It has been a while since the elimination of the $1,000 gift cards from GiftCardMall (GCM) where you could actually turn a small profit purchasing them simply by using one of several shopping portals. Since those days GCM has reduced the max card amount down to $500 and added and extra $2 fee to each card in addition to the normal fee & shipping. On top of that the cash back portals have reduced payouts to only 0.5% at GCM.
While this may not be a return to those days it could be a positive development in the world of manufactured spending. William over at Doctor of Credit has posted an intriguing potential deal. MetaBank is selling four different types of cards online in large denominations from $1,000+ and will accept credit cards for the purchase.
- MasterCard Gift Cards – regular MC gift cards issued in denominations of up to $1,000 with a $4.95 purchase fee
- MetaBlue Visa Reloadable – Reloadable Visa up to $1,500 with a $6.95 purchase fee & $3 monthly fee
- MasterCard Travel Prepaid Cards – Reloadable up to $1,500 with a $6.95 purchase fee
- MasterCard Youth Card – Reloadable up to $1,500 with a $6.95 purchase fee & $3 monthly fee
The only one I am intrigued by is the regular old MasterCard Gift card. This should be your standard typical MetaBank MasterCard gift card that are sold in stores all over. If this is the case then the last 4 digits can be the default PIN and they should load to Bluebird or be able to be cashed out buying money orders. I’ll let you know when mine comes in the mail. The down side to this deal is that there doesn’t appear to be any cash-back options via any shopping portals to make this an even sweeter deal.
The bigger concern is that because these will be purchases directly from a financial institution they run the risk of being processed as cash advances. There have been reports of Bank of America and Chase cards successfully running as a purchase. There are also reports of Citi and US Bank running them as cash advances, which should not be a surprise to anyone. Please share your experiences in the comments below.
And as always I would highly suggest starting out small and slow and make sure everything plays out as expected before attempting to ramp this up. Oh, and also, you can only use a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card so this won’t be an option for liquidating your Amex gift cards.