This article will detail how you can really beef up any loyalty mile or point balance from buying Visa Gift Cards and liquidating them quickly even in the same day as you purchased them.
There are many ways to liquidate gift cards that you buy with your rewards card but I will keep it simple in this article, focusing on just one easy way.
Note: This example can be used to increase mile/point earnings on any credit card. I am currently crazy about using my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa because I’m saving for another European adventure in the next couple years. I can earn a Category 1 free night for only 9,000 points with the Club Carlson program. There are some good worldwide locations at Category 1 and Category 2 (15,000 points) with Club Carlson. I earn 5 points per dollar with my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa, not just in one category but everywhere.
So let me break this down.
- Choose a location to purchase $500 Visa Gift Cards
You want to scout out your town and the gift card racks. What you are looking for is Visa Gift Cards that are loadable from $20 – $500. You goal is to load $500 to this gift card at the register. These cards are generally found in many grocery stores, convenient stores, office supply stores, etc. They generally all have a $5.95 fee.
- Choose a reward credit card
You want to choose a rewards card that earns the highest amount of miles and points possible when purchasing the $500 Visa Gift Card. Like I mentioned earlier, I am using my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa lately because of my travel goals and the 5x point earning power.
Example: You may choose to use your Hilton Honors card which earnings you 5x point per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations if you find $500 Visa Gift card in these locations. Or you may choose to use your Ink Bold or Ink Plus card at any office supply store that you might find $500 Visa Gift Cards. In my local area, I can only find $200 Visa Gift Cards at Office Max & Staples but I know everyone’s local area has different options. Check out this page to see all the highest earning rewards credit cards.
- Purchase $500 Visa Gift Card
Take your $500 Visa Gift Card to the register and tell the clerk you want to load $500 onto the gift card. Complete purchase with the rewards credit card of your choice.
- Set up a PIN number for your $500 Visa Gift Card
You can set up a PIN # (Personal Identification Number) either online, over the phone, or some cards set the PIN at the time of the first purchase by simply choosing your PIN number on the pad. You will have to see what option your $500 Visa Gift Card gives you. Some Visa Gift Cards print a phone number on the receipt that shows the card is activated.
- Liquidation time!
You now want to remove the cash off your $500 Visa Gift Card. Like I mentioned before, there are many ways to do this but none I believe are as simple and easy as this method. NOTE: You can not use Visa Gift Cards at an ATM.
- Simply take your card to your local grocery store and grab a pack of gum.(If you are a long time reader than you know I love gum and love “pack of gum” credit card offers. Basically, when you receive a bonus on a credit card after the first purchase of a pack of gum. Well, this is another “pack of gum” strategy).
- Go to the register, purchase the gum with your $500 Visa Gift Card and select “DEBIT” at the register. You will be prompted for your PIN number. Enter you PIN number. You will then be ask by the machine, “Do you want Cash Back“. The golden question! Yes, but of course!
Now, ask your clerk what the maximum cash back is at the store. Generally, all grocery stores will give you $100, $200 or $300 cash back on purchases. Select your amount and hit enter. Boom! Your full charge on the $500 Visa Gift Card is say $301.19 ($300 in cash + gum). You can pick the cheapest candy bar too. I just prefer gum as it keeps me a bit thinner!
- You have now effectively liquidated $300 cash from your Visa Gift Card. You now decided you need another “pack of gum” or candy bar. You get back in line preferably with another clerk since you already wiped out the cash at the previous register. Repeat process for the exact amount left on the card. So if you charged $301.19 in the first purchase, you would have $198.81 on your card. On your second purchase if the item was the same, you would ask for $197.62 cash back to completely wipe the card balance. You may need to use your smartphone or pocket calculator to figure this out quickly. I always use my iPhone calculator to figure out what exact amount to request in cash back based upon the gum price I’ve purchase.
DONE! $500 Visa Gift Card quickly liquidated. You can even complete this entire purchase in 1 trip to the grocery store if you find your local grocery store carries $500 Visa Gift Cards. Buy Visa Gift Card. Use your smartphone (either call or online) to setup PIN#. Then buy your packs of gum. Boom! Quick and easy! If your local grocery stores has a bank inside it, you are really set. Set up a fee free checking account and deposit the cash via ATM. Now head home and signing online to your account and make a payment to your credit card. DONE!
Meeting minimum spends on credit cards is simple and quick with this easy strategy. So give it a try! Start with a small amount. Load $50 and do the process. Always test out different Visa Gift Cards and be sure they will work at the register for cash back. The highest earning value is on the $500 Visa Gift Card though but I always suggest testing the waters on any strategy before you jump in. I’ve use this strategy on many Gift Cards and I’ve found some that work and some that don’t. Visa seems to always cooperate where Mastercard seems to not always work.
Good luck! Enjoy your extra earnings or meeting your minimum spends and ultimately enjoy your “free travel”!
NOTE: You can also check out my Best Credit Card Category Bonuses page as a reference to what cards can be used at what locations for maximum earnings.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card
- Earn up to 9 Free Award Nights1 with 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase, plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
- 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases2 at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide
- 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else
- Bonus Award Night – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free. Exclusively for cardmembers!
- Club Carlson Gold Status is yours after you activate and use your card
- 1Category 1 hotels
- 2 Net purchases are purchases minus credits and returns