was smooth and no fee.

Penn
Guest
Penn

https://www.chasewebgiftpurchase.com/index.cfm?pageid=g04

See #2. You need a Chase card to buy them, at least that’s what they claim. Would love to use this with my VX card, trying something with their $25k spend.

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Trying to avoid Bluebird. Is there any other way to liquidate gc’s without BB. Since BB is an AmEx product, they are not allowing those of us that refused to go through the FR process have a BB. Silly, I know. I am almost to the point of breaking down and providing demanded info. for the FR!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Nancy: try GoBank. I’m still waiting for my card, so I can’t confirm yet if it works, but I expect it will

namtuge
Guest
namtuge

@FrequentMiler Are you GoBank member? Would you mind sending an invite?

mike
Guest
mike

faithful reader since the beginning, but i have to say that enough is enough now. i watch each and every week- and now nearly every day- as you post about every good GC opportunity out there and it is killed on the SAME DAY. things i’ve been doing for months and months with no problems, and then they get canned the same day you post them. i do want to add my 2 cents and say you do great work, but the lag time is now zero from when you post to when the deal is dead. it is so incredibly frustrating to see deals die in hours which have been running for months and months now. i do think it’s time to think a little about posting the good Visa GC deals. post other things. please stop beating this to death. we will all thank you.

Jack
Guest
Jack

@FrequentMiler Would you mind sending me an invite for GoBank too?

Lauren
Guest
Lauren

FM, I love your blog; your tips have helped me to travel more economically and enjoyably. But I have the same exact thoughts as the previous poster, Mike.

Is too much of a good thing bad? I think so, especially when the methods you post about are eliminated hours later.

I admire your success; people trust and want to hear from you. I thank you for your advice; you are knowledgable and kind to educate others. But, please consider: are you doing more harm than good now? Tragedy of commons, or hubris?

I still appreciate what you do and support this blog, whatever you choose to do. Thanks, FM!

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I disagree without this blog, I would have not learned of how do this. As I am on a very limited income it has helped me greatly. Please, FM keep on posting. The ones that are abusing this are more than likely the ones complaining. There cash cow is gone.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Now this is getting interesting! As I mentioned earlier, I use my own judgment as to what to write and what not to, and that will always continue. I’ll admit that I may have made a mistake today in hinting about how to get a better deal from giftcardmall. I’ve kept that trick pretty quiet because I did believe that publicity would kill it. I didn’t think that a veiled hint about it would make a difference, but maybe it has. We’ll never know for sure, but I’m willing to consider the possibility that GCM disappearing from the portals today wasn’t just a coincidence. If so, then I goofed by pointing out a loophole that may have been read by a GCM employee. Live, learn, blog…

Alexi
Guest
Alexi

I really enjoy your blog. We are all better off sharing angles. Even if their life span is truncated, the deals are only dying becsuse so many are benefitting.

Keep up the great work.

Macro Polo
Guest
Macro Polo

@FM: Don’t believe you can purchase variable load VS/MC with WM GC. At least not without manager override, which IMHO is too painful to endure regularly. Fixed denomination variety one can buy online without issue.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Macro Polo: thanks for the correction. I believe you’re right about that.

Lively
Guest
Lively

@Ann#36: Thanks for the Winn Dixie tip! I never shop there, but I’ll go by tomorrow to pick up some gift cards (and earn fuel perks).

Marie
Guest
Marie

@Jared #50
I went to the Walmart cash register and loaded the Bluebird. Thank you for your help.

Jason
Guest
Jason

TopCashback never pays, why are you promoting that scam?

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

Personally I think the deals are being killed by the shitheads buying massive amounts of giftcards, not by the general sharing of information on blogs.

Anyway, just tried buying one of Chase’s gift cards with a Citi VISA card and got an error saying as expected that they require a Chase card for payment. So yes, this is true and enforced as far as I know. Unless they’ve got a glitch in their matching process…

In Northern California there’s Safeway/Chevron and Shell/Lucky. Haven’t tried either to see if I’ll get gas points for gift card purchases. Worth a test.

MileageUpdate
Guest

Deals arent being killed by the few people that go large. Reality today is that there are a lot of people in this space now and that large crowd in like a swarm of locust on a field of crops. With the sheer volume alone it swarms a deal and sends the company who offers it into a panic. GCM one day they are doing x vol then all of a sudden 50-100x the volume comes pouring in. The mindset of the company becomes “Whats going on? and are we getting ripped off”.

