Update: It looks like TopCashBack has reneged on this deal as it now only shows 0.75% through Easter.
Update again: I’m not sure what TCB is doing but it looks like they reneged again!! Visa cards now show down to 0.5% through Easter – which is the normal rate!!!
Those of you who play the manufactured spending game are probably familiar with GiftCardMall.com. If you are not, GCM is a gift card store that sells Visa gift cards which can be purchased using a credit card to earn miles or points. This can be a great way to help reach a minimum spending requirement or just a way to accomplish some extra spending on your card.
GiftCardMall used to be far more lucrative until major changes were implemented last year. First GCM reduce the maximum load per card from $1,000 down to $500 doubling your cost on purchase fees. Then they decided to add an extra $2 security fee to each card in addition to the usual purchase fees. As if that wasn’t enough, cash back portals started to reduce or eliminate payouts on Visa gift cards via GCM. For sometime now TopCashBack has only been paying 0.5% back. All of these combined rendered GCM by itself an expensive option to manufacture spending.
Anyway, I just received an email from topcashback alerting me to a temporary increase in the cash back rates from GiftCardMall.com. From now through Easter Sunday you will be able to earn a full 1% back on Visa gift cards! For those of you who are having a hard time finishing the spending requirement on your new Citi Executive card, this could be a great way to cover a portion of your spending now that the CVS/Vanilla play is dead.
The cost per card is $3.95 per card plus shipping (which includes a $2/per card security fee). So, for an example, if you buy 1 $500 Visa you will pay a $3.95 purchase fee + $3.99 for shipping. Total fees will be $7.94 and you will $5 cash back from TopCashBack resulting in a cost of $2.94 for 500 miles/points (assuming a 1:1 earning card). That translates to a cost of only 0.588 cents per mile/point. Just over half a cent per point is a pretty good rate. That rate gets even cheaper the more cards you order because the shipping is less per card as the order increases.
You could also turn this into a money make by first buying Amex gift cards through TopCashBack for 2% rebate or through the Barclay RewardsBoost for 4x points per dollar and then using the Amex gift cards to buy the Visa cards through the TopCashBack portal.
Visa gift cards can then be liquidated by loading to Bluebird or purchasing money orders at Wal-Mart.
GiftCardMall has been known to decline orders if the amount is too large, especially for new customers who don’t have a history of ordering. Once they decline one, they tend to just keep declining them until you call and speak with someone. So I would suggest you go easy if this is your first order. Also, large orders will trigger a reporting form as per government regulations. I cannot remember the amount but it seems like the amount was right about $4,500 that triggered the report.