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Why I Buy Gift Cards with Gift Cards, and My Two Favorite Locations

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Buying Gift Cards

Buying Gift Cards with Gift Cards

A large part of our travel and points hobby where many dabble is buying gift cards.  Much talk and strategy is justifiably on Visa and Mastercard gift card angles, but I’m not discussing that right now.  Instead, I’m focusing on third party gift cards today, specifically buying gift cards with other gift cards.  Many retailers have largely eliminated this option, like Target and Sam’s Club.  But some stores still allow this, and the process is worth it for me.  I still bother with it for a few reasons, and two stores are my favorites.

Why I’m Buying Gift Cards with Gift Cards

Stacking Discounts

I enjoy using card-linked offers from Chase and Amex primarily.  I particularly like using them at retailers which offer third party gift cards (and cash equivalents, too).  Often, such offers trigger on gift card purchases.  I’ve seen offers at a variety of retailers in the 5%-10% off range, sometimes more.

I buy a third party gift card for a specific retailer with the card-linked offer then travel to that store.   I’ll then use that gift card to buy another third party gift card, receiving other discounts along the way, such as fuel points.  By doing so, I’ve essentially double-discounted (or more) the final third party gift card I bought.

Buying Gift Cards

Time Shifting Spend

If I’m finishing up a credit card welcome bonus, I might buy a third party gift card for somewhere I normally spend to meet the exact spend threshold.  I’m not overspending, as it’s a gift card for a store that satisfies our day to day needs.  I can earn a new card bonus even if I don’t have that much organic spending in a given timeframe.  I then flip that store gift card into another gift card that meets our needs down the road.

Category Shifting Spend

Certain cards, like the Chase Freedom Flex, offer significant temporary earning bumps based on the merchant or transaction type.  I might buy a third party gift card at a 5x-eligible store and turn around to use it at a different retailer to buy another third party gift card, one that normally earns at a much lower rate.

Buying Gift Cards
One of my favorite gift cards to buy with discounts.

My Two Favorites for Buying Gift Cards with Gift Cards

Kroger

I routinely buy Kroger gift cards (at Kroger itself or another retailer) for subsequent use.  I’m able to easily buy a variety of third party gift cards with Kroger gift cards for our needs while optimizing around larger fuel points deals.  In my experience, buying certain gift card types, like Home Depot or Best Buy, with a Kroger gift card is a bit trickier but not impossible.  However, for most of our third party gift card needs, Kroger gift cards easily work for payment.

Amazon

I’m not a big Amazon shopper.  We left Prime membership years ago and have zero regrets.  But I do like stacking gift card deals from time to time with Amazon.  I’ll buy an Amazon card at whatever brick and mortar store is earning best, has a card-linked offer, or both.  I’ll then use that Amazon card to buy another third party gift card online, often stacking with a temporary discount and/or Amazon pay with points deal.  But beware!  I’ve heard some reports of individuals being shut down for this activity.  For what it’s worth, I’ve merely participated in this play for personal use, and we’ve had no shutdown issues at our moderate level of spending.

Conclusion

This play isn’t for everybody.  It can become time-consuming and convoluted, and people who don’t enjoy it will probably want to stay away.  But this play can hit the spot for degenerates like me.  As Cheritto said, “the action is the juice.”  Indeed, I’ve been up to this silliness for years and have no intention to stop.

Do you buy gift cards with gift cards?  What are your favorite angles?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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26 COMMENTS

    • Kyle,
      I earn fuel points when I use Kroger gift cards as payment, but not when they’re what I’m purchasing.

  1. Thanks, I will have to try this at my local Kroger. I know all stores do things differently. At my Kroger we are able to get fuel points up to $4.50 off per gallon. Most places only let you get $1 off per gallon but I have been getting gas for around .05 to .01 per gallon for the last 10 years. I basically put my kids through college with the annual fuel savings.

  2. Hmmm, from the Amazon website page covering use of Amazon gift cards under “Redeem a Gift” – “You can’t use a gift card to purchase other gift cards.” I’ve also tried buying a non-amazon 3PGC and got a no-no msg.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=G5D4TA7NBKQT7GW2#:~:text=You%20can't%20use%20a,Card%20Redemption%20Issues%20help%20page.

    I’ve also tried using a Kroger GC at Kroger to buy a 3PGC – nope!

    You may have been able to do what you say you did at some point in the past, but the rules have changed. OR perhaps, you have some magical power that allows you, today, to do what you say you are doing.???.

  3. I have had no luck at my local Kroger buying gift cards with gift cards. I wonder if it is a location specific thing?

      • words like moderate dont mean much. is moderate $100 a month or is moderate $5000 a month? What are you considering “moderate” in this situation

  4. Benji, not using Amazon means you are spending too much time driving in your auto. I hope you are driving an EV instead of burning fossil fuels . Amazon delivery is saving our planet IMHO. Shame on you Benji, Shame.

  5. Humm,
    Not sure whatState you are using Kroger Gift Cards for buy other gift cards. When i tried this a six months ago(not deliberatly like yourself) it was denyed. I was told by Kroger manager can not use Gift cards to buy gift cards, for the the exact reason you are doing it. So, i really question if what you are stating is true. I do not believe it can be done in ANY retail brick and mortor store. If you do not mind show us some reciepts as proof.

    • Mike,
      How many locations have you tried? Based on your particular experience and the statement of one manager, you presume this can’t possibly work anywhere? Embrace the grind.

  6. How can you use an amazon gift card with a pay with points deal? I thought the method of payment needed to be your credit card that you are using a point with? (Amex, Citi, Chase card, etc)

      • I’ll rephrase the above Amazon example. Buy an Amazon gift card where you can get it at a discount – with an Amex offer, for instance. Use that discounted Amazon gift card to buy a discounted third party gift card during a sale or pay with points offer (see my response to Daniel). Reflect on similar possibilities and experiment!

  7. Even with the beware disclaimer, what an absolutely moronic take buying Amazon gcs with gcs. You will get banned for this 100%. Maybe not the first or second time but there are PLENTY of data points.

    • Genie,
      We’ve been doing this without issue for years with Amazon for our own personal use. And bigger picture, possibly being banned by Amazon in the future doesn’t matter to us. So what’s “absolutely moronic” for you doesn’t apply to our situation.

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