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
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.
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.
My Two Favorites for Buying Gift Cards with Gift Cards
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.
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.
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?
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