5 Best Options for PayPal Digital Gifts Purchases Going Forward

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Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

PayPal Digital Gifts used to be a mecca of point production.  You could rack up 5X Ultimate Rewards with ease, reselling discounted gift cards sold on PPDG’s website or on eBay.  If you didn’t have a Chase Ink credit card then you could still earn 3X ThankYou points with the Citi AT&T Access More card until recently.

Well both of those options have since gone kaput.  If you are lucky enough to still have a older Mastercard version of a Chase Ink card then you are still able to earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points.  Well until April 30th, 2018 when they all get changed over to Visa cards at least.

Best Options for PPDG Orders

This list will be based on projected return rates.  Please plug in your own values and make any adjustments to the list as needed to match your needs.

A card with minimum spend remaining will always bring you the largest return but this is a list of cards that you can use long term for the purchases.

Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

  1. American Express Blue Business Plus

The American Express Blue Business Plus comes in at #1 on the list.  This card is fairly new and is a favorite of many.  The Amex Blue Biz Plus earns 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar, everywhere!  That is about as solid as it gets these days.

Most people value Membership Rewards points in the 1.5-1.8 cent range.  That pegs the return on PPDG purchases at 3-3.6%.  Make sure to plug in your own valuation of MR points into the calculation to see if it would be the best card for you.

One thing to consider is that Amex’s RAT team has been cracking down on gift card purchases and refusing to issue points on such purchases.  This has been with Visa gift card purchases so far. There have been no reports on 3rd party gift card purchases having the same issue, but it is something that could change in the not too distant future.


Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

2. Alliant Cash Back Card

Next on the list is the Alliant cash back card from Alliant Credit Union.  The card earns a very solid 3% on ALL purchases within the first 12 months.  It drops down to 2.5% after the first year which would still put it very high on the list.

3% 1st Year

Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

3. Bank of America Premium Rewards

This would actually jump to second on the list after the first year of Alliant card membership.  With the BOA Premium Rewards card plus Platinum banking status you can earn 2.625% back on all purchases.  The entry level is high though…needing $100,000 tied up in Bank of America accounts.  Merrill Lynch investment accounts are included which will open the doors for some.


Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

4. Chase Freedom Unlimited or American Express Everyday Preferred

Both of these cards have the ability to earn 1.5 points per dollar.  The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns it on every purchase.  The American Express Everyday Preferred earns 1.5 points per purchase after you make 30 purchases within your billing month.  Most people value Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards points at a minimum of 1.5 cents per point…giving these cards a minimum return of 2.25%.

At Least 2.25%

CLICK HERE to compare this and other travel credit cards

Top 5 Options for PPDG Purchases Going Forward

5. 2% Cash Back Cards

Rounding out the list is the plethora of 2% cash back earning cards. If you want to pair up this opportunity with a sign up bonus then nothing beats the Capital One Venture card’s offer of 50,000 points (worth $500) right now.

If you want a downgrade option than I recommend the Citi Double Cash since it comes with no annual fee. I downgraded my Citi American Airlines card to the Double Cash when the annual fee came up.



These are the 5 best options for PayPal Digital Gifts purchases going forward.  They are not as good as the 5X Ultimate Rewards earnings of the past, or the 3X ThankYou points, but they still offer a solid return on that spend.

Let me know if there are any cards I missed that you think should be added.


What do you currently use for PPDG purchases?


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Hey Mark, can I get your opinion on SPG points? How come the SPG cards didn’t rank on your list here? Some value SPG points as high as 2.7 cents, which would be right in the BOA Platinum tier.


    • Most people value them at the 2 cents per point level which puts them in line with the 2% cash back. But points are much more restrictive compared to cash so when they are about the same I am going to lean towards cash. But like I said above if you personally value SPG points in that range then that would be a great option. Everyone has their own favorite programs but I tried to base the list on the normal redemption rates and give more of a minimum expected return using those routes.

  2. So basically there’s no category bonus for PPDG and “use whatever you would use for 1x spend” is the advice?

    I’ve been using PPDG to hit minspends now (which makes that easier) but miss the 5x days (and even the 2x ATT)

    • Pretty much – wanted to put something together to make it easy for people to track down the best options.

      That is what I have been doing as well but when I am in between cards I use one of these…need to get an Amex Biz Plus now that a sign up bonus is finally back!

  3. It’s been a few months since I’ve done any gift card reselling, but when I get back into it I’ll probably use one of my Radisson cards. The 5x points aren’t worth as much as some of the options you listed above, but PPDG makes it easier to hit the high spending needed for the three free nights the cards now offer each year.

    • You have to use what works best for you. Using a card that has a spend bonus is a good option too – almost like a min spend scenario. When you factor in the free nights I bet the return is similar to the top of the list.

    • Yes, you just have to add the visa gift card as one of your credit cards in your paypal account. Obviously, you must first register the card with your name and address.

    • Once it is linked to your PayPal account you are good to go. I have had an issue with one here or there not being able to add it to my account but I think they were Mastercard versions and not Visa.

  4. You can use Prepaid Visa gift cards that you buy on sale at OfficeMax (or Staples, if they ever have them on sale again. Since they have gotten rid of rebates, we have not seen a visa gift card sale from Staples.)

    • Good point Jason – if you are struggling to hit your 50K in 5x spend each year that could be an avenue to boost up your production.


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