Dave
Guest
Dave

FM am I understanding this correctly? First, you entered into a relationship with TCB by getting them to increase thier payouts on two consecutive Mondays. So far so good for everyone involved. But then you promote a loophole about exploiting TCB deals on your blog? What on earth are you thinking? No wonder they pulled the cashback deal they probably rightly feel like they got stabbed in the back.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave: TCB gets paid by the merchants and they pass along that payment to their customers. TCB doesn’t mind if people double dip. In fact, it just means more eyeballs on their site (and hence more ad revenue). If anyone was hurt by the loophole it was GCM and they did pull out of all cash back portals (at least temporarily).

Lemma
Guest
Lemma

To those saying TCB is a scam – I haven’t had any problems with it so far. I know FM has reported it’s worked for him too. The bulk of my purchases are still pending, but I have had them pay out plenty so far. Different merchants take different amounts of time to move from pending to payable. I’ve actually had greater success with TCB than BC, where I more frequently have to submit a support ticket to get my cashback.

daniel
Guest
daniel

Sent on: May 14, 2013 8:57 AM
Re: My Account

Comments: do chase gift cards have a pin

Dear Mr.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Some may have a pin and others do not. This is based on the type of card and the terms and conditions that governs the card.

Thank you,
Cardholder Services

scott
Guest
scott

SOL–
“This website does not support online sales of Chase Gift Cards to residents of the following states: AR, CT, HI, ME, NH, NJ, RI, VT. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

BKL
Guest
BKL

Would you mind sending me an invite to gobank?

FrequentMiler
Guest

For those who asked for gobank referrals, please go to gobank.com and enter your info to get on the waiting list. Then, try tweeting them and/or sending them a message on Facebook to get access.

Short of sending you money, I don’t think there’s a way for me to refer you directly.

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

Variable load Metabank VISA card at Safeway did not earn Fuel Points. I guess that was expected. I was able to assign a PIN by calling the number on the back, though it took a little longer than I’d like. Chase cards were easier.

However, they also didn’t have any fixed value VISA cards at this location of any value over $25 which just ain’t worth it.

Supposedly Only1 Visa, NetSpend and REloadit gift cards earn fuel points at Safeway according to their FAQ. Never seen an Only1. Think they did have NetSpend and REloadit. Both seem to suggest they have PINs. Not sure if either can be loaded to Bluebird but I guess I’ll find out…

ben
Guest
ben

I think Gobank now only accepts debit cards for the initial deposit.

trackback

[…] Recently Visa and MasterCard gift cards became great tools for earning points and miles thanks to the new ability to assign PINsseeGift card PINs It's now …boardingarea.com/…/best-options-for-buying-500-visa-gift-ca… […]

TheDapperDon
Guest
TheDapperDon

Nothing has changed. You are saying that things are changing, but nothing has. The only thing that changes is that the deal is killed. It’s killed because you spell it out to everyone on a frequent basis. If in fact you were posting about changes, you could have posted an update to a previous post and left it at that. It’s essentially the same post you’ve had on here. If you are making money by folks clicking your links, folks won’t click them out of frustration. This information was posted initially on Flyertalk. Now, it’s being blasted all over the web every week or so. Repeating the same information and updating changes are NOT the same thing.

trackback

[…] Recently Visa and MasterCard gift cards became great tools for earning points and miles thanks to the new ability to assign PINsseeGift card PINs It's now …boardingarea.com/…/best-options-for-buying-500-visa-gift-ca… […]

trackback

[…] Best options for buying $500 Visa gift cards […]

luhex
Guest
luhex

In my experience, the reason they put a hold on my purchase was that I used an email address different than the one I have on my credit card account. It seems that, when compared there was a difference and automatically the transaction is cancelled. When I started using the same email, I had no more problems.

trackback

[…] Recently, Visa and MasterCard gift cards became great tools for earning points and miles thanks to the new ability to assign PINs (see “Gift card PINs“). It's now …boardingarea.com/…/best-options-for-buying-500-visa-gift-ca… […]

Phoenix
Guest
Phoenix

It might be a good idea for each one to write to GCM (giftcardmall) requesting them to 1. Bring back the $1000 visa gift card 2. Reconsider the $2/card verification fees or the shipping fees – as this puts them higher than other products.

