$1,000 Visa Gift Card From GiftCardMall.com, Is It Worth It?

Related Post: 4/18/13 Get Paid $15 to Buy $1,000 Visa Gift Card Through Gift Card Mall!!

 UPDATE: $500 is now the largest denomination

I wasn’t planning on writing this post yet. But since Million Miles Secrets posted on it Saturday, I figured this would be as good of a time as any to discuss this. Back on the 8th I posted my discovery of the ability to purchase Chase Visa gift cards online with NO purchase/activation/shipping fee’s at all! With the new ability to get a PIN on most Visa & MasterCard debit cards, this is the perfect way to manufacture spending and earn a bunch of points/miles for free! Since these debit cards now have a PIN you have the ability to liquidate them via Bluebird and money orders.

 

Visa Gift Cards from Gift Card Mall

 

Higher value gift cards are harder to come by in stores these days especially ones that earn a category bonus. GiftCardMall.com sells gift cards in amounts from $20 up to $1,000. There is a purchase fee of $3.95 per card plus a shipping fee starting at $1.99 depending on shipping method. But we need to ask the question, Is it worth the fees? Without a doubt it is worth it in order to meet the minimum spending on a sign-up bonus. But for right now I am more concerned about the long-term potential to earn regular spending.


Shipping costs for giftcardmall.com

 

The key to manufacturing spending via gift cards is to get the most miles while paying the least amount of fee’s which results in a lower cost per mile or point (CPM’s). If you earn 500 points and paid a fee of $5, your CPM would be $0.01 (price/miles). But what is a good price and which credit card would be the best option to use?

 

Let’s take a look at a few options using both the $1.99 w/no tracking option and the $3.99 with tracking option.

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards:

All cards that earn Ultimate Rewards (Sapphire, Ink, etc) would earn points at a rate of 1 points per $ and could be transferred into any of the 10 UR partners including British Airways, Southwest, Hyatt, and Marriott.

 

$1,000 card   +  $3.95 purchase fee + $1.99 shipping   =   1,006 points  @ a cost of $5.94

$5.94/1006 points = 0.59¢/pt   Basically 0.6 cpm

Using $3.99 we would be looking at 0.8 cpm

 

SPG

Starwood cards would also earn 1 point/dollar and can be transferred to any of its 29 airline partners and most at a rate of 1:1 including American, Delta, and US Airways.

 

$1,000 card   +  $3.95 purchase fee + $1.99 shipping   =   1,006 points  @ a cost of $5.94

$5.94/1006 points = 0.59¢/pt   Basically 0.6 cpm    — Same as UR

Using $3.99 we would be looking at 0.8 cpm     — Same as UR

 

So we are looking at the same rates as UR, but SPG has a big advantage on airline partners. Not only does it have more partners, but when you transfer 20,000 points to an airline, you get a bonus of 5,000 miles! So let’s assume you bought 20 of the $1k gift cards over the course of the year and transferred the points 1:1 to another airline.

 

20 gift cards = approximately 20,000 points  @ a cost of $118.80 using the $1.99 shipping.

$118.80/ 25,000 miles = 0.48 cpm

Or using the $3.99 track-able shipping option @ a total cost of $158.80.

$158.80/ 25,000 miles = 0.64 cpm

 

As you can see, if you are going for airline miles then the SPG cards are a better option than Chase Ultimate Rewards.

 

Club Carlson:

This new comer has quickly become one of my favorite straight hotel cards and is what I am currently using to purchase my $1k cards from Gift Card Mall and I will tell you why. Both the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card and the Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa card earn points at a standard rate of 5 points/dollar on all purchases. The big kicker with these is the Bonus Award nights feature. When you redeem for 2 nights or more you get the last night free, no points required. So if used for 2 night stays you will double the value of your points.

 

$1,000 card   +  $3.95 purchase fee + $1.99 shipping   =    5,030 points  @ a cost of $5.94

$5.94/5030 points = 0.12 cpm or 0.16 cpm with the $3.99 shipping option

 

Using the SPG example of buying 20 cards over the course of a year would net over 100,000 points. If redeemed for 2 nights stays, this would give you 4 free nights at any Club Carlson property including the new Radisson Blu Maldives coming late this fall!! Your total cost for these points would equate to about $30/night.

 

For transferring the points to airlines, SPG still has Club Carlson beat as 100,000 points would transfer to 18,000 airline miles at one of its many partners. However, if you transferred them to an airline during a hotel transfer bonus promo, such as the current US Airways 50% transfer bonus, you would net a total of 27,000 miles which would be a better deal than the SPG since they didn’t participate in that deal.

 

But really the hotel points are the play here for me.

 

Summary

Obviously we all have different strategies and value different point currencies different. I however, do not see buying UR points at 0.8 CPM. I may be a buyer of some at 0.6 CPM, but I am in this game to earn travel as close to free as possible and not just to get a 50% – 60% discount on my travel. Granted, I don’t book international 1st class flights which give the best return on points since I would prefer more coach trips than less 1st class trips. Just my personal preference, plus I am flying a family of 5 most the time! Those of you who do redeem for international 1st class or are just looking to save a big portion of the flight costs may find any of these options well worthwhile.

 

What cards are you using in conjunction with the Visa gift card opportunities?

 

 

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7 Responses to $1,000 Visa Gift Card From GiftCardMall.com, Is It Worth It?

  1. Paul says:

    I value F and high end aspirational properties – days of coach and middling hotels are over for me.

    As such, find URs far and away the most valuable currency for hotels (1:1 transfer to Hyatt can’t be beat, especially when churning at 5x).

    I have plenty of airline miles earned thru BIS, so those aren’t a priority. As such, I don’t have an SPG card since I can typically get twice the value with my URs for hotel stays.

    Carlson doesn’t have many (if any) properties that interest me, so unless I get desperate, that’s not a program I’ll be targeting any time soon, even with 5x and free nights.

    • The Points Traveler says:

      I agree that URs are a very valuable currency. And all things being equal, they are more valuable than Club Carlson, no doubt. However, for me buying $1,000 gift cards from the Gift Card Mall @ $5.94 or $7.94 is not getting me the UR points cheap enough. I love UR but I prefer other methods to earn them at a lower CPM. However, like I said, buying UR at 0.6 CPM is a good deal for those who fly F. Maybe when the kids are grown, I will get to do that a little more! 🙂

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  4. MD says:

    I’ve got some Visa gift cards from GiftCardMall but see no way to obtain a PIN…how is that done?

    • The Points Traveler says:

      Once you have activated them online, go to giftcardmall.com/mygift and register them and login. Once you have registered your account you will see “set PIN” in the upper right hand corner. Let me know if you are able to find it.

  5. Phred says:

    It appears that they now “only” sell $500 cards

Let me know what you are thinking!