trackback

[…] You can order the cards online at chase.com/gift-cards. The current message on the website says: We apologize that we are temporarily unable to offer Chase …boardingarea.com/…/best-options-for-buying-500-visa-gift-ca… […]

trackback

[…] You can order the cards online at chase.com/gift-cards. The current message on the website says: We apologize that we are temporarily unable to offer Chase …boardingarea.com/…/best-options-for-buying-500-visa-gift-ca… […]

Jared
Guest
Jared

I bought 3 500-dollar Chase Visa gift card and received them a couple days ago. When I activated the first card I tried to change the PIN number though after I entered there’s no response then I hung up. For the 2nd and 3rd cards I didn’t try to change.

Today I went to Walmart to reload my BB, when I tried to use my 1st GC (own PIN), it got declined, I tried again with the assigned PIN, declined. However the 2nd and 3rd cards had no problem to reload.

Back home I called the activation number and I was told again that my PIN of the 1st card is the assigned number, meaning I didn’t change it successfully. Then I chose to speak with a representative. I briefly explained the situation and then was told “sir, this card does not have a PIN number, it can only be used for credit transaction…” No matter what I say the answer was the same “credit only!” …….really useless CS… I will go to Walmart to try again tomorrow.

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[…] Miler is at it again with “Best options for buying $500 Visa gift cards“. I am not into grocery shopping and I do not shop at Kroger. I never understood the […]

Mitch
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Mitch

I just signed up for a Chase Ink Bold card and an hour later got an offer from Chase Air Tran card to get 2 free RT flights if I spend 2k. I was approved for both and now I need to spend 7k in 90 days. Can I order 5 x 500 chase gift cards for each card and it count towards the sign up bonus? Any idea?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Mitch: yes, I expect that would work, but be sure to use the cards for lots of regular spend.

Curt
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Curt

The one vanilla prepaid was availible at my local speedway gas station so I picked a couple up with my freedom yesterday, will see if the 5% bonus/5x bonus works.

In my opinion, convenience of time & the ease of use of this card is far better than the ones issued by US Bank & they cost $1.00 more than the Vanilla prepaid.

AW
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AW

Topcashback website looks to have lowered cash back on Visa Gift Cards to 0.5%. Bummer.

Elaine
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Elaine

FM, you wrote in the blog, regarding Chase gift cards:

“Cons: … It’s possible that some banks will treat these purchases as cash advances.”

I would like to use my Ink Bold to order some Chase gift cards.

But from all the comments of people buying the card, assigning a pin, and putting the money on their Bluebird, it sure sounds like Chase does not consider this a cash advance.

Can someone confirm that before I order some gift cards?

The no fee cards from Chase online seems the best deal, assuming 1) they do not show on the statement as a cash advance and 2) it is possible to move the money from the gift card to bluebird.

Thanks!

Question
Guest
Question

If I need to purchase a Visa or MasterCard gift card for a little under $500 (I want to pay with an Amex card I’m trying to meet my signup bonus spend on, but the website only allows payment with a Visa/MC) and my options are Walgreens and CVS (and possibly Target or Staples, but they’re much further away), what specific Visa/MC cards would be my best options? I realize this is a basic question, but with all the different flavors of Visa/MC GCs these days, I want to make sure that I buy one that I can use to make an online payment with (if it can also get a PIN/cash advance, that would also be a plus, but it is not necessary).

Also, can you buy Visa/MC GCs with store gift cards at any stores (other than the one that starts with “KM” – they only care small ones which make the fee not worth it)?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Question: For online purchases, stay away from most Vanilla Visa gift cards since they only allow you to register your zip code, not your full address and some online merchants check against your whole address. One exception is the MyVanilla Debit card with which you can (and must) register your address. That one has a low fee ($3.95) so it is probably your best bet.

As far as buying Visa/MC gift cards with store gift cards, the best I’ve had success with are $200 Visa gcs at office supply stores (but not Office Depot) and an electronics store that is sometimes referred to as BB.

Question
Guest
Question

Thanks! Do you know if it’s possible to get extra cash back when making an in-store purchase with the MyVanilla card using the PIN? Also, does the MyVanilla card require my SSN or involve a credit check? Giving my SSN to a 3rd party isn’t worth it just for the sake of being able to put $500 on my credit card.

Question
Guest
Question

As far as variable prepaid Visa gift cards went, Walgreens only had OneVanilla, Vanilla, and a Gift2Go(?). I couldn’t find this thread on Google on my phone and ended up making the mistake of buying a OneVanilla after wasting an hour trying to decide between different cards. I can’t choose the expiration date on the payment webpage and I can only register a zip code to the card. So, I have $500 stuck on the card. I’m an idiot.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Question: Some websites allow you to use a credit card that has nothing registered but the zip code so it may still work for you. If not, OneVanilla cards can be easily converted to cash: 1) get a bluebird card (via bluebird.com); 2) Go to Walmart and load the bluebird card with your debit card (your OneVanilla card). Use any 4 digits as the PIN. Then you can either use the Bluebird card online for payments or transfer money from Bluebird to your checking account.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I was told yesterday (07/28/13) in a Kroger that each $500 US Bank VISA gift card will earn only 100 fuel points.

FrequentMiler
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Jerry Mandel: Often what is said or written is not really what happens. It’s worth trying to see for yourself. At Kroger, it doesn’t hurt to add in a non gift card item to your order too, just in case…

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I finally got 4 X $500 US Bank VISA gift cards (which say DEBIT on them). Used US Bank Gold Carlson business credit card. Got 2,000+ Kroger fuel points. Registered them at US Bank and created PIN. Went to Post Office to buy money orders to deposit in bank. USPS computer declined them with no reason. US Bank says they should have gotten a message about being declined but nothing came through.
Has anyone else tried to buy USPS money orders?

FrequentMiler
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Jerry Mandel: you might have better luck at Walmart or at the rite drugstore

Curt
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Curt

Jerry,

I would buy my debit cards from Kroger’s and buy MO from walmart with them, turn around buy the debit cards from say Rite Aid or Speedway then go right over to Krogers and buy MO with them.

I have not and would be leery of using the USPS to get MO.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

Thank you, I’m puzzled, Why use MOs to buy MOs from Kroger? I would merely deposit MOs from Walmart into my bank to pay off my min spend charges at Kroger. OK?
Kroger gives fuel points for the Gift Card buys. Register gift cards at US Bank and get a US bank PIN. Instant debit card.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jerry Mandel: You wouldn’t use money orders to buy money orders. Curt was saying that he would buy debit cards with a credit card and then use those debit cards to buy money orders.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I swipe debit cards at a teller window to directly deposit the funds into my Bank Of America checking account. Maybe, same at other banks.

MikeFromNJ
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MikeFromNJ

Love the site. Since I couldn’t find Vanilla Reloads, I bought five (5) MyVanilla cards last week at CVS, in a single transaction. Since they are all debit cards, I knew I would have to go to WalMart and load over several trips but that was fine. Vanilla’s compliance group turned the cards into one time use credit based gift cards with no PIN option. They explained (after a long time on the phone) that their compliance policy is after 3 cards, they flag the purchaser and won’t allow them as debit cards to avoid money laundering. After fighting for 2 hours, they issued me a check for a full refund, including fees. Anyone else had issues with buying multiple gift cards?

Glen
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Glen

If you live near a Giant Eagle Grocery they are offering 20 cents off a gallon per 50 dollars right now for GC including visa/amex GC (they used to exclude vanilla reloads but removed it from their faq because I don’t think they sell them anymore). That is 2.00 off a gallon per 500 dollar GC. 2.5 gallons recoups the 4.95 GC fee. Giant Eagle allows up to 30 gallons as well so we take 3 extra gas cans 5 gal each since our car only takes 16 gallons. Two 500 dollar GC card purchases get us 30 gallons of gas for free. That is 120 dollars worth for less than 10 bucks.

slicker
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slicker

Just bought a oneVanilla Visa gift card from CVS and was able to load to my BB at walmart with in 30 minutes. Asked the clerk to load BB with debit card, after swiping when it asked for pin just entered the last 4 digits on the card, so it is easy to remember. It worked with no issues.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

Why bother with Bluebird and Vanilla and Amazon to meet minimum spending? Nearly all grocery chains offer fuel points when buying gift cards. Fuel savings offset card purchase fees. I charge two $500 US Bank gift cards at Kroger. Each card gets 500 fuel points. Go home to call the US Bank number on the card to set up (the same) PIN for each card. Buy $1,000 money orders at Walmart for 68c each. No cash back and pay fee in cash. Deposit MOs into my checking account. RECYCLING funds in same day and get a lot of bonus points and miles.//Using my Kroger key chain tag and the FREE US Bank Kroger credit card at the pump, I get $1.25 off per gallon. So, 2 each $500 gift cards @$5.95 fee cost $11.90 + 68c at Walmart = $12.58 total cost per $1,000 MO. Example: @1.25 off per gallon, 13.6 gallons saves $17.00 in fuel. A good offset. I have bought $3,000 at the same time for 3,000 fuel points. Use 1,000 fuel points at each fill up. No, I have never done it at Shell stations. Kroger station is nearby and we shop there often.

Jerry Mandel
Guest
Jerry Mandel

“Grocery store gift cards with fuel points.
UPDATE 9/5/2013: Unfortunately, Kroger stores are no longer giving fuel points for variable load Visa/MasterCard gift cards.” Interesting. I didn’t get fuel points on my US Bank $500 gift card purchases. I got the Kroger store manager to make the clerk call up the Kroger PLUS office. The PLUS agent added the fuel points to my account.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jerry Mandel: I suspect that you were very lucky finding both a store manager and a Kroger PLUS agent who didn’t know that you’re not supposed to get points for variable load Visa cards.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I wrote to Kroger PLUS for clarification. Awaiting a response. It would be disappointing not to get the fuel savings to offset the gift card fees.

Ben
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Ben

Did you get a response from Kroger yet?share travel info

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I called Kroger PLUS. No more fuel points for loadable cards. However, it is probably worth the fees for same day recycling of funds. I was told that Tom Thumb (Safeway)gives fuel discounts and will investigate.

Ben
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Ben

I am trying to see if Kroger will carry preset loaded credit cards higher than $100, possibly a $500 preset card. Has anyone else contacted Kroger in regards to this as a possibility, or to voice their opinion on the program change?

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

Kroger sells US Bank gift cards loaded up to $500 for $5.95 each. (A nuisance)>>>>>Go home to call up 1-866-952-5653 on EACH one to get a PIN. (Use same PIN for each one.) That converts them into debit cards. Go to Walmart to buy $1,000 (maximum) money orders. No cash back. NO BLUEBIRD needed.
Pay the 68c Walmart fee for each MO separately in cash. Deposit MOs into your checking account for same day recycling of funds. Maybe other grocery chains do the same.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I tried Myvanilla cards and have had nothing but trouble.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I have e-mailed Kroger to let them know the change is notvwell rreceived, and to ask if they can stock higher preset cards.

It may be good to have others do the same.

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[…] Gift Cards […]

Paul
Guest

May want to update that Chase no longer offers Chase Gift Cards. (You can get the full message via the link for Chase Gift Cards in the post)

Stay Awesome!

Jerry Mandel
Guest
Jerry Mandel

I did a Cost-Benefit analysis. Kroger no longer gives fuel points for the US Bank loadable gift cards. Each $500 gift card costs $5.95 fee. I call up to get a single PIN for all the cards. I buy Walmart money orders for 68c cash per $1,000 MO. (Pay fees separately.) Kroger is near me and Walmart is near me and across the street from my Bank Of America branch to deposit the MOs. So, minimal traveling and time for SAME DAY recycling of funds. Money already in the bank to pay the credit card statements.
Example: If I buy 10 X $500 in gift cards, that is $5,000 of minimum spending. 10 X $5.95 = $59.50 in Kroger fees. 5 X 68c = $3.40 in Walmart fees. Total would be $62.90….and I get a whole lot of bonus miles and points. It’s worth it to me. Bluebird and Amazon take longer. Amazon involves another person.

How much would one paid (1) air ticket or one (1) paid hotel night cost?

Some stores (Safeway affiliates) carry Meta Bank gift cards.The website lets you select a PIN.

You can buy MOs at USPS but they cost more.

For each $500 gift card, charge $505.95 to cover the fee.

Bob
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Bob

Can one still purchase mo at Walmart with gift cards and if so which gift cards are recommended

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

You have to get a PIN for the gift cards to convert them into (loaded) debit cards to use to buy money orders at Walmart.

Jerry Mandel
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Jerry Mandel

I wrote which ones.